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Need extractor experts

Discussion in 'General Glocking' started by txgunguy, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. txgunguy

    txgunguy

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    In general, is it better to have less or more tension on the Glock extractor? I ask because I am wondering if a bad extractor spring could be the root of my issues I'm having with my 20sf. (started a thread in the 10-ring, please don't make this thread about whats going on with my 20) Thanks.
     
  2. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    I've never experimented with changing extractor spring tension on a Glock. No reason.

    However, as an armorer for some other makes of pistols, I've had ample opportunity to experience, identify & correct problems caused by extractor spring tension.

    The S&W 3rd gen guns in particular have optional extractor springs running light & heavier than "standard" for their assorted models. Also, 1911's which use the original extractor design, where the extractor is the spring, can require adjustment to achieve the correct tension. The previous (second design, non-breech block slide) P220 extractor was also a spring design, and we were told that removing it from the gun would require replacement with a new one, since the extractor was given some extra tension (bend) to it to allow a single installation. Some folks had to have their extractors replaced by SIG in order to correct tension issues.

    Anyway ...

    If you run the tension too light, you tend to get failures-to-extract, when the recoil forces act upon the extractor and cause it to over-power a spring that's too light, allowing it to shift outward during the critical "moment of mass".

    If you run too heavy, you can get failures-to-feed, where the extractor is "too tight" to allow the case rim to feed up under it in the correct feeding "timing". Sometimes this may result in a partially captured case rim, but sometimes it may cause the case to snap back downward, which can fool some folks into thinking the case rim never reached the extractor. (High speed imagining done by one of the gun companies discovered this variation of incorrect extractor spring tension.)

    As an armorer, unless a company provides you with engineering info which details how to check & measure extractor spring tension, and a recommended "range" for tension, you can't really "check" the tension, other than replacing a suspected weak, damaged or out-of-spec spring.

    S&W provides tension listed tension ranges for various models/calibers, and a force dial gauge is used to check for extractor tail deflection (under spring tension) in order to identify if a particular gun's extractor falls within the proper range ... and sometimes a particular gun might require something at one end or the other (or outside) the "standard" tension recommendation.

    While Glock has made some gauges available outside the US (last I heard at my last recert class), they just use a flag gauge for one of the extractor dimensions, but nothing for the spring tension range.

    FWIW, when I was first trying to resolve some excessive ejection pattern issues with a Gen3 Glock 9mm, one of the first things I did was replace the extractor depressor assembly/spring, just in case. It didn't change anything in my case.

    This rambling help at all?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012

  3. txgunguy

    txgunguy

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    Fastbolt,
    Thank you for the detailed response. I asked this question because if I push the extractor with my finger hard enough, it sticks outward and will not go back into normal position until I press the safety plunger in. I cannot replicate this every time, which makes me wonder if this could be my issue.

    I checked the extractors on my other Glocks just now and none of them do this. There are no burrs, or anything out of place on the extractor itself, which leads me to believe its the spring.

    I had an extra white sound defense extractor spring I never used and thought I would put it in just to see what happens. When I put that spring in, the extractor does not get stuck outward.

    I worry about the white sound spring being too stiff, hence my questions about extractor tension.
     
  4. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    A couple of questions ...

    If you remove the extractor, are there any scratches on the outside edge on the top and/or bottom (from a burred extractor recess)?

    The right spring-loaded bearing in the gun?

    The extractor depressor plunger look normal? Does it have the center rib (10mm & .45 Auto)?

    Any unusual wear from how the safety plunger engages the extractor? No burrs? Flashing on the extractor? Plunger normal in appearance? Have you tried replacing the safety plunger to see what happens? (Sometimes we may become distracted by a "symptom" and miss finding the actual cause of the problem. ;) BTDT )

    I can't speak to the after-market extractor spring. I don't use them in my own Glocks, or as an armorer. If you have another stock spring you might try it. It's not impossible to come across an out-of-spec spring, or one which fails to remain within spec as long as designed. We expect a lot from really inexpensive itty bitty springs, don't we?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  5. txgunguy

    txgunguy

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    No abnormalities on the extractor. I'll check the safety plunger when I get home.

    Since youre an armorer, have you ever heard of fteject issues from a glock 20sf from full power ammo?

    It really is funny how much our guns depend on little mass produced springs.
     
  6. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Never witnessed, or experienced or heard of any first-hand accounts of failures-to-eject with G20's, going back to the days of the first ones imported (using Norma 10mm ammunition, which is actually what I think of when someone uses the term "full power ammo" in reference to 10mm ;) That, or the Winchester 175gr STHP load).

    I've seen an owner experience some feeding & ejection issues due to a weakened mag spring, during a qual course-of-fire.

    On the other hand, what do you mean by "full-powered" 10mm ammo? More importantly, what do you suppose Glock considers to be "regular" commercial ammunition that's intended to be used when making their G20/29's? Do you think they use some of the boutique, hot-rodded loads some 10mm enthusiasts seem to favor?

    I know you wish to avoid getting involved in the3 details of "what's going on with your G20", but if you start changing things ... even as 'simple" as recoil spring assemblies ... or using ammunition that may produce different power levels, and cycling, than the commercial 10mm ammo made by the major ammo companies, and which Glock uses to test their 10mm guns ... you're may risk finding yourself in some territory that might be uncharted, at least as far as the factory is concerned.

    As an armorer (for several gun designs/models), I've heard factory folks repeatedly recommend trying different ammo if one type is found to cause functioning problems. Sometimes, like it or not, that turns out to be the right answer for some situation.

    Remember that once the gun leaves the factory there are some influences that can affect the gun's operation and optimal functioning. Things over which the gun company has no direct control.

    These are generally the shooter (in which I'd include the shooter's maintenance practices), the ammunition used, and the environment & conditions under which the firearm is actually used.

    These influences can form sort of an unpredictable venn diagram, which can shift and change for every combination of gun, user, ammo & conditions. Change one thing and you have a different set of circumstances, and venn diagram.

    Annoying, I know. Frustrating, even.

    But there you are.

    It might not be necessary to "repair" the gun, or start changing things on it, if changing the ammunition can achieve the desired result of normal & optimal functioning.

    Dunno. Just throwing some thoughts out that I've encountered over the years.

    Hope you figure it out, though. Got a Glock armorer nearby?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  7. txgunguy

    txgunguy

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    I completely agree with you.

    I consider Underwood ammo full power 10mm. I was using this because I don't handload (yet) and want true 10mm performance. Most manufacturers download the 10 so much it's not even funny. The gun cycles Federal 10mm perfectly. But that ammo is loaded to almost the exact same velocity as 40. I have other 40s I can shoot for much cheaper. So I'm in kind of a predicament. I've got 249 rounds through the gun so far so I would consider it broken in.

    I figured if I sent it to Glock, they would test it with Blazer and it would work fine. I would wait 2 months, get it back and get told it meets factory specs. So that's not really an option for me.

    As far as maintenance, I have cleaned it 3 times. I keep all my guns spotless. I purchased the gun brand new a couple weeks ago. Everything on the gun is stock, except for a 3.5# connector.

    I spoke with a Glock armorer at the last gun show and he had never heard of this issue with a 20sf. Didn't really offer much help.

    I contacted the ammo manufacturer and they recommend using a 22# to 24# recoil spring for their ammunition. I have not tried that option yet, as I like to leave my guns as close to stock as possible.
     
  8. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Well, back when the G20 was introduced, the ammunition available was the Norma 10mm Auto, which offered a choice of a 170gn JHP at 1,300fps and a 200gn JTC at 1,200fps. If I remember right, I was shooting one in late '90 using the 200gr Norma loads. (The ammo was provided by the Glock rep for that demo.)

    I haven't kept abreast of any changes Glock may have introduced (as far as RSA's, etc) for any ammunition changes over the subsequent years (mostly because I don't see that many in the hands of folks as off-duty or CCW weapons). I think I've seen more Delta Elites than I have G20's.

    If an ammo company suggests using a heavier recoil spring, though, that might indicate something about how they feel about their ammo being run in stock Glocks, though. Dunno. Never used (or have even seen) that company's product, nor spoken to anyone from the company.

    If your G20 runs with standard ammunition from one of the big names without problem, that says something about how Glock seems to intend the gun to be fed and fired, I'd think.

    Dunno. We're sort of on new ground with the really lightweight bullet weights being run in some of the custom or specialty 10mm loads.

    Looking at the specs for the Federal AE & Hydra-Shok 10mm, they're running 180gr bullets at only a stated 1030fps, and the Blazer (aluminum) runs a 200gr bullet at 1050fps. Winchester runs their 175gr STHP at a stated 1290fps, though (not exactly a slouch).

    If you had brought the gun to me, since I haven't kept up on the 10mm in the Glock line, I'd probably email or call a Glock rep and ask what 10mm ammo they expect to run in the current G20/29's, and ask if he had any knowledge of the Underwood line.

    If you've encountered a situation related to the ammo, you've got an ammo "issue".

    I'm sure there are going to be any number of folks come along and offer advice about modifying Glocks to run with hotter loads than are being sold by the major ammo companies. As a Glock armorer who mostly works with the mainstream calibers, I just haven't kept up on the 10mm.

    Funny that the older G20 was run with the Norma 200gr ammo of that day, though. I wonder if they've reduced the recoil spring tension? Maybe I'll ask next time I see the rep. Maybe another Glock armorer who has more of an interest in the 10mm will see this thread and offer some further info.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  9. txgunguy

    txgunguy

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    Thanks for all the help and insight fastbolt.

    This ammo is pushing a 180gr @ 1300 and a 165gr @1400 just FYI. I only had the FTEjects with the 165gr ammo. It happened 3 times out of 50 rounds. I have not had any issues with the 180gr ammo. I really would like to be able to shoot different weights, so that's where my frustration is coming from.

    The 20 comes with a 17# recoil spring. The same as the 17 and 22. The recoil spring is slightly longer to accommodate the longer barrel but it is the same spring.

    As for the velocities you found on factory ammo, they are rather unimpressive aren't they? When shooting it out of a large gun like the 20, it's pretty underwhelming. I didn't get a 10mm to shoot 50 fps faster than my 40s.