Tuning the extractor ""??""

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by Bigbill, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Bigbill

    Bigbill Member

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    I just purchased the pull gage, the extractor bending tool fixture and the washer with a hole in it use a case rim to pull it to check the tention on the extractor. I adjusted it well within the specs. And my 1990 brand new series 90 springfield armory NM thats been stove piping ever since i purchased it back then is now running awesome. I'm very fussy on how I do things and i want it to be perfect and correct. My question is i read on other sites were they just bend the extractor and go with that not knowing how much tention is on it. I know for sure when the extractor has less tention then its designed for it will stove pipe forever. Now if it has more tention than what it needs can that affect the loading and the extraction too? I believe by not adjusting the extractor to the proper specs we could possibly end up with two problems than the one problem we had.

    I did notice the cause of a sprung extractor can be closing the slide on a round in the chamber rather than loading it from the magazine which were suppose to load the chamber from the mag. Once the extractor looses its tention its game over as far as cycling goes until we tune it.

    Anythoughts on the extractor tuning? Bill
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    TuningThe Extractor

    http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=36972

    A properly shaped and tuned extractor is crucial to reliability in the 1911 pistol. Most factory extractors and many aftermarket extractors need attention to achieve the optimum in reliability

    .

    The first area of attention is the extractor groove itself, where the rim of the cartridge rides up into the groove from below. The extractor, when properly fit, does not "snap" over the rim of the cartridge, but the cartridge pushes up from below as it is fed from the magazine. One of the surest ways to ruin an extractor is put a round directly into the chamber, and then drop the slide. This forces the extractor to snap over the rim, and in time will ruin the extractor’s shape or break it.

    The extraction groove must be beveled at the bottom of the groove so that the rim of the cartridge is cammed gradually into the groove. In this way, the cartridge rim will more gradually push the extractor back to tension it over the extractor groove in the cartridge and it can slide up more easily. This bevel should run from the bottom edge of the extractor groove up to the midway point in the extractor’s groove. The forward inside edge of the extractor groove should be beveled out to form a slight angle; since the cartridge is at an upward angle when it feeds, this allows the rim to slide into the groove at the proper angle. The angle of the majority of the inside extractor claw should not be altered by filing or polishing. It should remain at 90 degrees or even have a slight inward grasp. The lower edge of the extractor claw should be beveled and rounded; the forward outside edge should be rounded. The top and bottom rear edges of the body of the extractor should be beveled for about an inch and ½ so as to allow "wiggle room" for the extractor within its hole in the slide. Then the tip of the extractor and the inside of the extractor groove should be polished. The initial shaping is done by small files; the polishing is done with fine sandpaper and Flitz.

    Proper tensioning of the extractor is vital to reliability. Too much tension and chambering will be severely impeded or prevented. Too little tension, and extraction and ejection will be weak or non-existent. An old gunsmith trick to test the tension of the extractor is to remove the slide from the pistol, and push a round of ammo up under the extractor from below. With proper tension, the round should be held in place regardless of how the slide is turned, yet when the round is moved downwards from its center position about 1/10 of an inch, the round should drop off.

    Tension is adjusted by removing the extractor, reversing it in the extractor hole in the slide, and pressing sideways one way or the other to increase or decrease tension. The depth of the extractor’s protrusion into the case area is controlled by removing a slight amount of metal from the inside of the rounded protrusion just back of the extractor claw with a file.
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I took a 45ACP case and soldered a piece of heavy solid wire (14 gage electrical wire). I looped it around the case close to the head and put a loop on the other end so I could grab it with a trigger pull gage. See below.

    The Kuhnhausen book suggest 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pound of pull to pull the case out from under the extractor. The shape of the extractor nose is very important too. Kuhnhausen suggest rounding the lower edge and chamfering the groove in the extractor for the rim at 45 degrees. It makes it easier for the rim to slide under the extractor when feeding a cartridge. See below.

    Kuhnhausen book on the 1911 is a classic everyone needs who ever works on 1911's needs (or any other of the books where he covers other guns, for that matter).

    LDBennett

    Attached Files:

  4. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Neat tool LD.

    I have never used a pull gauge to adjust an extractor as I was taught the way I explained it in my "Tricks" thread. Mine seem to be consistant as I have done hundreds and they all worked well.

    I may duplicate that tool to check myself as I think it would be interesting.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Shooter45:

    My engineering background makes me quantize everything (unfortunately, sometimes!). How much is enough or too little?

    Also it was suggested by an AGI gunsmith that a gentle tap against the carpet on the bench with a small brass hammer is a better way to "bend" the extractor one way or another. When you bend it directly you don't spread the bend over a very large area whereas the hammer blow tends to do that.

    If you find your results vary with Kuhnhausen just re-calibrate the so called "correct" results of 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds to whatever you find works. It might also be interesting to see how much variation you get with your original approach. Without tons of experience sometimes consistent results can be achieved through measurements.

    LDBennett
  6. Bigbill

    Bigbill Member

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    We can have it too tight too. Since this 1911 had problems right out of the box i wanted to make sure it was set exactly right. Then if it still had problems i knew it wasn't the extractor.
    Will it being too tight wear the extractor over time, i'm not sure.

    I purchased all the dvd's and i want to learn everything i can stuff in my mind about the 1911. I just fixed my 1990 springfield armory that was NIB stove piping since then until now. I did follow the instructions on how to stone and file the extractor to make its performance better too. My 90's springer rocks now. Now its the 500rd reliablity/dependability test next. If it operates/cycles flawlessly for 500rds then i can trust my life on it and carry it(CCW). These safe queens need a walk and some fresh air often too. Bill

    My background working with engineers as a leadtech is they want it right, exactly right then the test results are exactly correct. Even with my cnc machine building experience there is nothing else accepted than building it right. The machine being accurate into the millionths showed my quality work. I worked on 95'' stroke rams that had that accuracy the whole time. Failure is not an option.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  7. Bigbill

    Bigbill Member

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    With all thats said above how long will the extractor stay at the proper tention?

    Do you replace the extractor or just retention it or scrap it?

    How would you rate the extractor being the problem with most 1911's stove piping?

    Is it the main cause most of the time with the 1911's with stove piping?

    On any 1911 with cycling problems it can only be the extractor or a mag feeding problem right?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
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