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Titanium Firing Pin

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by *NOVA*, Oct 17, 2011.

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  1. *NOVA*

    *NOVA* Member

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    If I ever get a Ruger SR1911 - one of the things that impressed me about the specs was the titanium firing pin. Recently I read a thread where an obviously experienced gunsmith did an extremely thorough review of the gun, checked all dimensions, did a range report and then replaced several parts or reworked them. One of the things he did I do not understand was replace the titanium with a steel firing pin. I figure titanium is a higher strength metal alloy - but maybe there is a good reason why steel is better than titanium? Or maybe the replacement was a particular brand or type of firng pin and that is the real difference. What is wrong with Ruger's titanium firing pin? :scrutiny:
     
  2. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Good question.
    My AR came with a steel one and I replaced it with a titanium pin!
     
  3. critter

    critter Member

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    I thought the main reason for the T firing pin was light weight. It decreases the liklihood of the gun firing due to firing pin inertia if dropped loaded on its nose when there is no FP safety as in the series 80 Colts.
     
  4. olyeller

    olyeller Member

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    Don't question an obviously experienced gunsmith.
     
  5. Mac's Precision

    Mac's Precision Member

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    Ti pins are installed to reduce the lock work time. The acceleration of the lighter pin will be quicker by some tiny degree.. That said there is a potential trade off as the lighter pin may not strike as hard due to lower inertia. A light pin might make it to the primer in a hurry but it does no good if the pin lacks the power to reliably make fire.

    Generally speaking, IF you are depending on a Ti pin to make you MORE competitive by the reduced lock time....well...that is a bit of a dream in my book. The reduction in weight will make SOME difference but I would say it would take a VERY high performance competition shooter to see it.

    I personally run a good quality steel pin of OEM design and find that it works just fine. Customer's do what they want and some believe that lots of hot rod parts make a pistol better. So be it. Often times competition guns will have an ultra light skeleton hammer with an ultra light sear combined with a lightweight trigger made of synthetic. This combination is all in an effort to get the trigger group parts moving at full speed as quickly as possible. That said, Titanium doesn't wear like steel. It is a whole different breed of material.
     
  6. ants

    ants Member

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    Springfield Armory, Ruger and others use titanium firing pins to pass the California-style drop test,
    and thus sell thousands of pistols in states requiring such a test.

    Purists point out that John Moses Browning did not use titanium firing pins.
    Out of a sense of propriety, those people quickly swap it out for a steel pin.

    The gunsmith simply swapped it out due to his own preference.
    Or his client's preference, as Mac points out.
    Or to satisfy someone else's demands.

    After all, thousands and thousands of Rugers and Springfields go a lifetime with those firing pins.
    They can't all be shooting miraculously.
     
  7. *NOVA*

    *NOVA* Member

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    Really? Come on - you're kidding I hope? :) I got the answers I wanted - was just curious and I'm like someone possessed in my desire to learn everything I can about guns - that knowledge could be a life saver one day. Any gunsmith out there who posts on a thread I hope is flattered I pay attention to what they wrote and if they are willing to explain what they do that's even better!

    After the answers I've gotten here and on another forum (I had heard about the so called increased safety feature before) it makes sense the heavier pin is desired in some cases. Thanks to everyone who answered!
     
  8. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    The inertia will be the same.

    The lighter pin moves faster, inertia is mass x velocity.
     
  9. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I'm willing to bet JMB never heard of titanium or any of the other exotic metal alloys used in today's firearms. In his day steel and wood I'm willing to bet were the norm.
     
  10. DANS40XC

    DANS40XC Member

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    Titanium doesn't respond well to work hardening(being beat on)as it shatters like glass.
     
  11. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Long term and heavy blows.
    i have seen no data that show a 1911 firing pin is struck hard enough to matter.
     
  12. GIJOEL

    GIJOEL Member

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    My father put a titanium firing pin in the kimber custom target that i've been shooting for 13 years (and over 25000 rds) now and there is still no real signs of wear.
     
  13. aminyard

    aminyard Member

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    Steel is more ductile than Ti, thus it is far more suitable for applications involving concussion. Ti use in firearms should be restricted to such things as BR rifles (where lock time is a consideration.

    For duty/SD/hunting weapons it should not be used in fireing pins, where failure of the part could result in a good guy going down!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  14. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    But is Ti good enough for a pistol firing pin.

    Engineering is often the science of 'good enough.'

    And 'better' is often the enemy of 'good enough.'

    Springfield Armory seems to think so.

    They use ti firing pins to make sure they pass the CA drop test.
     
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