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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can somone help me out. I'm trying to understand why some 1911's have internal and some external extractors.

What are the Pro's/con's of each type. which is better?
 

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No pros or cons other than the Kimber version only works part of the time and externals are all proprietary so you need special parts.

Search for "external." Be prepared to have a lot of time to read the posts.

-- Chuck
 

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have both. all are working fine at this point in time. three (still have two) full sized Kimbers with external extractors. two S&W's with externals. Springers and a Colt with internals.

you can readily see the difference in the design of the Kimber external whiich does have a somewhat checkered history out there and the S&W external which has run just fine since they introduced it.

again, all mine have functioned flawlessly to date with 1000's of rounds through the one S&W and two of my Kimbers and hundreds through the other S&W and new Kimber.

as just stated, do a search on external and be ready to read for awhile.

good luck and good shooting to you.

be safe, shoot well.:rock:
 

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Internal.

There is a special level of Hell for the designers of external extractors. They are much more prone to failure and much more expensive to replace when they do fail.
 

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Pesty,

Ok. Here is the theory. It is regarded that the internal (original) extractor of
the 1911 is not as tough or long lasting as an external extractor.
This theory would seem true when one looks at say Glocks (external).
The issue is when one is hard on this part. i.e. putting a round into the
gun, and then dropping the slide onto it. And external extractor is much
more forgiving and will last longer.

Kimber in-particular tried to address this issue with their external design.
I don't know the rate of problems. That would be a corporate secret.
But they have had enough problems that the "community" has had a
collective cow about them. It's been a blood-bath in my opinion.

Another issue that Chuck mentioned. An original internal extractor can easily
be tuned by the user. The externals are all proprietary and cannot be
tweaked.

Do a search and be prepared to go blind reading.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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pesty said:
Can somone help me out. I'm trying to understand why some 1911's have internal and some external extractors.

What are the Pro's/con's of each type. which is better?
Why some have them and some don't? Is up to the manufacturer and/or customer preference. Pros of internal: Original design (give or take), been around for a number of years now, easy to R/R and tune. Con of internal: Cleaning, Tuning, breakage.
Pros of external: Doesn’t require disassembly to clean, no tuning required, failure due to metal fatigue from flexure eliminated. Cons of external, more difficult to disassemble, cost of replacement (assumed)

I’ve shot many rounds through pistols with internal extractors without failure or tuning. I’m now shooting one with and an external (Caspian slide) I’ve no complaints as of yet, but I haven’t shot near the number of round either (only about 14K)..
Just my penny and a half……
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies guys.

Have read a lot of threads on here through searchinhg.
most were guys saying they had problems with Kimbers and others replying that they didnt. S&W seemed to get a lot of priase but again it was just my gun works so externals are good. did not realy explain the differences much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Greyson said:
Pesty,

The issue is when one is hard on this part. i.e. putting a round into the
gun, and then dropping the slide onto it. And external extractor is much
more forgiving and will last longer.
Do I understand you correctly? if by this do you mean insersting a round by hand into a gun with the slide locked back instead of feeding as usual by the magazine and cycling the slide to chamber the round?
 

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The biggest problem with internal extractors is that they have been made cheaply and out of inproper metal. A correctly made extractor made out of the proper steel will work for years and years with little or no tuning once it is set properly. Cheap cast and MIMMed extractors are worthless in my opinion and for companies to use them in the first place on so critical a part is foolish. I doubt that external extractors would have ever become more then a novelty if internal ones had been made correctly. Spring steel was the original type I believe, and tool steel was used after a while.
 

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fxntime said:
The biggest problem with internal extractors is that they have been made cheaply and out of inproper metal. A correctly made extractor made out of the proper steel will work for years and years with little or no tuning once it is set properly. Cheap cast and MIMMed extractors are worthless in my opinion and for companies to use them in the first place on so critical a part is foolish. I doubt that external extractors would have ever become more then a novelty if internal ones had been made correctly. Spring steel was the original type I believe, and tool steel was used after a while.
I couldn’t agree more, substandard parts will get you every time. IMO, manufacturers went to external extractors as a perceived way to reduce the cost of manufacturing as well the potential to add some sales appeal (mimicking the plastic pistols) as something new and innovative.
 

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Machts Nichts

Probably much more philosophical rather than technical. If we can agree that both convensions work equally well then we must appreciate the engineering elegence of Jack Browning and the way he accomplished case extraction with a single piece system rather than a 2, 3, or 4 piece system.

Although I am an internal extractor fan, I don't think the world would be sucked into the Sun at dawn if I chose a handgun with an external extractor. Just my $.02.

FL Panhandle
 

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Mullet Shooter said:
Probably much more philosophical rather than technical. If we can agree that both convensions work equally well then we must appreciate the engineering elegence of Jack Browning and the way he accomplished case extraction with a single piece system rather than a 2, 3, or 4 piece system.

Although I am an internal extractor fan, I don't think the world would be sucked into the Sun at dawn if I chose a handgun with an external extractor. Just my $.02.

FL Panhandle
JOHN Moses Browning.:) And I don't know about the sun part. It is possible.:p
 

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Mullet Shooter said:
we must appreciate the engineering elegence of Jack Browning and the way he accomplished case extraction with a single piece system rather than a 2, 3, or 4 piece system.
Dunno if I can trust an opinion from a guy who thinks "Jack" Browning invented the 1911.
 

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pesty said:
Do I understand you correctly? if by this do you mean insersting a round by hand into a gun with the slide locked back instead of feeding as usual by the magazine and cycling the slide to chamber the round?
You bet your life. That is hard on any extractor on any gun. Sometimes one
will have a malfunction where this event happens "naturally" so to speak.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Greyson said:
You bet your life. That is hard on any extractor on any gun. Sometimes one
will have a malfunction where this event happens "naturally" so to speak.

Regards,
Greyson
I often wondered why someone would insert a round like this. is there a specific reason to do this. Ive seen people do it but could not work out any benefit to it.
 

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I'm sure there are plenty of 1911's with external extractors that operate properly.
I prefer to stick with the original internal design. The parts are easier to get if needed, no special tools are needed to replace it, and there's no tiny little spring or roll pin to spend hours crawling around on the floor looking for while your dog thinks it's play time.
The original design has worked well for almost 100 years. Why re-invent the wheel?
 

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Well, if Browning was so good, and he used an internal extractor because it is so perfect, how come he used external extractors on everything else he designed except the BHP?

The internal extractor on the 1911 was a solution to a problem that came up in the Army tests with short cases made while Frankford was having problems with case length control on rimless cases. The Army wanted an extractor that would grab an unfired cartridge and extract and eject it. An external extractor won't extract a short rimless cartridge - it won't reach in far enough.

Another advantage is that the internal extractor makes disassembly easier. But the drawback is that the internal extractor is its own spring, which makes the proper material absolutely necessary. Spring steel, properly tempered, is expensive. Extractors made by casting, MIM, or crushing old beer cans just won't work, no matter how cheap they are.

However, with the vast improvement in cartridges, the chances of encountering any short FA cartridges is pretty low, and the main reason for the internal extractor has gone away. I see no problem with external extractors, and if the choice is between a well made external extractor and a piece of crud internal extractor, I will take the external every time.

Jim
 

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I believe another part of the "impetus" on developing an external extractor is, it is an easy "loaded chamber indicator", that several states are now, or about to require.
 
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