View Full Version : Fabricating Firing Pins

Walt Sherrill
August 2, 2001, 08:02 AM
I asked this question on George's own forum, but will ask again, here.

I have several Star handguns, one of which is my most frequently carried CCW. Getting parts for these guns is a problem, particularly firing pins.

How realistic would it be for me, using my existing firing pins from my guns, to have a local gunsmith or machinist fabricate or duplicate these pins, so that I have some for that inevitable "rainy day."

If this is a realistic position, what might I expect to pay for these services -- maybe two pins for each of the guns I want to have spares for?

August 2, 2001, 08:42 AM
I had a gunsmith down south (Bob's gunsmithing, I forget the address) that made me some star model B pins @ $40 a pop. When I called him asking about pins for my .40 firestar (and, yes, you're right, they are NOWHERE to be found), he said he couldn't do those because of the shape or he didn't have the "dies" for the lathe , or something like that. Doesn't answer your question, but I would like to know if it is feasible as well. Have you contacted any gunnies in your area?

James K
August 2, 2001, 01:07 PM
I have a Firestar, but have not looked at the firing pin. Still, I doubt it would be that tough to make, though it might cost more than a simple one like the Model B. For a simple pin, $40 sounds about right. I have made many firing pins and like to have one to copy, but in many cases the design can be figured out easily enough. Modern guns with hammer drop safeties and firing pin blocks make the job more difficult (and expensive) but not impossible. Still, it would be a lot cheaper to buy a factory part if at all available.


George Stringer
August 3, 2001, 06:26 AM
Walt, I agree with Jim. I haven't run across a firing pin yet that I don't believe couldn't be made in the lathe or mill. George

August 5, 2001, 03:12 PM
I dunno what the firing pin in question looks like, but I have seen amazing things done with an electric drill, some files, and a good piece of steel.

August 5, 2001, 05:41 PM
I had an odd-ball screw that I needed for my Browning 1900, a friend cranked it out on a lathe in short order. The only problem with it was it was so perfect that it seems out of place on the gun! :)

Alex Johnson
August 10, 2001, 12:19 AM
I've never seen any firing pin that couldn't be worked out on a manual lathe with standard tooling and a bit of imagination, though a collet set and draw bar can make life easier. If something really exotic comes along than it's into the EMCO CNC turning center. You've got to love technology.

August 10, 2001, 05:15 AM
Since I work in a machine shop I guess these firing pins would have to be pretty hard when done, right? Is the shape very exotic? or are they pretty simple, say, like a 1911 firing pin? If a machinist is going to tool up to make ONE it would be better to get him to go ahead and make several for darn near the same price as one. MHO

August 10, 2001, 10:19 AM
I think there's a balance between hardness and brittleness for the firing pin. Too hard and it would likely break...

James K
August 10, 2001, 11:38 AM
Well, it does depend on the firing pin. One like the 1911 is easy, but no one in his right mind would make one when they cost a dollar or two. The wartime P.38 pin is fairly complex and requires more than a lathe, since its mid-portion is rectangular and it has some cuts that have to be very precise for safety. A Mauser HSc firing pin is tricky, and so is a Walther PP.

With some pins, like the Dreyse (notorious for broken tips and lugs) a broken tip can be welded or the body of the pin drilled and a new tip inserted and cut to size. A broken lug means making the whole pin; welding won't work.

Fortunately, there are enough original pins for most replacements and repros for those that commonly break. But if the gun is rare, making one may be the only choice. That's when you cuss the "genius" designer who put in seventeen helical cuts six protrusions, and three right angle bends.


August 11, 2001, 02:17 AM
I have a side-by-side spanish Eibar 12 gauge that I built a firing pin for...I tempered a finishing nail that was the same diameter as the non-broken pin, drilled a new hole the base that the firing pin stands off from, and soldered it in place. Still works to this day and I shot 250-300 rounds through it last summer shooting trap.

James K
August 12, 2001, 02:46 PM
A lot of firing pins have been made from nails, but common nails are made of soft steel that can't be hardened, so they can only be used (as above) in some way that does not take serious impact or where the gun will not be fired much and only an appearance is wanted.


August 31, 2001, 12:43 PM
If anybody needs firing pins made I can make any size brandname. All I need is either A: the original pin or B: a exact drawing with dimensions. The pins will be made and heat treated (for hardness) for a minimal cost just email me and we can make arrangements.

August 31, 2001, 12:45 PM
Forgot if it is something I have or can get my hands on easily enough I wouldn't need your pin.