View Full Version : Colt Commander Jamming

April 27, 1999, 01:07 PM
OK! I'm going nuts now! My Colt Commander in 9mm, with maybe 250 rounds through it, started jamming. Not even getting to a stovepipe, the old case just never began flipiing to clear the slide. Working the action by hand I could see that the extractor was not griping the case solid, it was sort of...loose. I could take a poker and shift the rear of the extractor a few degrees either way - much more than any of my other 1911 style guns. I replaced it...twice! And it still does the same thing! Does anybody have any idea what I am missing???


April 27, 1999, 01:20 PM
have you bent extractor to put more tension
against case and slide? maybe wrong type
extractor too, seris 70, 1911, theres some
differences, and firing pin retainer plate
should fit tight against extractor. just
some thoughts,,

April 27, 1999, 01:24 PM
Bending? No, haven't tried that. Yes it's a 70 series. Where do you suggest bending it, the front to make it grip tighter or the rear to make it flush up to the retainer plate better or both? - SCatt

April 27, 1999, 02:54 PM

If you have never tuned an extractor, be careful not to over-do it!

You said you have replaced it twice and still had the problem. I have a 40 cal 1911 and the extractor is caliber specific since it has to position the hook closer to the center of the gun. Did you get an aftermarket extractor or Colt? Did you specify a 9mm extractor?

Check for a broken hook on the previous extractor. If it's not broken it's probably still good and just needs tuned.

Also you said it could be shifted a few degrees at the "rear". If you call the rear the part held by the firing pin stop, then the firing pin stop may be too loose. You can get an aftermarket part that is slightly oversized and have it fitted for tighter assembly. If it's at the hook end then some play is expected there.

To tune it, you bend it, forward of the bulge in the middle, between the bulge and the hook. Bend it toward the center of the gun for more tension. Bend a very, very, little at a time. To gage proper tension, slip a dummy round up the breech face and under the installed extractor, with the slide removed from the frame. There should be a little resistance but it should slide into place without much pressure or any rough, scratchy feeling. Once in place, you should be able to roll the slide, turning it like a cigar, through 360 degrees without the dummy round falling out.


Art Eatman
April 27, 1999, 06:24 PM
If, as the slide moves to the rear, the case comes back with it, the extractor is extracting, and that's all it is supposed to do.

Is the "hold" of the extractor so loose that somehow the opposite side of the case-head is not hitting the ejector?

Followup question: Is the ejector as it should be? If two new extractors haven't solved the problem, maybe it's not an extraction problem at all?

Good luck! Art

April 27, 1999, 08:44 PM
Art brings up a good point. If the extractor is pulling the case all the way out (ie: not slipping off and leaving the case partially extracted) but the case is just not flipping to the side, it could indeed be the ejector.

There have been two 9mm Colts at our club that had ejector problems. One broke and one bent. The Colt ejector is waaaay thin and fragile. Both guys replace them with good aftermarkets and problem was solved. I had forgotten about it 'till Art brought it up.

Good catch Art!


George Stringer
April 27, 1999, 10:27 PM
Swingcatt, you're on the right track. The extractor can have enough tension to pull the casing from the chamber AND not have enough tension to hold the empty tightly enough for the ejector to do anything but knock it loose and forward. Just bend your extractor slightly as Mikey described. For a thorough description of how to do this go to www.m1911.org and click on Technical Issues. There is a procedure written by Bill Wilson on how to adjust the extractor. 8 times out of 10 simply replacing the old extractor with the new one won't change much. Most new ones have to be adjusted when installed. George

April 28, 1999, 07:02 PM
the ejector might be a problem now that I read other posts, it makes sense if extractor is grabbing cartridge and still
not being EJECTED, I've seen ejectors that
were worn enough to fail to eject, also a extented ejector is sold by a few that kick the case sooner than a stock ejector, don't
give up, all parts involved are cheap to replace and so many choices,

April 29, 1999, 06:55 AM
Took the extractor out and bent it, following the instructions on www.m1911.org and it worked like a charm. I cycled 10 magazines through and everyone was ejected. I will see this afternoon if it performs the same under a live fire. Thanks guys, SCatt

Robert Foote
April 30, 1999, 12:42 AM
I had a LW .45 Commander that decided to develop numerous mysterious feeding problems and continued to do so even after a 'cost is no object' trip to the Gunsite gunsmithy. Solved the problem by replacing it with a SIG.