View Full Version : 1911 extractor

February 20, 2011, 01:11 AM
I need to replace the extractor on my commander that I purchased in the mid 70's. I want to know if a kimber extractor will fit. I know there will likely be some minor fitting involved also has anyone heard of or used a nighthawk extractor. I want to order parts on Monday and will order from Midway or perhaps Colt (I know I wont get kimber parts). I will be grateful any input

Hunter Customs
February 20, 2011, 11:36 AM
Both the series 70 or series 80 extractor should work in your gun.
I recommend you buy a good 4330 or 4340 extractor; for best performance from the extractor it should be polished and tuned before being installed in the gun.
If whomever you are buying the extractor from can't tell you if the extractor is a 4330 or 4340 then I would buy the extractor elsewhere.
Do not buy any MIM extractors, they will not stay tuned.
Best Regards
Bob Hunter

February 20, 2011, 02:54 PM
Good advice from Bob. No point in wasting money on something you have to re-tension or that breaks in the middle of a match.

I don't know the particular ANSI steel numbers used (you could call to ask), but Nowlin makes their "Tuff Stuff" extractor by machining bar stock and also cryo-treats the finished part. Cryo-treating reduces the amount of set a spring takes, so it should be good for holding its tension well over the long term. Ed Brown makes a machined tool steel extractor that has a life time warranty. I have one of these, and it is plenty beefy and I have had no problems with it after probably 20,000 rounds through the particular gun it's in. There are other brands out there that I haven't tried, like NightHawk Custom, which is, again, machined steel, but this time with all the radiusing and polishing done, according to the description. All are in the ballpark of $30-$35 retail price at Brownells. You can pay more for fancier "systems", but I'm not sure I see the need. Properly fit, the good ones are quite satisfactory.

James K
February 20, 2011, 04:15 PM
M1911 extractors (the original internal kind) are springs and have to be machned out of high carbon spring steel, then heated, quenched and drawn. That is a costly process, which is why many clone makers use MIM, castings, or just plain steel and confuse the issue with terms like "machined from bar stock", which means absolutely nothing, since it describes the shape of the material, not the type of steel. "Tool steel" also is not spring steel, so that means little either.


February 20, 2011, 06:44 PM
Correct, but they also all said heat treated and some said carbon steel (can't heat treat without enough carbon content, anyway). They just aren't giving an ANSI number, so they'd have to be phoned or emailed for that information if you want to know they used one of Bob's recommended numbers.

Brownells also lists some cheaper extractors (about half the price), but the method of manufacture is not described and the metal just says "steel", so those may be MIM parts.

February 21, 2011, 01:20 AM
I have used Wilson bulletproof extractors on all my builds, and have never had an issue. They are also machined from barstock, and drop in with minor fitting.
I do want to mention that none of the extractors I have seen are properly polished, and radiused for optimal feeding. A few minutes with a file, and some stones will sort that out in no time.


February 21, 2011, 11:29 AM
I have broken two extractors, both "machined from proper/correct spring steel"; one installed by the seller, and one installed by me. One was replaced with another "correct" part, and it's still going, but with maybe only 1000 rounds on it. I am extremely happy with the EGW HD extractor. It has some design changes that I believe to be improvements, and there's no question about EGW's stuff being first rate.

February 21, 2011, 09:41 PM
I ordered a nighthawk extractor today from Midway today. I wanted a stainless steel one as I felt this would closely match the finish of the pistol. I also ordered a replacement rear sight for my goldcup. I was going to try to get one
off of ebay but there was only one and it was with a colt screwdriver and it sold for nearly 90 bucks...... crazy huh?