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Dry firing a Mark III

This is a discussion on Dry firing a Mark III within the Ruger Rimfires forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Yesterday I acquired a Mark III target pistol. My question is can it be dry-fired safely? There is no mention in the owners manual about ...


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Old September 21st, 2014, 04:55 PM   #1
 
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Dry firing a Mark III

Yesterday I acquired a Mark III target pistol. My question is can it be dry-fired safely? There is no mention in the owners manual about it. I know the SR22 can be dry-fired but I'm not sure about the Mark III!



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Old September 21st, 2014, 05:21 PM   #2
 
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The Mark series pistols have a stop pin to prevent the firing pin from contacting the chamber mouth. Also, the hammer has to be in the down position for disassembly.

I am personally in favor of snap-caps for dry firing, and a number of sources have recommended a size of plastic drywall anchor as a perfect substitute for .22LR.
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Old September 21st, 2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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smithnframe, Yes, by design, any Mark Series pistols can be safely dry fired WITHOUT SNAP-CAPS. Back when the original Ruger Standard and Mark I were made, there was no auto lock back bolt. In other words you kept shooting until you heard a click with no bang (dry fire). As the Mark Series pistol design was changed to add an automatic bolt stop, the firing pin stop pin remained the same until recent models where the solid pin was replaced with a roll pin. This "stop pin" prevents the firing pin from striking the chamber mouth. That said, if you over do it and dry fire countless times, the stop pin may bend, chip, or break and allow the firing pin to travel too far.

So ... limited dry fire will not hurt a thing. If you get crazy with dry firing, you may eventually need to replace the stop pin. I personally don't like the roll pins because they are brittle and sometimes chip or break. I make my own stop pins out of a 1/8" drill bit shank cut to precisely .72". They last forever.
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Old September 22nd, 2014, 04:59 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan
............. I make my own stop pins out of a 1/8" drill bit shank cut to precisely .72". They last forever.
Sweet! Another shop project for the pistol. Tnx
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Old September 30th, 2014, 11:36 AM   #5
 
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Thanks for sharing the information about dry-firing and the drill bit stop pin.
May our lives glorify God,
Michael
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Old September 30th, 2014, 12:12 PM   #6
 
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I will have to look into using the drill blank too. I've been using wall anchors on my new 22/45 but it's a little inconvenient catching and reinserting it every trigger pull. LOL now I regret throwing out those old broken 1/8" bits years ago.
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Old October 27th, 2014, 06:47 PM   #7
 
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Should be good to go, I have dry fired my MKIII's many time and have never hurt a thing.
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Old October 27th, 2014, 07:33 PM   #8
 
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I am an advocate of #6 x 1" drywall anchors, not only do they provide a backup to the stop pin, they are cheap, easily purchased, and can be loaded in a clip to enriched your practice.
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Old October 27th, 2014, 10:34 PM   #9
 
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From p. 19 of my Mark III manual:

5.With the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, push the safety to the “off” (F) position and pull the trigger to decock the pistol. The pistol can be dry fired as long as the firing pin stop is in place (see NOTE in step 5 on page 25).
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Old October 28th, 2014, 11:37 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
So ... limited dry fire will not hurt a thing. If you get crazy with dry firing, you may eventually need to replace the stop pin.
Dear Iowegan,

You can do better than this qualitative remark. Is there any quantification you can put on the words "limited", "getting crazy" and maybe "eventually"? Ballpark figures are off course the only thing one can give, but I'm just wondering... Somehow I suspect you might have even gathered hard data on this

Cheers, B.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 10:27 AM   #11
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Biartr, If you don't like "limited", "getting crazy" and "eventually", you probably won't like my other terms either ... like "LOT"

First off, I doubt if anyone has ever counted how many dry fires it takes to damage a firing pin stop pin, including myself. Second, guns tend to be "individualistic" due to manufacturing tolerances so one gun may fail soon after it comes out of the box whereas another may last a lifetime.

I would hesitate to put numbers on this but I would estimate "hundreds" would be fine but "thousands" would probably OD the pin.

The older model MK Series pistols had a solid firing pin stop pin and based on the guns that came in my shop, they seem to hold up very well and rarely need to be replaced. Seems when they did get damaged, they got damaged badly, which indicates the owner did a LOT of dry firing.

The newer MKIIIs have a spring steel roll pin and from my limited experience (sold my shop long before roll pins started being used) they don't hold up nearly as well. Why? The older pistols (pre-MK II) got dry fired a lot due to the design .... in other words "keep shooting until you hear a click". When MK IIs went into production, the bolt locked back when the last round is fired so it reduced the need for dry firing, however Ruger still used a solid pin. MK IIIs also have an auto lock back and for several years, they also had a solid pin. When they changed to a spring roll pin, we started seeing a lot more failures where the pins would actually break in pieces or snap in two. Why? Partly because they were installed wrong at the factory .... the seam should be pointing straight forward so the firing pin strikes the back. If the firing pin strikes the edge of the seam, the pin can break. Further, spring steel is not a good material to use when being hammered ... it's just to brittle. So in my opinion, I think Ruger screwed up by trying to save a few pennies per gun.

Here's some tips: If you dry fire, every time you field strip your MK Series pistol for cleaning, take a few extra minutes to inspect the firing pin stop pin. If it is not perfectly straight and damage free, it's time to replace it. If you do replace it, a solid pin made from a drill bit shank will last a very long time ... longer than the factory solid pins.

Firing pin stop pins are very easy to remove and are the only thing that retains the firing pin. So .... if you plan to do a LOT of dry firing, remove the firing pin stop pin, firing pin, firing pin rebound spring, and spring guide, then click away to your heart's content. When you finish dry fire training, reassemble the bolt and you are ready to "live fire".

1/8" drill bits are dirt cheap ... last time a bought them, a package of two was 49 cents. For Biartr, living in a metric country, fractional inch drill bits may be a little harder to find but I'm sure they are available. The shanks are plenty long enough to make at least one firing pin stop pin per drill bit ... maybe two. The finished product needs to be 1/8" in diameter, .72 ~.735" long, with both ends slightly rounded ... just enough to remove the sharp edge after being cut. Turns out, drill bit shanks are NOT tempered as hard as the cutting area on the bit so they are about the perfect hardness for a pin ... not too brittle, not too soft. These "home brewed" pins will work on any MK Series pistol from the earliest Standard to the latest MK III.

If you have a roll spring pin, it is obvious because they are hollow. The spring pin is slightly compressed when they are installed so it takes a few light taps on a 1/8" pin punch to push them out. The solid pins can be pushed out very easily with just about any object but a 1/8" pin punch works the best. When you push either style pin out, leave the pin punch in the hole so it will retain the firing pin, spring, and guide. When you install a pin, just push it in and pull the pin punch out at the same time to keep the internal parts aligned. Worst case .. you may have to remove the recoil spring assembly (just lifts out) and use a small tool to push the firing pin forward until the pin will seat.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 01:24 PM   #12
 
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Iowegan, see, I was right! You could do a lot better

Thank you for taking the time to type all this info, I love to absorb it, as I'm sure many people here do.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:46 PM   #13
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Biartr, Hide and watch .... someone will post their MK III gave up in 50 rounds or someone else will post their old MK I is still perking after a gazillion rounds.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:55 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
Biartr, Hide and watch .... someone will post their MK III gave up in 50 rounds or someone else will post their old MK I is still perking after a gazillion rounds.
Stand behind me, I'll catch that bullet for you...
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Old October 29th, 2014, 04:01 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by paulkalman View Post
I am an advocate of #6 x 1" drywall anchors, not only do they provide a backup to the stop pin, they are cheap, easily purchased, and can be loaded in a clip to enriched your practice.
Great suggestion. I've heard this before, but for some reason I keep forgetting about it. Maybe next time I'm at Home Depot I'll remember. These are the yellow ones, right?

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hillman-Gr...rywall+anchors

Last edited by Bozz48; October 30th, 2014 at 04:13 AM.
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