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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, some of you experienced 'smiths feel free to jump in and let me know if there's a better method. All I know is this worked for me.

I'm tweaking a project pistol built from parts and have had trouble with rounds getting kinked going into the chamber. I'd narrowed the problem down to either a weak recoil spring or extractor too tight.

The method is this: Took the slide off the pistol in question, also took the slides off two other known reliable 1911s to compare. Inserted a round up against the breechface and underneath the ejector on each slide. It's very easy to tell which extractors hold the round tight or loose, it's very noticeable and doesn't seem to require years of smithing experience or fancy tools. Using a pair of pliers, I slightly bent the questionable extractor to match the feel of the reliable ones.

Before the adjustment there was a failure to chamber at least once per mag. After adjustment I shot 6 mags of 7 shots and all fed perfectly. After a couple hundred more rounds we'll see if the adjustment holds.
 

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Bingo...you're a gunsmith! I just pull the extractor 2/3 of the way out and "adjust" it by hand a little at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Careful AZ, you don't wanna mar a fancy Wilson slide :D I was thinking of ways to do it at the range without pliers though, and that's a good one.

"Armorer" sounds tougher than "gunsmith," I think I'll go with that :cool:
 

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I like to use a bench vise and three 1/2 inch diameter wood dowels (two taped to one jaw, matching the outboard ends of the extractor, and one taped to the other jaw, in the center).

This allows a three-beam load to be applied to the extractor without risking damage to components.

By carefully and gradually closing the jaws with this setup, you can dial in the precise overbend required to hold the correct tension setting (since the material used for extractors usually has a bit of memory, a slight overbend is needed.)
 

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I'm a 1911 shooter and tinkerer, not a pistolsmith.

What I learned recently about extractors is along with proper tension is the need for the hook to be of proper dimensions in terms of hook length and relief angles properly filed - stoned and polished.

Once I got the extractor tip as Kuhnhausen describes in his book, I had no failures to feed and very good extraction and ejection with a range of measured tensions.


-Art
 
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