external extractor or no?


April 12, 2003, 01:22 AM
Got my 1911s down to Kimber and Dan Wesson. One of the appealing things of the Dan Wesson is the external extractor for a reasonable price. If the price of a Kimber with no external extractor but all other things being basically equal is the same as a DW with an external extractor are the same, is there a clear route?

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Jim K
April 12, 2003, 01:35 AM
Do you want practical or tradition? The external extractor should be better for all practical purposes, but those who can't even think of changing something done by The Old Master will go with the internal extractor. Never mind that The Old Master worked designs over dozens of times and was always changing things for the better.


April 12, 2003, 02:27 AM
Well, the external extractor is supposed to be more reliable and durable, but by the same token, the old internal extractor isn't too shabby on those counts, either.

However, the internal extractor is significantly easier to remove/service/replace under field conditions - depress firing pin head to release the retaining plate, and out it comes to the rear(unless you've got to fiddle with the Series 80 firing pin safety plunger, but that's another story). If an external extractor WERE to need replacement or a thorough cleaning, you'd have to drive out the pivot/retainer pin with a punch and hammer, and then you've gotta watch out that the spring doesn't fly off into the stratosphere, and when you reassemble it you have to hold everything just so while compressing the (strong) spring as you drive the pin in...

...so, if you detail-strip or work on your own guns personally, I'd say stick with the internal extractor(Kimber), unless you really feel that the (theoretical)added reliability/durability of the external extractor(Dan Wesson) outweighs ease of disassembly.

April 12, 2003, 08:27 AM
I have read that Kimber is going to all external extractors by the end of this year.
Someone may have a Kimber with an external extractor, but it appears you may not need tools to remove it- anyone know?
The Smith, Dan Wesson, etc has a pin that has to be driven out.

Time will tell which one is better. I have not had the problems with internals that I read with a lot of people. But, the majority of pistols have externals and they work.

The other alternative is to buy a standard model and use an Aftec extractor, perhaps the best of both worlds, but expensive.

Good luck

April 12, 2003, 09:50 AM
Properly tensioned of the right material, there is nothing wrong with an internal extractor. Swapping one out takes all of three minutes or so if one is not in a particular hurry.

There is also nothing wrong with an external extractor either, except for looks and relying on a small spring.

April 12, 2003, 12:45 PM
The main benefit of a pivoting external extractor is that it's a whole lot harder for the manufacturer to screw one up.

There's nothing more annoying than buying a new $800+ 1911 and finding that the extractor has slightly less tension than a piece of al dente linguini. By contrast, ball-point pen manufacturers can put properly tensioned coil spings in a $0.39 writing gizmo, so stuffing one under an extractor ain't too hard.

Oh, and when did they stop fitting extractors? Colt, Kimber, Springfield; all of them seem to have two inches of steel hanging out the rear of the slide these days. Is it that hard to hit it a lick with a grinder before boxing up and shipping the gun? ;)

April 12, 2003, 03:44 PM
My Springer must have been made on a hump day because it is fitted just fine. Then again, I reject a lot of pistols before I buy one. Buying a wheelgun will see me cribbing the notes from the revo forum sticky though!:D

April 13, 2003, 10:31 PM
Lessee, Colt, Remington-Rand, U.S. Springfield Armory, Union Switch & Signal, Ithaca, and Singer. A couple of World Wars, some lesser conflicts, and how many training rounds? Granted, they had armorers who kept 'em going, but they kept going with internal extractors...

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