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Old December 12, 2011, 04:51 PM   #1
B.N.Real
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Never Single Load (no magazine) a Semi Auto Pistol

Unless your semi auto pistol has a tip up barrel like some of the small Beretta's and Taurus semi auto's,never load a single round in the chamber-by hand-not using the magazine-of your semi auto and drop the slide on it.

-----You could damage the extractor-----.

-----Always load the round in a magazine,insert the magazine in the handgun and rack the slide to load it.---------

I never knew this.

Not that I would do it but I would'nt think an extractor would break doing it.

Now I know,just thought I'd pass that on.

51 years,I'm still learning how to -not- break stuff.

Last edited by B.N.Real; December 12, 2011 at 04:58 PM.
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Old December 12, 2011, 05:11 PM   #2
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Good advice, as I have broken an extractor doing just that.
Somehow a round missed the extractor but got chambered ok.
But without the extractor on the rim, the fired case had no way to get out of the chamber.
So, after removing the magazine with the rest of the rounds, I racked the slide a bunch of times until the extractor bounced around the rim of the still chambered, empty case.
It finally worked and the case was ejected, along with a piece of the extractor.
OOps.
Ain't gonna' do that again.
Now I always carry a long rod to remove stuck cases.
Extractors are not designed to go around case rims.
They are designed to capture case rims that come up from the bottom, from the magazines.
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Old December 12, 2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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Good post! The rounds are ment to slide up the breech face from the magazine and under the extrator. Extractors or different in the various makes and models.

1911 extractors are precesion shaped to hold tension on the casings.
Some guns the extractors have springs to push the proper tension.

Part of getting to know your particular firearm and understanding how it works! There is more to guns than stuffing it with ammo and just pulling the trigger!
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:19 PM   #4
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I was able to hand load my Glock 19, but cannot hand load my SIG P228.

Possibly because the extractor on the Glock is also a loaded chamber indicator, and leans outward. So it can jump over the rim of the case and grab it. The P228's is internal, and doesn't flex.
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:22 PM   #5
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I agree as a general rule that this is a bad idea but I was under the impression that the beretta 92 / M9 could do this without harm?

Anyone know if this is fact or fiction?
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:23 PM   #6
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I am primarily a revolver guy and did not know this. Mechanically, since the extractor (on my cz) is spring metal, I am not seeing how it could cause damage? i'll have to look at it and run it through the motions with dummy rounds.
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:24 PM   #7
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Never say never, there are always exceptions.

You'll not hurt a USGI or Colt 1911. Nor do I believe you'll hurt the Beretta 92.

Don't know about Glocks.
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
I never knew this.

Not that I would do it but I would'nt think an extractor would break doing it.

Now I know,just thought I'd pass that on.
Quote:
You'll not hurt a USGI or Colt 1911. Nor do I believe you'll hurt the Beretta 92.
With the round in the chamber ahead of the extractor, it's is going to slam right into the head of the case, near the edge. It will then flex and bounce around it to finally grip the case rim.

This is hard on extractors---1911 certainly included.

As a side note, where 1911's are concerned, using too heavy of a recoil spring can slam the slide forward hard enough so the extractor doesn't pick up the round from the magazine. The round is pushed ahead of the extractor and the extractor slams into it---hard----as described above.

The same thing happens with a dbl. feed where the chambered round is not held by the extractor. During the clearing process, you work the slide back and forth to get the extractor to flex around the case head and pull it out of the chamber. Hand working the slide in that manner would seem to be easier on the extractor than dropping the slide on a chambered round.

You might get away with it for a long time. You might break the extractor a lot sooner. Even if you don't break it, you weaken it, so it could break during normal operation.

Last edited by Nnobby45; December 12, 2011 at 06:43 PM.
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:33 PM   #9
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bad for 1911 type (internal - solid metal) extractors but OK for Sig type, Glock type (external - spring loaded) extractors. probably also depends on the shape of the extractor -- if it can slide over the rim.
I have no proof -- just heard this, too. Seems reasonable to me.
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:38 PM   #10
Therealkoop
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Any pistol that uses the controlled feed design can suffer damage while single loading. The extractor simply isnt made to move in the way that it is forced to.


This includes ALL 1911's.
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:51 PM   #11
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Walther P38/P1 looks like it is designed for single-loading in an emergency (huge open top, and coil-sprung external extractor with a tapered edge for riding over the rim) but it's gotta be tougher on the extractor than feeding the cartridge up from the bottom. So don't drop an extra round in the chamber to top it off every time you insert a mag.

I've seen external extractors on other guns too. Can't remember the models cuz mostly I'm a revolver guy.
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Old December 12, 2011, 07:07 PM   #12
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Wow...I learn something new every day.
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Old December 12, 2011, 08:07 PM   #13
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1911

Before I was advised on same, I did it quite often, and broke an extractor on a 1911 Commander, a 70 series gun.

I believe old man Browning allowed some flex in the 1911 extractor to permit it to happen, ie, loss of a magazine ,,,,,,one could still single load rounds in a combat setting.

But you sure can break one.
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Old December 12, 2011, 09:29 PM   #14
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If you take your finger nail and pull the extractor outward and it exibits plenty movement it might be able to hop over the extractor rim of the cartridge. But as I mentioned earlier, not all guns are alike.

Still loading from the magazine is what they are all designed to do!
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Old December 12, 2011, 09:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy
You'll not hurt a USGI or Colt 1911. Nor do I believe you'll hurt the Beretta 92.
Actually, even though the original manual of arms that came with USGI M1911s did mention this as a method of loading, the fact is that doing so can and does damage extractors. The 1911 extractor is not designed to spring back far enough to allow the tip to snap over the case rim, so the result of loading this way is often a broken extractor tip.

It may not be an issue with the newer so-called 1911s from Kimber (for a couple of years), S&W and SIG Arms that use an external extractor. Those may have sufficient travel to make it a non-issue.
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Old December 12, 2011, 10:20 PM   #16
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A pistol whos extractor will break if slammed home on a loaded chamber is a piece of junk.

There's no reason for the extractor to be designed that way. What if you had a failure to extract? The proper way to deal with that is to drop the mag and rack the slide a couple of times to see if it can grab the rim and get the casing out. If your pistol can't do that without damaging the extractor, it's not a very well designed pistol.

Time to get something better.
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Old December 13, 2011, 12:02 AM   #17
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It's called controlled round feed and it is a very good idea. Mauser uses it on their bolt rifles and Browning seemed to think it was a very good idea too. It is one of the reasons that the 1911 is so reliable when properly set up. With controlled round feed you cannot have a case in the chamber unless the extractor hook already has a grip on it as soon as it comes out of the mag. You can't have a failure to extract because the round would not have chambered if the extractor didn't already have a grip on it. It will not break an 1911 extractor the first time you do it but it will put serious stress on it will make it lose its spring tension on the case rim or break off the hook. Single loading a round into a 1911 without using the magazine is considered an emergency procedure. If you make a habit of doing it you will have to replace your extractor before long. I've been shooting and smithing 1911s for 25 years and it's never caused any problems for me. Calling the 1911 a piece of junk because you can't drop load a single round with the magazine suggests to me that you are the kind of person who will force a finely tuned mechanism to make it work. I used to make very good money repairing guns for people who did that. But it's a free country. So keep on dropping that slide friend.

Last edited by drail; December 13, 2011 at 12:13 AM.
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Old December 13, 2011, 12:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
the 1911 a piece of junk because you can't drop load a single round with the magazine suggests to me that you are the kind of person who will force a mechanism to make it work
Things become obsolete. Pistols are no different. No I wouldn't "force" the weapon to work in a way it's not supposed to. But there is an issue with failure to extracts and controlled feed style extractors. How big of an issue it is, is subjective..
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Old December 13, 2011, 12:56 AM   #19
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I believe old man Browning allowed some flex in the 1911 extractor to permit it to happen, ie, loss of a magazine ,,,,,,one could still single load rounds in a combat setting.
The 1911 extractor is, essentially, just a long leaf spring that's bent in order to provide tension on the case rim to press it against the breech face. The more the extractor is bent, the more tension it provides.

When the case pops up from the magazine, the rim forces the extractor slightly to the side as it slides up under the extractor claw, and the head is in contact with the breach face. As metnioned, that tension securely holds the rim and properly positions the round during feeding.

Since the extractor has a hold of the rim-- after firing, it pulls the empty from the chamber with the rearward movement of the slide until the case head hits the ejector and is kicked out of the gun.

Too much tension and the extractor may not pick up the case. Not enough, and you have extraction problems, and maybe feed problems, too.

External extractors have a a separate spring, which puts tension on the extractor which then operates with the same principle.

Yes, the extractor will bounce around the rim when "single loading", but John Browning didn't design any "flex" just for that purpose.

Last edited by Nnobby45; December 13, 2011 at 01:12 AM.
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Old December 13, 2011, 01:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Never say never, there are always exceptions.

You'll not hurt a USGI or Colt 1911. Nor do I believe you'll hurt the Beretta 92.

Don't know about Glocks.
I've loaded 1911's (about a dozen) like this for decades. Only had one extractor break, on a 1945 Ithaca, while firing a string. God only knows how much it had been shot before I got my hands on it.
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Old December 13, 2011, 02:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
I am primarily a revolver guy and did not know this. Mechanically, since the extractor (on my cz) is spring metal, I am not seeing how it could cause damage? i'll have to look at it and run it through the motions with dummy rounds.
I reload for my 9mm 75B. I had 3 empty cases with damaged primers . I dropped the cases in until it hit the extractor and then dropped the slide to chamber them. They all fired and extracted . Less than a week later (at a Match) the extractor claw broke off. The shape of the extractor claw is not designed to it will flex 'outward' when forcing a case into the chamber. The case head slides up and under the extractor when the barrel tilts.

Believe what you want. They are cheap and easy to replace.
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Old December 13, 2011, 07:12 AM   #22
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I think it would have a lot to do with the shape of the extractor, wouldn't it?

I'm thinking of German K98s vs US Springfields as an example...

The K98 has a flat-faced extractor. You can't drop a round in the chamber and push the bolt home, the extractor won't cam over the cartridge rim.

On the Springfield, though, the extractor is beveled. Dropping a round in the chamber and closing the bolt results in the bevel on the extractor face allowing it to cam over the rim.
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Old December 13, 2011, 08:07 AM   #23
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Quote:
You'll not hurt a USGI or Colt 1911.
Wish my Colt Commander knew this before my extractor broke in two.
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Old December 13, 2011, 08:20 AM   #24
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It just puts unnecessary wear on the extractor. I hate it when people do this on the clays field.
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Old December 13, 2011, 08:21 AM   #25
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This is good info, I had no idea. I'd been told that single loading a spent case would protect the firing pin like a snap cap, but clearly, this is not a good idea.
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