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  #1  
Old 08-07-2018, 11:13 AM
hitmissone hitmissone is offline
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Launching a pencil

Guessing this has been discussed before. With a new full size #2 yellow pencil, place in barrel, how far should it launch when trigger is pressed and hammer falls. Of course this is done without a round in chamber.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2018, 11:34 AM
nstoolman1 nstoolman1 is offline
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I have done it to check my firing pin after assembling. First time I did it it stuck in a ceiling tile 7' away.
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2018, 11:39 AM
log man log man is offline
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Rainy day target practice.



LOG
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2018, 11:46 AM
Geologist Geologist is offline
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Cool test, but what does it mean? On my SA loaded with a TI FP, a 20# MS and the Wolff HD firing pin spring a pencil will pop vertically about 6 inches clear of the barrel. Yet I have never once had a light primer strike or failure to fire. So I guess I passed the test?
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2018, 11:53 AM
weaselfire weaselfire is offline
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Generally, about 8" out of the barrel and you're good.

Jeff

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  #6  
Old 08-07-2018, 11:56 AM
Pyrenean Pyrenean is offline
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https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...jujMhsB3qwbOiu
with some assumptions about pencil mass, primer hardness, atmospheric pressure, launch angle, density altitude and, of course, proper FAA clearance, my guess is about 4 inches, horizontal is more than good enough. But, my PhD is more than 40 years old and is moth eaten, so I SWAG'ed it.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:47 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Fairly far. I sometimes entertain myself by shooting them at stuff like a nerf gun.....
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2018, 01:19 PM
hitmissone hitmissone is offline
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Guess depends on hammer spring poundage. Most of us use lite springs. 7' is a long way for sure.
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2018, 01:26 PM
Pat C Pat C is offline
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Originally Posted by log man View Post
Rainy day target practice.



LOG
Nice group
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:01 PM
Pyrenean Pyrenean is offline
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Nice group
Yeah, but it is from a rest.
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2018, 05:28 PM
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Someone demonstrated half of the test. Put the pencil in, point barrel up and activate the trigger by tapping it with something very quickly. If the FP safety is working, the pencil will not move. Very very old police test for revolvers, “I dropped my gun and it went off”. How did this skip a generation? BE SURE...NO AMMO, COCK GUN FIRST. The cylinder doesn’t rotate very well with a stick in it! There must be a video out there. I taught my kids this when they were 12.
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:45 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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Mine typically bounce off the overhead while I am seated.
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:59 PM
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Rainy day target practice.



LOG
No cleanup and better air quality than when using primer powered plastic bullets.

I usually get three - 4 feet. I remember the first time I did it. It hit the ceiling 4’ above the pencil. Dad told me about shooting pencils on targets as log man has pictured. He didn’t mention how much geewhiz was in it. 23 pound mainspring IIRC.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:27 PM
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I guess I look at it that as long the the gun goes boom and the bullet leaves the barrel I don't care how far a pencil flies. It would be interesting to do some testing to see just how light of a MS you can run before no more boom and then see how far a pencil goes. Establish a baseline as it were.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:07 PM
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To me, the pencil launching test is simply a test to see if one reassembled the 1911 back together correctly or not, especially the ones with the series 80 and similar firing pin safety mechanism. It's not rocket science and not to be taken any farther than that. I've seen many novices reassembled the series 80 incorrectly and attempted to fire their guns in a class or match, instead of bang, they got a click. There's no telling that those people might have carried that gun for self defense and all they had was a 2 lb club.

BTW, try the test on a striker fired gun. It does nothing to the pencil, nothing as dramatic as the 1911.
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  #16  
Old 08-07-2018, 08:11 PM
log man log man is offline
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Originally Posted by Geologist View Post
I guess I look at it that as long the the gun goes boom and the bullet leaves the barrel I don't care how far a pencil flies. It would be interesting to do some testing to see just how light of a MS you can run before no more boom and then see how far a pencil goes. Establish a baseline as it were.
This is true, however how close it is to failing is an important point. You'll find that if you only change out the Ti firing pin to steel the pencil will go quite a bit higher. I do have a point I expect. I use a nylon punch from Brownells, they do go higher, I found pencils were not always reliable as if the eraser is fresh the firing pin can penetrate a bit an hang up, this gives a false impression.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...h-prod513.aspx



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Old 08-07-2018, 08:31 PM
log man log man is offline
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To me, the pencil launching test is simply a test to see if one reassembled the 1911 back together correctly or not, especially the ones with the series 80 and similar firing pin safety mechanism. It's not rocket science and not to be taken any farther than that. I've seen many novices reassembled the series 80 incorrectly and attempted to fire their guns in a class or match, instead of bang, they got a click. There's no telling that those people might have carried that gun for self defense and all they had was a 2 lb club.

BTW, try the test on a striker fired gun. It does nothing to the pencil, nothing as dramatic as the 1911.
Yes, I agree this is a basic test to assure the firing pin is active, but can be used as well, to check that it is striking hard enough.

I only have 2 center fire striker fired pistols, the XD 40 will launch the nylon rod to the ceiling, and the P7M8 will launch a 1/4" dowel rod as well. The rod must be able to lay against the breech face, the extractor can block the pencil/rod in the smaller calibers from making contact.

LOG
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:27 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Well I shot one directly upward (Ticonderoga black) with a 25lb mainspring and chrome silicon FP spring on a TI pin out of a compact and it goes about a foot and a half. Gun has over 3700 rounds on this set of springs if that matters, my other gun that was near me (CZ Shadow) did about the same with 6000 round springs.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:15 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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how far when doing the pencil test.....

I do the pencil test when I am building a 1911 or STI 2011 just to make sure the firing pin is working properly.....as LOG suggested, there may be a difference in the softness of various pencil erasers, and a difference if using a steel firing pin vs. a lighter titanium firing pin. For guns that use a lighter main spring than the standard 23 lb. mainspring, there will also be the likelihood the pencil will not fly upward as far...Ö

If a person reloads their own ammo, and somehow does not seat the primer properly causing a high primer, when shooting the gun with a light hammer spring/mainspring, there is a chance the gun won't fire, but will fire if the same round is tried again...Ö.the first hammer fall may seat the primer deeper, so the second time the hammer is pulled back and released, it will pop the primer.... No one wants a gun that doesn't fire each and every time as a carry gun, which is why all self defense ammo needs to be checked thoroughly when reloading.....I always use an EGW 7 round chamber checker to "drop check" 7 rounds at a time, and inspect the primers to make sure they are properly seated. I do this for my self defense ammo and for ammo I reload for a local action shooting match......
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  #20  
Old 08-08-2018, 09:33 AM
Geologist Geologist is offline
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This is true, however how close it is to failing is an important point.
I understand about the Ti firing pin. However, I'm not in a big hurry to replace something that has functioned perfectly for 10,000 rounds.

The question I still have is how "close" to having a light primer strike is the pencil test determine. In other words, if the pencil clears the barrel by 2 inches, will you start having firing failures if it only cleared by 1.5 inches.

It seems to me this is more a qualitative test rather than quantitative. And the proof is always in the pudding. If the guns fires reliably every time then how far a pencil comes out of the barrel is not all that meaningful.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:00 AM
log man log man is offline
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If the guns fires reliably every time then how far a pencil comes out of the barrel is not all that meaningful.
To me it matters, if you're fine with lighter strikes so am I, for you. Ti pin are also known to chip, just because it hasn't doesn't mean replacing before is foolish. Purpose or value of a forum is to hear others experience.

SA has been known to replace their own Ti pins with steel ones during a tuning/repair. The Ti pin's only value is passing a drop test in states that require it, once sold, it is no longer required. So.. I'm just one voice, research and be happy.

LOG
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Last edited by log man; 08-08-2018 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:45 AM
*MAYHEM* *MAYHEM* is offline
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To me it matters, if you're fine with lighter strikes so am I, for you. Ti pin are also known to chip, just because it hasn't does mean replacing before is foolish. Purpose or value of a forum is to hear others experience.

SA has been known to replace their own Ti pins with steel ones during a tuning/repair. The Ti pin's only value is passing a drop test in states that require it, once sold, it is no longer required. So.. I'm just one voice, research and be happy.

LOG
Ti firing pins also give faster lock time, especially with a stronger mainspring. They also rebound faster and eliminate primer streaking and piercing with high preassure loads like .38 Super. I have Ti pins in all my 1911/2011s. My .45 has somewhere near 7000 rounds through it and the pin still looks new.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:46 PM
Geologist Geologist is offline
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To me it matters, if you're fine with lighter strikes so am I, for you. Ti pin are also known to chip, just because it hasn't does mean replacing before is foolish. Purpose or value of a forum is to hear others experience.
True enough. Which is why I share my personal experience and hope that people take it for what it is, my own personal experience. As they say YMMV!


I keep thinking about replacing it with a steel one. But the Big Box store has still not gotten their new stock of Round Toits, so I have not done it yet.

As I am fond of saying in another part of my life. Everything works, right up until it doesn't.
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:03 PM
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Army taught me that back in the mid 80s. After insuring gun was cleared, used to do it inside guard shacks to pass the time on weekends.

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Old 08-22-2018, 09:31 PM
MSgt Dotson MSgt Dotson is offline
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Seated on the floor, my Officer's ACP would launch one to the ceiling...
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