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Old January 12, 2021, 05:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near
Posts: 6,371
External 1911 extractor.

Having recently watched 8 of the 9 (I own 1-8, the 9th is on its way via NetFlix) in the series of Tom Selleck's Jesse Stone character and his gun-handling. His character's gun being a Smith & Wesson SW1911 (Gunsite) - .45 ACP which incorporates an "external" extractor rather than the G.I. extractor with its internal tunnel, has pique my interest. All my 1911's have had the Browning designed internal extractors.

The S&W .45's "external" extractor, begs the question: Is an external extractor better, an improvement or is it just an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem. My first .45 ACP, a Colt Government Series 70 Mark IV, had the standard extractor and was a issue until my local gunsmith told me how to put more tension in it by bending. But, to be perfectly honest, in my misspent youth, I may have caused the problem by ignorantly dropping the slide on a round in the chamber (I did not know any better at the time). So, in my case, I cannot state that the gun came with too little extractor tension.

So to the point, how frequently are extractors found with too little tension? Is the S&W "external" extractor a better idea/improvement? What has your experience been?
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