View Full Version : Firing pin safety

September 10, 2007, 07:27 PM
What is a firing pin safety? Is it only on the 1911's? Is it something that California or Mass. requires and why?
Thanks for educating me.

September 10, 2007, 10:55 PM
A firing pin safety prevents the firing pin from moving forward far enough to contact the primer until the safety is deactivated.

It is usually deactivated by pulling the trigger, but I know of at least one design that uses a grip safety to deactivate the firing pin safety.

There are MANY guns which incorporate a firing pin safety, but the traditional 1911A1 design does not. The Series 80 Colts have this feature as do some other 1911 variants available today.

September 10, 2007, 11:09 PM
John, Does the SA XD design deactivate the firing pin safety solely when the grip safety is depressed, or must both the grip safety be depressed and then the trigger pulled to finally deactivate the firing pin safety? I can't remember which way it works for sure. Thanks.

Sorry KFDiesel, didn't mean to hijack your thread.:o

September 10, 2007, 11:27 PM

I'm not familiar enough with the inner workings of the XD to answer that question. The handgun I was thinking of with the grip safety that deactivates the firing pin safety was the S&W 1911 variant.

September 10, 2007, 11:34 PM
Thanks anyway.

44 Deerslayer
September 11, 2007, 09:10 PM
AZGlock13, the grip safety on the XD just allows the trigger to be pulled far enough to release the sear. The trigger going back actually releases the firing pin (striker) safety just before it trips the sear. It moves a little rocker that is similar to the series 80 Colts and presses the firing pin safety (actually a striker block) up into the slide which allows the striker to slide past it.

Much easier to look at and understand than it is to explain.

September 11, 2007, 09:21 PM
Deerslayer, Thanks for the detailed explanation. I kind of figured (just wasn't sure) that both actions had to be meet before the striker firing pin was allowed to hit the chambered round's primer.

James K
September 11, 2007, 09:40 PM
The traditional reason for a firing pin safety was to prevent the firing pin from moving forward if the gun was dropped on a lowered hammer. In the original 1911 design, that problem does not occur, since the firing pin is inertial and does not protrude from the front of its tunnel even with the hammer down. The reason for a firing pin safety on a 1911 type is a bit more complex. In the original design, the firing pin is always free to move forward. If the gun is dropped on the muzzle from enough of a height, the firing pin can, in theory, move forward and fire a chambered round whether the hammer is down or not.

That problem rarely occurred with the original design since when the muzzle struck a hard surface, the movement of the slide and barrel absorbed enough of the shock that the firing pin did not have enough momentum to fire the round. But with the advent of full length guide rods (a non-solution to a non-problem), the guide rod acts to keep the slide from moving back and the momentum of the firing pin is not absorbed. Hence the gun fires.

The conditions that cause the problem are still in the freakish category, but just such an accident happened in California and a police officer was killed. So the CA authorities, ever looking for ways to make gun ownership more burdensome and expensive, hit on the "need" for a firing pin safety, hoping that gun makers could not comply and would give up on CA sales. A handgun ban, in other words, disguised as a safety rule.

Since the real reason for CA gun laws is pure racism, trying to keep Mexicans and blacks (all of whom are criminals, according to CA politicians) from buying guns by raising prices and enacting laws so that only the wealthy, white Hollywood elite can afford to own guns.


September 12, 2007, 09:35 PM
Jim, Thanks for the helpful info on guns and safeties but you can keep your BS opinions to yourself.

September 12, 2007, 11:16 PM
...you can keep your BS opinions to yourself.For your information this forum is all about voicing and debating opinions. If reading other people's opinions upsets you it's time for you to move on.

That said, the latter part of Jim's post is better suited for L&P.

September 13, 2007, 06:40 PM
Other peoples opinions on the subject being discussed is welcome and always worth reading, it's the racial debate that I think should find another home.

Bill DeShivs
September 13, 2007, 07:21 PM
There was no racial debate. It was a statement about gun control.

September 13, 2007, 08:32 PM
Back to firing pin safeties...