Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

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Hand and Steel
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Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby Hand and Steel » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:56 pm

As most of us know, the firing pins on rimfire weapons do not have a stellar reputation for durability, and can easily break if dry fired, or even live fired a fair amount in some cases.

I know that Ruger took steps to ruggedize the firing pin on certain rimfire weapons like the .22 auto pistol and the 10/22 carbine, by cutting it to such a length that it would still crimp the rim of the cartridge being fired, but would not impact the barrel if dry fired or strike with such depth as to damage itself during live firing. Why other manufacturers have not followed suit and done the same is odd, to say the least, as it does not seem that such a step would inordinately raise production costs.

I am now considering that similar careful filing the firing pins of other makes of .22 could potentially increase their durability (though it would certainly void any applicable warranty) as they would fall just short of striking the barrel. What are y'all's thoughts on this - is it worth experimenting, or is this concept doomed to failure for some hereto unseen reason?

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hkguy
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Re: Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby hkguy » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:43 pm

you will need to be careful if these pins are hardened parts. if you remove enough material, you could expose the softer, untreated metal and inadvertently cause the part to fail sooner.

personally, i think shortening the firing pin might induce more FTF malfunctions. There is a reason they were engineered to be the length they are made.
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Re: Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby yankeejib » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:30 pm

I've got one old 10/22 that has been fired at least 50K times, cleaned maybe 10 times, and never coughs unless I feed it the shittiest of .22LR ammo. Kinda like messing with Glock triggers.
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Re: Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby Nathan » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:15 pm

yankeejib wrote:Kinda like messing with Glock triggers.

...best response to any internet discussion in history.
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Hand and Steel
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Re: Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby Hand and Steel » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:29 pm

Yankeejib, your anecdote about the 10/22 makes my point exactly - the firing pin of that weapon has a superior design to other typical .22 rimfire guns, which makes it vastly more durable, and therefore makes the 10/22 a far more trustworthy survival rifle - my quarry is whether or not emulating that particular design trait of the 10/22 on other .22 firearms could result in a similar ruggedness.

Hkguy, thanks for the input - you are of course correct that the metal beneath the surface may be softer due to the heat treating process. The part could of course be heat treated again after any potential modification.
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Re: Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby Nathan » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:43 pm

I'm gonna simplify this greatly. I recommend you simply purchase an additional pin in advance to have on hand for when your primary pin fails.

I still have my childhood Marlin .22 tube fed auto with the squirrel on the stock. I've been shooting this rifle for 40+ years. I cannot imagine the hundreds of thousands of times it has cycled properly and yet to date the rifle has absolutely never failed me. Hell, I can't imagine how it fires at all anymore.
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Re: Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby LWP » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:57 pm

Case hardening is usually about .030" deep. Any section of the firing pin less than .060 thick would be through hardened. It seems not a good practice to do that--case harden a skinny part--the transition from hard to soft zones would have strange toughness properties, or something. It's been 45 years since I studied that subject. I would rather think a firing pin is monolithically hardened. Of course you could ask the maker.

If you grind a little off the pin so it is too short to reach the barrel, breakage could be avoided, but let us know if it is reliable after your first 500. Why don't you simply avoid pulling the trigger on an empty chamber? I store my .22 weapons with an expended shell in the chamber, and pull the trigger to release the spring.

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Re: Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby Smurf » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:09 am

Nathan wrote:I'm gonna simplify this greatly. I recommend you simply purchase an additional pin in advance to have on hand for when your primary pin falls.

I still have my childhood Marlin .22 tube fed auto with the squirrel on the stock. I've been shooting this rifle for 40+ years. I cannot imagine the hundreds of thousands of times it has cycled properly and yet to date the rifle has absolutely never failed me. Hell, I can't imagine how it fires at all anymore.


I have the Marlin 22 tube fed that my late wife bought me for my birthday the first year we were married. This gun was purchased May 1964. It has not had a failure of any kind since it was brought home. When I was younger I could shoot gumballs off the limbs with it. Still is a great shooter.

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YeeeahSteve
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Re: Ruggedizing the Rimfire Firing Pin

Postby YeeeahSteve » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:51 pm

Or you could just get rid of those "other" .22 calibers you have and just stick with the 10/22?


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