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Old 09-26-2012, 08:05   #1
dhgeyer
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My Extractor Solution For Now (with pics)

I still want the Apex when I can get one, just to see for myself if they are onto something or not.

In the meantime I have a setup that works much better than the original extractor setup that came with my 2012 tested Glock 19 Gen 4. My gun has all the latest parts. Even with the original, very weak, extractor setup it did not jam in the hundred or so rounds I put through it before starting my experiments. I did get a lot of Brass to the head and otherwise weak and erratic ejection.

My solution has not eliminated erratic ejection completely, but I haven't had any hit me lately, and they are more or less going in the same direction.

Here's what I did. First I ordered and installed the Lone Wolf Distributers (LWD) extractor, extractor spring, and spring loaded bearing (SLB). That helped, but I was not there yet.

Next I started playing with the SLB, making my own on the lathe. I have some nails that, by coincidence, are exactly the right diameter. My goal in doing this was twofold. First, by making the head of the SLB a bit longer, I could tension the spring a bit more. Second, I noticed that the extractor depressor plunger tip at the rear was beating up the tip of the plastic SLB even after a few rounds.

Now, the overall length of the SLB is important. As the extractor moves out, compressing the extractor spring, the pointed tip of the extractor plunger hits the SLB, limiting the travel of the extractor.

The LWD SLB is .480 in length. The Glock SLB is a bit longer, but cupped at the end to mate with the plunger tip. I have no way to measure the exact effective length. Problem with the Glock setup is that the SLB is stepped down, and the SLB's are not exactly straight. So the plunger tip was beating up the edge of the cupped end rather than mating as it was designed to do.

My solution, arrived at after some experimentation, is a steel SLB, just short enough in total length to allow the extractor to chamber a round, and not stepped, so that the plunger tip hits it squarely in the middle. The maximum length I can make my SLB is .477. Note the end of mine is slightly rounded, just enough to make sure it will not hang up on the spring. Note also the slightly longer "head", causing just a bit more spring compression. Shown with LWD SLB for comparison.

General Glocking

The second photo shows the new assembly, with a White Sound Defense 20% extra power extractor spring, my last improvement. Note the distance between the tip (which you can't actually see) of the plunger on the left and the SLB on the right. After pressing this assembly into the slide, pre-compressing the spring, there is just enough room for the plunger to move back sufficiently to allow the extractor to move enough to chamber a round.

General Glocking

This setup is the best I can do at the moment, I think. The ejection is still not as good as my M&P or my Kahr or my CZ85 Combat. But I'm not getting hit, and I can find all my brass.

I am sure some will say: "Why go to all that trouble if the gun wasn't jamming in the first place?". Answer: to me it is no bother. It is play. And it is how I learn things about how things work, or sometimes don't work so well.

Last edited by dhgeyer; 09-27-2012 at 15:41..
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:48   #2
ArrowJ
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I have to say I am really questioning my decision to buy a Glock next year. A gun with enough extractor problems to pop a Google search result to the top of the list seems problematic as a tool for defending one's life. My problem is that the Gen 4 Glocks are the first ones that feel comfortable in my hand so buying an older more reliable Glock is not something I am interested in. Frustrating. Surely Glock will address this issue eventually? I wonder if the company will retain its closed mouth obtuse "Glocks never fail" policy when Gaston is no longer around?
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:16   #3
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I have to say I am really questioning my decision to buy a Glock next year. A gun with enough extractor problems to pop a Google search result to the top of the list seems problematic as a tool for defending one's life. My problem is that the Gen 4 Glocks are the first ones that feel comfortable in my hand so buying an older more reliable Glock is not something I am interested in. Frustrating. Surely Glock will address this issue eventually? I wonder if the company will retain its closed mouth obtuse "Glocks never fail" policy when Gaston is no longer around?
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:07   #4
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Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
I still want the Apex when I can get one, just to see for myself if they are onto something or not.

In the meantime I have a setup that works much better than the original extractor setup that came with my 2012 tested Glock 19 Gen 4. My gun has all the latest parts. Even with the original, very weak, extractor setup it did not jam in the hundred or so rounds I put through it before starting my experiments. I did get a lot of Brass to the head and otherwise weak and erratic ejection.

My solution has not eliminated erratic ejection completely, but I haven't had any hit me lately, and they are more or less going in the same direction.

Here's what I did. First I ordered and installed the Lone Wolf Distributers (LWD) extractor, extractor spring, and spring loaded bearing (SLB). That helped, but I was not there yet.

Next I started playing with the SLB, making my own on the lathe. I have some nails that, by coincidence, are exactly the right diameter. My goal in doing this was twofold. First, by making the head of the SLB a bit longer, I could tension the spring a bit more. Second, I noticed that the ejector plunger tip at the rear was beating up the tip of the plastic SLB even after a few rounds.

Now, the overall length of the SLB is important. As the extractor moves out, compressing the extractor spring, the pointed tip of the extractor plunger hits the SLB, limiting the travel of the extractor.

The LWD SLB is .480 in length. The Glock SLB is a bit longer, but cupped at the end to mate with the plunger tip. I have no way to measure the exact effective length. Problem with the Glock setup is that the SLB is stepped down, and the SLB's are not exactly straight. So the plunger tip was beating up the edge of the cupped end rather than mating as it was designed to do.

My solution, arrived at after some experimentation, is a steel SLB, just short enough in total length to allow the extractor to chamber a round, and not stepped, so that the plunger tip hits it squarely in the middle. The maximum length I can make my SLB is .477. Note the end of mine is slightly rounded, just enough to make sure it will not hang up on the spring. Note also the slightly longer "head", causing just a bit more spring compression. Shown with LWD SLB for comparison.

General Glocking

The second photo shows the new assembly, with a White Sound Defense 20% extra power extractor spring, my last improvement. Note the distance between the tip (which you can't actually see) of the plunger on the left and the SLB on the right. After pressing this assembly into the slide, pre-compressing the spring, there is just enough room for the plunger to move back sufficiently to allow the extractor to move enough to chamber a round.

General Glocking

This setup is the best I can do at the moment, I think. The ejection is still not as good as my M&P or my Kahr or my CZ85 Combat. But I'm not getting hit, and I can find all my brass.

I am sure some will say: "Why go to all that trouble if the gun wasn't jamming in the first place?". Answer: to me it is no bother. It is play. And it is how I learn things about how things work, or sometimes don't work so well.
Dhgeyer, did you notice the other end of the original depressor plunger and how it shows signs of deformation on the cylindrical stepped up portion? Right where it exits the slide to make contact with the extractor. I too am about to fire up the lathe and turn a new plunger ( 414 Stainless ). I plan to extend the length of this area to twice its length. I think by doing this it will eliminate the binding and may allow the extractor to function without chattering.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:54   #5
dhgeyer
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Dhgeyer, did you notice the other end of the original depressor plunger and how it shows signs of deformation on the cylindrical stepped up portion? Right where it exits the slide to make contact with the extractor. I too am about to fire up the lathe and turn a new plunger ( 414 Stainless ). I plan to extend the length of this area to twice its length. I think by doing this it will eliminate the binding and may allow the extractor to function without chattering.
I never looked for that. I just took it apart again and looked at it under a magnifying glass. I don't see any deformation. I do notice that there seems to be a bit of a raised ring about two thirds of the way back on the front larger diameter portion that you mention, and that ring is shiny, indicating that that is where the wear is taking place. I also noticed that with the original extractor parts there was some binding in the extractor movement. It went away as soon as I replaced the extractor with the LWD one. Same plunger.

Have you seen the White Sounds Defense extractor tensioning setup? I just bought the extra power spring, but they have a three piece set that replaces the plunger, spring, and spring loaded bearing. Interesting setup. They turn everything around. The long piece is at the rear, and the short piece at the front. They make some claims about this making the inertia of the part help (as opposed to hinder) the extractor's tension. I didn't buy the logic or the kit, just the stronger spring. But they may be right, who knows? Of course if you do this the shorter piece (now in front) will need to be longer than the Glock or LWD SLB, and the longer piece correspondingly shorter.

If you're chucking some stock up in the lathe anyway, you might want to experiment with their way of doing it instead of the Glock way. I've been thinking of trying it just for G&S.

Also, either way you make your plunger, why stop at making the fatter part longer? Why not try it with full diameter the whole length of the piece? If that doesn't work, you can always turn the middle down later.

Whatever you decide to do, I'd be interested in your results.

Last edited by dhgeyer; 09-26-2012 at 12:01..
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:29   #6
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Have been installing the WSD springs on customers pistols for a while, not sure I agree with their logic on reversed rod either. I thought about full size full length,,, but because the rod must move I think I will relieve most of the rod to cut down on drag. May leave a hub (support point) in the center to prevent flex like that found on the 10mm and .45 rods. In regards to the area I am talking about I have founded some rods that where so chewed up that all the plating was gone and a ring had been formed in the rod.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:45   #7
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I'll keep an eye out for that. If I have to make a replacement, even out of a nail, I can harden it with Kasenit, and once hardened with that stuff, it won't wear out. Wear out the slide first!
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:57   #8
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Correct but remember that the substrate metal on a part like that can/will displace and you end up with a cracked surface over a dent or groove. I would suggest temper harden the part all the way though.
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Old 09-26-2012, 13:51   #9
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Correct but remember that the substrate metal on a part like that can/will displace and you end up with a cracked surface over a dent or groove. I would suggest temper harden the part all the way though.
Not enough carbon in a nail to heat treat properly. I've hardened an awful lot of gun parts with Kasenit in the last 50 years and never cracked one or had any trouble with it. I'll try that first, if I ever need to make that part at all.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:47   #10
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Nice machine work! My Gen 4 19 is flawless, but I feel for those who have problems. The answer to the problem has been so allusive I'm guessing that there is more than one problem. Seems like those who have the know how to make several changes get the best results.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:16   #11
dhgeyer
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Nice machine work! My Gen 4 19 is flawless, but I feel for those who have problems. The answer to the problem has been so allusive I'm guessing that there is more than one problem. Seems like those who have the know how to make several changes get the best results.
Thank you! I have fun. My little secret is that what I have is a wood lathe, so all this is done with files, diamond hones, and abrasives. Somehow I manage. Been at it for a long long time.

You are lucky to have a good Gen 4 with no problems. Mine is close to 600 rounds and no outright jams yet. I would like to get the ejection as consistent as my other 9mm pistols, but I think that is a pipe dream.
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Old 09-27-2012, 15:32   #12
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JBS: I looked at your drawings, and checked samples of all of the brands of cases I shoot/reload. None of them displayed the condition that you corrected. The Lone Wolf Distributers extractor nose looks more like your second drawing than your first. I wouldn't want to take any more metal off of it.

Your theory about cases ejecting before even hitting the ejector is quite plausible. Wouldn't that be a symptom of the extractor being weak and dropping the case? I already know from trying the "1911" test that the extractor will not hold the case on its own under recoil. Take the mag out and the cases just fall out the mag well. So they need the support of either the next case in the mag or the mag follower holding them in the extractor to make it back to the ejector. Either way, as I see it, the problem is the weak/poorly designed extractor not being able to hold onto the case.
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Old 10-07-2012, 14:11   #13
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Southwind: That is a very interesting and informative post. Thank you! Those numbers are very telling indeed.

I have found the answer to my own question. The Apex extractor will not have the angle. I first determined this by doing a Google Image search and looking carefully at some pictures of the Apex unit. Then I really hit gold. I don't remember where, but I found a posting (or maybe it's even on their website - I just forget) where Randy Lee talks about the development and his thoughts on the Apex extractor. He confirms that, in his opinion, the angled stock extractor is a major problem, and the Apex unit will have a claw the edge of which is parallel with the surface opposite it. In other words, up and down, not angled.

Now if they would just go into real production so I can get one.........
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Old 10-07-2012, 17:44   #14
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Southwind: That is a very interesting and informative post. Thank you! Those numbers are very telling indeed.

I have found the answer to my own question. The Apex extractor will not have the angle. I first determined this by doing a Google Image search and looking carefully at some pictures of the Apex unit. Then I really hit gold. I don't remember where, but I found a posting (or maybe it's even on their website - I just forget) where Randy Lee talks about the development and his thoughts on the Apex extractor. He confirms that, in his opinion, the angled stock extractor is a major problem, and the Apex unit will have a claw the edge of which is parallel with the surface opposite it. In other words, up and down, not angled.

Now if they would just go into real production so I can get one.........
I have an Apex extractor. I can confirm that the claw is parallel to the breechface
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Old 10-07-2012, 19:38   #15
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I have gen 2.5 26 with cast extractor and non-lci edp and a gen 3 17 with non-dip LCI extractor. I field stripped both guns and placed a 9mm case under the extractor to test how the case was held to the breechface. Both extractors held the case tight with little to no movement. I tried the cast extractor, non-dip lci, dip lci, and apex extractor in my problematic gen 3 19. All extractors failed to hold the case firmly to the breechface. I am convinced this is the reason for my erratic ejection.

Someone postulated that the cutout for the extractor in the slide was machined wrong and causing erratic ejection. I'm starting to think that is what is wrong with my gun.
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Old 10-08-2012, 19:49   #16
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I broke 750 rounds today. No jams of any kind. I don't think I have it as bad as some. Of course none of the extractor assembly is OEM at this point. It's half aftermarket and half home made. Today I was shooting a handload that's a lighter than my normal one. Brass went mostly high and right with maybe 30% over my head. It all landed 5 to 7 feet away. Nothing to the left or straight back at me. One case hit the top of my head on the way down. I never get hit at all with full power loads.

I did an interesting experiment. I shot ten rounds single feeding. One round in the mag, feed it and shoot. The idea was to take any inconsistency in the position of the next round out of the equation. I then shot a ten round series by loading ten in the mag as one normally would. There was no perceptible difference in the ejection pattern of the two groups. So, at least in my gun, wobbling, jumping, moving, or otherwise unstable next rounds are not a factor.

I have three extractors on order from Glockparts - two OEM and one Lone Wolf Distributers. I plan to experiment with straightening out the angle in the claw and making compensating cuts as needed. I'll need to move the tensioning assembly forward a bit as well. I'm curious to see if that will make a difference, and I don't want to wait for Apex to go into serious production.

If I learn anything significant I'll post results with pics.
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Old 10-08-2012, 20:15   #17
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I was just reading about Dave Nowlin's fix by filing down the extractor pad that rests against the slide and see how that might work. The claw of my G22 non lci extractor does not go in as far toward the center of the breechface when installed in my 19 as it does when I drop it in the 22. There is enough difference to visually discern it. I see how filing that pad down could allow the extractor to grip the rim a little better. Just curious if anyone has done this and has it helped?
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Old 10-08-2012, 20:32   #18
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I was just reading about Dave Nowlin's fix by filing down the extractor pad that rests against the slide and see how that might work. The claw of my G22 non lci extractor does not go in as far toward the center of the breechface when installed in my 19 as it does when I drop it in the 22. There is enough difference to visually discern it. I see how filing that pad down could allow the extractor to grip the rim a little better. Just curious if anyone has done this and has it helped?
As long as the claw goes in far enough to put pressure in the case groove and maybe a little more, that's all you need. You don't want it too far in when at rest, as this will cause feeding problems as the cartridge struggles to move the extractor out while also jumping through all the other hoops it has to navigate to get into the chamber. It's a balance.

When I start my experiments I know I will need to take some off the pad you refer to in order to compensate for the material I am taking off the claw. However, since there is some tension on the case even in the linked down position with the angled extractor, I don't expect to need or want to take much off the pad. The main thing will be to adjust the tensioning parts so that full tension is applied with the claw effectively in a bit farther than with the angled claw.
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Old 10-09-2012, 19:57   #19
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I detail stripped my gen 3 17, gen 2.5 26, and problematic gen 3 19 slides and measured from the front edge of the extractor channel to the opposite external surface of the slide. There were no appreciable differences in the dimensions. I don't think the problem lies with the depth of the extractor channel. I still think the extractor is situated too far from the breechface. Due to the angle of the cut in the slide, it appears that filing down the extractor pad per Dave's recommendations would not only apply more biting force to the case rim, but would also swing the extractor in towards the breechface a little. The pad that needs filing is 0.023" on my extractor. I think I'll take off 0.012 and see what it does.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:06   #20
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I detail stripped my gen 3 17, gen 2.5 26, and problematic gen 3 19 slides and measured from the front edge of the extractor channel to the opposite external surface of the slide. There were no appreciable differences in the dimensions. I don't think the problem lies with the depth of the extractor channel. I still think the extractor is situated too far from the breechface. Due to the angle of the cut in the slide, it appears that filing down the extractor pad per Dave's recommendations would not only apply more biting force to the case rim, but would also swing the extractor in towards the breechface a little. The pad that needs filing is 0.023" on my extractor. I think I'll take off 0.012 and see what it does.
By coincidence I field stripped my Glock 19 Gen 4, my M&P FS 9mm, and my Kahr CW9 at the same time. Both the M&P and the Kahr eject perfectly, and will eject normally with the mag out (the "1911 test). I lined the slides up together to see if there was a difference in the gap between the breechface and the claw. There was no difference that I could see, although I have no way of measuring precisely.

I don't think there's anything wrong with doing what you suggest as long as you don't take off so much that you cause feeding problems. I would suggest removing .006" and see how it's feeding before taking off the other .006".

I don't think taking material from the pad will, in and of itself, do any good. If the claw is at the bottom of the groove in the cartridge head with the case where it would be in the linked down position, and if removing the case allows the claw to move in even a little bit more, then lack of inward travel is not the problem. Allowing it to move inward more will not put more tension on it when the spent case is at its lowest position. A stronger spring will. Or a SLB with a longer "head" will.

If you put an empty case in the extractor so that the case is near the bottom of the extractor, where it will be when it's being ejected, you will see that the case, not the pad on the extractor, limits the inward travel of the extractor claw.

However, having said all that, there's nothing wrong with experimenting as long as you have a spare extractor on hand in case you cause feeding issues. If I am wrong and your idea works, of course I'd like to know about it.

I have three spare extractors, two new non dip Glock and 1 LWD, arriving later today. I intend to do my experiment with one of the non-dip Glock ones as soon as they arrive. What I'm going to do is remove material from the edge of the claw to make it parallel with the opposite side of the slide, recut the groove and trim the front of the claw as needed, and then take a bit off the pad, but just enough to keep tension on the case. Since there is already tension on the case in the linked down position, I don't think I'll need to take .012" off the pad: probably more like .002"to .004". I will then make a new SLB to put more tension on the claw and move the EDP forward to compensate for the material I have removed. I already have a White Sound Defense extra power EDP spring in there, and spares in case I compress it too much and deform it.

I believe, along with Randy Lee, that taking the angle off the claw and putting more tension on it will help. My goal is to make this gun pass the 1911 test. Even though it has never jammed, the fact that it will not pass this test bothers me. I would like to see this gun eject as predictably as my other 9mm pistols.

Assuming the Fedex truck gets here in time, I will make my modifications and go test them at the range all later today. I will post results. If I did any good I'll post photos.
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