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I have a five year old 20 ga citori that's virtually unused. It's been properly stored. Upon recent examination, I noticed pitting on the tips of the firing pins. Does this need addressed before using it for volume shooting?
 

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chemclay said:
I have a five year old 20 ga citori that's virtually unused. It's been properly stored. Upon recent examination, I noticed pitting on the tips of the firing pins. Does this need addressed before using it for volume shooting?
I wouldn't spend any time, money, or effort in replacing firing pins until I had tried the gun out and seen what it could/would do. It's possible that the gun may go for many thousands of rounds without needing firing pin replacement.
 

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If the firing pins are pitted, they need to be replaced. This isn't major surgery, just normal maintenance. There could be a number of reasons the pins are pitted. Some primers are definitely tougher on them then others. If the gun hasn't been used in a while, a trip to the gunsmith for a thorough cleaning and check up, including firing pins, will probably be money well spent. Better safe than sorry.
 

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Question for those who say that the gun may quit at the wrong time or that the OP may be sorry if he doesn't get the gun checked or doesn't replace the pins now.

Just what drastic thing is going to happen if he doesn't do this?
 

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There are pitted firing pins and he doesn't know why. None of us knows if there are other issues. If it hasn't been shot very much, what caused the pitting? My NRA Shotgun Instructor and Range Safety Officer certification says don't shoot a gun that has possible issues. It is simply unwise to use a gun like this instead of spending $100 and making sure it is functioning properly. I truly don't understand that mentality with a firearm.
 

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drawdc said:
There are pitted firing pins and he doesn't know why. None of us knows if there are other issues. If it hasn't been shot very much, what caused the pitting? My NRA Shotgun Instructor and Range Safety Officer certification says don't shoot a gun that has possible issues. It is simply unwise to use a gun like this instead of spending $100 and making sure it is functioning properly. I truly don't understand that mentality with a firearm.
First of all, we don't know to what degree the pitting exists. Secondly, we don't know how, if at all, it will affect the shooting of the gun. Clearly, holding a NRA Shotgun Instructor certificate and a Range Officer certificate doesn't make someone a gun expert.

I'm not a gun expert either, but when someone asks a question or has a problem, I try to figure out what might be wrong, how it might be fixed, and what might happen if the problem isn't fixed.

That's one of the many advantages of being a member of this forum. I'm sure there have been thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of members who have saved themselves the expense and hassle of having to take a gun to a gunsmith to fix some problem that either doesn't exist or else is so simple to fix that they could do it themselves.
 

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Ulysses said:
Question for those who say that the gun may quit at the wrong time or that the OP may be sorry if he doesn't get the gun checked or doesn't replace the pins now.

Just what drastic thing is going to happen if he doesn't do this?
I don't know that I would call it "drastic" but if a firing pin goes bad during a tournament the shooter will lose targets after the 3 allowed malfunctions. I would certainly call that quitting at the wrong time and a good argument against the "shoot it until it quits" approach. I suppose the same thing could be said for hunters that suddenly can't shoot birds or anyone whose plan for the day would be derailed if a gun quits working.
 

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The gun is hitting the primers hard--no failures. Closer inspection with a good mag glass shows one central pit in each pin; almost as if it were made that way. Is that possible?
Indeed it is.

Most of us I think took "pitting" to mean a series of pits in random places a bit like rust pits, but if the effect is just a single ding in the same position on both pins, then a manufacturing fault might well be implicated. Bear in mind that where one fault exists, there might well be another.

For safety a pin should have a perfectly hemispherical end; that way the chance of piercing a cap is greatly reduced which is why I'm unhappy at the suggestion of just shooting it without any inspection or measurement..
Just what drastic thing is going to happen if he doesn't do this?
Many moons ago I had a Belgian made SxS that pierced the cap of a full blooded Eley trap cartridge. This pressurised the action and blew off a piece of the stock just behind the standing breech; it was about 3' long and roughly the thickness of a wooden pencil. I found it about five yards behind me at the foot of a drystone wall. Fortunately I'm right handed and the part flew off behind the right barrel and didn't touch me; had I been a southpaw I'd probably have lost an eye. Drastic enough for me guv'nor, I nearly shat myself.

I can only implore you to take it to a competent gunsmith; he can measure it up and probably just polish the marks out. A standard pin protrudes around .058" but there is a fair bit of wiggle room; losing a wee tad off the length may not be significant. Your man will be the best judge.

How much would a blind man pay to see again? More than $50 spent with a gunsmith I'll be bound.

Eug
 

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Rule number 3 from the NRAs 5 rules of gun safety, not something I made up.
3. Be sure your gun is safe to operate. Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to work. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the gun's general upkeep. If there is any question regarding a gun's ability to function, have it examined by a knowledgeable gunsmith. Some items that should raise a "red flag" about whether a gun is safe to use include age (some guns made before the 20th century are unsafe to use with modern ammunition), visible damage or rust, or if nobody you know has fired the gun in the last few years.

I have no idea what shape the gun is in, but the fact that the pins were pitted and the OP didn't know why is a red flag to me. And yes, a damaged pin can break and eventually pierce a primer. I believe in preventative maintenance for my sports cars, guns and when I used to fly airplanes. It is a forum and you are free to voice your opinion, but telling someone to ignore a situation you haven't looked at with your own eyes is not the best advice. If replacing firing pins is too big a hassle and too expensive, shotguns may not be the best hobby.
 

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eugene molloy said:
Just what drastic thing is going to happen if he doesn't do this?
Many moons ago I had a Belgian made SxS that pierced the cap of a full blooded Eley trap cartridge.
Eug
Any evidence that a pitted firing pin was the cause of this mishap? Might a smooth firing pin have done the same thing? Perhaps this firing pin was just a tad too long and the primer was a tad too brittle or too proud of the base.

Do you have any idea of the millions of shotguns that are shot in this world that have NEVER had any professional checking of the firing pins, yet they keep on shooting them year after year? How many of these eventually puncture a primer that results in blowing a piece off the stock? If this were a common occurrence after a bit of usage, it seems we should have several dozen guns blowing up every weekend.

Also, if the problem and solution were so clear cut (replace the firing pins), then why did his gunsmith tell him not to worry about it?
 

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chemclay said:
I have a five year old 20 ga citori that's virtually unused. It's been properly stored. Upon recent examination, I noticed pitting on the tips of the firing pins. Does this need addressed before using it for volume shooting?
In a word, no.

If you post pictures of what you are calling pitting, you'll get a better answer. It doesn't happen with a "virtually unused" shotgun, nor would both firing pins likely be pitted, much less both firing pins in the same way.
 

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Ulysses said:
Question for those who say that the gun may quit at the wrong time or that the OP may be sorry if he doesn't get the gun checked or doesn't replace the pins now.

Just what drastic thing is going to happen if he doesn't do this?
What part don't you get?

You drive an hour or an hour and half to shoot with friends. You get to the first station and the gun quits shooting.

You could have had it fixed for $100.
 
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