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View Full Version : School me on 1911's please - to external extractor or not to external extractor?


sb_pete
05-13-2009, 10:07 PM
And a couple other questions:

1. Just wondering what advantages an external extractor has in 1911's? What disadvantages? Why did USMC specifically avoid them for the DET1 pistol? etc?

2. What about the integral plunger tubes? How often do plunger tubes actually go down? Are there any potential downsides to an integral tube? What about the frames that have a machined slot for the tube?

3. What about firing pin blocks? The advantage is I suppose obvious as a safety system, but what about the potential problems and how common they are? The Colt Series 80 safety system? The Kimber II system?
Why did the Marines avoid these as well?

Thanks guys,
-Pete

Axewound
05-13-2009, 10:30 PM
i think the Marines wanted the 1911 just how Mr Browning made it

ck867
05-13-2009, 11:48 PM
after reading some debate on internal vs external extractors, it seems that there really isn't one better or the other. Just depends how well the manufacture makes the gun. Example as kimber seems to be better off using an internal extractor where smith and wesson is better off with an external extractor. I believe the original 1911 design is suppose to be an internal extractor

Sam
05-14-2009, 12:04 AM
Understand that many 1911 shooters are traditionalists and don't want to stray from anything that wasn't designed by John Moses Browning himself. I don't have any experience with external extractors but I find them to be not as cosmetically exciting as internal extractors. I have no idea about the plunger tubes but the series 80 parts detract from the trigger quality. I'd also suggest searching around on 1911 forums and m1911.org as there are some really knowledgeable people over there.

Juicymeat
05-14-2009, 12:11 AM
And a couple other questions:

1. Just wondering what advantages an external extractor has in 1911's? What disadvantages? Why did USMC specifically avoid them for the DET1 pistol? etc?

2. What about the integral plunger tubes? How often do plunger tubes actually go down? Are there any potential downsides to an integral tube? What about the frames that have a machined slot for the tube?

3. What about firing pin blocks? The advantage is I suppose obvious as a safety system, but what about the potential problems and how common they are? The Colt Series 80 safety system? The Kimber II system?
Why did the Marines avoid these as well?

Thanks guys,
-Pete

No opinion on the internal vs external extractors except that I prefer the original internal. Don't know much about plunger tubes but I can see a disadvantage in so far as to say the plunger tube was damaged, you would not be able to replace the damaged plunger tube as easy (or as cheap) as a plunger tube that was not integrated. Firing pin blocks suck because it adds an unnecessary step in stripping the gun and getting the sear and disconnector back in during reassembly. The original design got along fine without a firing pin block. Firing pin blocks, most notably the Schwartz safeties in Kimbers, are known to cause timing problems as well.

CalNRA
05-14-2009, 1:23 AM
Firing pin blocks suck because it adds an unnecessary step in stripping the gun and getting the sear and disconnector back in during reassembly. The original design got along fine without a firing pin block. Firing pin blocks, most notably the Schwartz safeties in Kimbers, are known to cause timing problems as well.

that's the reason I avoid any series-II Kimbers like the plague.

someone left it to the Brazilians to make a reliable and original 1911A1:eek:.

I have never seen an internal extractor that I didn't like. I replace them once every 10k or so, at the price of ammo these days that's a life time. :D

BunnySlayer
05-14-2009, 1:59 AM
I have and use both and have never had a problem with either except once on an old series 70 that seemed to eat extractors like crazy. Who knows why. The theory on the outside extractor is that when faced with out of spec ammunition, problems, dirt or whatever it can bend past the design parameters of the interior extractors. An example would be if you place a round in to the open chamber of your weapon and close the slide. Supposedly this will break a normal extractor with time as it bends the extractor beyond what it was designed to do. Mr. Browning himself later incorporated the outside design in to the P-35 high power. IMHO either is a great and time proven design and you should have few problems if the weapon is properly maintained and cared for.

qbi2001
05-14-2009, 8:14 AM
I have both extractor styles, they both work well. I just prefer my s&w overall, which has the external extractor.

sigguy552
05-14-2009, 9:17 AM
theory on the outside extractor is that when faced with out of spec ammunition, problems, dirt or whatever it can bend past the design parameters of the interior extractors. An example would be if you place a round in to the open chamber of your weapon and close the slide. Supposedly this will break a normal extractor with time as it bends the extractor beyond what it was designed to do. Mr. Browning himself later incorporated the outside design in to the P-35 high power. IMHO either is a great and time proven design and you should have few problems if the weapon is properly maintained and cared for.

+1

It all boils down to if the extractor position was cut correctly from the slide. You can get a "friday 3pm" extractor cut slide with either type of extractor design.

JTROKS
05-14-2009, 9:47 AM
The external design has more advantage than the original internal design. The original internal design relies on the temper of the steel to keep its' tension and perform reliably. This one really needs a lot of attention if you want your 1911 to feed and extract 100%, it's not hard to do it just takes a bit of understanding how the rim of the cartridge travel through it. The internal extractor does not like it when you feed a round manually into the chamber without the magazine. If you want to destroy the tension on an original design internal extractor that will do it.

I have a few 1911s, but only one has an external extractor. I like the external extractor design on the Sig GSR TTT and it has proven reliable. So far no FTF or FTE. The external extractor has a spring to provide proper tension of the extractor's hook over the rim of the cartridge. You have to understand that the spring tension should be just right. Too much and it will impede on feeding causing the rim of the cartridge to hang up with the nose stuck on the feedramp and base partially up the breech face.

To tell you the truth the tension is just there to provide the hook of the extractor a consistent relation to the cartridge's rim just holding the case firmly so it doesn't wobble coming out of the breech on the way back to meet the ejector's face. When all that is met with the addition of radius and lowering the port you usually have a nice pile of ejected case to your right.

With that said, both designs can be reliable if they are built or tuned correctly. Keep in mind that there are internal extractor designs that utilizes a spring for extractor tension such as AFTEC and Para Ord's power extractor.

PutTogether
05-14-2009, 10:23 PM
The extractor issue has been pretty well spoken for in this thread, it boils down a particular company's skill and preference. Some guys will tell you it isn't really a 1911 if it has an external extractor.

What i will add is about firing pin blocks. The series 80 style is activated (or deactivated) by pressure on the trigger, the Kimber syle is activated by pressure on the grip safety. As a measure of safety, I'm not sure which, if any, is better, but I do know that the Kimber style does not affect the trigger pull AT ALL. The series 80 style however, CAN affect the trigger pull.

Note I say CAN because A) some may not be sensitive or experienced enough to notice, and B) because a finely tuned gunsmith job on a good series 80 type gun makes the difference all but indiscernible.

The poster that said "leave it to brazil" was most likely referring to Springfield Armory's method of making a 1911 drop safe. Rather than firing pin block safeties, they just use a super lightweight titanium firing pin. The titanium firing pin supposedly can not get enough inertia to make a good primer pin if the gun is dropped. This method leaves you with an unaltered trigger pull AND one less piece in the sear/hammer/trigger group to worry about during assembly.

B Strong
05-15-2009, 5:16 AM
There is no reason to "improve" upon John Moses Browning's original design for the internal extractor.

I would think that the external extractor might be cheaper from a manufacturing standpoint, and that's the reason you see them on certain clone 1911 types.