1911 Extractors Up Close

Humble but essential, extractors are vital to proper 1911 function. Here’s how to make sure they work.

by RK Campbell

An often misunderstood but essential part of the 1911 pistol is the cartridge extractor. This humble tool steel part can give the gunsmith quite a run around if he is not completely familiar with its purpose and operation.
As an example, recently a customer brought a 1911 into the shop that he had subjected extractor testing. Although the pistol passed the test program he was not happy. The customer felt the extractor was too tight because he shook the piece violently and the cartridge case did not slip from under the extractor. He also noted the bottom of the cartridge case didn’t seem to be flush with the extractor. To make things worse, this was a factory-fitted external extractor that the factory claims cannot be adjusted.


Read more in our October 2012 issue. Back issues are available.

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