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1911 Extractor Question

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Post by tovaert Fri Feb 17, 2023 11:12 am

Are there any 1911 extractors on the market that are properly machined for a 1911A1 such that all that is necessary to achieve the Keefer (2014) clearance profile (photo for reference) is to add a little bend to it? I've fitted about half a dozen (for Colt pre-70, SA 1911A1, and SA RO) and all required quite a bit of filing, mainly to avoid contact between the upper bevel on the extractor and the case (Starline .45 and 9mm). Also in a few instances, I had to "lower" the bottom surface of the cutout in the extractor so that it does not lift the case on the left side when pinched by the extractor (thus preventing complete contact along the base of the case). I would think that this is one part that could be dimensionally-standardized, at least in the distance from the firing pin retainer slot, to the breech face. Seems too simple.
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tovaert

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Post by kc.crawford.7 Sat Feb 18, 2023 7:43 am

Nope, one size fits most is the best you're going to be able to do.
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Post by Steve in Allentown Sat Feb 18, 2023 12:19 pm

tovaert wrote:Are there any 1911 extractors on the market that are properly machined for a 1911A1 such that all that is necessary to achieve the Keefer (2014) clearance profile (photo for reference) is to add a little bend to it?
kc. said it all but allow me to add a little.

The reason an extractor can't be made to the precise specs necessary for it to be a drop-in part in any 1911 is due to differences in manufacturing tolerances from one manufacturer to another.  

In my judgement I think Wilson is the only manufacturer whose extractors are closest to drop-in parts but only in their own slides or in slides that have the exact same specs.  I've had Wilson extractors that cannot be fit to other manufacturers slides.

For more than you ever wanted to know about fitting internal 1911 extractors:Extractor Fitting
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Post by tovaert Sun Feb 19, 2023 11:05 am

Steve in Allentown wrote:
tovaert wrote:Are there any 1911 extractors on the market that are properly machined for a 1911A1 such that all that is necessary to achieve the Keefer (2014) clearance profile (photo for reference) is to add a little bend to it?
kc. said it all but allow me to add a little.

The reason an extractor can't be made to the precise specs necessary for it to be a drop-in part in any 1911 is due to differences in manufacturing tolerances from one manufacturer to another.  

In my judgement I think Wilson is the only manufacturer whose extractors are closest to drop-in parts but only in their own slides or in slides that have the exact same specs.  I've had Wilson extractors that cannot be fit to other manufacturers slides.

For more than you ever wanted to know about fitting internal 1911 extractors:Extractor Fitting
I don't think it's about tolerances. Modern CNC machines can hold +/- 0.001" assuming good fixturing. FWIK, the thickness of the FPS slot is standardized. One reason I could see (design) variations in the distance from the FPS slot to the breech face, is due to firing pin length variations? There seems to be two lengths in FPs: the original Colt at 2.290" to 2.296". There are some that are shorter at roughly 2.260". So with the hammer down and with the shorter firing pin, maybe that has caused a reduction in that designed distance? Then when installing a typical GI extractor, it will protrude an extra .030" or so, requiring all of that extra filing at the tip and (sometimes) at the base. Of all the things to NOT screw with when designing a 1911, I would think that distance, the geometry of the extractor, the FPS thickness, and firing pin length wouldn't be touched. Oh well...

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Post by Steve in Allentown Sun Feb 19, 2023 5:22 pm

To be more precise, I think it's about tolerance stacking of the various parts particularly if not all the parts are made and QC'd by a single company.  For instance, building a 1911 using a JEM frame, a Caspian slide, an EGW extractor, a Nighthawk firing pin stop, and other manufacturers for the rest of the parts.

An example of this comes to mind.  I was in the process of fitting two Wilson Bulletproof .45 extractors to two Caspian slides one of which was a standard 5" and other one of which was a 6" long slide.  The fitting pads on the Wilson extractors were too short to touch the walls of the extractor tunnels.  This prevented me from setting the deflection correctly.  Even if the extractors and slides had been machined to within +/- .001" of spec, there was no way to fit them together correctly.  Something else was at play.  Design flaws?  Machining mistakes?

I think Wilson is a stickler on QC and hold all their small parts suppliers' feet to the fire to eliminate time consuming hand fitting on their end.  Other manufacturers probably cut corners on QC to help their bottom line and wind up telling their customers they have to "break in" their new 1911s with 500 rounds of factory ammo.
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