By Sarah Jane Jacob via wideopenspaces.com
Dry fire practice. We all know it’s an important training for competition or self defense. And it seems not a day goes by without a reminder of that fact from a shooting expert. Or ten. More to the point, if you’re not lucky enough to have the time, access or money to shoot more than once or twice a week, then you’re going to have to get some practice in at home in order to improve. Sure, it’s nowhere near as fun as live fire, but the benefits of dry fire practice have been proven time and again . . .
Snap caps are a great tool for practicing almost all the same drills you can do in a live fire session, and offer many benefits over dry firing on an empty chamber.
Here’s our top 10 reasons why snap caps should be your new best friend.
You can actually damage some firearms if you fire them on an empty chamber. We’re talking mainly rimfire guns here, but if you’re in doubt, your user manual will tell you if that model isn’t safe to dry fire. Using a snap cap instead will prevent deformation of the edge of the chamber in these guns.
2. Practice loading
You can practice loading and unloading ammunition to your heart’s content. In most cases, you’re going to want to buy a few pairs, even if you’re using a side-by-side or under/over shotgun – so you can practice grabbing them out of your belt and ejecting them afterwards.
3. Make it last
Snap caps cushion the firing pin and prevent deformation and wear. This is particularly relevant for older firearms, as the materials used are not always as strong as in modern firearms.
4. Clearing jams
You can use them to practice handling misfires and jams.
5. Money savers
You’ll save heaps on ammo by making dry fire practice part of your weekly shooting routine.
6. Trigger work
Use them to identify weaknesses in trigger technique. A good drill to try is to load a snap cap in with your usual rounds while at the range. You will quickly discover how smooth your trigger press is when you do this!
7. Wear and tear
Longevity – snap caps are superior to just using spent cases, as the primer will often get punched out of the case after only a few hits. Consider choosing snap cap models that have an allen key adjustment on the spring. As the repeated strikes of the firing pin begin to wear down the “primer”, you can adjust the spring so it becomes flush with the case again.
8. Help beginners
If you have rimfire guns that you regularly use to instruct new shooters, you can protect them against accidental dry fire by nervous noobs, by popping in snap cap while you’re going through the basics, prior to live fire practice.
9. Insurance policy
For the reasons stated above, they’re cheap insurance for your gun.
10. Do what you love
It’s an excuse to go to the gun shop! Need I say more?
Now, if they would just release a snap cap that makes a “pew” noise when I press the trigger…