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  #1  
Old 03-25-2020, 12:02 AM
peacebutready peacebutready is offline
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Spring steel extractors, the best metal for extractors?

I have not heard of another 1911 extractor that is spring steel other than Cylinder and Slide. Is there another I am not aware of?

I believe spring steel is the original spec for 1911s. Is it still the best metal used for a 1911 extractor?
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2020, 12:43 AM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Numerous alloys qualify as "spring steel", some carbon some stainless, and great strides have been made since the originally spec'd grade, so don't get hung up on marketing terminology. I'm surer that C&S extractor is a fine piece, but I use EGW with zero concern for any issue. Every one that I've installed has run and run. John Harrison also offers a great extractor as well as Wilson.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:58 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peacebutready View Post
I have not heard of another 1911 extractor that is spring steel other than Cylinder and Slide. Is there another I am not aware of?

I believe spring steel is the original spec for 1911s. Is it still the best metal used for a 1911 extractor?
Heat treatment is what makes a long lasting extractor. Its also what makes a spring, a spring. There are many steels that are heat treatable and make for long lasting extractors. Wilson uses heat treated S7 tool steel, and is among the best I've used.
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:13 AM
warp2diesel warp2diesel is offline
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Originally Posted by M-Peltier View Post
Heat treatment is what makes a long lasting extractor. Its also what makes a spring, a spring. There are many steels that are heat treatable and make for long lasting extractors. Wilson uses heat treated S7 tool steel, and is among the best I've used.
Side note, S7 is used a lot in stamping dies where they punch holes through the metal. Properly heat treated, S7 will work wonders.

Last edited by warp2diesel; 03-25-2020 at 06:47 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:55 AM
seagiant seagiant is offline
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Hi,
On my last build I used the somewhat different EGW extractor.

I tensioned it just like a regular "leaf spring" type and prepped it the same.

I used Steve's info on extractor fitting going by his numbers on tension and deflection.

I now have 600 rds. through the pistol without a hitch, no FTF's, and no FTE's!

I will use the same extractor on my next build which will be a full size GM.
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:47 AM
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I've had a C&S spring steel extractor in use for twenty years, maybe 5000 rounds.
It's a replacement for the one C&S fitted to my gun, which lasted a couple of hundred rounds before the hook sheared off.
I've had two G.I. extractors go limp, but that C&S is the only one I've seen that broke.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2020, 11:08 AM
seagiant seagiant is offline
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Originally Posted by RickB View Post
I've had a C&S spring steel extractor in use for twenty years, maybe 5000 rounds.
It's a replacement for the one C&S fitted to my gun, which lasted a couple of hundred rounds before the hook sheared off.
I've had two G.I. extractors go limp, but that C&S is the only one I've seen that broke.
Hi,
Interesting, George Smith, explains that he uses a rounded edge type cutter to mill his extractors so as to prevent what's called a "stress riser" so to speak.

Nice to have someone noticing a problem, and then working to correct it in a part!!!
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:21 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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In 1942, the extractor was SAE 1075. Heat treat not specified, but obviously to spring temper.
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:15 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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Originally Posted by seagiant View Post
Hi,
Interesting, George Smith, explains that he uses a rounded edge type cutter to mill his extractors so as to prevent what's called a "stress riser" so to speak.

Nice to have someone noticing a problem, and then working to correct it in a part!!!
Sharp inside corners in hardened steel are a well known source of cracking.
Like the corner of a crew shaft to the head of the screw.
A slight radius here extends the load life a great deal.
On an extractor a slight radius on the hook to body does the same thing.

Last edited by brickeyee; 03-26-2020 at 02:25 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:56 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Originally Posted by seagiant View Post
Hi,
On my last build I used the somewhat different EGW extractor.

I tensioned it just like a regular "leaf spring" type and prepped it the same …
Looks like the old Detonics extractor from way back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seagiant View Post
Hi,
… George Smith.. uses a rounded edge type cutter to mill his extractors so as to prevent what's called a "stress riser"…
Inside square corners are a no-no. The print calls for a small radius there. Some makers have failed to do that, resulting in a sub par part.
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:33 PM
seagiant seagiant is offline
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Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
Looks like the old Detonics extractor from way back.



Inside square corners are a no-no. The print calls for a small radius there. Some makers have failed to do that, resulting in a sub par part.
Hi,
I'm not taking anything from anyone, but...

From my limited experience, trouble comes from parts makers not following the prints as JMB intended...

And good, well working, time proven parts, just seem to follow JMB'S intentions!!!

"Funny" huh???
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Looks like the old Detonics extractor from way back.
I have one of those, and thought the same. They apparently were not consistently heat treated, and some will not retain adjustment from new. I keep mine in my Detonics coffee cup.
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:20 PM
peacebutready peacebutready is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
Numerous alloys qualify as "spring steel", some carbon some stainless, and great strides have been made since the originally spec'd grade, so don't get hung up on marketing terminology. I'm surer that C&S extractor is a fine piece, but I use EGW with zero concern for any issue. Every one that I've installed has run and run. John Harrison also offers a great extractor as well as Wilson.
Good information. C&S marketing would have one to think their extractors are the best bar none. Are EGW, John Harrison, and Wilson better?


Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
I've had a C&S spring steel extractor in use for twenty years, maybe 5000 rounds.
It's a replacement for the one C&S fitted to my gun, which lasted a couple of hundred rounds before the hook sheared off.
I've had two G.I. extractors go limp, but that C&S is the only one I've seen that broke.
It's odd one broke like that. Maybe C&S extractors aren't as good as they make themselves out to be. Something like a hook being ripped off wouldn't happen with USGI extractors around WWII, would it?
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:42 PM
ccssid ccssid is offline
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Originally Posted by peacebutready View Post
Good information. C&S marketing would have one to think their extractors are the best bar none. Are EGW, John Harrison, and Wilson better?
I can't comment on c&s extractors, but the 3 other manufacturers you mentioned are the gold strd around here. I have used nothing but the abovementioned (3) products exclusively for my builds without any issues at all. EGW is my go to extractor, among other EGW and Harrison internals.

Last edited by ccssid; 03-25-2020 at 08:47 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2020, 09:17 PM
*MAYHEM* *MAYHEM* is offline
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I will admit, I like the idea of the spring steel extractors. They're less prone to going out of adjustment, but harder to get a perfect adjustment on to start with. You have to bend it farther to get it to take a set. making it easy to go too far and have to bend it back the other way. But once it's set, it's not going to lose it.

That said, I haven't used one from C&S yet, but I may on my next build. Oldest build I still have is Ugly Betty, now 7 yrs old and God only knows how many thousands of rounds through it on the Brown extractor I put in it when I built it. It has never been re-adjusted and has never failed to pull a spent case out of the chamber.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:31 PM
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Some materials have more 'memory' than others.
I have had 2 extractors, from diff companies, that were equally difficult to bend to proper tension. They both required about the same amount of force.
But with one, a slight tug to loosen would result in a large difference.
With the other, it was as difficult to loosen as it was to tighten.

I always overtighten, then loosen to proper tension.
This way if it changes due to 'memory' it will get a bit tighter rather than looser.
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  #17  
Old 03-25-2020, 11:57 PM
peacebutready peacebutready is offline
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Originally Posted by *MAYHEM* View Post
...That said, I haven't used one from C&S yet, but I may on my next build. Oldest build I still have is Ugly Betty, now 7 yrs old and God only knows how many thousands of rounds through it on the Brown extractor I put in it when I built it. It has never been re-adjusted and has never failed to pull a spent case out of the chamber.
Another idea is to pick up one now and use it in whatever 1911s you have been shooting lately to see how it performs.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:42 AM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Originally Posted by seagiant View Post
Hi,
I'm not taking anything from anyone, but...

From my limited experience, trouble comes from parts makers not following the prints as JMB intended...

And good, well working, time proven parts, just seem to follow JMB'S intentions!!!

"Funny" huh???
Well.... JMB would not have rested on his laurels or rump had he lived to continue designing and improving guns. Metallurgy has improved enormously since the 1911 was designed. The Army Ordnance Dept. made numerous revisions to the material specs of the gun that improved it over earlier versions. Now modern manufacturers have produced widely varying quality levels that give witness to your point. So the pendulum can swing both ways. I certainly would not want to do without the wide variety of fantastic aftermarket parts available now and I can well remember when you could count them on the fingers of one hand. But, as you noted, there's some junk out there, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peacebutready View Post
Good information. C&S marketing would have one to think their extractors are the best bar none. Are EGW, John Harrison, and Wilson better?

It's odd one broke like that. Maybe C&S extractors aren't as good as they make themselves out to be. Something like a hook being ripped off wouldn't happen with USGI extractors around WWII, would it?
I think C&S is probably a good product. I have not used one because of the reported warranty limitations. Not sure if that is still an issue, but I'm well satisfied with EGW, Harrison, and Wilson, so no need to change.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:53 AM
*MAYHEM* *MAYHEM* is offline
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Originally Posted by peacebutready View Post
Another idea is to pick up one now and use it in whatever 1911s you have been shooting lately to see how it performs.
There's an old saying, "If it ain't broke...."

My pistols are functioning perfectly. No reason to change anything. Soon as the C-19 panic is over and people stop being stupid I have about 4 projects lined up and that would be a good time to give them a try.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:04 AM
AlchemyCustom AlchemyCustom is offline
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Chuck's tune logic makes a lot of sense. He is a real student of all the forces at work here. Very few people go that far with it.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:37 AM
seagiant seagiant is offline
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Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
Well.... JMB would not have rested on his laurels or rump had he lived to continue designing and improving guns.
Hi,
This is true!

What if he was alive today in the Modern World?

Boggles the mind, what new inventions he could come up with!!!
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  #22  
Old 03-26-2020, 09:34 PM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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I like the idea of the spring steel extractors. They're less prone to going out of adjustment, but harder to get a perfect adjustment on to start with.
I've said before that I don't think extractors are hardened to the best spring temper, and also have thought it may be intentional. A normally tempered flat spring will not take a set from the kinds of force we mostly used to adjust them. You can bend them way over and they'll return.
So they temper them down in hardness so we can adjust them easier.

But to my way of thinking that's the wrong way to get here from there, temper them right for a higher duty, adjust to spec in production, then sell them. It's true though that an extractor shouldn't be forced very far in normal use, so probably that's why they HT to lower values, based on the lower amount of actual springing they get in service.

I guess I'd rather have them tempered as if they worked under more extension but were in spec to begin with for the caliber being made for, that way they should never need retensioning.
But as usual, I probably don't understand why they make them softer, something I wouldn't know about unless told.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:00 PM
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With many steels, the harder they are, the more likely they are to break.
I personally have no use for one companies 'spring steel' extractors,
especially in light of their warranty policy. (Any modification voids the warranty).
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:13 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Originally Posted by pistolwrench View Post
… I personally have no use for one companies 'spring steel' extractors,
especially in light of their warranty policy. (Any modification voids the warranty).
^^^^ Yep. Hence my reason for not using them per my reply in post #18 above.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:51 PM
peacebutready peacebutready is offline
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Originally Posted by pistolwrench View Post
With many steels, the harder they are, the more likely they are to break.
I personally have no use for one companies 'spring steel' extractors,
especially in light of their warranty policy. (Any modification voids the warranty).
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
^^^^ Yep. Hence my reason for not using them per my reply in post #18 above.
That's a bummer about the warranty. Presumably that is not the case if a person sends C&S their slide and has them fit an extractor. I know they have that service.
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