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Old December 8, 2011, 02:02 PM   #1
ohdeuce
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Widening FP hole?

Here's the issue. I have a 1911 that has no issues with any ammo I've used in it but the TULA ammo. I begins to choke around 400rds with this ammo. The firing pin gets stuck in the hole. I'm thinking it's because the hole may be getting fouled during firing by the lacquer coating around the primer. My other .45s have not had this problem. I've changed the FP spring. I've even shaved down the FP but no joy. I've checked the hole size against the FP from my other 1911 and have found the hole is too small for it. Some may say "don't use that ammo and that will solve the issue". I am looking to be able to use whatever ammo I have available. I can't afford "finicky" weapons.
I've spoken with a gunsmith in my area and he says he's not comfortable widening the pin hole.

Is it really that difficult?
I don't see that it could be.
Has anybody had this done?
I would figure it would make the pistol more reliable, of course remembering that more (widening of the pin hole) is not always better.

Sam.
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Old December 8, 2011, 03:18 PM   #2
bull bob
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If you open up the firing pin hole you are more likely to have primer metal flowing into it rather than laquer from those cheap cases. The firing pin must fit the hole, too big and it will lock it up with primers.
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Old December 8, 2011, 03:40 PM   #3
drail
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Tula ammo is known for inducing malfunctions. It's cheap and now you know why. It's not because your gun is "finicky". It's junk ammo. If the ammo is out of spec or uses primers that are too soft it will jam any gun. All of that said, there may be a burr inside the firing pin hole. Feel around with a needle file and see if it catches on the edges. Widening the hole is not going to help and will start causing problems with other types of ammo.

Last edited by drail; December 8, 2011 at 03:47 PM.
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Old December 8, 2011, 03:54 PM   #4
tim s
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Why make decesions that don't have to be made, trrim down the pin moderately. If you screw it up it's a $25 fix.
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Old December 8, 2011, 04:38 PM   #5
ohdeuce
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Thanks for the replies.

Thanks bull bob. Good point. Something to consider.

Drail. If the ammo is the whole issue, why would my other pistols run fine with the same ammo?

Tim S. I did trim down the pin as my 1st attempted remedy. Again, that and a stronger fp spring didn't fix it.

Last edited by ohdeuce; December 9, 2011 at 06:29 AM.
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Old December 8, 2011, 09:58 PM   #6
DnPRK
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The first rule of gunsmithing is:
Always modify the cheapest part.

Firing pins are cheap. Slides are not.
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Old December 9, 2011, 08:54 AM   #7
Don P
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Quote:
Drail. If the ammo is the whole issue, why would my other pistols run fine with the same ammo?
I have found that not all guns are created equal as far as ammo is concerned. Just because it works in this gun does not mean it will have to work in that gun. Personaly I think you are looking to fix a non issue. Sort of like "fixin what ain't broke"
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Old December 9, 2011, 10:22 AM   #8
drail
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I definitely agree with the advice to clean up and reduce the pin's dia. slightly and not trying to open up the hole. In my experience when a pin sticks forward it's almost always caused by a burr in the slide or angles that make the pin wedge forward and fail to retract. I also still believe that Tula ammo is not worth the box they pack it in. I have seen so many people have problems when they shoot it in a gun that ran perfectly before.
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Old December 9, 2011, 04:21 PM   #9
ohdeuce
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Thanks for the replies.
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Old December 11, 2011, 05:18 PM   #10
triggerman770
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widening FP hole

the further your firing pin protrudes the more likely it is that the primer will be punctured. This will allow hot gases to blow back into the gun and probably your face.
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Old December 11, 2011, 08:32 PM   #11
brickeyee
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Quote:
Drail. If the ammo is the whole issue, why would my other pistols run fine with the same ammo?
They already have sloppy firing pin holes compared to the firing pin?

Let's make everything sloppy so it can work with really crappy ammunition that gums up the gun, just in case.

We will be able to shot more rounds before the problems show up.
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Old December 16, 2011, 09:37 PM   #12
orionengnr
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Quote:
I've checked the hole size against the FP from my other 1911 and have found the hole is too small for it.
I find this statement interesting, and if I were you, before modifying my slide, I might start a new post in hopes of finding out what the actual original 1911 spec is for the hole diameter. Then you would know whether the problem actually lies with the slide or not.

If you have no luck here, you might try a 1911 forum. Someone has this info.

I have no experience with steel cased ammo, as I handload my own using range pick-up brass

However, I have read of problems from the lacquer on steel cases (usually relating to rifles, but not always).

Please let us know what you find out.

Last edited by orionengnr; December 16, 2011 at 09:44 PM.
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Old December 17, 2011, 12:28 PM   #13
ohdeuce
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Well, I decided to go back to the smith that looked at it originally and purchase a pin that worked in the gun. I purchased the pin as a back up. It seemed much thinner than the one that came with the gun. I then trimmed down the diameter of the original pin. After the trim I placed the pin and spring back into the slide and tapped the rear of the pin to see if the pin would get stuck. It didn't. I assembled the pistol and put about 200rds through it.
It didn't get stuck in the hole but it did get stuck behind the firing pin stop. This happened about 6 times in the last 50rds. This never happened before so it has to be the way I trimmed the pin. For now I'll drop in the new one until I can figure it out.
Thanks for the advice
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Old December 17, 2011, 12:43 PM   #14
brickeyee
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Quote:
it did get stuck behind the firing pin stop.
Try a new firing pin spring.
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Old December 17, 2011, 06:34 PM   #15
ohdeuce
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One of the first things I did was pick up a new higher # fp spring.
So it probably only has 1200rds on it.
I'm thinking that maybe when I trimmed the pin, I might have trimmed the shoulder of the pin and the pin is sinking deeper in the spring.
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Old December 17, 2011, 11:35 PM   #16
brickeyee
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Is the firing pin tunnel clean?

Run a pipe cleaner in and out a few times.

It needs to be be clean, with only enough oil on the surfaces to prevent rust.
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Old December 18, 2011, 11:10 AM   #17
ohdeuce
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It was clean before I hit the range. Now I did lube the pin pretty heavy because of the trim job and exposing the raw metal. Headed to the range in a cpl hours to try out the back up fp. The pistol is an ATI, so it's economical enough for me to use to it learn from.
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Old December 18, 2011, 12:19 PM   #18
brickeyee
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Quote:
Now I did lube the pin pretty heavy
It needs as little lube as you can use to prevent surface rust.

Any more than a thin surface film is not required ad can cause problems.

For freshly cut metal, clean it with a good degreasing solvent like gun scrubber or brake cleaner to make sure there is nothing left on the surface, then apply a moderately heavy coat of lubricant and let the piece sit for a few minutes.

Wipe the excess lube off.
A final pass with a now lube saturated spot on the wipe does the job.

You will have left a thin film to prevent surface rust, without leaving excessive lube that can interfere with operation.

I have been using Break Free CLP for many years now, and it has served very well.
No rusty fingerprints, no emblems in any temperature.

Cleaning before applying lube (especially on metal that has been worked to expose a fresh surface) really matters especially if you used any cutting lubricant).

And if you ever need to change a firing pin hole, it needs to be reamed after any drilling.
Sometime reaming is all that is required fr a small change in size.
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Old December 18, 2011, 08:01 PM   #19
drail
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Is this by chance a Springfield Armory slide?
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Old December 19, 2011, 12:05 PM   #20
ohdeuce
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Thanks for the advice.

The pistol is an ATI FX 4"

I decided to just go with the new fp. I took it the range and ran 200rds with no problems caused by the fp (dirty mags and one limp wristing). After another 200rds later this week I think I'll strap 'er on again. I may still play with the old fp to figure why the stoppages would continue even after the trimming.

Thanks again
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Old December 20, 2011, 05:53 PM   #21
orionengnr
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Did you ever determine the correct dimension, and see where your part sits?

If I read it correctly, you on your third FP and at least your second spring. Parts/spring changing and modifying parts, etc...a lot of misguided effort, IMHO...until you know which part is actually out of spec, you are Band-Aiding the problem.
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Old December 21, 2011, 10:49 AM   #22
drail
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If you manually press the pin into the slide while it's pointed straight up as far as it will go with no spring installed it should fall back out under its own weight. If it doesn't it's wedging or binding in the hole. Reshaping the pin's taper should stop it from sticking.
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