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    Default Firing pin steel

    I need to make some firing pins for my old sidelock shotgun. I was going to use silver steel (o1), but what do you all normally use for firing pins ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronan View Post
    I need to make some firing pins for my old sidelock shotgun. I was going to use silver steel (o1), but what do you all normally use for firing pins ?

    We in the US of A have a generic "drill rod" steel that I would not hesitate to use. Good for just about any critical application with proper heat treat.

    I think it might be the same a "silver steel" ;-)

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    Is this drill rod the same as drill bits are made from?
    If so, a hardware store twist drill could be selected of the appropriate size, cut or ground to the correct size and heat treated to reduce brittleness. (I may need to do this in the future.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Learning View Post
    Is this drill rod the same as drill bits are made from?
    If so, a hardware store twist drill could be selected of the appropriate size, cut or ground to the correct size and heat treated to reduce brittleness. (I may need to do this in the future.)
    You want a firing pin with twisted flutes? If you are thinking of the the non twisted shank, it is not hardened and usually not the high speed steel of the cutting edges.

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    Drill rod is a good choice. As a youth I made replacement firing pins for some single shot, shotguns out of just plan bolts. That was fifty years ago and they are still working. If the firing pin is hard to replace or a difficult to make design be sure to use drill rod and not just any steel that happens to be laying around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Learning View Post
    Is this drill rod the same as drill bits are made from?
    If so, a hardware store twist drill could be selected of the appropriate size, cut or ground to the correct size and heat treated to reduce brittleness. (I may need to do this in the future.)
    Hardware store quality twist drills are almost always high speed steel. With an unknown alloy, heat treatment would be problematic. Drill rod may have been used to make tool steel drills a hundred years ago, the name stuck but most drills made since high speed steel came on the scene are made from the new stuff. Any of the tool steels would probably work since firing pins are draw back so far. If you needed extreme toughness at 58RC L6 would be hard to beat It is just harder to find and unnecessary for firing pins at moderate hardness.

    To the OP O1 would be as good as any, I do not keep any in stock and would use W1 just because I have a lot of it laying around. If I was worried about toughness with W1 in small sections parts could be oil quenched instead of water quenched and be just fine. W1 is cheap enough to keep a lot of sizes in stock for just about any need.

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    Yeah drill rod is o1. I normally use it to make leaf springs etc. Thats what i will use so.

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    In hot rod drag/street racing there used to be a term "run what your brung". If it is a known tool steel and you have the heat treat specs it will probably work for you.

    On "drill rod" I think of any of medium to high carbon "tool steels" W1 included. A lot of them are available drill gauge sizes in 3 foot lengths. All of them centerless ground to fairly good tolerances with a good finish. Generic term but today a drill would be one of the last things you would make from them. I have made a couple of special taps from W1 though.

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    I have lengths of o1, drill rod as its called on the other side of the Atlantic, that i will use for the pins. Its steel i use a lot of for various bits and bobs.

    I suppose its a nervous time for you lads who are gun owners and enthusiasts in the USA ? If it gets the same over there as it is over here, you're screwed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronan View Post
    I suppose its a nervous time for you lads who are gun owners and enthusiasts in the USA ? If it gets the same over there as it is over here, you're screwed.
    It's all hot air. We lose more ground when Republicans are in charge, than Democrats, in my lifetime. Anti-gunners wouldn't have an evil opponent to help them raise money if they suddenly woke up and they got their way. So they will always be a bit self-sabotaging in order to maintain "job security" *eyeroll

    Plus, seems like some of the more liberal side is starting to see why our 2A in the Bill of Rights was made, in the first place, after their reaction to recent events. (some, not nearly all)


    ANYWAY

    I'd say any of the common tool steels would be fine, O1 being forgiving and easier to handle on ones own... especially if this isn't something you're gonna be putting another 10 thousand rounds through- I would almost say 4140 PH might be fine. Keep in mind that primer cup is typically brass/copper.

    If you're looking to maximize longevity, then I'd worry more about the particulars and finer details such as using a hardened tool steel with appropriate draw. If it's an old side-lock, I assumed it was a sporting gun, not necessarily a competition trap/skeet shooter that sees uber high round count through her. Forgive me if I'm assuming too much.

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    Thanks all for helping me understand that drill bits are not made from drill rod.

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    I have made a few from allen or hex key wrenches. Not sure what the alloy is but it's tough stuff and so far no complaints.

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    It's a firing pin. No need for anything too special. Really good ones can be made from grade 8 bolts of the appropriate size. They are already hard enough and tough enough for a proper firing pin.

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    S-7 and be done with it
    Don


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    I made a firing pin for a hammer shotgun when I was about 14 using some spring steel from torsion spring off a car boot. Just heated to straw and quenched in oil.

    Made another one for a pump Action 22 that had a flat blade style firing pin. Used a thin file ground the surface and to profile and again heated to straw and oil quenched. Both work fine and I had absolutely zero knowledge or access to known materials or advanced heat treat.

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    Cheap available source is old screwdrivers .....when the points are worn ,we generally just buy new..... many screwdrivers are marked "chrome vanadium"...these are the ones I use for gun parts.....The plain ones are high carbon steel ,also very suitable for pins ,pivots ,retainers etc.

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    I make custom bolt handles essentially exclusively from grade 8 bolts. They work flawlessly, are cheap, and Weld/machine easily. I have made a bunch of “Cut down” Mauser firing pins from O-1, after the titanium stuff stopped being available all of which seem to still work AFAIK.

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    1144 stress-proof (fatigueproof). It EXACTLY the type of application the alloy was made for!

    McMaster-Carr

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    I make 10's of thousands of them a year for various customers. It seems A2 is the most common material of choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonok View Post
    I make custom bolt handles essentially exclusively from grade 8 bolts. They work flawlessly, are cheap, and Weld/machine easily. I have made a bunch of “Cut down” Mauser firing pins from O-1, after the titanium stuff stopped being available all of which seem to still work AFAIK.
    What do you mean by a "cut down" firing pin?


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