Springfield XDs, firing pin hitting off center?


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Josh45
May 4, 2013, 01:37 PM
Picked up a Springfield XDs some time ago. Maybe a month ago?
Brought it home, Did not clean it. Took it the range a few days later and shot it.
I was using some hand loads at the time and everything went fine.
Until one didn't go off
And yes, I did clean it after I got home.

I ejected the round after waiting about 10 seconds to see if it was a hang fire pointing downrange. Picked up the round and looked at the primer and noticed that the firing pin had hit off center. Shot the rest of the magazine without any issues. Put that same round back in and it shot.

Fast forward to yesterday, I had the same type of malfunction 3-4 times.
Of course, I did try some factory ammo. Which happen to me my carry loads and I never had this problem come up with them and I am sort of paranoid that it could happen with them and worst yet, When I may need it the most.

Each hit that did not go off, Was around the same area off center.
Nothing else was wrong with the cases or loads, Just the primers.
Just to be clear, It happened only with my hand loads.

Now, One more thing, I had made some rifle rounds and I never once had a misfire with my rifle until yesterday. Chambered it again and shot it with no problems. How ever, The primer hit on that was dead center.

Now, I do understand that misfires can happen and you can have bad primers here and there. These were Tula Primers that I had bought very recently and this was the first time I ever had an issue with them. Maybe it has to do with whats going on or maybe it just what it is.

My question is, Should I be worried about the Springfield XDs hitting off center on the primers? Like I said before, I really do not want that to happen should I ever need it and want to use this gun as a CC. I did clean out the firearm again and cleaned out the firing pin channel as well.

Thoughts?

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Sam1911
May 4, 2013, 01:47 PM
First of all, collect a bunch of your fired cases and check them. Are they all a little off-center? Many, if not most, autoloaders strike a little off-center, and some appear to strike quite a bit off-center. (That has to do with how far the barrel rises to lock into the slide, so it's an up/down thing, rather than a side-to-side issue.) If only a few strike off-center, something's not right. They should all be the same.

Primers can be struck surprisingly far off dead center and still fire, so unless it's way out at the edge, I wouldn't specifically worry about that. However, if you're getting light strikes that don't set off the primers, hitting a little closer to the formed edge of the primer cup, rather than right in the soft, least rigid center, can't make that any better.

I'd consider talking to SA about it and see if they'll give you a shipping label to send it back for a check.

918v
May 4, 2013, 01:56 PM
If the barrel is out of battery, then the FP will hit off center. If you discharge a round out of battery, your casehead will let go. Thank God those rounds did not go off.

Sam1911
May 4, 2013, 02:00 PM
Well...it COULD be that bad, I guess. But that seems pretty unlikely. As long as the firing pin hit somewhere within the middle-ish region of the primer the gun wasn't out of battery.

Heck, an XD won't drop the firing pin if the action is out of battery so if he's got strikes, he shouldn't have that to worry about.

Josh45
May 4, 2013, 02:06 PM
The gun was always in battery.
I had some hand loads that did not chamber before and ever since then I always check to make sure the slide is always in full battery before I fire the gun off. At all times, It was in full battery.

Sam1911,

I'm starting to wonder if they are just light primer strikes instead.
I will grab some of them and make sure to check them again.

918v
May 4, 2013, 02:08 PM
What's unlikely is the off center hit while in battery. Breechface dimensions are static. Chamber/breechface alignment is dynamic. And even the slightest change in barrel geometry will cause a major change in FP impact. The barrel does not have to be completely out of battery, just outside of the dwell time zone and just starting to tilt.

918v
May 4, 2013, 02:12 PM
Do the handloads pass the plunk test? What are they?

Sam1911
May 4, 2013, 02:27 PM
What's unlikely is the off center hit while in battery. Really? :scrutiny:

I see relatively few autoloaders which really make perfectly centered FP strikes. I pick up brass at many ranges that probably contain noticeably off-center strikes at a ratio of something like 10:1. (And I pick up many thousands of cases, so that's a lot of off-center strikes!)

And even the slightest change in barrel geometry will cause a major change in FP impact. The barrel does not have to be completely out of battery, just outside of the dwell time zone and just starting to tilt.Or a gun that locks up a bit high, or a bit low, of the center line every time. I wouldn't call that out of battery.

I've got autos which strike a little off center and have done so since day one, for many tens of thousands of rounds. I really wouldn't stress over it.

Walkalong
May 4, 2013, 02:51 PM
I was using some hand loads at the time and everything went fine.
Until one didn't go off
Of course, I did try some factory ammo. Which happen to me my carry loads and I never had this problem come up with them
99% of primers not going off in handloads is from a primer not seated all the way.

Slightly off center firing pin strikes are not uncommon. Could you get a pic of one? If it is bad enough, SA will of course fix it.

jakk280rem
May 4, 2013, 02:56 PM
Sounds like high primers to me. First hit seats the primer absorbing enough energy to not fire. primer should be .002-.003" below the surface of the case head. Centering isn't really a big deal. As others have said, most auto pistols hit a little off. As was stated, what you want is consistency. Same place every time. If you are getting inconsistent strike locations, check your case length. A long case length will cause the striker to hit lower.

918v
May 4, 2013, 03:02 PM
I see relatively few autoloaders which really make perfectly centered FP strikes. I pick up brass at many ranges that probably contain noticeably off-center strikes at a ratio of something like 10:1. (And I pick up many thousands of cases, so that's a lot of off-center strikes!)


My reading of the OP indicates that only the problem rounds had off-center FP hits, not that all of the rounds had off-center FP hits.

Maybe the OP should clarify.

Sam1911
May 4, 2013, 03:20 PM
Ok, that's certainly true! That's why I asked if all of his brass showed strikes off-center, or only these that didn't pop.

Josh45
May 4, 2013, 04:51 PM
Some show off center but not by much.
Most are near center if not on center.
The ones that did not pop, You can see a off center strike and a on center strike.

Im getting the pics now.
Only the ones that did not pop have the effect shown much more.

Josh45
May 4, 2013, 04:56 PM
Okay, The first picture is factory ammo.
These shot with absolutely zero malfunctions of any kind.

The second picture is a reload/hand load that had zero problems to fire.

Josh45
May 4, 2013, 04:57 PM
Now, This third picture is one that failed to fire after the first hit but went off on the second hit.

Sam1911
May 4, 2013, 05:04 PM
Ok, pictures are great! That's odd -- the one that didn't fire at first got two strikes and they happened to land in exactly the same place? (I don't see a second off-center strike at some other quadrant of the primer.)

918v
May 4, 2013, 05:12 PM
OP, did you load these into the mag orientated the same way each time so that the "PMC" stamp was on the bottom?

Sam Cade
May 4, 2013, 05:15 PM
The oblong strikes are normal for a XD.


Perhaps the OP has a striker spring that has reached the end of its life or has a bit of schmukus in the channel.

Josh45
May 4, 2013, 05:30 PM
918v,

No I did not orient them in any fashion.
Just loaded them up.

Same Cade,

Is that possible for a brand new firearm?
Like I mentioned I just bought this gun about last month and it was brand new in the box from the dealer. Still, it could be defective right?

918v
May 4, 2013, 05:30 PM
OP,

Do your handloads plunk in the barrel? Take the barrel out and see. Are they flush with the end of the barrel hood?

Sam Cade
May 4, 2013, 05:37 PM
Is that possible for a brand new firearm?

Absolutely.

It could have a bad spring from the factory or was assembled with a bit of hardened grease or detritus from the manufacturing process in the channel.

Walkalong
May 4, 2013, 05:39 PM
This third picture is one that failed to fire after the first hit but went off on the second hit.Classic high primer. The first hit pushed it deeper, and the second one set it off.

Those are not any more off center than some I have seen. Sure, we would like to see them dead center, but it doesn't always work that way. If it bothers you, call SA and see what they say about it.

It could have a bad spring from the factory or was assembled with a bit of hardened grease or detritus from the manufacturing process in the channel.or too much oil in there.

Sam1911
May 4, 2013, 05:45 PM
I am very surprised to see the strike location (distance from dead center) shift from cartridge to cartridge. That seems to me like there is something about that round which is keeping the gun from returning to exactly the same point in battery. Too long OAL, bullet impacting the lands? Case too long (strange as that would be...autopistol cases usually don't stretch)?

918v
May 4, 2013, 05:53 PM
Bullet too big for the throat?

Thompsoncustom
May 4, 2013, 05:56 PM
I've talk to SA about this same thing and what they told me was the gun was not fully in battery if the primer strike was off center at all and I explained that the slide seemed fully forward but they said that it probably just had a little bit left till fully in battery.

SA had some advice on lube points but other than that they said I could ship the gun into them and they would take a look at it.

Gun doesn't seem to act up any more so I'm not sure what it was but maybe running .45 super through it for awhile loosened it up.

Sam1911
May 4, 2013, 05:59 PM
The 9mm xDMs (at least) have a bit less leade than some other service autos. Don't know if that's an issue at all with the .45s, though.

I've never had a round that wouldn't chamber and fire, but I did have a few that were pretty firmly lodged into the rifling when extracting, with some fat-profiled bullets. The "plunk" test is definitely your friend.

jakk280rem
May 4, 2013, 06:17 PM
Case too long (strange as that would be...autopistol cases usually don't stretch)?

Mixed lots? Or a tiny bit too long COAL for the bullet profile.

Josh45
May 4, 2013, 06:31 PM
918v,

These bullets I was using are .451. However they are plated. I know plated is supposed to be .452. As for the plunk test, I remember them plunking in with no issue but did not fall out from gravity alone. Odd thing is, They are flush with the barrel. OAL was 1.190.
Longer OAL would jam into the lands. Also the profile of the bullet is a Flat Point.

I had the same bullets that are Hollow Point plated and they do not have the OAL issue as much as the FP obviously due to OGive/Profile of the bullet.

As for the primers being high, I use a hand priming unit and always make sure to bottom out on the primers to make sure they are fully seated. Then again, There is always a chance I missed one or two.

I think I need to make another batch, make sure the primers are seated fully and the OAL set to make sure it plunks in and out with gravity alone and report back with that.

SlamFire1
May 4, 2013, 06:32 PM
It is hard for me to tell from the pictures if the firing pin hits are truly off center. Two of them look off center.

CCI states in this article: Mysteries And Misconceptions Of The All-Important Primer (http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/01/04/ammunition_st_mamotaip_200909/)

http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/01/04/ammunition_st_mamotaip_200909/

that high primers are the most frequent cause of misfires. The primer anvil has to be set on something hard and the primer cake pushed into the anvil. If the anvil is dangling in the air the primer is going to misfire.

Another thing, primers have to be hit in the middle for the most reliable ignition. Off center firing pin hits will result in misfires, the more off center, the more misfires that will happen.

918v
May 4, 2013, 07:27 PM
These bullets I was using are .451. However they are plated. I know plated is supposed to be .452. As for the plunk test, I remember them plunking in with no issue but did not fall out from gravity alone. Odd thing is, They are flush with the barrel. OAL was 1.190.
Longer OAL would jam into the lands. Also the profile of the bullet is a Flat Point.


If some of your reloads were sticking, then maybe the suspect ones were too long to allow the slide to go fully into battery, thereby causing the off center FP strike. Some plated bullets are garbage. I have a box of extremes where the bullet diameter is all over the place. If your OAL is right at the lands, then the slightest increase in bullet diameter will induce an out of battery situation.

Josh45
May 4, 2013, 10:02 PM
Hmm...Ill remake a few test loads and see how it works out. I will try a shorter OAL and the plunk test. We will see then if that is the issue behind this.

Bovice
May 4, 2013, 11:44 PM
I have never had an auto that hit center on the primer. I've also seen some slight firing pin wipe on warm loads in .40, but never in .45. I'd be more apt to believe the few that didn't light were because the primer wasn't fully seated. That is a condition I check for while boxing my rounds. If that isn't the case, what primers are you using? It's possible you got a few duds. I would start by looking for any inconsistencies that are present with the duds over fired cases. As a long shot, make sure your seating depth isn't allowing any rounds through that are over SAAMI spec. The perplexing issue is that it only happens with your reloads, so SA isn't going to be much help and I wouldn't reveal that to them because they'll pin it on you and not the gun.

918v
May 4, 2013, 11:58 PM
He already said he's using a hand-priming tool and seating the primers all the way to the bottom of the primer pocket. There is no way not to seat them all the way in unless you're drunk or high.

You can make a dummy round with a live primer or maybe with just a fired primer cup with the indent hammered out, and chamber it. Then pull the slide back 1/20th of an inch and pull the trigger. See where the striker hits.

Walkalong
May 5, 2013, 05:22 PM
He already said he's using a hand-priming tool and seating the primers all the way to the bottom of the primer pocket. There is no way not to seat them all the way in unless you're drunk or high. But somehow people manage to do it.

woodwrkr
May 5, 2013, 07:42 PM
I hope everyone will forgive me for referring you to another forum, but there's a lot of information about the XD-S out of battery primer strikes and limp wrist malfunctions on the XD Talk forum in the XD-S Discussion Room:

http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/xd-s-discussion-room/

A quick search will turn up some information.

My XD-S was doing the same thing as yours and even got worse than yours, out of battery primer strikes soon changed into hard jams. Two trips back to Springfield weren't of any help at all.

I know this sounds impossible but I tracked the problem down to weak or improperly heat treated magazine springs. The mag springs weren't strong enough to control the ammo in the mag and the top cartridge in the mag wes interfering with the slide returning forward back into battery and this caused the out of battery primer strikes.

Two new magazines fixed my XD-S, try different mags and stiffer wrists and see if either solution helps with your XD-S.

kludge
May 7, 2013, 09:59 AM
99% of primers not going off in handloads is from a primer not seated all the way.

This.

ku4hx
May 7, 2013, 10:50 AM
If this is what's being discussed, it's a non problem. Some of these are slightly deformed because I just punched them out. The gun was a Smith 1006. By my count I've got 17,343 once-fired empty cases; that's + or - 200-300. I just opened several of the boxes and looked at several handfuls of 9mm, 10mm, 40 and 45. These few are representative of what I already knew was the case.

The interesting thing is, those that were dead center, or nearly so, were almost all Glock-fired.

918v
May 7, 2013, 11:20 AM
I think the OP is concerned because only the suspect rounds had way off center FP hits. His good rounds, the ones that fired the first time, had well centered FP hits.

ku4hx
May 7, 2013, 11:29 AM
I think the OP is concerned because only the suspect rounds had way off center FP hits. His good rounds, the ones that fired the first time, had well centered FP hits.
For reliability reasons (and to lower costs), the firing pin, or striker, is not tight in the channel and hole it protrudes through. The design tolerances are quite "generous" in many case. This generosity, sometimes called "play", will sometimes lead to an off center hit. When tolerance stacking occurs, that "slack placement" off center hit can be pronounced.

Quality primers are designed with this in mind, and a good hit anywhere on the cup itself will cause ignition. If the tolerances are so sloppy as to allow a hit on the cup's edge, ignition may not always occur. But even then, the likelihood of a misfire, barring a defective primer, is very low.

Sam1911
May 7, 2013, 11:39 AM
Hmmm...you're saying the firing pin hole in the breechface is so large as to allow the pin to float across the primer and hit it in random locations?

I've never seen anything like that at all.

I'll agree the case head may be held at different elevations up and down the breechface based on how far up into engagement with the slide the barrel is able to go (due to a long cartridge or whatever) but not that the firing pin is able to move in the breechface. You'd get way too much primer cup "flow" that way.

BWB
May 7, 2013, 05:59 PM
I have a new XDs with a few hundred rounds through it and have had the same occurrence. It is a technical out of battery condition. The flat firing pin is horizontal in the XDs, not vertical like the Glocks, and this can lead to some confusion. If you examine the far off center strikes carefully, you will see they occur at the top of the primer, which can only mean the barrel is not fully locked. It is locked enough to be in battery and if the gun fires no harm will be done, and you will not be aware of it. If you get a FTF and clear it you will see the off center light strike.
You can demonstrate this to your own satisfaction with a safely cleared and handled gun by manipulating the slide and trigger.
It is clearly a timing issue, but as yet I haven't figured out the solution.
It happens to me usually on first rounds loaded by sling shotting, where I may be inadvertantly retarding the slide, so in normal cycling it may be ammunition related. These little guns are heavily sprung for obvious reasons, and may be ammo sensitive like the Glocks. I'm going to experiment with full power loads and different bullet weights to see what gives.
The XDs is an absolutely outstanding package, and this is just a glitch.

Sam1911
May 7, 2013, 06:57 PM
Wow, the CDs firing pin is rectangular? That's unexpected. The xDM fp is round. Huh!

RainDodger
May 8, 2013, 10:49 AM
Be sure and let us all know what you find. This is a perplexing problem. In decades of loading, I have yet to find bad primers out of the box. They just are not common. It's something else, as I think you already know. I've had numerous off-center strikes over the years though; some guns more than others. That second picture has a really deep primer strike, too.

I would consider sending the gun back to Springfield and having them evaluate it.

USSR
May 8, 2013, 11:04 AM
Classic high primer. The first hit pushed it deeper, and the second one set it off.

+1. In addition, the OP mentions the same problem with his rifle reloads.

Don

918v
May 8, 2013, 11:41 AM
Is the thread below about a high primer problem as well? The OP in our thread already stated he carefully seated these primers using a hand priming tool.

http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/xd-s-discussion-room/205997-xds-light-strikes-3.html

Walkalong
May 9, 2013, 03:22 PM
Everyone who comes looking for help with reloads that did not fire thinks they seated the primers OK, no matter the method.


Totally unrelated to anything mechanical that may be going on. That part is interesting.

Walkalong
May 9, 2013, 03:24 PM
Pic link (http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/attachments/xd-s-discussion-room/11474d1341170389-xds-light-strikes-umc-ftf.jpg) from the linked to thread.

Wow, that is seriously off center.

brickeyee
May 9, 2013, 03:38 PM
What's unlikely is the off center hit while in battery.

Actually not all that uncommon on 1911 actions that have been fitted.

One of the things that moves the FP off center is cutting the barrel feet to match the frame and slide stop pin correctly.

As long as the hits are not far enough off center to cause misfires there is nothing much to worry about.
If it really bothers you the breech case can be bushed and a new centered firing pin hole cut.

It used to be very common when tightening up slides with peening down and then having to re-cut barrel feet.

gamestalker
May 9, 2013, 05:38 PM
None of the AL's I've ever fired strike dead center on the FP, and I've never had a mis-fire. It seems to be the nature of the beast. I would lean toward improperly seated primers, considering it fires them on the second attempt, and because you indicate it is only doing this with your reloads.

However, if it will help you sleep better, I would send it into SA for an inspection, just to be sure all is within spec.

GS

918v
May 11, 2013, 01:21 PM
Do your AL's strike that much off center? Mine don't.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 04:13 PM
This was the first time ever that this has happened with my rifle loads.
I had been using primers that I always use in them. Either Federal or Wolf. At the time, I believe I was using Wolf primers in them.

I will have more pics up a bit later for making some new rounds. Looking for the right OAL to do the plunk test, It comes out around 1.170-1.175 with these FP Plated bullets.
Obviously, Gonna have to start at the bottom of the load data and go up from there with such a short OAL.

Also, I will get a few pics up with the primers being shown from how far in they are seated using the hand priming tool. If anyone sees anything that looks like a high primer, Please let me know. Will update as soon as I can.

918v
May 11, 2013, 04:36 PM
You can make a dummy round at the previous OAL. That will tell you right away if the OAL is too long.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 06:47 PM
918v,

Some did chamber and some did not at the previous OAL of 1.190 which I know is the minimum for .45 ACP or at least it says in the books. When I made the 1.170-1.175, They plunked in and out with no issue what so ever and chamber just fine. Of course I used a dummy round ( no primer or powder ) to check this out. There also flush with the hood of the barrel at this OAL.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 07:00 PM
The first pic is of the OAL of the round hat fit into the barrel and passed the plunk test with no assistance from me. The next three pics are of the primers I seated with the hand priming tool. If anyone sees any indication of a high primer or something, Please say so.

I made sure to bottom out when using the hand primer just like I usually do but as Walkalong said, No matter the method, It can happen. Or something like that anyways was mentioned in the thread earlier.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 07:04 PM
Two more primer pics at different angles. Hoping this helps to find out if anything looks like a high primer. The next two are to show that it sits in the magazine pretty well. Although, Don't know how much that one helped.

The next one of the firearm from the rear is with the dummy round chambered which is the one shown in the magazine. Some of the earlier rounds at 1.190 looked like this while some did leave a gap and was noticeable. This dummy round has been chambered about 2-3 times and the firearm always looks like this from the rear. Feeds with no issues and ejects very easily when racked by hand.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 07:07 PM
The first pic is to show the front of the firearm to see if there is any gap at all with the dummy round chambered. I don't see it but maybe to some of you more experienced shooter and reloaders can tell me if you see anything out of the ordinary.

The second pic is to show the dummy round is flush with the hood of the barrel.
Is it to deep at this rate or is there anything I might be missing from this pic?
Sorry if there are any blurry pics, The camera focused at times and others it didn't do so well on that part.

Let me know what you guys think.

918v
May 11, 2013, 08:22 PM
Do you have any dummy rounds loaded to 1.190" OAL? You need those to eliminate OAL as a variable. Make some, test them in your barrel? Take the ones that don't sit flush with the barrel hood and cycle then through the gun. Look at how the barrel locks up into battery. Compare that to how the gun looks when unloaded. This is going to be a very subtle difference that won't be apparent in pics.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 08:27 PM
No I don't but I can make one right quick.
I will give it a go and see how that works out. Pics to follow up.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 09:13 PM
OKay, Made the round at 1.190. It does chamber with no issues, but you can feel it catch when trying to eject the round. Also, It plunks in but does not plunk out doing the barrel test.

The second picture is to show how it sits in the magazine compared to the other one at 1.172 shown earlier. These other two pictures are to show what the fire arm looks like unloaded. I know its practically impossible to see that but you have my word it is unloaded. The fourth picture is also shown unloaded and just to show how it looks before chambering a round.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 09:16 PM
One more pic with the firearm shown unchambered. From the rear to show complete lock up. The next three pictures show the firearm with a dummy round chambered with a OAL of 1.190.

You can see the chamber indicator in the first pic to show that it has been loaded with the dummy round. The other two pictures are for comparison of the other two that show no round chambered.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 09:19 PM
These last two show how they fit across the hood of the barrel. Looks good but still would not plunk out and like I said, While this round did eject, It had way more resistance than the one at 1.172 which had no resistance to speak of.

The round did not change OAL in either the 1.172 or the 1.190.
These were the only differences noticed in these two dummy rounds.

And in case anyone is curious, My niece leaves her toys everywhere. Including the bear that is looking into your soul in these pics.

918v
May 11, 2013, 10:04 PM
I'm thinking it's a barrel lockup issue. At 1.190" your case is preventing your barrel from tilting up all the way. See, when you close the slide on an empty chamber and push down on the barrel you'll see the barrel is able to move down a little. When you have a round that is interference fit in the chamber, the barrel may not tilt all the way up due to all the friction between the back of the case and the breechface. If the barrel cannot tilt all the way up, then your firing pin won't be in line with the primer, or more out of line than normal.

Josh45
May 11, 2013, 10:18 PM
918v,

If that is the case, What would be my best route?
Do I send it in or keep testing my hand loads with different brand of primers and bullets?

918v
May 11, 2013, 10:46 PM
I would go with the shorter OAL. If they feed well, just rework the load.

918v
May 12, 2013, 12:51 AM
Oh, and one last thing:

Don't be afraid to go shorter than 1.190" OAL. Federal Gold Medal 185gr ammo is loaded to 1.165". Some bullets need to be seated that short. They still feed and shoot fine.

Josh45
May 12, 2013, 02:30 AM
I was somewhat concerned about it but I will give it a go and see how it works out for me.

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