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7/8/2020 3:01:36 PM
Posted: 4/29/2009 8:04:00 PM EDT
While thinking about slam fires and what causes them I come to beleive that the heavy firing pin in our bolts have alot to do with it, so I ordered a titanium firing pin and done some test by letting the bolt slam closed and inspecting the firing pin mark on the primer. As you all know the standard firing pin leaves a pretty good mark on the primer but just as I thought the TI firing pin bearley made a mark due to the much less mass slamming forward when the bolt closes. So those of you that worry about the risk of slam fire I think the $20 TI firing pin is a cheap piece of mind as I dont think slam fires will be possible with the lighter firing pin. JMHO.

EWP
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 8:08:48 PM EDT
How many have you had?  

I have slammed the bolt home hundreds of times, and witnessed thousands, and have yet to see (or hear) one.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 8:11:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2009 8:13:57 PM EDT by Jerad]
Originally Posted By EWP:
While thinking about slam fires and what causes them I come to beleive that the heavy firing pin in our bolts have alot to do with it, so I ordered a titanium firing pin and done some test by letting the bolt slam closed and inspecting the firing pin mark on the primer. As you all know the standard firing pin leaves a pretty good mark on the primer but just as I thought the TI firing pin bearley made a mark due to the much less mass slamming forward when the bolt closes. So those of you that worry about the risk of slam fire I think the $20 TI firing pin is a cheap piece of mind as I dont think slam fires will be possible with the lighter firing pin. JMHO.

EWP


Whatever helps you sleep at night, but I'll stick to my SS firing pins as Titanium is pretty brittle if I remember correctly.

I have shot ALOT of ammo threw numerous ARs and M16s and I've NEVER had a slam fire. I've had a couple cookoffs and I've had my hammer follow my BC home on my M16 when I was trying to tune my newly made RDIAS trips, but no slam fires.


Link Posted: 4/29/2009 8:13:00 PM EDT
Ti firing pins are prone to chipping.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 8:14:55 PM EDT
I'd rather just rotate the rounds in my mag to make sure I'm not chambering the same cartridge over and over.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 8:18:27 PM EDT
Back in the very early days of the AR-15 they did have a slamfire issue. BUT it was extremely rare then and only apparent during high-volume full-auto testing when the US Ordnance Department was originally testing the AR-15. Colt, Armalite, Springfield Armory, and Gene Stoner himself all put thier heads in on that problem and the solution: they lightened the firing pin. The problem was fixed in 1964 and while one can't say never, it has not been a problem since. The new Ti firing pins frankly are a gimick and a solution to a problem that hasn't existed in 45 years...

For reference the original Armalite firingpin is on the top and the pin as used in production since 1964 is on the bottom:

(pictures taken from Ekie's excelent reference thread that is stickied in the retro forum)

-RH
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 8:25:07 PM EDT
Armalite Inc.
P.O. Box 299
Geneseo IL 61254
Tel 309-944-6939
fax 309-944-6949
info@armalite.com

October 12, 1997

TECHNICAL NOTE 2: TITANIUM FIRING PINS CONSIDERED GENERALLY USELESS

PURPOSE: The purpose of the Technical Note is to review the merits of commercially marketed firing
pins made of titanium.

FACTS:

1. Titanium firing pins are intended to reduce lock time; the time between release of the hammer
and ignition of the primer. Theoretically, faster ignition of the shot allows less time for
disturbance of the rifle.

2. Because titanium is lighter than the steel normally used in the production of firing pins, it has
less inertia: a titanium firing pin is accelerated faster than a steel firing pin when struck by the
hammer. This theoretically results in the firing pin striking the primer faster than a steel firing
pin would. Lightweight firing pins or strikers have been used with bolt action rifles for many
years.

3. Movement of the firing pin of the M16 type rifles is, however, only a very small part of the
lock time of the rifles. Lightening the firing pin produces virtually no improvement in lock
time. No engineering or experimental data has been provided which supports a change to
titanium firing pins.

4. Titanium is strong, but doesn’t handle impact well. For this reason alone it is less suitable
than steel for use in firing pins.

5. Titanium is lighter than steel. The steel firing pin retains a slight momentum as the bolt
carrier closes. This momentum normally causes the primer to be lightly indented by the firing
pin, and can cause slamfire if the primer is overly sensitive. A titanium firing pin has less
momentum, causes less indent, and reduces the possibility for slamfire.

RECOMMENDATION: Demand engineering test data to support claims of accuracy improvement of
any sort. We conclude that the titanium firing pin is one of many fad items separating shooters from
money otherwise better spent, and recommend against them. A titanium firing pin can reduce the
(already) slight possibility of slamfire. ArmaLite does not sell titanium firing pins.

MAW

LINK
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 8:27:48 PM EDT
Armalite Inc.
P.O. Box 299
Geneseo IL 61254
Tel 309-944-6939
fax 309-944-6949
info@armalite.com

December 26, 1998

TECHNICAL NOTE 10: PREVENTION OF SLAMFIRES

FACTS:

1. A slamfire is the unintentional discharge of a cartridge during loading or locking, without
normal hammer or striker fall.

2. Because of inertial energy remaining when the bolt closes, the firing pin of a number of rifle
models such as the Ml rifle and carbine, M-14 rifle, and most ArmaLite patent rifles, strikes the
cartridge primer lightly upon chambering a round. This light strike normally will not cause the
primer to fire, but it is possible. Government 5.56mm (.223) cartridges are loaded with a thick
cupped primer to provide assurance that such an occurrence is rare. Government and
commercial 7.62mm (.308) primers are not hardened in this manner.

3. The AR- 10 design includes a firing pin spring which reduces the inertial energy of the firing
pin to a very safe level. Extensive firing has confirmed that the firing pin spring almost totally
cures slamfire without reducing ignition reliability. No case of slamfire or misfire has been
observed in an AR- 10 equipped with the firing pin spring.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. When feeding single shots, feed cartridges only from the magazine, or use the charging handle to
lower the carrier closer to the closed position before releasing it.

2. Assure that the firing pin retarding spring is installed before firing the AR- 10. It is an
important safety device. Never fire the rifle without it.

3. Always assure that the barrel is pointed in a safe direction when loading any firearm.

4. Use only fresh, good quality factory loaded ammunition.

MAW

LINK
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:10:26 PM EDT
I had one slam fire with the Ar15, and it was on a reload (I dont use reloads anymore).  No doubt the primer was sensitive, and fortunately I was firing at a target when the second round went off  (in a slam fire).   Keep in mind this is one slam-fire in prbably 20,000 rounds I have fired over the years.  And it was with a reload.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:12:51 PM EDT
As someone has already pointed out the Titanium FP's are very brittle and prone to chipping at the tip.  Pierced primers is the result.  Not good.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:35:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2009 9:37:58 PM EDT by EWP]
OK OK, so the TI firing pins arn't the best but does prove that the reduction in weight of the firing pin does reduce the likley hood of a slam fire, and even though they might not be best i dont think one would ever chip due to being to brittle as we use a lot of Ti parts in our down hole tools and never had any engineering data to prove it being brittle, it actually has greater tensile strength than any steel used to produce firing pins.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:42:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EWP:
OK OK, so the TI firing pins arn't the best but does prove that the reduction in weight of the firing pin does reduce the likley hood of a slam fire, and even though they might not be best i dont think one would ever chip due to being to brittle as we use a lot of Ti parts in our down hole tools and never had any engineering data to prove it being brittle, it actually has greater tensile strength than any steel used to produce firing pins.


Scroll back up and read entire thread again.  Thinking doesn't replace experience.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:44:45 PM EDT
If you want one so badly, just get it.  I don't have as much time with the AR as others, but slamfires have always been a bit of an urban myth to me.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:53:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ANIMUS:
Originally Posted By EWP:
OK OK, so the TI firing pins arn't the best but does prove that the reduction in weight of the firing pin does reduce the likley hood of a slam fire, and even though they might not be best i dont think one would ever chip due to being to brittle as we use a lot of Ti parts in our down hole tools and never had any engineering data to prove it being brittle, it actually has greater tensile strength than any steel used to produce firing pins.


Scroll back up and read entire thread again.  Thinking doesn't replace experience.


I see no real data to prove a TI firing pin has ever chiped and caused a pireced primer, just someone else's thinking that it might happen.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:56:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By subterfugeinc:
If you want one so badly, just get it.  I don't have as much time with the AR as others, but slamfires have always been a bit of an urban myth to me.


I do have one, that is what I done the bolt slam test with to confirm the lighter dents in the primers due to the lighter firing pin. I'm not saying they are better but have seen no real proof that they are not as good, are that they will really chip.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 9:57:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EWP:
Originally Posted By ANIMUS:
Originally Posted By EWP:
OK OK, so the TI firing pins arn't the best but does prove that the reduction in weight of the firing pin does reduce the likley hood of a slam fire, and even though they might not be best i dont think one would ever chip due to being to brittle as we use a lot of Ti parts in our down hole tools and never had any engineering data to prove it being brittle, it actually has greater tensile strength than any steel used to produce firing pins.


Scroll back up and read entire thread again.  Thinking doesn't replace experience.


I see no real data to prove a TI firing pin has ever chiped and caused a pireced primer, just someone else's thinking that it might happen.


Then go buy one.  I've had an AR blow up in my face.  I don't care to experience a pierced primer.
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 10:00:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ANIMUS:
Originally Posted By EWP:
Originally Posted By ANIMUS:
Originally Posted By EWP:
OK OK, so the TI firing pins arn't the best but does prove that the reduction in weight of the firing pin does reduce the likley hood of a slam fire, and even though they might not be best i dont think one would ever chip due to being to brittle as we use a lot of Ti parts in our down hole tools and never had any engineering data to prove it being brittle, it actually has greater tensile strength than any steel used to produce firing pins.


Scroll back up and read entire thread again.  Thinking doesn't replace experience.


I see no real data to prove a TI firing pin has ever chiped and caused a pireced primer, just someone else's thinking that it might happen.


Then go buy one.  I've had an AR blow up in my face.  I don't care to experience a pierced primer.



What the fuck does an AR blowing up in your face have to do with slam fires?  If your AR blows up, you have bigger problems.

Link Posted: 4/29/2009 10:02:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pira114:
Originally Posted By ANIMUS:
Originally Posted By EWP:
Originally Posted By ANIMUS:
Originally Posted By EWP:
OK OK, so the TI firing pins arn't the best but does prove that the reduction in weight of the firing pin does reduce the likley hood of a slam fire, and even though they might not be best i dont think one would ever chip due to being to brittle as we use a lot of Ti parts in our down hole tools and never had any engineering data to prove it being brittle, it actually has greater tensile strength than any steel used to produce firing pins.


Scroll back up and read entire thread again.  Thinking doesn't replace experience.


I see no real data to prove a TI firing pin has ever chiped and caused a pireced primer, just someone else's thinking that it might happen.


Then go buy one.  I've had an AR blow up in my face.  I don't care to experience a pierced primer.



What the fuck does an AR blowing up in your face have to do with slam fires?  If your AR blows up, you have bigger problems.



Pierced primer from a chipped FP.  You think that's going to be pretty?
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 10:15:04 PM EDT
I've seen many pirced primers due to to hot reloads and never any real damage to the shooter or firearm for that matter, but point taken.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 12:19:42 AM EDT
Just my $.02.

The Armalite tech note is over 10 yrs. old. I think the use of "alternate" materials in firearms production has probably evolved quite a bit in that time.

For those who will stick with their Stainless Steel parts - remember, there were quite a few problems with that material too when they first started using it in firearms production.

How about Glock and their plastic guns. I think we all know how that turned out.

I'm not in favor or opposed. I just like to keep an open mind about new products/materials.

YMMV
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:47:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 3:54:37 AM EDT by USMC-Helo]
Ti has a higher tensile strength than Steel and it holds strength under heat better than steel, BUT, it work hardens much faster and the surface wears faster with friction than steel.

The Soviets have much more natural deposits of Ti than the U.S., U.S. sub hulls are made of steel, Soviet Sub hulls were made of Ti, Soviet subs could dive deeper than U.S. Subs, BUT they rarely went very deep because there was a limit to how many times they could dive to their "test" depth and the Ti in the Hull would be past its life cycle and the sub had to be junked.

Ti firing pins chipping?  I have no idea if its true or NOT, but what I know about Ti and good Steel/Stainless Steel, I would think you are likely to run into firing pin problems with a Ti FP before you would a SS FP, of course it might be a case of being very unlikely to run into problems with either.  Better alloys, production techniques, etc can reduce disadvantages.

The U.S. Military has titanium in all sorts of their equipment, if there was any real advantage to having a Ti FP in M-16, I'm sure they would have sprung for the extra bucks, they stuck with Steel.  Yeah, a simplification, but the evidence shows the current steel FP is light enough to prevent slam fires, any lighter is NO performance advantage, and Stainless Steel is a more "Durable" metal, so why switch?
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:21:57 AM EDT
Now that is the kinda anwser I was looking for, not just what someone read bad about them on the net but someone that actually knew what they were talking abouit. I'll keep the TI firing pin as another extra and keep to the SS one.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:37:03 AM EDT
Well, I've never used a Ti FP, I just know a "little" about Ti. My understanding is Steel is much more "durable" than Ti.  Someone with lots of experience with Ti FP may give you a different story.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 5:12:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 5:25:48 AM EDT by talonxracer]
Ti has it's uses, but in most applications it is unwarranted, true it is stronger and lighter than steel, but it is more brittle and has a lower rockwell softness overall. There is a very thin hardened outerlayer that when worn thru will cause the part to wear even quicker than steel.

A fine example of this is Titanium valve spring retainers in a gasoline engine. The retainers are lighter so thusly allow the valvetrain to spin to higher RPM's, but they wear very quickly with most requiring replacement at very low mileages. I have a drawer full of worn out Ti valvespring retainers(most in 10-20 thousand miles) at my shop.


And yes a Ti firing pin will reduce lock-time, but the rest of the FCG(and the rest of the rifle) must be upgraded as well to bench rest accuracy, simply adding a Ti firing pin to a run of the mill M4orgery is like dressing up a pig, it is simply a exercise in futility. Armalites tests with Ti firing pins were conducted with a milspec rifle in govt issue trim(crap trigger with hard military primers and heavy hammer), but with a dedicated varmint rig from the bench, handloads with conventional rifle primers, along with a topend FCG (with a speed hammer), the Ti firing pin will produce smaller groups. But a rifle in this trim is hardly something you would rely on when the shit hit the fan!
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 6:46:08 PM EDT
It appears that TI firing pins are becoming the norm in  some 1911s, rather than the firing pin block employed on other models.  Springfield has used them for years, and it now appears Colt is doing the same thing.  This permits a Series 70 ignition setup without the danger of a discharge if the gun is dropped on its muzzle.
I'm  a fan of the Ti pins in 1911s; it avoids the complication and sometime trigger pull problems of the Series 80 ignition parts.
Moon
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