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Inspecting Firing Pins: Jeweler’s Lupe

Inspecting Firing Pins
Inspecting Firing Pins with Jeweler's Lupe.

Most won’t do this. And admittedly, I don’t do it with most firearms. But guns I shoot a lot, or dry fire a lot, get their firing pins inspected every so often. 


Inspecting Firing Pins
Casual view of firing pin.

Over the course of my shooting career, I have popped up more than once with a broken firing pin. Never when it really counted, but it has sidelined some training trips. 

With experience I have come to believe that breakages don’t just happen catastrophically. There will be signs: Cracks or fissures that slowly migrate until the pin finally shatters or lets go. 

Inspecting Firing Pins
Don’t have a lupe? No worries. Use your cell phone camera and zoom in the pic. With modern phones this can work even better than a lupe. As long as you are focused on the firing pin and the pic is taken with lots of light.
  • I don’t check it frequently. But I will look at them casually when visible. 
  • I don’t inspect it as it’s own event. It always happens during a major teardown. 
  • This is why I keep a jeweler’s 8x lupe on the cleaning bench. 
  • If you don’t have a lupe, modern shooters typically can get just as good results by setting their camera phone to macro imaging and zooming in on the pics.  





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