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Posted: 7/30/2003 10:11:29 AM EDT
Does anyone besides me have trouble re-inserting the firing pin retaining pin (the cotter pin) back into the bolt carrier? Always seems to give me fits. Have bent at least one doing it.

Does anyone make a replacement unit that's easier to use? Machined steel, or aluminum for that matter. Not a high stress part, I would think you could even use plastic if so inclined.

Always thought that cotter pin was the worst part of the AR design.



Link Posted: 7/30/2003 10:34:50 AM EDT
There is an ad in Shotgun News by a company called Flashco Inc. They offer a product called Perma Pin which the ad claims was designed by Eugene Stoner and was the original pin of the system. The price is $7.95 each or 3 for $20.00 postpaid. I have not tried it but it looks interesting. They do not advertise a web site but their phone number is (970) 252-1851. They are located in Colorado.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 11:10:24 AM EDT
Funny you mention that. I've always had the same problem. I resorted to using a small screwdriver or similar fine tool to push the two halves of the pin together while trying to insert it. Always a pain in the butt though. There was a similar thread here recently. You wouldn't happen to have a RRA, would you ? I bought another pin at the gunshow recently to replace the one in my RRA, and it goes in without any tools. The tips of the pin are more tapered, and I'm sure that helps. Try another one and see if it helps - for $0.75, it sure worked for me.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 11:53:05 AM EDT
You're not alone there, Sir. All of my uppers (Bushy, FA, RRA) share this; I've been ragged about it at the club because the CMP AR's they use are much easier to assemble. I'd use caution making substitutions though; that little steel pin is hardened for a good reason. It's not a cotter pin, despite the physical resemblance. Early on I figured out that if one side is longer than the other, even slightly, that's the side that goes in first & should face the firing pin. When the pin stops as the shorter side hits the bolt inside surface, use a small tool to push it against the longer side, while pushing on the pin & it goes in easy. The spread pin halves have always made me feel a bit more confident that that little pin is a lot less likely to slip out of the bolt at a bad time.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 12:52:33 PM EDT
Yes, its a RRA, though the Oly I had before could also be tricky. Got some new pins this noon and cured the problem. For now. Tapering the tip of the pin sounds like it has merit. I now have three pins to play with so if one gets messed up I'm still good to go. Was a little worried. Gun (and me) are heading to Perry first thing Sunday morning. Was cleaning the gun last night and the existing pin, um, met up with some difficulties.
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 2:37:28 PM EDT
I slide mine in and if it sticks I rotate it 180 degrees while pushing inwards - I've never noticed which side ends up where afterwards.
Link Posted: 8/5/2003 8:30:33 PM EDT
Hey Tigerman, I have a 1964 production Colt SP1 that has a factory firing pin retaining pin like the one that you describe. It works great, but have never seen another one. I can't imagine why they changed that design. Thanks for the info..
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 3:24:41 PM EDT
Brownells now sells the original style,machined hard chrome steel firing pin retainer,Part #231-000-029.$6.99 retail,Regards,Blade.
Link Posted: 8/17/2003 2:44:24 PM EDT
Well I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that has gone through this AR-15 right of passage. I just bent my first on last week. Oly is sending me a new one and I'll be a little less frustated replacing this one.
Link Posted: 8/18/2003 4:48:01 PM EDT
Well I got the pin today and after getting it in most of the way I went to the handy dandy dental pick and put a little pressure on it, and it went in like butter. Cool. Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/30/2003 9:19:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2003 9:21:46 PM EDT by b0ne]
I have no problem putting mine in, I slide it in until it sticks (it sticks because the ends are spread apart slightly), then rotate it back and forth somewhat while pushing and it goes right in, no problem, takes all of .0003 seconds. Of course, if the pin has sharp squared off ragged edges at the ends, you can hit it with a miniature file a little bit.
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 8:33:55 AM EDT
Paul has it right. Just push it in and turn the firing pin retaining pin and it will go right in!
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 8:42:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2003 8:42:20 AM EDT by mr_wilson]
My tip for this problem, is here: [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=66&t=162901&w=searchPop[/url] Mike
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 9:12:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2003 9:12:48 AM EDT by joelad]
I never had this problem on any M16/AR rifle I've had the pleasure & pain to disassemble. In boot camp we were told to push the pin in, then rotate it if we met resistance. It's always worked for me. I don't like the idea of a cotter pin, hardened or not, holding the firing pin in place. If it breaks in a SHTF scenario, the shooter is screwed. I too have been looking at the ad in SGN, and am tempted to buy one of their pins just to try it out. JoeLad
Link Posted: 9/9/2003 7:17:48 PM EDT
There is nothing wrong with the firing pin retaining pin. They are more than adequate for the job they need to do, which is simply to keep the firing pin from falling out. They get bent when firing pin collars snag on hammers, which literally hammers the firing pin into the retaining pin, which of course is a completely separate problem and has nothing to do with how adequate the retaining pin is. That said, a more durable solid pin would last longer, yes, allowing the pin to continue being used after another problem is fixed, instead of forcing its replacement as with the regular split pin. And for peace of mind, that's always nice.
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