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  #1  
Old 05-25-2009, 7:06 PM
dfletcher dfletcher is offline
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Default EMP Problem

I took the Springfield EMP to the range and had a problem. Feeds fine, shoots accurately and all that. Here's the problem. Using standard 9mm ammo every once in a while a small piece of the primer is punched from the primer and fuses itself into the firing pin hole on the breech face. Examining the the case shows a perfectly round hole in it and that small metal plug is pressed into the firing pin hole in the breech face. Obviously the way I learned of this happening is because the gun won't fire. A tap on the firing pin from the rear pops out the primer "plug" and the gun works fine, until it happens again.

It has thus far happened with Olympic ammo only, but I've only put brass Blazer and Oly through it. So I know it could be an ammo problem and have to run more ammo through it of course.

I notice the EMP firing pin is thinner than a standard 1911, am wondering if the thinner pin is "almost" piercing the primer, creating a very thin spot of soft metal, subject to high pressure, which is then "pressed" into the firing pin hole in the breech face.

Anyone else have this specific problem or a comment on the theory?

As an aside, I know Springfield has very good customer service and they may well get this gun back, I will give them a call also.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2009, 7:38 AM
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if you call them, be prepared to send it back. They are so quick with the return labels it is unbelievable. They have my 1911 right now, called to ask about the ambi safety being a little finicky and before i knew it they were emailing me a return label. Great customer service so far, cant wait to get my trp back.
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2009, 12:58 PM
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Hmmm... I was having the exact same problem and I thought it was the ammo, as well.
Except it was Sellier & Bellot that I was firing so perhaps it's a bigger problem than that.
I ended up selling mine so I'll have to check with the buyer to see if that's still problematic.
If you continue to have problems with other ammo, you should defnitely send it back.
Please keep us posted. Thanks.

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Old 05-26-2009, 1:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burl broderick View Post
Hmmm... I was having the exact same problem and I thought it was the ammo, as well.
Except it was Sellier & Bellot that I was firing so perhaps it's a bigger problem than that.
I ended up selling mine so I'll have to check with the buyer to see if that's still problematic.
If you continue to have problems with other ammo, you should defnitely send it back.
Please keep us posted. Thanks.
Thanks for the info. This is my 3rd Springfield and the 2nd one that's had a problem. I'm beginning to think Springfield customer service is very good because it has to be. I'm not too thrilled at spending $1,300.00 and having to send the thing in for correction, even if they do foot the bill.
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2009, 1:45 PM
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I wonder if the EMP has a titanium firing pin? Maybe a short firing pin?
They do have to pass the drop test you know. If it does a switch to a steel firing pin will cure the problem, unless it's different size than the 1911s'.
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2009, 1:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTROKS View Post
I wonder if the EMP has a titanium firing pin? Maybe a short firing pin?
They do have to pass the drop test you know. If it does a switch to a steel firing pin will cure the problem, unless it's different size than the 1911s'.
I would think more likely longer if its punching holes in the primer
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Old 05-26-2009, 3:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorensen440 View Post
I would think more likely longer if its punching holes in the primer
Does the EMP have a series 80 type of firing pin block or is it the same as series 70? In 1911s that has primer flow problems, usually encountered with IPSC major power guns in 38 Super, 9mm major, 9 or 38 Supercomp the ammo used is over factory pressures and if not using rifle primers it will cause primer flows. Longer firing pins combined with extra power firing pin springs were the usual cure. He could be having a slight pressure problem, but I'm thinking the EMP came with a short or light firing pin causing it to rebound faster and with ammo that are up in pressure or using soft pistol primers the problem with primer flow is exacerbated.
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  #8  
Old 05-26-2009, 7:39 PM
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Default Hole in Primer

I built a .460 Rowland chambered 1911 that had a similar problem. Too high of pressure in the chamber. I contacted Clark Custom whom I purchased the .460 Rowland kit from and they sent me a firing pin bushing that with a small amount of machine work fits perfectly into the breech face of the slide and closed the gap around the firing pin. Problem solved.

I don't know if your problem is identical to the one I had with my converted pistol but it sounds similar.

Entreprise Arms in Irwindale, installed the firing pin bushing for me and the .460 Rowland that sends a round down range in the 44 magnum energy range has worked perfectly ever since. No more blown out primers.

Good luck
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2009, 8:46 PM
dfletcher dfletcher is offline
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I'll try to hit all the firing pin questions, that seems to be the likely culprit I think.

The EMP doesn't have the Colt series 80 firing pin block and the attendant extra parts. The firing pin is, I believe, titanium - I don't have a magnet but it is very light.

The EMP has a shorter than normal firing pin than a regular 1911 because the grip frame area and the slide between the breech face and the rear are designed around the 9mm case. So the firing pin and the extractor are shorter than standard. The firing pin spring is much stiffer than my Colt Defender with a firing pin block.

One thing I noticed is that the firing pin tip is much, much more slender than the standard 1911 as is the firing pin hole. And the pin can be pushed far forward beyond the breech face. So I'm thinking the combination of a thin firing pin plus a very strong mainspring, needed to overcome the titanium pin with a heavy firing pin spring as a safety feature, is puncturing or weakening some primers and causing the extrusion.

My concern in switching to a steel firing pin (if one is available) is that I don't want to trade blown primers for uncertain ignition. Maybe a not so strong mainspring is an option.
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  #10  
Old 06-29-2009, 1:56 PM
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Default EMP Failure To Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTROKS View Post
I wonder if the EMP has a titanium firing pin? Maybe a short firing pin?
They do have to pass the drop test you know. If it does a switch to a steel firing pin will cure the problem, unless it's different size than the 1911s'.
I have the same problem, the firing pin is titanium and I think the firing pin spring is too strong causing a weak or soft strike on the primer on mine, currently SA has no cure for it, I just talked to them today!

I asked for a weaker spring and a steel firing pin but not available.

Last edited by themouas; 06-29-2009 at 1:58 PM..
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  #11  
Old 06-29-2009, 2:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themouas View Post
I have the same problem, the firing pin is titanium and I think the firing pin spring is too strong causing a weak or soft strike on the primer on mine, currently SA has no cure for it, I just talked to them today!

I asked for a weaker spring and a steel firing pin but not available.
Springfield corrected my problem by replacing the titanium firing pin with a steel firing pin - I'm surprised they would say otherwise unless you asked them to send you a "drop in" steel replacement firing pin, I had to mail my EMP to them for replacement.

You may want to check the breech face regarding the misfires, I initially thought I was getting a soft strike but the reason the gun wouldn't fire is that a small piece of primer had flowed into the firing pin hole on the breech face effectively stopping the forward travel of the firing pin.

Call Springfield, tell them you want to send in the gun for repair. They are well aquainted with this problem, feel free to tell them you know they've done this fix for others including me. And they of course pay for shipping each way, turaround time was about 12 days.
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2009, 6:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfletcher View Post
Springfield corrected my problem by replacing the titanium firing pin with a steel firing pin - I'm surprised they would say otherwise unless you asked them to send you a "drop in" steel replacement firing pin, I had to mail my EMP to them for replacement.

You may want to check the breech face regarding the misfires, I initially thought I was getting a soft strike but the reason the gun wouldn't fire is that a small piece of primer had flowed into the firing pin hole on the breech face effectively stopping the forward travel of the firing pin.

Call Springfield, tell them you want to send in the gun for repair. They are well aquainted with this problem, feel free to tell them you know they've done this fix for others including me. And they of course pay for shipping each way, turaround time was about 12 days.
Well, I called SA and they told me that they had no steel firing pins. I tried reverse engineering it myself, I went to ACE Hardware and found a spring that fits perfectly, cut it to correct length (shorter than the original) to make the pressure just right for the firing pin (a little softer than original when you push the firing pin in), it is a hair bigger and stronger than the original. It even stopped the over extension on the compression of the spring due to it's larger size and the EMP works flawlessly too with no more light strikes even with the titanium firing pin. This is only a test of the theory that the original spring is too strong or hard, I was right!

Last edited by themouas; 07-01-2009 at 7:46 PM..
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2009, 8:45 PM
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Default I had the same issue with a pierced primer

My EMP was shipped back to SA yesterday to resolve fail to feed any hollow point rounds and I wanted the firing pin checked out. I also had some questions about the breach face. This gun has 600 rounds through it and the face just seems to scared up to me. I only shot two rounds of the Corbon DPX rounds before I discovered the pierced primers. WWB, Blazer Brass no issues with the primers.


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Old 07-01-2009, 9:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBrent View Post
My EMP was shipped back to SA yesterday to resolve fail to feed any hollow point rounds and I wanted the firing pin checked out. I also had some questions about the breach face. This gun has 600 rounds through it and the face just seems to scared up to me. I only shot two rounds of the Corbon DPX rounds before I discovered the pierced primers. WWB, Blazer Brass no issues with the primers.


Olympic ammo was the problem for me - your pierced primer looks exactly like mine, exactly like others I've seen and have been noted on the 1911 forum. When Springfield corrected mine, they noted on the receipt as having fired "+P+" ammo with no problems.

As it was explained to me, the titanium FP flies forward - note the mainspring on the EMP is stronger than others like the Defender, Agent (I have a Defender, it's noticeably lighter) and it gives the FP a heck of a slap. Lighter FP requires a heavier hit to ignite the primer. The heavier FP spring makes the lighter FP snap back milliseconds quicker than a steel FP - in effect, vacates that little indent in the primer - at peak pressure, that little spot on the promer "flows" back into the FP hole in the breech face. As the gun cycles that small piece of primer is sheared off, becoming stuck in the breech face, in the FP hole.

As "themouas" wrote, a weaker FP spring probably accomplishes the same thing as does a steel FP - slows down the return trip of the FP, keeping it in place behind the primer that millisecond longer and preventing primer flow. I was going to give that a shot - even though Springfield paid both ways, who wants to send away the new toy, right? But I figured WTH, took off a half day of work. FedEx in SSF is about 5 minutes away from Jackson Arms anyway.

I think each fix - steel FP or weaker FP spring - probably compromises any "drop test" safety built into the originally configured gun. I'm fine with that, I just wish they made the darn thing right the first time. This is after all a pretty high end CCW type piece.
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Old 07-02-2009, 7:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfletcher View Post
Olympic ammo was the problem for me - your pierced primer looks exactly like mine, exactly like others I've seen and have been noted on the 1911 forum. When Springfield corrected mine, they noted on the receipt as having fired "+P+" ammo with no problems.

As it was explained to me, the titanium FP flies forward - note the mainspring on the EMP is stronger than others like the Defender, Agent (I have a Defender, it's noticeably lighter) and it gives the FP a heck of a slap. Lighter FP requires a heavier hit to ignite the primer. The heavier FP spring makes the lighter FP snap back milliseconds quicker than a steel FP - in effect, vacates that little indent in the primer - at peak pressure, that little spot on the promer "flows" back into the FP hole in the breech face. As the gun cycles that small piece of primer is sheared off, becoming stuck in the breech face, in the FP hole.

As "themouas" wrote, a weaker FP spring probably accomplishes the same thing as does a steel FP - slows down the return trip of the FP, keeping it in place behind the primer that millisecond longer and preventing primer flow. I was going to give that a shot - even though Springfield paid both ways, who wants to send away the new toy, right? But I figured WTH, took off a half day of work. FedEx in SSF is about 5 minutes away from Jackson Arms anyway.

I think each fix - steel FP or weaker FP spring - probably compromises any "drop test" safety built into the originally configured gun. I'm fine with that, I just wish they made the darn thing right the first time. This is after all a pretty high end CCW type piece.
You know what I did to my EMP? I did not only polish the feed ramp as I had the same problem you had with personal defense ammos, I took my dremel and worked on the ramp gave it about a five degree grind reducing the steepness of the ramp and than polished the ramp. The EMP cycles HP ammos without a problem now and even better with FMJ.

Last edited by themouas; 07-02-2009 at 12:58 PM..
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2009, 6:56 PM
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I polished my feed ramp with my dremel and jewelers polishing compound and it was like a mirror. The instructor of a armors class I was in gave me the thumbs up for the cleanest ramp of the class. I didn't want to make angle changes etc. I have read many have had the same issue with PD rounds and they have been fixed when sent back to SA so I will let them do it. I paid way to much for this thing to screw it up. I purchased it for my primary carry gun and I need to make sure it feeds perfect before I start carrying it.
BTW does anyone else's EMP's breach face look like mine in the photo? SA told me this was normal tool markings. I don't remember looking at it that close before I started shooting it.
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Old 07-02-2009, 8:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBrent View Post
I polished my feed ramp with my dremel and jewelers polishing compound and it was like a mirror. The instructor of a armors class I was in gave me the thumbs up for the cleanest ramp of the class. I didn't want to make angle changes etc. I have read many have had the same issue with PD rounds and they have been fixed when sent back to SA so I will let them do it. I paid way to much for this thing to screw it up. I purchased it for my primary carry gun and I need to make sure it feeds perfect before I start carrying it.
BTW does anyone else's EMP's breach face look like mine in the photo? SA told me this was normal tool markings. I don't remember looking at it that close before I started shooting it.
Best of luck to you, please update how it goes.
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Old 07-25-2009, 9:07 PM
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Default Report after trip back to SA for the EMP

I got to take it to the range today and I have to say I am very pleased!! I shot 3 different types of Hollow points in it and not a single issue. Prior to sending it in I could not get any hollow points to feed at all. The paperwork stated that they polished the feed ramp, breach face and replaced the firing pin. They included the 5 or 6 spent rounds that they test fired with I guess. I am happy. I shot tight groups today and had a blast. Also shot my XD which has been flawless since day one. What a great pistol!!
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Old 08-05-2009, 5:51 AM
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Default EMP Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBrent View Post
I got to take it to the range today and I have to say I am very pleased!! I shot 3 different types of Hollow points in it and not a single issue. Prior to sending it in I could not get any hollow points to feed at all. The paperwork stated that they polished the feed ramp, breach face and replaced the firing pin. They included the 5 or 6 spent rounds that they test fired with I guess. I am happy. I shot tight groups today and had a blast. Also shot my XD which has been flawless since day one. What a great pistol!!
I'm very happy for you, and knowing that SA can do something to remedy their problems makes me feel even better. By the way, did they replace the titanium firing pin with a steel one?
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