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What's So Bad About External Extractors on 1911's?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sigbear, Jan 12, 2010.

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  1. sigbear

    sigbear Member

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    Why is it some folks hate 1911's with the external extractor?

    Are guns with the internal extractors typically more reliable or less?

    All of my pistols have external extractos with the exception of the Sig. p220 that I traded for the S&W 1911.

    I had problems with the internal extractor on my sig since new, which is why I wanted a 1911 with the external extractor. Don't know how reliable this 1911 will be longterm with the external, but so far after 400 rounds, it's already proven (to me) to be more reliable than the sig. I traded in.

    Sigbear
     
  2. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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  3. MattTheHat

    MattTheHat Member

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    I understand they function fine. IMHO, they just look strange on a 1911.


    -Matt
     
  4. transalpian

    transalpian Member

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    Mostly a combination of "not what JMB wanted" and a bad experience with a run of Kimber 1911 with an external extractor. Seems like it was an isolated incident with Kimber, but a bad taste remains for some. YMMV
     
  5. silversport

    silversport Member

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    generally speaking there is nothing wrong with external extractors...some are better at it than others (SiG and Smith good...Kimber, not so much...)

    ...but you will get guff from those who say that external extractor this makes your pistol NOT a 1911 'cuz JMB didn't design it that way...course they usually don't have a problem with Commanders or Officer's or front serrations, or taller sights, or different sights, or elongated hammers, or ring hammers, or long triggers, or flat triggers, or checkered anywhere, or arched mainspring housings, or high cut frames, or aluminum frames, or ambi thumb safeties or upswept grip safeties or magwell extensions, or extended round magazines, or... ;)

    Bill
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Why is it "guff"? A Commander isn't a 1911.
    Per the other thread, people get real particular when it comes to clips versus magazines but are slack on other terminology.
     
  7. silversport

    silversport Member

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    by the way...I like my SiGARMS GSR Revolution STX as much as I like my Kimber Custom II, Colt XSE, Colt vintage Super .38ACP or Springfield Mil Spec...good luck with your choice!...

    Bill
     
  8. silversport

    silversport Member

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    ...that's my point...they only get real particular when they want to be real particular, don't they???...:D
    Bill
     
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Nope. Actually, JMB would have probably used an external if he'd had his way. Browning didn't necessarily design what he wanted. He designed what he was asked for. If the government had asked for engraved baby kangaroos on the slide...that's what the gun would have had, and instead of "Old Slabsides" we'd be calling the gun "Old Joey."

    The advantage of the internal is that it serves as its own spring, and eliminates two very small, easily lost parts. One of the U.S. Army's criteria was that the pistol be easily serviced in the field without an armorer and without the need for special tools. The internal extractor helped to achieve that.

    An extractor has a pretty simple job. It's not really rocket science. A properly designed external is just as good as a properly designed internal. It's just not as easily serviced, and it's not adjustable for tension. Whatever the coil spring provides is pretty much what you get.
     
  10. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Unless it's in a Kimber. Other companies seem to make 'em work, though. I see it as a solution to a non-existing problem.

    I've read the machine work to the slide is easier for the external, but somehow makers managed for 90? years. Why replace one part with four?
     
  11. silversport

    silversport Member

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    EXACTLY...which is why I have a problem with those who think they know what JMB wanted...and why I added what I did...mine works fine...

    Bill
     
  12. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Nothing, so long as its on a Smith;)

    Speaking on terminology, I once said "Buffer tube" on Arfcom, and was beat up pretty bad, I now call them reciever extensions:D
     
  13. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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  14. silversport

    silversport Member

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    stop...it burns...it burnssssss......:D
    Bill
     
  15. raz-0

    raz-0 Member

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    Well, if your external extractor is the short type (like kimber and I could have sworn one other mfg), it likely doesn't work, and it is questionable if the manufacturer can even fix it if it doesn't.

    If it is the long style (like dan wesson, sig, S&W), is should work fine, and if not they seem to get it right in one trip back through the warranty process.

    I think the general sense that 1911s go "eww it's got cooties" when they see one is a case of JMB can do no wrong combined with not wanting to deal with proprietary parts on a platform they have gotten used to buying spares from an infinite number of 3rd party vendors.
     
  16. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    That's a good point about parts availability. Doubtful any aftermarket of custom maker would ever provide a non-MIM version. But, I don't think we need worry about a shortage of internal extractors.
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I guess Mr Browning had kind of gotten into the "internal habit" when he laid out the High Power, then. Took the bean counters years to replace the complex internal extractor and the little oval sideplate that he and Msr Saive used with an external hook and a roll pin.

    And consider the Woodsman.


    The Kimber extractor, working along the lines of a Walther or Glock, was a flop.

    S&W seems to be selling ok but there is one Internet Expert - Big Name Low Production Gunsmith who says their standard design is flawed.
    Hmm.
    I wonder why the S&W PC uses a different external than the production line does.


    The Wilson KZ had an external extractor, but their new plastic gun does not.
    Hmm.

    If I recall, the Remington Model 51 .380 had a self-sprung one piece extractor.
    But the .32 had a NO-spring extractor, it was cammed by the separate breechblock.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  18. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    if you do it right, like s&w, then an external extractor is just fine.

    however, if you do it like kimber, and then have a subsequent slide swap out for free because of external extractor issues, then it's a prob.
     
  19. jigglyjames29

    jigglyjames29 Member

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    sigh*
    if only.
     
  20. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    Nothing. You can screw up an external or internal extractor or make either work like a champ.

    As for on a 1911, it depends where your values lie. I personally don't care which type if the gun works, it could be either. I value reliability and accuracy, not if it shares every part with JMB's original design. I could also care less if people say my gun is a 1911 styled gun not an actual 1911 due to parts. Being able to say I have a 1911 would not factor into my decision to buy a gun, whether I liked it or not would.

    To recap, I don't see an advantage for either way. Just needs to work.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    S&W does it so they work. Kimber could not figure it out, but the internal has worked forever anyway.
     
  22. pbratton

    pbratton Member

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    well, my Kimber, with exteral extractor, has been working flawlessly now for over ten years...
     
  23. dondavis3

    dondavis3 Member

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    I own several guns with those extraxtors - they work fine for me.

    :)
     
  24. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    With regard to the S&W 1911's external extractor, it is (or appears to be) very little different in design than the ones used on their other auto pistols. How long have they been making those now? Its only disadvantage is that it cannot be repaired easily "in the field."

    I had a SIG 1911 with an external extractor. The hook broke off in less than 200 rounds. I blame this on material/workmanship and not the design.
     
  25. Toonces

    Toonces Member

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    MIM is for high volume (usually OEM) work. Aftermarket "custom" would likely be bar stock, forced by MIM tooling cost and/or customer demand. While you can get a MIM manufacturer to make small, 1000 piece production runs, it gets really pricey and the cost benefit is not there.

    By the way, MIM is great if used appropriately. I think a lot of the public opposition to MIM is the fact that there were no price reductions for the buyer to go with the more cost effective parts.
     
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