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Old 12-11-2015, 04:23 PM
Habakkuk21 Habakkuk21 is offline
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My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?  
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Default My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?

About ten years ago, I bought a 5906 with a known failure-to-extract problem. When I examine the extractor under magnification, I could see that there was a tiny little chip broken off the bottom of the forward edge of the extractor. I purchased a replacement, and the problem was fixed.
For the past five years or so, the 5906 has been in the custody of first my oldest, then my youngest son as their concealed carry piece. My youngest complained he was having some problems with FTE. He returned it to me and went back to a 1911. I finally had a chance to range test it, and it will not function for more than two shots.
I removed the extractor. There is no chip broken off, as in the prior iteration, but the lower edge of the hook is VERY SLIGHTLY rounded off. I'm pretty sure the edge is supposed to be squared off, but I didn't study the edge closely when I installed it ten years ago.
Query 1: Is the edge of the extractor supposed to be rounded off?
Query 2: Is this usual for extractors to wear out like this? Never shot anything in it but regular brass; some of it has been my reloads, but it's been brass cases, not steel.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:13 PM
Dr Denby Dr Denby is offline
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My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?  
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Hey Habukka,

I don't see how a very tiny round part could cause such trouble.

With the gun unloaded and magazine out, lock the slide back.

Put a round up against the breechface and engaged in the extractor.

Then lightly shake the gun and see what happens.

If it holds on, then it is not affecting anything.

Metal against metal wears. I don't think that is the problem.

Doc

Last edited by Dr Denby; 12-11-2015 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:23 PM
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The extractors do have a rounded edge at the bottom as illustrated in the attached photos.

I think it is somewhat unusual that you have had two incidents where the extractor has chipped.

You might check the extractor slot to make sure the slot is clean, and that the extractor slides freely in the slot. It's possible that the extractor was not fit properly or the wrong spring(s) were used when it was installed. The installation is not a "drop in"......special tolerance gauges are used to check for proper fit and clearance, and a Wagner force dial indicator is used to check for the proper spring tension.

Damaged or worn recoil springs can also cause extraction issues.
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Last edited by armorer951; 12-11-2015 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:50 PM
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Next I'd replace extractor spring or at least clean out the spring and the area it's in. No expanded view in front of me but seems like is in a channel with other part behind it. Gunk ruins all
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:45 PM
Habakkuk21 Habakkuk21 is offline
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My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Denby View Post
Hey Habukka,

I don't see how a very tiny round part could cause such trouble.

With the gun unloaded and magazine out, lock the slide back.

Put a round up against the breechface and engaged in the extractor.

Then lightly shake the gun and see what happens.

If it holds on, then it is not affecting anything.

Metal against metal wears. I don't think that is the problem.

Doc
I don't seem to be able to do that, because the ejector is in the way. I may have missed a step. Here's what I did:
mag out
slide locked back
...and can't get the round against the breechface...

I removed the slide, and NOW I can get the round on the breechface and behind the extractor, but I don't know if that is the same thing. The round wiggles when I do that, but doesn't fall out.
(After posting this, I ordered a new extractor from Numrich for $28. It seems from reading the other posts I'd better grab whatever spares are available, so it's not a loss even if that's not the problem.)
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:55 PM
Habakkuk21 Habakkuk21 is offline
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My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
The extractors do have a rounded edge at the bottom as illustrated in the attached photos.

I think it is somewhat unusual that you have had two incidents where the extractor has chipped.

You might check the extractor slot to make sure the slot is clean, and that the extractor slides freely in the slot. It's possible that the extractor was not fit properly or the wrong spring(s) were used when it was installed. The installation is not a "drop in"......special tolerance gauges are used to check for proper fit and clearance, and a Wagner force dial indicator is used to check for the proper spring tension.
The chipped extractor was present when I bought the 5906, and was the reason I only paid $200 for it. It was a cheap fix.
HOWEVER!!! I DID just drop in the new extractor; put in a new set of springs all the way around. I did NOT use a Wagner or anything else to check proper spring tension. However, it functioned flawlessly for (at least) seven years after I replaced the chipped extractor. My boys had it for part of that time, so I can't say for certain when the problem occurred.
Maybe I need to take it to a gunsmith. As it sits, it's only reliable for causing blunt force trauma by hitting someone with it.
Had forgotten how much I loved handling this thing. Scratches and dents and all, it's a work of art, in my opinion.
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:59 PM
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My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?  
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You ask what the typical wear cycle is... but that is horribly difficult to answer. I think it needs to be said that EVERY semi-auto pistol extractor, no matter the design, is going to last FAR longer if the pistol is ALWAYS allowed to strip a round from a magazine and NEVER permitted to slam over a chambered round. Or an empty piece of brass for that matter.

You can see how a minimal extractor issue can quickly snowball in to a bigger extractor problem?

A new coil spring under the extractor is perhaps the quickest fix for many (not all) FTExtract problems.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:04 PM
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My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?  
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Oh, maybe worth mentioning...

My 745 apparently left the factory in '86 with an extracting issue -- some research has hinted to me that the hole for the coil spring under the extractor may have been drilled too deeply for the "proper" amount of tension.

Fixing that problem was an adventure-- but rewarding. The pistol runs flawlessly now but it was an *ahem* process to get there.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:13 PM
Habakkuk21 Habakkuk21 is offline
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My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?  
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And here is a picture of the firearm in question
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:33 AM
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Not sure if you are planning to do so, but I would suggest replacing the recoil spring when you repair/replace the extractor.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:27 PM
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Armorer 951 hit the salient points, and also provided some nice pics of the current revised extractor design. Yes, the lower edge, as clearly seen in the pics, is rounded.

I don't have any pics stored of unused early 3rd gen extractors, but I did have this pic of an early one (bottom/broken) and a current revised one in stainless (top). The raised rectangular surface behind the inside of the hook is the adjustment pad, which is filed to bring the hook into proper tolerance with the breech face.


The GO/NO-GO gages used to be a bar block (checks reach of hook edge to opposite breech face shoulder) and a flag gage (checked dimension between rear of hook and breech face behind it). They stopped providing the flag gage when they decided proper use of the bar gage, and proper filing of the adjustment pad (flat, not angled) was enough to determine when proper spec was reached.

The extractor spring tension can be different when looking at the old and new style breech faces (rounded machined shoulders with narrow cut at top, versus straight wide cut). Also, they used to offer a 'repair' extractor spring set for the early 3rd gen double stack 9's that had a nested set of springs. The reason given was that some of the older hand-controlled equipment might have made the spring hole with rounded bottom edges that wouldn't let the normal spring sit flat in the hole, but a lighter outer spring was supplemented with a taller 'inner' spring.

Also, we were told that sometimes an older gun needing that nested repair spring combo might need to have a higher tension than normal, but it was critical to make sure the feeding & extraction were still within normal spec. I came across a handful of early 5903's that required repair in that manner and ended up with heavier tensions, but ran just fine.

The nested repair spring set was eventually made 'obsolete' and replaced with a pair of different tension single springs an armorer could try, one of which would be more likely to work in any particular gun, instead of trying trial and error by trying all the optional springs available.

Extractors seem to run for quite a while in normal conditions, barring abuse like dropping a round into the chamber and letting the slide run forward, forcing the extractor hook to slam against the case rim and snap out and over it.

Extractor springs can become weakened over time. It can also matter at which end of the normal tension tolerance range an extractor spring might've been when installed, too, since there's an acceptable lower/upper tension range for different calibers/models that armorers check with the Wagner force dial gauge. If it was at the lighter end of the range to begin with, it's not surprising it might become too weak, sooner, than if it had been at the upper end of the tension range.

I usually replace the extractor spring if replacing & fitting a new extractor, but if it's just a weak spring, I won't replace the extractor unless it's damaged.

In guns with the early style ejector, I started replacing the ejectors (with the new style) when replacing extractors. The new style ejectors gave faster ejection and a corner had been rounded that might sometimes lend itself to a stress riser (and maybe eventually a broken tip).

If a local gunsmith is familiar with fitting extractors and checking extractor tensions on S&W pistols, and has the tools, it's preferable to just trying to 'drop in' an extractor and spring (especially in an older gun) and hoping the right dimension and tension occur.

The factory still does repairs, but you'd have to call and ask if they'd do it under warranty (they might ask if you're the original owner), and it might take a while. I think the TDA guns are shipped from Springfield to the Houlton plant, and the techs there are also the ones doing repairs on .22's, PPK's and SW1911's, last I heard.
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Last edited by Fastbolt; 12-13-2015 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:55 AM
Habakkuk21 Habakkuk21 is offline
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My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like? My 5906 extractor: what should it look like?  
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Got it back from the gunsmith this week. The extractor wasn't damaged, he replaiced recoil spring and extractor spring.
In the meantime, I bought an Israeli police FN Hi Power through AIM.
Might wind up getting rid if the 5906 after al this.
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