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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if I'm losing it here. Possibly the stress of tearing down my great-uncle's Winchester '94, cleaning out crud that may have been there since he bought it shortly after his return from the Spanish-American War and getting it back together with no parts left over has unhinged me. Whatever the cause, either I'm having vivid hallucinations or the firing pin of my Ruger Mk II 22/45 has become strongly magnetized.

I noticed this tonight when I was putting the bolt back together after tearing it all the way down for a thorough cleaning. I was wearing latex gloves, and I thought I was just being more than usually banana-fingered when I tried to slip the flat pin back into its groove. I checked, though, and the pin is definitely attracted to the steel bolt.

Has anyone else out there run across this? I know that one of the early ways to magnetize iron was to hammer it repeatedly while holding it in a constant north-south direction. Most of my shooting with this pistol is at a range where I'm aiming due north. Could this be the answer? I generally use a small magnetic parts dish to hold small loose parts while the gun is apart. Could that be enough for the firing pin to become magnetized? Any electrical engineers out there willing to hazard a guess? Let me know.
 

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The iron in my blood became magnetized once from sleeping N-S! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I knew I should have started this off as a sea story. You all know the difference between a sea story and a fairy tale, right? A fairy tale starts out "Once upon a time..." and a sea story starts with "No s***,..." I hope you guys haven't quit your day jobs yet. At any rate, I may have found the cause. I'd forgotten that I'd been playing with a collection of small rare-earth magnets as a way of holding the lids shut on some fancy Al Freeland-style ammo boxes I'm making and some of them got loose on the workbench. Trust me, anything made of iron or steel those little suckers get next to will become magnetized.
By the way, if you want to glue those little beasts to something, cross J-B Weld off your list. It turns out that what makes it so strong, and what makes the one component so black, is actually powdered steel. If you try to stick a high-strength magnet to something with it, the J-B weld will crawl into a nice globe surrounding the magnet before it sets. Don't ask how I know that.
I shared my aggravation with a gunsmith buddy who's a bit smarter than I am. His response was, "...and now you know how to suck J-B weld into a small crack or hole, if the piece is s thin enough and you can get a magnet behind it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good advice

Thanks; they'd both probably work pretty well. The JB Weld was just one of those "D'oh!" moments, of which I've had my share in the shop over the years. I suspect that Brownell's SteelBed, which uses powdered stainless steel, wouldn't have the same problem if you really needed to embed magnets in something that was super-strong and machinable. My buddy's idea of using the magnets to suck JB Weld into small cracks and voids struck me as a stroke of genius. I don't know about you, but trying to fill such has always been an exercise in frustration for me, as the epoxy always sticks best to whatever improvised tool I'm trying to tamp it into the hole with, and I always seem to find bubbles and small voids left when the stuff sets up.
 

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Brownells used to sell powdered aluminum you could add to AcraGlas. Haven't checked lately if they still sell it. If so, that might work to stick down magnets.
 

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I'm not sure if I'm losing it here. Possibly the stress of tearing down my great-uncle's Winchester '94, cleaning out crud that may have been there since he bought it shortly after his return from the Spanish-American War and getting it back together with no parts left over has unhinged me. Whatever the cause, either I'm having vivid hallucinations or the firing pin of my Ruger Mk II 22/45 has become strongly magnetized.

I noticed this tonight when I was putting the bolt back together after tearing it all the way down for a thorough cleaning. I was wearing latex gloves, and I thought I was just being more than usually banana-fingered when I tried to slip the flat pin back into its groove. I checked, though, and the pin is definitely attracted to the steel bolt.

Has anyone else out there run across this? I know that one of the early ways to magnetize iron was to hammer it repeatedly while holding it in a constant north-south direction. Most of my shooting with this pistol is at a range where I'm aiming due north. Could this be the answer? I generally use a small magnetic parts dish to hold small loose parts while the gun is apart. Could that be enough for the firing pin to become magnetized? Any electrical engineers out there willing to hazard a guess? Let me know.

James,
The way to magnetize a piece of iron is to Stroke repeatedly in the same direction with a magnet, not hammer it.
Jim
 
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