Dry Fire - Benefits, Firearm Damage & New Technologies

Dry Fire - Benefits, Firearm Damage & New Technologies

What is dry firing? - Dry firing is the practice of firing a firearm without using live ammunition. It provides a budget-friendly method to safely practice handling various firearms without needing expensive ammunition or a visit to the range. This short article introduces a few main topics about dry firing. 

  • Dry Firing - The Main Advantages 
  • Can Dry Firing Damage My Firearm? 
  • Smart Way To Dry Fire With Trainshot

Dry Fire - The Main Advantages 

Cost-Effective, time-saving: Each trigger press and reload is money spent on ammunition. We also have to count on the wear on your firearm during live fire training. Time is also valuable, therefore, you need to consider the time spent driving to the range and the associated range fees. When you add all these factors together, one or two training sessions at the range can cost as much as a nice small trip outside with your family. However, with new smart technologies developed for dry firing, you can reintroduce engagement, thrill, and statistical tracking to your everyday training without spending any money during the shooting drill.

Safety: Since no live ammunition is used during dry fire, the risk of accidental discharges and injuries is low. Just remember, it is a good practice to put all your live ammunition out of reach, preferably in another room. Also, double-check to ensure that your firearm is unloaded and any magazines in the area that you are doing dry fire practice are empty too.

Gain confidence handling your firearm: Some may call it “playing” with your gun when you are at home. However, there is a difference between handling a gun freely outside a range and deliberately practicing grip, aim, draw, transition between targets, or one of many more basic drills that do not involve even pulling a trigger. These drills will make you more confident when you actually go to the range for some live training. 

Tracking your progress: As everything around us becomes increasingly connected to smartphones, the shooting industry needs to keep pace with current trends. Today, dry fire technologies offer methods to monitor progress in specific drills and even incorporate gamification into training for a more engaging experience. Trainshot is one of the leading companies embracing and innovating with this technology.

Can Dry Firing Damage My Firearm?

The type of your gun will determine whether it is suitable for dry firing, or if you need to take some precautions. Be sure to do your research on your specific model.

Damage caused to the rim-fire gun


In the case of this gun type, the firing pin is designed to impact the brass rim of the cartridge. Notably, brass is a softer metal compared to steel. When dry firing a rimfire gun, the firing pin strikes the much harder steel of the breech face, transmitting a significant amount of force.

Excessive dry firing of rimfire weapons can lead to the "peening" of the firing pin. Peening involves the creation of a dent at the point where the firing pin makes contact with the chamber mouth. If you frequently dry fire a rimfire gun, overtime it can be susceptible to malfunctions and misfires. We DO NOT recommend doing dry fire practice with rimfire guns unless you are using something to prevent damage such as snap caps (see below).

Is it the same risk with center fire?

Dry Fire center and rimfire casing

Dry-firing is generally safe for centerfire firearms. When there is no ammunition in the chamber, the firing pin stops at the end of its travel due to the pin stop. However, exceptions exist to this rule.

Certain centerfire firearms may have firing pins crafted from brittle materials like wrought iron, MIM steel, and other fragile metals. It is advisable not to dry-fire these guns, as the firing pin may break or shatter upon contact with the pin stop, posing the risk of permanent damage to your firearm.

Eliminate the risk of damage using snap caps 

Improvements in metallurgy, design, and technology mean components have become more robust and longer-lasting. However, firearms were designed to be fired with a round in the chamber. So if you want to be sure, use a snap cap.

A snap cap is shaped like a standard cartridge but it lacks functional components such as the primer, propellant (gunpowder), and projectile (bullet or slug). It is a single-piece outer shell that contains a false primer that is either spring-buffered, made of rubber or soft polymer, or none at all. The springs or plastic will cushion the firing pin's impact and protect it from damage.

Snap caps exist in different types and calibers so you can safely practice dry fire with many types of firearm. 

Dry Fire snap cap

Smart Way To Dry Fire With Trainshot

Yes, You can practice dry firing your firearm without any additional piece of technology. Practice your gun grip, draw, or aim by using everyday household objects as targets or focus points. Yet, modern smart technologies allow us to bring much more engagement and tracking capabilities to dry fire training.

Trainshot uses an infrared emitter attachment. This device detects the impact of the hammer or firing pin, emitting a short burst of infrared light. The target then detects this light and sends the information to the Trainshot App.

Dry Fire Trainshot infrared emitter

One dry fire system contains three targets, but you can connect up to 12 targets to your smart device and create multiple shooting scenarios. Each target is equipped with three bright RGB LEDs that signal which target to shoot. Additionally, there is a multiplayer function to stage a small competition in your house.

Dry Fire hit detection

You can choose from several shooting drills where the system trains you and measures reaction times. Data is stored in the app for progress tracking.

Dry Fire results in trainshot app

For more information visit our Trianshot Dry Fire section of the website.

Final Thoughts

At Trainshot, having designed various live fire systems such as the Starter Kit, PRO Kit, and Steel Targets, we recognized the necessity of developing a system specifically for dry fire training. The advantages of the dry fire system and long-term cost savings for the customer were perfectly aligned with our mission to make engaging training accessible to the masses. 

We built our dry fire system on the same platform as our live fire versions. All you need is a single firearm and a smart device (phone or tablet) with the Trainshot app. Use the same app for both dry firing (with the dry fire targets) and live firing (with the starter kit). All your shooting results are stored in one location within your Trainshot App.

This short article should give you a short introduction to the topics surrounding dry fire training. Keep learning, training, and explore how your training can benefit from new technology. 

Team Trainshot.

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