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Extractor The extractor is one of the most important items in your 1911. Without reliable extraction your 1911 will turn into a jamomatic. Fig-1 shows a stock extractor. First step in tuning your extractor is to remove it and start to polish and radius the bottom corner of the hook using good 220 grit emery paper. I usually use 3M blue grit emery paper, rip it in very narrow strips to polish. Polish with the very narrow emery paper in a shoe-shine method until extractor is as desired. Just put your extractor in padded vise and it wont take more than about several minutes to get it too look like Fig-2.extractor1s.jpg - 10893 Bytes Next check to ensure hook on extractor is not too long. When placed against a round the hook on extractor should not be long enough to actually bottom out in the brass groove. If it does then it must be filed down as it is too long. The last thing to do is check the tension of the extractor. The tension is how much pressure is applied to the side of the round by the extractor in order to keep it in place. I used to adjust by just slipping a round up the breech face and under the extractor groove,I would feel how tight it was to get round under extractor and adjust to suit. Now though, I take a feeler gauge the same thickness as the back end of a piece of brass, made the same width as a piece of brass, and just insert it under extractor and pull it out with my trigger gauge, recording theextractor2s.jpg - 10932 Bytes tension, I go with about 1.5-2 pounds. Brownells also sells a extractor tension gauge set, it is a set of two gauges that are double ended covering 9MM,38Super,40Cal,45Cal and is similar to my home-made gauge I talk about above. If your extractor needs adjusting after checking with above tools for tension, I usually put slide in padded bench vise and pull extractor half way out of extractor hole and tap the end of it with a nylon headed hammer either towards the firing pin hole if more tension is needed, or away if its too tight. Next retest with gauge, and adjust again if necessary. Next all that is left to do is test fire. Good luck.

The Weigand Combat Extractor tension gauge set is available from Brownells and is part #957-101-000 at a price of $14.95
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