Dry fireing

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by lop, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    Yeah, I know, don't do it with the p3. But what if you take the slide/barrel/spring assembly off and just have the frame. Granted, it is not much good for SD, but you can sit in your living room and get a good feel for trigger pull, finger placement and the like. It is such a dinky (with all due respect) gun, that handling it is different from full size guns. Will Dry Fireing without the slide hurt this gun? Any thoughts would be great. Thanks guys, Lop
  2. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Yes. There is nothing to stop the hammer in it's forward travel on my 1G P32 (just took it apart & looked). IIRC on some of the other KTs there is a thin web of frame material that can break.

    Buy a couple of snap caps.

  3. abuck50

    abuck50 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    NW Ohio
    I use snap caps! I dry fire mine at home with my laser. My accuracy has improved dramaticly since I got my laser. I could see the dot drop almost a foot at 25' when pulling the trigger!

  4. ptk

    ptk New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Instead of battering the steel firing pin against its steel retaining screw (the problem with the slide on), you will be hitting the aluminum frame with the steel hammer. I would expect some combination of a cracked frame, deformed top of magazine well, and loosening of the hammer pin holes.

    All in all, you are, in my estimation, cheaper and safer to break the firing pin by dry firing with the slide on. Best plan is to get some good snap caps (I like A-Zoom), and dry fire the heck out of it. I actually use home-made snap caps (I reload), but I have holes drilled in those cases to identify them safely.
  5. ptk

    ptk New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
  6. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    I don't recall if the mods take too kindly to linking other forums into this one and maybe especially since it seems to be a very similar subject matter.

    However, the snap cap topic has been covered here numerous times and there are a lot of good technical threads with tips and advice at the link below, including snap caps.


    This is the snap cap thread http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1203485664/0#0
  7. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    Snap caps it is. Thanks. Can I make some with just fitting a wooden bullet so it will feed, or do I need to replicate the Primer also? Ptk, how do you make yours?
  8. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    The "problems" with this is that there is nothing to cushion the firing pin. Good snap caps, like A-Zoom for example, have a "primer" that is made to give the firing pin some protection. And most of all, it is designed to still give the same protection after being hit over and over and over again - or IOW, reusable.

  9. ptk

    ptk New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Re: Dry firing

    I suppose a wooden bullet would work (can you find one?), but I just used a regular bullet. Or did you mean to say "cartridge" instead of "bullet"? You need something similar to a primer (soft metal) for the firing pin to hit. Wood would only last a couple strikes here.

    I drilled out the primer hole to accept a copper rivet, which I cut to flush with the base of the case, and seated a bullet, with a spring between the bullet and the rivet. Thus, the firing pin is hitting a copper rivet that is spring loaded. The copper rivet wears out after a few hundred strikes, but I just have to cut another one down and replace it when that happens. Others have reported success with gasket compound or similar in an empty primer hole.

    The case was sized with a standard .380 sizing die. The mouth was belled with a 9mm Luger expander die. The bullet was seated with a 9mm Luger bullet seater (with some difficulty; it is a forceful spring in there). Finally, I crimped with a .380 ACP taper crimp die. All dies were mounted on my RCBS Rockchucker reloading press.

    The dies alone cost a lot more than a set of five A-zoom (or other brand) snap caps. I do not even recommend reloading for the P-3AT unless you already reload for 9mm, which gives you the press and half the dies. I use A-zoom for all my other calibers. I just made these as a project to see what would work.
  10. TucsonMTB

    TucsonMTB New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Tucson Arizona
    Snap caps are great. But, even the good quality brands will eventually wear out, so check them from time to time. When they fail, the firing pin stays in the hole it has worn and locks up the pistol completely making it very hard to extract the failed snap cap.

    TucsonMTB . . . who is hoping a word to the wise is sufficient
  11. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    Snap caps it is. Thanks. As to the questions about the wooden bullet, I was going to make one on the lathe. easy and fun.
  12. alioop

    alioop Banned

    Aug 28, 2008
    Good info to know. I was wondering how long my snap caps would last. Or how I could tell if it was time to change them. I use them on both my BT380 and the P3. So would this lock up happen on both? Thanks.
  13. TucsonMTB

    TucsonMTB New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Tucson Arizona
    I have no experience with the Bersa, so you will have to be the judge.  The severity of the lockup in the P-3AT depends on how much force it takes to pull back the slide when the firing pin punches through the impact area and wedges in the worn out snap cap.  

    It happened to a guy on the forum some time ago.  He manged to get the slide back eventually.  There is not much to grip on such a small pistol, which adds to the difficulty.  Understanding what has happened is half the battle because you will be quicker to find a stationary piece of wood to push the front of the slide against.  That will apply the necessary force safely.  :D

    The process is similar to clearing a hard three point jam on a 1911.  In the 1911, the unfired cartridge jams with its nose in the chamber.  More force is required to move the slide than I can apply by gripping the slide.  Pressing the leading edge of the slide hard against the edge of the wooden shooting bench works every time.   ;)