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Replacement 1911 extractors: which is best?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by BHPshooter, Oct 31, 2005.

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  1. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    I'm determined to get my Springy running 100%. The extractor seems a little funky... it holds the cartridge crooked. The side of the cartride near the extractor claw doesn't actually touch the breechface.

    Here's a pic that tells what I'm talking about. I don't know if it's a big issue or not...

    If it is, I'd like to replace it. If it's not, I'd like to have a good spare extractor around.

    I have heard of the C&S spring steel extractor, Wilson Combat bulletproof extractor, and the Ed Brown hardcore extractor all spoken highly of.

    So which would be the best?

  2. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Jul 25, 2003
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    It's not the extractors job to hold the cartridge tightly against the breechface.
    The case headspacing properly in the chamber is what does that.
    The extractor's only job is to get the case/cartridge out of the chamber.

    If an extractor was made to hold the case flush against the breechface it would be too tight to allow the rim to slide in as it's chambered. You'd have even more feeding problems.

    Now I have seen extractors that were a little too long in the hook area. They actually made contact with the bevel in the extractor groove of the cartridge. That condition will push the case away from the breechface and can eventually lead to extractor fracture. It's a simple matter to dress the forward edge down to where it doesn't interfere.
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts

    Howdy Fumegator,

    The condition that you describe is normal, and due to the gap between the breechface and the back of the claw.

    The "best"? Although spring-tempered 1090 steel is what the original blueprints called for...and really is what works best...the toolsteel extractors can be very good extractors if correctly tuned and slightly modified. Some don't require modification....it depends on the gun...but when I use one of those, I just do it as a matter of course.

    I've had excellent service from Brown Hardcore and Wilson Bulletproof. Each has advantages and disadvantages as to the fitting and tuning.
    The Hardcore requires less modification, and is recommended for a first-time installer. The Wilson is a little more involved, on average and in a given gun,
    but offers the distinct advantage of being a little shallower in the firing pin stop slot, which requires light fitting of the stop. Not all stops...but most.
    That allows a light press-fit and helps prevent or limit clocking...or rotation of the extractor...which is a neat way to address the potential problem that occurs in a small percentage of the guns out there.

    Cylinder and Slide was the only supplier of true spring steel extractors for a long time...until Bar-Sto began making them. C&S extractors generally come with hooks that are too deep to allow smooth feeding/return to battery, and require correction...which voids their warranty. I throw caution out the window and do what I have to, and haven't had a problem with'em. Never had one to break or lose tension with extensive use. Very good extractors.
    Haven't seen one of the Bar-Sto units...but I intend to remedy that shortly.
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