Broken Marvel Firing Pin

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Post by DA/SA on Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:29 am

I went to the range on Sunday and "click"...no strike mark on the case.

I then locked the slide back and pushed the firing pin foreword with my finger and it was only moving foreword to where it was even with the breech face. The tip didn't look broken though.

I have been doing lots of dry fire, but use an empty case in the chamber and an O-ring around the rear of the firing pin to dampen the hammer strike so I was a bit puzzled.

I disassembled it this morning to see what was going on and was surprised to see that a piece had broken from the firing pin foreword shoulder, and had fallen foreword, and was restricting the firing pin from moving fully foreword. This means that the break was caused by the firing pin rebounding back against the firing pin positioning pin.

Is this a "normal" failure for a Marvel .22 conversion?

Broken Marvel Firing Pin 1WN9eaZl

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Post by whitez06 on Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:33 am

Yep, that's where they usually break. Get a couple for replacement

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Post by Jon Eulette on Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:44 am

My buddy and I got our Marvels in the same order. We've both broke 2 firing pins in the last 12-13 years. I just repaired his.
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Post by DA/SA on Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:47 am

This one is four months old...

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Post by Jon Eulette on Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:49 pm

All the broken pins I've seen broke in half near the middle of the pin. I didn't catch that yours broke there! That was probably damaged when initially installed by the firing pin retaining pin being improperly installed. The firing pin wasn't all the way in and the pin was forced in and broke that edge. That's my guess. That portion of the pin has the least force on it during function. The rear portion would receive the most when dry firing without a chamber plug. I attribute my buddy and mine breaking from dry firing the hell out of ours because we don't use a chamber plug to soften the impact of the firing pin. Marvels do not hit the edge of the chamber. I'm of the opinion the firing pin is a disposable part.
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Post by zanemoseley on Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:56 pm

I damaged one exactly as Jon says, if you put in the cross pin without the firing pin being pushed in far enough you'll catch the edge of the pin and shear off the shoulder. Mine even worked for a few shots before the broken off chunk locked up the firing pin.

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Post by bruce martindale on Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:57 pm

For 1911 dry fire, l cut a piece of leather belt and fit it into the rear of the slide. Stays put if you don't rack the slide. I don't know if the firing pin moves but a solution to this is to punch a hole in the leather .

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Post by DA/SA on Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:07 pm

Jon Eulette wrote: That portion of the pin has the least force on it during function.
That's why I thought I'd ask, as it made no sense to me that it would chip there from use.

I ordered a couple of new pins from Marvel and they were like, "oh, it broke there!"

I always use a snap cap for dry fire on center fire pistols due to the possibility of breaking positioning pins from the firing pin strike if nothing stops it moving foreword.

Thanks!

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Post by weber1b on Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:55 pm

I broke a Marvel pin after many many rounds and I now have a spare.

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Post by WillH on Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:03 pm

Similar broken firing pin occurred on one of my friend's Marvel recently as well (that was pretty new) but not sure where break was.  Hasn't happened to mine yet but now think based on this I should order a spare to have handy.  Also, fyi FCW now sells a dry fire device that goes up in the slide and has a hole in it to prevent the pin from being struck and direct contact of slide w hammer. Stays in place when slide is racked as well.

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Post by fc60 on Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:04 pm

Greetings,

The dry fire device may only save the barrel breech face.

The sudden impact of the hammer hitting the pin sends little shock waves throughout.

Most cracks occur at features with sharp corners or edges.

Some of my friends have made replacement firing pins from A10 tool steel. A10 is air hardening, requires no severe oil or water quench, and as a result stress fractures may be more controllable. Also,the use of cutting tools that have radii help reduce the stress risers.

For those with lathes, consider trying some S7, shock resistant tool steel.

Cheers,

Dave


Last edited by fc60 on Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Post by Al on Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:35 pm

My first one broke after several cases of ammo. 2nd one broke after less than 2000 rounds. Both on a Marvel unit one, lock back version.

Both broke at the same spot DA/SA's did. Chipped out at the front and wedged in the firing pin tunnel.

None of the 3 Marvel unit 1's I've owned were intentionally dry fired. Only the rare 6th shot in the string of sustained fire. After a nice visit with Larry Nelson at Perry this year, I ordered my second Nelson unit. I'm also convinced, after inspecting both brands of firing pins, that i'm not risking a broken Nelson firing pin.
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Last edited by Al on Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional thoughts & data.)

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Post by Founder on Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:47 pm

Mine broke in the same spot after years of use.
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Post by 1joel1 on Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:33 am

Is this only a Marvel issue or are the Nelson conversions also susceptible to this? If these are consumable parts, a few spares sound like a good idea.

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Post by JKR on Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:17 am

I also consider firing pins to be a disposable part. I keep an extra for all my 22's. This could become a problem with the Benelli. 

During my time with the Marvel, I broke four. I haven't had one break in the Nelson yet. Nor have I heard of one breaking.

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Post by DA/SA on Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:59 pm

fc60 wrote:Greetings,

The dry fire device may only save the barrel breech face.

The sudden impact of the hammer hitting the pin sends little shock waves throughout.

Most cracks occur at features with sharp corners or edges.

Some of my friends have made replacement firing pins from A10 tool steel. A10 is air hardening, requires no severe oil or water quench, and as a result stress fractures may be more controllable. Also,the use of cutting tools that have radii help reduce the stress risers.

For those with lathes, consider trying some S7, shock resistant tool steel.

Cheers,

Dave

I considered making one from S7, but since they are only $12.00 I just bought a couple.

It looks like a work hardening issue to me. The shoulder that broke is as hard as glass, but the rest of the pin is relatively soft. (30RC) I wouldn't be surprised if they were just 4140Q&T bar stock.

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Post by mbmshooter on Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:15 pm

I bought my first Marvel in 2001 and had many rounds through it.  I always used a Hammerli plug (now a Larry Carter plug) in both the Marvel and Hammerli.  I dry-fire with the plug in place.
Last month I had the Marvel barrel replaced while I was at Perry.  I still have the LGI plug in that Marvel.  In all these years I've never had a problem with the firing pin.  I suspect that using a plug in the chamber has saved the firing pin from excessive wear.

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Post by Kp321 on Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:32 pm

When I reached 10,000 rounds on my Nelson, I gave Larry a call and asked about firing pin life. He reassured me that I had a long way to go, citing a customer who had over 100,000 cycles, shots and dry fire, before his firing pin broke. They examined the break and redesigned future firing pins to eliminate the problem area. He hopes his firing pins can last 1,000,000 cycles.
Yes, I know he is proud of his product but now I have over 20,000 rounds through mine with no apparent wear or cracks.

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