Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > S&W-Smithing
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-09-2010, 01:07 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 139
Likes: 4
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Using old cartridges as snap caps?

Quick question please...anything wrong with using a spent cartridge as a snap cap in a revolver? Will it harm the hammer?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-09-2010, 01:18 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,340
Likes: 558
Liked 1,067 Times in 583 Posts
Default

Other than being relatively ineffective as snap caps, there is no danger.
It won't provide much protection for the hammer.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-09-2010, 01:22 AM
Kanewpadle's Avatar
US Veteran

 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Washington
Posts: 5,421
Likes: 2,665
Liked 4,003 Times in 1,627 Posts
Default

I agree. Snap caps are cheap insurance.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-09-2010, 01:23 AM
murphydog's Avatar
SWCA Member

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,882
Likes: 9
Liked 1,523 Times in 1,094 Posts
Default

I would guess once the firing pin has hit the primer of a centerfire round that the empty's cushioning effect is lost. There is no problem with dry firing a centerfire gun in any case; if it is concerning to you, "snap-caps" are available. If you position an undented part of a .22 rimfire empty where the firing pin hits, it will prevent the firing pin from damaging the chamber or itself.
__________________
Alan
SWCA 2023
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-09-2010, 05:12 AM
SMMAssociates's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 486
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 39 Posts
Smile

If you're too cheap to buy some snap caps, pop the primers and fill the pocket generously with silicone gasket material. Better than nothing, and you can use the rest of the tube for something around the house ....

IMHO, most 1911's are designed so that the hammer hits the slide anyway, which means no hazard to the slide, and the firing pin ought to be able to handle thousands of "overtravel" situations....

The P3AT shouldn't be dry fired - all kinds of terrible things can happen, we're told, and my XD9SC has a pin through the firing pin to prevent overtravel that is supposed to be vulnerable. IAC, most rimfires will likely take some damage, too, but I wouldn't be concerned about the revolvers - the hammer should hit the frame before the tip hits the cylinder.... (IMHO - maybe somebody could buy me a good rimfire revolver? )

Regards,
__________________
Stu.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-09-2010, 07:26 AM
tbury's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 576
Likes: 16
Liked 25 Times in 14 Posts
Default

I use the spent brass with the primer replaced with Goop. This material is very strong and will out last fillers such as silicone caulk. I never tried silicone gasket material. You need to clean and fill the primer pocket so the material is a little high, if it dries too high you can always trim it with a razor blade. I find this to be a good use of brass with loose primer pockets or other flaws that make them good candidates for the recycling bucket.
__________________
Revolver luvin' Mountaineer
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-09-2010, 09:58 PM
chief38's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 5,200
Likes: 510
Liked 2,013 Times in 1,024 Posts
Default

If you are going to dry fire the gun 2 or 3 times on each chamber, then yes fired cases will work adequately. If you intend to pull the trigger much more than this, OKFC45 is correct because the primers will have such a large indentation in them, they would be all but useless. If you intent to dry fire the gun a lot, buy some snap caps as others have said. Supposedly, you can dry fire a Smith with no harm on empty chambers, but again if you are practicing trigger control and intend to do this repeatedly, purchase some snap caps, or keep changing the fired cases every third hit or so.

regards,
chief38
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-14-2010, 02:00 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: deep in Red Sox Nation
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

If you make your own with silicone, you might want to run them trough a sizer die to pop out the used primer and reshape the brass, and run it through a soft roll crimp to make loading the chambers smooth and easy.

Another tip: I use nickel plated cases, and only for this purpose. so I can easily find my snap caps.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-14-2010, 06:31 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 91
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
I would guess once the firing pin has hit the primer of a centerfire round that the empty's cushioning effect is lost. There is no problem with dry firing a centerfire gun in any case; if it is concerning to you, "snap-caps" are available. If you position an undented part of a .22 rimfire empty where the firing pin hits, it will prevent the firing pin from damaging the chamber or itself.
My rimfires are always dry fired with spent cases. Like above, rotating them until the rims are mostly used up. I usually keep the last two cylinder-fulls of spent rounds at the range and give them a "cool off" period before I eject them. They won't expand anymore when cooled in the cylinder and will fit easily in the cylinder when I wish to dry fire.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-14-2010, 10:56 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Central KY
Posts: 1,680
Likes: 13
Liked 190 Times in 89 Posts
Default

A decision to not buy snap caps is a false savings in my view.

They protect an investment of sometimes many hundreds of dollars, and should last indefinitely.
__________________
Incoming fire has right of way
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-15-2010, 08:09 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Rural NW Ohio
Posts: 1,899
Likes: 929
Liked 341 Times in 200 Posts
Default

Unfortunately at least some snap caps don't last at all. I bought a set of Tiptons for my 686s and the firing pins promptly put deep dents in the brass centers, just like they were primers. Apparently the springs in them scarcely moved, and the brass centers are too soft. What a waste of money.

If anyone knows of some that actually hold up, please let me know.

Andy
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1911, cartridge, crimp, overtravel, primer, rimfire

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
S&W-Smithing Thread, Using old cartridges as snap caps? in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; Quick question please...anything wrong with using a spent cartridge as a snap cap in a revolver? Will it harm the ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do I need to use snap caps?? Natty Bumpo S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 39 09-12-2012 05:54 PM
SNAP CAPS-what's ur take? cant shoot straight Ammo 24 05-29-2011 07:01 PM
.380 Snap Caps willydd Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 0 10-08-2010 02:12 PM
Snap caps for 442? chesterdog S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 4 01-04-2009 04:03 PM
Snap caps ZO6Vettever Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 6 09-10-2008 07:15 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:30 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2013
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)