Tec 9 firing pin

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by flyingAMT, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. flyingAMT

    flyingAMT New Member

    Jan 22, 2012
    Greetings, I'm new here.
    I was recently given a tec 9 pistol. I shot 40 rounds through it without a failure to feed or eject, but on round 40, the firing pin broke. The tip of the pin just shattered or broke off. I ordered a new pin from Hoosier Gun works and promptly installed it. The man I spoke to at Hoosier GW was very helpful and told me that Tec 9 firing pins are prone to breakage, especially if dry fired. I had been guilty of dry firing the weapon several times and I had no idea of its previous history so that diagnosis seemed reasonable.
    I took the gun to the range with the new firing pin installed and loaded up the same cheap ammo I had been using previously, 9mm steal cased Tula Ammo. The firing pin would not fire any of the rounds, light strikes only. I had no brass cased ammo at that time and was leaving the country for an extended period within the week, so I cleaned the gun and put it away in the safe. I called Hoosier and explained my problem and the man (same man as before) on the phone told me that Tec 9s will only fire high quality ammo and that my previous firing pin probably broke b/c I used cheap ammo with hard primers. He being a gunsmith and I being a novice, I decided I had no room to argue with him or demand my money back and he also said he had sold a lot of those pins and never had a complaint before. However, I can't help but wonder if his answer was accurate or just typical salesman tactics, no offense to him, but he seemed in a hurry to get me to hang up. A Tec 9 is hardly a precision firearm. The tolerances are very loose, even compared to my Glock and my Glock will fire anything I feed it. So why would such a "cheap" pistol require premium ammo? To me the new Pin I bought from Hoosier is too short, it looks to me that is does not extend far enough past to bolt face and it does not have a nice rounded pin face like the previous pin, more of a sharp point. I regret not having time to run some quality 9mm ammo through it and I am still overseas, so I don't have access to the pistol now. Has anyone else encountered problems like this with the Tec 9? Is the quality ammo assessment accurate? Are there better firing pins out there, or did I just get a lemon? The prices ranged from $30 up to $80 or more if I remember correctly. The firing pin could easily be made on a small lathe, but I assume it requires heat treating at least the tip, which explains why they might be brittle and prone to breakage. Any advice or recommendations appreciated.
  2. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Without having the pistol on the bench this is just a guess, but it seems like you do not have adequate firing pin protrusion past the breech face.

  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    The problem that your running into is not necessarily the firing pin protrusion but it is the culprit in the end. The Tec 9 has really sloppy headspace and chamber tolerances. If your headspace is too excessive then the firing pin will have issues striking the primer solidly. What happens with those is the firing pin hits the primer and that seats the round deeper into the chamber. A second hit with the firing pin would probably set it off but with a tec 9 its not possible. How is this problem fixed? Firing pin protrusion is set rather long to make up for that sloppiness and also a great reason why the pins break rather easy. He sold you the right part, its just not installed to work correctly. He also does have a point, Tula ammo is utter garbage but the primers are no harder than any other manufacturer.
  4. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    NorthWest Florida
    First, take a pipe cleaner and some Q-tips and clean the firing pin channel.
    Its entirely possible that its so filled with gunk that the pin isn't going as far as it should.
    Clean the face of the bolt so your ammo is getting a proper mate. Heck, dissasemble & clean everything!!
    Strangely enough, I've had that happen with my Intratec AB-10 (late-model Tec-9)...and a few other pistols/rifles.
    Deep "detail" cleaning before doing anything else tends to solve more problems than you can imagine.

    Next step (if the above didn't solve it) would be to check the headspace (as Helix FR said) and hand-fit the FP to the FP channel.
    Chances are, you'll want a licensed gunsmith to do it, as it requires some very careful work, because if you do it wrong, KABOOM!!

    If you decide to DIY, DO NOT USE A DANG DREMEL!! Or as I call it, "The Fool's Tool".
    Actually, don't even try it yourself...too much liability if you screw up and the FP goes too far & punctures the primer...
    which may lead to much burning powder in your face and in the faces of the people to your immediate right and rear.
    Not exactly what you would call a fun thing.

    Kinda looks like a metal pin punch, don't it :D
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  5. flyingAMT

    flyingAMT New Member

    Jan 22, 2012
    Thanks for all your replies. I agree that the FP protrusion is the culprit, but I'm not sure if the problem is with the new FP or debris the bolt. After the light strike issue, I removed the pin and checked the FP channel for obstructions with a flashlight and found none. I cleaned the channel with Qtips, and a small bore brush, but a second try is probably in order, just to rule that out.

    1. With the bolt removed and the FP installed and in the full fwd position how much protrusion should there be???

    I am still out of the country now, so I will ask my BinL take it apart and check things out again if possible. Perhaps there is something still lodged in the FP channel, or perhaps I have a bad FP, meaning too short. Maybe I can get a picture of the pin posted soon.
    In regards to head space, is there anyway to adjust that with a tec 9? I'm a mechanic not a gunsmith, but doesn't the extractor hold the case against the bolt face, or is there enough room/slop for the case to move fwd in the chamber as the FP strikes the primer? Could it be that the recoil spring is not pushing the bolt far enough fwd to seat the case in the chamber and against the bolt face? I assume with a rimless cartridge the ridge in the chamber holds the case against the bolt face, otherwise the extractor must.
    Big Shrek: I would not use a dremel on such a part, but thanks for the advice, I agree, they are not generally the best tool for every job, but they do have their place. Once I'm back home again, I will look for a drill press or small lathe to chuck it in, if cleaning the FP channel doesn't work. I might just order another FP from a different shop just to compare.
    I will get some better ammo for the next function check.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  6. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    Dont even bother trying to adjust the protrusion w/o having other things checked out. Pierced primers are bad enough but too much protrusion could also cause the round to go off out of breech. Diagnosing online is too hard and pictures are not enough. A protrusion gauge is needed and a set of go, no go gauges. the extractor should loosly hold the round to the bolt face, it has nothing to do with your problem, its only there to get the round out of the chamber, tighening it can just cause feed issues or a broken extractor. You really need to send it to a professional.
    Tec 9's are pickey and even in the users manual they specify what ammo to use and ammo with thiner walls are not recommended bc much of the case is unsupported. Headspacing can be corrected but it takes a lathe to cut the breech face, finish reamer to cut the chamber and a set of gauges to make sure its all correct. I'm not trying to insult your mechanic abilities but eveyone needs to know when they are over their head. Im a gunsmith and not a mechanic so i dont even bother trying to fix my own car. ;) My wife drives a 08 Pacifica, that whole dang car is over my head. I can change the oil and the brake pads, thats it. Everything else I leave it to guys like you. To save your fingers and face, you'd be best to leave it to guys like us.
  7. flyingAMT

    flyingAMT New Member

    Jan 22, 2012
    Helix FR. Thanks for your professional opinion, I will leave the machining to the professionals.

    I think from your answer that headspace is not the issue, as the gun cycled just fine before the FP broke, and headspace would not just change overnight. There must be an obstruction in the FP channel restricting the FP or the FP is too short. In troubleshooting we start with the simplest/cheapest option first, and we work our way up the list. If more aggressive cleaning of the channel does not work, then I will be buying a new FP from another vendor. If that doesn't work, then I guess it on to the gunsmith. If that doesn't work, I can hang the gun on the wall and go shoot my Glock.
    I do work on cars, but only to save money so I can buy more guns.
  8. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    Now that is a beautiful thing.:D
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