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Thread: C Sharps 1885 firing pin breakage

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    LynC2's Avatar
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    C Sharps 1885 firing pin breakage

    I've had two firing pins break in my new C Sharps 1885 in under 500 rounds. The first one I figured was bad luck, but the 2nd one in less than 100 rounds fired is just ridiculous. No dry firing without a cartridge being fired, so that's not the problem which only leaves two possible answers in my opinion. Either bad luck or something is wrong with the way they are made. That could get very expensive giving the cost of new firing pins. Fortunately I have a lathe so I drilled a hole in the center and installed a new pin in both. Doubt I'll have a problem now. Just curious if anyone else has experienced excessive breakage with theirs.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Fortunately I have a lathe so I drilled a hole in the center and installed a new pin in both??????????
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LynC2 View Post
    I've had two firing pins break in my new C Sharps 1885 in under 500 rounds. The first one I figured was bad luck, but the 2nd one in less than 100 rounds fired is just ridiculous. No dry firing without a cartridge being fired, so that's not the problem which only leaves two possible answers in my opinion. Either bad luck or something is wrong with the way they are made. That could get very expensive giving the cost of new firing pins. Fortunately I have a lathe so I drilled a hole in the center and installed a new pin in both. Doubt I'll have a problem now. Just curious if anyone else has experienced excessive breakage with theirs.
    Wrong.....you have to put the gun on half cock before opening the lever. If you don't do that, you'll break firing pins. That's not a secret, it's probably in your owners manual.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSB View Post
    Wrong.....you have to put the gun on half cock before opening the lever. If you don't do that, you'll break firing pins. That's not a secret, it's probably in your owners manual.
    No not on an 1885, it is a HighWall/LowWall so placing on half cock is not necessary. However you may have pinpointed the problem, the cam mechanism that lifts the hammer as the lever is opened may not be working correctly. This is easily verified by watching the hammer as the lever is opened, it should fall back to near half cock BEFORE the breech block starts to fall.
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    C Sharps 1885 firing pin breakage

    The action of the highwall brings the hammer back on its own. I have put 6 or 7000 rounds through my c sharps highwall with the original pin but I do have one on back up just in case. A friend of mine has a c sharps 74 and he is constantly feeding it firing pins.


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    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    It sounds like a heat treat issue. Too brittle

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSB View Post
    Wrong.....you have to put the gun on half cock before opening the lever. If you don't do that, you'll break firing pins. That's not a secret, it's probably in your owners manual.
    I don't do that. Heck, my rifle doesn't even have a half-cock. A properly timed highwall will not have that issue.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldred View Post
    No not on an 1885, it is a HighWall/LowWall so placing on half cock is not necessary. However you may have pinpointed the problem, the cam mechanism that lifts the hammer as the lever is opened may not be working correctly. This is easily verified by watching the hammer as the lever is opened, it should fall back to near half cock BEFORE the breech block starts to fall.
    You're right, I just saw "Sharps" and my mind went to the wrong gun. When I see Sharps I head right to the 1874 side hammer.

  9. #9
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    Possibly the FP hole in the breech block has a sharp shoulder/edge inside it,
    and a shoulder/edge/radius on the FP hits it when the hammer drives the FP forward.

    You may want to consider pulling the FP and shining a bright light in the FP hole
    and inspecting it with a magnifier and a probe (e.g. a dental pick)
    looking for a sharp or abrupt edge in the FP hole.

    Or maybe even a cerrosafe casting of the FP channel in the breech block.
    Be advised, if the cerrosafe casting locks itself in due to a ridge/burr,
    you may need to warm/boil the whole breech block to get the cerrosafe out

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldred View Post
    Fortunately I have a lathe so I drilled a hole in the center and installed a new pin in both??????????
    I'm not sure of your question. I merely indexed the broken firing pin base in a lathe chuck, drilled a hole of the correct size and red loctited a new contoured pin in place. A simple operation that should work very well. The tip of the firing pin broke off flush and was merely replaced. Photo courtesy of DZ Arms, another good place to do business.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by LynC2; 09-19-2019 at 12:11 AM. Reason: To insert picture
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead pot View Post
    It sounds like a heat treat issue. Too brittle
    I tend to believe that also.
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    I have two originals Winchester and I have not have any issues. I have read about timing issues leading to firing pin breakage. Something to check into in addition to the heat treatment of the C Sharps pins. http://www.shilohrifle.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=21666
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 09-19-2019 at 02:04 AM.
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    Hi LynC2. In your OP, you said “new” C. Sharps. Did you contact them and give them a chance to fix it? They make great rifles and I’m sure they’d like to know if one of theirs wasn’t up to their high standard. Ed
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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    My C. Sharps 1885 also broke a firing pin. I got a replacement for $35 plus shipping, then thought while I had a new one as a model I'd do like LynC2 and drill a hole and cement in a new pin. My broken firing pin is harder than the hubs of hell and I'm going to have to have something better than my tungsten carbide coated drill bit to get a hole in there.

    So I'm agreeing with Lead Pot -- heat treating issue getting them too dang hard. I have a jillion rounds through a Winchester High wall and a jillion and a half through an old low wall and never broke a pin. This C. Sharps was up to maybe 3 or 4 hundred shots when it broke even though it is probably a 10-year old one.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    I have two originals Winchester and I have not have any issues. I have read about timing issues leading to firing pin breakage. Something to check into in addition to the heat treatment of the C Sharps pins. http://www.shilohrifle.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=21666
    Thank you for the link, interesting reading on the subject.
    NRA Endowment member, TSRA Life member, Distinguished Rifleman, Viet Nam Vet

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegEd View Post
    Hi LynC2. In your OP, you said “new” C. Sharps. Did you contact them and give them a chance to fix it? They make great rifles and I’m sure they’d like to know if one of theirs wasn’t up to their high standard. Ed
    No, I didn't contact them. After waiting 3 times longer for it to be made than I was told I wasn't going to go that route, especially when the chamber wouldn't even accept a new 40-65 Starline case or a new FL resized 45-70 case that was trimmed to length. Did I mention the chamber had radial reamer marks in it? Most likely due from chips being trapped during chambering. I rented a Browning 40-65 reamer and rechambered it myself. I regret not just buying an action from MVA and building the rifle myself.
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    Mine dates back to 1991 and I've broken several over the years. At first they weren't too expensive or I don't remember ******** about it. I keep a spare and have made several. I didn't have a lathe so drilled them by hand and chopped off a proper size drill bit for a pin and they worked fine.

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    Spring steel wire ("piano wire") can be had in different thicknesses and is remarkably tough for firing pins.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
    Spring steel wire ("piano wire") can be had in different thicknesses and is remarkably tough for firing pins.
    Brent piano wire was the first thing I checked for, unfortunately I didn't have the correct size but will be ordering some. Like Boz330 I used a drill bit which hopefully works for awhile.
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  20. #20
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    What size do you need? I have some for other purposes. Much more than I need.

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