Browning firing pins.

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westley

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OK, due to complete boredom,  I decided to strip clean my ProSport. You know the ones, crappy trigger, duff firing pins, they rust if you leave em outside overnight, well er....Yes, that's the one. Having had Miroku/Browning guns whenever I have shot well over the last 58 years, I decided that they were probably the gun for me. However, although I have NEVER had to change firing pins or springs due to their breakdown, I did learn a long time ago that IF the bottom barrel fails to fire it is NOT always the firing pin at fault. Although most people immediately blame the pins. So, upon removal of the bottom pin on the 2 years old Pro., lo and behold , the pin and return spring are carboned up. Not unlike the piston rod on a Beretta auto, after use. A quick squirt of GT85 and some fine wet and dry and it soon looks like er......a new pin  !  This has been a common occurrence throughout my association with Browning / Miroku shotguns. I can only think that gasses from a fired cartridge manage to get behind the case and enter the hole for the bottom firing pin, thus causing the carbon build up. It does NOT affect the top pin. Upon closer examination of the bottom pin, there is very slight pitting to the tip , but nothing serious. This has happened on most of these guns that I have ever owned and I still am at a loss as to WHY it happens. I would suggest that many pins have been replaced unnecessarily when a good clean has been all that was required. I have never seen damage to a top firing pin yet, nor have I seen  one that has been carboned up. Does anyone have any idea as to why this occurs  ?   ( Yes, I know, "cos it's a Browning )

Answers on a postcard............

 
It’ll no doubt be down to pierced primers. The pitting is caused by the gradual flame erosion of the firing pin tip. Ironically, the worse the pitting the more likely the pin will punch through the primer.

It’s not an issue though providing your gun is serviced regularly. 

 
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It’ll no doubt be down to pierced primers. The pitting is down to the gradual flame erosion of the firing pin tip. Ironically, the worse the pitting the more likely the pin will punch through the primer.

It’s not an issue though providing your gun is serviced regularly. 
Thanks Jan, I have kept and checked some empty cartridges, but under a magnifying glass I could not see any damage to the fired primer. Someone else had suggested that, which caused me to collect and check my used cartridge cases. My previous 725 'Black' started with bottom barrel not firing occasionally. I suspected a gunged up pin and was right. Once stripped, cleaned, lightly lubricated and re- fitted, it is still working fine with it's new owner.   

 
For what it’s worth , my two Mirokus and my Krieghoff have pitting on the firing pin heads .  My late wife’s Beretta 682 did as well . Even the new J&P pins I sourced pitted over a few years . Will ( I think ) did a good write up about profiling and polishing  the nose of firing pins . 

Personally I’ve always found the top pin to be the major  issue on a traditional Browning  action as it does not employ a return spring . Any gunk at all and it will drag on the ejected cartridge and on the next loaded  one as  well when closing  the gun pushes it back in .

 
I’m pretty sure that every firing pin will pit after a while. The force seems to come through the undamaged primer onto the head of the pin. Browning are of poor material that will pit easily. Beretta seem to use a very good material and are highly resistant. Most other makes are in between. I always polish pins twice and then the pitting reduces massively. Certainly there are misfires where springs and pins gunk up after a while and a simple clean will sort the problem. 

 
Personally I’ve always found the top pin to be the major  issue on a traditional Browning  action as it does not employ a return spring . Any gunk at all and it will drag on the ejected cartridge and on the next loaded  one as  well when closing  the gun pushes it back in .
This. I saw this last week, when a mates' top firing pin stuck out like a sore thumb when the gun was open. I asked him about it, thinking it might be stuck and might end up damaged. He said nope, it's always like that and the cartridge just pushes it back in when you load and close. He showed me there's no resistance whatsoever when you push it in. Pretty surprised at this, as having a pin sticking out seems like asking for more trouble.   

 
Yes, the top pin on a Browning is 'floating', but in my experience of the guns, I have never seen a top pin gunged up. It seems to be just the bottom pin, some to the degree that I have had to push them out via the breech face. I am at a loss to discover as to why this occurs. I know and accept that gasses 'blow back' down the barrel upon discharge, hence the operation of a 'gasser auto',  but what I fail to understand is why, on the Browning/Miroku guns, the gas only seems to affect the bottom barrel.

 
Westley , a very good point .
Why given the history, have Browning /Miroku not addressed the issue? As you have said Beretta very rarely damage their pins , why has no-one manufactured pins from superior material or process to cure this far too regular occurrence?
 
Westley , a very good point .
Why given the history, have Browning /Miroku not addressed the issue? As you have said Beretta very rarely damage their pins , why has no-one manufactured pins from superior material or process to cure this far too regular occurrence?
I would guess that they are made of a softer steel than the action. This would mean that they wear rather than the action. As they are one piece the tip will be the same. Running harder pins may cause the holes to wear.

Browning B25s at least use steel suitable and hardend to match it's purpose. I guess thatodern ones are the same.

Perazzi pins are 2 pieces with a hard pin sleeved into a sofer steel case.

Zoli use a replaceable lining.

Beretta actions I think are I think ( not sure but I've read it somewhere) are either a harder steel or have been hardened to greater degree. I guess the pins can be made a bit harder too.
 
I would guess that they are made of a softer steel than the action. This would mean that they wear rather than the action. As they are one piece the tip will be the same. Running harder pins may cause the holes to wear.

Browning B25s at least use steel suitable and hardend to match it's purpose. I guess thatodern ones are the same.

Perazzi pins are 2 pieces with a hard pin sleeved into a sofer steel case.

Zoli use a replaceable lining.

Beretta actions I think are I think ( not sure but I've read it somewhere) are either a harder steel or have been hardened to greater degree. I guess the pins can be made a bit harder too.
I don’t think this is the point, all the wear is from the combustion of the primer on the tip of the pin surely.
 
I remember many years ago, I was using a pair of Winchester Grand European's, one Trap and 1 Field model. They, like most Winchester guns had the dreaded firing pin issues. I was given details of a Gunsmith in the town of Litchfield who had titanium firing pins to fit Winchester guns. I never went there and I sold the guns in favour of a Miroku MK38. One thing I do wonder about is, it seems to be the Japanese made Browning, Winchester and Miroku guns, that have the problem. The Belgian made B25's don't seem to suffer the same ?
 
Its just one of them Browning things. Fantastic guns but poor firing pins.

I have two Browning guns, a 725 Prosport and a 525 game gun. Both of them have pitted/ broken bottom firing pins.

The 525 pin tip broke within the first 500 cartridges. The retailer refused to entertain sending the gun back to browning as the gun still fired reliably. They claimed that in their experience Browing would test fire the gun a few times and then return it to them along with a bill for the shipping and investigation work. It has yet to misfire on over 1000 cartridges this season.

The 725 must have fired over 10k cartridges by now and while the bottom firing pin is quite badly pitted it does still fire reliably.

Having said that I have had around 5 misfires in the last 500 cartridges so perhaps a replacement pin is imminent.
 

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