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Dry firing with an extended firing pin

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The stock firing pin in my 686 SSR finally broke today so I've ordered a couple replacements from Apex Tactical.  I've read that extended firing pins shouldn't be dry fired without snap caps and I've also seen a video where Jerry Miculek broke a firing pin in a match and blamed himself for dry firing the gun beforehand.  Is this true of all extended firing pins or just a certain make/model?  I don't see how the extended pin would behave differently from a stock one in regards to dry fire but maybe I'm missing something.

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It's generally good practice to have some snap caps or dummies in while dryfiring. 

 

That being said, I've never broken an Apex firing pin over probably 100k+ dryfires over multiple guns.

 

C&S pins on the other hand? They break if you look at them funny.

 

 

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1 hour ago, alecmc said:

It's generally good practice to have some snap caps or dummies in while dryfiring. 

 

That being said, I've never broken an Apex firing pin over probably 100k+ dryfires over multiple guns.

 

C&S pins on the other hand? They break if you look at them funny.

 

 

 

So, just to clarify, are we talking about something as subtle as a Mona Lisa smirk or does it have to be a full on, ear-to-ear maniacal grin?

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2 hours ago, alecmc said:

 

That being said, I've never broken an Apex firing pin over probably 100k+ dryfires over multiple guns.

 

I see, and you dryfire without snap caps?  I usually don't use snapcaps and I just want to make sure that the typical warm up dryfire in a safe area before a match isn't going to cause problems

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I've never broken a stock or Apex pin and I used to dry fire a lot without caps or practice rounds.  Now I use spent brass when I'm practicing at home just for good measure. 

 

Honestly, when it comes to small parts you need to be realistic.  They can and will break.  Just keep a spare on hand.  But Apex pins have a good reputation for holding up. 

 

Of the firing pins I've seen fail they were all Cylinder and Slide.  Not on my guns, but during matches when I was the RO.  That does say something.   I would never use one myself. 

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It's generally good practice to have some snap caps or dummies in while dryfiring. 
 
That being said, I've never broken an Apex firing pin over probably 100k+ dryfires over multiple guns.
 
C&S pins on the other hand? They break if you look at them funny.
 
 
I've been using a C&S pin since I started shooting ICORE 7 years ago. It's been dryfired a lot over the years, and I don't own any snap caps.

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9 minutes ago, PatJones said:
5 hours ago, alecmc said:
It's generally good practice to have some snap caps or dummies in while dryfiring. 
 
That being said, I've never broken an Apex firing pin over probably 100k+ dryfires over multiple guns.
 
C&S pins on the other hand? They break if you look at them funny.
 
 

I've been using a C&S pin since I started shooting ICORE 7 years ago. It's been dryfired a lot over the years, and I don't own any snap caps.

 

Buy a lottery ticket

 

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I dry fired an Apex extended firing pin and the pin broke after less than 500 reps. I didn't use and snap caps. While I didn't expect it to last forever that felt a little premature. 

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1 hour ago, Adamj said:

I dry fired an Apex extended firing pin and the pin broke after less than 500 reps. I didn't use and snap caps. While I didn't expect it to last forever that felt a little premature. 

I’d call them. That doesn’t sound right. I’ve had the same Apex pin in my practice gun for years and if I took a guess at how many trigger pulls that gun has seen you wouldn’t believe me. 

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I just got my new Apex firing pin in and replaced it last night.  First thing I noticed is that the stock firing pin didn't actually break in half like I had thought but it had a couple chips in the face which I thought was odd.  That also explains why I had intermittent light strikes instead of a totally non-functioning gun.  Also, I was surprised by how much longer the extended pin is as compared to a stock firing pin.  The extended pin basically looks like it goes right to the edge of the chamber during dry fire.  I've switched to snap caps for dry fire with this new setup.

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10 hours ago, MWP said:

I’d call them. That doesn’t sound right. I’ve had the same Apex pin in my practice gun for years and if I took a guess at how many trigger pulls that gun has seen you wouldn’t believe me. 

We would believe you...

I've never had an issue with an Apex pin, and dry fire several hundred clicks a day between my 625, 610 and 627. The 625 for IDPA/carry, 627 for USPSA and 610 for predator/pig control {2 and 4 legged}. I make enough racket  clicking, drawing etc, I've been banished to outside when my wife is home.  I've never used snap caps.  Maybe I should.

I bent a C&S extended pin in 2 matches and one week of dry fire. 

Jason

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Any dry fire with a frame mounted firing pin is best with snap caps to prevent an issue. But if you dry fire alot in a single session chances are the caps wore to a point where they no longer absorb the hit anyway (excepting maybe the spring loaded type). How many hits?, I dont know.  So considering that I dry fired without caps with my Apex Pin. Im on the same pin for dry fire and all my matches for the last two years and no breakage. So whether its a standard length or extended it wont make a difference on probability of breakage if you dry fire. The main pin body is bottoming out on the shoulder in the bushing regardless of how long the nose is. How heavy your mainspring slapping it will certainly raise the chances and of course if its a bad/wrong material pin to begin with (C&S comes to mind). Keep a spare pin, Dry fire and practice with the one in your gun, change the pin before an important match, and run a few cylinders of live fire after the pin change to confirm ignition and no worries... life will be good! 

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1 hour ago, BallisticianX said:

 The main pin body is bottoming out on the shoulder in the bushing regardless of how long the nose is.  

That's what I was thinking when I first heard about dry firing revolvers. Makes sense to me

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2 minutes ago, ajblack said:

That's what I was thinking when I first heard about dry firing revolvers. Makes sense to me

The only time dry firing a revolver with an extended pin can be "more damaging" than the factory standard length is in the .22 rimfire models. Youll start slapping the chamber edges and ding the hell out of it whereas S&W engineered the factory pin to be stupid proof and bottom out just before cylinder impact. (Extended pins in Rimfires dont help anyway). 

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Having worked on many 617s, I have found that the extended pins DO in fact help improve ignition reliability.  They will ding the chamber edges during dryfire, though, unless you cut relief notches (which isn't hard to do).

 

I don't use extended pins in centerfire revos, but I do replace the new pointy stock pins with the older dome-tip pins that measure +/- .495" (or as close to that as I can find in my diminishing stash). 

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9 hours ago, Carmoney said:

Having worked on many 617s, I have found that the extended pins DO in fact help improve ignition reliability.  They will ding the chamber edges during dryfire, though, unless you cut relief notches (which isn't hard to do).

 

I don't use extended pins in centerfire revos, but I do replace the new pointy stock pins with the older dome-tip pins that measure +/- .495" (or as close to that as I can find in my diminishing stash). 

Ive worked on several 617's as well and just finished one yesterday as a matter of fact. So let me elaborate;  when I say an extended pin does not help I specifically mean if the OEM pin is of the .490" spec I've found a longer .495" pin performs the same (no added advantage) with the disadvantage it will hit the chamber edge whereas the .490" spec does not. Honestly with the mainspring set to a given pull, and only swapping pins from an in spec factory .490" pin to a .495" pin I found no change better or worse. If it shoots 100% with a .490 it shot 100% with a .495, if it had a 10% fail rate with one it matched the fail rate to the other. However, of which does fall in line indirectly of what you say (and Smith & Wessons QC), Ive found a few factory pins at .486". In the case of a shorter .486" yes the ignition does improve with .490".  

Ive experimented with pin length on these testy revolvers along with pin tip profiles by modifying others pins and machining some of my own. Tried pointy, extreme blunt, narrowed rectangle (like a rifle flat pin), and a few different round profiles all at .490 and .495".  I found the factory .490" with a slight ojived curve profile (a little more aggressively angled than a  concentrically domed curve) worked best. The flat rectangle (rifle like pin) and pointy were worst.  

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