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Posted: 2/2/2006 2:52:58 PM EDT
Some people say they are, some people say they aren't. Some say they are only necessary for a rimfire or revolver, but not for auto. Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 3:04:04 PM EDT
The idea of them is necessary, but the actual $4 piece is not. A simple piece of fired brass will do the same thing as a snap cap for free.

The idea is that you want something to catch the firing pin so it is not striking air. Having the firing pin just hit empty space will cause it to wear faster and not in a uniform fassion, significantly shortening the life of the pin and raising chances for a FTFire
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 3:07:18 PM EDT
they are necessary in a break open SxS or OU shotgun
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 3:08:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 3:08:32 PM EDT by VBC]
Back in the olden days when metal technology wasn't what it was today, it was common to break the firing pin if you dry fired a weapon. So people used fired brass or snap caps to dry fire or release mainspring tension.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 3:09:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 3:11:22 PM EDT by ShadowCompany]
So I can load my mags with pre-fired brass and have essentially the same thing? Why would anyone buy snap caps then? Just curious. Someone said autos don't need them because the firing pin isn't subjected to the same wear and tear as other firearms. Any truth to that?
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 3:43:23 PM EDT
Not all autos are the same as far as dry firing. Some, usually the cheaper ones like Ravens/Jennings/Lorcins, don't have a firing pin spring to absorb some kinetic energy that damages the firing pin.

As for why people use them, why not? Is $4-5 too much to save a broken firing pin from happening??????

Link Posted: 2/2/2006 4:19:10 PM EDT
i think he was asking why people use snap caps as opposed to just using empty brass
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:24:48 PM EDT
Only for shotguns.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 5:19:23 AM EDT
They May not be necessary, but I Always use a snap cap when I dry fire practice. Its easier on the system in the long run. I only DF a couple of times after cleaning with no snap cap..
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:45:42 AM EDT
It's cheap insurance. I use snap cap if I'm going to do some dry fire practice. The only exception are my glocks. You definitely don't need them there and they would be a pain in the ass since you have to jack the slide each time.

It's also nice to have snap caps to mix in w/ your live ammo at the range to work on flinching.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:38:34 AM EDT
I used them for dry firing and the orange dummy rounds for Tap-Rack-Bang drills...
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:03:02 AM EDT
I'd Buy them. Um it's just a couple of bucks? Who cares?
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 12:44:31 PM EDT
I only use them for failure drills and reloading practice.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 3:36:31 PM EDT
Snap caps are useful for drills by mixing them in with a mag of live ammo as someone already said. Also, they tend to feed more reliably than empty brass.

They can be made by taking an empty case and seating a bullet into the case without a fresh primer or powder charge, if you have reloading equipment or know someone who does. I usually drill and chamfer a hole in the side of the case to give me a visual que that they are not live rounds. I figure the cost is under 25 cents a round this way.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 10:02:41 AM EDT
I use them while on the range. I like to load them in magazines mixed up with real ammo to see if people I'm instructing are flinching. +1 for mag changing and malfunction clearing drills. They are a valuable tool.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 10:50:06 AM EDT
I don't use snap caps but I do use fired brass in my Ruger MKII's.

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Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:35:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Colt_SBR:
I don't use snap caps but I do use fired brass in my Ruger MKII's.

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I don't dry fire, though the only caveat I had heard regarding this was with Ruger Mk I & II's due to the possiblity of damaging the feed ramp.

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:41:11 AM EDT
Snap caps are a necessity for rimfire weapons...break the firing pin on them, possibly, but mostly it's to prevent peening the firing pin against a piece of metal harder than brass, which will wind up making an edge on the firing pin that can puncture the case, instead of just striking it.

As far as snap caps in center-fire handguns and rifles, they're not a necessity. Any modern firearm can safely be dry-fired without fear of breaking or harming the firing pin or mechanism. On some autos, like a 1911, you really shouldn't drop the slide w/out hand-cycling it, on an empty chamber. The weapon was designed with the cartridge slowing down the chambering process, preventing battering the barrel hood against the slide. In theory, dropping the slide on a dry chamber enough times will cause damage to the barrel hood...have I ever seen this, no, but just looking at the design will tell you something bad might happen if you do it too often. That's the only reason I use snap caps; dry function runs, to make sure things extract and eject.

To put it another way, the military dry-fires their rifles and pistols all the time with no damage to them. You can bet every major military power does it, from the Chinese, to the Russians, to the Germans, to us, etc.

For shotguns, yah, I'd imagine SxS or OU shotguns need them...totally different mechanisms. That'd be about it for necessity, though.


Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:05:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ShadowCompany:
So I can load my mags with pre-fired brass and have essentially the same thing? Why would anyone buy snap caps then? Just curious. Someone said autos don't need them because the firing pin isn't subjected to the same wear and tear as other firearms. Any truth to that?



Snap Caps last longer than fired brass. The primers will get too dented to stop the firing pin after a few dry fires. The cheaper snap caps will get you a few hundred "shots" and the Azoom ones will get even more. Snap caps also work for failure drills, while most semis have problems loading a fired case.
I guess the bright red color of the plastic ones, and the grey(?) color of the Azoom is also a safety thing. Harder to load a live round in by mistake, but then the lack of a bullet in the case should be a clue.
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