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The Pencil test.

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by Petrie, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Petrie

    Petrie

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    I had heard guys say that sticking a pencil in the barrel of an empty gun, pulling the trigger and seeing how high the pencil jumped was a good way to function test a used gun. I'd never done it until today when I put a pencil in my Ruger p95 9mm. I was amazed at how far it shot the pencil out of the barrel. The pencil shoot 3-4 feet up and hit the ceiling! I was just expecting it to jump 1/2 way out the barrel.
    This experiment reminded me of a post I read a year ago where somebody was saying that a certain ammo had hard primers and that striker fired guns might have some trouble firing these rounds because the firing pin doesn't have as much force as a hammer fired gun. Having had several striker fired and hammer fired autos I thought that this was BS. I never tried the pencil test on either the M&P or Glock I had, but I'm interested if they would have knocked the pencil as high in the air as my Ruger did. Maybe someone could toss a pencil in their barrel and do some experimenting.:supergrin: Do striker fired autos have less firing pin force?
     
  2. -gunut-

    -gunut-

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    It really depends how it hits it. I have had the same gun shoot various heights.

    The test is really only good for making sure the firing pin isn't broken. I don't thing it is really scientific enough to determine which pistol has the harder strike, for the most part.
     

  3. DriBak

    DriBak GUNS UP Millennium Member

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    My Mother can tell then gender of an unborn child in the womb by hanging a pencil over the Mom to be's wrist. I thought this was a similar thread :)
    On a side note you should see how far a blank round will shoot a cleaning rod out of an M16 or M60 :whistling:
     
  4. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Firing pin test only. Its not going to tell you much of anything about the functional reliability of the gun.
     
  5. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    The only thing it tells you is if the FP is present and working, IE FP block not stuck, FP not installed wrong or broken etc. When I was in the Air Force when we would change stations you would get to your new base and they would issue you a new S&W. Until you got scheduled to qualify that was one way to make sure that there was at least a chance that your weapon would work if you needed it. The other way included some non issue ammo and a secluded area and was much riskier.
     
  6. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    I know people who do this test after cleaning to make sure the gun is reassembled properly. I wouldn't count on it for a reliability assessment though.
     
  7. dosei

    dosei

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    Never used that to "check" a pistol, but I used it a LOT for honing trigger manipulation skills. Tape/pin a sheet of paper to the wall and stand so when aiming at the sheet the barrel is a couple inches from the paper. Make a small dot on the sheet, aim at the dot and start "shooting" the pencil (bic disposable pens work great also). When your finally making what looks like one mark on the paper (after shooting 50-100 times) you've got pretty good trigger skills.
     
  8. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

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    Even when using the same #2 pencil, I've noticed varying heights. My 230 gr. .45 ACP 1911 launches it twice as high as my 115 gr. 9mm SIG.






    J/K :)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Herb Twoleaf

    Herb Twoleaf qxPfZzhK

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    This is how I test the decocker/safety on any Makarov I might buy. If the pencil jumps - no thanks.
     
  10. bac1023

    bac1023

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    :rofl:
     
  11. j-glock22

    j-glock22

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    I've used the test to verify the FP actually does its function.... very rarely though.
     
  12. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

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    I forgot to add, it's a b1tch trying to retrieve the pencil after it's been launched down the tube by a bullet travelling in excess of 800 FPS.
     
  13. AA#5

    AA#5

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    Well, actually that doesn't "function test" a gun. It only verifies that the firing pin functions. "Function testing" involves firing, feeding, ejection.
     
  14. hogship

    hogship Patriot Extraordinaire

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    :rofl:

    Probably the hole in the ceiling would be hard to explain, too!

    hog
     
  15. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr CLM

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    :supergrin::supergrin:
     
  16. angrydogtattoo

    angrydogtattoo

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    In basic training, to get the point across that blanks are dangerous, the DI's would load a blank and one segment of cleaning rod and shot it into a floor support. I know off topic a little, this just reminded me of it.
     
  17. KillStick

    KillStick

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    :animlol:
     
  18. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

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    Agreed. When Bac was function testing his brand new SIG 1911, he discovered a serious issue.


    [​IMG]


    .
     
  19. possum_128

    possum_128

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    This is also a good way to test a decocker. If the pencil moves then when you use the decocker the gun will fire. I know, it happened to me. If the pencil does not move then the decocker works as it should.
     
  20. Chainlink

    Chainlink

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    Made me laugh so hard I snorted.....that was a first