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Dog Training Pistols & Blanks

By Alan Davison
Friday, May 16th 2014

Dog training blank pistols come in all different types and calibers.

If you aren’t familiar with blank pistols—or any other kind of firearm—it can be difficult to know what to buy and why.

Most blank guns for dog training fire 209 Primers, .22 caliber, or .32 caliber blanks. They are not interchangeable. You can’t fire .22s in a gun made to fire .32s. You can’t fire 209s in either one. You must buy the type of ammunition that fits the gun you have.

Here’s why: Besides the size of the cylinder chambers, .32 blanks are center fire ammunition. This means the hammer of the pistol hits the center of the round. 209s are also Center Fire. .22s are rim fire which means the hammer strikes on the rim. (We know there are inserts out there that allow you to fire different ammunition other than what your gun was made for, however, doing so will void your manufacturer’s warranty, not to mention, you are putting yourself at risk firing something explosive in your hand that is not designed that way).

The General Hierarchy of Bang:

  • .32 caliber: Loudest
  • 209 primer: Middle Range
  • .22 caliber: Softest

Within the .22 caliber range, however, there is a hierarchy of its own:

  • Acorn Crimps: Very soft pop. Useful for introducing a puppy to the gun. Not generally allowed in competition, as they do not demonstrate that your dog is not gun-shy.
  • Regular Crimps (clean): Louder report; sometimes allowed in events like hunt tests and some field trials. A good all-purpose training blank.
  • Black Powder: The loudest .22 report, coming close to the 209. Most competition events allow them because of their loud report.

Bang Economics:

209 Primers are far and away the least expensive blank ammunition among these three. At the time of this writing, $10.95 will get you 100 rounds of 209s. .22s will cost you $19.95 for 100 clean or 50 black powder rounds and $25.95 for 100 acorns. .32s are going for $49.95 for a box of 50.

Dogs Unlimited has a great assortment of blank pistols that are designed to fire the blanks that we sell. BUT BE AWARE of the type of ammo you are purchasing and make sure it matches up with the pistol that you’ll be using. And when competing in performance events it’s always wise to check the organization's rules and requirements for the type of blank to be used.

As always, our goal here at Dogs Unlimited is to help you Make Your Good Dog Better.

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