firing pin

noun Ordnance.
a plunger in the firing mechanism of a firearm or cannon that strikes the cartridge primer, igniting the propelling charge.

Origin:
1870–75

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World English Dictionary
firing pin
 
n
the part of the firing mechanism of a firearm that ignites the charge by striking the primer

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
In one prototype, the gun will not unlock its firing pin unless the owner is
  wearing a special magnetic ring.
The gun had a defective firing pin that left an unmistakable mark on the rim of
  each shell.
If a firing pin is replaced, redundant markings would transfer the markings to
  the cartridge.
It was similar in concept to needle-fire but did not require the long and
  easily damaged firing pin.
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