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Discussion Starter #1
A friend and I both own Browning 725 Citoris for Trap. His firing pin on the lower barrel is pitted. Mine is not.

We both bought them at the same time, both reload gun clubs with only Winchester primers.

He called Browning. They sent him a replacement firing pin, but told him it is a normal maintenance item on the gun . I've never heard of such a thing and it makes no mention of it in the manual .

I've read JP makes an aftermarket firing pin /spring combo. Is it any better?

Edit: we both have similar round count. My loads are 1 oz with claydot powder, His are 7/8 to 1 oz with Americsn Select or Alliant Extra Lite.
 

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The pitting likely occurs from pierced primers although it's possible to chip the firing pins too. Keep an eye on your empties and see if you notice any black soot on shot primers, if thats happening you're piercing them.

Premium ammo with soft brass outer caps are unlikely to pierce where as the promotional grade ammo with steel primer caps are more likely.

The JP pins and springs are excellent and he makes his bottom pin slightly longer than the factory part for those people who experience lite strikes in the bottom barrel, which is not uncommon with Citori's
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I looked at his primers. There is no black marks so I assume it is not piercing the primer.

The primer strikes are not light. They look quite good.
 

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In looking at recent spent shells for evidence of pierced primers, you may not see any at that particular time. Has your friend ever shot shells that have primers with steel striking surfaces? Or use primers with steel striking surfaces in his reloads? The 725 may be piercing those types of primers only occasionally, but I've found that it doesn't take many to pit a firing pin tip.

In my experience, I've had pitted firing pins from shooting ammo with primers with ferrous (steel) striking surfaces; either the ones I used in reloading or factory shells with those types of primers. Those will tend to pierce much easier than those with brass or copper based striking surfaces (because the steel ones don't stretch when hit with the firing pin like the brass or copper based primers will). I hardly ever have a problem piercing those primers with a copper based striking surface such as the Win209.

And, by the way, I had pitted firing pins in my 12 gauge Citori Lightning a couple years ago and replaced them with the JP pins and have not had any problems at all since; but I stay away from primers with steel striking surfaces too.

In any case, in reality, one can shoot a gun with pitted firing pins for a LONG time. Maybe the next time your buddy pulls the stock off his 725 for cleaning or maintenance, he could then do a firing pin change out, but it should not be of any urgency.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In looking at recent spent shells for evidence of pierced primers, you may not see any at that particular time. Has your friend ever shot shells that have primers with steel striking surfaces? Or use primers with steel striking surfaces in his reloads? The 725 may be piercing those types of primers only occasionally, but I've found that it doesn't take many to pit a firing pin tip.

In my experience, I've had pitted firing pins from shooting ammo with primers with ferrous (steel) striking surfaces; either the ones I used in reloading or factory shells with those types of primers. Those will tend to pierce much easier than those with brass or copper based striking surfaces (because the steel ones don't stretch when hit with the firing pin like the brass or copper based primers will). I hardly ever have a problem piercing those primers with a copper based striking surface such as the Win209.

And, by the way, I had pitted firing pins in my 12 gauge Citori Lightning a couple years ago and replaced them with the JP pins and have not had any problems at all since; but I stay away from primers with steel striking surfaces too.

In any case, in reality, one can shoot a gun with pitted firing pins for a LONG time. Maybe the next time your buddy pulls the stock off his 725 for cleaning or maintenance, he could then do a firing pin change out, but it should not be of any urgency.

Thank you. . My buddy claims to be using only Win 209 primers .Buti don't think he reloaded before he got the 725. Perhaps he shot some of the ones that you described prior to reloading and just now noticed the pitting.

His primer strikes actually look to be a bit deeper than mine. Perhaps Browning has a little longer firing pin nowadays to prevent the light strikes?

Thanks for the info on durability concerns.
 

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I replaced factory with JP parts combo in my old BT and my 725 and so far so good. My 725 wasn't even a year old with a low round count less than 2000 when I started getting light primer strikes on my lower barrel. My pins were not pitted and I have been shooting a ton of cheap (in cost to me) shells from the Gander Mountains that closed last fall, which consists of STS, Fed Target, and Gun Clubs.
 

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The lower firing pin problems are because of the severe angle of the pin when the primer strike occurs. It also is now more of a problem with the cheaper components and shells used of todays bargain hunting shooters. Carbon and hot gas escaping through the cracked primer skin blowing back into the firing pin holes causes the burned tip to the pins, and build-up to the point the firing pin has more forward momentum resistance moving forward. It is not easy to see these cracks in the spent primers sometimes. Deeper primer strikes only worsen the problem.

This is a very common problem. New guns or old. It is a very fine line that has to be met as far as depth, and the pin tip surface angle that has to be created so the pin slides over the primer skin while indenting it, instead of pushing it sideways and stretching it to the opposite side. This what I believe causes the cracks in the skin. That in turn eventually causes light primer strikes, and burnt pin tips, which then is usually assumed as chipped and to short then to allow full primer striking.

Like stated above, the burnt (chipped) firing pin can used again. Just take it out and file the tip smooth only where burnt, polish it up good, and clean out the firing pin hole along with return spring. I put a spray of oil in the pin hole and blow it out with 100 psi. of air. That leaves a very, very light coat of oil inside.

As long as the primers are not being cracked open (Cheap Shells), the problem usually goes away, but not always. If reloading, the primer will push back out of the primer cup area against the receiver face, and allow carbon and hot gas to escape also between the primer and pocket of the hull, which will lead to light primer strikes eventually by the same cause of resistance. At the same time those slightly deeper inserted primers will cause a light primer strike simply because they are farther from the receiver face.

The bottom line is the main problem for light primer strikes of the lower barrel is carbon and dirt build-up in the lower firing pin. It should be cleaned regularly, and adjusted if necessary (Filing the tip angle, polishing surfaces), so as to prevent this. Should you have to do this with a new gun, no, you should not. It beats the alternative though of waiting for it to malfunction while shooting on the line before you do something about it. It is very easy to recognize. If you see excessive carbon and dirt build-up in your receiver for the amount of shells fired, you are not far from problems in the very near future.

This is a receiver and pin from a new 725 with 500 rnds. of Federal 4-pack shells. As you can see, the top pin is sealed shut and the lower hole has carbon build-up, along with excessive grease, I know. Not my gun. The pin has the (Chipped) burnt tip also. Complaint was light primer strikes and non-firing intermittently. As you can see it don't take long.

John Rahlf 004.JPG
John Rahlf 008.JPG
 
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Discussion Starter #9
The lower firing pin problems are because of the severe angle of the pin when the primer strike occurs. It also is now more of a problem with the cheaper components and shells used of todays bargain hunting shooters. Carbon and hot gas escaping through the cracked primer skin blowing back into the firing pin holes causes the burned tip to the pins, and build-up to the point the firing pin has more forward momentum resistance moving forward. It is not easy to see these cracks in the spent primers sometimes. Deeper primer strikes only worsen the problem.

This is a very common problem. New guns or old. It is a very fine line that has to be met as far as depth, and the pin tip surface angle that has to be created so the pin slides over the primer skin while indenting it, instead of pushing it sideways and stretching it to the opposite side. This what I believe causes the cracks in the skin. That in turn eventually causes light primer strikes, and burnt pin tips, which then is usually assumed as chipped and to short then to allow full primer striking.

Like stated above, the burnt (chipped) firing pin can used again. Just take it out and file the tip smooth only where burnt, polish it up good, and clean out the firing pin hole along with return spring. I put a spray of oil in the pin hole and blow it out with 100 psi. of air. That leaves a very, very light coat of oil inside.

As long as the primers are not being cracked open (Cheap Shells), the problem usually goes away, but not always. If reloading, the primer will push back out of the primer cup area against the receiver face, and allow carbon and hot gas to escape also between the primer and pocket of the hull, which will lead to light primer strikes eventually by the same cause of resistance. At the same time those slightly deeper inserted primers will cause a light primer strike simply because they are farther from the receiver face.

The bottom line is the main problem for light primer strikes of the lower barrel is carbon and dirt build-up in the lower firing pin. It should be cleaned regularly, and adjusted if necessary (Filing the tip angle, polishing surfaces), so as to prevent this. Should you have to do this with a new gun, no, you should not. It beats the alternative though of waiting for it to malfunction while shooting on the line before you do something about it. It is very easy to recognize. If you see excessive carbon and dirt build-up in your receiver for the amount of shells fired, you are not far from problems in the very near future.

This is a receiver and pin from a new 725 with 500 rnds. of Federal 4-pack shells. As you can see, the top pin is sealed shut and the lower hole has carbon build-up, along with excessive grease, I know. Not my gun. The pin has the (Chipped) burnt tip also. Complaint was light primer strikes and non-firing intermittently. As you can see it don't take long.

View attachment 1491241 View attachment 1491305
Most excellent synopsis. I believe you mentioned a situation found in reloading Gun Clubs in particular. The primer holes in gun clubs are just a little tight, and a Win primer can protrude a very small amount during a reload. This might explain how the gas is getting to the firing pin.

The primer strikes do appear to be pushed towards one side. But the primer strikes actually appear deep. With magnification, I can see the imprint of the pitted pin in the spent primer.

Wouldn't filing the pin smooth make for lighter primer strikes? Or is this a measure to prevent further decay of the pin?
 

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that gun is a disgrace. 500 shells? what did they do beat it with a chisel, throw it around on the ground and leave it alone after it got wet. Hard to believe a gun can look like that after such little use. I would be ashamed of myself that just looks like neglect to me.
 

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The top picture is the Federal shell he fired, and the second is a Win. 209 after I filed the pin smooth. As you can see the pin still has enough depth to fire the shell. The Federal's he was using as you can see the primer skin is broken, which caused all of the fouling. Also, this gun was purchased in late fall, so the temps. were already lower when I had to do this maintenance about three months later. I was surprised it happened so soon, until I seen the inside of the receiver. It really shows what excessive grease can cause. You only need a thin film between the tight fitting parts. Just enough to float the parts. Everything else is just dirt catching, gunked up mess.

Here is also what I am talking about of how the pin should be filed, IMO (Bottom Picture). The pins show the two different designs (Left, Middle) of angle on the tip that Browning came up with. Round and longer, instead of squared and shorter. Take off just enough to clean up the tip surface, plus a little on the side the pin strikes the primer, which will usually be toward the burned mark side, or "Chip". This will IMO allow the pin to slide over the primer skin somewhat while compressing it inward, instead of pushing it sideways and cracking the skin. Don't forget to polished the tip along with the internal sides of the pin. As I have said before, it mostly is those damn cheap shells and primers causing the problems.
P1030164.JPG


View attachment 1493175

firing pin citori.jpg
 
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The primer strikes do appear to be pushed towards one side. But the primer strikes actually appear deep. With magnification, I can see the imprint of the pitted pin in the spent primer.
It seems to me to be the other way around, the pin tip actually has the melted impression in the same shape as the cracked skin on the primers. Maybe once the pitting starts, it helps re-create the same shaped crack.

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Discussion Starter #13
Agree. I'll get some of my buddy's spent shells to show how the primers look. They don't look anything like the Federals you show, but the illustration really explains the fix quite well.

When you say cheap primers, would you consider Win 209 primers to fall in that category? I always considered them quality primers.

One other piece of news from him. Last year he reloaded American select powder, which is very slow burning, and has lower pressures. At the end of the year , all looked good. He changed this year to Extra Lite, which is the fastest burning powder on the charts, and trends toward higher pressures. I'm wondering if the fast burning powder, and higher pressures ( which suggest higher temps) could be the culprit in starting this whole mess (higher pressure, hotter gasses).

As I mentioned earlier, I have the same gun, and my reload components are the same except I have not used Extra Lite ( although i've shot some of his and the loads are some of the best 7/8 oz I've shot) My powders are Claydot or American select, which are both slower burning.

Browning sent him an extra firing pin, so I'll see if I can talk him into the filing / stoning as an experiment.

BTW KS- Thank you for the interest and info on this !
 

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Firing pins are a wear and tear item. Like brakes,tires,battery and other items on a car. Replace as needed, they aren't expensive.
 

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When you say cheap primers, would you consider Win 209 primers to fall in that category? I always considered them quality primers.
Chances of chipping a firing pin on a Win. 209 primer is basically zero. If you ever pierce one, your pin is to long. Win. 209's are great primers. As you can see of the Win. 209 above, there is no damage to the skin of that fired primer. When reloading them though if they are sunk into the pocket deeper than the rim itself, they will back out up against the receiver face, which allows the hot gas and carbon to do the same thing as the primer getting pierced. That is why you will see on occasion the round circle of the primer outer ring melted into the receiver face, just like it does when the gas comes through the firing pin crack. Being tapered, that causes a gap when they back out.

New firing pins in the same configuration will only get you as far as the others did. As I have stated before, the problem is the angle of which the pins strike the primer. When the channel and pin get dirty, no matter what the cause of the blow back situation, they will have more resistance simply because of the side pressure being exerted to the pin against the channel from the angled strike of the primer. It is a matter of keeping the pin, return spring, and channel as clean as possible, for as long as possible. The pitted tip of the pin is a result of the problem, not the cause of it when it comes down to the light primer strikes.

Nine times out of ten, you can take that pitted pin out, file off the tip back smooth, clean everything up good and polish, reinstall the same components and it will work fine. That actually gets you closer to the fix of the problem, than replacing new with the same exact components. The main problem is the cheaper primers, and there material composition.
 
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I just noticed my WW 209 primer picture did not load in a previous thread, so I posted below. This was after filing off the pin that was chipped, or pitted.

Jim,

Are the pins hardened to the point they become that brittle of which makes them susceptible to chipping on the cheaper, or lower quality (Harder) primer materials? Because of the primer skin materials being harder on the cheaper shells and primers, would this also add to the primer skins cracking or separating when pushed in from an angle? As you state the quality primers of WW, Rem, etc., have no problems, due to the fact they use softer skin materials on their primers.

I have used your products, and believe them to be very good quality. That is why I stated the cheaper primers are the problem because of their material composition, more than the pins or the angle of the pins contact.

P1030166.JPG
 

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If you make them softer, will they bend or become deformed from contact with the receiver/hard primer?
 

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I had problems with pierced primers shooting 20ga gun clubs through my Browning BPS. I replaced the firing pin and have stayed away from the 20ga gun club loads. The shells were about 8 years old, and had primers that looked different from the 12 ga gun club shells I had purchased at the same time. The gun was brand new, first shots fired were with those 20 ga loads, so the firing pin was not eroded from previous shooting. Not sure if they are using the same primers or not now. I’m pretty sure the loads were from the era when ammunition and components were hard to obtain, due to Obama gun ban scare.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well , I’m pretty much done til the spring and am back to report on the pitting of my firing pin.

It really hasn’t changed at all in the last 3000 rounds. Browning sent me a replacement, but I’m really not too worried about it. I don’t compete so if it goes someday, I’ll take care of it then.
 

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Well , I’m pretty much done til the spring and am back to report on the pitting of my firing pin.

It really hasn’t changed at all in the last 3000 rounds. Browning sent me a replacement, but I’m really not too worried about it. I don’t compete so if it goes someday, I’ll take care of it then.
Exactly. If it goes bang shoot it and don't worry about it. When the time comes replace it. No big deal. If you have access to a lathe you can polish it. Like I said, no big deal
 
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