Light primer strikes!?

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Light primer strikes!?

Post by Tim:H11 on Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:38 pm

First topic message reminder :

Range Officer giving me fits. Good solid primer hits and gun goes bang of course but a lot of light strikes with no boom. Gun hasn't been shot enough for it to be fowling. Wolff 24 pound ILS mainspring in it. Gonna try 26 pounds next. Give me 30 minutes. I shoot at home.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Ed Hall on Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:32 am

(Jerry, or others, please chime in if I'm off track.)

I was told long ago to make sure the firing pin spring had three coils past the pin tip.  The smaller end is supposed to "lock" onto the pin, so place it on first.

I was having light hits with a Curtis gun last year.  Unfortunately, prior to my receipt, at least some ignition parts had been worked by another party.  The firing pin spring had at least 8 extra coils.  I wondered how the pin could protrude without the spring going solid.  I replaced the spring with a standard one, but also replaced the mainspring with a standard one at the same time, so I'm not sure which may have solved the issue.  I'm actually not sure it is solved, since I didn't shoot that gun much after the spring changes.

Back to the OP:  An extra item I'd check, just because it's easy, would be that the hammer is free throughout its arc.  Hold the trigger back and check that the hammer is smooth for its entire travel.  You wouldn't believe how many guns I've handled that have the half cock hitting the sear on the way down.  If the contact is gross enough, it will retard the travel.  Also check the sides of the hammer for wear from hitting the lower corner of the ejector or slide corners.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Jon Eulette on Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:46 am

Ed makes a very good point about the half cock notch slowing the hammer velocity down. As an aside, I repair/replace around 3-4 hammers a year from BE pistols that are set up too tight allowing the hammer to hit sear as it is fired.
Jon

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by bgw45 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:14 pm

Tim, from your original post I would have this question.  Two different powder charges. We're the primers from the same package?  Were they loaded in the same session. Did you lube the cases? Could the 3.5s be contaminated? Anyone else have access to your loading bench? Just trying to understand.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Tim:H11 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:00 pm

bgw45 wrote:Tim, from your original post I would have this question.  Two different powder charges. We're the primers from the same package?  Were they loaded in the same session. Did you lube the cases? Could the 3.5s be contaminated? Anyone else have access to your loading bench? Just trying to understand.

I started this thread mod shooting session. I shoot at home and had the luxury of a bench and tools so I just had a problem and posted as I dealt with it. The 3.5's was the first box I dipped into having problems right off. I switched to 4.0 and didn't have issues for the first few but began to have the same bad luck the more I shot. I was tricked to thinking changing ammo put me in the clear. Wrong! I started switching mainsprings and didn't have much luck. I cut down the firing pin spring and had better luck. It's an extra power firing pin spring. My guess is it's intended for use with heavier mainsprings for carry or duty guns to insure fire. Last week I didn't have nearly as many issues but it was CCI primers and they're thought to be softer than Winchester.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Wobbley on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:28 pm

The rationale for the extra power firing pin springs is to prevent the firing pin from hitting the primer when the slide goes home under the power of an extra power recoil spring.  With an EP recoil spring the velocity of the slide may be high enough to cause the firing pin to go forward enough to hit the primer unless it has enough force prevent that.  The EP firing pin spring and the titanium firing pin might cause the firing pin to short stroke (remembering that the firing pin is an inertia firing pin in a 1911).

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Deerspy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:29 pm

I would de-prime and clean pocket and make sure primers are seated all the way in, and also check the hole in mainspring housing for smoothness I had one from springfield  that was real ruff on where the spring cap rubbed I honed it and the oiled when put back together .

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by rich.tullo on Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:14 pm

Ok Springfield uses 9mm titanium firing pins. Why I don't know. Short term fix is get a pipe cleaner and clean the firing pin channel. 

Long term fix, get a steal replacement from brownels, I think Ed Brown was the best reviewed.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Tim:H11 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:10 am

rich.tullo wrote:Ok Springfield uses 9mm titanium firing pins. Why I don't know. Short term fix is get a pipe cleaner and clean the firing pin channel. 

Long term fix, get a steal replacement from brownels, I think Ed Brown was the best reviewed.

So if I buy a replacement firing pin I need one for a 9mm 1911? Though mine is a 45ACP?

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Dave Shooter on Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:52 am

You need a firing pin which matches your slide.  There are two standards for firing pin diameters, the original GI spec for .45 ACP and a smaller size that came about for use in .38 Super and 9mm.  The large pins will not fit through the smaller hole breachfaces.
There are some advantages to the smaller size for high intensity cartrides; for .45 ACP I don't believe it makes any difference. 
Springfield  (the commercial entity) standardized on the small size for all their 1911s some time ago and has built countless thousands of small firing pin .45s that work fine.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Sa-tevp on Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:15 am

From Brownells:

EGW Firing Pins ".068 normally fits Colt and Caspian 9mm/.38 Super/.40/10mm. .075 fits Springfield Armory 9mm/.38 Super/10mm/current-production .45 ACP. .093 fits most .45 ACP, including older-production Springfield. Fit may vary; measure your gun to be sure you select the correct size pin."

296-000-116WB Firing Pin, .075" Mfr Part: 10071


Ed Brown Firing Pins: #826 Special size for 9mm/.38S, .45 ACP Springfield, Inc.

087-205-826WB #826 Firing Pin Mfr Part: 826



I am using an Ed Brown steel firing pin to light off my Winchester primers I am using on 50 yard loads in my Range Officer. I use CCI LPP for 25 yard loads for identification. I wet tumble my brass and it was suggested to me that my primers were not fully seated. There is a difference in feel when seating the primers on my Hornady LNL.

So far the steel firing pin and more careful seating solved the first light strike/fire on the second try problem I was having with my Range Officer.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Tim:H11 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:26 am

I guess I'll have to look into a new firing pin then. But I'm gonna wait until I get the new factory power firing pin spring in the gun. I'd like to see what that does first.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Tim:H11 on Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:33 pm

Solved!!!! Got my new factory or standard poundage firing pin springs in from Wolff and BAM! Test fired 50 rounds with not a single problem! Stock firing pin.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by james r chapman on Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:53 pm


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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Rob Kovach on Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:51 am

Finally! Whew!

Some things need changing. Other things need to stay the same. The firing pin spring was a "stay the same" part.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Dr.Don on Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:59 am

Maybe the bowling pin guys might need it for high power loads, but there is no need for an "extra power" anything in a bullseye gun.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by C.Perkins on Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:47 am

It always seems to be the simple things.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it Smile
Glad you cured your problem.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Tim:H11 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:43 pm

Nnnoooooo! Today sub 40 degree weather. Constant failure to fires. Looked a little on the light side. So I'm going with a standard firing pin spring, AND I'm gonna order a new steel firing pin instead of the factory titanium one that's in it. Sad not happy.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by C.Perkins on Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:54 pm

If you are not messing with us then put all of the stock parts back into that pistol and ship it back to be resolved or replaced.
Was this pistol operating fine before you started messing with things ?

There, I said it.

Good luck.

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Nope

Post by Tim:H11 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:31 pm

C.Perkins wrote:If you are not messing with us then put all of the stock parts back into that pistol and ship it back to be resolved or replaced.
Was this pistol operating fine before you started messing with things ?

There, I said it.

Good luck.

No not messing with you. At 27 I might go bald with this gun. I'm wondering if cold wether has anything to do with it. It was mentioned above to try a steel firing pin so I will try that next. These primers are older winchesters I bought from a shooter who no longer shoots or reloads. Could they be old and gone bad?

Didn't shoot it much if at all that I can remember stock.


Last edited by Tim:H11 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional note)

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Tim:H11 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:34 pm

Also the ones that didn't go bang first time, all went bang on the second hit. Before - back a week ago, they would go three or four hits and no bang.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by KenO on Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:45 pm

I still think you should buy some factory ammo. You need to find out if its an ammo problem, or a gun problem. Trying to chase two possible problem is going to drive you crazy, narrow it down!


It sounds to me like the primers weren't seated all the way, the firing pin is finishing seating the primer. But, I think you said that wasn't the case.


Primers don't go bad that I know of. I still have some old Alcan primers that still go bang, they haven't made them in probably 25 years or more.


Last edited by KenO on Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by C.Perkins on Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:47 pm

Cold weather has nothing to do with a primer being set off.
Cold weather can affect powder performance in a certain load.

Stick a standard wooden #2 pencil, eraser down into your barrel and pull the trigger.
That pencil should travel approx. 6 feet into the air, now how about that for a test ?

I have stated in a previous post that I have never run into a batch of bad primers.
99% of my primers are Winchester.
Have purchased the older white box Winchester primers sitting on the gun show tables that no one wants cause they are old and with no problems.

Up to you, but I would send the pistol back if it never functioned from the starting gate.

Clarence

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Wobbley on Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:06 pm

I don't think they've made Alcan primers since about 1970.  So they'd be 45 years old.

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Tim:H11 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:06 pm

C.Perkins wrote:
Stick a standard wooden #2 pencil, eraser down into your barrel and pull the trigger.
That pencil should travel approx. 6 feet into the air, now how about that for a test ?

Clarence

6 FEET! I just tried it and it didn't go 6 inches! Maybe six inches but definitely no further. Keep in mind I'm using a 24 pound reduced power ILS Wolff mainspring. I can go up in poundage and it might fire bu it'll be a heavier trigger. And I can't really back the sear and discontent spring legs off any further because the hammer will follow. 

The Springfield firing pin is titanium, and it's smaller diameter so maybe it's just too light of a firing pin and a steel one is needed. It'll be my next try. Tomorrow I will try factory ammo so we can have a decision in on that front so stay tuned. Got to go to the range tomorrow anyway to pick up my new (new to me) S&W M14-3 box and all!

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

Post by Wobbley on Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:16 pm

It is the firing pin.  Put a steel one in.  You've lightened the mainspring and this means the hammer isn't putting the same velocity on to the firing pin.  The firing pin is a full inertia pin.  It has to have enough energy to fire the primer in its own.  The energy is half the mass of the firing pin times the square of the velocity.  The velocity of the firing pin is reduced by the lighter mainspring and the titanium firing pin has half the mass of steel.  With an "extra power" firing pin spring it absorbs too much of the reduced energy.  

Put a steel firing pin in your pistol and a standard firing pin spring.  

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Re: Light primer strikes!?

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