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Extractor this video worthwhile?

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by ERASER, Jul 31, 2012.


    ERASER Nyuk,Nyuk,Nyuk!

    Jan 23, 2000
    I recently replaced the extractor in my Norinco 1911 with a Wilson Combat "Bulletproof" extractor (along with a matching "Bulletproof" FPS) and I originally adjusted it using the "shake" method.
    Extraction seemed fine but, on a full magazine (Wilson Combat 8 round or the factory mag.) the first round would fail to go fully into battery. The round would enter the barrel, but the slide would fail to go the last 1/2 to 3/4". I could tap the rear of the slide and the gun would return to battery.

    At this point I am thinking that the extractor might have a bit too much tension and that the rear of the round was hanging up as it tried to slip under the extractor hook.

    I saw another video (see below) where the tension is calibrated using weights. Checking the tension on my extractor would seem to indicate that I have about 1 pound of tension compared to the video's recommended 2+ pounds. Which would seem to argue against my extractor having too much tension (even though it easily passed the "shake" test).

    Are the suggestions in this video more helpful and accurate than adjusting the tension using the "shake" method?

    [ame=""]1911 Extractor Tension: Measuring and Tuning - YouTube[/ame]

    Am I heading down the wrong path here?

    Thanks, in advance, for taking the time to read this and for any suggestions you might have!

    p.s.: The factory magazine has a new Wolff spring in it. The recoil spring is also a new Wolff spring.
  2. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    I think it was the first "Book of the 1911" that included measurements of extractor tension for several 1911's from a variety of manufacturers. All guns had proven reliable in testing. Tension ranged from no tension at all, up to a few pounds. Again, all guns fed and functioned reliably.

    The shape of the extractor has a lot more to do with how it works. If it's shaped properly and deburred, the tension would have to be pretty far out of spec to make it unreliable.


    ERASER Nyuk,Nyuk,Nyuk!

    Jan 23, 2000
    Thank you for your reply.
    I am concerned that I might have a little too much tension (causing the failures-to-feed on full magazines) and I was trying to find a good way to quantify the actual tension and then adjust the tension to "specification".
    From what you posted, I might try be better off not paying attention to trying to measure the tension but to loosen the tension a little bit and see if the failures-to-feed go away while still maintaining reliable extraction.

    Thanks for the help!!
  4. B_RAD


    Jan 2, 2008
    NW AR
    When you have failures is the extractor grabbing the rim? I had a similar if not the same issue with one of my 1911's. The slide would stop about 1/4" out of battery. When I would pull the slide back the round would stay put. The extractor wasn't pulling the round back. I called the manufacturer and they said it was either the extractor being to tight or the barrel throat being a little off. I assume to steep. If I was you I'd try adjusting (relieving) the extractor tension a little and see if the problem goes away.

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  5. It looks like you missed the point of what he was saying. I realize wilson is quality manufacturer, but still... Pull your extractor, see if it has any burs, or anywhere where the round could be potentially hanging up as it slides in. Mine had a mirror shine, before I re-blued it. My near-basket-case bear of a 1911 couldn't feed a single round reliably when I first got it. Some tuning and testing later, it runs like a glock. Boring, hit after hit, bang.
  6. walrus108


    Feb 11, 2006
    Georgetown, TX
    I just wanted to pop in and say I'm so jealous that you have a Norinco 1911. I want one so badly. Missed out on a few over the years, but someday...

    Great platform to build off from.

    ERASER Nyuk,Nyuk,Nyuk!

    Jan 23, 2000
    Thanks for all of the helpful replies!

    Ejection seemed strong enough but that nagging failure-to-go-completely-into battery on full mags makes me suspect that the extractor tension might be a bit too tight.

    I think I might go back to using the "shake method" and see how that works out.

    Thanks again!!
  8. That's how I tuned mine, but it's 9mm. Not sure what difference that makes, if any, but it's a difference. If it's not seating the first round of a mag, at least that's easy to trial-and-error-fix. Adjust it to wiggle tension. Don't work? Loosen it up, just a little. Don't work? Try a little more. Does work? great, go shoot it, and see if you get double-feeds. Oh, and check your extractor for burs :tongueout::tongueout:
  9. Pythonman


    Jul 30, 2004
    I can vouch that this guys video tutorial on extractor tuning works! My new Range Officer had almost no tension at all on the extractor. It for the most part worked but the brass wasnt being kicked very forcefully and the last round in the magazine would either just pop out and fall straight down or become jammed between the feed lips of the mag and the top of the barrel hood. There is another pretty good video by STI showing how to tune the extractor but it's only showing how a bullet casing should hang in place in the slide as far as tension goes. This guys trick of using the water bottles and loaded magazines works perfectly. I got mine to go just a tad over two lbs and Springfield recut the breechface and deburred the inside of the slide, polished the feedramp and I believe throated the barrel. Anyhow, the extractor is still like I tuned it and the gun so far now feeds and runs 100 percent.
  10. 1911Tuner


    Feb 24, 2003
    North Carolina
    Sometimes...with individual pistols and extractors...simply setting the tension doesn't work. You can make it so light that it barely holds a cartridge, and still get intermittent failure to go to battery...and with others, you can apply so much tension that an Earthquake won't dislodge it and have a dead reliable pistol.

    I recently addressed that very problem on a Springfield that failed about one round per magazine.

    Flip the slide upside down and look at the extrcator. Specifically, look to see how much of the tensioning wall protrudes into the area between the two small guide blocks below the breechface. The extractor channel passes through one of these walls.

    The distance between the blocks should be .484 +/- .004 inch, with about .010-.012 inch of the tensioning wall showing beyond the right side block. This determines the amount of deflection...or the distance that the extractor is cammed sideways as the case rim is picked up.

    Too much deflection, and the rim is halted as it tries to slide up the breechface. You can reduce tension until the extractor will fall out of the channel, and still have a problem. A light bevel on the bottom edge will often help, but if the deflection is much more than a 64th'll probably give trouble unless the tension is so low that it causes erratic ejection or even an occasional failure to eject.

    On the Springfield, the problem was the forward pad behind the claw being a little out of spec, and it let the claw sit too close to the breechface centerline. I used the edge of a safe-side rail file to cut .003 inch out of the tensioning wall, and took a like amount off the tip of the hook to keep it from bottoming out in the case extractor groove...then cut a light bevel on the bottom of the wall, and a light radius on the bottom corner of the claw...then set the tension so it'd pass the shake test.

    The owner reports that in a hundred rounds, there were no more failures to go to or return to battery, other than one failure during a slidelock reload with a Shooting Star in which he released the slide with the slidestop instead of the slingshot method. He isolated the magazine and the issue didn't repeat itself with the others.

    Excessive deflection can either be due to the front locating pad dimension, or a mislocation of the channel itself. Most aftermarket extractors have a slightly oversized pad that allows the installer to set the distance to the breechface centerline, but sometimes the channel is so badly mislocated that it doesn't help much. At that point, the only options are to put a drop of braze on the pad and set the deflection...or cut the tensioning wall.