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Old November 17, 2013, 04:32 PM   #1
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Off-Center Firing Pin: Problem or No Big Deal?

I have a Ruger #3 Single-Shot that has been re-barreled to a .270 Win. The fired cases show that the firing pin is hitting off-center. It has never seemed to bother the function or accuracy of the gun. I am having it re-barreled again & this time I'm going with a cartridge that uses small-primers. Does this look like it could be a problem?

BTW: This is a near max load, but slight cratering seems to be common even with lighter loads. I've always had great case life with this load.


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Old November 17, 2013, 05:52 PM   #2
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
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If the end of the firing pin tunnel at the bolt face is chamfered at all, they will all crater. But if the firing pin tunnel is too wide for the pin, it will happen, too, and it may need a bushing installed to prevent future piercing and attendant gas erosion of the breech face. The pin could be better centered at the same time that work was done.

Fit up 1911's often have off-center firing pins due to the barrel locking up higher than before the fitting was done. It causes no issue there. In a rifle it may cause no issue, but I'm less sanguine about it. I know that getting the lowest velocity SD's and avoiding millisecond time frame ignition delays are both dependent on the firing pin striking the primer over the bridge of priming mixture between the bottom of the priming cup and the tip of it anvil.

You can send it to the factory and they will check it out for you at no cost. However, I don't know what their inspection criteria are, so you might send them you photos first and tell them what you're planning to do. I don't think you'll have an issues with it working, but rather just that the potential is there to be hampered in trying to squeeze top potential accuracy out of the gun.
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