Sometimes I get odd jobs coming into the shop. Recently the oddest project was a request to repair the firing mechanism for a signal cannon mounted on a yacht. Why not ? It’s a type of “gun” after all. The corrosion from the saltwater exposure and the lack of basic maintenance had rusted the firing pin in place. The owner appears to have tried to pound the firing pin loose with a hammer. This made things a little worse. So I decided to drill and ream the entire block and firing pin out. I used an end mill chucked into the tailstock to do this.
Next, it’s off to the milling machine to align the tap with the tool that I use to keep tension on the head of the tap and to keep everything in alignment.
Then I make a firing pin bushing.
The bushing gets a slot cut into the face for easier installation using a jig specifically for centering screw slots.
Oh yes, the firing pin itself. Now I thought about this for a bit. What better material for something that gets fired pretty often and takes a serious pounding ? Well how about a modified pin punch ? A trip to the local hardware store and I picked up a pin punch for a relatively inexpensive price. This is some metal that gets beat on a lot by hammers, so why not modify one into a heavy bodied firing pin ?
Here’s the newer heavier duty firing pin. Along side it are the new bushing coated in zinc for corrosion resistance, and the heavier duty firing pin return spring.
The newly made parts fit pretty well. So let’s get a few rounds ready to test fire.