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  #1  
Old 08-02-2015, 03:31 PM
pkallen7@cox.net pkallen7@cox.net is offline
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Cool .015 solved Governor light primer strikes issue

When test firing the new Governor, intermittent light primer strikes occurred when using 410 shotgun ammo. It was not brand specific but Remington was the least reliable. Had a long discussion with S&W home office and they said Federal ammo would be their first choice. The second issue was reducing the trigger pull from 10-12lbs to 8 or 71/2lbs. 45 LC and ACP would fire most of the time, but 410 would fail 95% of the time. S&W didn't have extended length firing pins, nor did they recommend any changes and stated that theirs was fully reliable at the 10-12lbs trigger weight. Now enters Cylinder & Slide who sells extended firing pins for the newer S&W revolvers. C&S is .015 longer than the factory and provided 100% reliability using all 3 calibers in my Governor. WARNING, dummy rounds or dry fire caps must be used during dry firing drills with the new extended length firing pin installed.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:36 PM
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I have never heard of using longer firing pins in S&W. Most of the time when I see light primer strikes in a revolver its due to someone backing off the strain screw to lighten the trigger pull.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:54 AM
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I have never heard of using longer firing pins in S&W. Most of the time when I see light primer strikes in a revolver its due to someone backing off the strain screw to lighten the trigger pull.
Bought my pre-Victory CHEAP ($125 OTD) because of that.
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:21 PM
pkallen7@cox.net pkallen7@cox.net is offline
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I have never heard of using longer firing pins in S&W. Most of the time when I see light primer strikes in a revolver its due to someone backing off the strain screw to lighten the trigger pull.
I agree, but after returning the strain screw to factory setting, still had light primer strikes. Not all 410 primers are seated to the same depth, hence, light primer strikes with factory firing pin. They manufacture extended firing pin for newer S&W after 1986 for a reason Tks Pre 29
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:38 PM
Capttjk1 Capttjk1 is offline
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With my Governor, I have had a few light primer strikes with Winchester .410 shells. Not many, but maybe 1 out of 50. I have never had any using Federal. Federal .410 handgun loads seem to run 100 percent in my Governor.

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Old 08-09-2015, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkallen7@cox.net View Post
I agree, but after returning the strain screw to factory setting, still had light primer strikes. Not all 410 primers are seated to the same depth, hence, light primer strikes with factory firing pin. They manufacture extended firing pin for newer S&W after 1986 for a reason Tks Pre 29
The "reason" is generally to support a user modification that Smith doesn't recommend. So did you have light primer strikes before you backed out the strain screw?
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:36 PM
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Even withthe C&S extended firing pin you will find issues with Remington ammunition. I initially had my 625JM with the C&S firing pin tuned to 8 lbs. 2 ounces per my Lyman Digital trigger gage and had issues with Remington UMC not firing reliably. Because of that I re-tuned all of my revolvers to a 9 lbs. trigger pull where they are 100% reliable with Federal, Speer, Remington, and Winchester ammunitions. I can also tell you that in a side by side comparison it's nearly impossible to feel any difference between 8 and 9 lbs. trigger unless you stage the trigger. Since I consider staging a DA trigger as both a Bad Technique and a Bad Habit I don't find a 9 lbs trigger the least bit heavy.

PS; if you want a heavy but smooth DA trigger for training purposes get yourself a Dan Wesson 15-2. I've tried everything I could think of and can state with certainty that a DW 15-2 will not fire a CCI Magnum primer unless the DA trigger requires a minimum weight in excess of 12.5 lbs. At 12 lbs. you can get to about 70% reliability with a standard pressure Federal primer and 50% with a CCI primer but any lighter and nothing will fire in double action. Now on a positive note, by polishing the spring guide the action in the DW is ball bearing smooth. However, due to the coil spring design and the leverage points for the trigger a light DA trigger just isn't possible. After shooting the DW for a bit I have to be careful with my S&W revolvers because the DA trigger actually feels almost weightless.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:11 PM
july1952 july1952 is offline
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I've never had light primer strikes with my Governor. It goes bang with everything I put through it, .45 ACP, .45 long colt, .410 slugs, buckshot and birdshot. Only problem I've encountered was using Remington .410 slugs. They fired okay but the shell crimp was too long and prevented the cylinder from turning. Had to use a sharp razor blade and cut off the shell crimp.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:39 AM
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Just gave our Governor it's first shots at the range. Using Winchester .410 ammo we had light firing pin strikes about 50% of the time. Using Remington .410 ammo we had light strikes about 25% of the time. What trigger weight is everyone using these days to eliminate the light strikes?

Jon.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:44 AM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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JFoster48386 , I bought a Smith model 29 that had the same problem . I sent it back to the factory . They had inquired if I shot reloads , I said " yes " . It came back with a note stuck in the barrel telling me to only shoot factory . I knew that was wrong .
After some thought and looking into the matter , I discovered the firing pin was only dimpling the primer about 1/2 depth compared to my other 44 and it looked more like a " needle " strike instead of rounded bottom dimple . I ordered a new firing pin from Brownells , replaced it myself and the problem went away . It's a very easy fix . I hope this helps , Regards, Paul
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:14 PM
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There's no such thing as intermittent light hammer strikes. Whether too light or just right, all hammer strikes are the same (barring some other issue).

What you have is intermittent primer ignition.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
There's no such thing as intermittent light hammer strikes. Whether too light or just right, all hammer strikes are the same (barring some other issue).

What you have is intermittent primer ignition.
uuuuhhhh, that is not correct. if the firing pin is only coming out say 75% of the distance that it is required to come out, it may be enough to ignite some, but not all primers. there is a range of min impact force/distance that is required to ignite primers. the firing pin should extend out and with enough force to cover the higher limit of force/distance required and then some. If not then you will have intermittent "light" strikes....SMH...

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Old 04-18-2019, 10:43 PM
moto17 moto17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFoster48386 View Post
Just gave our Governor it's first shots at the range. Using Winchester .410 ammo we had light firing pin strikes about 50% of the time. Using Remington .410 ammo we had light strikes about 25% of the time. What trigger weight is everyone using these days to eliminate the light strikes?

Jon.
I had the same exact issue the first use of my newly purchased governor. I cleaned/lubricated very well the gun/firing pin and tightened the strain screw all the way and fired it a couple days later. Much improved, but still about 5-10% light strikes through all shell types. to me, for this quality gun, totally unacceptable. I sent back to S&W and I hope they do not tell me nothing is wrong or to use different ammo. Also if you/anyone has to tighten the strain screw all the way just to get the gun not to light strike, then there is an inherent problem in the firing pin/mechanism and using the strain screw to fix it is not really fixing the problem. the strain screw should have some variability in it to adjust trigger pull. telling people that the strain screw has to be tightened all the way for the gun to work correctly is just plain wrong. I really hope S&W fixes the problem as I love the gun, but hate the "light strike" issue.

Last edited by moto17; 04-18-2019 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moto17 View Post
uuuuhhhh, that is not correct. if the firing pin is only coming out say 75% of the distance that it is required to come out, it may be enough to ignite some, but not all primers. there is a range of min impact force/distance that is required to ignite primers. the firing pin should extend out and with enough force to cover the higher limit of force/distance required and then some. If not then you will have intermittent "light" strikes....SMH...
I think you missed the meaning; what you said is true but the hammer strike is the same light strike each time, not intermittent. And occasionally it results in FTFs because due to primer variations, you get intermittent primer ignition, not intermittent hammer strike.

Hope that helps,
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:27 AM
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moto17, you best read the S&W Armorers manual to correct your thinking about the strain screw. It is ALWAYS tightened, tight. Adjustment is made by filing/grinding the end of the screw and measuring the hammer lift weight.

Stu
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:28 PM
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pkallen7@cox.net,

I've seen strain screws vary in length, even for the same model and caliber guns.

The first thing I do is remove another strain screw from another S&W revolver and compare lengths. If longer (it won't be much) try it in your Governor.

Another way is to take a used primer, remove the anvil, and stick the cap on the end of the strain screw, install, and tighten all the way. Then shoot it. If the light striking goes away and you get ignition !00% of the time, request a new screw from S&W cust svcs, not the parts dept, they'll likely send you one free.

Or just leave the primer cap in place. You can also file the cap thinner and experiment so the trigger pull is no harder than it has to be.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:01 AM
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moto17, you best read the S&W Armorers manual to correct your thinking about the strain screw. It is ALWAYS tightened, tight. Adjustment is made by filing/grinding the end of the screw and measuring the hammer lift weight.

Stu
After talking to s&w, i guess the strain is supposed to be tightened all the way and there is not supposed to be any adjustment in trigger pull pressure in the governor at least.. shop has the gun now. Will keep updated on what the say. But im cautiously optimistic.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:09 AM
moto17 moto17 is offline
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Quote:
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pkallen7@cox.net,

I've seen strain screws vary in length, even for the same model and caliber guns.

The first thing I do is remove another strain screw from another S&W revolver and compare lengths. If longer (it won't be much) try it in your Governor.

Another way is to take a used primer, remove the anvil, and stick the cap on the end of the strain screw, install, and tighten all the way. Then shoot it. If the light striking goes away and you get ignition !00% of the time, request a new screw from S&W cust svcs, not the parts dept, they'll likely send you one free.

Or just leave the primer cap in place. You can also file the cap thinner and experiment so the trigger pull is no harder than it has to be.
Interesting thought....s&w has the gun now I'll see what they say, but thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
I think you missed the meaning; what you said is true but the hammer strike is the same light strike each time, not intermittent. And occasionally it results in FTFs because due to primer variations, you get intermittent primer ignition, not intermittent hammer strike.

Hope that helps,
Yes, I believe we are talking about the same thing really. "Light strike" is somewhat of a "misnomer"
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:54 PM
moto17 moto17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkallen7@cox.net View Post
When test firing the new Governor, intermittent light primer strikes occurred when using 410 shotgun ammo. It was not brand specific but Remington was the least reliable. Had a long discussion with S&W home office and they said Federal ammo would be their first choice. The second issue was reducing the trigger pull from 10-12lbs to 8 or 71/2lbs. 45 LC and ACP would fire most of the time, but 410 would fail 95% of the time. S&W didn't have extended length firing pins, nor did they recommend any changes and stated that theirs was fully reliable at the 10-12lbs trigger weight. Now enters Cylinder & Slide who sells extended firing pins for the newer S&W revolvers. C&S is .015 longer than the factory and provided 100% reliability using all 3 calibers in my Governor. WARNING, dummy rounds or dry fire caps must be used during dry firing drills with the new extended length firing pin installed.
Can you explain why you need the snap caps to dry fire the extended firing pin?
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Old 04-26-2019, 05:16 AM
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IMO Snap Caps should be used for any Dry Fire practice. While the manual may not recommend Snap Caps S&W hasn't taken into account that some people with snap their trigger thousands of times in just a week. Doing that WILL cause damage at some point.

I will also note that the C&S firing pins are not longer in length, they are machined so that they have a LONGER LENGTH OF TRAVEL. BTW, I have used these firing pins in my 620, 610, and 625 revolvers. With a lightened trigger they function perfectly however with a factory weighted trigger they will leave microcracking in the dimples in the primer and some will show evidence of leakage.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:43 PM
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got the gun back, finally, and after causing such a ruckus with S&W about how long it takes on a brand spanking new gun. they replaced the firing pin, "repaired" the yoke and replaced the strain screws(didn't know there is more than one). I talked to a rep there and asked if they did find a problem with the gun and she could not tell me, but that they wouldn't have done work on it if it was "within spec." I lubricated the pin and cleaned the gun using CLP and will try it out tomorrow.

Last edited by moto17; 05-03-2019 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:20 PM
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You oughta see how many times they get dry fired during the assembly process . . .

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IMO Snap Caps should be used for any Dry Fire practice. While the manual may not recommend Snap Caps S&W hasn't taken into account that some people with snap their trigger thousands of times in just a week. Doing that WILL cause damage at some point.
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:33 AM
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You oughta see how many times they get dry fired during the assembly process . . .
Agreed. Obviously not to be standard practice and to do thousands of times, but any quality gun should be capable of many many times dry fired without any problems....imo.👍
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:39 AM
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The Governor is amazing! Over 100 rds with Remington, Winchester and federal 410 shells along with some 45 LC and 45 acp without any FTFs. Was an f-ing pain in the a**, but i guess worth it as the gun is literally perfect now. After being the 4th s&w purchase this year was never thinking of EVER buying another product from them; i have now thought of reconsideration. Hands down, the gun is awesome and such a joy to shoot. But just such a headache and over 5wks since original purchase to finally have the gun that i wanted and purchased for over $800. Truly a sweet firearm!

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Old 05-05-2019, 12:55 PM
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Glad to hear that they got it fixed for you, moto17. Now go out and have some more fun with it.
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:27 PM
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Sorry for the slow reply. Being that our pistol is literally brand new I don't want to mess with it. But I've never needed to send any firearm in for service so I'm going to be paranoid about sending it in, if it's required. I'll get on the phone with S&W next week if possible.

Jon.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:09 PM
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While and older thread I think this is important as Smith's problems continue.

My buddies and I were quail hunting in Georgia and we ordered Governors one evening after a hunt and a few glasses of Scotch. 4 governors.

Of the 4.

One worked
One had serious, serious problems with case bulging (Smith replaced the cylinder and yoke)

Two of them had the light Strike problem. 50% light strikes. When I called Smith they said tighten the Strain Screw. It was not loose, tight as can be.

So, I had an older Governor that I bought right around the time they came out. I grabbed a feeler gauge. Here is what I found

Old Governor
.020 gauge would pass between the firing pin and cylinder face with the hammer down and trigger pulled.

New Governors?
.032 gauge would pass. .035 came close to passing...

This is a significant issue, and makes the gun completely unreliable.

Once this COVID thing is over I will call Smith and have another discussion with them.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:43 PM
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Long Rifle is the first here to use common sense on this issue. Arguing semantics does not move the discussion forward. Call it what you like, the firing pin does not strike the primer hard enough or fast enough to ignite the primer. It IS most likely that all the strikes are the same - a bit wimpy - but, the question is why?

All of you Smith nuts should by now understand that the strain screw is not intended to be a convenient way to adjust your trigger pull. Do some research if you want to become revolver gunsmiths. Backing it off does lower the pull but it also reduces the energy at the firing pin.

Long Rifle does the first obvious thing and that is to measure the rear gauge. If the cylinder is too far away from the firing pin, no amount of force will ignite the primer. In his case, excess forward/rear cylinder slop (end shake) places the primer too far away from the firing pin. I'm pretty sure that's what causes the OP's problem, and why some of the repairs involve replacing the yoke and the cylinder or the whole gun.

I won't belabor the point, but why would S&W customers pay big bucks for this kind of sloppy workmanship? Its your call.

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Last edited by Sparks; 05-06-2020 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:18 AM
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I think I'm just going to break down and order the C&S firing pin. I've made several attempts to get help from S&W with no resolution for over a year. If the new pin fixes the problem, great.

This is my first new S&W firearm and at this point, it will be my last.

Jon.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:19 AM
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The factory firing pins vary in length. Strain screws vary in length. The counterbore in the frame varies in depth. The mainsprings vary in strength. It goes on and on, so every gun is different than every other gun.

Having the strain screw tight is meaningless. In order to know what's happening, and why, you have to quantify the firing pin length, how far it sticks out from the recoil shield, how much force the mainspring is actually imaparting to the hammer, and in turn, the firing pin, etc. In other words, you have to measure these things on your individual gun. Assuming that all gun parts are exactly alike is to not understand mass (mess) production, or how things are in the real world. Headspace, endshake, primer seating depth, rim thickness, and a host of other things come into play as well in the reasons a gun misfires. Every gun has a different combination of variables that are in play. When all these factors are actually measured, accounted for, and corrected if necessary, it's fairly easy to have a reliable revolver with a reasonable DA trigger pull.

The shortest firing pin length I've found that works reliably is .495". That is also the longest factory firing pin I've ever seen. Most are somewhat shorter. It takes a much heavier blow of the hammer to get a short firing pin to set off primers reliably, if it even will.

The extended length firing pins by Power Custom, Apex, and Cylinder and Slide help make up the difference in the variations of the other parts. Probably the optimum firing pin length is .505 to .510. You will notice I didn't give just one number. Everything has a range of plus or minus tolerance. The extended firing pin is just one of the variables, but it can sometimes make up the difference for some of the others.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:39 AM
Sparks Sparks is offline
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Installing a slightly longer firing pin MIGHT make the gun work, but unless your firing pin is actually faulty (chipped, broken, melted, bent, etc.) then you are using a band-aid which does not actually fix a problem.

If the cylinder can move too far forward, due to wear, factory misadjustment, etc, the primers will be too far away from the firing pin and the firing pin will not have enough energy to ignite the primer. That should be the first thing to investigate. But, it won't hurt anything to put in the C&S firing pin. Depends on how far you want to go with it.

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Old 09-17-2020, 12:08 PM
Protocall_Design Protocall_Design is offline
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Yes - the firing pin is only one element of a complex mechanism. For the gun to work properly, all the parts need to be brought in to spec.

A longer firing pin will help if the original is too short , but in and of itself won't fix other problems.
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