O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos
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Author:  William R Wood [ Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:46 pm ]
Post subject:  O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

In a nearby thread we have been discussing failure-to-fire issues particularly in the lower barrel of the Browning Citori. One cause of this problem is weak firing pin hits on the primer due to dirt in the firing pin cavity which can reduce the strike force enough to dent but not fire the primer.

A friend with ~ 30K shells through his Citori just started to experience primer dents with no ignition in the lower barrel. He removed and cleaned the firing pins and cavities and now all appears to be well. I have ~10K shells through my Citori and I just performed this firing pin removal/cleaning as preventive maintainance. The pins and cavities were filthy and I have no doubt that I would have had misfires fairly soon if I had not cleaned these parts now.

Here is the basic sequence and some pictures of the procedure:

1 Remove barrels and forearm. Leave hammers cocked.
2 Remove recoil pad. Note that holes for the pad screws are hidden in slits. Put Armorall on a phillips screwdriver and the pad so the screwdriver does not mar or stick to the rubber:


3 Remove stock from receiver. After you get the recoil pad off there is a big bolt recessed in a big hole in the stock. Loosen the bolt with the proper tool. My Citori came with a big allen wrench. Some bolts use a big screwdriver or socket wrench:


4 Tap out the upper and lower firing pin retainer pins with a small punch and hammer. The upper pin is driven out from the right side of the receiver and the lower pin is driven out from the left side as viewed from the rear. The below image of the left side of the receiver shows the pin holes empty. If you look at the original image on pBase you will see that the upper pin hole has a chamfer. The chamfer side is the side that the pin is inserted from. The pins tap out easily so don't hit them hard or you might ding them up:


5 Clean and examine the firing pins and retainer pins for damage. Here are some images of the pins, clean and dirty:




I cleaned the firing pins and retainer pins like this:


Just chuck the parts in a drill and polish with the ScotchBrite pad. Instantly clean and polished.

6 Then clean out the firing pin cavities. I used a Qtip with bore cleaner to swab out the bulk of the gunk. They were both filthy, especially the lower cavity. Then I used compressed air to blow out any residue.

When you have the cavities clean, insert the firing pins and make sure they go all the way in and out very smoothly with zero binding. If I tapped the tip of the pins from the receiver side with my finger they would pop all the way out of the cavity.

7 Examine the pins for wear and damage, especially the tip of the firing pins that contact the primers. Mine were still perfect. The top pin protrudes .049" from the face of the receiver and the bottom pin protrudes .067". The retainer pins are identical for the top and bottom pin, by the way.

8 Reinstall the firing pins and tap in the retainer pins. I coated the firing pins lightly with gun oil. Don't forget the return spring for the lower firing pin and make sure the spring is perfectly clean. Tap the pins in with a bigger punch from the opposite side that you removed them. The pins are inserted from the side with the chamfer. Note that the firing pins have a u-shaped recess on the shaft which must be oriented properly so the retainer pin will go in.

Here is the lower pin installed:

And the upper pin installed:


Looks to me like firing pin cleaning every 10K rounds is a good idea. And I intend to replace the firing pins, retainer pins, firing pin return spring, and hammer springs at 30K rounds.

And while I had the receiver open, I also cleaned that with solvent, brush and compressed air. Also re-lubed the trigger sear, inertia parts and all other moving parts with light oil.

This whole job can be easily finished in 20 minutes after you are familiar with it.

Author:  mike orlen [ Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

a great post....back to the top!

Author:  SuperXOne [ Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

{hs# Bravo!!!!! Bravo!!!!! Bravo!!!!!

Man, let me get a chance to tear my Citoris apart now!!!!

What a neat thing to know.

This is why I love this board, posts like this.

Author:  SShooterZ [ Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:30 am ]
Post subject: 

Pardon my ignorance, but would this procedure work with any of the 4 types of Citoris? Are they all internally the same design?

Author:  UncleFudd [ Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  neat

Great post.

If you hadn't been taking your citorie apart for cleaning and you ever shot in the rain what you are going to find is NOT going to be pretty.

I now take mine apart EVERY time it even sprinkles as I nearly had serious problems from the world shoot last year.

I did not know I was supposed to take the action out of the gun periodically and when I did, I had rust and very slight pitting beginning and it won't all come off.
I keep it well lubes and clean now.

But this great post will be a bigger help to more people than one might imagine IMHO.

Author:  Clemson [ Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:02 am ]
Post subject: 

I don't even own a Citori, Bill, but I really like your post! Most informative!


Author:  havnfun [ Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:35 am ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos


This is a very timely post for me. I have a 425 that I put about 5K rounds through in the last year. Lately, I have had some really weak hits on primers. I attributed it to older shells that are no longer flat but maybe a little concave now.

I have taken my stock off one other time because it rained hard on the gun. I have also replaced firing pins once before but it was in another brand o/u. So, I have no fear of doing this job.

Nice job Bill!


Author:  Bobshouse [ Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

I nominate this thread for a sticky in the Browning section. Excellent post.

Author:  SuperXOne [ Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

This afternoon I fearlessly removed the stock from my 1984 vintage Browning Citori "Standard Hunter" Invector, and I'm pleased to report it was easy to clean my firing pins, I got everything back togather easily, and while I was at it I had lots of fun with a Q tip, a pipe cleaner, and some Break Free cleaning everything up inside there the very best I could. Alas, my firing pins were really not dirty or caked up at all, only a thin film of slightly dark Break Free on them. I'd have felt better if the gun had really needed it :lol:

By the way, I traded for this gun last year, and it had a sticky safety. I had taken the stock off and used WD 40 to loosen all the dried oil, and followed up with a light cleaning and oiling with Break Free. That fixed the safety. And this afternoon, a year later, everything in there was still looking pretty. Evidently my last year's WD 40 "bath" and Break Free follow up not only didn't gum up the works, but it crept down inside the firing pin holes and cleaned them up fairly well all by itself.

Now, two more Citoris to go. :D

Author:  Mokeman3 [ Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

Bobshouse wrote:
I nominate this thread for a sticky in the Browning section. Excellent post.

Yes! - I agree. So what do we have to do to make this happen ?


Author:  Mokeman3 [ Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

Quick question... The retaining pins have splines on one end - should the end with these splines be inserted first, or last (so that they hand up on the chamfered end of the holes?)


Author:  TonyG [ Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

The Spline or Knurl goes in last. It grips the side of the hole and holds it in place. If you need Fireing Pins, springs or retainers you can get them directly from Browning. ... /index.asp

V/R TonyG

Author:  uncle-buck [ Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

Excellent thread, very helpful. Thanks to Bill Wood for so generously sharing his advice and wisdom. This information will be valuable to all Citori owners.

Author:  sigma_pete [ Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:02 am ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

Excellent post. I've read through 100's of posts looking for this specific info.

Does anyone know what screw head sizes were used for the butt pad and the stock bolt on the Type I? I recently purchased an low serial number Charles Daly Superior and plan to do a full takedown and clean but have been putting it off because I don't want to strip/mess up the screws/bolt like I've seen on so many other used guns.

Author:  Hooligan [ Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:40 am ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

First class post Bill! I would love to see a similar one on
a 682/686 Beretta.

Author:  Tim C [ Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

Very nicely done. Thank you, Tim

Author:  Dano523 [ Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

Just to add, apply light grease to the butt pad at the slits, and to the tip of the screw driver when you back out the the butt plate screws. This will keep the slot scuffing from the screw driver to the butt plate at a minimum.

Author:  swaggon [ Sun May 11, 2008 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

Thanks, Bill. Priceless information you gave us.

I cleaned the firing pins on my Citori 525 this weekend after the bottom chamber started receiving weak primer hits. Would estimate about 20K shots fired since purchased, most shot on the clays field as report pairs or doubles (so not much more than half of shots were from bottom barrel). As others can attest, the firing pins, especially the bottom, were filthy, as was the firing pin spring.

Retaining pins were stubborn at first. I added a drop of Break Free to the ends of the pins while still in the receiver, and the following morning, they tapped out with no problem.

For those of you who need to purchase the pin tap to remove the retaining pins, 3/32" seems to be the proper size. Picked up one at Home Depot for a few bucks.

Will post a follow-up once I have had a chance to see if this has fixed the weak hits.

Author:  Rays [ Sat May 31, 2008 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

Mr. Wood,
You are an outstanding writer & illustrator!
Never seen or heard it done better!!!


Author:  bluedsteel [ Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  re: O/U Firing Pin Maintainance - With Photos

This is one of the all-time most helpful items on the internet. I found this page through a link on

Today, I got up the nerve and removed the stock and cleaned the pins on my Citori XT. The initial instructions above are outstanding, but I must add that when the lower firing pin retainer is removed, the lower firing pin will propel itself out of the receiver, thanks to the firing pin spring.

I was lucky, I was able to find mine.

Anyway, my XT has been fired about 3,000 times, mostly at registered trap shoots, and it was pretty clean when I opened it. I did shoot two events in a light drizzle, so I was nervous about not "taking a peek". No rust noted.

I put a very small amount of high-quality grease in the same areas where Browning has greased the gun, and carefully reassembled everything per these wonderful instructions.

Next time, it will certainly go easier and more quickly (I hope). Thanks again for a wonderful post.


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