Ruger Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who didn't read my thread from a few hours ago, I just shot 100 rounds (basically my first time shooting) at the range this morning. I forgot to ask my instructor two questions that maybe yall can help with.

1) What is a dry fire? I assume it's when no round is chambered and you pull the trigger. We had one round stovepipe and I didn't notice and pulled the trigger again. From everything I've read, shouldn't that have broken the firing pin? After all, the stovepiped round prevented the next round from fully chambering so I guess it was basically a dry fire.

2) How can you tell if a semiauto pistol is cocked? Example: we were shooting a Mk III competition model and he taught me that every time I set the weapon down I should remove the magazine and lock the bolt back (or slide, whatever you want to call it) so everyone who looks at it can tell it's unloaded. Now, when I released the bolt (no magazine in) did that "cock" the weapon? It's easy to tell if a revolver is cocked but I'm not sure how to tell if a semiauto is, especially one with an internal hammer.

2 cont.) Does a weapon have to be cocked in order to dry fire?

Thanks much for helping a noob! :cool:
 

·
Retired Moderator & Jazz Nerd
Joined
·
16,351 Posts
By ... In answer to your questions:
1. The MKIII has a firing pin stop that doesn't allow the firing pin to strike the breech face, so dry firing your MKIII is not a problem.

2. Any time you cycle/release the bolt with the magazine in or out it will cock your MKIII. You can not however release the trigger with the magazine out as the MKIII has a magazine disconnect that prohibits the gun from firing if the magazine is not in place.

3 You must cycle the bolt and have the magazine in place in order to dry fire.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
17,810 Posts
byoung, 1. Yes, dry fire means there is no cartridge in the chamber when you pull the trigger with the hammer cocked. No, the MK III is designed where the hammer will not release unless the bolt is fully forward. This is called "in full battery". The MK III is designed where dry firing will not damage the firing pin nor will it damage the chamber mouth.

2. When the bolt moves to the rear from being loaded, unloaded, fired, or by manually pulling it back, it will cock the internal hammer. With a MK III, the thumb safety can be moved to the "SAFE" position only when the internal hammer is cocked so the easy way to check is to try to switch the thumb safety up in the "SAFE" position. If it won't go into the SAFE position, the internal hammer is NOT cocked.

2 cont. Yes, any firearm that is dry fired means the hammer starts out being cocked. Of course the hammer will only release once so you have to pull the bolt back manually to recock the hammer. MK IIIs have a magazine disconnect ... which means the gun will not live fire or dry fire without a magazine latched in place. With an empty magazine secured in place, when you pull the bolt back to cock the internal hammer, the bolt lock will actuate and lock the bolt back. To release the bolt and dry fire again, you must pull the bolt back just a little to relieve tension, then push down on the bolt stop and ease the bolt forward. If the magazine is loaded, the bolt will not automatically lock back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,978 Posts
Those are some good questions I'm sure a lot of beginners ask. Thanks for posting them.

1) Dry firing is cocking the gun and pulling the trigger with no rounds in the cylinder, if it is a revolver, and no rounds in the chamber if it is an autoloader, but, for the sake of safety, do remove that magazine, first, even if the mag is empty - just a good precaution. Besides, on a Mark III, removing the magazine means you don't have to it the slide release to release the bolt.

The whole idea of dry firing is to practice your trigger technique, which is a huge part of shooing a pistol, accurately. With your sights on a convenient target, gun unloaded, but cocked, of course, squeeze the trigger. If the front sight moves, at all, score it as a miss. A miss means your trigger and/or grip needs to be improved. If the front sight remains perfectly on target when after you've squeezed the trigger, score it a hit.

There's more to it, of course, but that's the idea. For a beginner, it will help improve your shooting, but there is also a danger that must be addressed, too. Ammunition must be kept in a separate location. That's common sense. Most of all, you must FIRST develop the habit of checking to see if the gun is loaded each and every time you pick up a gun, even if you only had the gun out five minutes, ago. Until you have this on automatic as a habit, you are not ready to start dry firing or handling a pistol, period. Developing a dry fire habit without first developing the habit of checking the loaded status by opening the action is a very dangerous situation.

2) Pulling the bolt back on a Mark III cocks it. Pulling the slide back on other semi-autos does the same thing. On semi-autos with an exposed hammer, like a 1911, you can visually see that the gun is cocked or not by noting the position of the hammer, same as on most revolvers. On most semi-autos, you can't know the gun is cocked because the hammer is not visible.

On a Mark III and some other semi-automatic pistols, there is a loaded chamber indicator (LCI) that will tell you if there is a round in the chamber. These can be helpful for a beginner to see if there is a round in the chamber, but an LCI is NO SUBSTITUTE for opening the action and first taking a look. Remember, a gun is loaded until you and only you determine that it isn't. It's your responsibility every time you touch a gun. You don't take someone else's word for it, you don't assume, you check it for yourself, always, always, always, each and very time you pick up a gun, any gun.

Handling a semiauto means you must be ever vigilant to know the loaded status of the gun. Make no mistake, removing the magazine on an auto is not unloading it. Removing the magazine does not automatically make the gun safe. You still have to open the action and check the chamber. Every year someone will shoot themselves or a bystander because they thought that just removing the magazine made the gun safe. The round in the chamber is still there and all it takes is a pull of the trigger.

Whew! I'm sure you will get a lot more posts on this, but this is a start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
Handling a semiauto means you must be ever vigilant to know the loaded status of the gun. Make no mistake, removing the magazine on an auto is not unloading it. Removing the magazine does not automatically make the gun safe. You still have to open the action and check the chamber. Every year someone will shoot themselves or a bystander because they thought that just removing the magazine made the gun safe. The round in the chamber is still there and all it takes is a pull of the trigger.
I wonder if loaded camber indicators & magazine disconnects (lawyer repellant) sometimes have the unintended consequence of making guns less safe.

Somebody who's used to these "safety" features might become careless about the most basic safety precaution of checking to make sure the chamber is indeed empty. Just consider how often Glock is blamed for their "dangerous" design that requires one pull the trigger before the gun may be stripped. For Glock stripping to shoot somebody they have to manage to fail twice with the top two rules of gun handling:

1. They apparently didn't make sure the chamber was empty.
2. They didn't point it in a safe direction just in case they were wrong about it being empty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,978 Posts
I wonder if loaded camber indicators & magazine disconnects (lawyer repellant) sometimes have the unintended consequence of making guns less safe.

Somebody who's used to these "safety" features might become careless about the most basic safety precaution of checking to make sure the chamber is indeed empty. Just consider how often Glock is blamed for their "dangerous" design that requires one pull the trigger before the gun may be stripped. For Glock stripping to shoot somebody they have to manage to fail twice with the top two rules of gun handling:

1. They apparently didn't make sure the chamber was empty.
2. They didn't point it in a safe direction just in case they were wrong about it being empty.
I've had the same thoughts, from time to time. Newbies might develop too much of a reliance on safety gadgets rather than practice sage gun handling. Safety gadgets can fail and a newcomer might wrongly assume that all guns have these same features when they start handling a gun that doesn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
+1 to that North Coutry Gal. The best saftey gadget is a well trained shooter.The other things just keep the lawyers busy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I totally agree. When my instructor was teaching me about gun safety and proper handling, he'd pick up the gun to show me something. Every he did, he would have me verbally confirm that no magazine was in and that no round was in the chamber. Every time it was put down it would be put down with the bolt locked back. We did this every time even if the gun was picked up and put down 5 times in a minute. He drilled it into me lol.

I even had my first safety "lightbulb" earlier today. I went to a local gunshop to handle a few guns (most not Rugers) to see which grips I liked the best. The first gun he pulled out was a Beretta 92 and tried to put it straight from the case into my hand. I asked him politely to confirm there was no magazine in and no round in the chamber, then lock the slide back. And I confirmed it again myself when he handed it to me. Woohoo for safety!

And back on topic, thanks for the info about cocking and dry firing. I think I've got it down now, but I will return when more questions pop into my head!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,978 Posts
I totally agree. When my instructor was teaching me about gun safety and proper handling, he'd pick up the gun to show me something. Every he did, he would have me verbally confirm that no magazine was in and that no round was in the chamber. Every time it was put down it would be put down with the bolt locked back. We did this every time even if the gun was picked up and put down 5 times in a minute. He drilled it into me lol.

I even had my first safety "lightbulb" earlier today. I went to a local gunshop to handle a few guns (most not Rugers) to see which grips I liked the best. The first gun he pulled out was a Beretta 92 and tried to put it straight from the case into my hand. I asked him politely to confirm there was no magazine in and no round in the chamber, then lock the slide back. And I confirmed it again myself when he handed it to me. Woohoo for safety!

And back on topic, thanks for the info about cocking and dry firing. I think I've got it down now, but I will return when more questions pop into my head!
Well done, well done! A gun sales person who doesn't know better than to hand you a gun without first clearing the action shouldn't be behind the gun counter. You did exactly right to insist that he/she open the action, first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
+1 again north country gal. every gun shore I've ever been to the sales person checks the gun and locks the slide back if it has one before he hands it over. But then again all the gun stores I go to rent full autos right up to belt fed guns. So the people who work these stores are well trained.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
I totally agree. When my instructor was teaching me about gun safety and proper handling, he'd pick up the gun to show me something. Every he did, he would have me verbally confirm that no magazine was in and that no round was in the chamber. Every time it was put down it would be put down with the bolt locked back. We did this every time even if the gun was picked up and put down 5 times in a minute. He drilled it into me lol.

I even had my first safety "lightbulb" earlier today. I went to a local gunshop to handle a few guns (most not Rugers) to see which grips I liked the best. The first gun he pulled out was a Beretta 92 and tried to put it straight from the case into my hand. I asked him politely to confirm there was no magazine in and no round in the chamber, then lock the slide back. And I confirmed it again myself when he handed it to me. Woohoo for safety!

And back on topic, thanks for the info about cocking and dry firing. I think I've got it down now, but I will return when more questions pop into my head!
You just keep poping back. Someone will always help. There are no dumb ???'s
except the one you don't ask.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
For those of you who didn't read my thread from a few hours ago, I just shot 100 rounds (basically my first time shooting) at the range this morning. I forgot to ask my instructor two questions that maybe yall can help with.
2) How can you tell if a semiauto pistol is cocked? Example: we were shooting a Mk III competition model and he taught me that every time I set the weapon down I should remove the magazine and lock the bolt back (or slide, whatever you want to call it) so everyone who looks at it can tell it's unloaded. Now, when I released the bolt (no magazine in) did that "cock" the weapon? It's easy to tell if a revolver is cocked but I'm not sure how to tell if a semiauto is, especially one with an internal hammer.
If you have a MK III it comes with a 'loaded chamber indicator'. I would suggest that you read the instruction manual for your pistol. Many of your questions are answered there. If you do not have one, go here to download it: https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/markIII.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
One thing loaded chamber indicators have in common--we are taught not to trust them! Always follow visual inspection of the chamber and manual (finger poke if you can't see) to check for a loaded gun. OP is being taught correctly.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top