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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to install a Wilson bullet-proof extractor on my Springfield 1911. Is their any fitting or tuning required, besides adjusting the tension? Or is this part basically drop-in?
 

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Properly adjust tension, adjust the seating tab (what I call it anyway), check radius/polishing on hook, adjust firing pin stop slot, file end flush w/ slide (if desired).

Most of the time, with Wilson BP or similar products, you will only need to set the tension.
 

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Checking for proper tension is easy, but if it's incorrect, adjusting can require a bit of skill; it sometimes requires more than just bending, as deercop notes.
 

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Adjusting the tension only requires bending. Other attributes might require filing, etc.

I use the Weigand gage and tool.
 

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I have the Weigand tool, gauges, and trigger pull gauge to properly adjust tension. So if the FPS binds during reassembly I should fit the FPS to the extractor. It seems more logical to fit the extractor to the FPS, because the extractor will have to be replaced about every 5000 rounds. Where as the FPS will have a longer lifespan. Then, I may have to polish the extactor hook. What tools do I need for these procedures?

Also does anybody have experience with Caspian extractors. If so, how do they stack up to the Wilson BP.

Deercop - what is a seating tab? And I assume filing the end flush with the slide is just cosmetic.

I just would like to thank you all for all the responses and the help.
 

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papaieil said:
Deercop - what is a seating tab?
Probably NOT the correct term for it. It is what I call the tab located behind the "hook", immediately behind where the cartridge rim fits. Filing it adjusts how much physical "grab" the extractor has on the rim. You want the rim to just almost reach the inside hook of the extractor, to exert maximum "grab", but not so much as to actually touch which would cause trouble.
 

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That is what I have been taught to expect for an average lifespan for extractors. I am sure most will last much longer. But I would rather replace them preemptively before I start getting stovepipes or double-feeds.
 

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http://www.m1911.org/technic2.htm


Extractor Tuning Tips

By Bill Wilson

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A well fit extractor is essential to the reliability of any M-1911 pistol. The following guidelines apply to fitting a new extractor, or properly tuning the one you have in your gun.


1. Correct Tension
With the slide taken off the frame and with the barrel removed, slip the rim of a LOADED cartridge under the extractor hook and position it so that the extractor is gripping the case at the center line, as shown in fig 1a and 1b. You should now be able to lightly shake the slide in any direction, without the cartridge falling off. If this test is unsuccessful, you will need to adjust the tension.
For tension adjustment, place aprox. 1/2" of the tip of the extractor into the extractor channel and apply just enough pressure to slightly bend the extractor. Be careful, a little goes a long way! See figure 1c.

Do not put more tension than needed to perform this simple test - too much tension will result in feeding malfunctions whereas too little tension can cause failure to extract and/or erratic ejection.




2. Positioning of the Extractor
The locator pad (the radiused lug behind the extractor groove) determines at what point the bottom of the extractor groove contacts the rim of the cartridge and puts tension on it.
Slide the rim of an EMPTY case under the extractor hook and position the case so that the extractor hook grips it at the center line. Now pull the case downwards approx. .075 - .1000"; there should still be tension, enough to keep the empty case in position even when the slide is lightly shaken. The same test performed with a loaded round should result in the cartridge falling off. This equals roughly to 1-1.5 lbs tension on the case.

If you have correct tension on the case when it is centered on the breechface, as described in (1) above and little to no tension at all, with the case being pulled down approx. .075 - .100", you need to bring the extractor groove closer to the firing pin hole.

This is done by removing a small amount of material at a time, from the locator pad, while maintaining the radius. Constantly check for correct tension, so that you don't take too much material off. See sketch below.




3. Fitting the Firing Pin Stop
The fit of the Firing Pin Stop to the groove at the rear of the extractor is crucial to the correct extractor positioning. If there is a loose fit, then the extractor will move or twist, causing inconsistent ejection.
With the extractor installed, the firing pin stop should slide into position using normal finger pressure. If the firing stop binds (when installing a new extractor), you will have to reducve the width of the firing pin stop, by removing material from its right side, where it contacts the extractor.

Remove only a few thousandths of an inch at a time, while being careful to keep the right side parallel to the left side. When correctly installed, the firing pin stop will fit snugly into place, which prevents the extractor from twisting.



Finally, several extractors sold, come rough and not polished or prepared. The following drawing shows you where you have to tune your extractor hook.
 

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A properly made and fitted extractor will outlast you, if the gun is otherwise "right". Dimensional and other problems can shorten the life greatly, but you should be able to go years and years (and years . . .) without replacing an extractor. I'll admit to having broken a couple, and fiddling a couple more to death, but I have one that has been untouched for over 10,000 rounds, and I don't expect to have to fiddle with it any time soon.
 

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I've been using Ed Brown Hardcore extractors for years and they arrive completely polished and tweaked in all the right places. I'm sure the Wilson Bullet Proof extractors do as well. They match the pictures in Jerry Kuhnhausen's M1911 shop manuals on what an extractor should look like when you're dont tweaking it.

I buy steel extractors even for my stainless pistols. I'm convinced steel makes a better spring. The pistol doesn't care if there's a blued extractor peeking out of the slide. In fact, all Ed Brown stainless pistols come this way from the factory.

I finally bought the Weigand tool, gauges, and a trigger pull gauge. Field tuning the extactor with a cartridge and guesstimating the amount of bend works surprisingly well, but is a field technique. As long as I have the pistol on my workbench I'll use the gages.

Over the years I've picked up a universal sight adjusting tool, and a M1911 plunger tube crimper as well. Sometimes ya just gotta have the specialized tools, even if you rarely use them.

Other than boutique pistols I consider new-in-box pistols an expensive proposition and the small investment in tools pays big benefits. One like-new M1911 I purchased had a severe bend in the extractor and ran poorly. New Ed Brown Hardcore extractor and 15 minutes with the Weigand tools and she's been running well for years.

Good parts. Good gages. Good tools. Good pistol.

-- Chuck
 
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