2020 Python: Light Primer Strikes & Possible Fix
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    2020 Python: Light Primer Strikes & Possible Fix

    First off, I haven't experienced any light primer strikes with my new Python in over 300 rounds. After thinking about the situation that others are having, I've done some simple measurements and came up with a theory. The firing pin must protrude ~.007 to contact the face of the primer. The firing pin's travel from the breech face is ~.020, leaving .013 of the firing pin to ignite the primer. That might not be enough for some primers. There may be further firing pin travel due to momentum. I can't measure that with my simple tools. However, I measured the potential travel of the firing pin by cocking the hammer back, pushing on the transfer bar and measuring the firing pin's protrusion. Guess what? It's an additional .010 on my gun. If my theory is correct, trimming .010 off of the hammer face (where it contacts the frame below the rear sight) should allow the hammer to drive the transfer bar .010 further. Keep in mind these measurements are for my gun and are somewhat imprecise. If I had a dial indicator and some brass rod, it would be spot on. How to measure: Using a dial caliper and a ~ 6.0 length of 1/4" Oak dowel, record a measurement with the hammer down. Zero the dial. (I taped the depth indicator with painters tape to avoid marring the inside of the barrel). Now, cock the hammer and tape or zip tie the trigger fully to the rear and let the hammer come forward. Take a measurement while pushing the hammer forward. (The hammer will engage the transfer bar and contact the frame at the same time. Next, remove the tape/zip tie and recock the hammer. Press the transfer bar in toward the firing pin with a stick and take the measurement. (Note: Obviously you will remove the 6" dowel before cocking the hammer so the cylinder can rotate.) See the pic's below to get a better understanding what I'm trying to convey:












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    These frame mounted firing pins are at least partially inertial pins in that the hammer strike doesn't just push the firing pin forward, it drives it forward similar to how a 1911 firing pin works.
    While not the same system, the firing pin is going to be driven forward as far as it physically can be by the hammer-transfer bar impact.

    Probably a more accurate estimate of hammer strike is to use a little tool I used to make sure firing pins were operating properly.
    This is simply a short round piece of metal like brass or aluminum dropped down the cocked guns barrel, the muzzle pointed straight up and the trigger pulled.
    You can be certain the firing pin is functioning and estimate how hard from how high the metal rod pops up out of the barrel.

    I made these from short 1 inch or so aluminum and brass rods with a piece of thin rubber glued to the end to protect the firing pin.
    Which metal to use depends on the type of gun. A striker fired gun might require aluminum, while a 1911 needs heavier brass.

    You can get a pretty good idea of the power by observing how high the cylinder pops up and you can compare a known reliable gun to a suspect gun.
    This is also a test to insure the firing pin is actually working, as example to test a Series 80 firing pin lock to make sure the frame assembly is installed correctly and is unlocking the firing pin.

    In the case of the new Python I haven't heard about much trouble with ignition that wasn't related to very early production, so I wouldn't worry about it.
    Bad ignition is something to get interested in WHEN it starts happening.
    The Colt revolver frame mounted firing pins are hardly new technology, so unless the pin breaks, gets badly fouled, or the mainspring goes weak they seem to always work.
    I don't see the new Python being any different.

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    dfariswheel, you make a good point re testing the actual energy of the firing pin/striker. I've used a similar technique to see how far a dowel flies out of the barrel when modding Glock strikers for competition guns. I wonder how much inertia a very small firing pin, like the Python's, can generate, compared to a 1911 with much more mass. I will find out! Mine is a PY0023XX serial number, so its fairly new, hence my concern about this issue.

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    I wouldn’t recommend trimming any metal off the hammer. Manufacturers tend to frown on home gunsmithing and it may void your warranty.
    Kurusu likes this.
    I’d rather be in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.

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    In the case of a brand new model from a gun maker, the correct process is to shoot as many brands of Magnum ammo as you can.
    If it has any miss-fires then try that ammo in another revolver.
    If it also has problems in another gun, simply don't use that ammo.
    If the gun miss-fires with more then one brand, since it's a new gun under warranty send it back to Colt.

    The best process to test for miss-fire problems is SLOW double action shooting.
    That means a SLOW DA pull. Since a lot of revolvers that miss-fire are reliable in single action, a slow DA pull that allows the hammer to just slip off the trigger is the worst case situation for possible miss-fires.

    If your new Python doesn't miss-fire with a variety of Magnum ammo, you don't have a problem, so stop worrying and go shooting.

    Note that Magnum ammo has harder primers then .38 Special so use Magnum ammo for reliability testing.
    rock185 and Kurusu like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post

    Note that Magnum ammo has harder primers then .38 Special so use Magnum ammo for reliability testing.
    I am sorry but this is incorrect. The "magnum" primer has a different Thickness not Hardness to ensure the higher pressures encountered will not cause a failure of the integrity of the primer itself during powder ignition. It is also a fact that not ALL magnum factory ammunition is loaded with a magnum powder. Why? The same reason some rifles magnum or not are not loaded with magnum powders. It has to do with the types of powder used by the manufacturer or the hand loader. The magnum primer burns faster and hotter (one of the Sierra Manuals one before the current one if memory serves has a good picture of both going off.

    I shoot 1k BR and am lucky enough to have some excellent mentors and shooting partners one is Rich Machholz (lot of his articles are still on the web) who recently retired from Sierra Bullets. In short, we discussed ad nauseum the over use and how in many cases performance was actually degraded with the use of magnum primers when not actually required.

    I am only thinking out loud here but I believe dfariswheel means magnum primers are thicker and that is correct.
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    You're correct, I meant thicker metal, not harder.

    Some years ago 1990's ?? The American Rifleman magazine did an article about primers and how they're made.
    They said that American primer makers mostly all buy their metal sheet from the same suppliers, and all of it is the same hardness.
    So, there are no "harder" primers.

    I continue to mistakenly use the "hard" primers statement that's so common as to be "general knowledge".

    Another interesting fact from the article is that you can't "kill" a primer. If you put oil or solvent in a primer it will be deactivated, but as soon as the liquid evaporates or drys out, the primer, like a zombie, comes back to life and will fire.

    Another very common misconception is that oils, penetrating fluids, and solvents can infiltrate into a primer and cause the round to fail to fire.
    The famed "Box '0 Truth" site did a test where they put empty primed cases in a block and applied drops of various liquids directly on the primers.
    This included CLP Breakfree and Kroil, both know to be excellent penetrators, and bore solvents like Hoppe's.
    After several months soaking not one primer failed to fire.
    The only effect was that Hoppe's caused the nickel cases to turn green around the case head.

    Even with a lifetime of experience and heavy reading in the field of guns, there's still a great deal that I know that it turns out ... I don't.
    rock185, Kurusu, Burgs and 1 others like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
    You're correct, I meant thicker metal, not harder.

    Some years ago 1990's ?? The American Rifleman magazine did an article about primers and how they're made.
    They said that American primer makers mostly all buy their metal sheet from the same suppliers, and all of it is the same hardness.
    So, there are no "harder" primers.

    I continue to mistakenly use the "hard" primers statement that's so common as to be "general knowledge".

    Another interesting fact from the article is that you can't "kill" a primer. If you put oil or solvent in a primer it will be deactivated, but as soon as the liquid evaporates or drys out, the primer, like a zombie, comes back to life and will fire.

    Another very common misconception is that oils, penetrating fluids, and solvents can infiltrate into a primer and cause the round to fail to fire.
    The famed "Box '0 Truth" site did a test where they put empty primed cases in a block and applied drops of various liquids directly on the primers.
    This included CLP Breakfree and Kroil, both know to be excellent penetrators, and bore solvents like Hoppe's.
    After several months soaking not one primer failed to fire.
    The only effect was that Hoppe's caused the nickel cases to turn green around the case head.

    Even with a lifetime of experience and heavy reading in the field of guns, there's still a great deal that I know that it turns out ... I don't.
    LOL Me either Brother and some of the people who have been helping me over the last almost 40 years in the longest example have forgotten more than I will ever know! It is the people who openly recognize that they are not all knowing and are open to learning are the ones I listen to and will also go out of my way to help!
    Burgs and Kurusu like this.

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    I dont have experience with the new Python.

    But I do with the originals. And even with them, the DA action is shorter than the SA.

    When I watch videos of the new guns, I think the DA is a real short action, maybe even shorter than S&W. In single action mode, it seems that the hammer is cocked all the way back.

    So the SA is likely to give a harder punch on the primer than in DA mode, which may be too weak for reliable ignition.

    Has anybody tried the gun in SA? With «resistent» primers?

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    So far I have only seen the Goldendoodle kid have the light primer strike issue and he was using Armscor ammo. Maybe other people have experienced it but I haven’t in over 1,000rds.

    I have ran Federal, Winchester, blazer, Remington, and Hornady factory loads as well as handloads with CCI primers. 100% reliability in the 2020 Python.

    I guess I am not concerned about having the ability to shoot some discount budget ammo that doesn’t seem to have a very good track record to begin with anyway.

    In my opinion sending the gun in to wait god knows how long to have a heavier spring put in is silly. If a person spends $1,500 on a gun they can afford to at least run any of the above mentioned brands of ammo through the gun. I have zero desire to purchase anything cheaper than Winchester white box.

    Also - its just a matter of time before aftermarket folks like wolf make a spring kit if a person really wants to swap springs.


 
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