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1911 extractor question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by patkeltx, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. patkeltx

    patkeltx Active Member

    My question is; with a shell casing sitting on the breach face and engaged with the extractor should the base of the shell casing be sitting flat on the breach face? When viewing the slide with shell casing in place my springfield 1911 GI extractor does not allow the shell casing to sit perfectly flat. Shell casing is about 1/64 off of the breach face on the extractor side. I have read several articles on extractor tension and adjustments, but have not heard any comments on how flat the shell should be sitting when held by extractor. Thanks in advance for the great information!
  2. Boats

    Boats member

    Without pictures it is hard to diagnose your extractor, but the first question is, "Does it work?" If you are having extraction problems, or uneven or off centered primer strikes, the claw might be improperly shaped or something else is out of sorts. I am generally not happy with any pistol that, with the slide off and the barrel out, won't hold a live round against the breech face and not fall out when turning the slide over.

    Being able to hold a live round means that the extractor has a firm grip upon the cartridge, which will help to ensure that the firing pin gets a clean strike on the primer and that the extractor claw is not dealing with any round to round slop motion of the fired case for extraction and slamming the case into the ejector for positive ejection.
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Normal. The case won't sit flat against the breechface until the round fires, or...if it's a tightly fitted gun with zero headspace on that particular cartridge case...when it's in battery with the case mouth in contact with the stop shoulder in the forward part of the chamber. As long as you can force the case back into contact with the breechface...it's good. It may take quite a bit of force.

    The reason that we need tension on the extractor is to provide positive extraction and to hold the case while the slide moves backward until it smacks the ejector. Insufficient tension results in all sorts of extraction and ejection woes. During the slide's trip backward, the case rim isn't in firm contact with the breechface. There will be a gap.

    Too much tension can cause problems with reliable return to battery. The trick is to find the sweet spot that lies somewhere between enough and too much.
  4. patkeltx

    patkeltx Active Member

    Thanks so much for the info.

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