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Old 07-29-2016, 07:46 AM
DrakeOwens DrakeOwens is offline
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Default Dry firing my Model 41

I have a Model 41 7 3/8" with muzzle brake made in 1958 that I take to the range twice a week. When I'm finished shooting I dry fire the pistol to uncock it and take pressure off the springs. I also do that after I clean it. I recently read that one should never dry fire a rimfire pistol because it might damage either the firing pin or the port but I don't know any way to uncock this pistol other than with a dry fire. I'd be very interested in whatever advice I could get. Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:11 AM
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Without a case in the chamber, the rimfire firing pin can strike the frame (steel), rather than a case (brass). The theory is that this will damage the firing pin.

Like you, I usually clear my M41 by dry firing when I'm finished at the range.

My theory is that occasional dry firing probably isn't going to be enough to damage it. I've been clearing rim fires for decades and never had a firing pin problem.

Could just be my good luck.

Another theory to consider: springs age by use - compression and relaxation cycles. There is probably no reason not to leave your M41 cocked when you are done shooting. Just make sure it's empty.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:19 AM
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S&W advises not to dry fire rimfire revolvers or pistols because of the reasons you specify. In the model 41, I believe the breechface can also be damaged. I would suggest either using an empty, fired casing or a snap cap while "uncocking" the hammer.

Some members of the forum have also suggested these plastic anchors as an alternative to snap caps. They are available at Amazon, Home Depot and others.

The Hillman Group 370326 Ribbed Plastic Anchor, 4-6-8 X 7/8-Inch, Yellow, 100-Pack
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:30 AM
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Over 200 dry fires a year adds up, so personally I would load an empty case before decocking the action.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:03 AM
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On some rim fires we use to hold the trigger back while easing the slide or bolt forward will that work on a 41?
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:22 AM
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I also own a Smith & Wesson Model 41 that I absolutely cherish - Cherish! No way do I release the firing pin by dry-firing the pistol after cleaning. I mean, come on, I've owned this pistol for many years; and, every now and then I'll call the factory to order another spring. (Wolff Gunsprings sells them, too - Very nice, 'extra power' ones!*)

These springs are, 'nickel and dime' items; and it's really not that hard to tap out the retention pin every few years, in order to replace the spring. As far as I'm concerned there's no way I'd risk damaging the slide and/or slide components on a primo Model 41 by dry-firing it for any reason.

IT'S COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY!

Nothing but spring strength is involved; and, in something like 35 + years of using this pistol, I've derived improved ignition by changing out this spring no more than 3 or 4 times. (Right now, I'm running a Wolff Gunsprings, 'extra power' FP spring in my 41; and, so far, it's standing up noticeably better than any factory spring I've ever used.)

Here's another source: Brownells.

* NOT carried in Wolff's on-line catalog! Must be ordered directly by phone.

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Old 07-29-2016, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
S&W advises not to dry fire rimfire revolvers or pistols because of the reasons you specify. In the model 41, I believe the breechface can also be damaged. I would suggest either using an empty, fired casing or a snap cap while "uncocking" the hammer.

Some members of the forum have also suggested these plastic anchors as an alternative to snap caps. They are available at Amazon, Home Depot and others.

The Hillman Group 370326 Ribbed Plastic Anchor, 4-6-8 X 7/8-Inch, Yellow, 100-Pack
Thank you all very much. I had never heard of snap caps and I'm going to order some right now. Until I get them no more dry firing, you guys are great!!
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:58 PM
rt11002003 rt11002003 is offline
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The only rimfire pistols I dry fire are the Ruger's, Mark ii and Mark iii. The Ruger manual OKs it, if one makes sure the firing pin retaining pin is in place. If the retaining pin is out of position then the firing pin can damage the breech face.

A couple of years ago, I purchased a Hammerli Xesse Sport from Larrys Guns. They suggested I also get some small plastic fittings with a tab which fit into the chamber to absorb the shock of dry firing. They work great. I've since seen them my LGS.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:42 PM
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I also have a 1958 year M41, I wonder how close your ser. no. is to mine. Mine is 1230-
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Old 07-29-2016, 05:38 PM
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I also have a 1958 year M41, I wonder how close your ser. no. is to mine. Mine is 1230-
Hi Barrie! Mine's 3800, I was told it's late 1958 or 1959 but I don't know how to check. BTW you sent me a message last year when I first joined the forum regarding getting a false nose from Thom Beckwith. I couldn't find him in the members list. Could you tell me where I can find him or where I can buy a false nose. I still like the look of the muzzle brake but they are a pig to clean(what I can't chip out I soak the muzzle brake in a solution of half distilled vinegar and half hydrogen peroxide) and they are almost never for sale and when they are they go for at least $150. Good to hear from you again!

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Old 07-29-2016, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rt11002003 View Post
The only rimfire pistols I dry fire are the Ruger's, Mark ii and Mark iii. The Ruger manual OKs it, if one makes sure the firing pin retaining pin is in place. If the retaining pin is out of position then the firing pin can damage the breech face.

A couple of years ago, I purchased a Hammerli Xesse Sport from Larrys Guns. They suggested I also get some small plastic fittings with a tab which fit into the chamber to absorb the shock of dry firing. They work great. I've since seen them my LGS.
Thanks, I've marked the page and will certainly give them a try.
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Old 07-29-2016, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrakeOwens View Post
I have a Model 41 7 3/8" with muzzle brake made in 1958 that I take to the range twice a week. When I'm finished shooting I dry fire the pistol to uncock it and take pressure off the springs. I also do that after I clean it. I recently read that one should never dry fire a rimfire pistol because it might damage either the firing pin or the port but I don't know any way to uncock this pistol other than with a dry fire. I'd be very interested in whatever advice I could get. Thanks!
I keep 10 or 15 empty (spent) .22 brass for just such an occasion. Put an empty brass into the chamber and pull the trigger.



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Old 07-29-2016, 08:38 PM
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I do "dry fire" my M41 PC.... BUT........ the trick that I have found is to pull the slide out of breech just 1 or 2 mm, then pull the trigger.
This gets the breech / firing pin away from the barrel / chamber so the firing pin does not hit it.
If you pull back too far, the disconnector drops off the sear and she wont fire.

Honestly though, it is probably better to dry fire it with an already fired .22 case, then at least everything is doing what it was engineered to do.

Obviously safety is the drawback with this method, as I guess it is "theoretically possible" to place a live round back in the chamber ( thinking that you put in a already fired case) as the two are visually identical ( except for the missing projectile of course !)

A plastic plug / snap-cap is sufficiently different (than a spent case ) to tell the difference.
The problem I have with the plastic plug / snap-cap is that they do not replicate the resistance or impact energy that the firing pin "normally" feels when hitting brass.
The firing pin may "over-stroke" and become damaged ( inside the breech block) by the breech block retention pin ( which could also be damaged by the firing pin ), which is also the pin that stops the firing pin from coming out of the breech block.

As @Arc Angle says, probably just better to leave it in a "cocked" state, but unloaded of course !!!
Springs are cheap and easy to replace
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:46 PM
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Use a drywall anchor and dry fire the snot out of it. That's what us Bullseye shooters do. The LGI plugs for Hammerli X-esses work well too. If you are really worried send it to KC Crawford (KCs Kustom Creations) and have him trim the firing pin so it cannot contact the breech. KC can also do a great trigger job and adjust the bolt face, extractor and disconnector bar.

What is strange is that the Sig Trailside manual warned of dry firing without a plug but the Hammerli X-esse manual does not have this warning. Perhaps the X-esse firing pin is shorter and cannot contact the breech.

Both the Sig and Hammerli are based on the Walther Olympia that the M41 copied.

Last edited by Rowlf; 07-29-2016 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:50 AM
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Myself I think they improved on the design by quite a bit as well.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:54 PM
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I use the yellow plastic screw anchors that I bought at the Orange box, about 100 of them for 4 bucks. Seem to work well.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:21 PM
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I don't dry-fire my model 41. Just leave it cocked, make sure it's unloaded, and don't worry about it.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:41 PM
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I only dry fired mine a couple of times using the Tipton red plastic snap caps.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:46 PM
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I have a different view than most above. The firing pin will not reach the chamber edge of any modern rimfire, so cannot damage the chamber edge if the gun is dry-fired. The only danger is a broken firing pin, which is a greater risk on some designs than others.

I have about fifty rimfires of all designs and brands, and dry-fire them all, except for a 1953 Marlin Model 39A Mountie that has a firing pin design prone to breaking from dry-firing. I learned that the hard way after I received the rifle new as a boy to go with a Ruger Single Six to complete my "cowboy" rimfire set. I was "firing" from the cover of the living room couch at a western on television in the 1950s, and the next time I wanted to live-fire the Marlin, it would not fire. The forward part of the firing pin had broken off at a sharp angle point on the firing pin. A broken firing pin has not happened on any other rimfire I own, and none have received damage to the chamber edge from dry-firing.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:52 PM
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Default Uncocking Model 41

When I want to uncock my model 41, I retract the slide about 1/8 inch, or slightly more, and pull the trigger. The firing pin goes forward, but doesn't contact anything. I also bought the Tipton .22 snap caps, but seldom use them.
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:15 PM
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I've started using snap caps, they're cheap and it can't hurt.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:31 AM
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Default Dry Fire M 41

New to this forum. Recently purchased an early model 41 (circa 1967) to replace the one I sold about 50 years ago. That one was a 1963 vintage with the 7 3/8 barrel. I bought the gun new to shoot on a bullseye team at college and I think it came with a small version of a 50' target (about 3"X5") to "dry fire practice" at 10 or 15 feet. Does anyone remember seeing such a target included with the early guns, or has my memory failed me again?
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
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Use a drywall anchor and dry fire the snot out of it.
I guess I'm lucky because of my 41's came without any snot in them. Wouldn't cleaning have the same effect? Or did you mean the wall anchors have snot in them?
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:43 PM
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Usually there is nothing in the wall anchors at all except air. If there is something in them I for one would not use them at all.
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:43 PM
Leon Narozny Leon Narozny is offline
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Drake Owens.....if you want a false muzzle brake, e mail me....
leon38spl@aol.com
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:44 PM
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Snot was a little easier to type than saying dry fire all the 5's, 6's, 7's, 8's and 9's out of the M41. Save the 10's and X's for live ammo.
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:09 PM
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Default Dry Firing

Quote:
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I use the yellow plastic screw anchors that I bought at the Orange box, about 100 of them for 4 bucks. Seem to work well.
I have taken this excellent suggestion, and gone so far as to hand out a few each of the little yellow suckers to various friends. I feel like a missionary in the Congo. Good stuff. - nobody I knw has ever heard of it, and they appreciate it.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:31 PM
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Default Dry firing a 41

Remove the slide, push the firing pin forward and note if the pin goes beyond the face of the bolt. It should not! I did this with my 1967 41 and two other slide assemblys. None went beyond the bolt face. Next test....Insert a 1/4"wide paper strip (from a business card) in front of the bolt when the gun is cocked. Dry fire the gun! SURPRISE,not a mark on the paper. The only benefit of a plastic insert is to prevent the bolt from marking up the breech face. Enjoy your 41's.
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Old 03-30-2021, 05:00 AM
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we just bought a couple of new Model 41s a 5.5" and a 7" . Since Dry firing is the best way I know of to become familiar with your firearm and get in practice at home without buying ammo and going to the range. Here is what I plan to do.

I will remove the firing pins from both guns and just dry fire to our hearts content.
when I want to hear a Bang I will put the pins back in.

So what is wrong with this approach?

Last edited by Latch2013; 03-30-2021 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 03-30-2021, 07:58 AM
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Why not just use a drywall anchor?
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Old 03-30-2021, 08:41 AM
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Take a 10x loupe and look at the upper chamber rim. If there is a peen, guess what, firing pin hit it. If not, lucky you. If you peen the chamber rim I guess that won't be good for a tight tolerance gun like the 41. I did accidentally dry fire my 41 and also my MK4 once (lesson learned, always check chamber). Neither got a peen. I have seen a few excellent rifles with deformed and peened chambers...NOT GOOD.
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Old 03-30-2021, 08:43 AM
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This rimfire thing about the firing pin contacting the chamber is an old wives tale.

Maybe some poorly fit guns would do that, but certainly not a S&W model 41.

I have a Sig Trailside which is a copy of the Hammerli X-esse, and the firing pin doesn't contact the chamber. The rim of a 22 rimfire is fairly thick and if the firing pin is so long that it actually makes contact with the chamber, it would tear up the rim of the cartridge way too much during firing.

it would also split a chamber plug on the rim eventually and your gun would break its firing pin quite often if it was set up that way. Check your chamber with a magnifying glass. I'll bet that yours doesn't contact the chamber.

Dry firing most rimfires is no different than most centerfires. Don't worry!

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Old 03-30-2021, 09:01 AM
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The used High Standard I picked up had been dry fired extensively. The entrance to the chamber was peened to the point a cartridge would not chamber. Easy fix, but I don't dry fire it. Can't speak to the S&W 41.
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:09 AM
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I NEVER dry-fire any rimfire firearm for reasons posted here. Dry-firing to relieve pressure on the mainspring is not necessary.
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 824tsv View Post
Why not just use a drywall anchor?
I have done exactly that for years with all my 22 rimfires. It works great with rifles like the CZ and new T-bolts or with my GP100 revolver but with the semi autos that you have to rack the slide with you end up chasing drywall anchors all over the floor. So I was thinking why not just remove the firing pin which is a simple thing to do in most semi autos.
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Old 03-30-2021, 10:42 AM
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I have a 1970's production Model 41 , used it to shoot NRA Bullseye in a indoor shooting league for years .
I never dry fired it or "snapped" it to relieve tension on the spring .
More harm can occure from dry firing than leaving the spring under tension .
If I was worried about the spring I would buy some good snap caps , insert one , drop the hammer and leave it like that for storage .

It doesn't take much to slightly peen the rim ... then you have problems . I think so problems related to feeding and extraction may be caused by the peened rim and it may be so slight as to be unnoticeable at first glance .

I leave my Ruger MKI Target and MKII cocked for the same4 reason .

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Old 03-30-2021, 01:52 PM
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This thread is coming on 5 years old but there is good information here.

I see the decocking issue for a model 41 or similar as analogous to the common question about leaving a semi-auto magazine loaded, in that it is more the repeated compression and relaxation of the spring that causes stress. So in the grand scheme of things (and putting thousands of rounds through a pistol) leaving it cocked probably affects matters very little.
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:05 PM
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Default Removing firing pin on a model 41 to dry fire.

I sent S/W an email about removing the firing pin for their input. here is what they said:
"We would not recommend removing the firing pin.
Thank You for choosing Smith & Wesson / Thompson Center products. Have a great day."

All I can add "With technical assistance like this why would anyone ever choose another Manufacturer?"
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latch2013 View Post
I sent S/W an email about removing the firing pin for their input. here is what they said:
"We would not recommend removing the firing pin.
Thank You for choosing Smith & Wesson / Thompson Center products. Have a great day."

All I can add "With technical assistance like this why would anyone ever choose another Manufacturer?"
If you won't take "No" for an answer, why did you ask?
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:36 PM
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I don't think removing the firing pin is something that I would want to routinely do for dry-firing practice. I would instead use the yellow plastic dry-wall anchors.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:57 PM
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When I want to decock my Model 41, I just wait for a FTE and leave that way until the next time I shoot the gun... .
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamecock View Post
If you won't take "No" for an answer, why did you ask?
I guess I was hoping they would offer some "reasons" why it would not be advisable so I could then make an informed decision.
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:33 AM
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I use the No. 6 drywall screw anchors for rimfire dry firing, each is good for 10-12 shots.
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