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Thread: Opinions please on Wiselite Sterling carbine firing pins

  1. #41
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    A weak recoil spring can do it. It has to overcome the firing pin drive spring when the bolt is closed with the striker being held by the sear.

    It could also be the firing drive spring it too long and is getting fully compressed. You could try the one from your type 2 and see if it's better.

  2. #42
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    I know this is a old post but I am bringing it back up as of 2020 because I just got a used sterling sporter model 1 and have a question about firing pins.

    Question: Has anybody had a fire pin break after they replaced the original firing pin that came with the gun?

    Background: Just bought a used sterling sporter - had the original rough firing pin. Followed the above suggestions and went to the range. Gun fired 70 shots without issue. Took it home and dry fired it a few times and the firing pin broke. So the above suggestions are not a guaranteed fix. I have ordered 2 stainless steel pins from Firingpins.com and one from wise lite arms. Both are on there way... in the mail.

    Dry firing a gun should not be a issue with a proper firing pin and proper firing pin channel. I think perhaps that not only are the original firing pins rough/marred but they may not be tempered correctly either. I hope the issue is with the original firing pin and not the firing pin channel in the bolt (which is in the rough as well). I do not want another lemon gun. Yes, (Original Poster) I owned a kel-tec 2000. Worse gun I ever had. Cheaply made and nothing but issues. Bad support from Kel-tek. I finally broke it and threw it away.

    I called the current owner of wise lite arms - he was very helpful. Even gave me a free part I was missing on my sterling.. besides the firing pin I ordered. Nice Guy. (He has sterling parts not advertised - if you are looking). Keep in mind that sterling parts are hard to come by now - and if you have to order outside of the united states - you will need a FFL and a form 6 to get the parts.

    Just would like some feed-back from anyone who has replaced their original firing pin..... and if it broke again.

    Nice gun - I just don't need a wall hanger - I need a reliable gun.

    And P.S. I will try and remember to give a update on if the firing pin breaks again after replacement.
    Last edited by Edward; 08-04-2020 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Spelling

  3. #43
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    There was a batch of firing pins that were not properly heat treated. They would go 500, 600 +/- rounds and the tip would snap off.

    This is the first time I’ve heard of a firing pin snapping while dry firing. Maybe just it’s time to go.

    A few of the firing pin channels in the WLA bolts were not drilled perfectly on center. They will snap any pin after a while.

    Last time I checked there were six different sizes of aftermarket firing pins. You can use a full drill bit set to gauge the channel. The thickest pin that will move freely will last the longest.

    If you really need a very reliable gun, this might not be the one for you. It was made with a lot of parts that were over seventy years old before they were modified, sometimes crudely, in a small boutique gun shop. It’s a fun gun for an enthusiast to play with that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Think of it like an old British sports car that was cobbled together with parts from junkyards. Fun to drive on nice sunny day. Not a reliable daily driver.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    There was a batch of firing pins that were not properly heat treated. They would go 500, 600 +/- rounds and the tip would snap off.

    This is the first time I’ve heard of a firing pin snapping while dry firing. Maybe just it’s time to go.

    A few of the firing pin channels in the WLA bolts were not drilled perfectly on center. They will snap any pin after a while.

    Last time I checked there were six different sizes of aftermarket firing pins. You can use a full drill bit set to gauge the channel. The thickest pin that will move freely will last the longest.

    If you really need a very reliable gun, this might not be the one for you. It was made with a lot of parts that were over seventy years old before they were modified, sometimes crudely, in a small boutique gun shop. It’s a fun gun for an enthusiast to play with that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Think of it like an old British sports car that was cobbled together with parts from junkyards. Fun to drive on nice sunny day. Not a reliable daily driver.
    Thank you so much for your feedback. I am not impressed with the way the firing pin channel was drilled out... However it looks strait. As I said, I have 3 firing pins on the way. And yes, I am going to try and break them (at least one of them). As far as the original parts being old - I am not worried about that. The issue is the cruddy conversion technique used. Way to many trash companies making firearms and I have unfortunately been a victim - to many times (You think I would learn). This will be the last used Gun I will every buy (I have bought 4 used firearms - all advertised as 100 percent working. 3 of them were not)

    We will see if the new firing pin breaks after I dry fire it 600 times and then take it to the range.

    I will post the results if I can remember. Maybe this info can help someone in the future.

    UPDATE: Looks like I had the firing pin spring in backwards (Did I do this or did I purchase the gun this way?). This in effect means no firing pin spring at all. This may very well have contributed to why the firing pin broke (beside it being a original low quality firing pin).
    Last edited by Edward; 08-04-2020 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Update

  5. #45
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    Well, the news is not good. Installed new firing pin from firingpins.com and at almost 600 dry fires the pin broke ( a well built centerfire rifle should be able withstand thousands of dry fires) . These wise lites are no good and unreliable. Do not want to have to buy a firing pin every 600 rounds or so. If you are thinking about buying a sterling wise lite - Don't. Save your hard earned money for something better. If you are already a owner of one of these - please do not sell your gun to someone else - knowing it may have issues.

    If you insist on dry firing your sterling wise lite - better think about a snap cap. The so called, " Center fire rifles will not break the firing pin " - is not true... on this gun
    Last edited by Edward; 08-07-2020 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Additional info

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    The so called, " Center fire rifles will not break the firing pin " - is not true... on this gun
    Not sure the statement regarding "modern center fire rifles not damaging the pin" is applicable to your situation. The statement references that the tip of the a center fire pin does not hit anything if dry fired, whereas a rimfire pin will impact the hard steel breechface (instead of a softer brass round) and incur damage resulting in misfires.



    Do you encounter any point of resistance when just pushing the firing pin forward in the channel manually?

    Did you tap or file the tang roll pin down flush when putting it on the new firing pin?

    Was the bolt and firing pin channel cleaned and lubed? Did you attempt any polishing/smoothing the roughness in the channel? (Traveler discusses doing this above in the thread).

    ***Curious if a "small firing pin return spring" is being utilized? (It is the small spring as seen on the firing pin at the start of this thread, and you might need to take close look up into the firing pin channel bore to confirm if present or not). Not uncommon for these to go lost, or owners intentionally removing them as they were not part of the original Sterling MK6 design. If not present, I wonder if possible the leading face of the tang is traveling forward enough and impacting on the bolt with enough force to cause pins to shear? This should be easy enough to asses. Its possible snap caps could help in this situation when dry firing, though better solution may be to replace the spring if missing.

    Photos including the 2 broken pins, the tang, and your bolt's pin channel may be useful.
    Last edited by OldBesty; 08-08-2020 at 11:53 AM. Reason: added clarification

  7. #47
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    Firing pin return spring was installed and correctly. Firing pin channel was cleaned and some polishing was done. Very lightly lubed firing pin.

    I am most likely the first person to openly reported they dried fired their sterling so many times. Yes, many people would consider this excessive - but it was a test to simply see if the pin would hold up. This is a center fire gun with a center fire pin. How many times have I personally dry fired center fire firearms in practice - 100's if not thousands of times over the years. This is the first time I have seen a fire pin break on the many guns I have owned over the years. These wise lites have a known history of fire pin issues - which is why I went for a dry fire test.

    The last fire pin I installed did not show any evidence of getting hung up on anything. That was one of the first things I checked. It was clearing the bolt whole just fine.

    Both firing pins have broken at the base and not the very tip. This would seem to indicate that stress is at the bottom of the firing pin tip. My guess is that the firing pin whole in the bolt does not have the same angled funnel shape as the firing pin. This would result in firing pin hitting the inside bolt face without proper support - resulting in all the stress going on the firing pin base when dry firing.

    I have ordered B's Dry fire caps. I will be using these from now on.. If I dry fire the gun at all.

    Its to bad that I can not consider the gun to be reliable. I do not like owning any fire arm that has a reliability issue - and I will not pawn this gun off on someone else just to get my money back. At this point I have relegated it to a emergency firearm only to be used when there is nothing else.

    While I could perform the same dry fire test with a B's dry fire cap (may at some point) and or go out and shoot 600 to 700 9mm round through it (9mm at this time is in short supply and expensive) I will not do so at this time. Just do not want to spend any more $$$ at this time.

    Anyways, thanks for the reply

  8. #48
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    More info:

    I just got the new firing pin from Wise Lite. This firing pins looks much better as far as dimensions are concerned. Not only does it appear to be slightly thicker - but more important - it does not have such a pronounced cone on it - like the Firepins.com version. This means the stress from dry firing would be more evenly distributed. My advice is - only order replacement pins from wise lite and always use quality snap caps.
    Last edited by Edward; 08-08-2020 at 08:29 PM.

  9. #49
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    I'm sorry to hear that you've had so much trouble with your Sterling. Don't lose faith, they are really great carbines!

    I do Sterling bolt and trigger pack conversions from customer supplied original Mk4 parts. I also manufacture replacement striker assemblies, semi auto spring kits, denial bar sets and rear barrel supports.

    If your bolt continues to give you problems, I would be happy to take a look at it and help to restore your faith in this great weapon!

    If anyone is in need of Sterling build parts, replacement parts for an existing semi auto carbine or pistol, or if you have technical questions not answered in the video below, again I am happy to help!

    - John

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FruAaSo2RRc

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ghnr6n9low
    Last edited by Freedommachine; 09-03-2020 at 11:46 PM.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    I know this is a old post but I am bringing it back up as of 2020 because I just got a used sterling sporter model 1 and have a question about firing pins.

    Question: Has anybody had a fire pin break after they replaced the original firing pin that came with the gun?

    Background: Just bought a used sterling sporter - had the original rough firing pin. Followed the above suggestions and went to the range. Gun fired 70 shots without issue. Took it home and dry fired it a few times and the firing pin broke. So the above suggestions are not a guaranteed fix. I have ordered 2 stainless steel pins from Firingpins.com and one from wise lite arms. Both are on there way... in the mail.

    Dry firing a gun should not be a issue with a proper firing pin and proper firing pin channel. I think perhaps that not only are the original firing pins rough/marred but they may not be tempered correctly either. I hope the issue is with the original firing pin and not the firing pin channel in the bolt (which is in the rough as well). I do not want another lemon gun. Yes, (Original Poster) I owned a kel-tec 2000. Worse gun I ever had. Cheaply made and nothing but issues. Bad support from Kel-tek. I finally broke it and threw it away.

    I called the current owner of wise lite arms - he was very helpful. Even gave me a free part I was missing on my sterling.. besides the firing pin I ordered. Nice Guy. (He has sterling parts not advertised - if you are looking). Keep in mind that sterling parts are hard to come by now - and if you have to order outside of the united states - you will need a FFL and a form 6 to get the parts.

    Just would like some feed-back from anyone who has replaced their original firing pin..... and if it broke again.

    Nice gun - I just don't need a wall hanger - I need a reliable gun.

    And P.S. I will try and remember to give a update on if the firing pin breaks again after replacement.
    1) How do I contact the current owner;
    2) Dry Firing is not good for any Firing Pin, always use Snap Caps

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