Florida Concealed Carry banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
16,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
  • Like
Reactions: BeerHunter

· Registered
Joined
·
16,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Let me see if I can copy it here. It's kind of long with lots of photos. Imagine that!
I was able to copy-paste the article below (comment #3).
 
  • Like
Reactions: BeerHunter

· Registered
Joined
·
16,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gun building discussions can be quite esoteric, and we can dwell on and wax philosophic about the virtues of a baby-butt-smooth RSA channel and the differences between various generations of ejectors. By contrast it seems any conversations about snap-caps would be rather mundane. Maybe not!

Snap-Caps are "de rigeur" for any builder worth his or her salt. They can serve a number of purposes. For gun builders, they are a safe way to function test a pistol. Hopefully most of us agree that a new build should never taste live ammo until it's at the range. But, before we head to the range, we need to function and safety test our builds... with Snap-Caps. ONLY! Riiiiiiiiiight?
Gun barrel Font Air gun Wood Trigger

While Snap-Caps can also be used for training at the range to diagnose a flinch or run malfunction drills, builders like us mostly use them for function and safety testing.

Metal or Plastic?
There is a myriad of brands and types of inert / "dummy" rounds that we generically refer to as "Snap-Caps." I cannot speak to all of them. But, they come in varieties that are made of plastic, metal, or a combination.

When I got my first sets of Snap-Caps, I figured metal would be better / last longer than plastic. So, I got some made of solid aluminum with a rubber "primer" inserts to absorb the impact of the firing pin strikes. A-Zoom "Precision Training Rounds" seemed to enjoy a good reputation on various gun forums. $16 for five rounds. After I got the first set of five, and they seemed to be "good to go," I ordered another pack of five. I figured I'd want to load a mag with more than five.
Capsule Ingredient Rectangle Font Staple food
Plastic versions of Snap-Caps typically cost half or less. I figured metal is stronger and better, right? Worth the extra expense, right?

Failures? The gun? Or the snap-caps?
I've used them quite a bit over the course of four builds. During recent function testing of my latest build, I noticed sometimes I'd have failures to eject. My first thought was that it was my build. Eventually, I figured that it might be some of the snap caps. Perhaps, this is why:
Liquid Lipstick Cosmetics Automotive lighting Fluid

The rims at the back of the rounds were getting chipped. I suspect there wasn't enough "meat" left on the rim for the extractor to grab. When I used newer A-Zoom snap-caps, the extraction problems went away. Hooray! Also... Where did the fragments from the chips go?

I'll add that it really didn't take long for the all-aluminum A-Zooms to start looking that rough. I'll admit I can't offer a number of cycles, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that they can last for "thousands" of dry fires. Ummm... yeah... no way. I'm going to guess I've cycled them in the range of low hundreds - if that.

Just keep buying the same ones?
I'm planning for a number of future builds, so I wondered if I should just keep buying more of the same as they wear out.... Or, is there something better? Maybe I need to level up my Snap-Cap game? Is it even possible? Or are they all pretty much the same?

I invoked my Google-fu and found some online articles about the "best Snap-Caps." One particular brand caught my eye in one of the review articles, even though it was rated 5th out of five brands reviewed. Despite ranking dead last, the review was all positive - save one thing: They were the most expensive. But, they weren't really the most expensive. They happen to ring in at about the same "per round" price as the A-Zoom brand. But, they come in a pack of ten, instead of five.

What are they? B's Dry Fire Snap Caps - A.K.A. B's Dummy's. The pedant in me couldn't help notice the manufacturer's syntactical misuse of a possessive apostrophe in "Dummy's" instead of the proper plural "Dummies." Maybe it was just easier to format in their labeling. Forgivable, I suppose! :geek:

They advertise them as, "The best training rounds money can buy." I couldn't resist! I bought mine on Amazon instead of directly from the manufacturer, since I also needed to buy some targets. Free Amazon Prime shipping, too!

They arrived today. They came in a nice plastic container that can be re-used to store them... instead of a disposable plastic clam-shell.
Font Automotive lighting Gas Electric blue Auto part


Kicking Brass?
The cases are made of nickel-plated brass - just like real premium ammo. Color me impressed! They are also available in regular (non-plated) brass.
Pen Office supplies Ball pen Font Gun accessory
The bullets are made of.... LEAD! Yep... according to the manufacturer's website: "Our pistol / rifle snap caps use either full copper jacket or straight lead for the metal tip. Both are coated with colored plastic."

That would explain the very realistic weight of the B's Snap-Caps. There's a huge difference between these and the solid aluminum A-Zooms. It's especially noticeable with a magazine full of them.

Note that the B's Dummy's weight (measured in grams) falls squarely between the WWB FMJ range ammo and the Federal HST hollow point defensive ammo. The A-Zooms are about one third the weight of the real ammo.
Rectangle Font Material property Plant Electric blue

While I expect the B's Snap-Caps to be more durable by virtue of their construction, there is the added benefit of enhancing the training and testing experience with the realistic weight.
Body jewelry Sleeve Gesture Finger Silver

I loaded up a mag with all ten B's Dummies and cycled them through my latest build. They worked perfectly.

And, they sure look nice, eh? The laser-etched "B's Dummy's" on the case adds a touch of class. 🤩
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Machine gun


We'll see how they hold up. After I've used them a while, I'll report back!

Disclaimer: I bought these of my own volition with my own hard-earned money. :cool:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
it will be interesting to see the progress. as detailed as you often are I suspect you will be updating this post with comments, number of "rounds fired", wear and tear, miss feeds etc. The weight difference alone has my interest up.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it will be interesting to see the progress. as detailed as you often are I suspect you will be updating this post with comments, number of "rounds fired", wear and tear, miss feeds etc. The weight difference alone has my interest up.
Well, I don't track how many times I cycle or fire snap caps like I do actual ammo. But, I will update on how they hold up over time. The A-Zooms are very nice in that they're precision milled metal - especially compared to plastic snap caps. But, the aluminum just doesn't hold up well to repeated use.
Bottle Automotive tire Tire Synthetic rubber Drinkware
 
  • Like
Reactions: BeerHunter

· Registered
Joined
·
8,674 Posts
Nice write up. I’ve never really paid much attention to snap caps (I have cheap ones somewhere) but, you have opened my eyes to something I’ve never thought of.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice write up. I’ve never really paid much attention to snap caps (I have cheap ones somewhere) but, you have opened my eyes to something I’ve never thought of.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
warriors thinks GIF
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

· Registered
Joined
·
16,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got these recently. They cycle perfectly in the new Shockwave. Perfect for SAFELY function testing at home after disassembly / reassembly or installation of parts or accessories. Better / smarter than function testing with live ammo.

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Electric blue
 
  • Like
Reactions: BeerHunter

· Registered
Joined
·
57,732 Posts
Gun building discussions can be quite esoteric, and we can dwell on and wax philosophic about the virtues of a baby-butt-smooth RSA channel and the differences between various generations of ejectors. By contrast it seems any conversations about snap-caps would be rather mundane. Maybe not!

Snap-Caps are "de rigeur" for any builder worth his or her salt. They can serve a number of purposes. For gun builders, they are a safe way to function test a pistol. Hopefully most of us agree that a new build should never taste live ammo until it's at the range. But, before we head to the range, we need to function and safety test our builds... with Snap-Caps. ONLY! Riiiiiiiiiight?
View attachment 77895
While Snap-Caps can also be used for training at the range to diagnose a flinch or run malfunction drills, builders like us mostly use them for function and safety testing.

Metal or Plastic?
There is a myriad of brands and types of inert / "dummy" rounds that we generically refer to as "Snap-Caps." I cannot speak to all of them. But, they come in varieties that are made of plastic, metal, or a combination.

When I got my first sets of Snap-Caps, I figured metal would be better / last longer than plastic. So, I got some made of solid aluminum with a rubber "primer" inserts to absorb the impact of the firing pin strikes. A-Zoom "Precision Training Rounds" seemed to enjoy a good reputation on various gun forums. $16 for five rounds. After I got the first set of five, and they seemed to be "good to go," I ordered another pack of five. I figured I'd want to load a mag with more than five.
Plastic versions of Snap-Caps typically cost half or less. I figured metal is stronger and better, right? Worth the extra expense, right?

Failures? The gun? Or the snap-caps?
I've used them quite a bit over the course of four builds. During recent function testing of my latest build, I noticed sometimes I'd have failures to eject. My first thought was that it was my build. Eventually, I figured that it might be some of the snap caps. Perhaps, this is why:
View attachment 77897
The rims at the back of the rounds were getting chipped. I suspect there wasn't enough "meat" left on the rim for the extractor to grab. When I used newer A-Zoom snap-caps, the extraction problems went away. Hooray! Also... Where did the fragments from the chips go?

I'll add that it really didn't take long for the all-aluminum A-Zooms to start looking that rough. I'll admit I can't offer a number of cycles, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that they can last for "thousands" of dry fires. Ummm... yeah... no way. I'm going to guess I've cycled them in the range of low hundreds - if that.

Just keep buying the same ones?
I'm planning for a number of future builds, so I wondered if I should just keep buying more of the same as they wear out.... Or, is there something better? Maybe I need to level up my Snap-Cap game? Is it even possible? Or are they all pretty much the same?

I invoked my Google-fu and found some online articles about the "best Snap-Caps." One particular brand caught my eye in one of the review articles, even though it was rated 5th out of five brands reviewed. Despite ranking dead last, the review was all positive - save one thing: They were the most expensive. But, they weren't really the most expensive. They happen to ring in at about the same "per round" price as the A-Zoom brand. But, they come in a pack of ten, instead of five.

What are they? B's Dry Fire Snap Caps - A.K.A. B's Dummy's. The pedant in me couldn't help notice the manufacturer's syntactical misuse of a possessive apostrophe in "Dummy's" instead of the proper plural "Dummies." Maybe it was just easier to format in their labeling. Forgivable, I suppose! :geek:

They advertise them as, "The best training rounds money can buy." I couldn't resist! I bought mine on Amazon instead of directly from the manufacturer, since I also needed to buy some targets. Free Amazon Prime shipping, too!

They arrived today. They came in a nice plastic container that can be re-used to store them... instead of a disposable plastic clam-shell.
View attachment 77898

Kicking Brass?
The cases are made of nickel-plated brass - just like real premium ammo. Color me impressed! They are also available in regular (non-plated) brass.
The bullets are made of.... LEAD! Yep... according to the manufacturer's website: "Our pistol / rifle snap caps use either full copper jacket or straight lead for the metal tip. Both are coated with colored plastic."

That would explain the very realistic weight of the B's Snap-Caps. There's a huge difference between these and the solid aluminum A-Zooms. It's especially noticeable with a magazine full of them.

Note that the B's Dummy's weight (measured in grams) falls squarely between the WWB FMJ range ammo and the Federal HST hollow point defensive ammo. The A-Zooms are about one third the weight of the real ammo.
View attachment 77900
While I expect the B's Snap-Caps to be more durable by virtue of their construction, there is the added benefit of enhancing the training and testing experience with the realistic weight.
View attachment 77901
I loaded up a mag with all ten B's Dummies and cycled them through my latest build. They worked perfectly.

And, they sure look nice, eh? The laser-etched "B's Dummy's" on the case adds a touch of class. 🤩
View attachment 77902

We'll see how they hold up. After I've used them a while, I'll report back!

Disclaimer: I bought these of my own volition with my own hard-earned money. :cool:
I mentioned in another thread that I make sure the shell rim is "clean" under the extractor on my carry ammo [ the rim gets nicked by the extractor and every time you cycle that first round out, it leaves another mark on the rim. I've seen live ammo fail to extract when fired for this reason.

Once the round has been cycled 3-4 times, it's a practice load, not to be carried [ for reliability purposes ].
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,090 Posts
I'm interested in the marks we see on the rear of the rim in the photos in post 3. In normal operation of a semi-auto, the round is stripped from the magazine and slides on an upward angle into the chamber. As it enters the chamber, the round rotates toward the horizontal and the rim slides up behind the extractor. There is no reason for an extractor mark to be left on the rear of the rim.

If, on the other hand, if the round is dropped into the chamber with the slide locked back, and then the slide is released to slam forward, the extractor hits the rear of the rim and is forced outward to snap around the rim into its proper position. This is a big no-no in my book, but would account for the marks I think I see. Could this have happened on some of these dummies?

On the other hand, Brownie's remarks above indicate that this kind of wear is normal. What am I missing?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
57,732 Posts
I'm interested in the marks we see on the rear of the rim in the photos in post 3. In normal operation of a semi-auto, the round is stripped from the magazine and slides on an upward angle into the chamber. As it enters the chamber, the round rotates toward the horizontal and the rim slides up behind the extractor. There is no reason for an extractor mark to be left on the rear of the rim.

If, on the other hand, if the round is dropped into the chamber with the slide locked back, and then the slide is released to slam forward, the extractor hits the rear of the rim and is forced outward to snap around the rim into its proper position. This is a big no-no in my book, but would account for the marks I think I see. Could this have happened on some of these dummies?

On the other hand, Brownie's remarks above indicate that this kind of wear is normal. What am I missing?
Not sure what you're missing, the extractor leaves digs on the rim of the case in all my semi's. I've been making sure the rim where the extractor will grab it is "clean" of former extractor marks nearly forever. Once it's been chambered and extracted 3-4 times, that round will never see my chamber again except in practice.

It's not leaving those digs on the brass when being loaded, but when being extracted
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm interested in the marks we see on the rear of the rim in the photos in post 3. In normal operation of a semi-auto, the round is stripped from the magazine and slides on an upward angle into the chamber. As it enters the chamber, the round rotates toward the horizontal and the rim slides up behind the extractor. There is no reason for an extractor mark to be left on the rear of the rim.

If, on the other hand, if the round is dropped into the chamber with the slide locked back, and then the slide is released to slam forward, the extractor hits the rear of the rim and is forced outward to snap around the rim into its proper position. This is a big no-no in my book, but would account for the marks I think I see. Could this have happened on some of these dummies?
You talking about this?
Liquid Lipstick Cosmetics Fluid Office supplies


To answer your question... No. I'm not dropping the rounds into the chamber directly and then closing the slide.

Bear in mind that these particular snap caps are made of Aluminum. It's relatively soft metal. And they've been cycled probably a couple hundred times, at least. But not the "thousands" of cycles the manufacturer claims is possible before wearing them out.

I believe the extractor is literally ripping pieces off the rim as I extract them during testing. Mind you... I'm not riding the slide or babying it. I'm RACKING it. Forcefully... the way it's meant to operate.

The new snap caps use gen-you-wine brass. They hold up much better, so far.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BeerHunter
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top