Malfunction Drills

stngray713

New member
Hey folks, I have been visiting this site frequently but just decided to jump in to the discussion. I have been wanting to incorporate malfunction drills into my training. What I am wondering is could I cause any damage to my firearm buy loading expended brass into my magazines? It seems like it should be fine but every time I think about the sharp edge of the brass jamming into the chamber I cringe a little. I know I could use snap caps for this but they aren't cheap and I worry I will lose them in the dirt or across the firing line at the range as I plan to try and clear the malfunction quickly without losing sight of the target. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
 

I take empty brass and reloaded them with just the bullet, no primer or powder. Its alot cheaper then snap caps. Just make sure you keep them separate from live ammo, I have a .40 caliber hole in my living room wall thanks to my cousin mixing his magazines up as a constant reminder to always check and double check.
 
This is a disaster waiting to happen. You'll rue the day you mixed up the dummy ammo with the real thing and I can almost guarantee that it will eventually happen. Take a handgun course at Front Sight and you'll learn how to dry practice the safe way, and no, I'm not associated with them other than being a member.
 
Don't be a cheapskate. BUY THE SNAP CAPS. Source them on the internet, they aren't THAT expensive, and they're a one-time purchase.
 
It shouldn't cause any damage to your gun. Brass is softer then the gunsteel the barrel is made of. But just buy the snap caps. It is better in the end. You won't loose them, there are some that are made of blaze orange polymer. I think they are made by a-zoom?.
 
Is it worth it?

You could load an orange plastic bullet into regular brass or paint the empty rounds orange if you are trying not to buy Snap Caps, but we're talking about an expense of $9.99 per pack of 5 from Link Removed and shipping of $4 for one. They happen to be on sale until the end of Oct. 2011. It might just be worth it to save shipping and pick up two or three, or ask some buddies if they need some and combine shipping!
 
Get the snap caps/dummy ammo... Keep track of it and make sure it is removed from magazines once dry fire/malfunction drills have been completed... The Front Sight 4 Day Defensive Handgun Course is a right of passage for carry permit holders, I recommend it... Going back down again in the spring for the skills builder, then it's tactical rifle time Oh Yea!!!
 
84B20:233862 said:
This is a disaster waiting to happen. You'll rue the day you mixed up the dummy ammo with the real thing and I can almost guarantee that it will eventually happen. Take a handgun course at Front Sight and you'll learn how to dry practice the safe way, and no, I'm not associated with them other than being a member.

I second this reply. Front sight will teach you how to practice the malfunction drills safety with live ammo, snap caps, or dry. Yes, dry. Feeding empty shells through your gun is bad practice. Expended shells have expanded, and are much too short and Sharp-edged to feed reliably, and may over time cause excess wear or other damage to your gun.

Hint: The price of your gun isn't the only factor to consider when buying. You must also commit to paying for quality accessories and training upkeep. This includes snap caps for malfunction drills, and plenty of spare mags (they WILL wear out over time if you're training correctly.)

Peace out.
 
Izzy4175:233743 said:
I take empty brass and reloaded them with just the bullet, no primer or powder. Its alot cheaper then snap caps. Just make sure you keep them separate from live ammo, I have a .40 caliber hole in my living room wall thanks to my cousin mixing his magazines up as a constant reminder to always check and double check.

I agree snap caps are expensive, but I also think they are a worthy purchase as well. If you absolutely can't afford them, then this does seem cheaper if you have the equipment...I would make en effort to really make them stand out by painting them orange as well...if you leave some behind oh well.
 
empty cases should be fine we used quite a few in the cfs class. sometimes you even get failure to feeds in addition to the click rather than bang issue. and they are always available. I haven't seen any damage on my glock or xd's or even 1911's. I wouldn't use them on a aluminum commander or variant unless it has a ramped barrel though. Yes ideally snap caps are probably better but it takes away from the spontaneity of it. the only issues I see are if You are in a group and shooting different calibers, stick to the caliber of your firearms.
 
n4sxx:234805 said:
If you opt. to use reload brass and no powder take and drill a small hole to show you that no damage will resault

I disagree! This deforms the brass even more! And potentially leaves Sharp burrs or metal shavings to damage your gun. Please, people, stick with dry practice or snap caps at home, or use live rounds at the range. The potential damage to your gun is not worth the relatively tiny expense for a pack of snap caps. And a pack is all you need. Even the feedway malfunction drill only needs three to set up properly. Don't skimp on that gun you just paid good money for: invest in it.

And spontaneity? Really? When has that line of thinking ever been a good idea? LOL
 
n4sxx:234805 said:
If you opt. to use reload brass and no powder take and drill a small hole to show you that no damage will resault

I disagree! This deforms the brass even more! And potentially leaves Sharp burrs or metal shavings to damage your gun. Please, people, stick with dry practice or snap caps at home, or use live rounds at the range. The potential damage to your gun is not worth the relatively tiny expense for a pack of snap caps. And a pack is all you need. Even the feedway malfunction drill only needs three to set up properly. Don't skimp on that gun you just paid good money for: invest in it.

And spontaneity? Really? When has that line of thinking ever been a good idea? LOL

Providence Ranch sounds like a broken record, but he is absolutely right. How are you paying $15-30 PER box of ammunition, extra liability insurance, range fees, targets, hearing protection, magazines, holsters, and we're talking about "not being able to afford" $10 and shipping for five Snap Caps to practice drills that will save your life and others? Man Up and buy the proper equipment for the training you need.

Thanks for sticking to a principle, Providence Ranch! Keep hammering and they'll eventually hear it!
 
I do agree that ideally one should use some form of snap cap if possible, heck I have them in calibers I don't own. that being said, Is is okay to only practice malfunction drills when you remember to prep your gun for it? Out at the range and forgot them, no practice today then? Rob Pincus was the first person I trained with who utilized empties, and we used a lot of them. Personally I would use pre-made ie store bought snap caps to homemade ones,(empties included), but to not train because of not having the (right) setup, isn't the solution either. I have seen absolutely no evidence of scratched feed ramps or what other problems on any of my guns due to them.
 
Thanks for all the suggestions. After some more thought about what you guys say it wouldn't make much sense for me to pay so much for the weapon and all the ammo and training it wouldn't make sense to skimp on the $5 or $10 for snap caps.
 
How did you get to train with Rob Pincus? I really enjoy his segments on "Best Defense". I always wondered what he was using when he did malfunction drills, as watching him was what sparked the idea that I needed to do it.
 
They have a ICE trainer in South Dakota, Last year I took the Combat Focus Shooting class. This year Rob came down for the Advanced pistol handling class. We did a lot of unorthodox training, good stuff. He was the first person I saw do the empty case thing. If one is squeamish about ruining their guns with empties, don't take his class. lol Do take his training, it is quite an eye opener. Weak hand only malfunction clearing is possible, but hard on gear. My glock kydex holster looks like it got ran through a snow blower. point is, gear is expendable, period. Most people who want to save their guns, never learn to use them. I am not advocating abusing them, but they will pick up scars. It is every ones choice as to how serious they actually are willing to train. Is your financial expenditure(gear cost) more important than being able to know you can run it? In less than ideal conditions, in the event your life depends on it? I have never seen other shooters actually bring snap-caps with them to any training class, even informal training. Talk is one thing doing, another. The guys on this site seem to take it seriously though. If you do I applaud You. In my Utah CCW classes I utilize snap caps alot, even staging different malfunctions for the students to fix.
 
...My glock kydex holster looks like it got ran through a snow blower. point is, gear is expendable, period. Most people who want to save their guns, never learn to use them. I am not advocating abusing them, but they will pick up scars. It is every ones choice as to how serious they actually are willing to train.

Reno92, this is a blasphemy to those that buy it new and expect it to be a showpiece after a year of carrying and training! The truth is if you want to learn anything, it is going to be damaging to the gun AND the equipment. There is a reason that police and military trade-ins look the way they do...most of it is NOT carry marks but training damage.

I always buy a gun that I'm going to carry from the used category but in over 90% condition, that way I save a lot of money on it but the action and bore have a long way to go for training, dropping, throwing, whatever is necessary to learn and survive and I don't hesitate to do it because I might damage the finish.

Gun owners have to decide if they are collectors and need to protect the pristine finish or if they are survivors and need to learn the skill necessary to survive, which means sacrificing tools and equipment to sharpen the mind.
 
I can virtually guarantee that using unsized, empty brass will cause you serious headaches. I make dummies as needed for whatever caliber I want by drilling 1 or 2 holes through the case about 1/3 of the way up from the base before cleaning or sizing. This way there are no burrs or deformities on the outside of the case. I load with whatever odd bullets I have on the bench usually from some long ago project so most of the time, the bullets are different than my normal loads.
My thoughts are that if a shooter can't look at his ammo as he's loading it and recognize these marked dummy loads, he's too distracted or incompetent to be using a firearm.
 
I take empty brass and reloaded them with just the bullet, no primer or powder. Its alot cheaper then snap caps. Just make sure you keep them separate from live ammo, I have a .40 caliber hole in my living room wall thanks to my cousin mixing his magazines up as a constant reminder to always check and double check.

I've seen the 'no primer' loads used in training classes but the no-loads are always died black or some other easily recognized color to separate them from the brass loads. Do you do that?
 

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