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 Post subject: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:24 pm 
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Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun? Specifically, I used high quality A-Zoom 12Ga CNC machined aluminum dummy rounds, cycling them through TWO brand new Charles Daly 12Ga Tactical pump actions.

Both shotguns, within approximately thirty cycles, broke. The guns fed the aluminum A-Zooms fine until about the twentieth pump cycle, then failure to feeds began to occur. Soon, the end of the first gun's "Feed Latch" [the latch on the right side of the upside-down shotgun when looking down into the receiver well] snapped completely off. I then returned the gun to a very nice and VERY understanding gun store who worked with Davidson's Gallery of Guns to get me another CD Tactical. This one soon started to do exactly the same thing with the A-Zooms, but I stopped before the feed latch actually broke off (but the A-zooms were now lodged in the feedtube, impossible to remove due to the bending feed latch "locking" them in).

I returned this second gun to the store. Again, they (and a very sympathetic Davidson's) took this one back too and let me buy a Remington 870P.

Nevertheless, the gun store phoned a gunsmith, who told them that I shouldn't have been feeding snap caps through a pump action shotgun! However, I have never heard of snap caps breaking a pump action gun before; I have only heard of the gun itself breaking the (usually plastic) snap caps themselves.

Can snap caps break a pump action? Is this possible? Should a person never feed snap caps through a pump shotgun?? (I feel very guilty if I caused the gunshop and Davidsons, who were both wonderful throughout all of this, any trouble through my own (possible) ignorance. But I will now NOT be feeding snap caps through the 870 after what I went through; now I'm paranoid of shotgun snap caps in general!).

Any feedback on this is MOST appreciated, :D

-Cott

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:50 pm 
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I've ran some A-zooms through some Model 12s and 42s w/o difficulty. That's as far as my experience goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:58 pm 
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I've cycled A-Zooms through my Mossberg 500c many times with no problems.

The A-Zooms are similar in weight to a loaded shell, and the aluminum shouldn't be any harder than the plated steel rims of inexpensive shells.


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:30 pm 
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Evidently one cannot run A zoom dummies through a Charls Daly pump dummie :lol: :roll: .....I don't think those guns would have lasted any better if those shells were full boat 00 buck......Did You...Yourself speak to the gunsmith? and ask why it might be so?....and if he ment that no dummies should be run through any pump at ant time? espically since they are made to be run through a guns' action?......I'd reserve my business from a smith that told me that....that is... without getting a believable explanation......
It has been my experience that Remington models 10, 31, 870 Winchester models 12, 42, and Mossberg model 500s...not only one of each but several of each... will cycle A zoom dummies many many times without any mishap....I'd say to avoid turkish pumps and wild gunsmiths....Art

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:39 pm 
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Too many guys put on an apron and claim the title "gunsmith". There is no way a snap cap can damage a gun, even a Turkish gun.

A real gunsmith can give you real answers.

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:44 pm 
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I'd say your problem is with "Chucky D".

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:09 pm 
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There are some people who can break an anvil with their bare hands. On that basis I would say, snap caps can damage a gun.

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:25 pm 
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I can't say that I've ever run "snap caps" through a pump gun, but my students have run dummy rounds through Rem 870's hundreds if not thousands of times, and I've yet to see one break down while using them.

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:30 pm 
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The only way I can see that a snap cap could break a gun is if the cap is harder than the metal in the gun. Something about your "gunsmiths" explaination doesn't hold water.

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:36 pm 
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evbutler wrote:
Too many guys put on an apron and claim the title "gunsmith". There is no way a snap cap can damage a gun, even a Turkish gun.

A real gunsmith can give you real answers.


Amen!

No way a snap cap, especially a high quality one like the Azoom, could hurt a gun. These are junk guns... there's a reason they went out of business.


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:22 am 
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Virginian wrote:
There are some people who can break an anvil with their bare hands. On that basis I would say, snap caps can damage a gun.


Off topic But....

The confederate soldiers tried to hinder the Yankee production of steel products by blowing up their anvils. They would put black powder under them to try and blow them up. Instead it just sent them sky high. Making the now famous Anvil shoot. The things some people do. my distant relatives were confederate soldiers, the gene pool looks promising for me :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:18 am 
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As the OP, thank you for the great answers, guys -- I feel vindicated! {hs#

I too thought it absurd that an aluminum snap-cap could miraculously break a steal pump shotgun. But because of what this clueless local gunsmith told them, my gun shop appears convinced it’s the snap-caps. (But they are a very nice bunch of folks anyway, I must say).

But soon after my first Charles Daly Tactical shotgun broke (as well as after the second), I wrote a scathing critique of the quality of any brand new home defense shotgun that would break before it was even fired (by merely feeding some snap caps through its action): Some of the Charles Daly fan boys on that forum, instead of simply blaming the brand new gun and its poor metallurgy (or even the snap caps themselves), blamed me because "I must not be doing something right"! How a person can break a new pump shotgun by not "doing something right" was not explained*, but there you go on whiz-bang explanations from some people; it couldn't possibly be bad guns, so it has to be either the snap caps or the shooter himself!!!!

Thanks!

-Cott

*Wish I knew how they thought that by inserting some rounds in the shotgun's magazine, pumping the action to chamber a round, pulling the trigger, and them pumping the action to eject the "spent" shells, I could possibly break a shotgun under any circumstances! :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:57 am 
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I do know these snap caps are undersized. I like them and use them - as snap caps. What could happen cycling them violently ("pump it like you stole it" mentality) in any particular gun I cannot say. I do not advise using them to practice cycling any gun; that's what dummy rounds are for. I do not call myself a gunsmith, but I am a pretty fair gun mechanic. Diagnosing anything over the internet is folly. It's okay to list suggestions, but hard conclusions on minimal evidence, no.

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:45 am 
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Virginian wrote:
I do know these snap caps are undersized. I like them and use them - as snap caps. What could happen cycling them violently ("pump it like you stole it" mentality) in any particular gun I cannot say. I do not advise using them to practice cycling any gun; that's what dummy rounds are for. I do not call myself a gunsmith, but I am a pretty fair gun mechanic. Diagnosing anything over the internet is folly. It's okay to list suggestions, but hard conclusions on minimal evidence, no.


Hi Virginian,

Thanks for the feedback, but A-Zooms ARE dummy rounds (as well as snap-caps), they are meant to be cycled, and they are not undersized (I myself compared them to live rounds).

From A-Zoom: "For safety training, function testing or safely decocking without damaging the firing pin, A-Zoom training rounds are much more than conventional snap-caps. They are precision CNC machined from solid aluminum to precise cartridge dimensions, then hard anodized for ultra-smooth functioning and long life. In addition, each round has A-Zoom's remarkably durable "Dead Cap" proven to withstand over three thousand dry fires while protecting the firing pin."

-Cott


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:00 am 
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drsfmd wrote:
evbutler wrote:
Too many guys put on an apron and claim the title "gunsmith". There is no way a snap cap can damage a gun, even a Turkish gun.

A real gunsmith can give you real answers.


Amen!

No way a snap cap, especially a high quality one like the Azoom, could hurt a gun. These are junk guns... there's a reason they went out of business.


I have agree with both guys. Now you have a 870 and will be good to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:14 am 
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I'd say you are lucky. You found out that the CD gun was no good and got an 870. In a short period of time from now you might have been stuck with a broken gun and no one to stand up behind it since CD is now out of business. As it is, you now have what many consider the best pump ever made.


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:22 pm 
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COTT wrote:
Virginian wrote:
I do know these snap caps are undersized. I like them and use them - as snap caps. What could happen cycling them violently ("pump it like you stole it" mentality) in any particular gun I cannot say. I do not advise using them to practice cycling any gun; that's what dummy rounds are for. I do not call myself a gunsmith, but I am a pretty fair gun mechanic. Diagnosing anything over the internet is folly. It's okay to list suggestions, but hard conclusions on minimal evidence, no.


Hi Virginian,

Thanks for the feedback, but A-Zooms ARE dummy rounds (as well as snap-caps), they are meant to be cycled, and they are not undersized (I myself compared them to live rounds).

From A-Zoom: "For safety training, function testing or safely decocking without damaging the firing pin, A-Zoom training rounds are much more than conventional snap-caps. They are precision CNC machined from solid aluminum to precise cartridge dimensions, then hard anodized for ultra-smooth functioning and long life. In addition, each round has A-Zoom's remarkably durable "Dead Cap" proven to withstand over three thousand dry fires while protecting the firing pin."

-Cott

This got my curiosity up so I got the Mic. out and some measurin, The A-Zoomers I have measure on average about .007 under an unfired round and were over a couple of rounds in my stock when measured at the base. The rim diameter averaged close enough to call it the same. Length was as I would expect and so all over the place between the new unfired rounds I gave up trying get an average but the A-Zooms would have fallen somewhere on the shorter end. After close inspection of the stock I have the statement that they are undersized would hold true. One thing I did notice as well was that the rim was more pronounced on the A-Zooms than an unfired shell.
My A-Zooms have been cycled through many, many pump guns as well as semi-autos and breech action guns and not caused any damage that I was made aware of. If I were told by a trained gunsmith that a product I purchased to perform a procedure that was deemed acceptable on the packaging of that product was the cause of breakage I would have to notify that manufacturer and let them know of the problem and who said it was a problem.
My personal opinion of what happened don't mean squat but the spring pressure and weight of the snap caps hitting the end of the shell latch is what bent it and then broke it off. Since the snap caps are not heavier than a normal round you would use in an HD gun I would guess the damage would have accured even if live rounds were cycled through the weapon as well. I bet your 870 will cycle those same snap caps with a lot more reliability.


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:56 pm 
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PhilG wrote:
...SNIP
My A-Zooms have been cycled through many, many pump guns as well as semi-autos and breech action guns and not caused any damage that I was made aware of. If I were told by a trained gunsmith that a product I purchased to perform a procedure that was deemed acceptable on the packaging of that product was the cause of breakage I would have to notify that manufacturer and let them know of the problem and who said it was a problem.

My personal opinion of what happened don't mean squat but the spring pressure and weight of the snap caps hitting the end of the shell latch is what bent it and then broke it off. Since the snap caps are not heavier than a normal round you would use in an HD gun I would guess the damage would have accured even if live rounds were cycled through the weapon as well. I bet your 870 will cycle those same snap caps with a lot more reliability.


Hi PhilG,

Thanks for the great input! I 100% agree: Failure of the Charles Daly's would just have been a short matter of time with live ammo too. (My feeling was that the feed latch was too soft a steel -- perhaps the Turks had forgotten to treat an entire batch of feed latches for these shotguns before sending them off to Charles Daly. But I don't know anything for sure, of course).

BTW, this gunsmith that my gunstore called never looked at the guns themselves before he uttered his wisdom on the A-Zooms (and indeed, all snap-caps in general); he merely stated to my gunstore that he felt it was the A-Zooms that broke both Charles Daly Tactical SGs, because "snap-caps should never be used in any pump shotgun, only in double barrel shotguns". Pearls of wisdom, I'm sure. :roll:

Best Regards,

-Cott


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:21 pm 
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The diameter of the rim should be right around .880" or so, not a majorly important dimension. And the smaller body should be around .805" maybe .002-3" less. I make my woolly snap caps with these dimensions and have only had one customer contact me to say one didn't fit in his chamber (I've sold over 200 pairs of snap caps). I didn't think there was much of a need to actually cycle snap caps through a pump shotgun, but either way, it shouldn't break the gun... Josh


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 Post subject: Re: Can snap cap/dummy rounds BREAK a pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:31 pm 
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Ported chokes. Definitely need ported chokes to prevent that problem.



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