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Old February 17, 2007, 01:33 AM   #172
Senior Member
Join Date: September 15, 2004
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 707
remember to check your extractors . . .

I shot my first IPSC match in March of 1978 with a Colt Combat Commander in .45 ACP. I later on used that pistol as a duty gun on the small town PD where I worked part-time right after getting out of the Police Academy. (The Chief carried a Browning High Power (in condition 2, hammer down on a live round. He had to thumb-cock to fire the first shot!!) and 3 of us were IPSC shooters who carried various Colt Auto Pistols cocked & locked. They had a wide open firearms policy until about 1990 or so, when they mandated that all auto pistols had to be DA/SA or DAO.

So anyway, I did lots of shooting with that gun, in training and in matches and through a couple of instructor schools, until the spring of 1988 when I replaced it as a duty gun with a Beretta 92F. After that, the gun was shot much less frequently, and until late last year, hadn't been fired in the 21st century at all. The same was true of the Browning P35 High Power that I bought in 1980 and used as a spare duty weapon.

Last fall I decided I needed to get classified in "Limited 10" division in IPSC and in the "Custom Defensive Pistol" and "Enhanced Service Pistol" classes in IDPA. So I took the Combat Commander and the P35 out of the safe and shot them a quite a bit.

In practice, I didn't have any malfunctions with either gun that weren't cured by some minor tuning of the magazines.

A few weeks ago I took the .45 to an IDPA classifier and shot so I could get classified in CDP. I had a failure to extract malfunction on each of the three stages. I cleared them right away, but that probably added 20 seconds to my total time and disrupted my concentration. (I replaced the extractor on that gun twice in the 80s)

Further examination revealed that the extractor had the edges all rounded off and was past it's useful life.

Thursday night I went to shoot in an indoor IPSC match. Two stages, one being a classifier. I took the Browning HP to shoot in the "Limited 10" classification. Same story. One failure to extract malfunction on each stage. The edges on the extractor were still in pretty good shape, but after 30 years I think maybe there's some metal fatigue there or something . . . (I never shot the HP anywhere near as much as I did the Colt)

So I have replacement extractors for both guns ordered from Brownell's.

I keep spare extractors in stock for my various Sigs and the Beretta 92FS and the Glock 19, and do have one replacement extractor for the Commander as well. I feel foolish for not inspecting the guns more carefully before putting them back into service in competition . . .
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!
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