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Help need with a 1911 extractor problem

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by RITAR, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. RITAR

    RITAR New Member

    Jan 29, 2013
    I purchased a new Nowlin extractor and tried to install it in my series 70 model 1911. Unfortunately, the circumference of the large rear end of the extractor is greater than the circumference of the hole in the rear of the slide, so you can’t push the extractor into the slide. (I confirmed this by trying to push the rear end into the slide hole first and no go.) Has anyone encountered this before? Do I just sand the extractor end? The pistol is a Kahr 1911 commander size (one of a few that Kahr made).
  2. creeper1956

    creeper1956 Member

    Sep 29, 2012
    Washington State
    Hi Rita, welcome to THR...

    The Kahr/AO 1911 can be a little sketchy on dimensions sometimes. Have you measured the slide hole and extractor head yet? Is the extractor a few thousandths larger (or less), or is it seriously larger than the hole?
    Yes, you can sand it, but unless Nowlin screwed up (not likely), I'd bet your slide is undersize... and you'll have this problem with every brand of extractor.
    The extractor should fit with a bit of a push, but it shouldn't be a hard press fit or the other end of the spectrum, a drop-in fit, which seems to be the more common these days. How does your old extractor fit, and what is it's diameter?

    Just out of curiosity, why change the extractor? Have you determined that your gun has extractor issues and decided to replace the extractor? If your original extractor is not broken, have you considered tuning it, or having it tuned?
    The reason I mention this is because I've seen lots of threads over the years with Kahr/AO 1911 extractor issues, where proper tuning, not part replacement was frequently the cure.

  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    A Series 70 is a Colt.
    Which is it?
    It can't be both.

    The rear end of a mil-spec 1911 extractor should measure approx. .270".

    If your Nowlin extractor measure that.
    Your slide is out of spec.

    If you have to belt sand a standard extractor down to fit an out of spec slide hole?
    Do what you gotta do.

  4. RITAR

    RITAR New Member

    Jan 29, 2013
    How hard would it be for a gunsmith to enlarge the slide hole? If I sand the extractor, I will have to do it ever time a new extractor is installed.
  5. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Participating Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Carolina Low Country
    I have a Colt Combat Commander bought in 1985 or 86 that has the original extractor, and it has had a lot of rounds through it. It got tuned in 1997 when I had an trigger/action job & new sights. My point is that after thousands of rounds the original extractor is still going strong, and if and when it breaks I will replace it, but I don't worry about it. You know, "if it ain't broke...". I don't suggest that having a spare is a bad idea but if you're not in combat or carrying it on duty it isn't really necessary.
    Having said all that, I think reducing the extractor diameter would be easier, & that's what I would do.
    Good luck!
  6. orionengnr

    orionengnr Mentor

    Jan 3, 2005
    If that 1911 is a keeper, have a good local 1911-smith look at it and give you an estimate. You don't need a John Harrison for this job. (Actually, any competent machinist should be able to do this correctly. Provide him with the dimension RC quoted in post #3, or give him the new extractor with the slide, and tell him what type of fit you want...snug hand fit.

    If we knew where you were...we might be able to recommend someone in your area. That way you don't pay shipping, and you can meet the guy and (maybe) see some examples of his work before you hand it over.

    If you have to ship, ship the slide only--that way you can legally ship using USPS Priority Mail. Insure the slide for replacement value (since an original replacement may be impossible to buy, consider insuring it for the gun's replacement value).
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Elder

    Dec 31, 2002
    The general rule is to mess with the cheapest part, which would be the extractor.

    FWIW, the extractor hole in the slide should be .2725" - .2755". The extractor should be .268" - .272" at the rear. That allows a fair amount of "slop" but it is better if the extractor is a slip fit (not a drive fit) in the hole.

  8. GCBurner

    GCBurner Participating Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    The Colt 1911 parts are mostly completely interchangeable, but frequently a bit of careful hand fitting is required, even with genuine Colt factory parts. Even more so when using "1911" parts by other makers than Colt.

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