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Discussion Starter #1
Any Dry Firing tips for a newbie? Some people say you need snap caps, but other say no. What is true for a 1911? How about a 22 rim fire? The book "Up To Speed" gives some good tips, but doesn't go into detail about technique.
 

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Dear SMASH45, While dry firing probably won't hurt a 1911 I'd still suggest using them. The ten dollars or so you pay for a five pack will give you years of practice and peace of mind.

As for the .22 you should not do very much dry fire without them. In a rimfire the pin can hit the edge of the chamber when dry firing. This will certainly cause damage over a period of time. They make snap caps for rimfires too. Stay safe, Gary

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What I want most from the government is to be left alone. GWT
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So a go for snap caps, but what about technique. How does dry firing benefit me?
 

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Smash, dryfire allows you to practice just about every aspect of shooting without the expese of live fire. You can also master techniques by honing the motions without the fatigue of recoil. I personally dry fire every night, and live fire twice a week, with an IPSC match twice a month. I have noticed the greatest improvement in my performance when I dry practice what my live fire has indicated to be a weakness. That usually is small targets, and standing reloads. Practice what you are weakest in, even if you hate it. That is the only way to improve. Matt Burkett recently joined this board, and I advise you contact him about this subject. I have his book and it has helped me immensely.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does his book cover the basics and the specifics of dry firing?
 

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I find that dry firing gives me immediate feedback on poor trigger technique . . . left pulls or dipping. A couple of dry fires at the range can get you back on course when the patterns get sloppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What is the title of his book?
 

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For those with non-Series 80 1911s:

An inexpensive way to safeguard your 1911 against any possible dry-firing damage is to remove the firing pin stop, pin, and spring. Put only the spring back, then drop three air rifle BBs on top and replace the firing pin stop. The BBs will hold the stop in place, so you can dry fire without impacting the firing pin.

Just remember to put the firing pin back in before you're through!

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 10-29-2001).]
 

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Snap caps are good. When I first started shooting 1911's (bullseye) I would sit in the parlor and balance a dime on the front sight (flat top front sight) and practice pulling the trigger without dropping the dime. For IPSC, IDPA, etc; I would put a old throw rug on the kitchen floor in front of me and a IPSC target on a kitchen chair (20 feet away) and practice drawing from my holster(hammer cocked and safety on)and getting my sights aligned on the target (center of mass). I would then release the safety and dry fire one shot (make sure your gun is unloaded)! After about 10-15 minutes of that I would then add a reload after firing (old rug to dampen the mags hitting the floor) and return sights to target then reholster. I would continue this drill for about another 15 minutes. Used to drive my wife nuts. Remember, do your drills SLOWLY! The top shooters are not lightning fast, they have eliminated a lot of wasted movement (fumbling, etc). They also have the ability to "read" a stage. Thats why you will see most shooters "walk the stage" prior to actually shooting. This allows them the chance to determine their reloads, round counts, movement, and any shortcuts they feel will give them an advantage in that particular stage.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, thanks for all the great information. I'll start tomorrow morning, too bad I can't dry fire at work!
 

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Don't forget (Warning: Oft Repeated Phrase Ahead!) "Practice makes permanent, only perfect practice makes perfect."

I'm new to this stuff and I've already wasted time and money by practicing bad technique. Make sure your fundamentals are solid first.

Steve "I should be dry firing instead of posting" G.
 

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How about dry firing with a spent brass instead of snap caps? Good idea? I'm a cheap bastard.

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"First, lets kill all the lawyers"
 

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Once or twice, then after the spent primer gets mashed you're not helping anything. It's also hard to get it into the chamber, since you should never hand-feed rounds into a 1911 (strains the extractor).

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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I guess I'll have to open my wallet and let those moths out.
 

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Originally posted by SMASH45:
Does his book cover the basics and the specifics of dry firing?
Pretty much anything that you can do with live ammo, you can do with dry practice. Here's a brief list of sepearate skills. I find it useful to cycle through these to keep everything sharp:

Presentation, Two Handed
Presentation, One Handed
Malfunction Clearances, Two Handed – Type 1, 2, & 3
Malfunction Clearances, One Handed – Type 1, 2, & 3
Shooting Positions – Roll Over Prone, Speed Kneeling, Braced Kneeling, Double Kneeling
Low Light/Flashlight Use – Harries & Rogers
Ready Positions – Low Ready, CQB Positions
Trigger Reset Drills/Head Shots
Turns – Response Right, Left, & Rear

As already noted, when you start practicing, you are ingraining these responses and any errors will be difficult to correct. IIRC, it takes ~1,000 repetitions to build "muscle memory" and about 10,000 to ingrain a skill in a new fashion.

If you aren't sure exactly how to perform a skill, I would be hesistant to put lot of dry practice time in. The best solution is to seek professional training so that everything will be learned correctly. See my comments in the "High Dollar Training" thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everybody for all the info. I'm going to start asap. Hopefully I'll see some results on the range.

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"It's better to be confused and distraught, than it is to be mislead in the wrong direction"
 

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Any .22 should not be dry fired because it will ruin the firing pin and dig a hole in the back of the barrel where the pin strikes it.

No the 1911 doesn't need them at all.

The benefit of dry firing is that you can practice your trigger control, grip, stance, breath control and follow through without going to the range and firing a single shot. Dry firing is a great training aid, pracitice it often and you will be a better shooter.

7th

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I agree with 7th fleet.

If you pull out your firing pin stop, firing pin and spring, you can examine just how simple the design is and you will clearly see why dry firing simply cannot harm anything.

You will also see how incredibly easy it is to replace the firing pin and even the extractor when you want to upgrade something in the future.

So fire away to your hearts content. YOU CANNOT HURT IT.

Save the money you would have spent on snap-caps and go buy a pistol practice video. It will provide a return on your investment, the snap caps won't.
 
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