Snap caps are great for dry fire practice to safely simulate the weight of a loaded firearm and reduce flinching while improving grip and trigger control. They can be used in conjunction with laser training cartridges to creating observable and correctable training repetitions without the cost of live ammunition.
So which is the best 9mm snap cap for dry fire training?
My top recommendation is B’s Dry Fire Snap Caps (10 Pack Dummy 9mm). They share identical dimensions and weight as American Eagle 9mm 124 grain FMJ, a common target and practice round. Their false primers are cushioned to protect firing pins while their blue-painted tips make them easy to distinguish from real ammunition. Sold in a pack of 10, they are the best cost per snap cap with all the above features.
For this guide, I will share my firsthand experience with a variety of 9mm snap caps along with basic figures and statistics regarding their materials, functionality, and similarity with actual 9x19mm ammunition. Many listings and reviews don’t list some key information which would have helped decide which snap caps were worth my money.
1. B’s Dry Fire 9mm Snap Caps (10 Pack)
These snap caps are made of brass and they distinguish themselves from live ammunition with blue-painted tips. They feature either a brass or nickel-colored finish (I chose the brass-colored finish), and the rubber primer cushions are white. I haven’t experienced any feeding issues, and their weight is identical to 124 grain 9mm ammunition.
These are my top choice due to the overall balance of proper weight, firing pin protection, and ease of gross recognition. And while these are not the cheapest snap caps per unit, they manage to beat out other snap caps on this list while being the second lowest in price per snap cap.
- Weight: 12 grams (0.423 oz)
- Material: Brass with blue painted tips
- Cost Per Snap Cap: $2.40 each (10 Pack)
|Identical weight & dimensions of real 9mm 124 grain.||Blue paint will chip over time.|
|Blue tip makes them easily distinguishable from live ammo.|
|White rubber false primer cushion.|
2. Premium Brass 9mm Snap Caps (5 Pack)
Made from solid brass, these snap caps are durable and are weighted to be identical to 124 grain 9mm ammunition. They feature a black rubber false primer to cushion firing pins during dry fire. They look very real albeit with a patina not really seen on fresh live cartridges. To ensure these do not get mixed with real ammunition and vice versa, be sure to store them in their own container and always check the false primers before loading them into a firearm.
Update: Premium Brass 9mm are no longer available (at least not via Amazon).
- Weight: 12 grams (0.423 oz)
- Material: Brass, unpainted.
- Cost Per Snap Cap: $2.60 – $4.00 each (5 Pack)
|Identical weight & dimensions of real 9mm 124 grain.||High realism might make it easily confused with live rounds (and vice versa).|
|Black rubber false primer cushion.||Also currently unavailable.|
|All brass, highly realistic.|
3. S.T. Action Pro Inert 9mm Trainer Cartridge (10 Pack)
These trainer cartridges are supposedly used by the FBI, if that is true, I can see why. The bright orange tip and bright orange false primers makes them highly visible and distinguishable from live ammunition. This can be vital when issuing snap caps en masse to a large group of students.
One notable flaw is their false primers; the false primers are dimpled, not cushioned. This means they don’t provide the same level of protection for firing pins when dry firing when compared to flush cushioned primers. This design has caused my magazines to become locked into a striker-fired pistol (if your magazine becomes locked, pull the trigger all the way back to disengage the striker from the dimpled primer).
A secondary flaw of lesser note is their weight: Roughly half the weight of a real 9x19mm 124 grain cartridge.
Their price makes up for their flaws, costing less than half as much as similar snap caps. Despite their flaws, these snap caps might be appropriate for trainers and anyone who needs to issue a larger number of snap caps to trainees due to their price and the high visibility of their orange tips.
- Weight: 5 grams (0.176 oz)
- Materials: Nickel-plated brass with orange painted tips
- Cost Per Snap Cap: $0.96 each (10 pack)
|Identical dimensions to real 9mm cartridges.||Wrong weight; lighter than real 9mm cartridges.|
|Highly visible orange tips and primers to readily distinguish them from real ammunition.||Dimpled plastic primer doesn’t protect firing pins as well as flush rubber primers.|
|Best value per snap cap; good for issuing in large quantities.||Dimpled primer can cause magazines to become stuck.|
4. A-Zoom Action Proving Dummy Round 9mm (5 Pack)
These snap caps are readily available in every gun shop and big boxed sports store that sells guns and gun supplies. While having the same dimensions as real 9mm cartridges, these snap caps weigh much less due to their aluminum construction. Because they are made of aluminum, the paint and snap cap itself will have a tendency to chip with use.
Despite these flaws, they will protect the firing pin or striker during dry fire training due to their rubber-cushioned false primers. The metallic maroon finish help to distinguish them from real 9mm cartridges, but the dark shade of maroon might not readily show without adequate light.
I wouldn’t readily choose the A-Zoom snap caps over others in this list, but they are the oldest set of snap caps I own. Despite their flaws, they have proven themselves to be serviceable and reliable, and I have never experienced serious or recurring feeding issues when using these to practice.
- Weight: 4 grams (0.141 oz)
- Materials: Aluminum painted maroon
- Cost Per Snap Cap: $3.60 each (5 pack)
|Identical dimension to real 9mm cartridges.||Wrong weight; lighter than real 9mm cartridges.|
|Black cushioned rubber primer.||Paint and aluminum material chip easily.|
|Maroon paint distinguishes them from real ammo.|
5. TRT Tap Rack Dry Fire Safety Training Aid (3 Pack)
These aren’t actually snap caps, but they are a useful companion to various dry fire training devices. When used with laser training cartridges, the TRT Tap Rack device prevents dummy rounds loaded into a magazine from being stripped and chambered. This allows a person to rack their slide and reset their trigger during dry fire while using a magazine loaded with snap caps to simulate the weight of a fully-loaded firearm.
Keep in mind, these are not snap caps. They do not protect the firing pin from damage or wear during dry fire practice. I primarily use these in conjunction with a laser training cartridge which protects the firing pin and acts as a breech block during dry fire training.
These devices can be difficult to seat when used in conjunction with snap caps to simulate the weight of a fully-loaded magazine. Be careful of any chipped bits of plastic shaved off the TRT Tap Rack that might get into the barrel or moving parts of a firearm.
- Weight: 1 gram (0.035 oz)
- Material: Hard molded plastic
- Cost Per Thingie: $2.67
|Allows racking of slide without stripping snap caps from a magazine.||Not a snap cap; doesn’t protect firing pin.|
|Perfect companion for dry fire laser cartridges.||Can be difficult to seat into a magazine when used with snap caps.|
Choosing the Best Snap Caps
The most important criteria for choosing snap cap whether or not they function correctly, whether or not they protect the firing pin during dry fire repetitions, and finally, how easily they can be distinguished from real ammo.
Depending on the make and model of your firearm, some snap caps might cycle better than others. The following snap caps have been used on a regular basis with the Springfield XD Subcompact, Glock 19, and the Cz 75 Compact: All double-stack 9mm pistols using factory magazines.
Different results might be experienced with single stack 9mm pistols such as the Smith & Wesson Shield and Glock 43, and different results might be experienced using aftermarket magazines.
Continued Testing and Evaluation
I intend to buy and test additional snap caps while continuing to use the ones listed here as part of regular dry fire training. Expect this page to be updated as I evaluate additional snap caps and observe long-term results from the ones already listed here.