1911 Firing Pins

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1911 Firing Pins

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/27/2017, 10:52 pm

Springfield Armory uses lightweight titanium firing pins with extra power firing pin springs (I think) and extra power hammer springs. If a lighter hammer spring is used - and we all often use them in our wad guns - then the light weight firing pin may not have enough mass to it to do the job reliably with a lighter weight hammer spring. Or at least this is the assumption I've come up with. 

My wad gun is a Springfield Mil Spec that was modified. I changed the firing pin spring to a standard weight spring, and the hammer spring is 19 pounds. I've always had light primer strikes with this gun but they've also always gone bang. But I had better make sure when reloading ammunition for this gun that the primers are all seated as far as they can go so they don't cushion the blow of the pin and cause a failure to fire. I believe this happened to me in one match just the one time. Other than that the gun has been very reliable and I have no complaints. 

So in the picture below you'll see a set of two firing pins. the top is the stock Springfield Armory firing pin. The bottom is an EGW firing pin. The EGW pin is made of stainless steel. EGW makes a few different diameter sizes and so when replacing your firing pin I recommend pull it and measuring the diameter first and ordering the closest thing possible. My pin was 0.0695". The replacement was 0.0680". 



The next picture is of two casings. The casing closer to the camera was shot with the stock firing pin and my "modified" spring set up. The next casing, furthest from the camera, was shot with the same gun and set up but I just simply replace the firing pin. Same springs as before. Look at the impact difference! Reliability increase is what I'm hoping for. No light strikes and no risk of an alibi.




Food for thought.
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Re: 1911 Firing Pins

Post by Wobbley on 12/27/2017, 11:29 pm

I wonder if a titanium hammer (with a tool steel hammer hooks) might be a way to get faster lock time?
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Re: 1911 Firing Pins

Post by SmokinNJokin on 12/28/2017, 4:06 am

Tim,
You are absolutely right in your statements about SA. I had no end of problems with my custom shop 1911 with the Ti firing pin until i replaced it with standard steel. Ed brown firing pin and #19 hammer spring, WLP primers, have not had a single light strike in 10,000s of rounds since.

The lightweight fp is not to decrease lock time or make the gun sexier in any way, it is a workaround for CA drop-safety requirements without installing the Swartz style FP block.

Another thing to be aware of: SA uses a proprietary 0.075" firing pin size on some guns, between the usual 0.065" (38, 9mm etc) and 0.093" (GI). There are readily available replacements, Ed Brown #826 is a steel 0.075".

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Re: 1911 Firing Pins

Post by Dr.Don on 12/28/2017, 8:45 am

Ditch the Titanium pin and go steel.  Unless you are skilled enough to seriously compete in free pistol, lock time is so far down the list of shooting factors as to be insignificant.  Alibis, on the other hand, are significant to all of us.
 
Tim, as a black powder champion, you will have no difficulty with lock time on any 1911..........
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Re: 1911 Firing Pins

Post by rreid on 12/28/2017, 2:39 pm

This is news to me. My Springfield has the Ti firing pin and I've run it for years with an 18# mainspring with no problems. I also have a Kimber pre-series II, which I'm pretty sure is a Ti. Haven't shot it as much, but no problems so far. I agree 100 percent with the idea of making sure primers are seated all the way. If they're not, you'll have issues no matter what material your firing pin is made of.
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Re: 1911 Firing Pins

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/28/2017, 3:10 pm

rreid wrote:This is news to me. My Springfield has the Ti firing pin and I've run it for years with an 18# mainspring with no problems. I also have a Kimber pre-series II, which I'm pretty sure is a Ti. Haven't shot it as much, but no problems so far. I agree 100 percent with the idea of making sure primers are seated all the way. If they're not, you'll have issues no matter what material your firing pin is made of.

I’ve never had issues with the gun or ammunition. I simply noticed the primer strikes are all light. They still detonated but they made me worry about a chance of failure to fire and at the worst moment - in a match. I did, since I got the gun, have one round not fire and it was during a match. I swore I’d figure it out wether it was faulty Ammo or a gun issue. I think it was both. A combination of a light striking firing pin, and a primer that was only partially seated. So the primer probably cushioned the blow of the firing pin and kept it from going off. Back home after match I put that round in the gun and it fired. 

Now with the new firing pin the impact as you can see is much more. So for me I have peace of mind knowing that I shouldn’t have any issues there.
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Re: 1911 Firing Pins

Post by jglenn21 on 12/28/2017, 5:48 pm

could simply be the primers you're using that show various results.as a good friend once told me  CCI are as hard as hens teeth.. Winchester/ federal not so much
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Re: 1911 Firing Pins

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/28/2017, 6:37 pm

jglenn21 wrote:could simply be the primers you're using that show various results.as a good friend once told me  CCI are as hard as hens teeth.. Winchester/ federal not so much

Been shooting Winchester primers since I got the gun. No inconsistencies or differences in firing pin indent. Always the same and always in my opinion too shallow or light. New pin, bigger dent. Winchester primers. Recently I've switched to CCI because I got em on sale but had the same results. The primers in the picture are Winchester. I can do the same all day with CCI also.
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Re: 1911 Firing Pins

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