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1911 with external extracter

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by JoelSteinbach, Nov 8, 2010.

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  1. JoelSteinbach

    JoelSteinbach Member

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    Is there any reason not to purchase a 1911 with an external extracter. I own a few Kimbers, and Colts, I am aware that Kimber did produce their 1911's a few years ago with the external extracter but changed back babout 7 or 8 years ago. I am presently looking at the S & W line as well as the Sigs. Is there a reason not to own one.
     
  2. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock Member

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    Ive had good luck with my S&W. No problems due to the external extractor. I cannot speak to the other brands.
     
  3. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Member

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    S&W seems to have figured out how to make a 1911 with an external extractor. Mine runs fine and I have not heard of any complaints about them.
     
  4. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    My big complaint is that the external extractor represents a part specific to that one manufacturer, whereas the internal extractor is a standard part that is available from a large number of sources.
     
  5. kmbrman

    kmbrman Member

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    External Extractor ?

    Joel , as far as I can tell not many people have had trouble with the pistol makes that have the E.E. over the internal one. Smith, Sig , Kimber and others seem to work OK. This is kind of like the argument that goes on about the Full Length Guide Rod versus the spring and cap system.. Both are fine and either one is OK and used widely.
     
  6. olyeller

    olyeller Member

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    Kimber, no
    Sig, SW; yes

    Big yes to S&W.
     
  7. JoelSteinbach

    JoelSteinbach Member

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    THanks for the input, I will take the plunge with Smith, my local sportsmans warehouse semms to have a nice selection
     
  8. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    It depends. I would have complete confidence in S&W's, since it is based on a design they've been using for ~40 years. If it does need servicing, however, it is not easily performed "in the field." The one Kimber used, which also tried to be a loaded chamber indicator, was a debacle, I am told. One I had on a SIG broke off in less than 300 rounds, but I blame this on faulty material, not necessarily design.
     
  9. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    As others have noted, you'll be just fine with the Smith.
     
  10. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    I concur. Kinda' takes away from the ease of parts swapping and tuning versus an internal configuration.
     
  11. JoelSteinbach

    JoelSteinbach Member

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    Just took the plunge , picked up a S & W model 1911 PD its a commander length weapon, It feels very well made and very tight, it goes to the range tomorrow
     
  12. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    I like the Glock-like Kimber external extractors. Never had a problem with them at all. In theory the "tactical" extractor should have made Kimbers more reliable. I don't know how they messed that up. I've seen a few K problems, just not extractors.

    The Ruger/Keltec style external extractors stink on 1911's. I've seen those on older Dw's and a few other 1911's. I've never liked those and have seen problems with a few.
     
  13. Jackal1

    Jackal1 Member

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    The SW1911 external extractor is designed right (i.e. better than Kimber's design).

    Advantages vs. Standard 1911 Extractor
    • It has a wider tolerance and can better accomodate debris in the extractor area.
    • Unlike a standard 1911 extractor S&W recommends no special maintenance and no replacement of their external extractor for the life of the firearm. When you clean your firearm, clean & oil the extractor of course just like anything else... No need to disassemble it though.
    • Less likely to get bent when slamming the slide on a round placed in the chamber by hand.
    • No tuning required. Ever. Try finding a standard 1911 extractor that will never require tuning...

    Disadvantages vs. Standard 1911 Extractor
    • The SW1911 slide is designed differently from the standard 1911's. This makes it somewhat more difficult to find replacement parts. Some standard parts will work, some won't - it's somewhat hit or miss. If you search around the forum you'll find which standard parts will work.


    Cheers
     
  14. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    There's a lot of variability when it comes to buying internal 1911 extractors. They can require tuning, too. They can also lose tension if they have to jump over a case rim in a malfunction clearance situation. I've seen it require anywhere from only one such instance, to a few instances, in order for an individual internal extractor to loose enough tension to start exhibiting extraction issues. Then again, quality of various internal extractors can vary.

    The S&W external extractor seems to run pretty well. They do potentially require fitting when installing, just like the S&W 3rd gen guns, using a bar gauge to check for fit and a force dial gauge to check for extractor tension. There's also a heavier extractor spring available if a particular gun might require it.

    I've been told that S&W is apparently working on yet a further improvement to their SW1911 extractor, which isn't unusual considering they're always revising and improving their parts in some manner or other.

    Their Performance Center 1911's, and their newest 3" Pro Series Subcompact, also utilize an oversize extractor. I can see the potential need for it on a 3" 1911 with fast slide cycling and reduced slide mass. As some makers have discovered, it's not easy to get the diminutive 1911's to run well. ;)

    Here's a picture of the extractor hook of the typical SW1911 which shows the nicely done machining and bevel incorporated in the extractor hook to aid in feeding. (It's a .40 extractor from their 3rd gen line, which means it was originally designed to work well with the faster cycling and harder recoiling .40 S&W cartridge.)

    sw1911extractors.gif

    My own SW1911SC 5" gun has run very reliably when using an assortment of duty JHP loads over the last few years that I've owned it. It just runs, whether it's clean or somewhat dirty from having fired a few hundred rounds over more than one range session. Other folks I know who own and carry SW1911's for off-duty have also experienced excellent results. There was one guy who bought one of the first production SW1911PD's who experienced some issues. S&W determined that there was a machining issue with his frame (back when they were first machining Scandium aluminum frames for the SW1911PD's) and cheerfully replaced the gun with a new one, which ran very well.

    I'm planning to buy another SW1911 of some sort next year, which will give me 2 SW1911's and 4 Colts. I haven't decided yet which model I'll choose, but I've actually been thinking about maybe picking up one of the hand-built PC models. I've never bothered to own a hand-built model, being mostly interested in "working guns" over the years, and some of the PC models have come to interest me. Then again, the regular production SW1911 ES model interests me, too. ;)

    I was a bit skeptical when S&W originally announced it was getting into the 1911 business, but after having seen how well they've done, and the money they've invested in new equipment and engineering work, I've been very impressed with their 1911 line, overall.

    Their armorer manual is a bit more in depth in some ways than the Colt Model O Pistol Model armorer manual I have as a Colt armorer, and I like the way they've set up their firing pin safety.

    I expect they'll only continue to get better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  15. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Hey fastbolt, if you like 1911s and appreciate the fine attributes of Smith&Wesson "third generation" pistols, you might want to take a look at the Performance Center's Model 945. The 945 is sort of a hybrid between the two designs. I have had several 1911s (still own and shoot a Series 70 Gold Cup regularly) but I much prefer the 945 for all the important reasons: accuracy, reliability, design and workmanship.
     
  16. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Howdy,

    I've thought about the 945. It's just that the design differs a bit from either end of the 3rd gen & 1911 spectrum and uses the proprietary 8-rd mags.

    I know a serious 1911 owner, shooter & gunsmith who's carried the mid-size 945 for some years and is very impressed with it. Last time I handled it I noticed it exhibited some serious carry wear. ;)

    I haven't ruled the 945 out, and it might depend on what they have at hand in the PC when I get around to calling back there next year.
     
  17. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    S&W has been using external exttractors on their semi auto for many years. I cannot speak for the reliability of other brands.
     
  18. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Other than the relatively high initial cost, I agree that finding magazines is probably the biggest drawback to buying a Model 945. That said, I like the pistol well enough to have invested in a couple of extra mags and went on with my life.
    One of the things I like best about the 945 is the trigger. I've shot Bullseye competition since the early sixties and I'm fairly discerning when it comes to a trigger breaking at the right time when the wind is blowing off Lake Erie at Camp Perry, as you're trying to keep the sights aligned while holding the pistol at the fifty yard slow-fire range with one hand. The trigger (at least on my 945) is superior to any of the many target 1911s I've shot over the years. The only semi-auto pistol that I've shot that is as good as the Model 945 is my Smith Model 52-and that's saying something!
     
  19. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Thanks. That's interesting to know.

    I've had an interest in the 945 for it's unique appearance, although appearance has never been something that affected me when it came to a working gun. This won't be as much a working gun as just one I enjoy owning and running through the range fairly often. (I'd not care for it to be taken into evidence. ;) )

    How did you find the tolerance of the tighter rails and the Briley bushing in your 945 to be when running a few hundred rounds through it without cleaning? I've found a number of PC guns with Briley bushings and tighter barrel hoods to be a little more susceptible to dirt & fouling compared to the regular models. Just curious.

    As far as the mags, it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. I already have an original 4513TSW and CS45 which require mags specific to each of them. I simply bought several mags for each and added 1 or 2 more along the way periodically so I didn't have to be concerned about having enough at hand to handle any damage or loss issues, should they arise. I'd do the same thing with a 945 if I bought one.

    I'm still pondering ...
     
  20. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    Same here. However one should note that Para's PXT pistols use a proprietary extractor.

    I would not buy a Kimber with an external extractor. They were so bad a lot of the pistols sent in for service were returned to the owners with a new slide...

    S&W has been using external extractors for a while no without issue. I wouldnt hesitate.
     
  21. dewalt-2

    dewalt-2 Member

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    Funny about the Kimber external extractor issues, I know they had problems. Although they seemed to get it right with the rimfires, I have a Rimfire Target pistol, and a conversion and both run flawlessly.
     
  22. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    And they finally abandoned the EE altogether (four parts to replace one???). I've always considered the EE in 1911s a solution to a nonexistent problem. S&W did indeed get it right.
     
  23. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Tolerances are tight; more of a match gun set-up as opposed to one intended for military combat use. The Briley bushing can be a pain to re-install and requires a little judicious manipulating until you understand the "process"-after you get acquainted with it and its temperament, it's a piece of cake.
    To answer your question specifically, I generally try to field-strip and clean any center-fire pistol after having fired 500 rounds or so, sometimes sooner if I don't plan on shooting it again in the very near future. The Model 945 has been completely reliable when employing this cleaning regimen, whether I'm using factory ammunition or my own reloads. I can't say how well it would continue to function reliably if I put off cleaning it until after 1000 rounds or so were sent downrange because I haven't done it-but I suspect those aforementioned tight tolerances so helpful in achieving those nice, tight groups would indeed make it "a little more susceptible to dirt & fouling compared to the regular models."
     
  24. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Thanks SwampWolf.

    Most PC pistols I've used have been pretty tightly fitted.

    500 rounds fired is a pretty good number when it comes to match-type guns maintaining functional reliability. I don't see the need to push that number for normal range visits.

    I've become a bit acquainted with the Briley bushing on a handful of PC pistols. Just wondered how your experience had been. Once you learn to hold your mouth just right they're easy enough. ;)
     
  25. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    Sorry, if this is a tread tangant; but how does Para's Power Extractor compare to an internal or external extractor?

    I am thinking about getting a Para Super Hawg the 14+1 6" barrel model.
     
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