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Checking The Extractor.

First of all your extractor should be held firmly enough by the firing pin stop so that it cannot "clock" or rotate.
If it will "clock" even slightly then you should buy an oversize FP Stop at the same time you're shopping for a high quality tool steel machined from bar-stock extractor. Check Brownells. There are many available these days.

The only aftermarket extractor that I would stay away from would be the EGW - while the EGW (fully machined from bar-stock) aftermarket 1911 parts (like their slide stop, thumb safety, and ejector) are some of the very best ever produced for the 1911...their extractor design fully sucks big time.
Just one mans opinion on that.


Please keep in mind that this is with a high quality aftermarket "tool steel" machined from bar-stock extractor.

Remove your slide from the frame and slip your desired carry round up into the extractor.

> The rear of the case head should be able sit flat (or almost lay flat) on the slide breech face.
A very slight even hair-line of light showing between the rear of the case head and the breech face is acceptable.
The vast majority of incorrectly "factory fit" extractors will not permit that to happen.

> Ideally....The "Hook" of the extractor should not contact the cartridge case in the cannelure area of the case.
Notice in my photo that there is daylight showing in the space between the extractor claw and the case cannelure and the case head is flat on the breech face.
There does not have to be a LOT of light showing but, the extractor claw should not be cutting into the cartridge case or forcing the case up off of the breech face.

> The cartridge should be held against the slide breech face in the milled cut - with pressure applied to the case head by the FLAT of the extractor...not the extractor hook.

The function of the extractor on a 1911 (these days) basically just holds the fired cartridge case in position to be whapped hard by the ejector.
Now that wartime STEEL Case ammo is no longer being used the 1911 extractor does not need to forcibly YANK the fired cartridge case out of any modern highly polished & decently smooth barrel chamber.

> Slipping a round of ammo up into the extractor with the slide held horizontally - the cartridge should remain horizontal until the front of the slide is tapped - then the round should drop down by gravity and the weight of the bullet.
That is pretty much the correct tension IF everything else is 100% correct.

> The "FLAT" of the extractor should be smooth and slightly rounded at the bottom of the flat so that the case head slips perfectly up into the extractor during the feed cycle.

> Ideally.........in a fully assembled pistol the cartridges SHOULD still feed from the magazine into the barrel chamber when the slide is eased forward as slowly as possible.

You should be able to insert a loaded magazine into the pistol - hold the pistol upside down and the cartridges should still feed.

I should ADD that there are 1911 pistols with extractors that are differently configured and "fit" ~ and they WILL still feed and cycle with great reliability.

BUT, if your personal 1911 will NOT feed perfectly then some of the above is probably WHY.

 

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Thanks for this excellent tutorial, QK!

Perhaps this should take up permanent residence in the Reference and "How To" Forum?
 

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Note that the above pistol in my PIC does not have an opened up and lowered and relieved ejection port OR an extended ejector or a throated barrel...or a highly polished frame feed ramp...and it feeds/functions perfectly with hollow points fed from Government Surplus Nam era "Mil Spec" "Assy" magazines.
 

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Awesome QKshooter. Maybe you could do a series of these at your leisure?
 

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QKShooter...

A while back (quite a while) the Kimber CDP line changed from external extractors to internal extractors. Is there a reason that an internal extractor is favored over an external extractor? :confused:

ret
 

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There is no real reason why an external extractor should not work as well as an internal extractor if it's configured and tensioned correctly.
The external extractor was not ever bad or inferior because of the idea or the concept of it. Just my opinion on that.

Then there is the Aftec extractor which is basically a "duo-tiny-springs" internal extractor which is amazing when properly fit but, also pretty expensive.

It needs to be specially fit to the Firing Pin Stop so that it can pivot and function correctly.
The entire length of the Aftec extractor pivots on the Firing Pin Stop flange so you do need to put two little bevels on the FP Stop on the flange area that holds the extractor - but, it is a do-able job at home.

It creates its own correct "spring" tension no matter what ammo is used and it moves back to allow all ammo to easily slip up into it.

It is a neat piece of micro-engineering that really works for problematic guns.

It's a PITA to get it slipped into the extractor hole at first - until you get the hang of it. ~~~> :rant:
After you do get the hang of it...it's pretty easy.



 

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QKS,

Thanks, for the response, I believe that perhaps the external extractor Kimber was using was a 'forged' part that was not performing well, maybe that's what the problem was...I'm not sure.

ret
 

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A cast part I think.
I'm not a Kimber fan so maybe somebody else can chime in on that.
 

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Addition:

One way to determine if it's your internal extractor that is goofing up your feed is to take your fully assembled pistol - lock the slide back - then remove the firing pin stop, the firing pin, firing pin spring & the extractor - then insert a fully loaded magazine and run the slide forward - if the cartridge chambers easily then it's likely that your extractor is hanging up the feed.

Naturally since there is now no extractor in the gun - you'll need to remove the magazine and tip the muzzle up while retracting the slide to allow the chambered cartridge to fall out of the barrel chamber.
 

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QKS,

Thanks, for the response, I believe that perhaps the external extractor Kimber was using was a 'forged' part that was not performing well, maybe that's what the problem was...I'm not sure.

ret
Kimber's were MIM, not forged, they tried 4 different external extractors, they couldn't get any of them to work reliably in all pistols (some peoples work fine for them) and went back to internal.
 

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Nicely written, QK.
 

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Thanks OD...Much appreciated compliment from the 1911 guru that I have the utmost in the way of respect for.
 

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Wow QK. I didn't know you were that big into the 1911. It's refreshing to see others have that good an understanding for the 1911. Sometimes that's hard to find. Good writeup.
 

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Thank you for the very kind sentiments, QK, undeserved, but greatly appreciated.

You Sir are no slouch yourself when it comes to old slabsides, I've known that for a good while now, as I'm sure many others have too.
 

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One of my 1911's uses an external extractor-a Dan Wesson, and it's hugely reliable.

The length of its extractor however is probably twice as long as the one's Kimber uses (used?) I always thought that the because Kimber's were so short length-wise, that they simply weren't producing enough tension.

C-
 
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