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Old November 18, 2012, 04:26 PM   #1
Dragline45
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Chambering A Round By Hand, Bad for Extractor?

Recently I have been noticing bullet setback with my Sig 232 and figured chambering the first round by hand with the slide locked back would minimize this. Upon further research I noticed some say this puts excess wear on the extractor since it has to slide over the back of the case? I read this on another forum so I am not sure of the validity of his comment, but would it be good practice to manually chamber the first round to minimize setback or does it really put excess strain on the extractor.

Last edited by Dragline45; November 18, 2012 at 04:42 PM.
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Old November 18, 2012, 04:30 PM   #2
ShotPlacement
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I'm not a gunsmith but it seems to me that the extractor is going to slide over the case anyway. And that is exactly what I do to prevent bullet set back in my 232.
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Old November 18, 2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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I was thinking the same thing, I don't really see how it could be a problem.
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Old November 18, 2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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Extractors are either designed to pivot around the rim or to have the rim slide up from underneath. If you have the latter than it can be damaged or stretched out of adjustment by dropping the slide on a round. I don't know what you have but there is really no good reason to chamber a round and then drop the slide on top of it. I have simply learned from years of shooting 1911s to always load rounds from a magazine. It works on every gun. As far as setback goes, if you're seeing any STOP using that ammo and stop rechambering rounds more than once. The problem is defective ammo and there is nothing can you do as far as loading that is going to have any effect on setback. If a round sets back far enough really bad stuff can happen to you. The reason it is getting set back is because it is junk ammo - regardless of whose name is stamped on it.

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Old November 18, 2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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Semi auto pistols are designed to be fed from a magazine. It does harm the extractor to plop a round in the chamber and release the slide.
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Old November 18, 2012, 04:46 PM   #6
Dragline45
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Correction, after close examination while slowly chambering a round from the magazine the case does indeed appear to slip up underneath the extractor. I'll try different ammunition and just switch rounds out more frequently rather than manually loading the round to prevent setback.

Quote:
As far as setback goes, if you're seeing any STOP using that ammo and stop rechambering rounds more than once. The problem is defective ammo and there is nothing can you do as far as loading that is going to have any effect on setback
It does appear to be a problem with the Gold Dot's which is a shame because they have always been my go to ammunition and have always worked in all my guns. I have been repeatedly chambering a cheap bulk .380 hollow point round to see how the extractor works and have seen no visible setback.

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Old November 18, 2012, 05:02 PM   #7
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This is more of a problem with 1911's and internal extractors. It is probably better if rounds feed from the magazine, but with most modern guns with an external extractor I'd be less concerned.
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Old November 18, 2012, 05:10 PM   #8
Dragline45
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I am no expert on the subject so I guess I will just play it safe and not manually chamber a round, but I really don't see how it could be putting excess strain on the extractor. When I drop the round in the chamber and slowly ease the slide forward the extractor very lightly clicks over the case rim. I don't see how a steel extractor slipping over a brass rim will break it.
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Old November 18, 2012, 05:12 PM   #9
drail
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You need to find some way to get out of the habit of rechambering rounds. The quality control of most of the ammo being sold today IS the cause of set back problems. The manufacturer never made any guarantees about their product if you chamber it more than one time. They don't care and their lawyers have convinced tham that they are not repsonsible if you do and your barrel blows. This is a serious problem today and your only defense is to not rechamber rounds. With some loads and some calibers there is very little room for error. If you rechamber rounds you are taking a serious risk. Dragline, a rigid spring steel extractor (like a 1911) that does not pivot on a pin may snap over the rim a few times but it was never designed to do that and it will damage the extractor. It cannot flex that far without being stressed to its limit. If you have a pivoting extractor then knock yourself out. I still don't understand why anyone would want to do this.
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Old November 18, 2012, 05:30 PM   #10
Dragline45
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Drail thanks for all the input.

Quote:
You need to find some way to get out of the habit of rechambering rounds.
Typically my carry guns get chambered with a round and stay that way until the next time I go to the range, but since this is a new gun I have been doing alot of dry firing and the like so I have been chambering and unchambering rounds more frequently than usual. I never really had the issue with setback in my other guns so I will be more careful about rechambering rounds.

Quote:
a rigid spring steel extractor (like a 1911) that does not pivot on a pin may snap over the rim a few times but it was never designed to do that and it will damage the extractor. It cannot flex that far without being stressed to its limit. If you have a pivoting extractor then knock yourself out. I still don't understand why anyone would want to do this.
I'm not 100% sure which extractor it is but I am going to say it is a pivoting extractor based on the picture. If it is a pivoting extractor does that mean it's safe for the extractor to manually chamber the round?

Attached Images
File Type: jpg P230extractor.jpg (69.4 KB, 391 views)

Last edited by Dragline45; November 18, 2012 at 05:35 PM.
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Old November 18, 2012, 05:36 PM   #11
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For what it worth, when I have tried to manually chamber a round on a Glock and insert a full magazine after that, I have had problems, when I put a full mag in and chamber one by racking the slide, and then removing the mag and topping it off with another round, I have had no problems.
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Old November 18, 2012, 08:19 PM   #12
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That's a pivoting extractor in the photo, but I still would not recommend hand loading the chamber routinely.
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Old November 18, 2012, 08:41 PM   #13
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It can cause the extractor to chip.

It isn't designed to jump over the case rim. Like many have said, it is supposed to slip up from underneath.

Extractors are normally hardened to resist wear. Hardened parts can chip if they are hit wrong.

Doesn't always happen, but it can.

Don't rechamber rounds. Any rounds. The cost savings isn't worth the potential problems.
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Old November 18, 2012, 08:44 PM   #14
Dragline45
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Well I found a solution, after hand chambering a round as I follow the slide home if I depress the back of the extractor so it springs out there is no contact with the case rim as it goes over it. Hassle? Yes but I would rather not have to throw out ammunition that costs about a buck a round after chambering it a couple times.

Last edited by Dragline45; November 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM.
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Old November 18, 2012, 08:47 PM   #15
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Why aren't you guys just chambering a round by racking the slide? Then top off the magazine.
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Old November 18, 2012, 08:57 PM   #16
Dragline45
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Quote:
Why aren't you guys just chambering a round by racking the slide? Then top off the magazine.
When the round hits the feed ramp as it is chambering it causes the bullet to setback in the case which can cause unsafe pressure spikes. Sometimes all it takes is one or two chamberings to notice a difference. Since my pistol is a blowback design where the feed ramp doesn't tilt back like a glock or similar design, along with a heavy recoil spring slamming that slide forward i'm guessing is the reason it's happening so quickly. So I figure instead of ruining $1 per round ammunition, when I chamber my gun with my carry rounds manually loading the first cartridge into the chamber prevents the bullet setback.

Last edited by Dragline45; November 18, 2012 at 09:03 PM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 01:20 AM   #17
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Load it from the mag.

Yes, chambering a round by hand may damage the extractor.

I know of no manufacturer that recommends loading their pistol in this way.
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Old November 19, 2012, 01:36 AM   #18
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I've dropped a round on the chamber of my 1911s, and let the extractor over-ride it, for decades. I've suffered exactly one extractor failure from those guns and that extractor had literally been in the gun since WWII.
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:10 AM   #19
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Load from the magazine. I manually loaded a round in my Glock and it chipped off half of my extractor. Not expensive, but annoying anyway.
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:21 AM   #20
Dragline45
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If you look at my earlier post I found that when hand chambering a round following the slide forward and depressing the back of the extractor as it is about to contact the case rim prevents the extractor from making any contact, thus not causing any potential damage to the extractor. My carry guns usually stays loaded for 2 weeks at a time so it's really not that much of a hassle considering i'm only doing it a couple times a month.

Quote:
I know of no manufacturer that recommends loading their pistol in this way.
The Beretta 92 was designed so you could manually load a round in the event of a magazine failure. It's one of the reasons it was picked as our military's sidearm.

Last edited by Dragline45; November 19, 2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:55 AM   #21
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You've described a normal action that happens ever time you fire a shot until the last round in the magazine. If it's bad for the extractor, the design is very flawed. If you're worried about bullet set-back, don't chamber rounds over and over again. Shoot the chambered round next range day and freshen up the bullets when you get back home.

If you're talking about dropping one in the tube and letting the slide go, it's not necessary although some guns are better suited to handled this than others.
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Old November 19, 2012, 04:57 AM   #22
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Nakanokalronin, you are incorrect in your assumption.

When the slide strips a round from the magazine, the round rises up from under the extractor and slides into place - the extractor hook does not get pushed outward around it.

The extractor rides forward with the slide (and cartridge rim) as the slide goes forward.

During recoil, the extractor is already in contact with the rim.

So, no, forcing the extractor around the rim is not "a normal action that happens every time you fire a shot".

If you search, you can probably find some cutaway demo videos of the process.
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Old November 19, 2012, 05:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Crow Hunter

#13

Extractors are normally hardened to resist wear. Hardened parts can chip if they are hit wrong.
I thought they might be spring steel so they can flex.
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Old November 19, 2012, 05:45 AM   #24
AndyWest
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A helpful discussion. Thanks, all. After cleaning I normally (used to) hand-chamber a round, close the slide, and insert mag for +1. Now I'm thinking it's better to just discard one round per monthly-ish cleaning and never re-chamber. That way, no potential added setback or claw wear.
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Old November 19, 2012, 08:45 AM   #25
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Quote:
I thought they might be spring steel so they can flex.
Not with a pivoting external extractor like most modern guns. They are designed to pivot outwards as the ejector hits the case to allow the rim to slip out. They are usually of fairly thick crossection too. Much too thick to bend with the forces involved.

At the very least, they will need to be harder than the material they are moving against.

Most of them are probably not through hardened just surface hardened leaving a tougher ductile core, but since they usually have very sharp edges, the edges are going to be through hardened just because they are so small in cross section. Hard materials don't like shock. Sharp corners also result in stress risers which can concentrate stress in a very small area causing a fracture. Snapping over the rim repeatedly can cause shock that it wasn't designed to handle.

It might very well go for 1000's of rounds without a problem then chip the extractor and the gun starts losing control of the fired case.

Some guns have very beefy extractors (without extremely sharp edges) that are designed to do this. (Shotguns, apparently the Beretta 92, push feed bolt actions)
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