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Will you break the extractor?

2074 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  QKShooter
Here's a topic for debate that refers more to general gun handling.

For the record, here's how I load a semiautomatic pistol: top off the magazine, load it, and rack it while observing the four rules. If I really, really want that extra round I'll drop the magazine and replace it. I usually don't bother. 18 rounds isn't going to accomplish anything that 17 won't.

However, I have once or twice dropped a round straight into the chamber of my P89 and fired a single shot (no magazine inserted or even needed). As a matter of fact, there are instructions in the owner's manual about how to do this. I take this to mean Ruger is saying "This is an acceptable way to load your Ruger pistol. It's designed for it."

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But since that's the only semiautomatic pistol I own, I can't speak for the majority of the market. I've long heard that if you load a pistol this way you'll eventually chip or otherwise break the extractor. Why is beyond me to be perfectly honest. If this Ruger can handle it, surely guns that cost twice or five times as much can too.

As a matter of fact I'd be very hesitant to purchase a firearm which could not operate as a single shot in the event the magazine was missing. Of course the whole notion of wanting to separate your payload from your firing platform strikes me as often avoidable but sometimes necessary.

What say you?
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In the unlikely event I have to use a semi-auto without a magazine, it's a single shot anyway. I don't really care if the extractor breaks.

Chips, problems, etc. will vary on the type of gun and how it's designed.
I generally don't worry about it.
Damaging the extractor by dropping the slide home on an inserted round is pretty much limited to internal extractors. i.e. the 1911 pistol. The pistol is designed to pick up a round by having the case slip under the extractor and against the breach face. The damage that can occur by dropping the slide on an inserted round is that due to the tunnel that the 1911 extractor is housed in, the extractor doesnt have adequate room to travel over the rim of the cartridge, and can break or chip as it is now at full pressure away from its 'bend' and has no more room to move outward. That is the theory, anyway.
Other autos use an external extractor, thus giving it plenty of room to travel over the cartridge rim. Heck, even a large number of 1911 style clones use external extractors.
I personally load a round by allowing the slide to fall home of its own spring tension and pick up a round from the mag. Just me. I think it keeps your carry rounds alive and functionable longer, cause you havent dented and dinked the rim by hitting the back of it with the extractor (like you would if you insterted the round, then dropped the slide).
Hope this helped,

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Whatever a manufacturer says is Ok - I am happier doing a slingshot into battery via the slide - preferably without using slide release .... then top off mag if required.

Even external extractors will IMO have to move that extra bit to get round the case rim when closed on a chambered round.... and as that adds just a bit of extra stress, it's something I'll avoid most of time.
since i don't change my carry ammo every time i got to the range and because i don't care to unload and reload the magazine to rotate ammo, i don't sling shot the slide. I ease it forward on the top round in the magazine. There is no difference between slingshoting the slide and easing it forward to load your chamber. In battery is in battery. With some pistols it is possibly to drop the round in the chamber, ease forward the slide and tilt the gun back so the round slides back enough to slip under the extractor.
Sometimes, Euclidean, I think you may worry too much... :dunno:
Colt Pistols

Remember that the original Colt 1911 specs called for a fully hardened & tempered back ~ Spring Steel extractor ~
So...originally letting the extractor hump over the chambered round was OK.
There still is really no reason to do it as an operational procedure.

Of could buy an expensive aftermarket spring steel extractor & then polish the extractor face & then not worry about it. could buy an aftermarket AFTEC extractor (which is basically an INTERNAL External type extractor & YES, they really work!) for $60.00 & then slam away on that chambered round. But then we're back to why would you want to. :confused:

BTW ~ The Aftec Extractor fits Series 70 & earlier Colt Pistols or clones only.
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