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Old February 21, 2009, 08:16 PM   #1
jal5
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Bayard 1908 needs firing pin

This is my grandfathers gun given to me by my dad recently. Neither one took much care of it, so there is some rusting on the outside, barrel bore doesn't look too bad, a little cleaning will hopefully do it. Since the attached pic was taken I have pretty much restored the exterior, it looks better than the pic. I can remember seeing it about 40 yrs ago and it was in very good shape then. Its the early model 1908, 32acp caliber.

Needs a firing pin though...the one in it seems to have the portion to the rear of the slide broken off.
Here is the schematic showing the pin http://www.vestpockets.bauli.at/
mine has the left side of that pin from the head to the end of the cutout missing.
My local gunsmith although an honest and good man had no idea where to find one, and with his labor cost plus the pin it would be more than the gun is worth for him to do it.

However, to me it would be worth it to research this piece. Any ideas? thanks.
Joe
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Last edited by jal5; February 21, 2009 at 08:21 PM.
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Old February 21, 2009, 10:59 PM   #2
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I used to just go ahead and make those simple pins as it would take less time than trying to chase one down.

FYI, I tried to take mine apart just so I would know what I was dealing with, but I had a heckuva time, and finally had to bend the firing pin to get it out. It looks like they intended that the plug at the back of the slide come out to replace the firing pin, which would likely mar the slide. That is really bad design. I trimmed off the top of the firing pin back of the notch to get it back in (my gun is a collector, not a shooter) and it works OK. I think to do it right, I would make a two piece firing pin like the Colt M1903. In fact, as I look at it, I think I might try a Colt firing pin and spring and adjust as necessary. I don't feel like tearing down a Colt to check, though, and I don't have a spare firing pin.

Jim
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Old February 22, 2009, 12:27 PM   #3
jal5
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Jim- yes its a pain to remove that plug to get the pin out! Bad design I agree.

Here is a pic of my pin...maybe someone already took the piece off so that it isn't necessary to take that plug out to remove the pin? Will it work like that? Doesn't look right to me for a usable gun. Not sure what a 2-piece pin would look like? Can you point me to a drawing of that Colt pin? thanks.
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Old February 22, 2009, 01:47 PM   #4
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Here is a parts list showing the two piece pin, part numbers 4 (front) and 4A (back). The picture seems to show the front part as having a flat, but it is just a round pin with a head to compress the spring.

http://www.e-gunparts.com/productsch...2%20HAMMERLESS

I tried a Colt firing pin but it is too small and retaining it would be "iffy". I still think, though, that a two piece pin is the way to go in that confined slide.

It is odd, but yours is different from mine, and both are different from that shown in the "vestpockets" web site. The latter has an enlarged head, which mine does not. Mine has three diameters, the full size at the rear, a short reduced section, then a fairly long small section at the front, where yours has only two diameters. I have no idea if mine or yours is a replacement, or if there were different types.

With yours broken, you might have had no trouble removing it. I really can't believe they intended that the back plug be removed to get out the firing pin. Those manufacturing holes (it was needed for drilling the firing pin hole) are usually plugged up solidly and intended to be a permanent assembly.

You might talk to your gunsmith about just making a pin. Another possibility is to see if there is a small machineshop in your area that might make it.

You could make it out of soft metal, like out of a nail, if you don't plan to fire the gun more than a few shots. A drill or drill press and a file can be used to turn it down where it has to be smaller. Yours looks like there is no provision for a spring, but there should be and if you make one or have one made, you should have a smaller front section to allow for a spring. A spring can be bought at most hardware or big box stores and cut as needed.

Normally, firing pins are made out of tool steel (drill rod) and then heat treated for hardness, but for a non-using gun, soft metal will work OK.

Jim
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Old February 22, 2009, 03:23 PM   #5
jal5
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thanks Jim. I can see what the 2-piece Colt pin looks like from that drawing.

Apparently there was a early model 1908 and a late model 1908 and the firing pins were different- maybe yours is the later one? See the written description on the vestpockets webpage. I think mine is supposed to be like the one on the vestpocket page and where the head of the pin, that is to the rear of the pin, that is where mine is broken off. There is a spring for mine, and the way it set it was engaging the front end of the pin, the smallest dia. part. I was thinking about finding someone to just make one for me, probably not a hard job.
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Old February 22, 2009, 06:27 PM   #6
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If you had a friend that was a machinist, and you gave him the original and maybe a drawing with dimensions taken with a caliper, or maybe even not, I bet he could crank one of those out on the lathe post-haste. The trouble comes with a broken pin and a piece missing. Then you gotta get a diagram made somehow. Perhaps someone with the intact part would make a drawing with measurements. The drawing does not have to be great art as long as the numbers are right. I have a book from the 80's I think, that has a repro of the original instructions etc. for that pistol. It has a weird recoil buffer inside, consisting of a regular recoil spring, and a cone shaped flat spring rolled up to act as the buffer for recoil. I see that the firing pin has sort of a head on the end that is missing from the broken one.
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Old February 22, 2009, 06:53 PM   #7
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I had a guy on another forum give me the measurements of his pin, but his was a two piece unit, maybe original maybe not he didn't know. Like that drawing on the website I originally posted, mine I think was supposed to have that "head" piece. Not sure what the significance of it was though, since my pin does stay in its space under tension of the spring and the pin is locked in place by a set pin in the slide assembly. But it seems to me that it was at one time a one piece unit that could only be inserted into its position via a plug on the rear of the slide assembly. Real pain to get out that way, hence someone came up with the 2-piece pin the other guy had on his?

Looking again at the picture on the vestpocket webpage, maybe the only thing that "head" on the firing pin did was to seal the passage after the pin was installed, with the set pin holding the firing pin in place? So from back to front it would be: the head of the FP, FP held in place by a set pin, then the spring.

Does that make any sense or am I missing something in how this mechanism is supposed to work?

Joe
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Old March 5, 2009, 01:17 PM   #8
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Glen- here is the pic of the slide where the pin should insert. I think the missing head piece sits just outside of the hole?
Joe
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Old March 5, 2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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Yeah, that's definitely a stress fracture at the back of that pin. I'll talk to the metallurgist I work with for his suggestion on the best steel to use. Other than that I'd figure 4140 heat treated to RC45. The firing pin on a 1911 is specified as medium high to high carbon steel between 40 and 46 Rockwell. If it doesn't hold up at least we tried.
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Old March 15, 2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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Thanks to Glen "HisSoldier" and his business, Tillamook Precision Inc. I have a new firing pin for the Bayard. I fired the pistol today and although I don't think it has been fired in over 70 yrs. it was almost perfect. Only 3 fail to fire out of 25 rounds and each of them fired on the second try. I think the spring on the slide may be at fault but I won't complain on a gun that was made in 1908. This isn't a long distance pistol by any means but at 5yds. today it was right on the money.

Joe
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Old April 13, 2009, 06:05 PM   #11
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Updated info

Here is one final piece of information on this firearm. I always thought it was my grandad's pistol since that is what my dad told me. However, after talking with my uncle this past weekend, it was his! He clearly recalled bringing it home along with a Mauser and P38 after WWII. Another piece of it's history is that his outfit was part of the Rainbow Div. 3rd Army I believe and they took a factory in Schwienfurt, Germany. He immediately went to the officer's quarters and "liberated" this Bayard from the locker of one of those officers. It made the gun all the more special learning about it's history.

Only problem for me is I think I will give all 3 guns to my cousins since they are really heirlooms for their family!

Joe
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Old April 13, 2009, 06:37 PM   #12
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Good but don't rely on your memory or his, get it written down to go with the gun or otherwise the story will change again!
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