Can You Dry Fire A Gel Blaster? Exploring The Risks And Benefits

By Tavish Archer
Edited On

During an intense GEL BLASTER PARTY with my friends one weekend, I managed to sneak up on Erik from behind and launch a torrent of gel balls– or so I thought.

He turned back, his face changing from a shocked expression to a grin as he shot back at me. “What the heck, dude? I tagged you out already!” I told him. “Nope, you didn’t. You were DRY-FIRING,” he said.

I pulled the trigger again, this time with my hand in front of the barrel. He was right! I had run out of ammo. As I sheepishly walked back to our gellet depot to reload, a thought struck me – can dry-firing damage my blaster? Can I do it for fun?

Let’s dive into more details.

Can You Dry Fire A Gel Blaster

What Is Dry Firing?

Dry firing typically refers to the act of firing a firearm or toy gun without ammo in the chamber. This can be done for various reasons, such as practicing trigger control, testing the functions of the gun, or training without live ammunition.

In the context of gel blasters, dry firing means firing the blaster without gel balls loaded into the hopper or magazine. But is it a good idea to do so? Here is the truth-

Should You Dry-Fire Your Gel Blaster Gun?

Technically, yes, you can dry-fire any gel blaster gun, but doing so frequently over time can cause malfunctions, leading to its breakdown. Why, you ask? It’s because of performance issues that I will explain in detail in the following section. Even most manufacturers don’t recommend doing it.

However, empty-firing can be a useful method for testing, cleaning, and troubleshooting your gel ball blaster without expending any ammo. Besides, I’ve seen kids love dry-firing for the sound and light effects, especially when playing alone.

So, depending on the purpose, you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T dry-fire your Orbeez gun. Initially. it will function as intended, but without actually firing any gel balls. However, be cautious not to shoot them without ammo for extended periods. Let me explain why.

Impact Of Dry-Firing On Gel Blasters

When dry-firing an electric gel blaster gun, the piston moves back and forth as it should. However, since there aren’t any gel balls in the barrel, the gun won’t actually shoot anything.

However, overdoing this can cause damage to the internal components of the blaster, particularly the piston and spring, designed to absorb the impact of firing when there is a gel ball present. But, without a gel ball to absorb the energy, these parts can slam against each other, potentially leading to WEAR and BREAKAGE over time.

In the case of a gas-powered blaster, when the pressurized gas is released from the capsule, cylinder, or magazine during dry-firing, it immediately expands. Most gases, including CO2, HPA, or Green Gases, cool down as they expand, sometimes dropping below their freezing points.

While the drop in temperature won’t directly damage the splat gun’s metal components, the LUBRICANT can harden and lose its viscosity, affecting its ability to function properly. What’s more? If the temperature drops too low, the RUBBER SEALS can break under rigorous operations.

But wait! The good news is that dry-firing a few times is insufficient for the temperature to drop low enough to cause any immediate issues with a CO2 gel blaster. So, guess what? Whether you have a gas-powered or an electric blaster, as long as you’re not doing it excessively, there’s no need to worry.


Allows practice of shooting technique and aiming without using gel balls.

Useful for new users learning to handle and aim their gel blaster.

Helps users become more familiar with trigger pull and overall feel, improving accuracy with gellets.


Puts extra stress on internal components like the spring and piston, leading to premature wear and tear.

Can cause damage to the blaster gun over time.

How To Safely Shoot A Gel Ball Blaster Without Ammo?

Dry-firing can be a good practice technique when using a blaster, but it’s important to do it safely to avoid any damage. Here are some tips for safely firing a gel blaster without ammo:

  1. Ensure the Blaster is Unloaded: Before empty-firing, always remove the magazine from your Orbeez gun and visually inspect the chamber to ensure there are no gellets present.
  2. Point it in a Safe Direction: Always point the gel ball blaster in a safe direction, away from people, animals, and anything you do not intend to shoot, even if there’s no ammo inside.
  3. Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger: Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire your splatter ball gun. This helps prevent accidental discharges.
  4. Pull the Trigger: Slowly squeeze the trigger to release the spring tension or check the firing mechanism.
  5. Avoid Excessive Dry-Firing: While it is a useful practice technique, excessive dry-firing can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the gel blaster’s internal components. Limit the process to what is necessary for practice or testing purposes.
  6. Inspect the Blaster: After you are done, inspect the gun to ensure it is in good condition, and there are no issues with the firing mechanism. If there is any, you may try to clean the gel blaster or troubleshoot the problem.
  7. Store Safely: When not in use, store it in a secure place, away from minors and unauthorized individuals.

Following these steps will help you safely dry-fire your blaster without any risk.

Also Read: Do Orbeez Dry Out Naturally?

Testing gel blaster Surge XL

To Dry Fire Or Not? Here’s The Final Verdict

So, the question of whether you can dry-fire a gel gun comes down to maintaining its longevity and performance. While occasional firing without gel balls may not immediately harm your blaster, repeated instances can lead to wear and tear, affecting its functionality and efficiency over time.

To ensure the longevity of your gel blaster gun, it’s best to minimize dry firing without gellets and always use appropriate safety precautions. If you must do it for maintenance or training purposes, make sure to follow the specific manufacturer’s guidelines.

Ultimately, it can help you make informed decisions about its care and use. In my experience, balancing practice and preservation will ensure that your Orbeez gun remains in top condition for all your adventures.

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer is a Recreational Gamer, Author, and Co-Founder of ThrilloGaming. He holds a degree in Sports Management from Mississippi College (MC), United States. His experience and proficiency in the field allow him to provide winning strategies, creative ideas, and expert advice.

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