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S&W 1911 question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by briney11, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. briney11

    briney11 Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    The Hawkeye State-IOWA
    I'm kind of a newbie to the 1911 world. I had a Kimber Custom 2 for a few years (loved it) but recently sold it.:( So now I'm in the process of replacing it with a S&W 1911. It has an external extractor and I'm not sure if I will like it or not. I posted a question about the external extractor last night and am no longer worried about the function of it. But I'm still not sure as to how I will like it. So my question is this. If I end up not liking the external extractor, how easy will it be to just buy another slide (Caspian, Baer, ect.) and use my Smiths existing parts (sights, firing pin, ect.)? Do the new slides just drop in or do the require a gunsmith to fit them???
  2. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    If you are that concerned about the external extrator (you really shouldn't be from a reliability standpoint, but I agree that they look funny), you are better off just buying a pistol with an internal extractor. There is no shortage of great options out there with internal extractors.

    Yes, replacing the slide will requite quite a bit of fitting by a gunsmith.
  3. sleepyone

    sleepyone Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2009
    The Great State of Texas
    I have an older Dan Wesson PTE-B-EXP 1911 with the external extractor. Thousands of rounds through it with no problems and just as accurate as a Les Baer of good friend of mine owns. Don't be concerned about reliability or accuracy. S&W makes a great 1911 at a great price point. Sig 1911s also use external extractors and they are great pistols. I kind of like the look of my DW now. It's different, but if you are into old-school 1911s I guess I can see your reservations. But look how the 1911 has evolved over the years. Shooters love the beavertail grip safety, ambi-safety, FLGR, Novak, Tritium, Fiber Optic and target sights, skeltonized triggers and hammers, etc., but they seem to get hung up on the external extractor. And look at all the Polymer guns using external extractors: M&P, Sig, Walther, Ruger, Glock.

    I would think for the money it might take to convert yours to an internal extractor you are better off buying an internal extractor 1911. Give the external extractor a try. You might grow to like it.
  4. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    That will depend also on the model of SW1911 you're looking at. The original style from Smith featured a Swartz style firing pin safety while the E-Series does not. I would still advise you to consider another make from the STI Spartan at $635 to a Colt 1991 around $800 or a Ruger for about $700.
  5. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Johnson City, TN
    This is a derivation of the same extractor S&W has been using for 58 years, and you rarely hear of extraction problems. The one disadvantage compared to Browning's design is that they're for the most part a gunsmith job, while you can change the original design without even tools, although it takes practice to "tune" (i.e., bend to the right shape) it.

    For all the money and trouble you might as well have bought the gun you really wanted. :)
  6. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    What does it mean to like or dislike an extractor? If reliability isn't a concern, are we just talking about aesthetics?

    Replacing the slide to switch to an internal extractor is extreme; for that matter, I don't know how S&W frames are built or if they would accommodate one.

    Much ado and for what?

    Why limit yourself to S&Ws if this is a concern? The overwhelming majority of 1911 makers use an internal extractor...

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