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What if they made a "double-firing-pin"?


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It seems to me that one of the biggest design flaws in the .22 rimfire cartridge is the PRIMING material not being fully distributed around the circumference of the rim, causing frequent misfires. What if someone designed a "fork-like" firing pin that was single on the hammer end, but DOUBLE on the striking end? That would enable the rim to be stuck in TWO opposing places AT THE SAME TIME. Wouldn't that reduce the frequency of misfires by nearly 100 percent? Like hitting each primer TWICE with each shot? Looks like a small design change in most bolt assemblies could make this possible. How many times have we extracted a misfired cartridge, only to rotate it a few degrees, re-insert it, and BANG! A double firing pin would fix that........RIGHT? Did I just come up with a f...ing brilliant idea or WHAT?!

P.S.    If the pins are close to 180 degrees apart, the ignition would be more complete also, reducing unburned powder, and the "BANG-BANG-BANG-pop-BANG-BANG-pop" syndrome! I just came up with the idea. Now somebody needs to design and build it......and make me RICH!

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It seems to me that cheap unreliable .22 rimfire ammo is becoming more common these days. At one time this concern was less of a problem so no need for such a redesign, but with the crappy ammo proliferating today maybe a fix like this could be a viable option.

I'd suggest though that everyone just purchase quality ammo which doesn't appear to suffer these failings.

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The double strike firing pin has (unfortunately for you) been around for awhile.  Many .22LR SMG's over the years have incorporated a version by having twin fixed firing pins precisely for the reasons you described, enhanced reliability of ignition.

And you are correct in assuming that if one area of a .22 rim lacks enough priming compound to detonate, the other side is probably fine...something I suspect most .22 shooters have discovered over the years by taking misfired rounds out and reinserting them to the pin strikes a different location on the rim - BANG, so clearly a double pin system would indeed double the probability of ignition and the incidence of misfire with the .22LR would cease to be a topic of such hot debate.

The simplest reason .22's don't normally have twin pins is...well, simplicity - and manufacturing cost.  Since the average consumer (and unfortunately the average manufacturer) views the .22LR as a recreational cartridge, little interest has been displayed in addressing those aspects of the cartridge design, or "system" design that would lead to .22LR ammunition on par with modern center-fire ammo for ignition reliability.  There is also consumer resistance and rejection...for example:  one major way to improve the .22LR would be to make it like the .22 Magnum with the case larger in diameter than the bullet, and have the bullet properly seated IN the case rather than "crimped on" - a design that goes all the way back to the very first .41, .38, and .44 rimfire conversions in post-Civil War cap-and ball revolvers.

Placing the bullet inside the case would result in greater cartridge integrity and less propensity to be damaged by mechanical handling in feed systems.  Such a change in case-to-bullet would mean the classic .22LR as it has existed since 1857 would be at an end, which would of course impact the cost of all "modern" ammo just as it has with newer designs such as the .22 Magnum and .17 caliber series.

Double firing pins would improve reliable ignition, but this would add to the cost of ever-more-expensive firearms, yet I suspect better QC during manufacturing would effectively eliminate misfires.  Bear in mind  that if the average consumer "expects" his ammo to fail, there is little incentive for the maker to work diligently to improve the product.

Also, what proper, double-blind studies have been done to validate the current state of .22LR reliability?  In the modern age of anyone with a computer and a gun becoming an "expert" and making sweeping - if erroneous proclamations based on a minimal experience with a limited sample size, and this of course does nothing to help matters.  For every HONEST review there are many dishonest versions put up by individuals with a particular agenda and personal bias.  Say some goob doesn't think we should buy imported ammo....he will consistently blast Aguila ammo, while heaping sweeping praises on say, CCI.  If ONE reviewer claims a particular round failed excessively (his perception) in a certain brand gun, yet another shoots the same ammo in the same brand gun with 100% reliablity, CLEARY there is a problem with authenticity.  I see a great many "reviewers" who see themselves as upholding some "standard" by blasting one brand while supporting another, and whether they actually USED the blasted brand is irrelevant - to them.  We see this in the modern world of auto reviews...people will deliver a "review" of a brand new model they have NEVER driven simply to get in their kicks so to speak!


Then comes "reviewer bias expectation," or the tendency for people to support the claims of those they perceive as having greater knowledge or standing as part of the normal human desire to "belong" to a unique group.  These people, upon seeing a negative - or positive review by "an expert" will be drawn to tailor their own experience in accordance so as to be seen as "in the know" just like the presumed expert.

The problem is, when it comes to firearms and ballistics, most arm-chair experts, aren't, and TREMENDOUS bias exists due to the entirely unscientific manner of reporting going on in the world today...and I didn't even mention PROFESSIONAL bias such as that exhibited by so-called "icons" of firearms lore who glom on to an idea, however archaic, and use their perceived standing in the shooting world to push and push the notion to the point where it becomes "reality."  I am reminded of one such iconic "expert" who, a few decades back proposed the notion of some ridiculously outdated, bolt-action short rifle, chambered for what HE considered the only VALID cartridge, to be a "Scout Sniper" rifle....damned if it didn't start showing up in the real world...didn't matter that for the intended performance envelope a modern semi-auto, utilizing a much smaller (but less manly) cartridge could hit as well at ANY range, and do so faster, longer, with less shooter fatigue....by God the GURU had spoken.

Same notion goes for the .45 ACP....40 years ago MOST of the world realized the .45 ACP was pretty lame....big, slow, round bullet traveling SLOW.  Back then Magnum revolvers were the heady, elixir of the "in-the-know" self-identified "shootist."  Then came the "first explosion" in firearms information technology...the proliferation of magazines and other publications devoted to the subject.  That also began the careers of the "icons," who of course brought their BIAS to the subject which was taken as "gospel" by most.  Regardless of facts - regardless of actual shootings, many factors induced the shift from the revolver to the semi-auto for police use and self-defense....not the least being a perfectly valid engineering, and ballistic reason to toss the double-action revolver, however THIS was not the reason put forward, nor is it the reason in common knowledge today...it was all about the "mythology of stopping power" which is just that - mythology.  A hit to the central nervous system with a .22LR, or even a pellet will drop a 300 pound, drug-crazed man just as fast as will a hit from a .460 Weatherby Magnum.  A hit NEAR the central nervous system has the same chance of absolutely meaninglessness to the person shot, regardless of whether it be from a .30'06 or .22LR, yet shooting mythology simply cannot accept this level of uncertainty.

The FBI, probably one of the most highly recognized police agencies when it comes to SCIENTIFIC approach, doffed the 9mm for the "10mm" after a shootout in which the FBI guys, employing ZERO tactics, but fully in belief of their own superiority, attempted to apprehend two bank robbers...the problem was, one of the bank robbers had a Mini-14 rifle.  In the resulting shoot-out, all the FBI guys were severely wounded and two killed.  The single bank robber with the Mini-14 took no less than 14 hits without going down, during which time he delivered withering rifle fire...mind you the FBI guys were employing exotic tactics like trying to "charge him" while holding a ballistic vest in front....a vest meant to be worn, but not, yet then foolishly thought to be used as an on-the-fly shield.  A vest NEVER made to be "proof against rifle fire," yet the person holding clearly lacked any grasp of that fact.

AFTER the shootout, the FBI saved the 10mm from the scrap-bin of history by adopting it as their new standard...but not the REAL 10mm, the "attenuated" 10mm which was really the ballistic equivalent of the....45 ACP!  So they dumped the "ballistically inferior" 9mm which, by the way has virtually equal kinetic energy to the ..45 ACP and replaced it with the 10mm "light" which became the basis of the immediately introduced .40 S&W with .45 ACP ballistics.  So today we end up with three primary auto pistol cartridges that in terms of actual WOUND ballistics are indistinquishable, and in terms of actual field shooting - identical, YET let that not be the end of it because too many people are making money from promoting one or the other.

I'd be interested to know just how many "gun experts" have actually seen handgun wounds in both an ER and surgery.  I'd be interested to know how many "gun experts" have SEEN people hit by .45's WALK into the hospital little worse for the experience, versus the number hit by .22LR's fired from home-made "zip guns" carried in by Ambulance.  Unfortunately there is a great deal of "lore" surrounding particular calibers with little....LITTLE scientific support.

All this tangential filler serves to explain why the .22LR will never be "improved" from the standpoint of science, nor would such an improvement guarantee commercial success from the stand point of consumers - ESPECIALLY "gun people?"

My OWN experience working in trauma for 30 years caused me to realize I could carry a flipping .22 mini-revolver and be just as well-prepared for a street encounter as if I were packing my 1911....and, like MOST I at some level of thought within my "reptilian brain" I simply cannot escape the notion that the bigger caliber is better despite career experience that so clearly indicates otherwise.  During the Reagan attempted assassination, four people were hit by .22 rounds fired from a SHORT barrel....all four went down and not ONE jumped back up and "laughed it off" with a lot of stupid posturing about how anemic the .22LR is, yet THAT video "evidence" of the efficacy of the .22LR fired from a snub-nose revolver is patently ignored by crowd that simply cannot "believe."

It's kind of like the "faked" moon landings....the LRO specifically photographed the landing sites complete with highly visible HUMAN tracks, yet the "conspiracy" that we never landed on the moon still abounds and NOBODY can interdict it because to those who ascribe to it, any EVIDENCE to support the landing is fake, and any notion to discredit it is taken as fact.  The same people believe there is a "face on mars" looking our way, but PHOTOGRAPHS of the lunar lander sitting there on the moon are FAKE...same mentality in the "gun world."

The .22LR is an ideal "social cartridge" quite because it is cheap, low recoil, and will solve just as many of life's problems as will a 9mm or .45 ACP - but where is the FUN in that reality?

My hope is that with the recent proliferation of .22LR "tactical" weapons, the ammo makers AND the weapons designers will end up in a defacto competition to force the improvement of both the cartridge and the guns that fire it from a profit motive aspect.  The emergence of the "goober consumer" who can jump online and post ANY sort of outrageous claim on ANY forum can in fact serve to enhance product improvement as gun and ammo makers scramble to not see their name posted "in the negative" too often....we shall see.

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Certainly, most of us, through trial and error, have learned that some brands of .22 ammo have more misfires in our own guns than other brands. As "tactical .22" shooters, we tend to shoot more rounds than, say, a bolt action rifle shooter and run into more misfires simply because we shoot up more ammo. So, we may be a little different than most consumers of .22 ammo.  Although, I do admit that I have followed the recommendations of commentators that I had no reason to believe.  It is good advice to research the person who is writing the review or comment on the internet or in the magazine.

In the end, however, competition will soon cause the ammo that suffers a higher percentage of misfires either to better the quality or go out of the .22 bulk ammo business. (Listening Remington?).  While that may solve the misfire problems with the .22, I think that if a manufacturer can recover the additional cost of a double firing pin in a .22 by charging a premium price, we will also see that happen. Perhaps the additional cost of a double firing pin system, in this day of cheap manufacturing, will end up not being much at all.

When I was shooting skeet, most of the guys who shot a lot used over/under shotguns that cost thousands of dollars. They would use those over/unders to shoot .410 through 20 ga. Then, to shoot 12 ga., they would use a Remington 1100, which was cheap by comparison. Yet, they would not use the 1100 to shoot the other gauges. It was all in the perception of the user. Some of us, (including me), thought that the paper Federal Shotshells had less recoil than the plastic hull shells.  Sounds silly now, but still, there was just something about those paper hulls.

If a double firing pin .22 led us to believe that misfires would be greatly reduced, and thus our accuracy would improve because we would not be flinching as a result of waiting for that inevitable misfire, probably most of us would be willing to shell out $50 or $100 extra.  Isn't S&W going to sell the GSG 1911 .22 for more than you can buy it with the GSG name on it?  Give the buyer something new and as long as it does not blow up in his or her face, it will sell like hotcakes.  ... Now, if they would only come out with a paper cased .22, what a difference that would make!

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I agree...IF the .22LR consumer BELIEVED the ammunition should be as close to 100% reliable as is center fire ammo, the ammo manufacturers would produce a better round.

Let NO ONE believe the .22LR is more "complicated" to produce than the modern internal combustion engine, yet, thanks to consumer demand, combined with government mandate (EPA), the modern internal combustion engine, and the automobiles around it, have become amazingly reliable with a "failure rate" that is probably best calculated in fractions of a percent.  Having said THAT, there is still a large number of people who actually believe they "built 'em better" back in 1968....with absolutely no regard for facts.

I too have shot a bit of Trap in my time, and like your experience, most "serious" trap shooters believe they simply MUST have an over/under, and anything "less" is....well, LESS.

Some years back I could consistently hit 23/25 on the Trap range with a Ducks Unlimited Remington 870 with long barrel and double bead.  My friend (who's gun I was using), himself used a Browning Citori with special barrels and sights for TRAP shooting.  He shot about the same as I.  Simply put, the Remington is considered inferior to ANYTHING with an exotic label being used on the trap field.  The Browning is considered inferior to high-dollar Perazzi's and such...and THIS drives consumer demand far more so than any ACTUAL numbers.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, Elmer Keith had it all figured out pretty well, and he certainly "fathered" several of the impressive rounds we have today, which of course are the foundation of many more developed from his work.

However, what Elmer Keith and others have never truly visited is just how much "kinetic energy" it takes for a given bullet to deliver a lethal wound.  Anecdotally we know the .22 short, fired from a 1" barrel at point blank range CAN, and HAS killed people.  We also know the .25ACP, for all it's negative press, can easily deliver a "kill shot" when fired from a short barreled automatic.

I must point out that the average "modern, western civilization" human male weighs in over 200 lb. which is comparable to Deer size.  We routinely hunt Deer with high-powered rifles, despite the "human evidence" that even the tiny .22LR will easily cancel a Deer's ticket.  Each year a whole lotta people are "sent to meet Jesus" by the .22LR, yet the myth persists that something massive and huge is needed to drop humans.  The sad FACT is the .22LR has a BETTER chance of delivering a central nervous system "kill shot" than the 9mm, .40 S&W, or the .45 ACP!  Whereas the larger bullets MUST rely on shattering bone to deliver injury to the spinal cord or brain stem, the .22LR seems to find a way to "slither in" and cancel out perpheral nerve impulses quite readily.

Those who read my posts are probably tired of hearing (reading) this, but the fact is, I've seen countless humans come into ER or the ICU, with .22LR wounds that are lethal, or paralytic.  I've seen MORE humans come in hit by the various "large bore" rounds who WALKED in, with little physical impairment.

Anyway I must remember to NOT go on a rant....

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