Brass sometimes says hooked on the extractor and causes pistol malfunction
I've been using a used Kimber 1911 for competitions for maybe a year or more now, and I always wondered if it were a little bit less reliable than it should be. I've posted about it before, how I would get anywhere from 1-3 or so malfunctions or stoppages for every 170 rounds or so. One troublesome aspect of these malfunctions is that even though they are not a textbook "type 3" malfunction, they always turn into a "type 3" unless I clear them as if they are a "type 3", by removing the magazine, racking the slide to empty the gun, and then loading a new magazine.
This morning I was practicing on an indoor range and got a malfunction. Since I was practicing and not under time pressure, I decided to stop what I was doing to get a good look at what had gone wrong.
It appeared that the chamber was empty and a piece of brass was still hooked into the extractor, and that piece of brass was preventing the slide from moving normally, and also blocking the cartridge below from entering the chamber.
"Tap rack and boom" never worked because when I tried it slowly, I found that the extractor did not release the brass. Even when I held the slide all the way back and shook the gun around, it remained hooked in the extractor.
When I removed the magazine, though, the empty brass was able to fall free, and the gun was able to operate normally.
Most of the time, the gun shoots fine, the brass flies out, and there's no problem. But when there is a malfunction, this is what always seems to happen.
Do I need a new extractor, or a new ejector?
EDIT: On the subject of extractors, I just found an internet article claiming that the type 3 malfunction clearance drills used at some firearms training places, where you drop a round or casing into the chamber and create a type 3 malfunction, will damage your extractor.
One of the surest ways to ruin an extractor is put a round directly into the chamber, and then drop the slide. This forces the extractor to snap over the rim, and in time will ruin the extractor’s shape or break it.
Good to know.
Last edited by Wounded Ronin; 2/26/2011 7:27pm at .
Take out the extractor and give it a good cleaning, if you continue to have issues take it to a gunsmith and get a new extractor installed. Don't try to install a drop in, by the way. When it comes to the 1911 platform, you'll want to get just about everything properly fitted by a qualified gunsmith. Even so called "drop-in" 1911 parts don't usually drop in. I have experience with this myself.
Question answered. LOL
Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin
The 1911 design is rife with problems...always has been...always will be. It's a combination of a number of factors working in concert with the reliability in feeding from their magazines.
Unless you want to spend an inordinate amount of money, you're going to continually have problems like this, no matter the manufacturer.
It is true that you can spend premium dollars and wind up with something very, very nice. But in the end, is it truly worth it?
I'll have to go with LS on this one. It's a 1911. It's an old design. I love them but they're not perfect. They really don't have the same level of reliability as the best modern pistols. Even good 1911s can be finnicky as **** about ammo.
How many total rounds do you have through your Kimber? I'm not sure I'm clear on the nature of your malfunction. I'm a little fuzzy about what you're saying. But is it possible that your problems are due to a worn out spring or something like that? I've also seen a lot of 1911 malfunctions with lower grain ammo. The springs are too beefy sometimes and won't cycle the round. Have you switched ammo lately? Just throwing some things out there in case you haven't thought of them already.
I've owned 3 1911s over time, still have one. They've all been extremely reliable, and the one I still have has well over a thousand rounds with NO malfunctions. It's made by Colt, it's got some rattle, and it was made in the 90's. I've replaced some parts on it and nothing has messed with it's reliability, and it's even gone through plenty of rounds without cleaning or lubricating and still gone without a hiccup.
My point is that I personally don't think it's a design flaw of the 1911, but that it depends on how the 1911 is built. Just like how a S&W Sigma is nearly a clone of the Glock but rife with problems, it's all about the execution. I've never been a big fan of Kimber, because as pretty as their pistols are I don't think they execute properly. I've found that looser slide-to-frame fits usually allow for a more reliable function, even though tight fitting parts tend to be what people look for in a "high end" 1911 style auto.
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO