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Thread: Weak firing pin

  1. #1
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default Weak firing pin

    I recently picked up a rifle that the firing pin doesn't seem to hit the round hard enough. I got the impression from the previous owner that the gun had not been fired in many years. Superficially it is in excelent condition. But When I tried to shoot it the firing pin barly made a mark on the round. I tried some gun oil to lubricate it.
    It was mentioned that when a the spring is left in a compressed position for an extended period that it will get weak. Has any one encountoured this?

  2. #2

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    What make and how old? Semiauto? Lever action? Single Shot? Bolt?

    I've seen really old ones with "grease" hardened to the point to interfere with the firing pin. It's been a long time since I've seen a firing pin spring weakened as you describe, and that was on a cheap foreign knockoff handgun as I recall.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    It is a Kimber model 84 223, It is a bolt action rifle. From my research it looks like it was made in the 1960's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    It is a Kimber model 84 223, It is a bolt action rifle. From my research it looks like it was made in the 1960's.

    I will go along with Brownbear and the too much grease/crud/varnish in the bolt body.

    But for the record the Kimber of Oregon company was started by Jack and son Greg Warne back in 1979. The model 89 Big Game Rifle was a development of the latter eighties but didn't sell and new money was needed. Greg linked up with a fellow named Bruce Engle in 1989 but the company went bankrupt later that year. Several Kimber employees left Kimber including Dan Cooper and started another company called Cooper Firearms in 1990.

    Greg Warne was forced out of his own company just before bankruptcy was filed and the machinery was sold to a junk yard. Warne then bought it back after he got financial backing from Les Edelman and Nationwide Sports. During these few years the CFO of Kimber/Nationwide, Dennis Shusterman, embezzled $10 million from the company and fired Greg Warne out of his own company again. Edelman also owned Jerico Precision of Yonkers NY and later moved the Kimber firearms company to the Jerico location and began making Kimber rifles and handguns there.

    This little trip down memory lane was to say that your Kimber rifle wasn't made in the 1960's. If it says Kimber of Oregon with a Clackamas address it is an early rifle but would have been made no earlier than 1985.
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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    ok, well I guess that is the danger of the internet. I based that statment on some information I encountered while trying to assess the value of the gun.

    I am not sure about the clackamas address.

    The gun has printed on it .223 Kimber model 84 then a serial number. (They are in order from barel to stock on the left side of the gun)

    Is there any way to free the firing pin up?

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    I don't have any experience with the Kimber, but most bolts are relatively easy to disassemble. Just last week I replaced the spring on a Mauser bolt and it took all of about 15 minutes. If all you need is a good cleaning you should only have to unscrew the shroud/pin/spring assembly from the bolt and spray it down with some brake cleaner to remove the crud. I then like to use a very very light synthetic lube or even a dry lube when putting it all back together. You may be able to search the Net and find specific disassembly instructions for the Kimber bolt.
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    .............Is there any way to free the firing pin up?

    Take the bolt out of the rifle, remove the striker assembly and clean the striker and use a loop jag and patch soaked in solvent and clean the insides of the bolt. Use long stem Q-tips, etc until it is clean all the way through. This won't cost anything and if the problem still persists then we can look for a spring.

    The Kimber 22 LR are model 82 from the year 1982. The M84 for the center fire rifles is for 1984 and you guessed it the BGR89 is for the year 1989. Kimber of Oregon lasted for about 10 years then in the early ninety's became Kimber of America. Hope this helps.
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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Thank you, I will try to clean it up.

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    Just to add a little to the Kimber of Oregon story; the last factory was in Colton, OR.

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    Several years ago I bought from a newspaper ad a Ruger 77/22 for my son. The gun was in perfect new condition and I felt good about the deal. But later come to find out that about 1 out of every 3-4 shots was a misfire. I wasn't quite sure but it just seemed to be that the pin impression was just a little shallow.

    I took the bolt apart and could find nothing visibly wrong. It was just like new. Only thing I could figure was the pin was not coming out far enough. I took a drill slightly larger than the pin and just ever so slightly deepened the area where the firing pin comes hard against the end of its travel. That was the problem, they just didn't go deep enough when the gun was made.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Well I couldn't see any thing wrong, but I cleaned it out and lubed it and now I am hoping to try it out again this weekend.
    The pin was not being restricted from coming forward it just wasn't hitting hard enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    Well I couldn't see any thing wrong, but I cleaned it out and lubed it and now I am hoping to try it out again this weekend.
    The pin was not being restricted from coming forward it just wasn't hitting hard enough.
    Let us know how it turns out!

    Did you completely disassemble the bolt? When I've encountered the symptoms you describe it usually traced out to be a buildup of grease and gunk inside the bolt body itself- right where the pin and spring are housed. The gunk slowed or interfered enough that the pin wasn't getting a good strike.

    It's common enough that I completely disassemble and clean the bolt on all older rifles I get my hands on. Last time I didn't do that the gun failed to fire on a cold weather hunt, costing me a really fine buck. The gun worked fine in warm weather when the grease was soft, but wouldn't fire at all in the cold. I can tell you that it was kind of creepy to open that bolt to eject the live round after the sear had released, but the pin hadn't fallen all the way!

  13. #13

    Default grease and crud

    Had an 8mm Mag that I used all the time and was doing the same thing. Barely making an indention on the primer. Took the bolt out and cleaned and BINGO! It fired! It was amazing how much crud there was. I keep my bolts pretty much clear of any oil anymore as I use them during the winter on the line. Nothing like sighting in on a moose or caribou and it won't fire!

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    I couldn't get it completly apart. couldn't find any screws or pins in it to take apart, but it did have a piece on the side that I could take off. So I cleaned that and ran used some specalty cleaner that my father had through the areas that I couldn't access. Then oiled it with gun oil.
    I will report when I get the opertunity.

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    If you cycle your bolt then put the safety in the midle position then remove the bolt you can unscrew the back of the bolt and access the firing pin, spring, and inside of your bolt to do a thourough cleaning. No special tools needed!

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    My last Mauser action I got I took to the range and tried to shoot it. The gun would not fire even though everything seemed to be O.K.

    I thought the firing pin may be malfunctioned so I took the bolt apart and put it back together. Turned out the bolt shroud was short of being all the way on by one turn.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    I tried to take the bolt apart as sugested but couldn't. The back wouldn't unscrew. all that I managed to do was knock the firing pin down. I got the firing pin re set but the gun still wouldn't fire. I think I am going to have to take it to some one more knowledgable then myself.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    As many of you said the bolt was packed with grease. got it cleaned out and it works.
    Thanks

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