Extractor problems with Colt officers model .45


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tommyt
November 13, 2004, 01:23 PM
I am having extractor issues with a series 80 colt officers model. I had a failure to extract and upon looking at the stock extractor it was not tight enough to hold a live round with the slide removed from the pistol. I have now adjusted the tension on the old extractor and it now holds the round (I’ve done this following advice found on this site).

Problem is that upon examining the front surface of the extractor (the part that faces the barrel) I can see a pronounced wearing of the finish in a semi-circle pattern where I am guessing the extractor is hitting the rims of the rounds as it jumps over the rims as it feeds. I have been reading that this is bad/will mess up the extractor.

Here is some history on this pistol:
I have had a variety of issues with this colt over the years and have recently replaced the firing pin spring with a wolff spring (the old one was worn and the firing pin stop would fall down during firing jamming everything up), the firing pin stop (Wilson Combat), the recoil spring (Wolff), and I have new Wilson Combat 7 round #47,OX mags. I had to adjust the slide stop because the nose of some rounds were hitting it during firing locking it open with rounds still in the mag (I could see the copper colored marks on the portion of the slide stop that engages the follower where the rounds were hitting). By the time I got enough clearance on the slide stop it would not engage the followers on the old colt mags I had (with orange plastic followers). The Wilson mags were the solution, work great, and the slide stop engages no problem with the Wilson mags. In case anyone wonders I compared my “adjusted” slide stop to a stock Wilson stop and they seem to be comparable in dimensions ie. I don’t think I took off to much material from the slide stop although I am no expert. I also had to “dimple” the slide stop where it engages the plunger in the safety assembly to keep it from locking the gun open prematurely.

I am wondering what to do about the extractor. I’m guessing my best bet is to put in a new one and see how it works since the old one is pretty worn out/has been abused. I’m thinking that the problem may have been from using crappy mags in the past. The springs in the Wilson mags are much stronger than those in the Colt mags I have. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Dave Sample
November 13, 2004, 02:06 PM
OM's are more sensitive to things than the 5" guns that this system was designed for. Extractor tension is more critical and so is the shape of the hook. The right ejector is also very important. My rule of thumb is that the shorter the slide, the less tension you need and the hook has to be done right. Things are happening fast here and so things have to be just right. I do not like any of the recoil systems for OM's except for the King Reverse Plug Bushing/Double spring/ shok-buff /guide rod system that solves most problems in these little guns. They like hot ammo with the King set-up, but it works great in my EAGLE 2 (Short Sword) I do not have any of the problems you have had in this gun, do I can't be of much help. Mine runs like a champ. It does have a Commander size lower end, but that should not matter. I always think that they are not timed right and that they are push feeding which is rough on rats. Good luck with this one.

http://pic11.picturetrail.com/VOL368/953404/2872874/48320506.jpg

This is a proto-type of my idea of a nice little 45 ACP carry gun.

tommyt
November 13, 2004, 03:31 PM
Dave,
What modifications are required to the slide in order to install those guide rod kits from Kings? Once modified can the stock recoil spring set-up still be used?
Also...can I put a standard 5 inch slide on the officers frame????

Dave Sample
November 14, 2004, 01:46 PM
Officer's frames and Commander frames are interchangeable. Government frames are not suitable for that transition.
The slide has to be milled or filed perfectly flat where the bushing goes in at the rear of the recoil spring tunnel. Once you do it, it would be folly to go back to a system that is a malfunction waiting to happen on a Stock Officers' Model. The Colt plug with the little tip in the bushing leaves the gun at some point and I do not trust them at all.

http://pic11.picturetrail.com/VOL368/953404/2872874/73104342.jpg

Here is a slightly better view of the front of the gun. It makes a nice picture pointing at a perp and looks like a 100 caliber with the silver bushing and black barrel end.

Brian D.
November 14, 2004, 03:10 PM
While we're on the subject, how do you like the Commander slide on top of an Officer's ACP frame, as in the Colt Concealed Carry Officer's model from the late '90s? Had a chance to buy one yesterday at a show, but passed due to other impending purchases. I noticed that the CCO has the same undercut as the Defender right where the grip frame meets the bottom of the trigger guard. For me that has made the Defender more shootable than a regular Officer's ACP (and the clones from other makers). That undercut lets me get a little more of my pinky around the grip at the bottom, which gives me noticeably more control.
That CCO seems like a decent setup. What say you and the other regulars, if I might "borrow" this thread for a second?

1911Tuner
November 14, 2004, 03:16 PM
Officer's frames and Commander frames are interchangeable. Government frames are not suitable for that transition.
The slide has to be milled or filed perfectly flat where the bushing goes in at the rear of the recoil spring tunnel. Once you do it, it would be folly to go back to a system that is a malfunction waiting to happen on a Stock Officers' Model. The Colt plug with the little tip in the bushing leaves the gun at some point and I do not trust them at all.

http://pic11.picturetrail.com/VOL368/953404/2872874/73104342.jpg

Here is a slightly better view of the front of the gun. It makes a nice picture pointing at a perp and looks like a 100 caliber with the silver bushing and black barrel end.

Yadda Yadda Yadda...Ya gonna tell the guy how to tweak his gun, or blow smoke and whistle Dixie?

tommyt
November 14, 2004, 03:49 PM
1911 Tuner any tips on what I can do with the extractor?

1911Tuner
November 14, 2004, 05:41 PM
1911 Tuner any tips on what I can do with the extractor?


Howdy Tommy,

Surely...but let's try to figure out what it needs. The extractor may not be the problem.

First, check your empty brass for signs of push-feed/snapover. You'll see round or oval-shaped dings near the edge of the rims, usually with sharp burrs on the edges. The other mark, nearer to the center, is the ejector mark...and is normal.
It doesn't kick up the telltale burr.

next..I agree with Dave's recoil system recommendation...with a few modifications
as needed. Some pistols require the mods...some don't. As delivered, these systems are a little too heavy, and overspringing the slide can bring on some unique problems in itself.

Standin' by for the ding report...

Dave Sample
November 15, 2004, 03:34 PM
Now Tuner! You know that it's against the RULES to agree with anything I say! Go wash yo' mouth out with LAVA soap!

I think the other way is backward for a carry gun for several reasons. I do not like the grip on a O.M. I do not like the smaller magazines. I like the Commander size guns and would have no reason to think I would gain anything by giving myself less ammo and a bad grip to boot. I know, I know, I have it all wrong here. All the other smiths like to do it the way you asked about. I built this gun because the big guns were poking into the leather seats in My Cadillacs! If that is not a good reason to design and build a gun, then I just don't know why you would do it for any other reason. EAGLE 2 runs 100% on hot ammo and that is what is was built to do. +P are Me! It uses the same size magazines that all the other guys use. It also does not have grasping grooves or cocking serrations. It has two sets of 25LPI checkering which is much stickier for grabbing that liitle slide. I build these guns so Tuner and O.F. would have something to denigrate.. .........Well, maybe not. I built this long before I had a computer. EAGLE 2 was in the Shot Show several years ago and left the gunragwriters speechless, because they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Oh well.....................

1911Tuner
November 15, 2004, 06:21 PM
Tommy,

I'll check back early tomorrow A.M. I'll be tied up from daylight until around 2 or 3 tomorrow, and will check again at that time.

Standin' by...

Dave Sample
November 16, 2004, 01:26 PM
http://pic11.picturetrail.com/VOL368/953404/2872874/73488303.jpg

Here is another view of the Kings Recoil System.

tommyt
November 16, 2004, 09:38 PM
Tuner,
the earliest I can get to the range is Sat. morning. Will get back to you then.

saltydog452
November 17, 2004, 10:52 AM
Tommy, I had similar problems with my OM. It would't feed, extract, or eject reliably. It went through the doors of three different 'smiths and still wasn't anywhere near reliable.

Fortunately, I found The High Road and, through it, 1911Tuner. I'm not going to go back and repeat all my posts about the OM, but you can do a search on this forum and read about them if you like.

Go to my 'handle' and click on the capiton which reads 'search for all posts from this user'.

Tuner was able to get my OM running just fine. The gremlins that possessed my OM were extensive and Tuner was not only having to deal with those, but the blotched 'smithing efforts of others as well.

salty.

1911Tuner
November 17, 2004, 04:58 PM
Funny you should mention that, Salty...I just had occasion to take a crack at another one(locally) that had the same problems as yours...and it had somethin' else in common with yours. It had been through one of the same doors that yours had been through...and the problems are pretty close to identical.
It's on the bench now...I just haven't had a chance to do anything to it yet, except
the diagnosis. I'll probably get to it in the wee hours tomorrow before I start with the dogs. Hope I can get it squared away before daylight.

One good thing is that I've got the whole gun this time... :cool:

tommyt
November 18, 2004, 11:49 PM
Salty,
I feel your pain with the om from hell. The one I have has been a pain in the neck as well. Everytime I touch it off I wonder if it will jam. I spend more time burning ammo to see if a problem has been fixed than I do enjoying the shooting. But what else can I do with it???? At one point I had a smith look at it and throat the barrel and enlarge the ejection port. It had feeding problems. Every time I think the problem is fixed and I run say 200 rounds through it something else happens.

1911Tuner
November 19, 2004, 04:36 AM
The Officer's Model runs fine... :cool: The problems were much the same as Salty's, thought not as bad on the early unlock timing. All's well that ends well.

Tommy...When you go shoot the pistol...in addition to checking for the dings on the case rims, pay attention to the exact conditions when the pistol stops...
and describe those conditions.

i.e. First round feed problem/failure to go to battery? Last round feed problem,
or live round stovepipe? If a failure to go to battery occurs...check the jammed round for a crescent-shaped mark just below the case mouth. If it occurs...can
you put the slide in battery by bumping if forward...or do you have to eject the round and start over?

When a feed failure occurs...Does the round enter the chamber at all...or does it stop on the ramp, or at the junction at the top of the ramp and the bottom of the barrel throat?

Standin' by...

stans
November 19, 2004, 06:00 AM
Hmmm.....nobody has mentioned extractor clocking as being a candidate for a reliability impedement. An EGW flat bottom oversized firing pin stop will hold the extractor firmly and not let it rotate. The rotation, called clocking, can cause erratic ejection patters and if bad enough I could see it dropping cases and tying up the gun. The flat bottom firing pin stop also increases the resistance to movement between the slide and hammer, effectively increasing the lock up time and slowing slide speed just a bit. This trick works well in the Government models chambered in 10mm, I don't see why it wouldn't work in the compact 1911 pattern pistols.

1911Tuner
November 19, 2004, 06:15 AM
Mornin' stans! Sleep late? :p

You said:

Hmmm.....nobody has mentioned extractor clocking as being a candidate for a reliability impedement.
_______________________

Yep..we're still tryin' to find out exactly what the gun is doin' at this point...He ain't
givin' up enough information yet. :scrutiny:

The small-radius stop works great in the chopped blasters.

Check out my new sig line... :D

Dave Sample
November 19, 2004, 06:03 PM
I just re read the original post and think that the extractor was push feeding. This indicates to me that the round is not sliding up into the exractor claw amd making a smooth trip up the breechface to get in the right postion to chamber. This is vital for a short slide gun and has to be addressed. The ejector in this type of 1911 also has to be tweaked to just the right length to get that case out before the next one comes up from the magaizine. The loaded round in the magazine is the one that pushes that empty case up and out and that function appears to be OK. The cartridge coming up out of the nagazine is the problem. The back of the hook needs to be flush with the breechface and the lower part of the hook needs to be rounded so to make things easier. It also needs to be highly polished on the inside of the hook or claw if you want to call it that.

OK Tuner.....................are you going to pull that piece , or whistle Dixie!

1911Tuner
November 19, 2004, 06:34 PM
I don't think it's push-feedin', Cap'n...but since the lad is bringin' the gun up to see me tomorrow or Sunday, we'll prolly hav'er up and runnin' in an hour or so... :cool:

tommyt
November 20, 2004, 01:03 PM
Tuner,
I fired 50 rounds this morning in the cold and snowy mountains of NM. I only had 50 rounds (UMC 230 FMJ). There were no malfunctions. However I did notice that the ejection of brass was not consistent at all. Some brass ejected to the front at 12:00, some at 3:00, some went directly back and over my right shoulder, and some would go straight up in the air such that I could catch the brass on the way down. I didn't do a statistical analysis but no one direction seemed to be dominant.
Brass Marks:
1. The ejector marks on the back of the case near the primer are clearly visible. On the opposite side of the primer from the ejector mark there are no marks on the back side of the rim (I'm assuming this is where snap over marks from the extractor would appear?).
2. On the inside of the rim where the extractor engages there are two marks on every case. One is on the back portion of the rim where I am assuming the extractor "hook" has dug in in order to extract fired brass. The other is not on the rim but on the beveled part of the case in front of the rim where I am guessing the front part of the extractor is hitting (I am guessing this is bad and will knock the tension out of the extractor).
3. Many casses have a dent in them half way between the mounth and the base of the case. When looking at the rear of the cartridge with the ejector mark on the left and extractor mark on the right the dents are on the top of the case at about 2:00. I'm guessing the brass is hitting something on the way out after it has fired since the mark is on the top of the brass. If the live rounds where hitting the feed ramp/barrel wouldn't the marks be on the bottom? The barrel has been throated in the past.

I will be happy to send you the brass if it will help. And I will buy more ammo today for more tests if needed. Thanks for the help. Tom.

1911Tuner
November 20, 2004, 01:13 PM
Howdy Tommy,

The erratic ejection might be due to insufficient extractor tension..and it could be somethin' else. Hook length from the bottom of the slot might be partly it. If the
hook engages too far into the extractor groove, it'll cause weird ejection patterns
as well as faiulres to go to battery.

The length of the extractor from breechface to the end can hang up the brass as it tries to twist free of the hook after it hits the ejector. As the case rolls off to the right, the tip can bind with the forward angle of the extractor groove and muck up the works. If the hook is also getting in too deep, this will make it worse.

With a dial caliper...Measure the thickness of the whole extractor at the tip of the hook...Then measure from the bottom of the slot and subtract. Take 2-3 measurements to make sure you get it right. The hook should be .032 to .035 inch
long. Also, it the bottom corner of the hook is sharp and square, stoning a light radius there can help with both feeding and ejection. Don't get carried away.
Lightly break the sharp corner at the top of the hook too...LIGHTLY.

Standin' by...

tommyt
November 20, 2004, 02:42 PM
Tuner,
In case it is important my pistol is a colt 1991A1 compact model. I was always told it was basically an OM model with a matte finish.

The bottom of the extractor already has a radius on it and I didn't put it there, so unless a smith did it and did not tell me it is still factory colt. I polished it up with 600 paper the other day. I will get calipers and measure this extractor today.

Dave Sample
November 20, 2004, 02:47 PM
All I can go by is what he said in his first post about the problem he is having. If it is not push feeding, there should not be any marks on the FRONT tip of the extractor. This area could be touching the rounds if the hook is too long and that will be an easy fix if you have the gun in your hot little hands. I am glad he has a cheap expert to fix this one. Good Luck!

1911Tuner
November 20, 2004, 04:37 PM
Well...Since we've arranged for him to bring the gun to me to see if we can fix it...and in light of Dave's comment...To wit:

>>that will be an easy fix if you have the gun in your hot little hands. I am glad he has a cheap expert to fix this one<<

I really don't see any reason to waste any more bandwidth on this thread.

At least it won't cost him more than the gun is worth to send it to a "real gunsmith."

Gentlemen...Time!

1911Tuner
November 21, 2004, 07:10 AM
Mistake! Tommy is NOT the guy who is bringing his pistol up for a look-see and a fix. My apologies for the brainfart and this thread is re-opened.

Mr. Sample...Do carry on. :cool:

1911Tuner
November 21, 2004, 07:19 AM
This thread is now hot again.

Cheers!

Dave Sample
November 21, 2004, 04:12 PM
I surrender again, Tuner. Please feel free to comment any way you wish, because I am out of here. Number 17 has to get ready for a possible Colorado Run as my best friend is in an ICU up there. Take care of things for us!

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