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  #1  
Old 07-31-2011, 9:19 PM
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Default Need Some AK47 (WASR 10/63) Help; Failure to Fire/Worn Firing Pin

So I brought my first rifle to the range today to pop off some rounds to get used to the 7.62x39 round and to attempt to sight in my AK. The day started out pretty good with about 4-5 10rd mags without any failures, that's where the fun ends.

After dumping about 50rds I experience my first failure, with a mag seated and a round chambered I fire one shot and hear a click. Rack the gun and still a click. I remove the mag and retrieve the round and the primer barely has a dent. My buddy thinks the bolt or firing pin is screwy so I disassemble the gun and the firing pin turns out to be super worn.

I disassemble the bolt to get to the firing pin and work it so its "loose" and I'm able to fire another 20rds before the same problem happens again. I inspect my "failed" rounds and I noticed a bad pattern. Some rounds have a standard "punch" on the primer and others have a literal hole punched through the entire bottom of the round. At the range my buddy, a Marine, and the range master said something is screwy with my AK...

So this leads me to my call for help. Will a new firing pin help solve the problem or is it something completely different causing the failure to fire and the hole punching into primers.

I'll try to get pictures up tonight it I can get the light right.

Last edited by Roecar; 08-01-2011 at 7:27 AM..
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Old 07-31-2011, 9:35 PM
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Your firing pin hole on your bolt face is out of spec, I had a similar problem on my .308 AR. What happens is, During the explosion of the round and while the primer is still warm and under pressure. The soft metal works its way around the firing pin and into that extra space thats not supposed to be there. So after this happens what remains is a small piece of the primer wedged into your bolt face thats blocking the firing pin from connected with the next few rounds. When you disassembled the bolt the wedged primer fell out and allowed for you to fire once more until the problem occured again. The easiest and best way to fix this issue is to buy a brand new bolt and get rid of the old one.
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Old 07-31-2011, 9:39 PM
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Remember to check your headspace if you change a bolt out on an AK.
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Old 07-31-2011, 9:41 PM
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Remember to check your headspace if you change a bolt out on an AK.
Good catch thanks
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Old 07-31-2011, 9:53 PM
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Some new terms for me in there. I'll research as much as I can. Now that I think of it there we're little pieces of metal that did fall out. At first I thought it was the pin falling apart but makes more sense that pieces of the primer are getting stuck. In regards of the bolt being replaced, I've seen Arsenal bolts going for $80. Also the head space refers to what?
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Old 07-31-2011, 9:58 PM
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Some new terms for me in there. I'll research as much as I can. Now that I think of it there we're little pieces of metal that did fall out. At first I thought it was the pin falling apart but makes more sense that pieces of the primer are getting stuck. In regards of the bolt being replaced, I've seen Arsenal bolts going for $80. Also the head space refers to what?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headspace_(firearms)
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:01 PM
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You can find a new bolt for a lot cheaper than $80.

Headspace refers to the amount of space in your chamber between the shoulder of the chamber walls and the bolt face when the action is closed. If it is too small, cartidges won't fit and your action won't close, If it is too big, excessive case expansion will occure which often leads to case head separations or worse. In other words, it is VERY dangerous to fire any firearm with out of spec headspacing.
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2011, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyro3k2 View Post
Your firing pin hole on your bolt face is out of spec, I had a similar problem on my .308 AR. What happens is, During the explosion of the round and while the primer is still warm and under pressure. The soft metal works its way around the firing pin and into that extra space thats not supposed to be there. So after this happens what remains is a small piece of the primer wedged into your bolt face thats blocking the firing pin from connected with the next few rounds. When you disassembled the bolt the wedged primer fell out and allowed for you to fire once more until the problem occured again. The easiest and best way to fix this issue is to buy a brand new bolt and get rid of the old one.
If his firing pin is out of spec shouldn't he just need to replace the firing pin? His firing pin looked more flattened out when compared to mine when we took apart his bolt. Why does this call for a new bolt?
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:16 PM
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If his firing pin is out of spec shouldn't he just need to replace the firing pin? His firing pin looked more flattened out when compared to mine when we took apart his bolt. Why does this call for a new bolt?
If it was just the firing pin it would not have punch holes in the primers. If it was too short to cause ignition of the primer then where is it getting the length to punch a hole clean through? The problem would be light or no dimples in the primers of the once, twice, or three timed fired rounds. But pierced primers are usually a big sign that points to the firing pin hole in the bolt as the problem.
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Old 08-01-2011, 4:59 AM
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You did the right steps. I had this issue happen to my PSL...Some gunk got stock shooting Albanian ammo which is the worst. Clear the chamber where the firing pin is after you have pressed the pin retaining it and try again. After I did this I saw residue from too much CLP (hehe) and red junk from the Albanian ammo. Once i cleared it, it was good to go. You could replace the firing pin as well if this continues to happen or swap the entire assembly. If it is matching no worries just keep it.
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Old 08-01-2011, 6:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyro3k2 View Post
If it was just the firing pin it would not have punch holes in the primers. If it was too short to cause ignition of the primer then where is it getting the length to punch a hole clean through? The problem would be light or no dimples in the primers of the once, twice, or three timed fired rounds. But pierced primers are usually a big sign that points to the firing pin hole in the bolt as the problem.
Ah... got it. @Roecar... looks like its a more expensive fix bud... :[ you seriously have bad luck...
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Old 08-01-2011, 7:20 AM
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I guess my WASR factory bolt is off spec. Before I spend cash I'll get pics up tonight or the firing pin, bolt face, and the primers on some of the casings that I saved from the range. Like Max said it does seem as if the problem is the bolt.

On a side note, does anyone know of a Calgun member or AK gunsmith in the Socal LA area? If I do end up changing bolts I am not qualified to tell if it is seating properly or not. I'd rather learn from a professional than from bad experiences.

Last edited by Roecar; 08-01-2011 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 08-01-2011, 9:48 PM
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As promised here are some pics of some of the spent shell casings and a picture of the front face of my bolt. I've done some reading and some WASR owners have flat faced pins and others have round tip pins. Either mine is the flat faced variety or it is super worn. Also I am unsure why the primers have such deep holes as my bolt is seated properly as far as I can tell.

Anyway on to pics, more help and advice is greatly appreciated.


Here is the bolt, is the space around the pin really that much?


Two casing that I think are normal strikes and the rest and examples of the hole punching. A few of the rounds also have the slight dent from FTFs
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:09 PM
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Is your bolt face smooth around the fire pin hole or is it raised slightly? Have you checked headspace?
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Last edited by SJgunguy24; 08-01-2011 at 10:13 PM..
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:17 PM
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It's raised maybe a millimeter or so.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roecar View Post
It's raised maybe a millimeter or so.
There you go, you need to stone the face of the bolt around that hole to get everything flat, then put a slight chamfer on the hole itself. After that you'll need to check headspace to make sure it's safe to fire.
That little raised are will cut into the primer as the pressure builds and cause that weak area to blow out. That can jam your firing pin and will excessivly wear your firing pin also.
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Old 08-02-2011, 7:12 AM
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That explains a lot, thanks SJ. I guess these are my options from here. If I stone (sand?) the bolt flat and put a chamfer, how do I check the headspace? Is there a tool(s) I'd need or is it safer if I find a qualified gunsmith to do it for me?
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:13 AM
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Hey Roecar,

Here's idea on how much the tool for headspace.

http://ak-builder.com/index.php?disp...oduct_id=30052
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roecar View Post
That explains a lot, thanks SJ. I guess these are my options from here. If I stone (sand?) the bolt flat and put a chamfer, how do I check the headspace? Is there a tool(s) I'd need or is it safer if I find a qualified gunsmith to do it for me?
You'll need a no go guage at the minimum, if headspace needs to be adjusted, that will requre more then just hand tools. The semi easy fix is swap bolts, check headspace and hope for the best. Vs you taking off too much or going too deep with the chamfer. Don't use any power tools, that is all hand work and very delicate. The difference between a good headspace and possibly a dangerous condition is .0012"
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:30 AM
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Since you haven't blown your face off yet with pierced primers or out of spec headspace. Id say being its an AK;

Firing Pin Protrusion Gauge + File = Win. Just wear ansi approved goggles and possibly a face mask for a while or have a friend shoot it for a few hundred rounds.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:50 AM
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Since you haven't blown your face off yet with pierced primers or out of spec headspace. Id say being its an AK;

Firing Pin Protrusion Gauge + File = Win. Just wear ansi approved goggles and possibly a face mask for a while or have a friend shoot it for a few hundred rounds.
That would not be the appropriate fix in this situation.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:54 AM
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I guess I'll need the professional aid of a gunsmith. Since my face could go missing trying to fix this on my own I'd rather spend the extra money to have a professional do it right and safely...

Thanks for the help guys, I'll keep you apprised of the progress of this thing as it goes along.
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Old 08-02-2011, 7:10 PM
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I just posted a similar problem a couple weeks ago. Although my firing pin is not perforating primers, it is still getting pieces of primer in the bolt. I have tried a few tweaks, but nothing works so far. The reason I bought a WASR was for cheap reliability. Unfortunately that has not been the case mine, and apparently not the case with a some others as well.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 08-02-2011, 9:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roecar View Post
I guess I'll need the professional aid of a gunsmith. Since my face could go missing trying to fix this on my own I'd rather spend the extra money to have a professional do it right and safely...

Thanks for the help guys, I'll keep you apprised of the progress of this thing as it goes along.
There are plenty of people on this forum and local to you who know more about AKs than most, if not all, "professional gunsmiths" in Ca. do. In fact, I can only think of two shops in Ca that I would trust to properly headspace it. The one that I'll recommend is VA. Contact SJgunguy24 and see if he's interested in helping you.If you want to keep it in socal, I'd really suggest trying to attend an AK build party with a new bolt, firing pin and a case of beer. You may end up needing an oversized barrel pin and reamer but, you might be fine without one.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:01 AM
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Max helped me out by posting this thread on SKSboards. Some posters think that it's a combination between a very worn firing pin and Russian ammo with soft primers. They suggested that I try a new firing pin and observe the patterns made with it. Since I had irregular patterns from light, normal, and punched they think it's mainly that. Since I already have a spare pin I'll try it using 20rds of my ammo and 20rds of another brand of ammo. I would think that this is safer than just using the rifle as if nothing was wrong.

Here is the thread from SKS boards.
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Old 08-04-2011, 4:53 PM
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If you want 20 rounds of Yugo, just ask. I can meet you some afternoon/evening close to the north end of the 210.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:03 AM
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So I'm not in the hospital

The gun work flawlessly as I can tell at the LA Gunclub. I tested the new firing pin and fired 80rounds of what I think was PMC and 20rds of my own Tula. The FTFs I experience seem to stem from that worn firing pin, I dropped the new one and no problems. The spent casings all have proper indents and I experienced zero FTFs. I'll keep track of all my casings to make sure the indent on the primer is uniform. If after about another 400-500 rounds they are still good, I think it's safe to say my gun is operating normally.

I'll provide some pics of the casings later tonight.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:19 AM
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Good to hear
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Old 08-15-2011, 1:24 AM
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I will have to give that a try with mine! Thanks for posting what fixed it for you
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Old 08-15-2011, 1:25 AM
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I will have to give that a try with mine! Thanks for posting what fixed it for you
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Old 08-15-2011, 1:28 AM
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I will have to give that a try with mine! Thanks for posting what fixed it for you
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Old 08-15-2011, 1:28 AM
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I will have to give that a try with mine! Thanks for posting what fixed it for you
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Old 08-15-2011, 2:28 AM
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co-co-co-comber breakerrrrr

Nice quad post.

That firing pin sure looks terrible, good to hear you got it fixed.
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Old 08-15-2011, 3:01 AM
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Wait.. L.A. gun club allows rifles now- and not just with their provided ammo?!?!

-Dave
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Old 08-15-2011, 8:45 AM
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They definitely do allow rifles if it is in the caliber of ammo they sell, if I recall .223, 7.62x39, and .308. Anything outside of that you may not be allowed to use it since they "technically" won't let you use your ammo. To put this into perspective it depends who is behind the counter. Earlier this month I went to test out the new firing pin and I bought 80rds of their PMC and used another 20rds of my own Tula and they clearly saw a box of it in my bag. The person didn't stop me or say, "can't use those." Last night I came again to show my friend my AK but with 50rds of my own Tula and the employee who inspected my rifle confiscated my ammo until I left the range.

The ammo isn't overprice per se but it's priced at $10 for 20rds. I prefer using Surplus so it's double my regular cost. Other than that my gun is still functioning perfectly with no FTFs and no noticeable wear on the pin. I'm happy
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Old 08-16-2011, 5:28 PM
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Quote:
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co-co-co-comber breakerrrrr

Nice quad post.



I'll blame the calguns server
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