P220ST Extractor Fix--What did you do?


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MK11
August 24, 2010, 10:58 AM
So, after roughly 1,200 rounds of flawless shooting, my Sig P220 ST (internal extractor) revealed that it too, has the infamous extraction problem.

For those of you who have dealt with this, what did you do? If you dealt with Sig, how did they respond? I understand Gray Guns has a fix in mind but hasn't actually produced it yet.

It's a great shooting gun but I don't want to send it to Sig to replace the extractor if it's just going to give up the ghost after another 700-1,000 rounds.

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schmeky
August 24, 2010, 01:14 PM
I understand you can tweak the extractor somewhat. I sold my P-220 (but let the buyer know before hand) because I had some extraction issues. I slightly adjusted the extractor and had no more problems, it only happened a few times before the tweak, but I understood the only fix was to send it to Sig.

I sent a message to Gray Guns and about 3 months later got a response. They indicated there was not sufficient demand to justify the cost. Looks like it's back to Sig.

fastbolt
August 24, 2010, 01:17 PM
Well, I wouldn't call it an "infamous extraction problem" until it was properly diagnosed.

No change in the ammunition being used? Not using low-powered loads?

No obvious visible damage to the extractor hook?

Nothing lodged in the chamber causing the empty cases to stick?

No momentary lapse of adequate lubrication? (The armorer instructor did repeatedly emphasize that Sig's are "wet guns" in the class, although over-lubrication was still something to be avoided, of course.)

Your ST has the previous extractor design that slips up into the slide from the bottom, and not the latest external pivoting extractor with the slightly offset plunger & spring (like the rest of the metal-framed P series)?

You haven't been allowing the slide to run home on a round dropped into the chamber, instead of properly being stripped and chambered from the magazine, right?

If it were me (and I wasn't an armorer), I'd call Sig and ask them for a prepaid shipping label for the gun to be examined under warranty. As an armorer, if I had eliminated everything other than the extractor, I'd replace the extractor with a new one. The previous design 220 extractors were pre-tensioned (as were the older ones) but we were told they were really only intended to be installed once, since installation required some force applied to the extractor (unlike the original design where it slipped into the breech block) and if ever removed they should be replaced (since they came with enough extra tension to allow them to be slipped up into position once and still have expected tension for functioning). In my class the instructor said that it was company policy that in dedicated LE/defensive guns they did not recommend an armorer try to adjust the pre-tensioned extractor, but to replace it if ever removed from a gun.

Naturally, it's not possible to diagnose a problem online and these are just some thoughts. Call Sig.

MK11
August 24, 2010, 02:30 PM
No to all except number 6, which is a "yes." This has occurred at least once during my last four outings with the P220ST, all within 50 rounds, with a variety of factory ball ammo (Winchester, Remington, Blazer).

Off to Sig.

9mmepiphany
August 24, 2010, 04:23 PM
I'd send it back to Sig and let them try to rectify it.

Tweaking the extractor is only a stopgap measure. What the factory will do is polish the breach face, clean up any machining and replace the extractor...which might fix the problem.

I never thought of the extractor issue as either infamous or widespread...I have two 220STs with internal extractors that haven't missed a beat in 3 years of teaching. It originates as a stacking of tolerances in the location of the extractor in the milled slide...machining tolerances have an impact on it becoming an issue. 1200 rounds is quite late for the issue to appear, it is usually in the first few hundred rounds.

The problem with the Grayguns solution...they do have one...is getting someone to make them, to the quality they require, at a price that would justify production for the demand of the market.

Anything can be fixed if you understand what needs to be done and have enough money to throw at it. For the factory, the cost effective solution was the introduction of the external extractor

schmeky
August 24, 2010, 08:15 PM
Off to Sig

Yep :(

rellascout
August 24, 2010, 08:20 PM
I sold mine only P220 with a stainless slide. Personally believe once you have the issue it will resurface.

fastbolt
August 24, 2010, 08:28 PM
First things first. It seems prudent to give them the opportunity to correct it.

Stop allowing the slide & extractor to slam forward over a chambered round which isn't fed from the magazine. This isn't usually a good thing for the extractors which are essentially 'springs', like the typical internal extractor used in 1911's. (It can also increase the potential for hook damage in some other extractors, as well, though.)

I also think it's odd that it's taken so long to appear, and it makes me suspect a loss of tension in the extractor, for whatever reason, or perhaps even something having become stuck up inside the extractor recess which prevents the extractor from being positioned as far 'inward' as intended for normal function.

Occasional problems resulting from tolerance stack issues can be perplexing things at times, though.

triggerz
August 25, 2010, 12:29 AM
I have the same problem on my P220ST. It happened right after an Enhancement Package and Short Trigger reset jobs at SIG.

I used Winchester white box and Fed Eagle and would happen regardless. It would FTE on every other round. When it works good, it's one heck of an accurate piece. I called SIG who suggested I try another mag in case it's mag issue. If not, they'll will send me a prepaid mailer.

'kinda frustrating because it's a really accurate piece.

MK11
August 25, 2010, 10:20 AM
Ditto, I appreciate all the thoughtful responses. Just to be clear, I never have closed the chamber on a round that wasn't fed from the magazine.

Unfortunately, I DO think this is pretty widespread. The fact that Gray Guns has actually considered a solution and Sig has changed the design suggest it's more than a few random instances. I think I remember a reference to Ernest Langdon constantly swapping extractors when he was shooting (and winning) with a P220ST. I'm bummed, this could easily be my favorite .45 ACP and probably my favorite Sig.

I'll report back on what I hear from Sig.

rellascout
August 25, 2010, 10:39 AM
I also think it's odd that it's taken so long to appear, and it makes me suspect a loss of tension in the extractor, for whatever reason, or perhaps even something having become stuck up inside the extractor recess which prevents the extractor from being positioned as far 'inward' as intended for normal function.


The tolerances of the extractor are too narrow IMHO. The "Stack" as you call it is the result of using an older design for the extractor. It is the same design IIRC that was used in the carbon steel slide. When Sig introduced the P220ST and then changed all P220s to milled stainless slides they tweaked the extractor instead of redesigning it.

The reality is that most guns not just P220s are not shot enough to produce the failure. Some fail right away. Others fail later in their duty cycle but again IMHO once you have the issue you will be tweaking it for ever. Many people who have had this occur report that their P220s had to go back to Sig several times in order to get it right. My personal experience was with a P220 SAS CPO which had just left Sig but still failed right out of the box. 2 trips to get is to function and I sold it will full disclosure.

This is a real problem. Sig down played it via customer service while at the same time changing the extractor to an external one. Gray Guns saw an opportunity but could not produce the part cheap enough to make it worth the effort. If this was not a real problem they would not have ever started the research and protyping.

Good luck

fastbolt
August 25, 2010, 12:11 PM
Just to be clear, I never have closed the chamber on a round that wasn't fed from the magazine.

I misunderstood your response in post #4. Sorry.

Yeah, I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Sig engineers belatedly wished they'd changed the 220 extractor design a bit sooner.

I remember when we were discussing the original 220 extractor and the then-current one in the armorer class (they only used the old 220 slides in the class at that time, using 229's as the primary armorer guns). I asked the instructor why Sig engineers hadn't simply adapted the pivoting, plunger powered external extractor which has been so successfully used in the rest of the P-series line in the new 220's. He sort of shrugged and said that it was a good question, but one for which he had no answer. As it turned out, they eventually did adapt it to the 220 .45 series.

Let us know how Sig CS responds.

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