Many paintball players need clarification about dry firing, and it’s sometimes a good idea. If you do this, your paintball gun will not be affected. But there are a few reasons why the dry shooting story has stuck around. Even though it is safe, sometimes dry shooting has some adverse effects. The question that needs to be answered is: Is it bad to fire a paintball gun without paintballs?
What is Dry Firing?
Dry firing is simply shooting a paintball gun without any paintballs in it. It’s often used as a way to practice because it’s cheaper than buying paintballs and helps players get a feel for their gun’s trigger pull and aim. It’s also a great way to test and change your gun’s settings and determine what’s wrong if you’re having problems.
One of the people’s most typical concerns about dry shooting is what it can do with their paintball gun. Even though a few shots won’t hurt your paintball gun, if you do it all the time, it can damage the gun’s internal parts over time.
You don’t have to think about anything if you dry fire a few times. You should know that air is forced through the barrels inside when you pull the trigger on a paintball gun. The trigger will release the sear, a small piece that keeps everything in place against the pressure from the canister and moves the shooting unit forward as the gas is released. After this, the ball will be moved out at speed, and what happens next depends on your paintball gun. When you dry fire, air flows through the interior valves without pallets.
What Can Be Damaged By Dry Firing?
The o-rings inside your marker are likely to be the first part of your gun that will be damaged by dry fire. O-rings are made of polyurethane, a type of plastic. They are easy to break, especially when hit by the force of CO2 or high-pressure air.
The solenoid is another part of a marker that is susceptible to damage when dry firing. When a solenoid is damaged, the most practical solution is to replace it with a new one. If you use a mechanical marker, you will be happy to know that solenoids are only found in electro-pneumatic paintball guns.
Excessive dry firing may damage the ball detent, another standard part of a paintball gun. Dry firing can cause damage to the same features of a marker that can be damaged during regular firing.
Is It Bad to Dry Fire a Paintball Gun With No Air?
You can fire your paintball gun without using CO2 or compressed air. Even though it might cause minor damage to the trigger system over time, this shouldn’t be a big deal.
Some high-end paintball guns even have a training mode that lets you fire your marker safely while the air tank is still connected. If you use training mode, you won’t have to worry about putting too much damage on your internals like you would if you dry-fired all the time. When you use training mode, your marker will react the same way if you were shooting it with an air connection because when you’re in training mode, your paintball gun has to partly spin the bolt so that it has some natural recoil.
What’s the Safest Way to Dry Fire Your Marker?
The safer method is to produce blow-back pressure by wearing a barrel cover or placing a squeegee halfway down the barrel. Leave a tiny portion of barrel porting open to allow airflow. These two methods will provide more blow-back pressure than dry shooting your marker. This blow-back pressure approach is still less safe than shooting your marker with a paintball in the breach.
A better query than “Is it bad to dry fire a gun?” could be “Is there another option to dry-firing? There are options, which is a good thing. You can buy snap caps instead of dry fire. A snap cap is a non-working copy of a live cartridge of the same size. You can put snap caps in your magazines, which will charge and fire, but they don’t have any gunpowder or triggers.
A standard snap cap for a centerfire gun has a fake primer on a spring meant to soften the force of the firing pin. Usually, rimfire snap caps are made out of hard plastic or metal. Most snap caps are painted in bright colors like blue or orange, which makes them easy to tell apart from real bullets.