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My Big Boy has a broken firing pin

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by norton, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. This happened a couple of months ago. My firing pin broke on this .45 Colt rifle. Henry replaced the pin free of charge.
    I have now broken it again. I am sure this time they will ask if I was firing reloads. Of course I was.

    I put a couple of thousand rounds-all cast bullet reloads-through it the first time. This time less then 500.

    I am using the Lyman cast bullet manual. Mid range, with Trail boss powder.
    Winchester primers.

    Anyone else with issues on lever action pistol caliber rifles?
  2. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    The one thing I hear in common about the Henry co. is how great their customer service is,that tells me that a high number of it's customers have need of service.
    They push the BB heavily to the CAS/SASS crowd of the very few I see being used,if some one other than a new shooter used one I can bet that it would be used with reloads.
    It shouldn't be a issue,I wish you good luck with them and get a decent pin in the rifle.
    SJ 40

  3. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Did the thing crack in half, or was the tip of it screwed up from a pierced primer / overpressure load?
  4. Steve, it cracked in half. No sign of pierced primers. It does seem very thin. I fieldstripped my Ar to clean it and was marvelling at how much thicker the firing pin is on it.
  5. TKM

    TKM Shiny Member Lifetime Member

  6. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    If the firing pin is thin as you say it probably either heat treated too hard and/or the steel used is not the best for the application.

    I would say you have been reloading and shooting long enough to know how to do both properly.
  7. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Be sure you purchase some spare firing pins and learn how to change them out yourself.

    We see guys show up for a match, or two with Henry's. Sometimes the shooter comes back for more, but the gun never does.
  8. I enjoy shooting this rifle, and I could see if you are trying to reload rapidly-as in a match-it would be a liability due to the cartridge feed mechanism this one has.
    My only compliant with the rifle-other then the firing pin issue-is the soft brass on the receiver. It scratches much too easily.
  9. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    YuP not exactly ready for prime time cowboy shooting,that and to my knowledge their isn't a CAS gun smith wanting to touch one. SJ 40
  10. Up date. Last spring I found out the problem this time wasn't a firing pin break, the bolt was just too dirty. Cleaned it up. Fired about 500 more rounds, then another firing pin break. This time for sure.
    I sent Henry an e mail, they promptly replied and sent another one to me.
    Got it installed last week. Out to the range today, and up and running again.
    One things for sure, Henry stands behind their products.

    I have to wonder now, if this is an overpressure situation like ZS said. These are cowboy loads, with my own cast bullets and Trail Boss. I shoot the same loads in both my Ruger Vaquero's and my Dan Wesson VH 10. No problems with any of the three of them.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  11. ca survivor

    ca survivor

    Dec 25, 2011
    firing pin is hitting a primer new round or a reload, is the same new primer
  12. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    It aint you and it aint your ammo. My guess is that the firing pin is some type of marginal design. I bet the pin is just barely good enough and when something isn't quite right. like the quality or heat treating of the steel, or it gets used a lot, it lets go.

    You're breaking one every 500 rounds, how many people even put 500 rounds through those things? My experience with 99% of the gun owners I've met is that they buy their guns as toys, shoot them once or twice, and then just brag about them.

    I would keep shooting it until/if this current pin breaks. If that happens, have Henry take the gun back and repair/replace it. I wouldn't be surprised if they have "upgraded" the design since you got yours and could retro-fit the changes to yours.
  13. jmorris


    Apr 13, 2006
    When I built my 50 BMG I machined 3 firing pins form 4140 and heat treated them to different hardness levels. The hardest broke after a 120 rounds or so, the middle one is still in there.

    If another gives out I would likely try to anneal it, at least then it wouldn't act like glass.