When Dry Fire isn’t “Dry” – Somehow a Live Round Ended up In My Mag

Handling firearms comes with substantial risk. Unfortunately, the risk doesn't disappear just when we leave the range. Many unintended discharges (UDs) occur when people conduct dry fire practice.

When Dry Fire Practice Isn't “Dry” Part V

What is the purpose of publishing these stories —

We can learn a lot from others' mistakes, and so we reached out to gun owners and peruse the internet for stories of unintended discharges while conducting dryfire practice.

We compiled a handful of stories that fit our criteria.

First, the unintended discharge must have happened while conducting dry fire practice.

Secondly, there must be enough detail to provide us with a picture from which we can learn.

We asked that the story include a brief explanation of their experience with firearms, although for some stories we don't have much information on the person's experience with firearms.

As you can imagine, not everyone who shared their experience with us is eager to have their name attached to the story. So we agree not to publish anyone's name.

Today's story is the third such post on unintended discharges during dryfire.

Past stories —

In the first story, a person with many years of experience competitively shooting guns had a momentary lapse while conducting dryfire in his kitchen. If you haven't read that story yet, you can find it by clicking here.

The Range Safety Officer (RSO) of a gun store had an unintended discharge while periodically conducting dry fire during a slow shift working in the store. Here is a link to that story.

unintended discharge

Our third story showed how fatigue led to inattention while conducting dryfire. Our contributor to that incident reminded us why we should avoid sleepy dry fire practice.

The fourth story showed how even people who spend decads training with firearms can become complacent in following their own safety processes and have a negligent shooting.

Somehow a Live Round Ended up In My Mag —

We don't have a lot of info on this one but the incident was brought to my attention through a post on social media. The individual posted a picture of what happened while he was conducting “dry fire” practice.


The individual didn't provide much story as to what happened. He said:

“I was doing reloads… and somehow a live round ended up in my mag.”

After some back and fourths with various people who commented on his images, the individual said:

“I normally always check my chamber like 30 times…and I didn't just now”

Perhaps he normally checks the chamber when conducting dry fire, but clearly not always. But improper usage of words isn't the issue here. The issue is that you're not checking the chamber in the middle of practicing reloads. Doing so would detract from the process. But you still need to be safe right?

Riley mentions a “dry fire dojo” approach, which I wrote about in this post.

So the way to do that is to clear the gun (check the chamber) to begin with. THEN make sure no live ammunition is in the area. This includes magazines filled with ammunition. He mentioned he checks the chamber “30 times.” But that isn't really necessary if you clear the gun and remove live ammunition from the area.

Additionally, if you use a product like BarrelBlok, it's physically impossible to discharge a round, even if you mess up and insert a magazine filled with live ammunition. The BarrelBlok physically blocks the chamber and makes it impossible to chamber a round.


The aftermath–

Here is a rundown of various tools and how you can use them safely in dry fire training.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get any more information about the incident. But the individual mentioned that his wife “is BEYOND man.” And rightfully so. These types of mistakes can have grave consequences. Even without causing injury or death, an incident like this should remain as a lasting lesson to take the time and ensure proper protocols are in place to keep this kind of thing from happening.

He also said his wife is “talmbout”—which I think when translated to English means “taking about”—him getting his guns out of the house. She is scared, and rightfully so. So mistakes like these even when they don't result in injury, can create an anxiety and fear.

As we've seen in these three stories shared with us, a life-changing lapse in attention happens to people who “would know better.”

BarrelBlok —

I want to mention the BarrelBlok again. Here is a recent post on the merits of the product.

Please consider using a BarrelBlok every time you conduct dry fire practice. After seeing how to use the product, I think you will agree that the product should be a fundamental safety device for every gun owner.

barrelblok dry fire tool

About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. Stacy B. on June 13, 2023 at 11:49 am

    Is this missing the main story or did I miss it somehow??

    • Matthew Maruster on June 13, 2023 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Stacy, thank you. No you didn’t miss anything, I hit publish on the wrong draft of the article. It’s all fixed now. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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