Can you dry fire a gun without a “snap cap” in the chamber? In this video, YouTuber TheYankeeMarshal talks about snap caps and dry firing, and he does a pretty good job of explaining things.
I’ve never seen this guy before, but his explanation was correct and clear — especially with the nice animations provided in the video.
For the uninitiated, a “snap cap” is a dummy cartridge placed in the chamber of a firearm for the purposes of cushioning the firing pin when said pin flies forward after the trigger is pulled. And “dry firing” is the act of pulling the trigger as if you were firing live ammo, but without live ammo. Dry firing is often used as a training aid for handgun shooters.
The condensed answer to the main question is:
- You should always use a snap cap with rimfire firearms.
- You probably don’t need to use one in a centerfire firearm.
There are exceptions, such as really small guns, cheaply-made guns, and really old guns… but most of the time you can dry fire a centerfire firearm without causing it any damage.
But he does do a good job of explaining how and why you can damage a centerfire gun by dry firing, so at the end of the video you should be well-equipped to decide for yourself whether or not to use snap caps in your centerfire firearms.
Here’s the video: