Wednesday, October 20, 2004

1911 Feeding & Extraction

This topic alone could easily take up a chapter in a book. Ask your self why a great many 1911 pistols are "NOT" flawless out of the (NIB) box, like a Sig Sauer DA/SA pistol, or a Glock pistol, or an HK pistol, or a Beretta 92F or a Beretta Cougar pistol, etc. I understand we are not comparing apples to apples, but they can achieve reliability, why can't people like Colt do the same.

Colt had all these years to perfect this pistol in every way and they had problem after problem after problem, they could have had the 1911 market sewed up all to themselves. This 1911 pistol is loved by most American pro gun people because it can be personalized and has the Military reputation that was outstanding. Now all these other companies are jumping on the 1911 bandwagon because its a big seller, "ALWAYS FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL". Remember what WILLIE SUTTON once said, he robs banks because thats where the $$$$$ is at.

In order to have a reliable feeding 1911 pistol, the barrel / frame gap must be perfect, the barrel chamber must be throated properly at the correct angle, this is absolutely critical. The 1911 is capable of feeding the Speer hollow points known as the flying ashtray bullet, I used this bullet all the time in the 70's. Your breech face must be perfect and "NO" stone can polish the breech face like my specific tool designed for that purpose. Just ask some one that I have already done work for.

The extractor plays a very important part in feeding because as the slide is coming forward to feed a bullet, the extractor claw must accept the rim of the case in order to feed the bullet at the proper angle into the chamber. This must take place in a split second and if there is any hesitation of the case rim not being accepted by the extractor claw you have a jam in the making. Smaller size 1911 pistols are set up a little different than the full size government model.

The magazine is critical, the height of the magazine is determined by the magazine catch, this varies from frame to frame. This is often over looked by the best of the "GURUS". You must have the magazine sit in the magazine well at the proper height. There is such a variation in magazines and their springs and their followers that can cause you pure misery. I have found the very best follower is made by Virgil Tripp and the least desirable follower is shooting star.

The internal extractor must be heat treated properly otherwise it will never hold its tension. I personally prefer the EXTERNAL EXTRACTOR that Caspian offers. I use the external extractor in many of my custom 1911 pistols. When you need to clean an internal extractor you run the risk of accidentally bending it and losing your proper adjustment, this is especially true for the person that has no mechanical skils but is just a gun owner. There are many 1911 pistol owners that never take their extractor out to clean it and you must keep it clean. Using the external extractor there is no problem, once you learn how to remove the pivot pin and remove the extractor with the extractor spring and clean it and just re install it, you will have the very same tension every time as the spring does all the work. My personal Government model 1911 pistol has an external extractor system.

A "SMITH" must know how to install an internal extractor and adjust the proper tension and he must know where the adjustments are to be made and how to modify the claw. What is the point of doing all these refinements and then beadblasting the extractor to only ruin the initial setup. They must know the dimension between the extractor claw and the breech face, this is critical. You do not want to use a cast extractor because if it has an air bubble from the initial casting and its in a stressed area it will break. You should only use a machined barstock extractor.

The factory 1911 pistols I have seen, lack the refinements that are required. You must use a firing pin stop that will not allow the internal extractor to turn or some would say "clock" otherwise you will have erratic extraction. If your internal extractor is too tight you will have feeding problems. If your internal extractor is too loose, you will either have an empty case left in the chamber or the empty case will hit you in the head depending on the length of your ejector. This is a catch 22 situation. THIS INSTALLATION IS NOT THAT EASY TO PERFORM OR TEACH. There is no gauge that will do it correctly compared to actual experience. DON'T BELIEVE THE BS.

If it was easily understood all these brand new in box (NIB) 1911 pistols would be flawless in operation. It does require a lot of experience to make the 1911 pistol feed and extract flawlessly. Lets for a minute look at some of these $2000.00 1911 production pistols. One in particular, you can not even pull the slide back unless you have a helper, the frame to slide fit is too tight in many of them. The barrel bushing is too tight, the hood of the barrel is fit too tight, the barrel upper and lower lugs are fit too tight but the manufacturer tells you to shoot it and break it in. WHAT BS. REMEMBER AS METAL GETS HOT IT EXPANDS. Then you have the GURUS that will tell you that they have never installed an internal extractor that has ever failed, my answer to them is ask the instructors at THUNDER RANCH.

LOOK HOW MANY 1911 HIGH DOLLAR PISTOLS MALFUNCTION AT PLACES LIKE THUNDER RANCH. IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME CALL ONE OF THESE PLACES THAT TEACH DEFENSIVE COMBAT SHOOTING AND TALK WITH ONE OF THEIR INSTRUCTORS AND ASK HIM OR HER.
BUT THE GLOCKS AND SIGS AND HK's AND BERETTA'S DO NOT HAVE THESE PROBLEMS UNLESS THEY HAVE BEEN WORKED ON BY INCOMPETANT WANNABBEES.

Teddy Jacobson
www.actionsbyt.com
281 277 4008
tjacobson@houston.rr.com
www.actionsbyt.blogspot.com/

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