Making a firing pin
I bought a used Star B (Spanish) pistol. The firing pins have been known to break, especially if the gun has been dry fired a lot. As the company has been gone for a whle, and NOS parts are not real easy to find-I thought I'd try making a firing pin.
The gun (and the firing pin) look like a 1911. Pin is pretty much like a 1911 except a notch on the side where a firing pin retainer passes by, so it'd be a pretty easy lathe project.
Question is, what metal to use, and do I harden it after machining or just use a very hard metal? Any thoughts on using Titanium in order to minimize the drop-fire possibilities?
Making a firing pin
Titanium isn't necessary and expensive if you don't have some laying around.
I have included below a link to a video which is simple and straight forward.
Watch Make a new firing pin from drill rod Video | Break.com
I've made pins out of W-1 drill rod, hardened and tempered to purple/dark blue..........Bob
Thanks, 'bone. On the Midway vid he hardens the ends of the pin, but doesn't temper them (as far as I can tell). Wonder if it's ok to just harden and not temper?
Sounds like I should order some drill rod from McMaster, and follow their harden and temper rules?
Anyhoo, sounds not scarey. As this isn't a self defense piece, it'll be a good experiment. If the pin breaks, I can just make another one and try something different.
The original had some seriously crude machining marks on it, so at least mine will be better looking : )
or buy one for $23.
Firing Pin, 9mm
grade 8 bolts work well for firing pin material.
they are hard enough as is.
The absolute best material for firing pins is S7 tool steel which is designed to be very shock resistant. However, I have made many out of O1 drill rod. I harden them by heating the very tip to red heat with O/A torch and quench. That leaves them very hard for 1/8" inch or so and the rest in the annealed state. Never had one fail.
I have made replacement fireing pins for old shotguns out of old allen wrenches. Old hex keys tend to be quite hard, but will machine with carbied. Older shotgun pins are suprisingly soft.
If you can hardness test the pin that is broken, you may be suprised how soft it is.
I've been smacked here for making them out of O1. Think they were saying it's too brittle. Anyway, the important part is to pay attention to the tip shape and protrusion. Too sharp or too far out and you get peircing of the primer.
I haved used O-1for flat and round firing pins for many years but I do harden at a bright red then draw the temper to a light straw color.
I do the whole pin so as to prevent the rear from mushrooming out. If I use a flame to draw with, I will heat the rear of the pin carefully and watch the colors run to th tip. The rear will usually be blue, which is more springy than the tip but that is fine.
Howe provides some very good instruction in his gunsmithing book.