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New firing pin for Grant #1

November 12, 2011
By

Doing some clays the other day I found that my right barrel sometimes didn’t fire. It just clicked. On inspecting the cartridges the indent was there but it wasn’t deep enough. So it looks like a new pin was required. I had some stock steel in the workshop so cut a suitable length and used the lathe and a micrometer to make the basic pin shape to the correct size. Once it was the right size I cut the pin to the right shap plus 2mm on the hammer end. This is the end that had mushroomed over use and render the pin unreliable.

The pin is then shaped and sanded to a polish. Once happy with the lenght, and you should fit the pin many times to make sure that the hammer releases slightly off the pin when fired, you can harden then temper the pin. To harden. Use a torch and get the pin cherry red. Once cherry red drop or hold the pin in a good oil. I use a spring oil. Let the part cool completely. Once cooled cleaned it off with wire wool to a nice shiney finish. Then again, heat the part, this time watch the colours and get it to a purple/light blue and then once at this temperature remove the part from the heat. This is now tempered. Polish when finished and fir to the gun. There a new pin…will try it as soon as I can!

4 Responses to New firing pin for Grant #1

  1. andrew on December 9, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Ah the beloved firing pin. I have just made one for a Woodward O/U pigeon gun, absolute nightmare (I wish the Brits had stuck to S/S!) Problem with the Woodward is the acute angles involved, which means that the back side of the pin should not protrude too far (It is then forced sideways by the tumbler against the inside of the side plate, and it dissipates the energy causing a misfire) Too little protrusion, misfires once again! Problem is, in the case of too far, dry firing shows the correct breech protrusion, but live firing produces no bang, kept me awake a bit!

    Andrew

  2. Chris Buckingham on December 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Tony,
    An excellent description of making a firing pin! However what you did not remind us of was the steel used was in fact “silver steel”(I think this is known as “drill rod” in the USA)the steel needs to have a carbon content(1.3% in this case)to be able to take the hardening and tempering,obviously you know that,but there may be others out there that do not,and having spent hours making a pin from mild steel,wonder why it will not harden.One other point is that should there be the slightest trace of oil on the component after quenching,you will not get the correct tempering colours,so the part needs to be de greased(and not touched by hand after)it is only by doing this that the colours will give a true temperature oxide indication.
    Regards,
    Chris,
    France.

  3. Chris Buckingham on December 14, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Tony,
    I should have added the firing pin protrusion is critical!!! Too much and it could pierce the primer! I aim at around .050″ (50 thou)on full striker contact.the nose shape can also add to primer puncture! Aim for a slightly tapered round nose on the pin,but not too much taper,I have seen them sharpened like nails!! A recipe for disaster!
    Regards,
    Chris,
    France.

  4. Tony on December 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Yes, I tried to replicate the existing one. I’ve just shot about 150 rounds through it today and it appears to be faultless.
    T

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