All factory extractors are junk and should be replaced immediately (even Colt). Replace them with either Ed Brown or Wilson Combat Bulletproof. Personally, I would NEVER use anything but Wilson. But I've heard good things about the Brown.
C&S does make a spring steel extractor. I have been singing the praises of same, since that is the material specified in the specs - not "tool steel". My M1911 extractor gave up the ghost after eighty-three years of service, and my M1911A1 extractor lasted almost sixty; pretty good service life. Both suddenly went "soft". My C&S extractor lasted exactly two years. The hook broke off cleanly after something over 1500 rounds. C&S sent me a replacement at no charge, and Bill Laughridge assured me the expected service life is on the order of 20,000 rounds. So, while it is great that C&S stands behind their product, I can't have a suspect extractor in my carry gun. Anyone else using the C&S? How many rounds?
We recently switched to the C&S Spring steel extractors on many of our custom guns and for replacement duty, so I hope to have a larger sample of data to draw on soon. Our Pistolsmith is pleased with what he sees from Cylinder and Slide. (www.cylinder-slide.com)
I know that once soured on something it is hard to trust again - be it a product or a partner - but I know of NO manufacturer, to most especially include McCormick (MIM), Wilson and Ed Brown that has never turned out a bad part. That is why we all test and tune - and you are always the final inspector. I'd give C&S another try - Mr. Laughridge is a straight shooter and knows more about the 1911 design than about anybody. I would trust his word.
Warmly, Col. Colt
"Beware of Counterfeits & Patent Infringements"
PS - Bill makes Spring Steel Extractors for the Browning Hi-Power, too.
[This message has been edited by Col. Colt (edited 09-30-2001).]
I have installed the replacement extractor that C&S sent me (Bill Laughridge personally followed-up on this matter, with two phone calls), and will test-fire it this weekend. My "project gun" also has a C&S extractor in it (fitted today), so I'll be giving both guns a workout over the next week or so. Although that won't address durability concerns, it'll make me feel better just to have the two guns in working condition.