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  1. #1
    JAT
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    Detonics Extractor

    I aquired an early Detonics Combat Master. It looks to me to be in great condition. Very little wear. Finish is excellent. First time at the range though it failed to extract half of the seven rounds.

    Back at the work bench I noticed that the extractor seemed to be a bit loose. To compare I checked my Springfield 1911 and this one was tight. Assuming some of the internals might be interchangable I dissasembled both guns to compare the extractors. Where I had to drift out the Springfield's unit, the Detonics all but fell out the back. On closer examination of the Detonic's unit I noticed that some of the bluing was polished off one side. It didn't look like wear but a deliberate polishing.

    Why would someone do this? Especially when the results made the mechanics worse.

    The Extractors look almost 100% identical. I'm not a gunsmith so I wouldn't try anything creative, but would it be possible to just replace the old Detonics extractor with a generic 1911 unit? I'll certainly take this to a gunsmith if it's any more complicated than this - but if it's as simple as dropping in a new piece I'd like to do this.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on all this? I can see why a loose extractor will fail to pick up the case, but could it be possible that the previous owner was trying to solve some other problem? Like the extractor beating up the case?

    It's an awesome gun. I'm hoping the problem is easily solved.

  2. #2
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    the extractor and a handfull of other parts SHOULD be identical in the early models because they were cut down colts and later they used colt parts on their own frames.....

  3. #3
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    There are very few 1911 parts that do not need fitting. Extractors especially. Find a competent 1911 smith to see about tuning your extractor, assuming it's not worn beyond limits. There are a number of factors that might come into play.

  4. #4
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill0084 View Post
    There are very few 1911 parts that do not need fitting...
    Well, not exactly.
    It depends upon how tightly your pistol was fitted together.
    The 1911 was designed for drop-in parts replacement, maybe with the exceptions of the solid style of barrel bushing, the thumb-safety "lump," and the sear-to-hammer contact area.


    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill0084 View Post
    Extractors especially...
    Well, not exactly.
    A standard internal extractor should work pretty well as a drop-in part.
    But if you experience extraction-and-ejection problems, or if you want your empties to fall in a certain direction, you may need to slightly alter the extractor's curvature, or gently change it's hook's shape with a stone.

  5. #5
    JAT
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    Thanks for the help guys. I will be calling Detonics today to see if their extractor will drop in. And most likely consult with my local smith.

    Are we all agreed though that an extractor that has significant wiggle is wrong? It seems to me that the extractor "lip?" has to be in the exact same place every time it connects with the case. Too far inward and brass is beat up (and possibly FTE), and too far outward and brass is not grabbed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Well, not exactly.
    It depends upon how tightly your pistol was fitted together.
    The 1911 was designed for drop-in parts replacement, maybe with the exceptions of the solid style of barrel bushing, the thumb-safety "lump," and the sear-to-hammer contact area.



    Well, not exactly.
    A standard internal extractor should work pretty well as a drop-in part.
    But if you experience extraction-and-ejection problems, or if you want your empties to fall in a certain direction, you may need to slightly alter the extractor's curvature, or gently change it's hook's shape with a stone.
    The extractor, when properly fitted, needs to exert a specific amount of pressure on the case rim. It shouldn't wiggle or rotate (Clock). It may require some filing or stoning to get the angles correct. The OP may also need a new firing pin retainer plate to hold the extractor tighter as well. After reading Kuhnhausen's book, I decided that there was more going on in them than I had previously realized and that maybe building my own 1911 wasn't a great idea. While a part may "drop in" & function correctly, it is by no means a given that it will.

  7. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    "Drop-in," when writing about the 1911 extractor, is merely a term of art. It means "not needing modification, in order to work."
    The new extractor doesn't actually drop, of its own weight, into the hole. Neither should a functioning old extractor drop out of the hole of its own weight.

    The 1911 extractor should be curved to some extent, since it is, essentially, a peculiarly-shaped leaf spring with a hook on one end. Its curve sets its proper tension against the cartridge head, and also helps keep the part in place in its hole.
    Rotation of the 1911 extractor is properly controlled by the firing-pin-retaining plate, which should be a fairly close fit in the extractor's slot. If the extractor "clocks," it is much too loose in its hole, and its slot and the firing-pin retainer are not good mates.

    If the 1911 extractor throws empties back at your face or down the front of your shirt, it can be modified by doing either or both of re-bending the piece to change its tension against the cartridge, and stoning the extractor hook into a slightly different shape. The latter job is properly the work of a talented and experienced pistolsmith.

    But generally speaking, 1911 extractors and firing-pin-retaining plates are drop-in parts, within the meaning of the term.

  8. #8
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    no modern combat arm needs smithing to replace consumable parts.... the 1911 may need a smith to tune it to its optimum performance in competition, but it is designed so that a trained ape can fix it under fire..... interchangeable parts are interchangeable ...its the definition. combat weapon tolerances are looser.... it is gonna fit and it will not need a gunsmith

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    "Drop-in," when writing about the 1911 extractor, is merely a term of art. It means "not needing modification, in order to work."
    The new extractor doesn't actually drop, of its own weight, into the hole. Neither should a functioning old extractor drop out of the hole of its own weight.

    The 1911 extractor should be curved to some extent, since it is, essentially, a peculiarly-shaped leaf spring with a hook on one end. Its curve sets its proper tension against the cartridge head, and also helps keep the part in place in its hole.
    Rotation of the 1911 extractor is properly controlled by the firing-pin-retaining plate, which should be a fairly close fit in the extractor's slot. If the extractor "clocks," it is much too loose in its hole, and its slot and the firing-pin retainer are not good mates.

    If the 1911 extractor throws empties back at your face or down the front of your shirt, it can be modified by doing either or both of re-bending the piece to change its tension against the cartridge, and stoning the extractor hook into a slightly different shape. The latter job is properly the work of a talented and experienced pistolsmith.

    But generally speaking, 1911 extractors and firing-pin-retaining plates are drop-in parts, within the meaning of the term.
    So, what your saying is:
    While a part may "drop in" & function correctly, it is by no means a given that it will.
    Do forgive the term "Drop in," It gets bandied about a lot, and, yes, I did actually realize that standing over the gun an dropping the extractor from above would likely be insufficient for a proper fit. I did not expect it to be taken in a literal fashion.

    Quote Originally Posted by TedDeBearFrmHell View Post
    no modern combat arm needs smithing to replace consumable parts.... the 1911 may need a smith to tune it to its optimum performance in competition, but it is designed so that a trained ape can fix it under fire..... interchangeable parts are interchangeable ...its the definition. combat weapon tolerances are looser.... it is gonna fit and it will not need a gunsmith
    One can say any number of things about the 1911, "modern" isn't typically top of the list.

  10. #10
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill0084 View Post
    One can say any number of things about the 1911, "modern" isn't typically top of the list.
    modern: 
    characteristic of present and recent time; contemporary; not antiquated or obsolete

    based on the amount of sales of the 1911, the number of shooters of the 1911, the companies that are ADDING the 1911 to their product line up, the interest in the 1911 on the forums, the number of aftermarket parts available , i would have to say that the 1911 is present and contemporary.... and therefor modern.

    and your obfuscation about my choice of words doesnt change that its made to be repaired under adverse conditions without hand fitting.....

  11. #11
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Overkill, you're living up to your forum name.

    Your latest objections included the following quote and comment:
    "So, what your saying is: 'While a part may "drop in" & function correctly, it is by no means a given that it will.'"

    We're talking about M1911 extractors, but this applies to almost every M1911 part (as Ted pointed out):
    These parts will "drop in" (within the meaning of the phrase) and, having "dropped in," will work correctly and well enough. However, one can also "tune" these parts to work even better, if that's what one prefers.

    I am reminded of the Government Model shooter who showed up for club practice with his latest, personally-smithed, "super-gun."
    His brag was that its extractor and ejector were so finely tuned that all of his empties would fall into a bucket that was placed on the ground below his right shoulder. He then proceeded to demonstrate this "miracle of rare devise."
    To make a long story less boring and a lot shorter, we in the club noticed that, indeed, each and every empty, fired shell landed smack dab in the bucket. At the same time, it was immediately apparent that his hits were all over the target at 15 yards, and that exactly none of them were smack dab in the cardboard's "A"-zone.

    It's important to decide, well ahead of time, exactly which characteristics of the gun in question are the most important to you. Then you need to stick to working on exactly those characteristics, and leave the other ones alone.

  12. #12
    rex
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    JAT,you must be as confused as a 3 legged dog trying to bury a bone.Overkill is correct,Steve and Ted are correct in what they say,but there's lots of confusion there.

    The 1911 was built as a combat sidearm that parts should interchange for simplicity,it can also be completely stripped with using nothing but it's own parts,shy of the sights,plunger tube and GS bushings.For the most part they did.That was then,this is now.

    Today an HK is drop in,1911s are NOT.Your extractor is junk,it happens for a few reasons.Quality EX's will usually come with a good profile on the hook and tension in the ballpark to run.Don't be surprized if you need to adjust it though.Wilson and EGW are made well and to the correct length if you want to deviate from Colt.

    Here's a great example of drop in.You want to replace the plastic trigger with aluminum,long for short,whatever.Simple,done it before with no problem after you realize the bow needed spread or squeezed to get in without frame or mag bind.Others have done it too,but this guy did it and went full auto?,your next one drops to 1/2 cock?Simple change doesn't work now,why?Both are caused solely by the trigger and the reason is different for both.

    The 'interchangeable' guns were made by Colt and the majority of their contractors to a certain spec and tolerance for that purpose.Today's guns aren't,everyone and their brother is making 1911s and they all aren't to 'spec'.Individual makers have strayed from spec and there's an aftermarket that varies.Early Springfields were awefull and alot of real smiths won't touch a Kimber because of the variations.Parts do drop in and can work,but is it correct?C&S has a rep for a drop in ignition set everyone swears by,but why do some show up shortly with hammer drop?It worked and looked good,but it wasn't right obviously.Alot of people don't think about the inter-relationship with other parts and the hazzard that comes with it,and this is where the trigger scenario seemed simple but could kill someone by not looking beyond the task at hand.

    Oh,it never hurts to fit a new FP stop unless yours was tight and may be so with a new EX.

  13. #13
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    as his "early model" IS a cut down colt, i restate that the springfield extractor will work, a colt extractor will work or damned near any other spec 1911 extractor will work....

    or he can just GIVE me the gun that needs smithing in all respects and i will use my infinite skills and above average dexterity to hand make an extractor using nothing but a leaf spring from a 32 buick roadmaster , a singlejack and a 20 lb bag of briquettes.

  14. #14
    rex
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    Yes,any of those or any good one will work no doubt.The chances of dropping in and working are good,but the chances of being correct are less.It's working if it's throwing the brass out all the time,but if it's throwing brass everywhere it isn't correct.Quite an easy fix really.Variations happen from lot to lot on runs of parts from the same manufacturer let alone different ones,and bad runs get discovered alot after shipping.One manufacturer that skips my mind right now makes a quality extractor but it's on the long side,but if you know how to fix that it's quicker than replacing it.I get the impression from most of this post that if it doesn't drop in and run there's a problem,and that's misleading and incorrect.Sorry if I read it wrong.

  15. #15
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedDeBearFrmHell View Post
    ...[I] will use my infinite skills and above average dexterity to hand make an extractor using nothing but a leaf spring from a 32 buick roadmaster , a singlejack and a 20 lb bag of briquettes.
    Ted, isn't that what Mr. Williams used, to make the very first US M1 Carbine while he was in prison? Just a car spring, a hammer, and some charcoal?
    And the warden stood there marvelling, right, because all of the other inmates were just making knives out of tableware?
    (Was that Ted Williams? Or maybe it was Hank Williams? William the Conqueror? William of Orange?)

  16. #16
    rex
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    Delete,first time it dissappeared and didn't know it went through.

    "or he can just GIVE me the gun that needs smithing in all respects and i will use my infinite skills and above average dexterity to hand make an extractor using nothing but a leaf spring from a 32 buick roadmaster , a singlejack and a 20 lb bag of briquettes."

    I hope that was some sort of joke I'm missing,any reply to a statement like that probably isn't allowed.

  17. #17
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Ted's probably telling the truth.
    Of course, I wouldn't use a spring from a '32 Buick, but that's OK.

  18. #18
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Ted, isn't that what Mr. Williams used, to make the very first US M1 Carbine while he was in prison? Just a car spring, a hammer, and some charcoal?
    kinda close.... he made gun parts to repair the guards guns and DESIGNED the short stroke piston used on the M1 carbine in prison.

    and i was being sarcastic about my ability to do so.... i do however have a friend here in southern oregon who makes custom knives using leaf spring, a hammer and the afore mentioned briquettes.

  19. #19
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    I knew that.
    Really, I did.

    Williams supposedly used an axle from a Ford, as his working stock. While that's not a Buick spring, it's pretty close.

  20. #20
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    I knew that.
    Really, I did.

    Williams supposedly used an axle from a Ford, as his working stock. While that's not a Buick spring, it's pretty close.
    yeah, i dont have them kinda skills, if i get get the gun for free i am gonna buy a colt extractor for $15 and claim i hand made it.

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