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disposable firing pin

small cap contains minature spring and firing pin
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(+5, -2)
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right off the bat here, i'm not trying to prove or even discuss the effectiveness, humanity, or anything otherwise political about firearms. this is simply an idea about possibly improving the performance of the revolver.

revolvers have few moving parts but lack a single-action trigger pull, because you have to cock the hammer back either with the double-action trigger or manually with your thumb. semi-auto pistols solve this problem with a complicated recoil or gas dependant system. the problem is all these extra moving parts in the gun leave it slightly more vulnerable to jams, etc.. although for civilian home defenders or concealed carriers the difference is probably negligible, for police and military a new solution might be welcome.

i propose a small package about the size of a couple of tums (depending on the caliber of the ammo in question) that contains a pre-pressured spring and a small firing pin.

this is either put in the full-moon clip of a revolver, or factory-mated to the cartridge itself. the revolver, of course, would have to be a new model, with no hammer of its own. the trigger-pull would merely push a small pin into a needle-sized (or smaller) hole in the package, which releases the spring inside, driving the minature firing pin against the percussion cap, thereby igniting the fulminate, and the rest of the firing of the cartridge goes normally as before. trigger pull would probably have to turn the wheel, thus the pull wouldn't be a true single-action pull, but at least significantly reduced.

alternatives might include the same deal but with it statically and unremovably integrated into the wheel of the revolver. (a reloading scenario would have the user cock each of the six {in a six-shooter} packages, by some mechanical means {either one at a time or all at once} or these springs could be factory-wound and disposable. (probably not cost-effective that way)

could also scrap the whole idea and think about achieving the same ends with a solonoid-type ignition system. this would require a battery, though, which would have a shelf life, and might run out at the peril of the user during an emergency.

problems: a spring so small be even possible with enough force to set off a round? if this is hard to do cheaply, it might be possible to use a new primer mixture that is more sensitive and would need less pressure. (perhaps with partial amounts of silver fulminate) Although, of course, a less stable primer might be less safe.

i might be missing the whole point here too. revolvers are supposed to be drag-through-the-mud reliable. making the cartridge (or a mate for the cartridge) more complicated might ultimately prove to be unreliable in itself.

gizmosteve, Mar 07 2006

Metal Storm http://www.metalstorm.com/
No firing pin. Electronic firing. [spidermother, Mar 07 2006]

[link]






       //revolvers have few moving parts but lack a single-action trigger pull//
Nope. single-action revolvers require manual cocking each time. Double-action revolvers can either be cocked, or the trigger pulled repeatedly. It requires a bit heavier pull, though.
Electronic triggers are baked, too. They are actually outlawed in competition smallbore and most other competition shooting.
A disposable firing pin would be an interesting concept, though - the firing pin is one of the most delicate parts of a firearm. Poeple are always worried about cracking it dry-firing, etc. If they were made cheaply and in a standard form, the cost of firearms would probably drop some, increasing the popularity of shooting sports and shooter education.
Oh, and lest I forget - welcome to the .5b!
roleohibachi, Mar 07 2006
  

       This idea is certainly halfbaked and I like it for that.   

       However, wouldn't the ammo be more likely to go off half-cocked? Perhaps every bullet in the gun would fire due to the jolt of firing the first one, or if you dropped the box, the gun fell on the floor or similar.
Loris, Mar 07 2006
  

       "Metal Storm" uses electronic firing. It enables extremely rapid fire - a bullet can be fired _before_ the previous bullet leaves the barrel. The rate of fire is so great that it can saw through armour plating. Apparently produces a continuous thrust rather than a distinct series of recoils - that's how rapid it is. They can be made from hangun to helecopter-gunship size. Oh my God, I *so* want one of these guns. They are ideal for mounting on robots and... um, that is, I am against all forms of violence, and I am not nor have I ever been a Scientologist.
spidermother, Mar 07 2006
  

       i'm mainly talking about the rapid firing of pistols, roleohibachi. (so, yeah. it's really all about getting that easy, quick, and (therefore) more accurate single-action type of pull, without the cocking of the hammer by your thumb or 'fanning' it like a cowboy)   

       //However, wouldn't the ammo be more likely to go off half-cocked?//   

       yah, that aspect of safety would definately be an issue, however, keep in mind, many people carry their semi-autos 'cocked and locked' with a mechanical safety and the trigger itself holding back the firing pin. multiple firing pins in the gun would undoubtedly increase the likelyhood of one of them going off if the gun was subjected to a sudden shock or otherwise.   

       i'm kinda glad to see someone's thought of the electronic firing idea. that seemed to be kinda obvious.   

       so maybe i should narrow this down then to the idea of having these firing pins as an aspect of the revolver (not part of the ammo) and allow them to be all cocked at once via some lever or otherwise (or by one <i>very</i> hard trigger pull) then it would be safe to carry, (although it would be slightly complicated to rapidly bring it into readiness when compared to a semi-auto that's carried 'cocked and locked')   

       mark for deletion?
gizmosteve, Mar 07 2006
  

       Nah, don't delete it. This is a pretty cool idea.
MikeOxbig, Mar 08 2006
  

       Feel free to delete it if you think it should be deleted Steve. But the voting seems to suggest otherwise.
hidden truths, Mar 08 2006
  

       I'm glad you thought more about the location and pre-cocked status of the pins. The version with the firing pin factory-mated to the ammo sounds like you could fire it with a straightened paper clip. Probably the ideal ammo for disguised pen or keyring guns. Also good for homemade guns.   

       The innovative part of the metal storm concept is that several projectiles are stored sequentially in the barrel, separated by charges. When the charge behind the frontmost projectile is fired, the next one locks into the barrel due to its shape and withstands the thrust.
spidermother, Mar 08 2006
  

       i just had another idea. if you used an autoloader with these, (a new one without a firing pin, of course.) then it would help with noise supression. when using pistol ammo, especially lower than the 40 caliber stuff, the sound of the action can be louder than the bang from the expanding gasses. with the firing pin all sealed up and possibly weaker, there would be less noise in this department, too. the loudest thing could probably be the casings hitting the ground.
gizmosteve, Mar 11 2006
  

       The safety aspect would ground this idea as noted above.   

       Electronic ignition was made many years ago. FIrst in the PSG-1 sniper rifle as far as I know.
FunkyMunky, Mar 12 2006
  

       A revolver with a separate striker for each round could be an interesting idea. Frankly, I think the semiautomatic revolver is a cooler one, though there must be some problem with them since few were made. This idea is somewhat similar to the triple-spring derringer I suggested.
supercat, Mar 12 2006
  

       interesting idea...just don't drop a box of that stuff
saprolite, Mar 02 2009
  

       If you make ammo that can be fired by applying less mechanical energy than usual, why not just do that? The way you describe is needlessly Rube-Goldberg - just make the fulminate fire with mechanical interaction on the level you envision.
loonquawl, Apr 27 2009
  

       Metal Storm - are the last rounds in the barrel more accurate than the first, as they have a longer barrel? Or does the progressive recoil negate this effect?
coprocephalous, Apr 27 2009
  
      
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