| Dry firing is the practice of "firing" a firearm without ammunition. That is, to pull the trigger and allow the hammer or striker to drop on an empty chamber.
This technique is often used to simulate actual firing when there is not a suitable place to practice with live ammunition. The primary benefit of this practice is refined trigger control. For most common cartridges, there are snap caps available to reduce the risk of damaging the firing pin. It is generally acceptable to dry fire more modern centerfire firearms without a cartridge or snap cap. However, dry firing a shotgun or rimfire firearm can damage the firing pin. Furthermore, damage can occur to the chamber mouth of a rimfire firearm.
Dry firing may also refer to the firing of a bow or other weapon without ammunition. Dry firing a compound bow may cause the cracking of the limbs of the bow, or may completely knock the string off causing possible injury to the shooter, or it may do nothing at all depending on the draw weight, cam type, and bow type.