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  1. #1
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    Default Light primer strikes when decocking Makarov, is this normal?

    I picked my Bulgarian up 2 days ago. It functions perfectly and groups very well, and is a superb firearm in general.

    I have noticed on several different brands, Buffalo Bore, Corbon, Bernaul, CCI Blazer, and Hornady Critical Defense that chambering a round and decocking the pistol leaves a light primer strike on the primer.

    Is this normal? I tested this repeatedly (even on the same round) and couldn't get it to accidentally discharge, but I am still concerned.

    If this is common knowledge, yes, I did search but didn't find anything. Here is a picture:


  2. #2
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    Because it's a free-floating firing pin (without a spring) the weight of the FP hitting the primer can leave a little dent like you see. There isn't enough energy there to crush the cap. These pistols have passed the California drop tests and other extreme drop tests performed by forum members. So yes it's normal and not to be concerned about.
    I'm always looking for rare varieties of 9x18 ammunition.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Bender View Post
    Because it's a free-floating firing pin (without a spring) the weight of the FP hitting the primer can leave a little dent like you see. There isn't enough energy there to crush the cap. These pistols have passed the California drop tests and other extreme drop tests performed by forum members. So yes it's normal and not to be concerned about.
    Thanks, I figured it had something to do with the free float firing pin, but the peace of mind of someone reinforcing that is what I needed. All my pistols are DA/SA and none leave the mark so it was a little out of the norm. Thank you for clarifying. I like this place already!

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    Excuse my ignorance, but am I incorrect in assuming the firing pin can only contact the primer when the trigger is in it's rearmost position? I'm just confused as to why the firing pin is even capable of making a mark in the primer while being decocked

  5. #5
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    I am a retard. It is not happening during decocking, it happens when the slide closes and the free float pin contacts the primer.

    Nothing to see here people, move along

  6. #6

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    I would suspect the firing pin channel is crudded up and the pin is stuck out out a little bit. My Bulgarian doesn't leave a mark. It could be really bad if a primer wasn't seated all the way down.

    Also, the cartridge in that pic looks really chewed up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmerikanGulag View Post
    Excuse my ignorance, but am I incorrect in assuming the firing pin can only contact the primer when the trigger is in it's rearmost position? I'm just confused as to why the firing pin is even capable of making a mark in the primer while being decocked
    The Makarov does not have a firing pin block.

    Unload your Makarov. Engage the safety and jerk the gun forwards and backwards. You should hear the firing pin slide forward and backward.

    When you decock the hammer there is a hammer block so the hammer should NOT be hitting the firing pin.

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    I posted before these two replies stating that it is NOT happening during decocking, that was my mistake. It happens when racking the slide. The firing pin channel is clean and the firing pin rattles around inside it as normal. Thanks all.

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    Read North Benders reply, he is right there is nothing wrong with your gun, that's normal.
    Appalachain American

  10. #10

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    Hm...well mine doesn't do it. I just saw AGs other thread. Mine is a military Bulgarian. Are there some differences?

  11. #11
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    Do you hear your FP rattle when you shake the pistol? Perhaps your pin isn't as free floating as the OP's.
    I'm always looking for rare varieties of 9x18 ammunition.

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    To clarify (now that I know what is causing it), mine pin rattles around nice and freely, and the indentation is caused by using the slide stop/release to chamber a round, or pulling the slide back and releasing. It is not from decocking. I verified this by gently racking the slide and then decocking, no dimple.

    Thanks for setting me straight the first time, Bender.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ljchrzan View Post
    I would suspect the firing pin channel is crudded up and the pin is stuck out out a little bit. My Bulgarian doesn't leave a mark. It could be really bad if a primer wasn't seated all the way down.

    Also, the cartridge in that pic looks really chewed up.
    The cartridge is chewed up from being chambered several times to see if it would discharge (in a safe location, of course). It'll be a range round, not a carry round.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by North Bender View Post
    Do you hear your FP rattle when you shake the pistol? Perhaps your pin isn't as free floating as the OP's.
    Mine shakes and rattles and rocks and rolls.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmerikanGulag View Post
    To clarify (now that I know what is causing it), mine pin rattles around nice and freely, and the indentation is caused by using the slide stop/release to chamber a round, or pulling the slide back and releasing. It is not from decocking. I verified this by gently racking the slide and then decocking, no dimple.


    Thanks for setting me straight the first time, Bender.

    I understand what you're saying, not trying to argue. I've got at least 16 unfired rounds I had through mine and none have any dings on them.

    On the other hand, maybe yours has a stronger recoil spring (or mine's worn out) and it just snaps back harder?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmerikanGulag View Post
    The cartridge is chewed up from being chambered several times to see if it would discharge (in a safe location, of course). It'll be a range round, not a carry round.
    I didn't think about it when I first said that, but aren't the CCI aluminum? Probably more prone to that appearance than the steel cases I am used to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ljchrzan View Post
    Mine shakes and rattles and rocks and rolls.




    I understand what you're saying, not trying to argue. I've got at least 16 unfired rounds I had through mine and none have any dings on them.

    On the other hand, maybe yours has a stronger recoil spring (or mine's worn out) and it just snaps back harder?



    I didn't think about it when I first said that, but aren't the CCI aluminum? Probably more prone to that appearance than the steel cases I am used to.
    My brass ammo does not have that chewed up appearance. The CCI I photographed was a Blazer JHP from the 90's, it is aluminum as you mentioned and that is why it looks so chewed up.

    Mine does have a BRAND NEW recoil spring. I'll have to put the old one in and see what happens.

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    Ooof. The original poster's photo of his cartridge is kind of scary to me. That is a pretty big dent. Is anyone aware of another type of semi-automatic pistol that could dent a primer like that during normal non-firing operation? I checked one of my two East Germans, and yes, I did get an occasional very light mark on the primer. Not a crater like the OP's though. Does anyone know if this degree of primer denting occur during the official or unofficial drop tests?

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    Quote Originally Posted by benzo View Post
    Ooof. The original poster's photo of his cartridge is kind of scary to me. That is a pretty big dent. Is anyone aware of another type of semi-automatic pistol that could dent a primer like that during normal non-firing operation? I checked one of my two East Germans, and yes, I did get an occasional very light mark on the primer. Not a crater like the OP's though. Does anyone know if this degree of primer denting occur during the official or unofficial drop tests?
    We know it happens each time a round is stripped from the mag and fed into the chamber. So we also know that it's not a problem because if it were, there would be reports of slamfires and runaway, full-auto incidents.

    We know Makarovs have been subjected to the California-mandated drop test and passed

    Drop a Tokarev or an older Star semiautomatic hard enough with the hammer down and a live round in the chamber and they will not only leave a mark on the primer, they can also discharge. B/c they lack a FP safety.
    Last edited by Looter; 02-05-2012 at 02:23 PM. Reason: flow

  18. #18
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    I think the picture makes the dent look worse than it is. Not to mention, the one in the photo was chambered repeatedly to see if it would fire, and it didn't. That photo is after being in a magazine 5 times and having the slide slam the round into the chamber 5 times. CCI supposedly has harder primers, so I tried it with a few other brands, none of them I could get to accidentally discharge (I was doing this outside, in a safe, controlled manner.)

    I have just vowed to only carefully let the slide forward when loading it for carry, I trust it and am not worried about it.

  19. #19
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    I really liked the CCI Blazer in FMJ and JHP for the Makarov when it was first introduced. I understand that Russian primers were harder, back in the day at least.

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    The way it was explained to me, milspec primers aren't harder. They just use a less-sensitive priming compound.

    Back when SKS carbines were relatively new in the US, there were sometimes slam-fire issues. Commercial 7.62x39 ammo loaded in the USA at that time didn't have milspec primers.

    Makarovs have never has any issues, that I know of, with sensitive primers getting touched off.

    Alum.-cased rounds are not recommended in the Mak.

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    OK. I guess the stats say it is a safe weapon. Just got a little spooked by the picture. I would like to post a couple of pictures of my EG Mak in a Pelican #1150 case rig that I made up years ago. Is there an idiot's guide somewhere on how to do this?

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    The story I've read is that a Mak has to fall about 20 feet, and land on its muzzle with the barrel pointing straight up, before there is enough energy in the free floating firing pin to set off a primer. If the barrel is off vertical, it has to fall even further. Anything less and the primer won't go off (presumably, no matter how big a dent the firing pin may leave.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by benzo View Post
    OK. I guess the stats say it is a safe weapon. Just got a little spooked by the picture. I would like to post a couple of pictures of my EG Mak in a Pelican #1150 case rig that I made up years ago. Is there an idiot's guide somewhere on how to do this?
    The easiest way is to load your photos onto a picture-hosting website such as photobucket.com, then copy the picture's IMG code and paste it here.
    I'm always looking for rare varieties of 9x18 ammunition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrangler5 View Post
    The story I've read is that a Mak has to fall about 20 feet, and land on its muzzle with the barrel pointing straight up, before there is enough energy in the free floating firing pin to set off a primer. If the barrel is off vertical, it has to fall even further. Anything less and the primer won't go off (presumably, no matter how big a dent the firing pin may leave.)
    What's the source of this story?
    Appalachain American

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    What I see up in original pic is abnormal. It's only matter of time before unexpected discharge occurs.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by slavcio View Post
    What I see up in original pic is abnormal. It's only matter of time before unexpected discharge occurs.
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by slavcio View Post
    What I see up in original pic is abnormal. It's only matter of time before unexpected discharge occurs.
    You've not been around maks long have you.
    Appalachain American

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    I just checked the chambered round in one of my EG's and there was an ever so slight mark on the primer, no where near as defined as the OP pic. I would be concerned with a dimple that big.

    It looks to be commercial CCI ammo and mine is brown bear 95gr. ball ammo. Is there a difference in the hardness of one primer over another?

    Bill

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    Later I'll cycle a few different rounds through mine and see.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCR#1 View Post
    I just checked the chambered round in one of my EG's and there was an ever so slight mark on the primer, no where near as defined as the OP pic. I would be concerned with a dimple that big.

    It looks to be commercial CCI ammo and mine is brown bear 95gr. ball ammo. Is there a difference in the hardness of one primer over another?

    Bill
    The ammo pictured is aluminum CCI Blazer bonded JHP from the 90's. I tried it on Brown Bear, Silver Bear, Tula, that green/brown box Russian stuff, Buffalo Bore, and Hornady Critical Defense and got similar results with all, but NO AD's.

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    Question

    ?
    The round in the picture looks as if it has been cycled more than a few times, maybe 5 or 6 ?
    Was the round placed in the chamber and the slide dropped on it or was the round in a magazine and chambered by the slide ?




    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Steve M; 02-06-2012 at 08:21 PM. Reason: spell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
    ?
    The round in the picture looks as if it has been cycled more than a few times, maybe 5 or 6 ?
    Was the round placed in the chamber and the slide dropped on it or was the round in a magazine and chambered by the slide ?




    Click image for larger version. 

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    No attitude intended, but I posted this a few posts about your reply

    I think the picture makes the dent look worse than it is. Not to mention, the one in the photo was chambered repeatedly to see if it would fire, and it didn't. That photo is after being in a magazine 5 times and having the slide slam the round into the chamber 5 times. CCI supposedly has harder primers, so I tried it with a few other brands, none of them I could get to accidentally discharge (I was doing this outside, in a safe, controlled manner.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmerikanGulag View Post
    No attitude intended, but I posted this a few posts about your reply

    I think the picture makes the dent look worse than it is. Not to mention, the one in the photo was chambered repeatedly to see if it would fire, and it didn't. That photo is after being in a magazine 5 times and having the slide slam the round into the chamber 5 times. CCI supposedly has harder primers, so I tried it with a few other brands, none of them I could get to accidentally discharge (I was doing this outside, in a safe, controlled manner.)

    I was wondering if the primer dent got larger with each chambering,
    So much for my line of thought, I completely missed reading that post .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
    I was wondering if the primer dent got larger with each chambering,
    So much for my line of thought, I completely missed reading that post .
    The ones only chambered once were not as bad, but also take into account that the lighting in the photo makes it look worse than it is. I would call it a dimple, not a dent, and the casing looks nowhere near that chewed up to the naked eye, it's a macro photo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TENNESSEEAN View Post
    You've not been around maks long have you.
    +1

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  36. #36
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    Is that directed at me or at slavcio?

    If it is directed at me, it is my first Mak. Would you rather me have an AD, or ask a question?

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    It was not directed at you, there are no dumb questions so ask away. I'm going to assume that you now know this is pretty much a normal thing with a Mak and nothing to worry about.
    Appalachain American

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