Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Tale of Three Dummies.

No, I'm not talking about Brain Donors.

From left to right: Saf-T-Trainer, Action Trainer, A-ZOOM Snap Cap (run hard), A-ZOOM Snap Cap (showroom new)

It's not a question of which one is best, it's a question of which suits your purpose. The A-ZOOM brand has that handy dead cap to protect the firing pin, but the rim starts flaking off the moment you start cycling the rounds. After a few hundred chamberings and ejections, parts of the rim have come completely off, and the remainder is separating. As a bonus, the feed ramp of the 226 is dusted liberally in aluminum shavings after every use.

The Action Trainer, on the other hand, is built with Starline nickel-plated brass, with a polymer insert. The round shown has been cycled thousands of times, used in malfunction clearance drills hundreds of times (types 1, 2, and 3 - type 2 explains the dents on the case wall...), tossed into muddy grass repeatedly, and generally abused. The rim is a bit gnawed, but mainly the damage is limited to nickel finish being scraped off. This round could be cycled a few thousand more times and we *might* start to see troublesome effects. The bright orange tip and shiny nickel is easy to spot, even in low light. The only problem is that there is no dead cap - in fact, there's a hollowed-out spot where the primer should go, so it's as good as dry-firing on an empty chamber.

For a buck a piece (less, if you use Google-Fu), the Action Trainers are fantastic for manipulation drills, while A-ZOOM will work for extended dry-fire sessions. I should probably pick up a pack of Tiptons and see if they hold up, being polymer around a brass rim.

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