First Failure-to-Fire

This is a discussion on First Failure-to-Fire within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well over 2,000 flawless rounds through my Sigma and I had a failure-to-fire tonight. Still not 100% on whether it was the ammo or not ...

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Thread: First Failure-to-Fire

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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    First Failure-to-Fire

    Well over 2,000 flawless rounds through my Sigma and I had a failure-to-fire tonight. Still not 100% on whether it was the ammo or not (reloads from a local business), but it appeared that it had a light strike. Roughly half the depth of the strikes on the spent casings.

    What do you guys think? Time to replace some springs? Anything I should look out for while I'm in there?

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Could be a hard primer,if other rounds fired afterwards.one other possibility could be crud in firing pin channel,with just 2000 rounds downrange I seriously doubt the firing pin spring was weakened,but if it was my EDC I would look into getting a wolff replacement firing pin and recoil spring just to be safe,and while you have the firing pin out make sure you clean any gunk out.
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    Duk is on the money... I'd be doing the same.
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    Member Array JDKinman's Avatar
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    Have a smith take a look at your firing pin, just for peace of mind.

    Bear in mind that there is a reason for the famous bumper sticker Forrest Gump made that says "(Stinky excrement) happens!" That is why if you carry a semi-auto, you should be versed in the practice of "tap-rack-bang" to the point to where it is second-nature. We used to put dummy rounds in the cadets magazines on the range to see how long their reaction time would be when they encountered a dud.

    When you're practicing, don't even hesitate to rack out a dud. You'll always have time later to figure out the problem.

    Your dud could've been any number of things: a poorly sized/crimped bullet that didn't get set all the way in the chamber, thus inhibiting a full firing pin strike, a weak powder charge in the previous round resulting in minimal spring action, etc etc.

    And, just because it is factory ammo doesn't mean the factory doesn't pump out some duds.

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    Be aware that a primer flows around a firing pin to some extent when the cartridge fires so primer marks will generally look deeper on fired primers and shallower on dud rounds, even if the firing pin is striking a healthy blow. I'm unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Smith & Wesson Sigma but am putting my money on nothing more than a plain ol' dud round.
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    "And, just because it is factory ammo doesn't mean the factory doesn't pump out some duds."

    Amen to this! A dud Remington factory .45 ACP 230 grain FMJ load cost me 5 points on my Texas concealed carry qualification shoot when I first qualified in 1995, the autumn before CCW was scheduled to become legal. Back then we were required to test with only specified factory loads and no handloads or factory loads that weren't on the list. They've apparently relaxed some of the ammunition restrictions for test-taking.
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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Put another 500 through it after a good cleaning and see if it happens again. I'm willing to bet you're ok and no cause for concern.
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    You had solid consistent primer strikes following that light one? It was likely an ammo issue.

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    Another reason tp practice,practice,practice those malfunction drills.Just curious how long did it take you to "Tap-Rack" and continue?,I will use malfunctions as a "Teaching Moment",their free and valuable.
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    Hit the panic button and run for cover... one time, could be a lot of things but a would see if it persists before making changes

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    I had a bad PMC round once in my G30. It looked like a light strike, but I fired off every round from then until now without issue. That was about 2 years ago. It was most likely a bad round. If you had a light primer strike that was the fault of the gun, you'd start to see the issue happen more and more.

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    Did you try to fire it a second time, and if so did it fire? If it didn't and your other rounds fired, I'd say definitely a bad primer. Even if it did fire, it could be a faulty primer. Unless it becomes a recurring problem I wouldn't worry about it.
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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    You had solid consistent primer strikes following that light one? It was likely an ammo issue.
    It actually happened in the last mag I shot with it. Only fired 2 or 3 rounds after that. I'll run some more through it today and see what happens.

    I didn't try to fire it a second time. I had written it off as a dud and continued the night with other guns. When I started cleaning up the brass I stopped and took a look at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidey2011 View Post
    Well over 2,000 flawless rounds through my Sigma and I had a failure-to-fire tonight. Still not 100% on whether it was the ammo or not (reloads from a local business), but it appeared that it had a light strike. Roughly half the depth of the strikes on the spent casings.

    What do you guys think? Time to replace some springs? Anything I should look out for while I'm in there?
    I'm all for cleaning the firing pin channel, checking the pin and springs as has been suggested.

    I recall having a batch of factory reloads giving my Glock 23 fits a few years back. Several FTF, but the rounds went bang on the second go. Checked the rest of the rounds by feel for high primers and found one that was noticeably high, and sure enough, it didn't go bang on the first try. Maybe something to look for if you have more of that ammo?

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    I'll run some more through it today and see what happens.<~~~
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