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Old November 22, 2012, 11:43 PM   #76
riggins_83
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Think of it this way:

When chambering a round from the magazine in an auto the extractor really doesn't move far to catch the case rim. When it does the round is moving with the extractor at the same speed. In other words the extractor catches the rim versus


When closing the bolt onto a chambered round the extractor is forced outwards quite abruptly as the round is already in the chamber.

More importantly when a round is being chambered from the magazine the case rim moves up into the extractor as it rides the barrel ramp. When closing on a chambered round the extractor is forced out and around the rim.

Yes the extractor is a spring however it was never designed for that kind of motion range. Even if a metallurgy argument is made against any type of real immediate damage or stress the fact remains a critical piece of metal is being forced to move outwards at high speed beyond the normal operating distance.

This doesn't mean the extractor is going to break immediately from closing on a loaded chamber however what the extractor most do under this operation isn't part of a normal cycle and such an event will certainly accelerate wear (and lower life) of such a part.
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Old November 23, 2012, 02:15 AM   #77
cuba
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riggin 83 said: Yes the extractor is a spring however it was never designed for that kind of motion range. Even if a metallurgy argument is made against any type of real immediate damage or stress the fact remains a critical piece of metal is being forced to move outward at high speed beyond the normal operating distance.

riggin, what evidence have you to support your conclusion, I think this statement is a conjecture on your part, of course the extractor was designed to flex to the point of moving around the case rim!!, if not the extractor channel would not have been designed as wide as it is on a 1911, and it would not have been spec'd as spring steel, or the nose contoured in a way to allow the extractor to easily flex back upon contact with the casing, just like a door latch is contoured to allow it to move back and clear the frame upon contact with the striker, now if the extractor would have been designed with a 90 degree square nose, and with a channel just wide enough to flex to the point of providing holding pressure to the casing, I would have to agree with you, but it only stands to reason upon close consideration of these three element of the extractor that the extractor on a 1911 was design to flex over the case rim repeatedly without any ill effect to the system, and it is needless to say that the 1911 was design to function and come to the ready primarily by way of the magazine, but it is also evident that a redundant method of chambering a round was incorporated in the design, by way of feeding a round through the ejection port, while still allowing the extractor to reliably perform its primary duty.(extraction) Now as far as your statement about the high speed of the slide moving forward, I would have to agree with you, that is if the 15 pound action spring as originally designed on the 1911 had been changed to a 18 pound spring that in turn would create a greater impact to the surface of the extractor nose, this deviation of the original design would probably diminish the longevity of the extractor (this is a conjecture in my part) and the system would not be operating as designed by JMB.

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Old November 23, 2012, 03:25 AM   #78
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Just want to throw it out there again in case someone missed it in the 4 pages, when manually loading a round if you have an external extractor you can depress the back of the extractor to plunge it out and ride the slide forward with absolutely no contact with the case rim. I'm going to continue doing this when time or place permits to save myself from having to throw away $1+ per round ammunition every time I chamber a round into my carry guns.
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Old November 23, 2012, 07:23 AM   #79
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re:

Quote:
Yes the extractor is a spring however it was never designed for that kind of motion range.
Oh, but it was.

A few years back, high-end pistolsmith and fellow mad scientist Ned Christiansen cobbled up a little whiz-bang machine that forced an extractor to deflect by the same distance as it would when being forced over the rim of a cartridge...and proceeded to let it run for thousands of cycles. It didn't break. It didn't lose tension to any appreciable degree...and when the test was over, he installed it in a gun and headed for the range. No problems were noted.

Over-deflection in a good, springy extractor isn't where the problem starts. It's the impact that does it...and a good extractor with the angle machined to spec will absorb a good many impacts before it fails. Since an emergency situation that calls for single-loading isn't very likely to require more than a dozen or so single loadings at most...with the shooter either being successful in his last-ditch bid for life...or dead...it's really a non-issue.

As cuba noted...Browning and his dream team of Colt's top engineers burned a lotta midnight oil on the 1911 project. Nothing was left to chance, including the possibility of a lost magazine. Murphy is everywhere, constantly poised to wreck your day. The Dream Team understood Mr. Murphy quite well.

Designing a weapon that was ultimately going to war that depended on a quickly detachable part and one that's regularly jettisoned in order to be fired would have been a major flaw.

i.e. Better to have a weapon that can be fired once every 10 seconds than one that won't fire at all.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:36 AM   #80
Rainbow Demon
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A lot depends on the manufacturer and pressure to turn out parts.
Age of the pistol and its parts is another factor.
Years ago I was offered an early Argentine contract milspec Browning P-35.
The pistol was in decent operating condition, except for the extractor.
This early model had the internal extractor, and it had been worn and bent to the point that it was no longer reliable.

The seller was a good friend, and always an honest dealer.
He told me of the failures to extract, and how he had made a temporary repair by bending the extractor back into shape, but that the extractor should be replaced.
He told me where to obtain a new manufacture extractor of a superior alloy, but unfortunately these were priced at 60 USD and took awhile to deliver.
I passed on that Browning.

Later he brought over a more modern Argentine contract P-35, it had the external extractor they had switched to in 1962.
I had the opportunity to try out several of these, and all worked flawlessly.
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Old November 23, 2012, 10:35 AM   #81
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Very interesting thread,
I have been taught and teach to never single feed a cartridge into any simi auto unless the operation manual lists it as ok.

TBS, i read in my manual for the High Standard Sport King that its ok to do so.
I have a Ruger P-97D that can also according to manufacture be loaded without the magazine,
Quote:
TO LOAD AND FIRE (WITHOUT MAGAZINE)
In the event that the magazine is missing or for training purposes (where it is
desirable that only one cartridge be loaded and fired at a time for safety), the
pistol can be fired with the magazine removed.
"I would single load a magazine for training purposes."

However I also own other auto-loaders and because of the recommendations to NOT load without magazine I will not load the ones that can be, just so I can be consistent with my pistol's.
Now as was posted, the 1914 operations material for the 1911 lists the loading w/o mag to be ok does not override the recomendations to the contrary.

This from From Dave Lauck's site;
Quote:
A broken extractor hook obviously will not allow the extractor a means to pull the fired case out of the chamber. A misadjusted extractor may also fail to extract. It may also cause stove piping, case crushing, and feeding failures. Bottom line is that a 1911 extractor plays a critical role in the operation of your pistol.
Dave offers a modification for 1911 that will allow the safe closing of the slide with a chambered round whitch can happen even though our SOP precludes such practices.
And sarge offers his experience that he has loaded his 1911 w/o magazine for years and has only had one broken extractor.
I was a sarge and shot expert with the 1911, Qualified for the Post Pistol Team, but that doesn't give me the authority to override good recomendations.
Well if I can prevent the "ONE" I certainly will do my best to do just that.
I am not of the conviction that having an extractor break while firing the pistol as the fluid for the burning powder is going to push the case out albeit, it may result in a FTE, my concern is that a broken extractor will leave a round in the chamber and of course we check and consider all guns to be loaded all the time, but hey, we mere humans have been known to make a mistake.
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Old November 23, 2012, 10:40 AM   #82
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re:

Quote:
I have been taught and teach to never single feed a cartridge into any simi auto unless the operation manual lists it as ok.
And you've been taught quite correctly. It shouldn't be done except in the case of an emergency when staying alive overrides all other concerns.

And of course, the caution over single-loading doesn't apply to many weapons that are designed to feed by snapping the extractor over the case rim. Among the more notable are the M1 and M14 rifles.
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Old November 23, 2012, 05:21 PM   #83
cuba
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Myth Busted

While the presumptuous argument can be made that the 1911 extractor was designed with the ability to flex over the bullets rim in case of a emergency only, the fact remains and its apparent that it was designed to consecutively flex over the case rim by the action springs and slide momentum, regardless of the end users reasons, be it to load the max amount of rounds as indicated by the 1914 Army manual, prevent bullet set back, or in case the magazine was lost or damaged, the design characteristics of the 1911 extractor are not coincidental but deliberate by design, and it is evident that it was engineered with that ability and purpose, plain and simple.

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Old November 23, 2012, 05:56 PM   #84
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re:

Quote:
, the fact remains and its apparent that it was designed to consecutively flex over the case rim by the action springs and slide momentum,
Bingo. Controlled feed dictates that the case rim enters the extractor from underneath. With the proper amount of deflection, the extractor should last for the life of the gun without the need to fiddle with it, other than for periodic cleaning.

The problem now is with the magazines that many pistols are shipped with. They lose control of the last round, and that round gets bump-fed into the chamber with the extractor snapping over the rim.

If you reload, and you've noticed a small burr being kicked up on the edges of a few case rims...well...among highly trained and keenly observant law enforcement types, that's whatcha call...a clue.

And this explains how the myth of the 1911 extractor's need for frequent re-tweakin' got started.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:18 PM   #85
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Quote:
regardless of the end users reasons...
No, you haven't been reading the responses.

"It shouldn't be done except in the case of an emergency when staying alive overrides all other concerns."

...is NOT even close to the same thing as...

"regardless of the end users reasons, be it to load the max amount of rounds ... prevent bullet set back"

Quote:
Myth Busted
There was no myth. It's not recommended and places stress on the extractor that is not encountered in normal operation. That stress can eventually cause problems with or damage to the extractor as 1911Tuner notes with his comments about how repeatedly stressing the extractor like this can lead to it needing "frequent re-tweakin'".
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:20 PM   #86
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Quote:
Crow Hunter seems to be under that impression.
Ummm..... No....

I never said that.

I said that if a person is to the point that they need to single load their weapon and they can do it without getting killed, they would also have time to knock out an empty case, IF an extractor that WASN'T designed to allow for it ACTUALLY broke on them.

That was the entirety of my original comment.

I followed that up by mentioning that it is a waste of resources to design in a "feature" that has so little utility.

What scenario do you envision in which this would be a valuable "feature"? Just in case you miss my point once again. I am not saying that single loading could never be used, I am not saying that anyone should just give up and die without trying but I really want to know the scenario that you envision where being able to single load rounds ad infinitum is important and feel it would save someone's life where single loading with a broken extractor wouldn't.

Apparently, you don't work in design or high volume manufacturing. If you did, you would know that it takes more that just machining a little angle on it and just making it to the blueprint.

Someone has to take the time to determine what that angle needs to be based on the individual feed geometry of that specific weapon as it is being designed. Man hours that could be used to work on other features. Then people who are just machining it to the blueprint have to actually measure it at some frequency to make sure that the dimension is still in specification. On top of that, if it is a "feature", that "feature" will need to be tested at some frequency including at least to destruction on enough a statistically significant sample size to determine at what point it fails including at both the high and low end of the tolerance range of the "angle" (and any other dimensions) that allow this to work without damaging the extractor.

None of which just happens for free.

Of course, as an engineer, I understand this.

By the way, I am speaking about this from the point of designing the pistol from scratch and why add a "feature" of dubious value. Not talking about a existing design that has already had this done. In that case, all that is sunk cost anyway.
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Old November 23, 2012, 11:22 PM   #87
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I think it takes a pretty long time to break an extractor in the way being talked about here..... because I know a shooter who did to several of his guns.

I just got off the phone with him to verify what I remember of the circumstances. He was in a phase of really active shooting for him, about 10 years ago. 2000 rounds a month of 45, and another 2000 rounds of 9 mm.

He was loading a round into the chamber and dropping the slide EVERY SINGLE TIME HE LOADED A MAG. Why ? He doesn't know why he was doing it, it's tactically wrong, and he is embarrassed about it now.

He had been shooting like this for over 2 years. Then he started breaking extractors. The first extractor to go was on his Colt 1911. A few months later he broke the extractor on his Taurus PT92. Next month it was his Glock 21. Then a few months later he broke the extractors in both his Sig 226 and his SW 5906, within a week of each other. The local gunsmith (also a friend) realized what he was doing and told him to stop... they preemptively replaced every extractor on every pistol he owned. He also had a Springfield Armory 1911 and this extractor fell apart when the gunsmith removed it.

So my takeaway is that this "pre-loading-the-chamber-and-dropping-the-slide" nonsense will definitely fail the extractor prematurely... but it takes hundreds/thousands of slide drops to do it. He was shooting 50,000 rounds a year for two years, spread over at least 8 different guns... It took 2 to 3 years for the problem to show up.

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Old November 23, 2012, 11:51 PM   #88
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Quote:
I really want to know the scenario that you envision where being able to single load rounds ad infinitum is important and feel it would save someone's life where single loading with a broken extractor wouldn't.
I can think of a couple, but here's one that's actually pretty practical.

In a combat situation, a soldier might be reduced to using his sidearm. This happened to several soldiers during the "Blackhawk Down" incident in Somalia. If he runs it dry but has loose rounds (or compatible rounds from an incompatible captured weapon--9mm is ubiquitous) direct-chamber loading could keep his gun running without having to take a long break to reload a magazine. The slide would lock back with the gun empty. The soldier could drop in a loose round, drop the slide, fire and repeat as necessary. That would allow him to keep up fairly constant fire in a situation where stopping to load the magazine with the loose rounds might be prohibitive from a time standpoint.

In that situation, having to manually extract rounds would definitely be highly undesirable since the reason he's direct-chamber loading is to avoid a long period where he's unable to fire his sidearm.
Quote:
So my takeaway is that this "pre-loading-the-chamber-and-dropping-the-slide" nonsense will definitely fail the extractor prematurely... but it takes hundreds/thousands of slide drops to do it. He was shooting 50,000 rounds a year for two years, spread over at least 8 different guns... It took 2 to 3 years for the problem to show up.
Using the figures in your post, it appears that his extractors started failing at somewhere between 1000 and 1250 rounds per pistol being direct chamber loaded.

A person who unloads and reloads their chamber on a frequent basis--say 5 days a week--would chamber a round 1000-1250 times in the space of 3.8 to 4.8 years. If they unload/reload daily the figure comes down even further--2.7 to 3.4 years. So even accepting that it takes many repetitions to cause the extractor to fail, a person using direct-chamber loading as an alternative to properly chambering a round each time they unload/reload their carry pistol could end up causing an extractor failure in their carry gun in less than 3 years.
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Old November 24, 2012, 05:30 AM   #89
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re:

Quote:
Ummm..... No....

I never said that.
Well...You seem to keep coming back to the:

"If I've got time to single load a round, I've got time to shake or punch out an empty case" argument. Unless I'm missing something, you seem to be assuming that the extractor will be broken...somehow.

And you seem to feel that a weapon that no longer has the option of self-loading has become completely useless, even though the shooter can continue to serve his rifle or pistol by single-loading.

Or at least that's the impression you're giving, because you also keep coming back to:

Quote:
I really want to know the scenario that you envision where being able to single load rounds ad infinitum is important and feel it would save someone's life where single loading with a broken extractor wouldn't.
And it all started when I mentioned...just mentioned...that the 1911's extractor...and others...will tolerate emergency single-loading in the event of a lost or damaged magazine, thus giving the bearer a chance of getting home alive.

And this option is no accident. Any weapons designer worth his salt will see to it in any personal weapon...rifle or pistol...especially if that weapon was designed with a military action in mind.

Because:

While it's unlikely to have any effect in the outcome of a battle or a skirmish, it could very well have a significant effect on the outcome of a man's life. Pistols don't win battles, but they often save the lives of the men that do.

You might also want to consider that sometimes a multiple of one or two can change history. One round fired by Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls caused the members of the siege party to reconsider their positions, thus probably saving the lives of several people...including Bat Masterson. One bomb destroyed the Arizona. Two torpedos sank the Indianapolis.

Conversely...If Patrick Ferguson had taken the shot presented to him at Germantown Pa, we could very well be subjects of the British Crown today...and if one round had found a certain Austrian corporal at the Somme...WW2 might never have happened.
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Old November 24, 2012, 08:45 AM   #90
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Let me try this one last time.

Yes, single loading can be an effective means of defending yourself, IF you have the time/distance/cover to allow you to do this without being overrun. It isn't a useful "feature" in any circumstance in which you have to make quick repeat shots at close range in an emergency. (Which is the design intent of a handgun)

IF your weapon ACTUALLY broke the extractor because it wasn't designed to handle 10,000 repeated loadings, it could still be used, you just MIGHT have to manually extract the casing.

If a person still has their magazine and they can find compatible ammo, they can reload their magazine. If they don't have the time to reload their magazine, they won't have the time to single load it either.

My entire "argument" is that IF a person has the time to fire a round/lock the gun open/drop a round in the chamber/close the slide and fire. They are far enough out of the danger zone/have enough friendly forces around to limit enemy movement/have enough cover/facing a small enough enemy group/etc that IF their extractor were to break because it wasn't designed to handle single load, they could knock/pry/shake the fired case out in and emergency. (Just like everyone that has ever used a Colt Single Action in combat had to)

To me, that means that going to the trouble to design in this "feature" that would allow unlimited single loading without a chance of breaking the extractor is a waste of resources.

Because it is such a low likelihood of every being used, if it is, chances are that the extractor WON'T break even if it isn't designed for it long enough that the person could get to safety or find a more effective weapon than a handgun. Even if it DID break, the person needing it will probably have the time to extract the rounds manually if they have the time to single load them without getting killed.

The only thing that I have read yet that would make it useful is as a training device for safety reasons. But to me that is a useless feature as I would just load a single round into the magazine so that at least the person using it would be getting valuable repetitions at loading and exchanging magazines instead of a gaining skill with a very limited if not entirely useless "skill" and potentially building a habit that could cause damage to most of the well known firearm designs in common usage.

But hey, I guess I am wrong.

Maybe pistol bayonets, 500 m tangent sights, and magazine cut offs for single loading while holding a full magazine in reserve are really great features too and all the other gun designers out there who didn't incorporate these ideas were just as wrong as all designers who didn't design their guns to be single loaded indefinitely.
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