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  #1  
Old 03-02-2011, 09:05 PM
RPM509 RPM509 is offline
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Internal vs External Extractor




Doing as much research as I can in preparation of ordering the parts for my first
build.

What are the pros and cons of the internal vs the external extractor/slide
combination. Does one offer something better over the other?

My SW 1911 uses an external and has so far worked flawlessly, the same can be
said about previous internal extractors on other 1911's I've owned; currently
a Kimber UCII.

Thanks!

-Ray
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2011, 11:16 PM
The Earl o Sammich The Earl o Sammich is offline
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One thing I know, whether it's much of an advantage or not, is that you shouldn't drop a round in the tube and then drop the slide on it with the internal extractor. Puts a lot of stress on it. So, if you find the need to load a round without a magazine this could be an advantage to the external extractor.
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2011, 12:10 AM
rex rex is offline
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Basically,yep.External lets you cheat on a loading,certain(SP)clearing drills,etc.......The internal properly working has worked for 100+yrs.Your choice.

Last edited by rex; 03-03-2011 at 12:12 AM. Reason: oops
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  #4  
Old 03-03-2011, 12:35 AM
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stillwater stillwater is offline
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The 1911 has had an internal since it was designed. (As an aside, so does the venerable SIG 220)

JM Browning came up with an external for later semi-auto pistol designs.

Doesn't mean it's necessarily better (as stated earlier, the military likes them because of certain requirements)

If properly designed and fitted, either one works well.

Personally, I prefer internals on my 1911's, externals on my umm...hey. I don't have any. Does that make me biased? Probably.

Forget I said anything.

Carry on.
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2011, 06:22 AM
RPM509 RPM509 is offline
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Don't plan on cheating the load, so no benefit for me on that point, also
like the clean internal look on the 1911's.

Was curious if there was any actual mechanical gain by going one way or
another.

Thanks guys!
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2011, 06:37 AM
Al Booth Al Booth is offline
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Internal v. External

In theory, the external should be better - doesn't rely on hand fitting. The reality has been in the execution. A thought is that some designs (talking 1911s here) had problems due to the placement of the extractor in relation to the centerline of the chamber.

All my 1911s are Colts, so I have no experience with newer guns, like S&Ws or Caspians. Kimber changed from the original internal design to an external, then back to internal again.

As a side note, challenging the notion that dropping a round through the ejection port and dropping the slide was bad and a strain on the extractor, pistolsmith Ned Christianson designed a rig to test this long-held axiom. Long story short, after tens of thousands of repetitions, he found no change in extractor tension and no breakage ! Don't have the link to his posting over on another forum, but I will look for it and update this posting. Sure surprised me.

But no, I still don't load that way....
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  #7  
Old 03-03-2011, 07:12 AM
BarryBig BarryBig is offline
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I have 3 internals extractor guns and 2 externals extractor guns if they work(and they do)then all is good. I do not see a advantaged one way or the other from a shooters point of view,from a manufactures point of view it is less costly to use the external design.

Last edited by BarryBig; 06-12-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-03-2011, 10:00 AM
RPM509 RPM509 is offline
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I'm leaning towards the internal now for a few reasons, one being I can't find where to order the parts for an external and I do prefer the clean look of the internals.

Al Booth - If you can, and don't mind, would love to read that article you mentioned.

Thanks!

-Ray
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  #9  
Old 03-03-2011, 11:34 AM
zdragon52 zdragon52 is offline
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internal is much much user friendlier vs the external might require the skill of an armorer for routine maintenance.
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  #10  
Old 03-03-2011, 03:58 PM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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Standard parts, easily found, beat non-standard parts, particularly years later, when you may actually need one. There is no "standard" for external extractors - each maker makes his own. This is a flaw in the "piston driven" AR Carbines as well - good luck finding parts down the road - they are all different!

But if you need an internal, an off the shelf "Series 80 cut" extractor works in everything out there. Hint - Good to have spare springs and a spare firing pin, extractor and firing pin stop for long term 1911 ownership. Learn to adjust extractor tension, too - it's simple. CC
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  #11  
Old 03-03-2011, 04:10 PM
Dave Waits Dave Waits is offline
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Gotta agree with Col.Colt. Here's the thing with me FWIW, on a 9mm Semi the external Extractor works because of the lower mass of the 9mm cartridge-case plus, the Europeans have had 100-plus years to perfect it. To expect a light spring and a slightly larger External Extractor to consistantly eject the much larger 45acp case is asking a bit much.

Then there's the personal thing, I don't like the looks of the External Extractor. Just something 'Euro-Trashy' about it on a 1911.
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2011, 04:18 PM
JEFFFOSTER JEFFFOSTER is offline
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Its hard to dislike external extractors when the biggest liability or problem area in 1911's is the internal extractor.
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2011, 06:55 PM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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No, Jeff, the internal extractor is not a problem, at all. The problem is modern manufacturing methods. Extractor problems in Colt 1911s were pretty rare the first 50-60 years - then other manufacturers got into the act.

The internal design is far superior - properly done. Military users don't like the idea of a small extractor and a small spring and plunger to get lost in the bottom of a muddy trench in the dark. Less parts, simpler and bigger is far better.

I have two Colt 1911s from before 1920 with their original extractors - one a heavily used Argentine Colt. Both work 100%, at over 80 years old. It should be noted that the original spec was for Spring Steel, and perhaps that is part of why the Argentine still has more extractor tension than any newer 1911 I have ever owned!

If you just drop the extractor in, without adjusting the tension, you might have a problem - but usually not even then. It's not difficult to learn how to tension your own extractor, and once set, most never move. To quote Henry Ford's famous maxim, "Simplify and add lightness." CC
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  #14  
Old 03-03-2011, 07:17 PM
egumpher egumpher is offline
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Hello,

The US military insisted on an internal extractor because they want a solider to be able to be able to fix or adjust the extractor in the field and because it has less parts.

Rgds
Eric
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  #15  
Old 03-03-2011, 07:45 PM
JEFFFOSTER JEFFFOSTER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Col. Colt View Post
No, Jeff, the internal extractor is not a problem, at all. The problem is modern manufacturing methods. Extractor problems in Colt 1911s were pretty rare the first 50-60 years - then other manufacturers got into the act.

The internal design is far superior - properly done. Military users don't like the idea of a small extractor and a small spring and plunger to get lost in the bottom of a muddy trench in the dark. Less parts, simpler and bigger is far better.

I have two Colt 1911s from before 1920 with their original extractors - one a heavily used Argentine Colt. Both work 100%, at over 80 years old. It should be noted that the original spec was for Spring Steel, and perhaps that is part of why the Argentine still has more extractor tension than any newer 1911 I have ever owned!

If you just drop the extractor in, without adjusting the tension, you might have a problem - but usually not even then. It's not difficult to learn how to tension your own extractor, and once set, most never move. To quote Henry Ford's famous maxim, "Simplify and add lightness." CC
What do you think about Para's big claw extractors ?
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:33 PM
George Smith George Smith is offline
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I hate to disagree with Col. Colt

So I won't

On the internal extractor issue, first thing one notices stepping out of a time machine the 1928 prints call for a radius in the corner of the hook. This is sorely missed on many "after market" extractors.

Spring steel is Carbon steel, 1060 through 1080 typically. If you make an extractor out of leaded steel, don't expect much but easy machining. (not the goal) If you go with Chrome molly it works well, but has to be at least 48 rc to work like a spring.

Key note, if the extractor is easy to bend, it will bend back easily.

As to Op's excellent question in his second post. Mechanical advantage is a key feature.

ON the excellent Browning design, John has the firing pin stop directly behind the extractor hook. Sure there is spring pressure to hold the case in place for extraction and ejection but a sticky case, dirty case or sandy case requires far more force to rip the round out of the chamber.

Many of the external extractors pivot / anchor on the pivot pin. The "issue" is the extractor hook is not in line with the pin, The Spring has to hold the hook on the case and a sticky case is enough to overcome the spring pressure.

Glock apparently is a pretty solid in the cerebral sense as well. He anchors the extractor directly behind the hook. You would need to break the hook off to defeat the extractor.

Kimber did not do well with there external. The manned up and replaced many slides. They worked on several different extractor / hook designs and they were MIM, my non preferred material.

So Mechanical advantage in the SIG / Wilson / S&W sweepstakes goes to The internal.

geo


www.egwguns.com
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:53 PM
DDNLV DDNLV is offline
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I have both but am kind of an old-school guy so for whatever reason I prefer the internal extractor. Besides if I break the part it is easier to get a replacement as has been pointed out already.

With all that said Mr. Browning originally designed the 1911 with an external extractor and changed it to the internal at the Army's request so I don't think he is rolling over in his grave at the external being on his pistol.
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2011, 11:09 PM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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George, you are a very kind gentleman! I suspect the radius you speak of is an important element of JMB's original design, unfortunately dismissed as unnecessary by those "reverse engineering" the part for production today.

And I do know, from the excellence of EGW's parts, that you know what you talk about, and greatly respect your opinion. I've been using and modifying 1911s for over thirty five years - but I don't design and built state of the art parts like you and your company do. We have discussed before about the different steels, then and now, and I would certainly never be worried about an EGW extractor in my gun. As a "well over 50" guy, I tend to trust that which is proven over that which might be better - having been disappointed a time or two by "the next great thing". I find so many useful bits of knowledge that have been - and are being - lost by the last few generations that I want to see how something newer is better before I believe it.

Thanks for the exposition on why Kimber (and other makers) have problems with their external extractors. The pivot point is something a lay person might never think of - but it obviously matters. CC
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  #19  
Old 03-04-2011, 09:23 AM
RPM509 RPM509 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Smith View Post
On the internal extractor issue, first thing one notices stepping out of a time machine the 1928 prints call for a radius in the corner of the hook...www.egwguns.com
Selective quote only to emphasize my question.

Been reading Kuhnhausen's 1911 shop manual and this, in combination with the above comment drives this question - The radius, is this to ease the transition of the round from the magazine to 'under' the hook on the extractor during the load cycle?

The pivot point, as also mentioned by George makes perfect sense. An off-axis pivot in combination with what I could only consider a weaker spring (compared to the spring of the metal on a spec extractor) could easily contribute to all sorts of issues of the ejecting/loading cycle.

All very good points, all pushing me towards my initial leaning of sticking with the tried and true internal.
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  #20  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:04 AM
GoBow GoBow is offline
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I don't think that having an external extractor gives you a free pass to load directly into the chamber. The relatively blunt face of the extractor still has to over ride rim of the cartridge in a manner it's not designed to. With the use of MIM parts, it's not unheard of to see external extractors with the hook broken off.
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  #21  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:04 AM
Jolly Rogers Jolly Rogers is offline
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Correct me if I'm wrong Geo but I think the radius the prints call for is at the inner corner of the hook to the face that hits the rim of the case. This makes the part much stronger over use as the sharp 90 corner creates a stress riser that is the beginning point for the crack that causes hook failure.
Here it is the corner between C and B on post #7: Niemi's illustration
Joe
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  #22  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:41 AM
Dave Waits Dave Waits is offline
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I agree with George, I've returned two of my 1911s to JMBs' original plans(Small-Radius Firing-pin Stop and Extractor Hook radius). They're the most reliable 1911s I own.
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  #23  
Old 03-04-2011, 01:15 PM
Al Booth Al Booth is offline
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Extractors

Here is the link to the extractor test I spoke of earlier in this thread.



http://www.louderthanwords.us/forum/...php?f=6&t=1166
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  #24  
Old 03-04-2011, 01:53 PM
George Smith George Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Rogers View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong Geo but I think the radius the prints call for is at the inner corner of the hook to the face that hits the rim of the case. This makes the part much stronger over use as the sharp 90 corner creates a stress riser that is the beginning point for the crack that causes hook failure.
Here it is the corner between C and B on post #7: Niemi's illustration
Joe
Correct (in the net flicks voice) but actually a little worse than that on the hook square corner.
Since they use a square corner cutter and they do not use a fresh cutter for every 10 pcs the cutter wears and I suspect the 90 degrees goes away and it becomes 92 or 93 degrees over time. The Hook is no longer a hook at that point and can more easily slip off the rim.

A cutter with a radius corner stays sharper longer than a dead square one since the radius on the cutter is stronger.

What those EGW fellers did is develop a dovetail cutter with a corner radius built in. the dovetail gives you a 3 degree Under cut actual Hook to grab the rim and using coated carbide lasts a pretty good wile. For those machinist types we the cutter as a finisher so there is no mismatch from the roughing and finishing cutter.


geo


www.egwguns.com
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  #25  
Old 03-04-2011, 01:58 PM
Ronbo256 Ronbo256 is offline
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Damn, that Geo fellow at EGW is pretty smart! Thanks for the info Geo!
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