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 Post subject: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:24 pm 
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Tristar will tell owners of the hunting guns (which includes the Setter, Hunter, other) that they are not designed for high shot count. In my conversation with them it was suggested that a firing pin would last for about 1000 shots before some type of failure.

This is my first post and I will keep this short and try and post an image to help.
List of issues:
1) Firing pins metallurgy is incorrect:
Using soft steel does help keep the pins from breaking into pieces but it promotes rapid firing pin distortion. The distortion of the pin causes light strikes or no fires. In my experience the top firing pin will last longer than the bottom pin, reason for this to follow.
2) The firing pins use a slot and retainer pin to keep the firing pin in the proper position. The firing pin enters the receiver at a 12 degree angle due to the need to have the back of the firing pin align to the hammer. The top pin has a 12 degree slot angle matching this angle. The bottom firing pin the slot angle is zero degrees therefore the retaining pin only touches the slot at one point. This results in very high pressure on the firing pin slot. A burr more quickly develops which slows the pin down to a point that it will not reliably hit with enough force to set the primer off. This issue also occurs in the top firing pin, but since the slot has a matching retaining pin angle the effect is much slower.
3) The Metallurgy of the firing pins varies. To such a degree that (as others have noted) firing pins may have a light strike in just a few shots.
4) The hammer combined with the compression springs create an excessively high force on the firing pin. Using Newton's second and third law the firing pin will bounce back from hitting the primer with practically the same energy as when it hit the primer. Hence the damage to the firing pin slots is from the firing pin hitting the retainer pin during the bounce back. Reducing this energy to what is needed would lengthen the life of the firing pin and also reduce the trigger pull force.
5) The retaining pin is not fully in the path of the firing pin slot. This reduces the area of pin to pin contact which increases the distortion generating pressure on the firing pin. A larger pin would also increase the firing pin life.

I suggested to Tristar that firing pin distortion in the slot area means the pin is not designed correctly. They have been dealing with this issue for nearly ten years, and are quick to say there is no improved firing pins available.

In summary, I agree that the Setter S/T is a hunting gun and will last for a thousand rounds or more (or less) depending on the metallurgy of the pins in each gun built or repair parts installed. I have made a drawing of the firing pins and have sent it out to have some new ones made using "better steel". I will likely eliminate the slot switching to the slot-less design that so many other O/U shotguns use. This would result in a simpler design that can be made on one machine.




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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:13 pm
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Update:
I was able to talk to Tristar customer service today. I had sent my Setter in to them for warranty repair because it had two fail to fire after the two new firing pins they sent me only lasted for 100 shots. The "engineering manager" said there must be something wrong with the receiver and he recommended sending in the gun to find out what was wrong.

He was not available to speak to me but the customer support tech read to me his service notes. The distorted firing pins were noted and the burrs were removed, there were no notes about measuring the receiver. The service tech did say that the field guns are able to be shot 200 times a year for 10 years.

I think there is only a couple of possible reasons for this problem:
1) as state in the previous posting the metallurgy of the firing pins vary to the point that some pins will distort quickly.
or
2) the receiver is promoting early firing pin failure. However, the original pins did last for around 1000 shots.

As I said before Tristar call the setter a hunting/field gun and it is not meant for high shot counts. I think I received some bad firing pins. That is why I am moving ahead with having pins made.

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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:27 pm 
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Second Update:
I have source a drawing of a new firing pin design. It is angular independent. The metal will be harder than OEM which hopefully will eliminate the distortion of the shape of the firing pin. The machine shop is closed to walk in traffic so we are doing all this over email.

I found in order to matched to retaining pin angle to the OEM firing pin slot material needed to be removed. Sadly there isn't enough material in the receiver to allow this. Due to the firing pin shifted farther back. This results in the pin tip not moving to the primer smoothly an occasional light strike develops.

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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:27 pm
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How many of these pins are you making? I’m definitely interested, although mine have not malfunctioned yet and I’m over 2000 shots.


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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:56 pm
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Wowzer wrote:
How many of these pins are you making? I’m definitely interested, although mine have not malfunctioned yet and I’m over 2000 shots.


Me too.


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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:51 am 
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Still prototyping a design change. I will keep you informed. The replacement OEM pins I received from Tristar are only lasting for a hundred rounds or so, much worse than the ones that came in the gun. I can get copies of the OEM parts or the improved one made too.

Per their request I sent the gun in to have the receiver check. The gun came back with no results provided. I tried to get them to tell me what they found out but that didn't work. They said they were too busy. I have taken a close look at the receiver and will post that on another reply.

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Last edited by sgschwend on Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:13 pm
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The receiver shortfalls:
1) The retaining pins are location relative to the firing pin is different. This has a large influence on the firing pin.
2) The firing pin hole was cut with a bad bit, it looks like thread were cut, with tear out and burrs at the retaining pin hole pass thru.
3) Burs can be found everywhere: firing pin holes, hammer supports, shear, hammer, ...
4) A rosebud type cutter was used at the firing pin hole which eliminates a larger percentage of the firing pin bearing surface. In my opinion, the length of the firing pin hole is short less than 2X the diameter of the firing pin.
5) Have not found a way to inspect the "lower" receiver.
6) Even though the firing pins have identical front ends the pins fit the gun differently. Why not use the same pin? The over pin aligns long, the under pin aligns short. Total length difference is about 2mm.

Hammer:
1) the lower hammer hits the side of the firing pin because the angle of the hammer face is off at impact. The action is more like a rolling over (the firing pin).

Firing pins:
1) The under pin is back to a point that the tip is contacting the receiver by the nose and not the side.
2) The over pin is too long and is proud.
3) As said in previous post the retaining pin is angled to the firing pin. The warranty folks will chamfer the top edge of the pin to reduce wear and to keep the pin from rotating. A rotated pin will ten to hang up on the retaining pin and give a light strike.

With all this said, I hope you can see why I am trying to move to a "more conventional" stiker firing pin design.
Users of the Setter may want to inspect their receiver and share what they find. Perhaps mine was a Monday gun.

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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:42 pm 
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Small production run pins will be available next week. Material is 17-4 SS, approximate price is $12 each.

PM me if anyone is interested.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:20 pm 
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Tristar Setter Firing pins, Material is 17-4 SS (stainless steel), as provided are four time harder than the Tristar firing pins.

These are direct replacement. Test usage show a significant reduction in the damage caused by the retaining pin. The Tristar pin will start to show deformation in a few shots, eventually the pins will need to be replaced.

Pin image in shotgun/other.
https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/cpg1410/displayimage.php?album=12&pos=0

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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 9:14 pm 
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I obtained a small production run of replacement firing pin. Using a much harder material and also is stainless steel. I offered them here and sold a couple of sets. Placing the remainder on Ebay and it took about two weeks to sell the remainder. I had less than 200 folks look at my Ebay page but that was enough to sell 16 sets of pins.

I found that some folks with older versions of the gun purchased the pins and were willing to tune pin to fit.

I am not sure why Tristar didn't do the same thing given they likely had all the information they needed to setup a local machine shop. However, in their defense they do publish that the Setter is a hunting gun only, able to shoot 200 hundred shot per year. Most of the setters will do that. My question is why not spend $40 for a pair of pins made from better steel?

As a final note: The firing pins when they go bad will damage the receive. Owner should also check the hammer impact point. It needs to hit the pin square. If not the pin will fail very quickly. My guess is the lower pin will be the trouble one as was in my gun the hammer hit the pin at a 45 degree angle.

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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:13 am 
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>>Tristar will tell owners of the hunting guns (which includes the Setter, Hunter, other) that they are not designed for high shot count<<

If this is an issue with the aforementioned guns why would it not be the same issue with all their guns? I'm considering buying a Tristar "Trinity" O/U for occasional clay shooting, but don't want to buy a pig in a poke.


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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:59 am 
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Well, you could get lucky. As I said before these are low volume hunting guns. I was told no more than once 200 rounds a year. These guns will do that. I have sold all the firing pins and found that there were other Tristar models who owners purchased these firing pins to put in their gun. From what they tell me there is no way the owner could fix the older guns. It is a known problem and in a way easy to fix if the receiver if it is built right (which would need to be verified) and a decent firing pin put in. So why hasn't Tristar fixed this problem which as been going on for over ten years?

I have kept the Setter and now use a Beretta Silver Pigeon.
Inspecting the Beretta I can see they do not have issues that the Tristar design has: the Tristar firing pins are on compound angles, the firing pin are full soft steel, receiver support of the firing pin is below best practice, machining quality control is poor.
The Beretta has: hammers the firing pin straight, the pins are plumb to the receiver,
integrated hammer springs, higher quality finish on the trigger group, and hammer springs setup with minimum preload.

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Last edited by sgschwend on Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:11 am 
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Well, based on what I've read I believe I'll pass on any Tristar O/U. On the other hand, the Viper G2 seems to get pretty good marks, and being a semi auto guy at heart, this may be the better path to take.

Thanks for your insight.

Update: Ordered a Viper G2 Silver from Bud's yesterday.


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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:59 am 
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Steve I'll take a set of firing pins if you have any left


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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:56 pm 
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Hi Steve, I would love to buy a set of pins from you as well.
Thank you in advance
Greg


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 Post subject: Re: A technical look at Tristar Setter S/T firing pin life
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:42 am 
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Sorry the firing pins are sold. I only have a couple of Over pins left.



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