by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Soviet SKS
- One more common problem
- Designed to be dry-fired
- BB — get real!
- And the others?
- Under The Gun
- An aside that is pertinent
- Pneumatics and gas guns
- BB’s rule of thumb
Time for another basic report. We discuss dry-firing airguns a lot and things get out of control pretty quick, but I guess that’s the nature of the Internet. My wife, Edith, used to have a little saying about it. She said people would post:
“I have an HW77 that I enjoy.”
“Yes, Weihrauch airguns all nice, aren’t they?”
“I shoot my Gamo Expomatic in the basement every day.”
“I like ice cream!”
I’ll come back to that, but today I thought I would dive into the subject of dry-firing a little deeper, since it’s one that seems to affect all of us to some extent. I think I’ll start with firearms.
I’m going to begin with guns that have firing pins, though the subject of dry-firing does go back much farther than that. Older guns are usually not made to endure much dry-firing, if any. Their metal parts are hardened to withstand a lot of use without wearing, but hardness does tend to make metal brittle. The better guns have firing pins made from tool steel that can be both hard and also resistant to breakage from impact, but gun makers didn’t always do that because dry-firing was considered a no-no a century ago.
The German Luger, for example, had parts that were heat-treated (hardened) and then tempered (treated with heat for ductility) to a medium straw yellow color. The maker wanted the firing pin to work without wear, and also to not deform the parts with which it interacted. But the metallurgy of Luger parts was less complex 100 years ago than it is today and it is not recommended that you dry-fire a German Luger — especially if it is one from history. It can be done if the gun needs to be uncocked, but you run the risk of breaking the pin and other parts in the firing mechanism.
The Legends P08 pistol with blowback is shown beneath a 1914 Luger made at the Royal Arsenal at Erfurt. This century-old pistol should not be dry-fired.
The Soviet semiautomatic rifle we call the SKS is another example of a gun that should not be dry-fired — though not because of the metallurgy.
This Soviet SKS was manufactured at the Tula Arsenal in 1953.
The reason you should not dry-fire an SKS is the tapered firing pin can get stuck inside the bolt in the fired position — protruding from the bolt. If that happens the gun can fire every cartridge it chambers. It’s essentially firing from the open bolt, which it is not timed correctly to do. It will shoot full auto until it runs out of cartridges and the action can blow up if a cartridge case lets go before it is fully chambered and the action is locked shut (that’s the timing). This is a common fault with the SKS and owners are cautioned to keep their bolts and firing pins clean and to not dry-fire their rifle. A firing pin return spring was installed in the earliest SKS bolts and can be retrofitted into guns without it to protect against this.
One more common problem
So, breaking parts and sticking parts are two of the most common reasons why dry-firing firearms is not recommended. And there is one more common reason. Many rimfires are designed so their firing pins will make contact with the edge of the chamber if there is no cartridge rim there to cushion them. This makes them fire more reliably. However, if guns like these are fired a lot with no cartridge in the chamber a groove or depression will form in the rim of the chamber and the gun will no longer fire reliably because there is nothing backing up the cartridge rim. Therefore the cartridge rim will not be crushed reliably to set off the priming compound and the guns either start to misfire a lot or they quit working altogether. It’s a real problem with older rimfires made before about 1960, and even some of the less expensive ones that are made today still have the problem. But many do not.
I’ll use the Ruger 10/22 as an example of a rimfire that can be safely dry-fired. The Ruger website even has a video that says so. And so can the Ruger Mark pistols. Their firing pins are purposely designed to stop a tiny fraction of an inch away from the rim of the chamber. You readers who understand manufacturing know how difficult it is to maintain those kind of dimensions across multiple parts so it always works out right after assembly!
I only use Ruger as an example. Many rimfires are designed this way today. But don’t take my word for it. Find out if YOUR rimfire is so-designed before you start dry-firing!
Designed to be dry-fired
Then there are the firearms that are purposely designed to be dry-fired. I’ll use a free pistol for my example. Because bullseye target shooters shoot many times more shots dry than with ammunition to train their eye-hand coordination, their guns have to be designed for it.
This Hammerli free pistol is a .22 rimfire pistol used in 50-meter bullseye competition.
The Hammerli 100 was produced from the late 1940s until the middle 1950s, when the model 101 superseded it. It has a lever on the left side of the receiver that cocks the trigger but not the firing pin. It allows you to practice with the trigger all day long without ever chambering a live round or cocking the gun.
That lever cocks the trigger of the pistol. It works regardless of the action being cocked.
Let’s now turn our attention to airguns. I will begin with the target guns that have dry-fire devices to allow practice for the same reasons as the free pistols just mentioned. The top 10-meter rifles and pistols all have them, but so do the informal airguns (mostly pistols) that are designed for informal target practice. Take the Beeman P1 for example. If you lift the top strap, but not far enough to cock the pistol, you set the trigger and you can dry-fire it in the same way as a more expensive target pistol. The trigger feels exactly the same as when the pistol is fully cocked, but no pellet is shot when the trigger falls.
BB — get real!
All of that is nice to know, but it doesn’t answer the question that is in your mind, does it? You want to know about spring-piston air rifles, don’t you?
Remember what I told you at the start of this report about conversations on the Internet quickly getting silly? It happens here sometimes, too. I mentioned a few weeks ago that Gamo at one time advertised that their spring-piston air rifles could withstand 10,000 dry-fires without damage and they had even tested for it. Well, that statement morphed into Gamo testing all (as in each and every one) of their spring-piston air rifles by dry-firing them 10,000 times! No — they don’t. If you think about it, they really couldn’t. That would add so much cost to each gun (the time spent putting them all into the cocking/firing fixtures then waiting for them to be cocked and fired 10,000 times, not to mention the vast number of fixtures they would need for a 40,000-piece model run) that a $200 air rifle would have to cost $400 or more.
Gamo doesn’t do that and they never did. But maybe the person who said that only meant that Gamo tests each type of gun (one test per model type — not each and every gun) with 10,000 dry-fires. They don’t do that any longer, either — or at least it’s no longer a part of their advertising campaign. Maybe they still test them that way — but they don’t talk about it as much. I said what I said in an historical context in my report titled, Does dry-firing damage airguns?. In that report a reader mentioned that Gamo addresses dry-firing in their frequently asked questions on their GamoUSA website. I went there to check and they no longer address it.
So, Gamo isn’t telling customers they can dry-fire their spring-piston guns. Except that I did find in the manual for the Swarm Fusion 10X they said that one way to safely test whether the rifle has a pellet in the barrel after it has been cocked is to fire it in a safe direction. If there is no pellet that would constitute a dry-fire, so they are okay with that.
And the others?
What about the rest of the spring-piston airgun makers? Are their rifles and pistols proofed against damage from dry-fires? Yes and no. Yes because of the materials being used today and because of the changes in design that lend themselves to more reliable performance, and no — because in a lot of instances this hasn’t been deliberate. I will illustrate with a scope analogy.
Under The Gun
Spring airguns break scopes. We have known that for a long time. But in 1998, when Leapers learned that was the case, they set out to design airgun scopes that could not be broken that way! They even designed test fixtures to test scope designs over the long term. During the same timeframe they added the name Under The Gun (UTG) to their scope line. Hence today UTG scopes are pretty much bulletproof. They are designed with Smart Spherical Structure (SSS) — a scope body that’s inherently stronger than other bodies because it addresses the interaction between the inner and outer scope tubes.
Now along come all the other scope manufacturers in the world — from the biggies like Leupold, Burris and Hawke to the little guys that make scopes for cheap. The biggies watch the scope market closely and, when some bozo named B.B. Pelletier starts waving his pom-poms, they purchase a couple of the UTG scopes he is raving about and examine them — CLOSELY. They discover that, indeed, there are some design features that are quite worthy and they find their own ways of emulating them. Next thing you know ten years have passed and all of the brand-name scopes are spring-rifle proof or, as in the case of Hawke, they know that certain ones in their lineup aren’t and they tell buyers up front. This migration doesn’t just happen through copying, either. Engineers change jobs and the word spreads.
Last to change are the cheapies, but they do change, because at the same time the manufacturers were getting smarter — so were the buyers. Maybe a full two decades have to pass before there are no more scope problems with spring-gun recoil, but it does happen.
An aside that is pertinent
Back to dry-firing. When major airgun manufacturers like Feinwerkbau, Diana and Walther used piston seals that are made of a synthetic that dry-rotted over time, they all got a black eye when the ship hit the sand. Quick as a bunny and with ZERO fanfare they all switched their formulas for their synthetic piston seals! What else could they do — advertise that their airguns now come with piston seals that DON’T dry-rot?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why dry-firing should not hurt a spring gun today — but don’t do it regularly. Now — what about the other powerplants?
Pneumatics and gas guns
I will address both pneumatic and gas guns together. When you dry fire these, unless they are purposely built for it like target guns, you exhaust either air or gas. Nothing in the conventional design of these guns should be adversely affected — HOWEVER! As the corporate lawyer points out, it doesn’t have to be a pellet or a BB that comes out of the gun. Anything stuffed down the barrel can become a projectile when the gun fires. So, for that reason more than for the safety of the gun’s mechanism, dry-firing is not recommended.
BB’s rule of thumb
Here is how I approach the subject of dry-firing airguns that aren’t made for it. Pneumatic and gas guns I don’t worry about. As long as I know the barrel is clear — such as immediately following a shooting session — I can dry-fire without worry. Spring-piston guns are a different matter.
If possible I try to uncock the spring-piston gun without firing. When that isn’t possible, I load a pellet and shoot the gun. This is why I never cock an airgun at a gun show without asking if I can, and can the gun be uncocked without firing? But if I make a mistake, such as “loading” a .22-caliber Beeman R1 with a .177-caliber pellet, which results in an unintentional dry-fire, I don’t worry about it. I haven’t wrecked the airgun (in all probability), but it’s time to wake up and start paying attention.
The dry-fire fear is very similar to the scope breakage fear and it serves as a marker to the continual improvement of the technology of airguns and their related equipment. Couch commandos the world over now sing the praises of side-focus scopes — completely ignorant that they were brought to them through airguns and more specifically the sport of field target.
Remember when velocity alone sold airguns? That day is over, though it will take more time before the word gets out to everyone.
Here is prediction from BB. At some time in the not-too-distant future shooters are going to realize that muzzle energy in a big bore airgun is pointless, once 500 foot-pounds is surpassed. We are currently in a race to produce more and more energy but it’s meaningless, since the bullets fired from these guns are passing through the bodies of American bison and elk.
Automobile speedometers in cars that can barely make it to 90 no longer come with top limits of 120 m.p.h. Things change with the passage of time.
140 thoughts on “What about dry-firing?”
Another RANT! LOVED it!
Errata: Edith would never have said, “Yes, Weihrauch airguns all all nice, aren’t they?” ALL ALL? Isn’t that what you put in your truck motor?
Got it. Thanks!
I accidently dry fired my Eliminator in the kitchen years ago. It nearly blew the vertical blinds off the kitchen window. The chair still has brown streaks….that blast could be quite dangerous to the face!
If ever I tell all the bad shots I have made inside the house! 😉
Back when I lived in NJ and could only shoot my air rifles in my basement, which was finished, I kept a tub of spackle handy for those “occasional” small holes in the sheetrock. Wifey never knew!
Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now happily in GA where one can legally shoot in their backyard (air rifles only!) and no one complains or calls SWAT
Crazy ain’t it.
Glad you are getting to enjoy the sport/hobby without that worry now.
Yes, yay for Georgia where we can shoot airguns in our backyard everyday…
…would that more cities and states would follow that example! =>
One place it’s not and step next door and it is.
I wish is all I can say.
Roger that. =>
Another good one! Always nice to have some new/fresh/re-visited perspective.
Good Day to you and to all,……… Chris
One of my Christmas presents was a book of hot sauce recipes along with the history. I thought of your peppers you have been bringing inside and keeping over the winter. Are you still doing that?
I am going to plant some in pots and keep them in the house to get an early start next spring.
Last year made it ok for 2 cayenne plants. This year, what I brought in last fall died over Winter. The cayenne’s were good this year. My Ghost did poorly. Maybe 2 dozen peppers. Last year, 1 plant got well over 100 ghost.
Wintering something over is not easy. (Do some research). Even the experts have hit and miss success. Growing over the winter takes about 90 degree F, humidity and about 18 hours of strong light.
8 stuffed! quart zip locks of cayenne’s made 6 normal size bottles of sauce a week or two ago. Thicker than red hot brand but not quite as thick as Siracha. Max on the pulp, some salt and only just enough vinegar to thin to suit.
Hit me up on sauce tips down the road,……… Chris
I have had some peppers that survived a mild winter outside, I should of saved some seeds. I don’t remember what kind they were. Sounds like a lot of work. I have wanted a green house, just what I need another project.
Don’s idea about a green house is a good one. Have you tried hydroponics? My daughter has a small hydroponic green house in Zone 7 with some chance of below 0° F days/nights as well as brutally hot and desert dry Summers. Having operated out of Guam I found this outfit: https://pepperjoe.com/products/guam-boonie
She grows them now and others now and by changing the hydroponics feed formula as well as the light and environment she changes the taste and HEAT. She also uses a special vinegar, SURIG®, that is super concentrated 25% acid to avoid “watering” them down, Lol!
Nice info.. I am aware of hydroponics, but have never delved into it. That would be the way to go for a nice indoor, small production set up at home though. I saved the site, but think I have it saved already. Careful prep limits thin. For heat retention, a simple brine is best. Cooking, freezing and pickeling all remove some heat. I freeze them until I have a good batch to make some sauce. This last cayenne batch was from ’17, ’18 and this year. 32 ghost made four 2 oz. bottles last year. I can do about 6-8 drops in a bowl of chili no problem. That is my upper limit at this time however. A real good cheat for salsa is to find one you like, double the volume with whatever, cook, rejar in steralized jars. Works great. 🙂
A good cheat on balsamic vinegar is to find a good quality cheaper one and do a simple (slow) reduction on the stove. The end result is pure heaven. It comes out like the high end, small batch stuff. I will research the Surig.
Some plants do better with transplanting than others Most peppers do not do well with soil temp below 75 most prefer above 85 however the mistake most people make is not providing enough light and nutrients. I use 4 overdriven T-8 fixtures with 6000k bulbs per 2×4 shelf and that also generates some heat you can get away with less light but still need seed mats to regulate germination. I have read you can back down light levels to the point where they stop producing fruit while maintaining foliage. That has to vary with the type of pepper.
I was told never dry fire so i never have you know because if i did it would ruin the springer and of coarse never leave one cocked for any time at all. I think at times i was told things as they related far in the past.
Thank you for the hot pepper plant information. Some people would prefer to grow traditional house plants. I would rather have a house full of different hot pepper plants! 😉
I like the simple colors and themes and Purple Jalapeno has a sort of regulated size and good colors, fruit & plant though the long germination requires soak kick start to stave off rot. I like others bu t my culinary tastes are plants that try to become trees in the end. Every gun i have has a purpose and by the same logic i understand peppers as houseplants though i try and get them outside before they take over. I start all my plants as it is affordable that way. Good luck with whatever you try.
You sound quite astute on the matter of growing peppers. Me?,… still learning.
On that,…. I have seen where the plants can get ((quite)) large in the right (man made?) conditions. Like 6′ x 6′,… if not larger. Like,… ” try to become trees “, as I see from your post.
Some are more determinate in size while some like Ancho or Trinidad perfume will branch & spread.
Ok i get this is like “I like ice cream.” just that this is a good example of a thing where the fun is mostly in the journey and i am still learning. If you have any questions i will send you my open email.
“I like ice cream!”
No, your Expomatic is not as new as a Fusion 10X — but at least it’s not chocolate! 🙂
I like Weihrauchs and ice cream. Am not partial to Gamos though 🙂
I had the joy of being at the range when a SKS with rusted firing pin let go , all 10 rounds and it lit off as soon as the bolt closed . Needless to say , He started cleaning his guns after that !!, Good old Chinese surplus , there was even rust in the receiver and follower . He no longer razzed me about my Ballistol and doing detailed cleaning . The muzzle was almost straight up when it locked back .
Wow! That must have been some experience!
The last paragraph brings back painful childhood memories. Thanks B.B.!!! Just had a flashback to when I got my first car, a Geo Metro. I came to the cold hard conclusion that I was NEVER going to do the stated 120 on the speedometer in a 3 cylinder that makes 57 horsepower. The 57 horsepower was probably wishful thinking also. Still, that was by far the funnest car I’ve ever owned. Man, the 2 door hatchback Metro…
The paragraph directly above that reminds me of the sales guy when I bought my first bow. Thought I needed lots of power as that was the trend at the time. He asked me how deeply I wanted to burry the arrow into the ground. Said I need less than a 40 lb pull from a modern compound and anything more was just making my experience that much more miserable trying to fight a heavy pull. Plus, I’m not destroying near as many arrows and broad heads by having them slam into the ground at unnecessary speeds.
Brings to mind a video I recently watched. Guy was pesting squirrels and he just had his gun tuned from 24 to 38 fpe. He made a comment that it puts them down so much better but when he had it tuned to 24, they still looked pretty dead to me…
An animal doesn’t need the kinetic energy of Little Boy or Fat Boy to go down. At some point your just driving you munitions deeper in the dirt.
I personally HATE fps printed on any gun. I wish the only thing on the box was fpe and a picture of B.B. with the thumbs up that he approves of this gun!!!
Wow! You have had the experiences. My Toyota Tundra truck speedo says 120 and I almost removed that mention from the report, but then I remembered a ’56 Chevy we had that had a six-cylinder engine and a two-speed transmission. As I recall it also had a 120 m.p.h. speedo and, short or dropping it from a plane, there was no way it was ever going that fast. Went fast enough to get me a healthy speeding ticket through!
Man that car was SO much fun. Plus, it only required a trip to the gas station like once a year. Brings a smile to my face now just thinking about it. Awesome car. Just too bad I was too young and dumb to appreciate it then as much as I do now.
I drove mine for over an hundred fifty thousand miles and gave it to our daughter who put another hundred fifty thousand miles on it. Over forty miles per gallon and that little bugger would fly! Metros rule!
Guys, you are bringing back memories; my friend, Kirk, had a Geo Metro; he usually drove it by himself as a commuter car; but one time three of us took a trip in it on the highway, and I recall that it struggled a bit while passing an 18-wheeler, and I remember telling him, “Hey, you’ve got three big guys at one cylinder a piece…it’s a good thing we didn’t bring anyone else…you might not have passed that truck!” But I was just razzing him; I liked that Metro; it was a cool little car. =>
Wishing an awesome New Year to all!
I usually was by myself. The rear seat was almost always folded down. My Rot would lay back there and could easily see out the front.
Yes, that’s a perfect car for a man and his dog. =>
Indeed it was. There were many adventures the two of us shared that no one else would none else would know of.
I deeply regret that I could not talk her into a Yaris.
What about my Nerf guns, can I dry fire them?
Summary – Couch commandos the word (world) over…
To my understanding, only the Nerf slingshot is able to be dry fired safely.
Yes to dry-firing nerf guns. Just use instant (dehydrated) air.
Fixed the word over. Thanks,
I have a good supply of dehydrated water. Where can I find dehydrated air?
You buy it in a flask in an apothecary shop. It’s next to the prop wash.
I will have to pick some up later today. Thanks.
I have discounts on my NEW IMPROVED Prop Wash, and will throw in a bucket of Blue Steam for 50% off the MSRP.
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The first 50 buyers recieve a GOLD plated Left Hand Monkey Wrench!!!!! Absolutely FREE!!!!!
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I knew a stand up comic named Steven Wright once who sand he had some dehydrated water and was unsure about what to add. 🙂
Well duh, water. What else?
Well that’s easy. From a dehydrater. You just got to know where to look to find it. 😉
If I find I use enough I will have to pick me up one.
You bet it was , he only had his left hand on the forearm, at least the rounds went downrange . He is a union plumber and is strong . Definitely a dose of old time religion . He finally got both hands on it , I don’t even think it took 2 seconds for that stripper clip to run out !! I had to hammer out the firing pin it was so rusted , this can happen in AR pattern guns from lack of maintenance. Out of battery firing in a aluminum upper isn’t pretty !!
I’m the guy that made the comment about Gamo a few weeks ago. I worked in manufacturing all of my adult life and know that testing every gun to that extent would be impossible, therefore I am nearly certain that what I said was that they test their DESIGNS by firing each 10,000 times, which WAS, admittedly, an assumption on my part. My understanding was that they made a blanket claim that their guns could be dry fired and ,to my mind, that would require testing at least one of each.
Thanks for today’s report. I have always heard that centerfires could be dry fired, since the pin was centered in a hole and didn’t contact the chamber’s face. I even own an SKS and didn’t know about the tapered pin that could get jammed in the bolt, so that was real good to learn about! And learning about the Ruger Marks was good as well. I have a Mark II that I bought 10 snap caps for and it has always been a pain trying to find them after ejecting in the grass.
I’d like to add that dry firing some rimfires, such as the North American Arms mini revolvers, will shove a burr into the chambers and prevent you from being able to load a cartridge.
I wasn’t meaning to single anyone out, so I purposely didn’t look to see who it was. And I was pretty sure what you meant. And I think you are right. They just don’t talk about it today.
JUST Another reason to use a SLING properly.
At an outdoor range?
We had a A7 pilot (former) launch a complete underwing rack full of Zuni Rockets right next to me while in the run-up area before a flight. He had a series of faults in the safety backup system the last of which was his trigger finger.
ARs that are run dry are bad news…keep them way over lubricated and the gunk just washes right out…Lol!
About when did firearm and airgun makers start improving their metals to handle dry-firing? I have in my collection some 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s pneumatics, for example. I imagine firearms from those decades are also popular to have in collections and shoot from time to time.
It was the design along with the materials and I think Bill Ruger lead the way around 1950.
As for airguns, it happened over a longer timeframe. The Hakim that was made in 1954 had a synthetic piston seal (Anschutz) that lasted a half century and more, while the FWB 121/124 that was from the early 1970s had one that dry-rotted.
“I have in my collection some 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s pneumatics, for example.” The BIG issue with pneumatics is not a metallurgical issue so much as a SAFETY issue that anything in the air channel after the exhaust port or in the valve could be launched which means if there is an air charge the Airgun is to be considered in a loaded condition until you can demonstrate the air channel is EMPTY of any particle or droplet of Mater; which you really can’t! So the only pneumatic that is defined as UNLOADED is one with no air charge.
One area that can be damaged metallurgically is the valve stem; it can be deformed (peened) by the striker/hammer if not made of sufficiently harder material than the striker.
For what its worth, you can uncock a Luger without dry firing-it. You retract the toggle about 1/4 of the way back. Then, you pull the trigger and let the toggle go forward. This will uncock the pistol. Of course, make sure the pistol is unloaded first!
I don’t know if I knew that or not, but thanks.
Guess that I am “old school” and don’t dry fire any powder burner or airgun – the hair stands up on the back of my neck just thinking about doing it.
Can see dry firing target guns that have that practice feature designed into them but other than that, wouldn’t do it.
I grew up with “muscle-cars” – big block V-8s with huge displacements. Had a 1970 Dodge Charger that would do over a 100 mph (don’t ask how I know this) and think it had the power to do 120 but the car started to get too “light” at higher speeds. My friend had a racing-ready Cutlass (440ci/six-pack) that DID do over 120. Oh, back in the days when gas was less than 30 cents a gallon.
Don’t get me talking about muscle cars. 😉
And I’m with you on the dry firing.
Ditto on dry firing. Try hard not to do that.
My Concealed Carry instructor recommended to all the students to sit and dry fire their carry guns all through the commercial breaks while they watched TV. He even provided a scaled down silhouette target to set on the TV stand to aim at. Shooting and missing an assailant and killing an innocent bystander is inexcusable. If you are going to carry you need to practice all the time, was his philosophy and I can’t say that I disagree.
Practice pays off.
Can understand what you are saying but can’t really relate. Here in Canada, police and military aside you have to have a very special reason to carry (concealed or not) and there is no way that an honest, law abiding citizen would have a loaded pistol on their person unless they were at a bonafide shooting range.
As kids we carried loaded break-barrels (that didn’t have safeties) so careless handling was severely reprimanded and a “accidental” discharge anywhere near a person was grounds for a good beating. From that background, having a person step into my firing zone would result in an immediate “barrel up, safety on” reaction that would take some serious effort of overcome.
I have no qualms about taking out an intruder (they would leave the house in a box – or more likely in several small bags) it is just that I would have difficulty using a gun in that situation – a “jo staff” suits my needs just fine.
That is my opinion as well. People go out and buy a handgun for protection. They enroll in a class to get their CPL and then do not practice after that. That’s crazy. I used to use a Smith & Wesson revolver in .22 caliber to hunt rabbits…when I didn’t care if I actually shot any, and just wanted to give the dogs a run. I know that in order to have any proficiency with a handgun, one must practice often. Otherwise, leave the handgun in storage and use a long gun. It kind of worries me that many of the people with a CPL couldn’t hit the side of a barn if they were inside of it. Like GF1 always says…practice, practice, & practice some more, and especially with handgun usage.
I think dry firing was bad for two reasons, it was bad for the gun, but mainly it broke the number one rule of treating every gun as if it was loaded, and when I was a kid most of them were. Yep I still cringe when someone dry fires a gun.
Agree completely, guns are always assumed to be loaded.
A guy I knew had a habit of checking to see if a gun was loaded by aiming it in a safe direction and pulling the trigger. Bad enough to do with a pelletgun (which you could usually feel when it was loaded) but an unacceptable practice with a powder burner. I warned him not to do that with my .22 rimfire but he persisted in the habit. Fixed that by putting a blank in the gun and leaving it cocked – think he soiled his pants when it fired and never did that again. Had to resort to that level of warning because he would “check” my 12 gauge and .303 the same way.
I was taught at a very young age to never “dry fire” any gun. I didn’t know the reason why, but just adhered to the rule. That, and always unload the gun before coming into the house.
I would still like to see what a synthetic seal looks like after a 1000 dry fires from a springer. Matter of fact the spring and some other components at that.
And no do not ask me to do the test. My springers are not low end cheapy’s. I would never take the chance.
Anybody got a springer that would like to do the test and report the results. Then we will really know. Not just speculate.
I was just about to suggest that you send me one and I would be happy to test it and photo the results.
If I had a Chinese springer I would ship it to you today. Haven’t had one of them in the stable for a long time. Sorry. Out of luck.
I just put a piece of crap FWB 124 in the mail to you. Test away! ;-P
How could you. 😉
I wouldn’t let any of the other wayward guns see you doin’ it though. They might call the law for abuse!
Jerry now has a Air Venturi HPA Compressor, 4500 PSI/310 Bar. I now own a Yong Zheng compressor. Jerry showed me what is important to know and even gave me a demonstration. He also said I should look up some videos about it. I will. So far, I am not finding anything on the Internet (wait, I now see it without the “Z”, so Yong Heng). The water cooling system is interesting. I offer this video for those who asked about it. With the changed spelling, I find a great deal in print and video.
I was using the hand pump. I got the .25 almost up to 3000 psi, according to the rifle air gauge. The hand pump would allow me to go no farther. I think that is a good thing, but I was surprised. I haven’t gone that far on the .177 yet. Sunny and dry today, so I will shoot a few pellets.
I’m glad you now own a compressor. Keep it running at its best and tell us what it’s like!
Will do. I look forward to having a tank to fill, but that must wait a little while.
I have been listening to the news about the shooting at the church near Fort Worth. Sad for all involved. I expect the church member who nailed the assailant will have emotions to deal with, but relieved that the assailant got nailed.
A tank with something like a 2″ gauge is very nice. Try to get one that has a (2nd) smaller gauge that also shows the tank pressure at all times. I would be nervous to fill from a pump,… but then never have. I trust the 2″ gauge on the tank over any gauge on a gun. Just a little advice for when you go shopping.
Thank you. I will keep this in mind. Yes, I am a little nervous. It helps that Jerry took the time to demonstrate. He also told me that if the fail safe blows it will be one startling event.
Very nice that you had someone take you through it. Not many have that luxury. “Stay on it” is all I can say. 0% distractions. Glad you got one. 🙂 You will enjoy shooting more.
Yes, but I will get less exercise. Oh, well.
Use the compressor to fill and shoot, fill and shoot, fill and shoot.
Then at the end of you shooting session fill the gun with the pump, and put the gun away till tomorrow.
Oh, and walk at least a mile a day.
I will keep this in mind.
Just something my grandmother said, walk a mile a day and live a long life.
I think she said that at 72 years young.
It seemed to work well for her as she left us at 100 years.
Yes, there was some good commentary on conservative radio today on the matter. Not good in (any) way,… but it could have/would have been much worse. Hat’s off to Texas for changing the laws.
Not that many may have heard, nor will hear, but the Dems. are looking to get shooting(s) tossed into the health care related category. Thus,… can declare a “health care emergency”. Thus,… Big Brother can get their claws into the matter. Glen, Rush, Sean.
Conservative radio is the music I listen to in the car (but not conspiracy hacks). We have a local person here in Houston, Michael Berry. Easy to find him. He also owns “The Redneck Country Club” and a Bar-B-Q restaurant as well. He is big on the Warrior Project The Dems want to skew facts; I am not saying they are the only ones, though. Yes, it would have been much worse; no doubt about it. This is real life and as a friend said, “sometimes you have to choose between the worse and the worser”.
I just saw the hero on the news. I think he will be alright. There is a time to cling to your bible and your gun.
As we both know,…politics are generally “off limits” on the blog. Yes, take (everything) with a grain of salt. There is more than enough “bad fish” on both sides of the pond. It seems that the proverbial farm pond is much deeper than any realize.
It did remind me of BB telling about his church though. That is part of why I commented.
Jeremiah 29:11 says that God will give him/them the strength to overcome this sad, and at the same time, joyous event. Why would I say it is joyous? Because of all the extra living today because of the prompt and correct action by the armed protectors.
I have two of the Yong Heng compressors. I like mine. And no problems yet.
I think you will be surprised how fast they fill up your Marauder’s. You definitely need to watch the pump so you can shut it off. You will overfill in a blink of a eye.
Hunting airguns/ bows, etc. cant use a hydrostatic shock wave to kill a game animal.
A 1,500 lb.Bison or Elk needs a precisely placed shot to drop in its tracks, or, the animal must bleed out first.
This will take time. Now you must go find it! A 400 gr slug moving at 900 fps out of an airgun is about the same as a civil war musket could do, a modern big bore airgun will be much more accurate, but both kill the same way. A 10.6 gr Barracuda moving at 900 fps will go right on through a squirrell at 25 yds, and if you didnt hit him right, it will run a long ways before expiring from blood loss, same as the Bison will. Without accuracy it’s just a crap shoot . Hydrostatic shock is a crutch used to replace good marksmanship. So, keep dry firing that Weirauch and see what happens. I think your’re ok with a gass ram tho. Good markmanship is like three on a tree,
most folks dont know what that is!
Happy new year,
So many people don’t know that what you said is true. They think shoot it and it drops. Lotta difference in the real world!
Jerry demonstrated using the compressor on his Daystate. It was fast; it’s no time to get distracted.
Yep they are fast. I’m glad I got mine. No regrets.
One shot, arrow or bullet, is often enough in movies and on television to bring down anyone or anything (but you already know this).
Yup, three on a tree. My first car was a ’53 Chevy with a 3 speed manual transmission. That old car had cast iron pistons and a lot of torque. I could start from a standstill and take off in 2nd gear, no problem. I could even time my shifts and not use the clutch. That old Chevy was a gem.
My younger brothers first car was a 54 Chevy Bel air. It had the 3 on the tree and the straight 6. He drove it that way only for a little bit. Ended up putting a old 421 Super duty Pontiac engine in it and a 4 speed and a 12 bolt posi rearend from a Oldsmobile. He had to put after market rear wheel studs in the axles because he would snap the studs off the tires. It was a runner once he got the tires to stay on the car. 🙂
I’m with you on what you said about the hunting.
Oh and I do know what a 3 on the tree is. Had a few myself. You could always tell how those cars were driven by looking for the cracked dash when they was slamming 2nd gear.
That is if that’s what your talking about the 3 on the tree.
I had to learn about column shift the hard way. In high school they would leave the keys to the service vehicles in the cars. A Suburban and a straight back Ford pick up. Sometimes, to make a late night beer run for example, local students would borrow a vehicle from the school lot, and of course, return it so as not to be discovered when the need arose. I needed to be shown how the first time.. but I learned to really enjoy shifting that way. My friends Peugeot 505 was very smooth. They stopped leaving the keys that way eventually. I liked the control being near the steering wheel. But I’m a lefty, and one of the only things that seems to work right is the standard right handed bolt throw on a rifle. Why they put it that way for right handed folks is a mystery to me. Cameras are hard for me to work too, but we lefties hang in there even tho we have a shorter life span trying to navigate a right hand world!
I’m left handed. But I have to say I do most everything right handed except write.
And you know what is funny. I just noticed this. I hold my phone in my left hand and use my right hand to text.
And I did like the old 3 on the tree. But most of the time we took the shift arm off the column and bought a aftermarket shifter and changed it over to the floor. And most of the time the 3 speed got swapped out for a 4 speed and of course a floor shifter. Matter of fact we would even take the automatic trans out and get the pedals and z-bar and linkages and change them over to stick shifts. That was before the good stall torque converters and shift kits came out for the automatic trans. And man that sure changed things with our dragracing. After the Goody’s came out for the automatic trans and seen how quick they made the cars people started running automatics after that.
And yes our old muscle cars would bury the 120 mph speedometers once a little work was done here and there to the cars. And they would even handle good with few changes too. I had many of the old cars that would bury the speedometer and handle and stop good. Just like modding a air gun. You had to get the right parts in place.
Shh, but I used to sneak my big sisters’ boyfriends 60’s Nova wagon he used for yardwork
out. It had a Corvette motor with a Monza 5speed stick. Posi rear. 8track casette. Bunch of rakes in the back. That’s right. No license. He popped me one for that. So, I learned, but that thing could dig right through an intersection. I was forced to learn about motors grudgingly because this was the time of points and condensors like you say, and cars are way more reliable now, luckily for me. They have a thing called Nights of Thunder at Sears Point raceway, which is 10 miles away. It’s a top Fuel drag series, But you easily can hear them here when they go off. So yes, getting those parts on right, or you could blow a supercharger, or the receiver right off yer pressure vessel, if it’s a PCP.;)
Come to think of it a dry fire is no good for a engine either. As in no spark on a blower engine on a given cylinder. Back in the day before they mandated the blower blankets and such a blower would go flying 200 feet in the air. Seen that happen many times at the dragstrip when the big boys came to town.
And we are probably about 16 or so miles away from the dragstrip now where we live. We can still hear the nitro and alcohol funny cars and rails when they come to town.
And I had a couple of the early Nova’s like that as well as some late 60’s and early 70’s Nova’s. They are good little runners with a small block in them.
And going to let a little secret out. First I am a GM person when it comes to the muscle cars and such. But had the other makes too. Had a few of the Fox body 5.0’s even.
But here’s the secret. I almost bought this car about a year ago and someone else bought it. But I’m getting it next week when I go back to work. It’s a 95 Mustang GTS and still has the Fox body 5.0 and not the 4.6. it’s got the GT40 uppers on it. Basically the GT 40 heads and intake and the E303 cam. It’s got a 3000 stall converter and manual reverse valve body and shift kit in the auto trans. And it’s got a Ford 9″ with a posi and 4.11 gears. And it’s got mini tubs that can go to 12″ wide rear tires. It’s a runner. No bottle or supercharger or turbo and it’s running around a 11.90 at a 115 mph. So kind of happy about that. And what’s nice about it. It’s emissions exempt. So can do what I want with it. And I haven’t had a muscle car in about probably 6 years now. So I’m ready.
How s your grandson and your daughter doing today?
You know I was a GM boy but not anymore! I hold them totally responsible for killing off a truly great performance snow/ice car maker: SAAB!
But I like Neopolitan Ice Cream!
Grandson is doing good. Daughter is still moving a little slow but getting better. Thanks for asking.
And the only thing I recall is GM bought out Saab or something like that. What happened that your talking about?
I had a Ford E100 V-8 “Super Van” with 3 on the tree. Bought it for 750 and sold it for 500,… 18 years later. It always ran good with care. I never got to enjoy the hot rods,… but maybe that was a good thing. 😉
I remember those vans. And I think you would of had a blast with the muscle cars.
Sorry Guys, but I need to make this distinction.
Dry firing is a conscious decision to unload your firearm, double check that it is unloaded, and only then, fire it into an area that you may not, under normal circumstances, fire it. In my opinion, if you don’t have the mental acuity to know that your just did the first two things before you do the third, then you probably shouldn’t be handling firearms.
I agreed with you completely! I have dry-fired all of my shooting life with target guns as well as my service and Concealed/Open Carry weapons.
Other folks need to prepare for what their culture allows; be that flight, fight, or how to be a victim.
I will add one additional suggestion and that is to ensure no live ammunition is in the space where your dry-fire practice takes place.
I also recommend spending some time with a simulator and/or a shoot house using simunitions.
Ok about firearms. But spring guns. I still say no to dry firing.
No argument with not dry-firing spring guns…so far there is only one in my gun collection and I have never dry-fired it. If I get a SIG ASP20 I’ll need to see if SIG’s warranty says anything about dry-firing.
On the GM vs SAAB issue they pushed SAAB to use V6’s and other GM parts, build 4 door sedans NOT 3/5 DOOR hatchbacks, softened the suspension, generally hurt all the features that made a great car in the snow a boutique car for the USA market. SAAB got “even” with GM by having them fall for the less expensive ignition/transmission lock (floor mounted) that the GM bean counters pushed for vertical installation that allowed the key to fall out!
GM never did learn how the SAAB engineering virtually eliminated turbo LAG and without the need for intercoolers!
Lots more to that SAAB story!
Guess that’s what happens when those big corporate boys decide to do something and don’t even listen to the consumer.
Somebody thought it was a right decision.
At least GM went to turbos after that instead of superchargers like they was doing. Well on thier 4 cylinder cars anyway. I like a turbo myself.
Nice post about dry fire and it is indeed important, very important if you carry for protection.
I did a search on “dry fire tools” (using duck duck go) this link has a lot of good info;
Of course do your own search and look around.
I was reading about FX Hybrid Slugs, “Designed specifically for use in the FX Smooth Twist X barrels, these slugs have the qualities of both diabolo and swaged slugs making them accurate and devastating projectiles.”
I wonder if they will shoot from a standard rifled barrel. I know PA currently sells H&N Grizzly, .25 Cal, 31 Grains, Hollowpoint. I am just speaking out of curiosity, at least for now.
Opps! See below. Chris
The Grizzly’s did not do as well in my .25 RW or the .25 M-rod. The JSB pellets did better. I, like you, am interested in slugs as well. There is much to learn and I think that the air guns makers are charging hard in a forwards manner on the topic.
In general they seem to like a different twist rate and a higher fps,…. in “general”,…… 😉
You have some great bloggers here. I was just thinking about some I haven’t heard from for a long time. Matt61 comes to mind immediately. It’s my bad, but I can’t remember the name of my friend in D.C. who also had cervical neck surgery. “Fred” come to mind. I know TwoTalon is still here. Beazer may be out feeling the wind on his face. There have been so many. Edith and you created a nice space for folks.
Still around, but not much to say.
I know, I read much more than I write. Still, I hope you are doing well.
I remember Matt61 writing about going to Russia hope he is ok. His last blog was June 23, 2018.
I also miss hearing from quite a few others. Reb was one that had great stories.
I think Gunfun1 keeps in touch with Buldawg, I learned a lot from him.
Thanks. I remember Reb, and Buldawg, too. Stories and knowledge; two big reasons to log on.
For sure a nice blog. No more dry firing the SKS then. It’s probably not advised to dry fire a longbow or any other bow either. It’s probably not untill guns became accurate enough that practicing on trigger control made a differance. With all the variables associated with pricision shooting, sorting out the culprit would be hard with out
a good baseline. The trigger on the free pistol is interesting.
NEVER dry fire any bow. You will blow the string, cables, and/or split the limbs in most cases. You can be injured with all the flying parts.
Want to see poor trigger control ? Watch a once a season muzzle loader deer hunter trying to shoot before season . They know little about their rifle . They load up a huge deer load and TRY to shoot it. When it misfires, they nearly fall on their face and jam the muzzle in the dirt.
Seems like there might be a market for a bow designed not to fire live ammo, for indoor practicing?
The kill first, learn to shoot 2nd dude should get a spear for xmas, and a sharp knife mabe?
I saw a very weak bow made for sizing up arrow length once. You pulled the arrow back to full draw to see how long the arrows had to be. There was a test arrow marked off in inches.
However, you practice with the real bow that you hunt with. You don’t switch bows on opening day.
I found out one time why I could not hit anything with a shotgun. I was using a single shot 12 bore with some old paper shells. Had a misfire on a high altitude shot and nearly fell on my face. Problem………..leaning into the recoil and jerking the trigger. After that, I shot it like a rifle. That worked.
Seriously, i think a few brigades of mounted longbow men could have turned the tide of more than one civil war battle. A hail of arrows from hundreds of yards away on massed, exposed troops.
Just because its old technology, doesnt make it not usefull.
I think they would have to be a little closer than that. A bow does not have that much range. You lose power with distance too.
I shot some aluminum arrows at an elevated angle over open bare ground one time, and they made less than 200 yds. They barely stuck in the dirt. This was with a compound bow.
Yep my neighbor lost his grip on his compound bow in the garage. Parts went flying and the limbs broke. Luckily nobody was hurt.
That’s one of those things that get real exciting real fast. And expensive too.
What I’ve been doing lately with a ’42 Luger, a ’66 P-38, and my trusty ’68 10/22 is, besides giving them a good cleaning after a range session, is to chamber an empty, then “dry” fire the pistols and the rifle. I would think that would preclude damage since firing pins would not be striking into thin air. Also, this would ensure there wasn’t a live round left in the weapon. Maybe this is too anal, but works for me.
Do appreciate the tip from Big Iron on uncocking the P-08; will put that one in my notes.
Saved a lot of comments for one big one.
A 53 Chevy was also my first solo driver in1964 I believe. My friend got it from his dad and we shared it as a training aid as well. I remember, ‘sitting’ inside the engine compartment with the straight six and desludging the valve cover with spoons.
It took a lot of concentration to roll out of a snow packed parking space shifting from first to reverse 10 or more to times as fast as you could with 3 on the tree. You had to make enough space to gain momentum to get over the snow plowed berm.
My Twin Turbo 3000GT VR-4 went the other way with the speedo, 180 MPH. At 130 it drives as smooth as 30 ?
but I will never know if it actually will do 180MPH. That would need a special stretch of smooth road like a race track. For me anyway !
No talk about damage to an empty magazines copper Air/CO2 check valve? I remove the mags and stick my finger over the firing pin hole and use it to absorb the pins impact. So far, so good. Helps to have thick skin there.
An M14 will be pointing skyward after 3 shots on full auto unless you adjust your hold to compensate.
Try that with a 4 speed car. Usually you had to lift a lever to go into reverse. If I remember right you just pulled back and shifted up to go into reverse. So the 3 on the tree was easier from what I remember.
And those 3000 were cool cars. You by chance remember the Honda NSX. I always thought those were cool cars. You definitely knew when you came up on one of those. They definitely was different than most cars on the road when they came out. And they even started producing them in 2016 and up again. Currently they at around 570 horsepower from a V6. I bet it will do 180.
No doubt about it. The NSX is an expensive car and not too many in my neck of the woods ever passed by. I would love to have one. It’s not just the horsepower too. It’s the entire package of suspension, tires, brakes and aerodynamics to control it safely. Like four wheel drive and steering, automatic air dam, spoiler and high bolstered seats to keep you positioned behind the wheel.
Everybody should try a high performance car at least once in their live. They are not your every day driver with a big horsepower engine. They are not all that comfortable either, tight suspensions with no soft parts. You really ‘drive’ them, with close ratio gears and high revving engines, not just go along for a ride with an automatic trans designed for fuel economy.
The feeling of well being will carry you into dangerous speeds so you better know how to drive too.
Happy new year!
My first car was a 1955 Chevy. I removed the straight 6 from in 1965 and dropped a small displacement V8 (283 cu in IIRC) canabolized out of a wrecked Corvette with the Edelbrock fuel injection and 4×2s with the Venturi stacks…loved that car never should have sold it. But I did learn eventually! So my current and forever road warrior is a 2001 SAAB Viggen (Thunderbolt) convertible! That sucker is a handfull off the line; but many a surprised M3 driver has fallen to the 20″ of turbo boost!
Happy New Year Bob!
Think young? When I was in my 50’s my step dad told my mom, “There is still a lot of boy left in Robert”. I had taken him on a tour of the Anza Borrego Desert and he was confused as to why I was so enthusiastic about a dusty off road driving experience. He just never comprehended the wonderment of how the terrain came to be or the fact that we were driving on the on old stage coach road and visiting a restored stage station.
I think a lot of people are overwhelmed with life’s burdens and responsibilities and have become too serious about it.
Mainly because they must struggle to deal with it. I believe I have been blessed with good genes and can avoid encountering many if those burdens by simply doing what is necessary to prevent them from occurring in the first place. My responsibilities were always anticipated and covered leaving me with a lot of free time to be frivolous and carefree. I retired 10 years ago at 62 and was a financially independent, debt free, home owner with lots of left over savings. I simply don’t need to get serious about anything. It’s all covered now and I can indulge in my hobbies all I want.
How do you get there? Live below your means, avoid unnecessary debt, save money, set goals for your future and commit to achieving them. Be prepared. I have no college degree. Just read up on everything you need to know and get training when necessary.
I am just catching up on recent reports after being on a trip with no internet. Your tip about not dry firing the SKS is the first I have heard as a possible reason for unwanted auto fire from this semi auto rifle. I took the bolt apart and cleaned the innards. A polishing stone helped to attain a free back and forth movement of the firing pin before assembly. Hoping this fixes this issue. If not I will order the after market pin with a retraction spring. I learn so much from this blog.
Thanks and happy new year,
Have you had a runaway full auto incident with your SKS?
Pleased to report my Russian SKS fired about 50 rounds of both factory and reloads with no problems. The firing pin no longer gets stuck in a slam fire position. Your tip from this report enabled me to make this simple polishing fix.
No runaways. There have been as many as two extra rounds fired in auto. I had the Russian SKS rifle looked into by a local gunsmith. He said it was ammo sensitive. I just listened without comment. I have another SKS (Chinese) that is reliable with any ammo including my reloads. Next step is to see if I have fixed the problem.