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Dry Firing a 22/45

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WillH
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Dry Firing a 22/45 Empty Dry Firing a 22/45

Post by RuckusD 1/19/2022, 7:59 pm

I’m new to this forum after taking a very long break from shooting.  I discovered bullseye last year and I’m working on my shooting with a 22/45 mkIV.  Its got a Volquartsen kit and a red dot.  I’ve got a question about dry firing.  I’ve looked at the many of the previous threads on this subject and I don’t see an answer to my specific question.

I bought a second bolt for my gun ($35) and removed the firing pin.  I can swap bolts in less than a minute and use this bolt for dry firing.  Am I doing any damage to the gun by repeated dry firing this way?

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Post by mustachio 1/20/2022, 3:32 pm

try a #4 dry wall anchor as a snap cap. You should never dry fire a 22. You can damage the breech face and your firing pin. Just my 0.02cents.
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Post by RuckusD 1/20/2022, 4:03 pm

Thanks for your reply.  I'm dry firing with a spare bolt that doesn't have a firing pin.  It seems to me that I won't damage the breech this way, but since I've never seen it suggested before I wondering if I'm missing something.

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Post by Jon Eulette 1/20/2022, 4:34 pm

99% of the Rugers I’ve worked on, the firing pin does not protrude enough to damage the chamber edge. You can check this by removing the bolt and pushing the firing pin forward and checking if it protrudes beyond the bolt. If not dry fire away. Also the firing pin and firing pin spring will absorb some of the impact from the hammer. It’s possible you will damage the face of the hammer where it impacts the bolt.
I’ve owned and shot Rugers for years. They can handle countless dry fired shots with no issues. I never used a dry fire snap cap or plug.
Do what makes you comfortable.
Jon
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Post by RuckusD 1/20/2022, 5:18 pm

Thanks, that's very helpful.

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Post by Wobbley 1/20/2022, 6:16 pm

While the hammer may not hit anything to damage the barrel/breech face, there is no telling the damage to the hammer and mainspring dry firing.  The hammer and spring develop kinetic energies that come to a quick halt when the hammer hits the bolt.  With a full drop, you develop full energy in the hammer and the hammer can get damaged. It would be much better to just allow the hammer to disengage from the sear then drop only enough, perhaps as little as .050 inch.  Then stop on a resilient surface like a very hard piece of rubber pinned into the hammer-area of the bolt.  Just pull back a bit on the bolt to reset.  The hammer never develops full kinetic energy and neither does the spring.
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Post by WillH 1/20/2022, 6:39 pm

I will just add here that these Rugers have a cross pin that "normally/almost always" prevents the firing pin from going far enough to cause damage to the breech face when dry fired.  While that is technically true, I have had the firing pins break (near the hole where the cross pin goes through).  When that happens dry firing there is noting to stop the inertia anymore and the breech face is damaged to the point it won't chamber or cycle a round.  I had to iron it out with a swage tool afterwards but still far from ideal. Consider that cross pin your fair weather friend. You were wise to remove the firing pin from that practice bolt to eliminate that chance.  My sense from shooting them for years is that they are pretty tough otherwise.

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Post by Jon Eulette 1/20/2022, 6:40 pm

Guns are tools. Wear them out using them instead of looking at them! Rugers are tough like boat anchors. Shoot the hell out of it and replace the worn out parts. Still cheaper than drag racing lol, a lot cheaper lmao.
Jon
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Post by SingleActionAndrew 1/20/2022, 6:57 pm

Ruger support told me my MkIII is dry fire safe. Everyone I've ever asked (except the guy I bought mine from, whose never fired a ruger) has said they are dry fire safe.

I dry fired mine for maybe 150 days, 15 minutes each (being very honest/critical of myself over two years, conservatively how much I actually did of my "daily" dry fire 15 mins rimfire 15 mins 45). So maybe 2500 hammer drops. As just one data point, between those and I'd guess another 4000 live fires my particular unit did not experience a mechanical failure. Actually I switched to a new Pardini because I started having failure to feed issues, round nose Lapua or SK or Eley getting stuck (sharp crescent imprint on bullet ogive) on the inside edge of the top of the (original, NOS Clark gun) Clark barrel's chamber, across 7 mags. But when they go into the chamber straight they'll plunk fine. Works fine actually as long as it isn't clean. Once I'm shooting my 5th or 6th magazine it would resume being reliable again until I cleaned it. I love slow fire so got a new gun before fixing it Smile
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Post by Sa-tevp 1/20/2022, 10:29 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Guns are tools. Wear them out using them instead of looking at them! Rugers are tough like boat anchors. Shoot the hell out of it and replace the worn out parts. Still cheaper than drag racing lol, a lot cheaper lmao.
Jon

If I can remember and can paraphrase Ed Hall correctly, if you haven't cracked a 1911 firing pin stop your haven't dry fired enough. (Mr Hall to the white courtesy phone) Like in vehicle racing, the metal is a consumable if you are trying to win.

I have several 22s and dry fire often. My Ruger Mk III is safe with no plug. I use a plug on my hot-rodded S&W M41 just as a precaution. All my other 22s are safe to dry fire due to limited firing pin travel.
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Post by Al 1/21/2022, 7:39 pm

Yes,
Rugers are "dry fire safe", right up until the firing pin breaks due to metal fatigue, Then you have a dimpled chamber. All you have to do is quit dry firing just before the firing pin breaks. I have a otherwise perfectly good 6" MKII barrel & action that has a rather large dimple.
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Post by only_8_ring 1/28/2022, 12:55 pm

Al wrote:Yes,
Rugers are "dry fire safe", right up until the firing pin breaks due to metal fatigue, Then you have a dimpled chamber. All you have to do is quit dry firing just before the firing pin breaks. I have a otherwise perfectly good 6" MKII barrel & action that has a rather large dimple.
Al

Funny you should mention this... I've been dry firing my Mk IV 22/45 a lot lately, and I was careful to make sure the firing pin couldn't touch the breech/chamber face before I started. Two weeks later, I'm having all sorts of malfunctions at the range: light strikes, failures to feed, failures to extract. At first I thought it was the ammo, but I went back to some old ammo and still had problems. When I took the gun apart to see what was wrong, there was a dent in my chamber face from where the firing pin hit it. "Impossible!", I said. Yet sure enough, when I checked again, the firing pin could indeed touch the chamber face.

I took the gun further apart and discovered that the firing pin had broken in half right where Ruger drilled the second hole into it. The front half of the firing pin was then free to mar my chamber face when dry firing. 

Moral of the story: Al is exactly right. Ruger Mk series guns are dry fire safe right up until they aren't. Replace your firing pin with a one-hole or titanium version, or do like OP and just have a second bolt with no firing pin for extra insurance.

A few weeks ago I told myself that I don't believe in snap caps. Needless to say, I will be using them in the future for all my rimfire dry firing.

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Post by mustachio 1/28/2022, 4:47 pm

mustachio wrote:try a #4 dry wall anchor as a snap cap. You should never dry fire a 22. You can damage the breech face and your firing pin. Just my 0.02cents.
I stand by my original statement
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