Tokarev Firing Pin Drag


January 16, 2010, 06:40 PM
I picked up a Polish Tokarev last month. I've been shooting a Romanian for about two years so these aren't a new animal to me.

When I first brought it home it required some filing on the feed lips to get it to function properly. They were too tight and the slide would stop about 1/2" from returning to battery. Slight pressure on the rear with my thumb would send it forward. Easy enough fix - file a bit, take it out back and test. Repeat until the problem was gone.

After that headache was sorted out I picked up a few pieces of brass and noticed drag marks on the primers. This is telling me the firing pin isn't retracting before the case starts to eject. I picked up a Wolff spring set for this pistol but I've only installed the recoil spring thus far. I tried a few shots which had the same results as before.

Provided I'm on the right track here - I need to find or fabricate a tool to remove the split pin that retains the firing pin so I can replace the firing pin spring.

Any leads on the proper tool to use to avoid breaking the split pin, and any thing else I should try to sort this out?

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January 16, 2010, 07:34 PM
There's info on making a "split pin" punch about half way down this page:

July 5, 2010, 12:53 AM
I hate to dredge up old threads, but I just recently got around to dealing with this issue. I made a split pin punch from 1/8" steel punch and a taper file. I got the firing pin out and installed a new Wolff spring. While the pin was out I cleaned the channel, polished the nose to rule out binding on a rough spot, lubricated the channel and ensured the pin did not have vertical play in the breech face hole.

The bad news is - it didn't make any difference. Here is a photo of the drag marks on the primer. The case on the left was from before I changed the spring, the other two are from afterward:

After a bit of fooling around gauging the timing of the firing pin's retraction and the point at which the barrel unlocks and drops - I've determined the barrel will unlock and drop every time before the firing pin starts to retract. I know this gun has a 'positive pin' - one that will protrude when the hammer is lowered but I didn't have this problem with my Romanian Tokarev. The hammer presses on the base of the firing pin as the slide recoils - keeping it extended until the rear of the ejection port passes the disassembly clip stud. The barrel unlocks and drops halfway between the slide lock and the disassembly clip stud.

Given that the brass cases and primers are considerably softer than the hardened steel firing pin, is there still cause for concern? I doubt the pins were intended to be subjected to lateral shear forces on each shot but I'm not sure if there's enough stress to eventually break the pin. I'm not sure how I could alter the timing of the pin retraction enough to correct this.

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