I’ve been using the A-ZOOM brand of Aluminum Snap Caps for most of my dry-fire training this past few months. It has worked well for my single stack practice with my Kimber 1911s. They serve to protect my magazine feed lips if I miss a quick reload and hit the bottom of the magwell.
When I switched to shooting revolvers 2 months ago, I bought extra Snap Caps, loaded them on moon clips and went through several drills. Everything worked well except for two minor problems.
1. They’re light.
Much lighter than standard loaded ammo, and thus has affected my reload and gun handling a little. When I shot my past two matches, I was surprised to find out (too late in fact) that the real rounds are much heavier, thus requiring me to adjust my reloads a little bit. Not too big a problem.
2. They’re too smooth.
This one was a bigger issue for me. The aluminum rounds were very smooth and will drop out of the cylinder without needing to use the ejector rod. What happened after a couple of hundred reloads is that I forget to push on the ejector rod and expect the moonclip to drop out of the cylinder. Not too big a problem in practice, but in my last match, if you watch this video, you’ll see me fumble my reloads because real ammo expands a little after ignition and stays in the cylinder, requiring me to push on the ejector rod to drop out.
That pissed me off because now I have to work on PROPER reloading technique to undo all that bad practice I’ve accumulated. UGH!
In order for me to have more realistic dummy rounds, I had to make my own, out of the actual components that I use in my match ammo. But how do I make them inert?
Well, use fired brass, leave the spent primers on the brass, because I need to fill the brass case with used Corn Cob media. Why? so that the bullets won’t drop into the empty case when I drop the moon clip on the ground. Having corn cob media in the brass case prevents the bullet from being hammered back into the case.
some fired cases have a dark line to show where the previous bullet sat in, that’s is where I’ll fill the corn cob media to.
After that, just run the cases through the reloading press bullet seating die, and taper crimp die.
Just make sure that you mark the rounds clearly to differentiate between live and inert ones. The fired primer and red Sharpie ring tells me that these are dummy rounds.
They work very well, is very heavy and sticks to the cylinder, forcing me to actually press on the ejector rod to reload. Just like in live-fire.