My Extractor Solution For Now (with pics)

Discussion in 'General Glocking' started by dhgeyer, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. 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.


    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.


    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.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
    #1 dhgeyer, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  3. 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?

  4. JBS


    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.
  5. 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.
    #4 dhgeyer, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  6. JBS


    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.
  7. 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!
  8. JBS


    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.
  9. 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. :cool:
  10. Paul53

    Paul53 Geezer Boomer

    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.
  11. 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.
  12. Well, on closer examination of my extractor depressor plunger (henceforth called EDP) I discovered that JBS was right after all. What I thought was a ring is actually wear (scoring). The slide is digging into the front end of the EDP. And this is after only 500 rounds! No wonder people are experiencing trouble a few thousand in: parts are wearing out. I swear, Glock has really gone downhill.

    Anyway, I took the plunge (no pun intended) and made myself an EDP out of a nail. Filed it, stoned it, honed it, and smoothed it on my wood lathe. Then polished it on the buffing wheel. Then hardened the Hell out of it with Kasenit. Then had to buff it out again. File won't touch it. Probably won't wear out. I only hardened the contact surfaces at the front and back.

    I used JBS's idea of lengthening the wider portion at the front, and at the back as well. Also, I did not make a point at the back of the part the spring slips onto, but left it blunt. It is butting up against the blunt end of my spring loaded bearing (SLB), so I saw not reason to sharpen the end. I did make sure that the overall length is within a thousandth of the original part.

    Took it out and shot a box through it. Didn't make any difference as far as ejection goes. Probably last longer though.

    I fault Glock for not taking the sharp edge off the front of the hole these parts fit into. There's no reason the EDP should be getting beaten up like this.

    The picture shows the original part and my homemade job. You can see the scoring starting on the front of the Glock part. Time will tell if mine does any better, but I can make one in an hour if I need to. I'm also going to add a touch of grease at the front from now on. Might help. I'll keep it out of the extractor itself of course.

  13. JBS


    Excellent work, hummm what could you do with a 40” Gearhead? :supergrin:
    So you did not notice any difference at all in ejection patterns?
  14. Thank you. From a fellow creator I really appreciate that. When I was 13 my father brought home (had delivered of course) an excellent South Bend toolroom lathe. He taught me how to use it. Shortly thereafter I made my first muzzle loading zip gun from scratch. I took a machine shop course years later. I'd love to have any kind of metal lathe, but with the basement pretty much full of woodworking equipment there isn't any more room for one.

    I did not notice any improvement in ejection pattern. But with all the other aftermarket/homemade parts in the system it's not all that bad anymore. I could get all scientific and start mixing different combinations to see what is weak and what works. Maybe sometime, not right away.

    I am convinced that the real problem is that 17 degree slant in the extractor claw. Think about it. The extractor is only under maximum tension when the barrel is all the way up and the slide is in battery. Once you link down, because of that angle, the extractor has moved in a little and is not under full tension. And that is the point where extraction/ejection happens, not when the barrel is up. And the rather weak spring setup doesn't help. I think they made a fundamental mistake angling the extractor claw like that. It is not needed for the LCI extractor concept. My Kahr has an LCI extractor and the claw is vertical. And the Kahr passes the 1911 test whereas the Glock does not.

    What I really wonder is if the Apex folks have corrected that blunder. Anyone take a picture of the front of one showing the claw angle?
    #13 dhgeyer, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  15. JBS


    On the attached thread I listed a change I made to the extractor in one of my Glocks that was already ejecting just fine. It was just an experiment. It did change the ejection pattern and made it much more consistent. As the G22 I used was one of my Duty weapons I removed the modified part and put a stock extractor back in. I attached a hand drawing of the change I made if you want to give it a try with your adjusted EDP. I have also wanted to do another experiment if I ever get a customer to come into my shop with a 9mm that has the “bad ejection” problem and that is to see if the poor ejection stays the same when the ejector is removed from the trigger housing. My thinking is that on some of these pistols for whatever reason the next round in the magazine is causing the empty to be ejected before it even gets to the face of the ejector and that is what is causing the problem.
    #14 JBS, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  16. 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.
  17. I think you are on to something. I have a gen 3 19 that has erratic ejection. The 30274 ejector helped, but ejection is still really weak.

    I had my gen 2.5 26 at the range last friday. With the 10 round 26 mags, ejection was perfect with all brass landing in a nice little pile. The 26 mags had #1 and 4 followers. I tried some newer 15 round 19 mags in it and it started displaying erratic ejection. I fired several mags through it and on each, the last round ejected at 12 o'clock a few feet in front of the gun. It seemed to me that it is possible that the follower started the ejection process before the case hit the ejector and when the slide started to move forward, the breechface hit the case sending it in the 12 o'clock direction. The 19 mags have the newest #6 gen 4 followers. When inserted into the frame of the 26, the #6 followers sit much higher in relation to the feedramp than the #1 and 4 followers. It is interesting that erratic ejection followed the 19 mag.

    Also, when I detail stripped the 19, I noticed the walls of the extractor depressor plunger was chewed up. There were alot of debris in the channel for a gun that has only 500 rounds on it. I wonder if this has anything to do with the reason some folks don't start having problems until they hit a higher round count? If the extractor depressor channel were cut too small or the body of the plunger was slighly too large, what effect would the increased friction on the depressor plunger have on extraction and ejection? Would it affect slide velocity? Would it prevent the extractor from rotating freely?
  18. 1. Have you ever chambered a round and then taken the mag out and noticed that the next round has been moved forward a bit? Seems to happen most of the time. And not by the same amount. Since it's pretty well established that Gen 4 9mm Glock ejection needs the support of the next round (the extractor cannot hold the round by itself), if the position of the next round is not consistent, it is logical that ejection would be inconsistent. An interesting test might be to push every next round in the mag back all the way before firing each shot for a mag or two.

    2. Bad scoring on the end of the EDP where it enters the channel at the front would very likely cause binding of the extractor function, not the extractor itself. The tensioning of the extractor would be spotty.

    I think the wear on the end of the EDP isn't so much a function of too tight of a fit as a sharp edge on the front of the channel. My factory EDP has plenty of play in the channel. Looking down the channel from the rear, it is quite roughly drilled. The slide must be harder material than the EDP, so if the end of the channel is sharp, that would do it. I made a half attempt to break that edge, but it's in an awkward position and would require a small wire or something with 600 grit wrapped on it, and even then it would take more time than I want to put into it. My solution was to harden the Hell out of my homemade EDP. So far so good.
  19. I think you are exactly right. Here are some rough measurements of the force required to knock the casing loose from the extractor when the casing is just before contacting the ejector.

    Stock extractor, stock SLB: 55 grams
    Old nonLCI extractor, nonLCI SLB: 185 grams.

    Some intermediate numbers:
    Stock extractor, nonLCI SLB: 90 grams
    nonLCI extractor, stock SLB: 135 grams

    From the pictures I've seen of the Apex extractor, it looks to me like it is nonLCI with the parallel claw.

    Incidentally, I'm about ready to declare victory using the nonLCI extractor and the 30274 ejector. I've shot about 200 rounds with that combination with only one casing hitting me in the chest. All others went about 6 feet at 4 o'clock.

    Even with the nonLCI extractor and the 336 ejector, I only got 3 to the head and one to the shoulder out of 125 rounds. I used to get that many out of one magazine.

    FWIW, I tried half a dozen shots with the new setup without a mag. I got 2 falling through the mag well and one stovepipe but three actually ejected. Not very well, to be sure, but they did eject.

    I have had one failure to feed, the only one in some 900 rounds. For now, I'm going to blame it on the KCI mag.

    I'm still not completely happy - I think it should eject perfectly without assistance from the next cartridge. But the only place I can think of to look next is the extractor spring so I will be pondering what you've been doing there.
  20. 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.........
  21. I have an Apex extractor. I can confirm that the claw is parallel to the breechface

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