There has been a lot of debate over "Dry
Firing" a firearm. Whether it is good or bad to dry fire your gun is not
the issue of this page. This page is just about a little trick that I came
up with to make your own snap cap. I received an email asking me about the
availability of a snap cap for the 444 Marlin so I figured I would put this
page up for others to see.
The Firearms manufacturers tell you that
you shouldn't dry fire your gun unless you use a snap cap. The manufacturers
of the snap caps would surely agree since their livelihood is to sell them.
So why do the sporting good stores and mail order warehouses only stock popular
calibers of snap caps?
When I got my first gun, Marlin 444 from my Grandfather, I was told never to dry fire it. Does dry firing hurt the firing pin? Why take that chance for the cost of a snap cap? I looked around for a snap cap in 444 Marlin, and looked, and looked and looked. No such luck. There were plenty of shotgun snap caps, plenty of 357 and 44 magnum, plenty of 243, 308, and 30-06 as well.
After all the searching and coming back empty handed I decided to make my own. I started reloading for the 444 due to the poor selection of factory ammunition. So if your a reloader here is a simple way to make one, if you haven't done so already.
Run the empty case through the sizing die and decap the spent primer. Put a bullet into the throat of the case and seat it as you would a live round. Put a fairly tight crimp on the bullet. Clean off the case so its free of dirt and oils and spray paint it a bright color. Red, orange, yellow, whatever you have laying around the house even. Next break the eraser off the end of a pencil. Trim it with a knife or razor blade to fit into the primer pocket so it is just recessed below the surface of the head. Mix some two part epoxy and glue the eraser into the primer pocket. Put a good amount of epoxy into the primer pocket and press the eraser in until it is flush with the cartridge head. You want some of the epoxy to push through the flash hole to secure it better.
You now have a snap cap for any caliber that you reload for and it cost you less then ordering a hard to find snap cap, if they even make one in your caliber.
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