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If I'm going to store or not shoot it for a long time I pull the op rod back most of the way and pull the trigger. The hammer only falls 1/4-1/2" where it hits the retracted bolt. I did this a lot while smoothing & checking the trigger pull.
 

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Get a pack of A-Zoom .223 snap caps, available at your local gun shop, Brownells, Midway USA, Cheeper than Dirt, etc. Then you can dry fire all you want.
 

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Is it OK to dry fire a Mini 14? Also, after you have emptied your rifle, do you just drop the hammer by pulling the trigger, or is there another way to lower the hammer? Thanks.
I am not aware of a method to drop the hammer without pulling the trigger. I have dry fired all types weapons for over 40 years and I have never had an issue from doing so.
 

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40nascar,
After the hammer falls I let the op-rod slide forward with the hammer down on the bolt so the springs are at rest.
 
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