Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

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Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by xmastershooter on 2/4/2017, 1:11 am

Need some guidance on replacing a broken firing pin on the Hammerli 208S.  I see a retaining pin which holds the firing pin into position. How would I tap this pin out?  Otherwise, I believe it looks to be a very straightforward procedure.  Your input is very much appreciated.

Norman

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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by Ed Hall on 2/4/2017, 9:17 am

Hi Norman,

Although straight forward, I don't consider it easy, especially if it is the first time the retaining pin is to be removed.  The pin has a head on the top and must be driven out from the bottom with a good quality punch.  It will take quite a pounding to get it started and then only a little bit less to finish the job.  A medium to poor quality punch will bend/break.  Even with a good quality punch, make sure you are hitting it squarely.

Replacing the pin, although easier, is still a challenge.  You might want to use a brass punch for that, so when it slips off the head the scratch can be cleaned up.  It is also easier, if you use your original punch from underneath to hold the firing pin in place and let the retaining pin push the punch out as it is driven into place.  Make sure you do drive it all the way in, or close to it.  There isn't much clearance under the rear sight bridge.  Even if you don't have the bridge on now, if you ever do put it on, you don't want to mess around with the pin sticking up in the way.

Let me know if I've overstated anything.  I've replaced my pin many times.  It is getting easier, but...

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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by xmastershooter on 2/5/2017, 12:14 am

Hi Ed,

Thank you for your expertise.  This will be my third replacement so hopefully the retaining pin comes out easier.  I spoke to an Army armorer at Camp Perry one year and he said they replace this firing pin about once a year for their shooters.  Yet I know of several fellow shooters who never had a problem.  Will give you a progress report soon.

Norman

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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by Jon Eulette on 2/5/2017, 2:49 am

My old 208 I shot many years ago broke the firing pin somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 rounds. Lucked out that I was shooting a match that Hammerli factory support was there. New firing pin at no cost. That's service!
Jon
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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by Ed Hall on 2/5/2017, 8:39 am

Sounds good, Norman.

Hi Jon,

I've broken about 4 since around 2000.  I do think the first one was quite a while after purchase.  I attributed the failures to too sharp a radius in the pin profile and dry firing.  I consider the failures just a training cost.  I did have one fail on the second dry fire after installation.  It and a second one were from a new batch that Larry had made stateside.  He replaced both at his cost and I haven't had any failures from the latest (unless that's why it gave me trouble at the league, which I haven't checked yet - must be getting lazy)...

Although I do have a spare firing pin in my gunbox, I don't expect to ever try to swap it at a match.  But, I'm covered by also having a second complete slide in my box.  Way easier to swap!(smile)

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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by Ed Hall on 2/6/2017, 8:18 pm

Ed Hall wrote:...(unless that's why it gave me trouble at the league, which I haven't checked yet - must be getting lazy)...
Yep, the firing pin had become a two-piece model.  A new one is in place and ready to propel me to much higher levels than my 10-1x Rapid Fire target last week...

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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by DavidR on 2/7/2017, 1:30 pm

Nicely put changing it is a bitch, i gave up and sent mine to larry carter, he doesnt charge much, shipped him the slide only, 6.00 each way priority mail
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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by xmastershooter on 2/8/2017, 1:19 am

Hi Ed,

Thank you for your articulate descriptions via this forum. You are truly a scholar and a gentleman. I experienced every detail you had described.  I had a "virgin" punch of the exact diameter needed, from my set which I bought from Gil Hebard I believe around 1977. I needed the confirmation that moderate pounding was necessary.

I had to think how to tap/pound the retaining pin back into place after installing the new firing pin while having the punch sticking out and under as it kept the firing pin in position. I used a small sheet of flat cork material rolled up and placed between side-by-side wooden blocks built up to the needed height. I now have a firm surface to tap while the punch is held up in place against this cork roll, but the cork also gave way as the punch started to back out while the retaining pin was tapped deeper into position.  A piece of foam rubber would work just as well.

I'll order another firing pin for a spare.  Do you know the present cost?  I also have a two-piece souvenir firing pin now.

Norman

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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by Ed Hall on 2/8/2017, 11:51 am

Hi Norman,

I'm glad I was helpful and good to hear you're back in business. According to Larry's web site, they're $23.00, plus shipping:

208s Firing Pin at larrysguns.com

I bought several a few years ago, but as of Monday, I'm down to one spare.  I would normally wait to buy parts at Camp Perry, but if the information from elsewhere on the forum remains true, Larry won't be there this year.  I may need to order from his store if I break another one.

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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by xmastershooter on 12/30/2017, 12:43 am

Ed Hall wrote:
Replacing the pin, although easier, is still a challenge.  You might want to use a brass punch for that, so when it slips off the head the scratch can be cleaned up.  It is also easier, if you use your original punch from underneath to hold the firing pin in place and let the retaining pin push the punch out as it is driven into place.  Make sure you do drive it all the way in, or close to it.  There isn't much clearance under the rear sight bridge.  Even if you don't have the bridge on now, if you ever do put it on, you don't want to mess around with the pin sticking up in the way.
Hi Ed,

Another broken firing pin and I question the quality of these replacement firing pins.  Anyhow, I thought of using a refrigerator magnet sheet as an protective apron.  A hot nail melted a hole of the approximate size of the retaining pin which secures the firing pin.  Tapping the pin flush was then a rather easy task without the worry of the punch slipping and scratching the slide.

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Re: Replacing Firing Pin H 208S

Post by Ed Hall on 12/30/2017, 11:07 am

Hi Norman,

Great approach!  I will have to consider something similar next time.

I have gone through many pins, especially when I was more actively dry firing.  There have been quality variations with different batches over the years.  I did break one on the second dry fire after install.  Larry Carter swapped that one out for a new one from a different batch for me.  That was probably well past ten years ago.  That one might have been from the first batch of domestic pins he had made.  The problem is with the radius in the design being too sharp.  The softness of the dry fire plug may help lead to failure by allowing the spring to go solid when struck.

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