Colt Commander, firing pin stuck forward -


sun city hunter
March 16, 2009, 11:29 PM
I have a problem, I was dry firing my Colt Combat Commander using a BeamHit laser target setup and heard a different sound as the hammer fell. I pulled the slide off and the firing pin was protruding "big time" and did not retract. When I pulled the slide off the frame the firing pin stop fell off. Now I'm not eager to "tap" the firing pin back to remove it and replace the spring that I think is broken. So, is the best thing to take it to a gunsmith or gently tap the firing pin and hopefully find the spring is broken? This is a primary carry and h/d weapon and I need confidence that short of firing a lot to test it after the repair. Any suggestions appreciated -

Semper Fi,
Sun City Hunter -

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March 16, 2009, 11:32 PM
Tap the pin --- you will not hurt the gun.

Edit -- Could be a broken spring or a bit of brass/dirt wedged in there.

March 16, 2009, 11:44 PM
Sounds like your fp stop is a little loose.

March 16, 2009, 11:47 PM
351 Win ---- you are right , the FPS should not just fall out - mine all are a bit "hard" to take out.

Edit --- even if I take out the spring and fireing pin -- the FPS still needs a good push to get in and getting them out is harder still -- FPS should not just fall out.

March 16, 2009, 11:49 PM
Tap it out and get a new pin and spring from Wolff. It's a 5min job to fix if you have the parts. Besure and check the firing pin hole and channel. for any burs. Good luck.

sun city hunter
March 17, 2009, 11:46 AM
Thanks a million to you guys, especially Gunfighter123 who responded w/in minutes of my post. I tapped it out and the spring had compressed and looked like a tiny piece broke off. I've been bad about not replacing the firing pin spring when I do the recoil spring - so I had 7 or 8 unused in some Wolff kits on the reloading bench. Just by the way, I would imagine the firing pin springs in the Gold Cup kits would be interchangeable, right? A comparison of the old spring to new Wolff springs (Commander) showed it was really shorter. By the way I looked throughout the house and could not find one real pencil, ended up using my wife's "eye pencil" or whatever it is - shot it halfway across the room, probably will mention it to her..

Thanks again & Semper Fi,
Sun City Hunter -

March 17, 2009, 12:06 PM
Glad it was something minor -- yes, you can use a GC fireing spring , they are shorter because the GC has a lighter trigger pull then the others. ---- IF you have light primer strikes , buy the correct FP spring.

SC Hunter ---- do you have the little tool for putting in/takeing out FP and FP Stop ??? They are only 3 or 4 dollars and make the job real easy.

March 17, 2009, 01:23 PM
Wolff sells a HD firing pin spring. The firing pin spring has nothing to do with light strikes, or shouldn't. It returns the pin to the about to be stricken position.

Good thing you were only dry firing your "primary carry and h/d weapon", OP, because with your pin jammed under the firing pin stop because of your no good spring it's pretty likely that you'd have had a slam fire if you'd gone to battery on a live round.

David E
March 17, 2009, 02:32 PM
You gain NO advantage by using a lighter FP spring. In fact, you create a disadvantage, perhaps even a safety issue by doing so.


March 17, 2009, 02:36 PM
it's pretty likely that you'd have had a slam fire if you'd gone to battery on a live round.It's impossible for a round to get out of the magazine with the firing pin stuck out the breach-face.

Only possible way it could fire a round is if you dropped it in the chamber loose, and then dropped the slide on it.
And you shouldn't do that anyway.

Another stroke of John B. genius.


Jim K
March 17, 2009, 09:45 PM
It is not a fluke that the M1911 type firing pin will reach well beyond the breech face, and it is tied into the gap between the extractor hook and the breech face.

When the Army was testing the gun that became the 1911, Frankford Arsenal, which had had little experience with cartridges that support on the case mouth, was turning out some short rounds.

In order that rounds shorter than spec would fire and could be extracted unfired, Browning set up the firing pin to reach out further (rather than having a cross-pin stop like the M1903) and fixed the extractor to grip even a short round.

But the drawback is that when the pistol is fired without a snap cap, the firing pin jumps way out and it is possible for it to stick in the outward position either because of its own taper or because of a faulty spring. If it does, then the firing pin stop can simply fall out if it is not tightened in some way not in the design.


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