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.22/45 dry fire question

This is a discussion on .22/45 dry fire question within the Ruger Rimfires forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Originally Posted by KJS Counting shots is a distracting pain in the butt IMO, which is why I didn't do it when I first started ...


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Old July 2nd, 2011, 05:11 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJS View Post
Counting shots is a distracting pain in the butt IMO, which is why I didn't do it when I first started shooting a few years ago. I also didn't do it because I wasn't aware of any possible reason to do it.

I can see why Dirty Harry needs to know if he's ready to blow a punk's head "clean off" or if he's going to be killed by a punk when his hand cannon goes "click." That didn't seem to really matter when a paper target presents no threat.

Then a friend who's very much into guns pointed out to me that it would be best to count as to not put undue stress on a firing pin. We were specifically talking about CF revolvers, so I don't know what he'd say about rimfires. His feeling was that on a CF the firing pin hitting an already fired primer was much the same as hitting nothing as it's already dented in and thus not providing a cushion.

I'm not sure if an already fired .22 case would provide much cushion either for a firing pin. Would the fired case from round #1 likely rotate during subsequent shots such that they would be a good chance the firing pin would hit that rim in a different spot, thus providing the same cushioning effect as with a live round?

I was thinking about possibly buying a .22 revolver. Sadly, Ruger doesn't make any .22 DA revolvers. Seems like a S&W 617 would likely be my best option, though I'd much prefer if I could get the equivalent from Ruger.
Spent cases are fine. You can even put some dowel in it and shape it to make your own "snap caps". Snap caps are cheap though, get em on ebay even. Not that you need em, ruger actually worried about the dry fire thing enough to do something to mitigate it from doing damage.



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Old July 2nd, 2011, 07:33 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJS View Post

Then a friend who's very much into guns pointed out to me that it would be best to count as to not put undue stress on a firing pin. We were specifically talking about CF revolvers, so I don't know what he'd say about rimfires. His feeling was that on a CF the firing pin hitting an already fired primer was much the same as hitting nothing as it's already dented in and thus not providing a cushion.
If it's the same as hitting nothing, then it's a good thing. You can dry fire (CF) and the firing pin will hit only air.

The reason it's frowned upon in case of rimfires is that the firing pint will hit the cylinder (the chamber's rim) if there's no cartridge (or snap-cap) to cushion it.

Quote:
I'm not sure if an already fired .22 case would provide much cushion either for a firing pin.
Even though you can see a dent in the rim of a fired cartridge, I believe there's enough brass left to dampen one more strike.


Quote:

Would the fired case from round #1 likely rotate during subsequent shots such that they would be a good chance the firing pin would hit that rim in a different spot, thus providing the same cushioning effect as with a live round?
I've wondered the same thing myself but methinks NOT. Upon firing the cartridge where the bullet is seated expands to seal the chamber and prevent blowback so that the strength of the propulsion is directed forward. This is can be seen when trying to extract the casings from a Single-Action. The extractor has to be pushed hard to push out "some" casings. They don't just fall out as the cylinder is rotated, with the muzzle UP, as we see in Westerns.

[quote
I was thinking about possibly buying a .22 revolver. Sadly, Ruger doesn't make any .22 DA revolvers. Seems like a S&W 617 would likely be my best option, though I'd much prefer if I could get the equivalent from Ruger.[/QUOTE]

Hold your horses. There was talk about a premature article in Guns & Ammo (August issue) about a new Ruger revolver news of which should NOT have been leaked. I believe you can find out about it from Ruger's Facebook (or somewhere else in this Forum.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 10:09 AM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by Lethalchem View Post
Very immaginative, got any pics of it so I can understand exactly how it works?



Descriptive enough?
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:23 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by D A Wood View Post


Descriptive enough?
Perfect, thanks!
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 01:23 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by D A Wood View Post
While Ruger does say in the manual packaged with their rimfire pistols that it's OK to dryfire, they also admonish against excessive dry firing. What does excessive mean, who knows. I've been using #4/#6 plastic wall anchors as "snap-caps" in all my .22 rimfire pistols for several years now.
That, my friend, is sheer genius! I would have never thunk it, but thank you for doing so. Incredible! And works like a charm.

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Old July 3rd, 2011, 02:05 PM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post

I find it embarrasingly hard to count while focused on other stuff like hitting a target. One would think a college grad could count to 10.
Just practice the counting. I now cannot STOP myself from counting. It is automatic. Go figure.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 10:59 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by D A Wood View Post
I've been using #4/#6 plastic wall anchors as "snap-caps" in all my .22 rimfire pistols for several years now.
Great idea! I've never heard, or thought of that before, but I'm sure gonna try it! Thanks!
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Old July 13th, 2011, 11:20 AM   #23
 
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Just using old fired cases works for me, both for rim and centerfire calibers.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #24
 
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I need to use snap caps in my S&W 22a-1, and use them in my two Mark III's just to be consistent.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post
.22 LR snap caps exist? I've never seen them anywhere and .22 LR is the most common caliber on earth, so I gather virtually nobody uses them if they can find them.

The manual also tells you not to store the gun cocked and the only way to decock it is to pull the trigger. Would it theoretically be better to leave the hammer cocked than to dry fire it to uncock for storage?
You can use a drywall screw insert in place of a snap cap. The ones I got were from a local gun store, they were yellow. Cost just a few cents each, and you can load them in your mag and cycle them just like a normal round. I'm sure you could just walk in to Home Depot and buy the same ones, bring a .22 brass casing with you to match the size.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 09:55 AM   #26
 
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As I posted a while back, I've been using the plastic wall anchors for several years now. The cost of $5.00 for a box of 100 (shown in a previous pic) is "cheap" insurance, at least for me, of preventing this:



The price of plastic wall anchors "pales" compared to the price of a new upper. Sure, the ding can be rolled out of the chamber mouth with an "ironing tool" but the divet will still be present right below where the rim rests and takes the hit from the firing pin. Think maybe that might cause a few failures-to-fire?
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Old July 28th, 2011, 06:46 PM   #27
 
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DA Wood's suggestion to use the wall anchors got me to the hardware store where I picked up a small box of them (blue). They are a tad larger than the .22 snap caps, but work just as well in protecting the firing pin. May not extract as well as the snap caps, but that is not a gib deal.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 01:22 AM   #28
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I know that some of us do and some of us don't.
I know that some manuals say it is ok and there are some that say it is not ok.
Me, I don't...... period.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:43 AM   #29
 
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Originally Posted by D A Wood View Post


Descriptive enough?
You are a freekin' genius! I can't believe nobody thought of this before! Sometimes the solution to a problem is right in front of me. In this case, the solution was on my workbench. I just wouldn't have figured it out without your post. Thanks! I have a few hundred .22 "snap caps" now!
All the best,
Glenn
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 04:17 AM   #30
 
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Greetings forum members, my name is boatdreamer and this is my first post. This is an old thread, but my guess is that the question comes up from time to time. Having just bought a Mark IV 22/45 lite, I'm eager to become more proficient with one of the finest pistols I've ever owned. Dry fire practice would greatly help, so I investigated this issue with the help of this forum. The following are my observations.

The caution against dry firing rimfires is well earned. Most traditional designs feature a long skinny pin that will hit the chamber rim if there isn’t a brass case in the way. Long, skinny, hard, stiff pieces of steel are brittle by nature, and if they are subjected to repeated shock they are in danger of breaking. I’ve had a rimfire firing pin break after several thousand rounds even though I carefully avoided dry firing. Even if they don’t break, smacking the end of the pin and the chamber rim together repeatedly doesn’t do either of them any good.

How does Ruger get around this problem in the 22/45? First, they make sure that the fire pin can’t reach the chamber rim. They do this by holding the firing pin in place with a roll pin. The roll pin fits through an oblong hole in the firing pin. The hole is obviously elongated to allow the pin to move back and forth. A firing pin spring holds the FP in place, ready for the hammer to smack it. When it gets smacked, the FP drives forward far enough to strike the cartridge rim, but the elongated hole is sized so that the pin gets stopped cold long before it reaches the chamber rim. Brilliant!

To take the shock of getting whacked repeatedly by the hammer, the firing pin is very robustly built. The part between the striking face and the hole for the roll pin has a huge cross section by firing pin standards. The rest of the pin is long and skinny, but it literally floats in front of the roll pin, and only ever contacts the brass rim of a LR case, as designed, since it isn’t long enough to reach the chamber rim.

To verify all this, take look at the exploded diagram in your manual. It will make my long winded explanation more sensible. You can also visually inspect the gun’s bolt, easy to do on a Mark IV with its one button take down. No wonder Ruger states that this gun can be safely dry fired.

Unfortunately, there’s a fly in the ointment. Ruger also states that excessive dry firing can produce enough wear on the firing pin and roll pin to require replacement. What they don’t do is quantify what “excessive” might be, which serves to produce fantastic amounts of stress and doubt in loyal Ruger fans. My take is that Ruger realizes that there may be owners out there who are psychologically capable and inclined to dry fire their pistols tens of thousands of times, which could conceivably wallow out the oblong hole the roll pin lives in enough to allow the end of the firing pin to reach the chamber rim, spelling doom for our firing mechanism.

All things made by man are subject to wear, even Ruger pistols. The obvious thing to do is inspect the components for wear from time to time, if you wish to practice dry firing your pistol frequently as I do. So, the first thing I did was field strip the pistol and take out the bolt, to see how visual inspection could be done. I found that the arrangement of the firing pin and roll pin didn’t really lend themselves to visual inspection. The parts that are subject to wear, including the oblong hole and the center of the roll pin, are buried inside the bolt. It became clear, though, that there was a better way to monitor wear.

On the 22/45, the back of the chamber is flush; there is no extra recess to allow for the rim to seat into the chamber as in many older rimfire designs. If you stuck a cartridge in there, its rim would sit against this flush face and protrude out. The recess to accommodate the rim is built into the bolt. A quick inspection shows that the firing pin is at the 12 o’clock position, at the top of the bolt/barrel. When the gun is ready to fire, the bolt and barrel are flush with each other, held together by the bolt spring. It’s a tight fit, but when a shell is fired, it immediately pushes on the bolt and opens the breach, which is what makes it a blow back autoloader. Very usefully, some of the blowback gasses escape; with my pistol, even with only a few hundred rounds through it, there’s a mild buildup of powder residue on the back face of the barrel. It’s not much, and shouldn’t affect the gun’s function for hundreds or thousands of rounds, and it is fragile-you could clear it away with your fingernail. In short, it is an ideal, self-applying indicator of a firing pin strike. If you manage to dry fire your pistol so much that you really do wallow out the oblong hole and the end of the FP makes it to the chamber rim, the powder residue would clearly show the strike. In all likelihood, you would be able to see evidence of a closing gap long before metal actually touched metal. How cool is that? Better yet, you don’t even need to field strip the pistol to inspect this. Just lock the bolt open and look at the top of the chamber in some decent light. Monitoring this couldn’t be simpler.

If you manage to wear those parts out, they likely won’t cost much to replace, and a U-tube video would likely show you how to do it. Otherwise, it would be short work for any competent gunsmith.

Anyhow, that’s my long-winded two cent’s worth. I hope it proves useful, and I hope folks get lots of use out of their Ruger pistols.

Cheers

Boatdreamer
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