Dry Firing M9-A1

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by horacio, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. horacio

    horacio New Member

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    Hi Guys,
    Am new to the club and am getting my M9-A1 next month. When I was young, I was told not to dry fire pistols (revolvers and 1911 .45) because it supposedly shortens the life of the hammer. With M9-A1 using a striker rather than a hammer, will I damage the striker (or any other parts of the pistol) if I dry fire -- with or without snap caps or dummy bullets?
    I've read suggestions in this forum to dry fire the pistol to check if everything is working out well before even going to the range. But I am not sure whether those suggestions are just for testing the pistol once or twice. I am thinking of familiarizing myself with the pistol my dry-firing it -- a lot. Thanks.
     
  2. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Moderator

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    General consensus is that it is OK to dryfire the M-A1 series. We have had one or two oddball problems that users blamed on dryfiring (I think we had one or two broken firing pins?), but there are plenty of owners that have dryfired the piss out of their M-A1 without incident. It's highly unlikely you will ever have an issue, and there's always the excellent service from SAI to bail you out if you do run into issues.
     

  3. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    Dry fire striker fired guns, but not firing pin guns without a snap cap.
     
  4. horacio

    horacio New Member

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    The terminology might be confusing. I always think of the striker as a firing pin
    moving along the axis of the cartridge. On hammer pistols, the hammer hits a firing pin to ignite the cartridge.

    I'm trying to understand why dry-firing a striker-fired pistol is OK while it is not OK on hammer pistols. Is it because

    1) the stress caused by the hammer hitting the rear of the pin damages the pin and this stress is absent on striker-fired pistols (which is just a pin under tension which is then released to hit the cartridge) ?
    or
    2) the hammer pistol's pin actually hits metal when dry-fired which damages the front of the pin but the striker does not hit anything
    or
    3) both
     
  5. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer New Member

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    Dry fire the snot out of it, or any other quality pistol. There is not a shred of substance to say otherwise. Tradition maybe. "I heard that"s, maybe. Someone breaks a firing pin while shooting, and it's just something that happens, parts break. Someone breaks one while dry firing, and it means the dry fire caused it?
     
  6. Vauxurellius

    Vauxurellius New Member

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    I have had my M40-A1 for over a year and I do a lot of Dry Fire Exercises simply to keep myself familiar with the gun and because it is cheaper than live rounds :)

    I have absolutely zero incidents with this. I would say that I have dry fired the pistol well over 100, 000 times and have put almost 10,000 rounds through it. I have only had a few times where I have had issues, such as a FTF due to a bad primer. Not really the gun's fault :)

    I don't see any problem with dry firing the M-A1 Series pistols
     
  7. Spart

    Spart New Member

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    If you're afraid of damaging anything, just buy some A-ZOOM's. They're cheap.

    FWIW some manufacturers of striker fired pistols (and I'm talking about Smith & Wesson here) recommend that you do NOT dry fire without a snap cap.

    That being said, dry firing is part of the M series takedown procedures and the Steyr manual doesn't mention anything about this causing damage to the pistol. Also, I'm sure that SAI will replace the parts for free if they break during dry fire (provided that they have them on hand.)

    I use snap caps in my pistols for two reasons, one is to avoid any trouble with prematurely broken parts. Two is that all of my 9mm's have some sort of peephole where you can see the rim of the chambered round. If I can see purple instead of brass, I know I've got a snap cap loaded. This works both ways, as I usually leave snap caps chambered in my pistols and I'm going to want to know if my chamber loaded indicator is indicating a live round or a snap cap when someone's breaking into my apartment.
     
  8. Shellshock1918

    Shellshock1918 New Member

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    Not to mention that the pistol HAS to be dry fired to be disassembled.
     
  9. briang2ad

    briang2ad New Member

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    Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm the guy who broke TWO FPs by dry firing. They were replaced by Jeff over a year ago. After that, I have gone to an Azoom cap, and no problems. and... MAYBE, my trigger is now without camming. More on that. WHen I cock the weapon each time, I also hold the trigger down - this helps preserve the snap cap for some reason (learned this on my XD45).

    I also did some polishing on the actual striker/sear interface. Taco's striker job never seemed to help mine, but dry firing and polishing MAY have. Now, I can go about 20-30 strikes without ANY camming/takeup on the trigger. WHEN the trigger operates properly on these, they are the crispest breaking triggers in a striker fired gun anywhere.
     
  10. mugdava

    mugdava Premium Member

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    Generally the firing pin part of the striker is designed to impact the primer and put a dent in it. If there is nothing for the pin/stiker to impact it's gonna travel farther than it's intended to. Eventually, this can put undue wear on the striker and striker channel(hole!). Snap caps replicate the characteristics of a loaded chamber in that they provide something for striker to impact, as it is intended to.

    Yes, many people have dry fired thousands of times w/ no ill effects, but I'm not that lucky. Besides I'd rather break my pistol putting rounds through it than dry firing, and I have.

    FWIW, never, I mean never dry fire an M&P w/o snap caps. My 11 year old nephew was dry firing his dad's M&P40 and guess what he wasn't using when the striker broke in two pieces. Oh yeah, that kid has mad gun skills for his age and is the posterchild for gun safety!
    _______
    mugdava
     
  11. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer New Member

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    I strongly recommend Big Taco's delrin striker cups for an improved trigger. That factory split washer thing is not a good item for consistency, but the 360*, smooth, slippery delrin is great.
     
  12. briang2ad

    briang2ad New Member

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    OH Yeah - again, I broke 2 Steyr strikers that way!!!!!
     
  13. briang2ad

    briang2ad New Member

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    Could you post the link please? Thanks!
     
  14. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer New Member

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  15. spamsammich

    spamsammich New Member

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    Perhaps I'm fortunate, but I've never had any problems with my M&P and dry fire without snap caps. I went from July to October of this year, dry firing every day, plus range time before getting around to buying 9mm snap caps. I figure I had more than 25k trigger pulls with the M&P and no snap caps, not counting the 1700 rounds through the pipe. I was more concerned with my Steyr striker breaking than my M&P after comparing the two designs.

    To be fair though, I've probably done half as much dry fire without snap caps in my Steyrs as with the M&P, I wanted to see if something would break. I've broken firing pins in the past (POS AMT backup). At least with Steyrs and S&W, they have decent CS and my downtime would have been minimal. I wasn't concerned with breaking something because I didn't CC. I've taken to carrying the M&P in recent months and now EVERY pistol has dummy rounds/snap caps. I find them to be very valuable training tools.
     
  16. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer New Member

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    I dry fire the snot out of my 6 Steyrs, no snap caps. No probs yet, not that I want any.
     
  17. Jbabbler

    Jbabbler New Member

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    I always put a spent casing in my guns if I'm practicing.
     
  18. spamsammich

    spamsammich New Member

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    Not a critique of you Frank, just a heads up to newer gun owners; I highly recommend you paint or sharpie a spent casing so it is easily identified as a dummy round. I would hate for somebody to get comfortable with seeing brass in a press check thinking it was a dummy and having a ND because they forgot they left the gun loaded.
     
  19. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    I agree completely, and would only like to add that I hope no person ever becomes so comfortable with their handguns to allow this type of mistake.

    Buy some quality dummy ammunition for practice. When contrasted with the potential cost of mistakenly using live ammunition, dummy ammunition is so very inexpensive!
     
  20. Jbabbler

    Jbabbler New Member

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    Uh, its an empty shell casing. Pretty obvious their isn't even a bullet in the casing.Heck, getting the thing to chamber is an adventure all its own. If coloring it with a marker makes you feel safer then I'm all for it but I don't think its unsafe in the least.