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Old November 12, 2023, 10:10 AM   #1
HighValleyRanch
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Loading a single round through the ejection port!

Load a new round through the ejection port with the magazine out and close the slide and then load your full magazine. How many of you do this?
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Old November 12, 2023, 10:38 AM   #2
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I don't because I do not care to damage my extractor.
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Old November 12, 2023, 10:41 AM   #3
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I don't. It can be really hard on the extractor forcing it to snap over the
rim. Most handguns are designed to feed the cartridge under the extractor
from below. Load one from the magazine, drop the mag and load the
additional round into the magazine.
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Old November 12, 2023, 10:58 AM   #4
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What type of gun?
I never do it, but I think a lot of pivoting extractor designs can tolerate it.
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Old November 12, 2023, 11:31 AM   #5
HighValleyRanch
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Yes, I was taught not to do that, and taught the same thing about the being hard on the extractor, but maybe that comes from the old school.
Supposedly, with many newer hinging extractors, it's not a big deal.
And this came up because although I rarely read my new gun instruction manuals, I was surprised that Beretta (manual for my new PX4 storm full size) gives it as one of two options. Load from the magazine as usual, or single load into the ejection port and then close the slide.

When thinking about this, doesn't the extractor slide over the cartridge rim every time anyways? Isn't it designed to hinge around the round as the slide closes?
And when we do malfunction drills, isn't this to pull out a stuck case using the extractor?
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Old November 12, 2023, 12:41 PM   #6
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Just load from your magazine and then top it off.
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Old November 12, 2023, 12:44 PM   #7
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I never understood how manually placing a cartridge into a pistol barrel and then shutting the slide over it would cause damage to the extractor. I've had people tell me that manually operating a slide with no ammunition in it will damage the extractor or crack the bolt face or shatter the barrel lugs....

I had one guy arguing with himself it seemed like that placing a loaded magazine into the handgun and then slingshotting the slide would cause damage as his only correct way to load the auto pistol would be by applying pressure to the slide stop release and thereby chambering a round into the barrel.

This made even less sense to me being as if you look at the mode of operation this is exactly how an automatic pistol functions until it runs out of ammunition.


If somebody wants that I should handle their pistol some special type of way I'll put up with it while my hands are on their pistol.

They may get wide-eyed and start complaining seeing how I am with my pistols. This is not something I worry about generally as other peoples opinions of me are not my business.

I've never had a mechanical or parts failure with an automatic regardless of handling it any such type of way or not.

How does an extractor get damaged placing a cartridge into the chamber and allowing the slide to slam shut with the extractor claw popping over the extractor groove on the cartridge case? Isn't this how it is designed to operate- a spring loaded sharpened claw that pivots on a pin?
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Old November 12, 2023, 12:44 PM   #8
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Undue stress on the extractor. If you have extra mags why not use one as a Barney mag?
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Old November 12, 2023, 12:54 PM   #9
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Manually loading a cartridge, and sending the slide into battery, into pistols such a M1911 with the traditional internal extractor is the quickest way to damage the extractor. On spring loaded (external) extractors, it doesn't do as much damage, but sure doesn't do them any favors. The cartridge rim should slip up behind the extractor claw. The extractor claw should not be forced to bounce over the cartridge rim.
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Old November 12, 2023, 12:56 PM   #10
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Depends on the design.
I'll do it regularly with some designs, but avoid such with others.

Know the system, and use it accordingly.

1911, Ruger P-series, Browning BDA, and similar (stiff) spring extractors? It is best to feed from the magazine.
But Browning Hi Power, Browning Buckmark, Beretta 92, and similar pivoting extractors? I'll drop the slide on a chambered round without hesitation. Even if it does cause "undue stress", it is minimal and parts can be replaced.
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Old November 12, 2023, 12:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highvalleyranch
Yes, I was taught not to do that, and taught the same thing about the being hard on the extractor, but maybe that comes from the old school.
Supposedly, with many newer hinging extractors, it's not a big deal.
With a fixed, spring steel extractor such as in the 1911, snapping the extractor over the case rim does stress the extractor unnecessarily and is not currently recommended. That said, the original Army field manual for the 1911 expressly offered that as a way to load a single round.

With the pivoted extractors, it doesn't hurt the firearm at all.

Quote:
When thinking about this, doesn't the extractor slide over the cartridge rim every time anyways? Isn't it designed to hinge around the round as the slide closes?
No. At least in a 1911, the rim of the next round comes up from beneath the extractor and slides in behind the extractor hook as it comes up.
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Old November 12, 2023, 02:53 PM   #12
jar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighValleyRanch View Post
Yes, I was taught not to do that, and taught the same thing about the being hard on the extractor, but maybe that comes from the old school.
Supposedly, with many newer hinging extractors, it's not a big deal.
And this came up because although I rarely read my new gun instruction manuals, I was surprised that Beretta (manual for my new PX4 storm full size) gives it as one of two options. Load from the magazine as usual, or single load into the ejection port and then close the slide.

When thinking about this, doesn't the extractor slide over the cartridge rim every time anyways? Isn't it designed to hinge around the round as the slide closes?
And when we do malfunction drills, isn't this to pull out a stuck case using the extractor?
In many designs the cartridge slide up into the extractor rather than the extractor riding over the cartridge base.

The 1911 is a common example.
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Old November 12, 2023, 03:08 PM   #13
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When thinking about this, doesn't the extractor slide over the cartridge rim every time anyways? Isn't it designed to hinge around the round as the slide closes?
And when we do malfunction drills, isn't this to pull out a stuck case using the extractor?
Yes, in most pistols, when fed from the magazine.

No, only certain designs are made to do that.

Yes, but the usual malfunction drill (tap, rack, bang) is for clearing a round that didn't fire, and may not clear a round that is actually stuck.

Quote:
I've never had a mechanical or parts failure with an automatic regardless of handling it any such type of way or not.
Congratulations! I have had parts break without any mishandling, its something parts sometimes do.

Quote:
How does an extractor get damaged placing a cartridge into the chamber and allowing the slide to slam shut with the extractor claw popping over the extractor groove on the cartridge case? Isn't this how it is designed to operate- a spring loaded sharpened claw that pivots on a pin?
Only if the gun is made that way. Some are, many are not. There are a LOT of designs where the extractor is not meant to pivot out, and there is no pin.

Some of the designs that do not have a pivoting extractor have the room (and the extractor tip contoured) so that they will slip out and snap over the case rim. Some do not.

Quote:
Know the system, and use it accordingly.
This is 100% sound advice.

If the owner's manual says its ok to do it, then its ok to do it, and IF something fails, its the maker's responsibility to fix it. IF you do it, because someone who is not the maker says its ok, and something breaks, then its your responsibility to get it fixed.

Quote:
With a fixed, spring steel extractor such as in the 1911, snapping the extractor over the case rim does stress the extractor unnecessarily and is not currently recommended. That said, the original Army field manual for the 1911 expressly offered that as a way to load a single round.
The Army told me a LOT of things that while they would work, were not the best practice.

Consider these points,
A pivoting extractor doesn't bend, the entire thing moves, so low/no stress on the part in a manner it wasn't made to handle.

The internal extractor (1911 style) isn't made to be bent outwards and snap back as its normal method of operation. Most of them will survive that when done occasionally, but if done regularly, you're stressing the part in a manner it was not meant to be stressed. Sometimes the part will never break. Sometimes it will break, eventually, and sometimes it can break sooner than later.

Extractors rarely give you any advance warning, and if one fails due to metal fatigue resulting from being bent/battered because of the way someone used it, it can be anytime with no warning at all. This can be an annoyance on the range or it could be a deadly serious failure.

If the claw breaks off during a gunfight, (rare but not impossible) its a deadly serious failure.

Extractors can fail when the stars line up just right, even when you only use them in the approved manner. New gun, you go to the maker, used gun, you're on your own. I once got a used .45, gun looked brand new, showed no signs of misuse, and the extractor hook sheared off on the third magazine it ran through it. Bad part? perhaps, Murphy in action? possibly. Can't say with certainty why it happened, only that it did.

I have a pistol (a rare one) where the owners manual specifically warns NEVER drop the bolt on a chambered round. It has a pivoting extractor, BUT that gun could slamfire if you do that. Most guns aren't like that, but some are.
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Old November 12, 2023, 03:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
I was surprised that Beretta (manual for my new PX4 storm full size) gives it as one of two options. Load from the magazine as usual, or single load into the ejection port and then close the slide.
As others have said, it depends on the design. If the manual doesn't explicitly allow for direct-chamber loading (dropping a round in and dropping the slide), it's best to load only from the magazine.

A couple of Beretta designs (including the Beretta 92/96 series) allow it and the Ruger P85/P89 manual also explicitly states it is an approved procedure.

Some designs are not designed to tolerate it and can be damaged by direct-chamber loading. Glock does not allow it and if you poke around, you can find people who have chipped/damaged their extractor by direct-chamber loading Glocks.

It's very much like dry-firing.

1. If the manufacturer says it's ok, then go for it. If not, do it at your own risk.
2. Even if the manufacturer says it's ok, it may not be something you want to do to excess.
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Old November 12, 2023, 04:03 PM   #15
Bill DeShivs
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Most extractors move-either by being hinged or being made in a manner that allows them to flex.
TMK, I have never seen a gun with a fixed extractor-though there may be some.

The specific reason that extractors move is so they CAN slip over the rim of a chambered round. Doing so should not cause undue wear on the part.

A 1911-type extractor simply can not be over stressed, because it's contained in the slide. The extractor is actually a spring in itself.
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Old November 12, 2023, 05:10 PM   #16
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The 1911 was designed as a controlled round feed. Normally, there is only the small amount of flex to provide the desired extractor tension. The magazine spring provides most of the force to push the cartridge head up the breech face under the extractor hook. The extractor is not designed to deflect outward enough to snap over the rim. I hear you,yes indeed. It WILL do it. And in a life and death emergency, go for it.

The extractor on a 1911 fits in a drilled hole. There is not a lot of flex room. There is a pad on the outside surface of the exactor to limit travel. Its not far behind the hook.When the extractor is over flexed, that pad is the fulcrum, bending takes place in the hook itself the thinnest section. Where there are inside corners, stress risers.
As the bend takes place over a relatively short distance,the flex is excessive.

One job your pistolsmith will strive to get just right is extractor tension.

It holds the cartridge to the breech face during cycling,This is particularly important during extraction and ejection. The blade ejector will be erratic if the slide/extractor is dropping the brass.
Improper extractor tension is the root cause of many 1911 malfunctions.

The advice to NOT snapover the extractor on controlled round firearms is sound.

The retort " I do it all the time and nothing has broke" is based in ignorance and a lack of understanding how a 1911 works.

Then there is the attitude. " If I don't understand it,it must not be true"

A lack of understanding has nothing to do with whether or not something is true.
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Old November 12, 2023, 05:23 PM   #17
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TMK, I have never seen a gun with a fixed extractor-though there may be some.
You've seen hundreds if not thousands of pictures of guns with "fixed" extractors, without realizing it.

Can't think of any rifles or handguns using that system, but the Browing machine guns do, sort of. Few people know the insides of them, but I do.

There is a part called the extractor, but it extracts rounds from the belt. What functions to extract rounds from the chamber is a "T slot" in the bolt face. That as "fixed" as it gets, in my opinion.

The classic Mauser claw on their bolt actions is able to flex enough to snap over a case rim IF there is enough clearance in the action, and not all were made with that clearance. Without the clearance, you can break the claw trying to force it over a chambered case rim.

The 1903 Springfield is made to chamber load single rounds.

With pistols, particularly the 1911 type, there can be quite a bit of variance in the slope of the extractor nose (different makers, etc) and some guns extractors aren't cut to easily allow them to snap over the rim of a chambered round. Its a simple fix, but if its not there, then the extractor takes more force rearwards before it flexes out, and I don't see how that would be a good thing for the life of the part, long term.
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Old November 12, 2023, 05:54 PM   #18
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The specific reason that extractors move is so they CAN slip over the rim of a chambered round.
That is one reason they move in some designs. Two other reasons are to hold the case in place firmly during the last part of feeding and extraction and to release the empty cartridge more easily on extraction.
Quote:
A 1911-type extractor simply can not be over stressed, because it's contained in the slide. The extractor is actually a spring in itself.
A common problem with direct chamber feeding in guns that are not designed for it is chipping or breaking of the extractor. In some guns, the extractor is a relatively hard part with a separate spring and it doesn't take well to repeated impacts on the extractor hook from the front.

As far as the 1911 goes, I think your comment could be correct in the ideal case. It's unfortunate that so often things in the real world are not ideal.
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Old November 13, 2023, 12:26 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP
With pistols, particularly the 1911 type, there can be quite a bit of variance in the slope of the extractor nose (different makers, etc) and some guns extractors aren't cut to easily allow them to snap over the rim of a chambered round. Its a simple fix, but if its not there, then the extractor takes more force rearwards before it flexes out, and I don't see how that would be a good thing for the life of the part, long term.
Further, the original M1911 extractor was specified to be made from spring steel. With the exception of the extractors from Cylinder and Slide, today's 1911 extractors are either "tool steel" or MIM. Neither has sufficient flexibility to stand up to repeated over-flexing as caused by snapping the extractor hook over the case rim. You may get away with it once, or even multiple times, but eventually it will probably either break the extractor, or de-tension it.
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Old November 13, 2023, 06:07 AM   #20
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I always load from the magazine then top off the mag. I figure it like this, it can’t hurt doing it this way and it’s not a big deal to do it.
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Old November 13, 2023, 07:08 AM   #21
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I insert the loaded magazine, chamber a round, remove the magazine, add a round to the magazine, then put the magazine back in.

In general when feeding from a magazine the rim of the cartridge slides up underneath the extractor. Dropping a round in the barrel and dropping the slide causes the extractor to have to snap up and over the rim to grab onto the cartridge. Some people feel that the gun was not designed for the extractor to do that and that it damages the extractor. I know it was an issue with older gun designs, particularly the 1911. Im not sure what effect it has on modern designs.
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Old November 13, 2023, 07:18 AM   #22
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It is not only about a pivoting extractor (external) versus a fixed one(internal), the shape of the extractor also comes into play. An extractor that is rounded in front will slide over a rim easier than a flat one. Many firearms, the 1911 is one of them, are designed to function as controlled feed mechanisms, with the cartridge fed from the magazine and sliding under the extractor. Extractors will need to be hard in order not to wear too fast and that makes them easier to break or chip.

Glock extractors will eventually chip at the low corner and 1911 extractors simply break when the slide is closed on a chambered round repeatedly and forcefully. This I know from experience.
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Old November 13, 2023, 03:44 PM   #23
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If you have a 15 round mag and cant hit them with that what make you think 16 will help. I do it all the time , Most hand guns are not control feed so snapping the extractor over the round is safe.Some rifles are control feed .Ive been a gunsmith for 30 years and never seen a problem from this.
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Old November 13, 2023, 07:41 PM   #24
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HiBC correctly identified that a 1911 is controlled feed. Honestly, almost all centerfire handguns today are controlled feed. Many, however, have a pivoting extractor that allows the action to be used as push feed without damage. Push feed firearms are essentially designed to pop the extractor over the case rim through brute force, while controlled feed usually has no lip on the bottom of the bolt/breach face. This allows the rear of the round to slide up the bolt face, already underneath the extractor, as it feeds. Because the base of the round slips underneath the hook of the extractor as it feeds, it does not require the extractor to flex out far enough to snap over the widest part of the rim. AR15s are push feed. Most semi-auto pistols are controlled feed. Bolt actions rifles deploy both feed types, depending on make and chambering. Savage employs (or used to, I've not worked on a savage in forever) push feed for most of its chambering, but belted magnums get controlled feed actions.

Some controlled feed actions are just fine to close with a round in the chamber. Some can tolerate it on occasion, but it exceeds design parameters for normal use and can cause damage if you do this repeatedly (1911s come to mind). Some controlled feed actions simply will not close with a round in the chamber without breaking something. Many Mausers are like this.
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Old November 14, 2023, 02:39 PM   #25
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broke

As a younger, less aware fellow, I broke an extractor on a 1911 doing that very tbing. As stated by others, auto's with an extractor are typically designed to feed from the mag, with the ctg rim sliding up behind the extractor claw in the process. Forcing the extractor to jump the case rim can be really hard on some desiigns. Just because it can be done, does not mean that is the correct way to do it.

Chamber a round from the magazine, then top off the mag, or replace same with a full one. Typically, I carry my spare mag one round down anyhow. That allows me to clear the pistol and place the previously chambered round in said mag and store the works conveniently withouit a loose round rolling about the locale.
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