Basic military rifle firing pin question

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Thread: Basic military rifle firing pin question

  1. #1
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    Basic military rifle firing pin question

    I have been wondering just how dangerous it is to cycle live rounds through my military rifles in regards to firing pin indents left on primers. I know it is normal, due to the weight of firing pins/lack of spring on said firing pins, for the rifle to leave marks on primers of unfired cycled rounds. Is this something that I should even worry about or am I being a hypocondriac? (sp?) I cycle at least a few of the rounds that I make through any given firearm to make sure that they cycle correctly and do not bind at all- is there a better way?? e.g. go-nogo guage==are there springs I could install on these firing pins to make them safer as far as muzzle-drops or cycling? Again- I may be just too worried, but someone with buttloads of carry experience may be able to make me feel a little better-- thanks for your time guys-
    cheers,
    Luke


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    Keep the rifle pointed in a safe direction, I Know the M1A's have that issue and I would only cycle them on the range. You can get a case gauge to inspect the cases after you size them instead of cycling them in the rifle. I would not cycle the rounds in my house just to check them, I would wait until the next time I go to the range.

    Just my .02
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    Senior Member Delmustator's Avatar
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    Remember that the primers are pressure sensitive explosives. Even a light strike on the primer could cause it to fire. Are you making modifications to the weapon? Why are you checking that it cycles correctly at home? Messing around with live ammo outside of a safe shooting environment is a No No IMO. If your making improvements or just checking new mags, etc. Take some spent brass to your local gun shop and have some dummy ammo made that is NOT live. Then you can cycle all your want without a possible discharge.

    I've seen both centerfire and rimfire rounds discharge by accident.
    -Del
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    Senior Member djv38's Avatar
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    I've seen dimpled primers on my AR at the range, so at home, I don't load rounds into the chamber ever. I have a full mag in ready to go if needed, but my pistol and shotgun have loaded chamber's so the AR isn't really needed.
    -Dan

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    Not something I would do at home.

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    Way back when we were first issued the XM16E1 (Early 60's) we were advised not to cycle rounds more than two times and to always rotate a cycled round to the bottom of the magazine to insure against repeated dimpling on the round and possible unintentional discharge of the rifle.
    Last edited by GULL; 07-24-2012 at 01:28 PM.

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    Just wanted to clarify, and thanks for all the advice by the way. I have been reloading for over 10 years and been shooting for more than 20, so I do understand the danger of loading one of these rifles in the house, and do always point the muzzle into a proper trap-- the only reason I would ever load the rifle in the house would be to use it as a way to determine whether or not the dies are set right-- sometimes it is difficult to see with the eye whether the case is shaped correctly. upon further reflection an accidental discharge would really kill my pride, so it may be best to just cycle rounds only at the range-- I could just leave the primers\powder out of the cartridges and shape them and cycle them that way. I could also remove the firing pin from the rifle to cycle rounds, but from now on I will make a habit of not cycling the rounds in the house... I guess I was wondering 2 things
    1- Has anyone here ever had a round discharge due to inertia on firing pin? I know that it is very possible theoretically
    2- Is there such a thing as a go no go guage to tell me if rounds are cyclable-- I suppose my calipers and micrometer should be all the equipment I need to check my work. I just worry that I won't see a light bulge in the cartridge that could cause cycling issues.
    thanks again for the advice/concerns guys

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    I would not load an live rounds and monkey with the gun in my house. All you are doing is inviting an accident to happen.


    1- Has anyone here ever had a round discharge due to inertia on firing pin? I know that it is very possible theoretically

    No, but if for some reason the FP gets stuck its going to go off.



    2- Is there such a thing as a go no go guage to tell me if rounds are cyclable-- I suppose my calipers and micrometer should be all the equipment I need to check my work. I just worry that I won't see a light bulge in the cartridge that could cause cycling issues.
    thanks again for the advice/concerns guys.

    If all the measurements are to SAAMI you wont have a problem.
    Last edited by emptybrass; 07-23-2012 at 01:30 PM.

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    Senior Member djv38's Avatar
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    1. Yes. Talk to Tal and his foot...
    -Dan

    "I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker."
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    I can't think of a gauge that would ever work to determine if some rounds (different brand, handloads, etc.) would cycle - the whole idea is to see if a particular cartridge will feed and chamber properly. I always use the "make up a few without powder and primer" technique, then cycle them rather than live rounds. In fact, I usually do this with Blazer aluminum NR cases and just leave the fired primer in the case when resizing; then use them for training dummies that can safely be cycled during CCW classes. Easy that way to distinguish from live rounds. But you can never be "too safe", so all the above advice is good to follow...

    That having been said, after 20+ years in the infantry and many, many hours on rifle and pistol ranges as a divisional MTU OIC, I've never seen (or even heard of) ONE unintended discharge-upon-cycling. And keep in mind, with an M-16/AR-15, a round is "cycled" every time a new mag is inserted with the bolt locked back an the rifle loaded by releasing the bolt. It was very common to see slight dimples on primers of ejected unfired rounds. No one ever paid them any mind...and if there was something to be concerned about, the government would surely have stepped in to "protect us"... right?

    Bud

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