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In looking closely at my extractor, I am wondering if it is slightly too long. With the slide off the frame and placing various cases on the breechface and under the extractor lip, when the base of the case is flush against the breechface, the front of the extractor hits the bevel of the case to where it's actually pushing the extractor outwards, and there otherwise seems to be a lot of daylight between the case rim and the inside of the extractor claw.

Is this normal?

I believe my extractor may also be too tight, as there seems to be considerable tension just before the slide goes into battery on a live round, which I have determined to be the result of the extractor (there is no such tension with the extractor removed). I have had a couple of hangups where the slide did not go fully into battery in this same spot.

I tried to bend my extractor out slightly but MAN no matter how hard I seemed to torque it, it did not seem to want to take a set at all, and I was afraid to break it.

Any comments appreciated,

Ted
 

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Yikes tough call Ted... Do you happen to have any pictures of it?
 

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There should be daylight between the tip of your extractor and the case bevel. File or sand it down until there is clearance. It should take 4 1/2 lbs to slide the case out of the extractor, or tightly retain an empty case and barely retain a loaded round. Do a search here on how to bend the extractor.
 

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Just for fun, check out your firing pin retainer too.

Have a Champion that was having lots of trouble (not like yours though) I had at least 1 FTE in every magazine. Went to the local gunsmith for a new extractor, and he showed me that the FP retainer was bent. (Just from the hammer hitting it) Brought a new one, non-MIM. He also tweaked the extractor, and the pistol been 100% since.
 

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Nice pic. I have a Colt M1991A1 that exhibits the second problem; hook tip climbs the bevel, camming the hook away from the rim. I had swapped out the factory (MIM) extractor, which did not have this problem, and installed a C&S extractor, which did. I poured over Kuhnhausen's manuals, looking for a minimum hook depth dimension, so I could reduce or eliminate the problem. I never did find what I thought was a specific hook dimension, but I extrapolated from the dimensions that were given, then shortened and recontoured the hook. There was still a bit of bevel contact, but I left it alone at that point. 4000 rounds later, the hook snapped off. I'd already lost the hook off another C&S extractor, installed in their shop in a different gun, so I'm not sure about the cause/blame. I put an Ed Brown extractor in the Colt (which also climbs the case bevel) and it's still going strong, at about 1000 rounds.
There was a thread on LTW, about the hazards of dropping the slide on a chambered round, and how it will destroy the tension adjustment, or otherwise damage the extractor. One of the gunsmiths made a fixture, out of a cut-up slide, and then made a cam arrangement that was attached to a lathe or mill, so that when it was running, it would simulate the (over-)flexing that an extractor would experience when snapping over the rim of a chambered round. He ran the thing so it cycled the extractor 12,000 times, and there were no resulting changes in tension or dimension. If snapping the hook over a rim 12,000 times won't damage an extractor, I can't believe a bit of flex from a chambered round would wear it out or damage it. This assumes a properly-made extractor, of course.
 

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The contact to be careful of is Don't let the end of the barrel hit the tip of the extractor and Don't let the extractor snap over a round by dropping the slide over an already chambered round.

Sometimes you can't eliminate all the contact due to tolerance stacking... In those instances, the extractor won't be harmed (in my opinion) just by letting it kiss the bevel of the case, it's the ones that torque the end back everytime that need dressed. I read Ned's experiment too... pretty neat, and it raises new questions...

Another tip (pun intended) when you dress the tip of the extractor down use a sharpie and frequently check for contact. Also try to follow the same angle as that of the case's bevel, that will give you the best clearance and give you optimal hook depth (all things being equal).
 

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Extractors

*******
I first noticed that I had this same "problem" shortly after I acquired my S.A. G.I. I posted a question, and haven't received a response, that offers a solution .... as far as a "good" replacement extractor, that will correct this all-too-common problem. The extractors that I've seen, all have hooks that are too short to accept much 'stoning'. I purchased a Wilson extractor - needed the same treatment .... if you file and stone the hook enough even to "nearly" clear the case bevel, you'll end up with a hook that is shorter that the recommended min. depth .... which if I remember correctly; is in the .030 to .035 range. I took mine down to .028 deep .... still leaves the telltale "dent" in the case bevel. It's only been a couple hundred rds; works so far - time'll tell. The following is quoted from the thread link from the above post:

"Next, with the slide in hand, check the tension of the extractor by slipping a round up under the extractor claw against the breech face; the cartridge should be held in place by the claw."

The "claw" (hook) does not hold the cartridge in place, it only makes contact with the case (rim), as the empty is being ejected from the weapon. The portion of the extractor that "holds", or applies pressure to the case rim, is the 'belly', or notch area behind the hook.
I've also included a pic of my original SA extractor.

*******
 

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Ted said:
In looking closely at my extractor, I am wondering if it is slightly too long. With the slide off the frame and placing various cases on the breechface and under the extractor lip, when the base of the case is flush against the breechface, the front of the extractor hits the bevel of the case to where it's actually pushing the extractor outwards, and there otherwise seems to be a lot of daylight between the case rim and the inside of the extractor claw.

Is this normal?

I believe my extractor may also be too tight, as there seems to be considerable tension just before the slide goes into battery on a live round, which I have determined to be the result of the extractor (there is no such tension with the extractor removed). I have had a couple of hangups where the slide did not go fully into battery in this same spot.

I tried to bend my extractor out slightly but MAN no matter how hard I seemed to torque it, it did not seem to want to take a set at all, and I was afraid to break it.

Any comments appreciated,

Ted

Ted,

On allot of my 45's their's always space on that area you described. On this I usually don't worry about it. All the matters is that the extractor tension is enough to hold a cartridge against the breechface. With the slide off slip a round under the extractor and move the slide around in all directions. If it hold it should be enough with just a slight hair of the round wiggleing around.

Regarding the tension. How many pound recoil spring you have? If it's the standard weight spring then you can afford to replace it with a slightly heavier spring. Most people use an 18.5 LBS spring but I don't like to use these extreme heavy springs. I's get a Wilson brand as they have a version with only around 17.5 LBS. It just might be enough to handle ypur delima. In addition it's possible that it can be the extractor tension but it also might be the magazine lips. Check these out and see what happens.
Good luck.

rimfire,22
 

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Shotgun12 said:
*******
..... The following is quoted from the thread link from the above post:

"Next, with the slide in hand, check the tension of the extractor by slipping a round up under the extractor claw against the breech face; the cartridge should be held in place by the claw."

The "claw" (hook) does not hold the cartridge in place, it only makes contact with the case (rim), as the empty is being ejected from the weapon. The portion of the extractor that "holds", or applies pressure to the case rim, is the 'belly', or notch area behind the hook.
I've also included a pic of my original SA extractor.

*******
I'm sorry if my words don't match my drawing, but the photo shows what I mean as to where the case should touch the extractor.
 
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