firing pin


: the pin that strikes the cartridge primer in the breech mechanism of a firearm

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the most basic sense, guns work like this: a bullet is loaded into the rear of the barrel, which is a tube connected to the firing pin. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 15 Apr. 2023 In February, Greenberg announced that Louisville police would remove firing pins from guns and add labels warning that the weapons may have been used in a homicide before sending them to Kentucky State Police. Kyle Melnick, Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2023 Review: Don’t look for a meaningful portrayal of Black life in messy, derivative drama ‘On the Come Up’ Sept. 22, 2022 The police report states that the Smith & Wesson revolver was loaded with four rounds of Hornady .38 special ammo — none under the firing pin. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2023 Some of these markings are from a gun’s firing pin, which is forced into the back of a casing when a gun is fired; markings that form when intense pressure is exerted in the gun’s chamber; and extractor markings left when a shell casing is ejected from the weapon. Annie Sweeney,, 21 Sep. 2021 Police allegedly found a revolver loaded with four rounds of ammunition, but the firing pin was empty, per WTHR. Charmaine Patterson, Peoplemag, 8 Mar. 2023 The gun was loaded with four rounds of Hornady .38 Special ammo, but none was under the firing pin, the report said. Cheryl V. Jackson, USA TODAY, 8 Mar. 2023 Review:Mike Epps' raucous Indy comedy night probes Oscar slaps, potholes, R. Kelly and more The gun was loaded with four rounds of Hornady .38 Special ammo, but none was under the firing pin, the report said. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Mar. 2023 As the name of the book suggests, in the chamber of the firearm is one real bullet, and that one may now be under the firing pin. Anne Stevenson-yang, Forbes, 25 Sep. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'firing pin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of firing pin was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near firing pin

Cite this Entry

“Firing pin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

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