So out of my frustration, I decided to take this thing apart again and give it the best cleaning I could do. For those of you who have not fully disassembled the slide, I thought I might share some photos of what it looks like.
First, after taking off the slide cap and removing the striker spring, the striker assembly comes out like so... You have to be very careful not to let the small striker block spring shoot out when sliding this out. This would be the smallest diameter spring you see to the far right. This spring is under tension against the inside upper part of the slide (think pointing up under your rear sights). So when sliding the assembly out, do so slowly with your hand cupped around the back end of the slide. Note: I rotated the assembly clockwise and set it down for the photo. This was actually before reassembling it, when removing it the striker return spring (shown hanging on the firing pin) will probably be seated inside the slide on the pin hole face. When reassembling, it is easier to have the spring (small opening) on the firing pin as shown. The spring you see still in the side is the ejector spring and orientation on that one doesn't matter.
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Next, I sprayed some CLP onto the back face of the pin hole and scrubbed thoroughly with a nylon brush. Then wiped it clean of any CLP, used q-tips to really get in the area and clean it of any debris and cleaner. Then took my compressor and blew air through this entire area. Afterwards it looked like so:
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Not shown: I took the pin out of the firing assembly and cleaned the outside and inside (where the spring goes), wiping away any trace amounts of solvent. Be careful not to lose the little pin that goes perpendicular through the firing pin (towards that actual pin end). It comes out easily, but goes back in easily as well.
After reassembling, I checked that the firing pin comes through the pin hole just fine. To do this, I pushed down on the firing block safety and pushed the pin down through firing hole. It should return (by the force of return spring) when let go (do so gently, otherwise the pin can shoot out of the assembly unless you have already replaced striker spring and slide cap). Notice the firing pin length through the hole. I have thoughts on that below....
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I finished cleaning the gun, lubed only the slide rails (one drop of Hopps #9 lube on end of each slide rail and let it slide down the rail) and one drop on the barrel. Then reassembled the gun. Finally, gave it a nice polish with a silicone cloth.
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Alright. So this was the best and most thorough cleaning of the striker channel/assembly that I feel could be done to rectify the light strike issues. Now, for some of my thoughts. First, let me start off by saying I am NOT a mechanical engineer, but I AM an electrical engineer and had to take plenty of mechanical oriented classes and I did minor in physics (mechanics). You can take that with a grain of salt, but I do see some things that could help the light strike problem. For starters, I think that the striker spring is probably strong enough to do the job fine. With that said, I do feel that the firing pin doesn't come through the pin hole as far as some of my other semi-autos (like my Glock 19). That distance is probably impacted in part by the striker return spring. Having a return spring that was just a tad shorter might allow for the firing pin to protrude a tad more, allowing deeper penetration on the primers. If you look at the "ding" on a fired round, you'll see that this firing pin is just barely penetrating the primer surface. Compare that "ding" to the "dent" left behind on a 9mm casing laying around and compare the impact depth. Another thing that could be changed to help this issue would be a firing pin with more mass. A bit more mass would result in more momentum, thus help the impact on the primer = consistent bang. Either one of these two ideas would result in a more reliable firing of the weapon WITHOUT changing the trigger pull weight. A stronger striker spring may fix the issue, but is also going to change the trigger pull, and I happen to think it is HEAVY ENOUGH as is. The pin also doesn't move as freely as I would like inside the striker assembly. Maybe a dry lubricant (graphite powder?) could help it move more freely, thus reducing friction = more momentum.
I literally just finished doing all of this and wanted to share the pictures and my thoughts. I probably won't get another chance to take it to the range until next week, but I am REALLY hoping I can get through a few boxes WITHOUT any light strikes, as it is really starting to frustrate me. A light strike could be the difference between life and death... Anyways, I hope the pictures help anyone who wants to venture deeper into the striker assembly. I will note that there was a lot of debris between the assembly and the back of the pin hole face (where the return spring rests). Again, take all of this however you want, these are just my thoughts and as this is my first Taurus (and thus I am a new member here), I understand if anything I've said holds no water for you...
Edit: after further investigation, the return spring doesn't affect how far the pin protrudes. I took it out completely and put the assembly back in and pushed the pin through... no change in protrusion. So it is the pin its self that needs to be longer... like, .25-.45mm would probably do the trick. I also have now polished the the two parts of the pin that makes contact with the inner channel within the assembly to see if by reducing the friction maybe it will be more reliable. Unfortunately, that was after my last visit to the range (detailed below), so now I DO have to wait and see the effects...