There's an awful lot of twaddle talked about firearms. There are any number of self-appointed 'experts' out there (and even more in the ranks of law enforcement, who should know better - the average cop is a pretty lousy shot, and practices just enough to pass annual qualification).
The good people over at ITS Tactical have put together nine of the most common myths and misconceptions about firearms, and debunk each in turn. Here's one example.
Myth #3 – Dryfiring Damages Weapons
Let’s move on to a more recent statement I heard from an “expert” here in my area, which also brings up another age old debate. I took a client to a local range for the shooting portion of the FL CCW. We were browsing the weapons and I was giving general info on different weapons based on the clients needs and wants. We asked to see a specific weapon and the gentleman behind the counter (notice I said behind the counter at a gun range, by most accounts this makes him an expert) obliged us.
The conversation turned to trigger pull and he made a statement that blew me away. He said, and I quote, “I never dry fire my weapon, it will damage them.” Lordy, lordy, lordy! Really? What rock have you been under for the past 40 years? The Marine Corps has made dry firing an art form with a week of Boot camp devoted to it, every competitor out there advocates it and I advise everyone in all my classes to do so (in a safe and secure manner with the weapon and ammo in separate rooms of the house, the lawyers made me add this part).
I can’t think of a better way to work on trigger control, which in my estimation is about 90% of the equation of shooting. Yet here we have an “expert” in his field, someone whom I know is an instructor at this establishment, spreading a vicious rumor to a neophyte. Upon hearing this, my client will think this is gospel unless I dispel this rumor quickly before it takes hold in a recess of his brain. I did so vehemently and quickly upon exiting the range.
These off hand statements can hurt the industry and promulgate these myths that I run into everyday.
There's more at the link. Highly recommended for common-sense advice about firearms.
I would still avoid dry firing your .22caliber firearms however. And certain pistol that are known to have weak firing pins such as the CZ-52.
Some .22 pistols (my Ruger MKII 22/45 comes to mind) specifically state that dry-fire is OK. It comes down to reading the manual and seeing what the MFR recommends.
I would still rather use snap-caps just to be safe.
Most guns can be dry fired with no problem. There are a few exceptions. The Thompson Encore with a rimfire barrel should not be dry fired. I had to have one fixed.
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