Dummy rounds mixed with practice ammo

When I was setting up and learning to use my reloader, I ended up with rounds that have the bullet seated and crimped without primers or powder. I mixed a few of those with my practice ammo last weekend.

Much better than commercially available dummy rounds to practice clearing and malfunctions since I didn’t know when I was actually loading them in the magazine. Maybe I’ll make a couple with used primers since they’re even less obvious.


I bought these, like yours (but with rubber primers) on Amazon, exactly for the same purpose - worked perfectly, no way I could recognize what I was loading.

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My concern about those is that they look like real ammo, so NO dry fire training with them at home. The ones that don’t look real make it easier to dryfire train. On the range, go for it! At home, I wouldn’t suggest it. :slight_smile:


@Dawn Definitely! I have orange plastic tipped ones for dry fire practice.


NOPE… no dry firing with dummy rounds with real projectile… :grimacing:
I used red sharpie to colour them. But for sure these are usable at the Range only.

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I have similar but mine are VERY low powered rounds which will get the boolit out of the barrel and to the target but do not have sufficient pressure to cycle the slide. That way I do not “Teach myself a bad habit” by trying to “save my dummy rounds” by doing something other than normal emergency clearing.

On “dummy” rounds with no primer in most modern guns will not be an issue but there is the chance that your firing pin with nothing to “stop” it can travel too far in to the firing pin hole and get stuck. When you rack the slide the brass being forced over the pin COULD snap it off.

One other note of caution when mixing dummy ammo with live ammo. ONLY have enough live ammo for the range day you are there for. In other words if you are going to shoot 100 rounds FOR certain! make sure you have 100 rounds fired and recover the same number of dummies that you introduced. In our current times and with ammo being as hard to get as it is you DO NOT want to induce failure if SHTF and you need ammo NOW!




Thanks for the word of caution, @Craig6. I will keep a used primer in those rounds. I wasn’t planning on trying to save the dummies. Just clear as quickly as possible and move on.

Agree Dawn. Dummy training ammo needs to be highly visible and identifiable without question. You wont see the bright colors in your magazine. Train safe, not cheap.

I have to say just the idea of doing this makes me cringe in horror.

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@John512 Your concern is respectfully noted.

I used these for one purpose only. Not to be able to anticipate when a magazine used for live fire practice at the range contains a dummy round.

They will not be used for any other type of practice or exercise.

Regarding dummy rounds which I believe are also called snap caps. I didn’t understand all that was being dscussed on this thread but wanted to get some feedback.
I have no reason to use these at the practice range but…
until I get some things squared away in my mind, I am considering loading my mag with defensive ammo and a snap cap in the chamber. Reason for the snap cap in the chamber is to eliminate the fear of over reacting and potentially make a situation worse.
The plan would end once I feel ready to have a live round in the chamber.
A little background, I purchased my first gun in June/July this year and my first visit at the practice range was a disaster. Soon thereafter that I took lessons from some seasoned pros and attended a CCW class. I am now waiting for my permit to be approved and issued. Time at the practice range has now been productive and I feel much better.
First pistol was a full size 10mm and after more research and training I have purchased a sub compact, Springfield Hellcat.

Discussion was about using dummies for trigger control practice. Dummies (specially self made) are hard to recognize when you load them with live ammo, so you never know if your firearm fires or not and you can see how your muzzle reacts.

To be honest I do not understand your reason to use snap cap in the chamber to eliminate fear… but everyone has its own method.

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Hi @JD13! This discussion was about using a real brass case and bullet without a primer or powder as a dummy round.

There’s actually a discussion thread related to carrying with or without one in the chamber.

In your case, where you are just trying to be comfortable carrying with the firearm in Condition 0, you should skip the snap cap in the chamber. Just rack the firearm just like you are going to practice dry firing, then insert a full magazine with SD ammo. You’ll find that with the right holster and safe handling, the trigger will not fire itself.


PDA3, thank you. Know what I need to do. Appreciate the feedback

I agree with this. An empty chamber is not going to go bang. However, if you found yourself in a situation where you did need to chamber a round to fire, you have introduced a potential jam into your gun. The snap cap may not eject correctly either due to its “rough” nature of construction or by anxiety from you in a stressful situation. Dummy rounds/snap caps are almost universally plastic. If it has been sitting in the chamber and any sort of debris… belly button fuzz, fabric or dirt whatever, it might make the round tight enough the guns extractor just chips off a piece of its rim rather than extract. Yes, this is not very likely, but why add one more concern when not needed?

I have snap caps but I refuse to load them with live rounds. I’ve already had issues without them and solve the problems fairly quickly. Happened to me during qualifications for LTC. I still passed with more than minimum. I’m a very accurate marksman.

So you started clearing malfunctions from the top shelf :+1:
Anyway… it won’t happen all the time, so mixing snap cap with live ammo is still a good way to train.

Remember - all firearm skills are perishable…