A-zoom Snap Caps and Wall Anchors: weekly product review


Legally I have to write a disclosure here, I PURCHASED THE Snap Caps and Wall Anchors BEING REVIEWED HERE WITH MY MONEY and did not receive anything in exchange for a review of any type…

A-Zoom snap caps are an important part of anyone’s shooting supply. They run between $8-$15 for 6 or 10 on average depending on caliber. For your .22lr needs, there is another option. Hillman wall anchors 4-6-8 x 7/8” are what I use for all of my .22lr needs. Hillman wall anchors run $6 for a box of 100 on Amazon or around that from local hardware stores. Now before you laugh, remember the entire purpose of a snap cap is for testing triggers, repairs and dry firing your firearms. The wall anchors work for this purpose and work well for less than 0.05 cents apiece. The best part is, you can reuse them a few times for dry firing purposes and if you need it recycle them afterward for their intended purpose!

When you are training for self-defense and even hunting there are a few things that are essential to remember. Obviously, as with all firearms follow the rules of safety.

  1. Loaded or not, keep the finger OFF the trigger!
  2. Loaded or not, ALWAYS ensure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction!

This includes but is not limited to firearms that are loaded with snap caps, I have witnessed negligent discharges by extremely well-versed individuals when they believed they had unloaded their firearms or had reloaded with snap caps. So, in the line of being safe ALWAYS, remove all ammunition from the location around the firearm you are planning to use snap caps in. I use the three check system to ensure no live ammunition is in the firearm as well.

  1. Remove the magazine or cylinder
  2. Check the chamber visually
  3. Check the chamber manually with a finger while ALWAYS keeping the muzzle pointed away from any places you do not want to be destroyed.

Now, once you do this, insert the snap caps into the cylinder or magazine. Re-check again to ensure only snap caps are inserted. Some people do not understand why I check so many times, of course, these same people likely have never been shot by “accident” or on purpose either! Taking a few minutes to ensure a completely safe experience is better than days or even weeks in a hospital and tens of thousands of dollars in bills!

Now ensuring your muzzle is pointed in a safe direction you can engage in dry fire practice or testing as needed! Doing a few minutes of this every day can easily transform your personal ability with a firearm into a much better approach. Especially when you practice maintaining your PROPER grip, correct trigger press and or gentle squeeze and sight alignment. I use these times to check my ability to maintain a level firearm and keep it stable while squeezing the trigger. Place a nickel or dime on the frame or front sight post if you can and squeeze the trigger until the firing pin is released, do this until you never lose the dime from the front sight or frame and you will notice a much-improved group at the range.


Some other things I like using snap caps for are failure drills, they replicate a round not going off when placed randomly in the magazine or even cylinder and you have to safely “Tap, Rack and Go” to continue shooting. I often ask shooting buddies to place snap caps at random in my range magazines, (ALWAYS KEEP YOUR RANGE MAGAZINES SEPARATE FROM ALL OTHER MAGAZINES).

Overall there is simply no reason not to have snap caps or wall anchors for your firearms training and use. I am well aware that 50 years ago snap caps were not used regularly, however, there have been many major improvements in training, firearms and more over that same time. Additionally, older firearms are more likely to not be dry fire capable and need snap caps! It is my recommendation as a very active longtime shooter that using snap caps in all firearms for dry fire practice and other purposes can only prolong the lifespan of the firing pin and more.

Stay safe and train how you carry!

Free the mind and the body will follow

Jesse Mathewson

Arizona since 86', lifetime prepper, camper - criminal justice advanced degrees, numerous certifications, 1+ million rounds (shooting for decades), prior contractor, instructor, current volunteer, disabled, honest, father of two husband of one - all budget and prepared. Jesse Mathewson reviews because regular people need someone in their corner as well!

20 Responses

  1. SA says:

    I like Jesse’s bio line!

  2. JP in MT says:

    I have not used snap caps in a handgun, but I did buy a set for my shotgun. I needed to practice with my coach gun for Cowboy Action shooting. Worked good.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      JP, try the wall hangers for .22 at least and they make off brand version of the other though the a-zoom are less expensive overall given quality

  3. Cndnate says:

    Hi Jesse thank you for review , what is different between range vs non range magazines for you ?

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Cdnnate, all my magazines must function 99% (largest reason I do not use a 1911 model is no way to ensure 99% magazine function and no real crossover available)
      I know nothing works 100%, it’s a fallacy to assume anything can.

      So why do I differentiate magazines, because range magazines are stored loaded with range ammo, and rarely cleaned to same level as carry magazines/ I always have a minimum of 5 magazines for carry/ready purposes for each firearm. For my carry handgun and rifle I have 10 “defensive” magazines loaded and tested every 6 months – range magazines for me almost always get new springs, baseplates, followers or fully replaced once a year.

      Just a safety quibble and personal carry choice really. I also use paint markers to mark all magazines, this allows ease of fixing when they fail and yes. Even my glock magazines fail not as much as others but they do 🙂

      • Jesse,
        I pretty much use the same magazines for carry and range; but, then again my range is just a few steps into the back yard. Marking your magazines with paint markers is a smart thing to do, since with multiple magazines you can often get one that is troublesome and that way you can isolate it to determine if the magazine is broken or it’s an ammunition problem.
        I keep several magazines nearly fully loaded for carry and will unload a few to use on the range, shooting all of my carry ammunition at least once per year to replace with new.

  4. Zulu 3-6 says:


    Range magazines are those that you only use on the range as they get dropped during reload and stoppage drills. Whatever damage they incur does not affect your life as you don’t use them for carry purposes too. However, you should always occasionally shoot using your carry mags to make certain they work properly. You just don’t drop them unnecessarily. On my department, I painted the base plates of the range mags orange so there was no doubt.


    When I taught at the police academy, in teaching malfunction drills, we used the term, “Tap, Rack, READY” instead of “go” or “bang” etc. The reason being, by the time you clear your malfunction, you may not need to shoot any longer. We tried to avoid a conditioned reflex to automatically shoot after a malfunction drill. We set up drills where sometimes a recruit had to shoot again immediately, and sometimes not. I also did this at my department.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Zulu, I would love to pick your brain! I learn so much from you thank you! And I agree. That is far better wording!

      • Zulu 3-6 says:


        If you pick my brain, you might just get a lot of buggers. 🙂

        Actually, I worked with a lot of good instructors and went to conferences taught by even better instructors. I met most of the pros in the business in the 1980s and people from other countries with some amazing skills.

        The Tap, Rack, Ready thing came from a group of us having lunch at an outdoor range during a police academy session (eating roast elk, too) and we were talking about conditioned reflexes. Somebody mentioned we were probably setting up such a reflex with Tap, Rack, Bang and suggested substituting Ready instead of Bang. After some discussion, and a chat with the academy director, we agreed we should and started with the next class as the one we had going was almost done and too late to change things up on them.

    • Zulu 3-6,

      When I taught at the police academy, in teaching malfunction drills, we used the term, “Tap, Rack, READY”

      I’ve done the same for 25+ years. Perhaps great minds think alike, or maybe it’s because the root of our training comes from the same place, LOL.

  5. Thor1 says:

    JM, I have many snap caps. Let’s see…..9mm,.40cal 12 ga, .223/.556, 7.62×39 and .300 wm. I need some for the .44mag. Great for practice……


  6. Janice says:

    I’m taking the course on Affilitate Marketing. I have a new blog site I started, but I really like your web page design. Would you mind telling me the theme name?


    Janice Porter

  7. Jesse,
    I have used snap caps and other commercial dummy ammunition in cluding .22 rimfire from places like Brownells for years in my classes; but, this is a new one for the .22. I just ordered 100 from Amazon via the link in your article; but, they were $8.49 for 100 or 8 ½ cents each, which is still not too bad.
    I do however have to comment on your math, when you state:

    The wall anchors work for this purpose and work well for less than 0.05 cents apiece.

    This amount would indicate that you get 20 of them for a penny, instead of 20 for a dollar. Your 0.05 is correct but only as part of a dollar not a cent.
    Another good use for dummy ammunition in a class is to show the difference between cartridge and caliber. We’ll pass .22 rimfire and 5.56mm dummies around together and make sure the students know that both are .22 caliber. Sometimes the caliber and the cartridge designation get confusing, as in 38 instead of 38 special, which is really caliber .357.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      TOP. Solid and it does work- and yes I am no mathematician *some basic skills but obviously not my forte:)

  8. Cndnate says:

    THanks guys for all the info

  9. Mrs. B says:

    I guess I’ve been out to lunch on this particular excersise. I never saw this before. I feel a trip to the hardware store coming in my future. Thanks Jesse for your insight.