Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Kudos To Henry Repeating Arms
While out shooting last week, the Wifenator's Henry Golden Boy (17HMR) experienced a failure to fire. We attempted to shoot an entire magazine worth of 17HMR through it without success - no primer strikes. I put the gun away to be inspected/repaired after the trip.
A week later, I found some time to get the gun torn down and inspected. Ever so carefully, I lifted the mirror-polished brass receiver cover away from the gun to reveal the bolt carrier, hammer, main spring, trigger assembly, and lever.
It didn't take me long to find the culprit. The firing pin broke near the tip. It could have been anything. It could have been a dry fire, overcharged round, crud causing a catastrophic interference fit - really it could have just been worn out. As an aside, this gun gets a lot of use on our shooting trips; it is my wife's favorite gun to shoot, and it has become one of my favorites as well. Side note: We don't intentionally dry fire this gun, but it does happen occasionally.
I was able to get the firing pin off the bolt carrier. I inspected the breech face, but saw nothing. Either the firing pin doesn't contact the breech face (non interference), or the firing pin punches out in the gaping hole designated for the cartridge. Either way, it does not appear the dry firing was the cause. I do, however, recall that the last shot she firing from it (before realizing it broke) seemed a little overcharged.
After a thorough cleaning and inspection of the rest of the firearm (to make sure the tip o the pin wasn't hiding somewhere inside the guts), I bagged up the bolt carrier and associated parts of the firing pin group.
I called Henry Repeating Arms this morning and spoke to a very nice woman on the other end. I told her the circumstances and asked how I would go about purchasing a new firing pin, firing pin retaining pin, and firing pin spring. She asked for some personal information (phone number, name, address) and said that they would be shipped out later today. I asked her if I needed to provide her with a credit card number, and she said that the part that broke is part of their limited lifetime warranty.
I asked her about dry firing, and she stated that occasional DF should not hurt the gun, but excessive DF will. Well, I can count on maybe two hands how many times that gun has experienced a DF in the thousands of rounds we have put down range, so I'm left to conclude it was fatigue, faulty materials, etc. She agreed and said she was sending me two firing pins, so I will have a spare. <----- Awesome!!!
Either way, Henry rifles are great guns. They are beautiful, fun to shoot, made in the good ole USA and customer service is top notch! I definitely have another Henry on my list of guns to buy and US companies to support - again!