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the down side to an external extractor

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by 1006, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    I thought some of you might find this interesting.

    After somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 rounds, my S&W1911 started to have problems. About once every 25 rounds, the empty case was falling out of the extractor prior to hitting the ejector. This would leave the case to be smashed by the slide as it moved forward to chamber the next round.

    After looking at every other possibility that I could think of, I decided to remove the extractor from the slide for a look. No, I do not have pictures. I was amazed at how much black tar like **** there was under that extractor. Even the coils of the small spring that drives the extractor were gummed up. I shoveled the crud out and sprayed it down with some cleaner.

    So, if your S&W1911 starts to give you similar results, you may want to check out the underside of the extractor.
  2. gary_boom


    Feb 7, 2007
    ne tn
    Mine is doing the same thing. I will clean and see if it changes. Thanks

  3. Big_Grumpy

    Big_Grumpy Go Cheese!

    Jul 21, 2009
    Interesting. If you're shooting a S&W 3rd gen, it could very well be gummed up if it hasn't been paid attention to. High round count?

    Oops... saw 1006... LOL
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  4. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    yep--the pic is the same as my smith was doing.
  5. BOGE

    BOGE Millennium Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Noted 1911 'smith Hilton Yam says this about the S&W 1911 extractor:

  6. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    I don't want it to go without saying that this gun's external extractor has worked better than any of my other 1911's with traditional internal extractors. It wasn't until over 5000 rounds that it was ever removed for cleaning, and once it was cleaned it worked great again. I will just clean it a little more frequently. I bought this gun new; it is one of the first 150 1911's made by S&W (S/N JRD-14X). I have seen quite a few internal extractors break at IPSC matches. I do wish it had a hole simular to the one that Glocks use to vent crud from behind the extractor. And, I wish it was designed--like a Glock--to come apart with out having to drive a pin out.

    I will take Hilton's advice and keep an eye on it--it will go back to S&W if the problem comes back while it is clean. Thanks BOGE for the info.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  7. rsxr22


    Feb 25, 2009
    Youngstown, OH
    very funny pic mstennes!
  8. mr.scott


    Oct 26, 2008
    I look at 1911s with external extractors as completions of JMB's flawed design. He after all went on the design the Browning Hi-Power and it has guess what? An external extractor. He saw the light. lol
  9. Let us know if there are any further issues with this. I always wondered about the externals.
  10. Do you realize that you are second guessing the greatest gun designer of all time?
    It wasn't a flawed design. You are comparing two different guns.
    There is nothing at all flawed about an internal extractor.
    If you understand how they work and how to properly adjust the extractor on a 1911 it will work exactly the way it was designed to work.
  11. Alcoy


    Jul 13, 2006
  12. MD357


    Jul 13, 2008
    This. It's not the EE design, it's S&W's laziness in it's execution.

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  13. tjpet


    May 14, 2001
    Utah-Idaho border

    The BHP had an internal extractor until the early '60s.
  14. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    Jim--no I don't carry it.

    S&W designed it and doesn't recommend removing the extractor for cleaning. I guess they thought it shouldn't need to be removed--I don't know--.

    I don't recommend removing it either unless the person doing it is used to banging on their guns with a hammer and punch. This is really the only thing that gripes me about the design at this point.

    I have adjusted the extractor on several of my traditional 1911--that is not an issue.

    I really didn't start this thread to debate the design of extractors or my destain for cleaning guns; I don't have a hard preference for one type or the other, and I do clean my carry piece every time I shoot it. I thought the info might help someone else. It appears that it may have.
  15. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    Jim S. -- your posts and your avatar seem to be a good match --
  16. Please explain.
    I was responding to you.
    External extractor works better than any internal...
    If internals are adjusted they should work perfectly.
    Other things you said got my attention too.
    Did I hurt your feelings?
  17. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    I shouldn't have to adjust it when it is new.

    As far as the comment about your avatar goes-no my feelings were not effected. It was very non-presumptous of you to ask, down right considerate.
  18. I know I should just let this go but you were the one who made the as of yet unexplained comment about my avitar and my posts.
    You never mentioned new or old as far as the extractors.
    Simply that the external extractor worked better than any other 1911 with an internal extractor.
    I wondered why.
    So since my avatar is of a very sinister and evil Captain Kirk I take it that you didn't like my comments.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  19. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    No--I don't feel the avatar is sinister. I like Capt. Kirk. I do think you presume a great deal of things when reading my posts; at least that is the impression they leave me with. I may be reading you wrong. If so, I apologize.

    I am not new to the 1911. I have adjusted a number of extractors, installed a lot of parts, and even cleaned a few guns that needed cleaning along the way with a great deal of success.

    The thread was intended to be informative about the S&W1911.

    The statement made by me regarding the type of extractor only referenced my other 1911's(Colts, Kimbers, Springfield , some new, some used). I mentioned this after it appeared that the thread was going to turn into an external extractor bashing thread.

    It says nothing about the gun as a whole. Fact is, I have a long list of replaced components on the S&W1911; the extractor just isn't one of them.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010