Come On, Does The Extractor Type Ever Actually Matter?

courtesy thefirearmsforum.com

The internet exists so that people can tell other people when they’re doing something wrong. Or that they’re doing is better than what everyone else has chosen to do. It seems that the more trivial the topic, the more heated the argument becomes.

Case in point: the “controversy” over various types of extractors and their relative merits. People of the various types of gun with too much time on their hands spend a lot of it learning about the topic and then arguing with other people in forums and comment sections throughout the gunosphere. Which, as we all know, is among the most productive things humans can possibly do.

While it doesn’t quite rise to the level of GLOCK vs. 1911 or .45 vs 9mm, the relative merits and drawbacks of each type of extractor has become one of the many bones of contention between firearms enthusiasts. But does it actually matter in the real world?

For instance, one form of this argument bas been going on for years between Model 70 owners and Remington 700 owners.

The former, as we know, has a Mauser-stye claw extractor on the bolt which they claim is better for “controlled round feeding,” in which the bolt completely controls the cartridge as it’s fed into the chamber, and then when the empty casing is removed. This is highly desirable, we are told, especially when buying a dangerous game rifle as it’s considered more reliable. You’re not likely to jam the gun if you don’t fully slam a round home under stress.

Look at the fine English gun houses that make legendary dangerous game rifles. Virtually all of them produce Mauser-action bolt rifles that very, very few of us can afford. Granted, one of the worst kept secrets of high-end guns is that the better gun makers in Spain and Turkey turn out guns that are almost the equal of the English guns and cost barely a tenth the cost. But that’s another story for another day.

Is the claw extractor really better? While Pre-64 Model 70 rifles were deployed in Vietnam (Carlos Hathcock used one) the Remington 700 was the sniper rifle platform used by both the Army and the Marines for quite some time and that gun uses a blade extractor.

The 700 uses a push feed action and its extractor is located inside the closed ring of the recessed bolt face. A push feed bolt nudges the next round into the chamber and doesn’t control it until the round’s fully in the chamber. Remington’s 700 push feed bolt is less expensive to produce.

1911 guys are just as prone to this discussion. The default for the platform is an internal extractor, located on the interior of the slide. A few renegade outfits install an external extractor, which most other semi-autos relay on these days.

Sig Sauer 1911s, for instance, have the external extractor. So do Smith and Wesson’s SW1911s.

But John Browning’s original version of quite possibly the most perfect gun ever made, of course, did not. And most other 1911 pistols do just fine with the internal unit.

And so it goes.

In my experience — which may differ from yours — it doesn’t actually matter all that much. Bolt-action rifles that left the factory without issues and are kept in good working order and are operated properly tend to work properly. Likewise with semi-auto pistols. Extractors fail because that particular extractor was poorly made or improperly installed. What type it is…doesn’t seem to matter all that much.

But that’s me. As always, the caveat; your mileage may vary. What’s your experience been? Have you found a performance difference between one type of extractor over another on a certain platform. Go ahead…start the argument.

 

Tim lives in the Spokane area. He grew up around guns and the outdoors and spends as much time around both as he can. 

comments

  1. avatar DCJ says:

    My experience has been that most writers for this site value speed over accuracy, hence proof reading is not necessary…

    1. avatar Scott in IA says:

      It’s a blog, not The NYT.

      Does one or two mistakes invalidate the entire contents of the article?

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        No, but is it really such a rush job that articles can’t be run past a competent editor first?

        I’m guessing there are plenty of volunteers right here in the comments section.

      2. avatar Kenneth says:

        If you’ve read the NYT, or any other MSM lately, you might note that they are even less concerned with grammar than TTAG. Back in the 80s, when I went to an institution of so-called “higher learning”, finding mistakes in the local newspaper was my hobby. Then it got too easy, so I started looking only on the front page. When that got too easy I made it only the headlines. Then I gave it up completely. Now the challenge is to find a sentence in print that DOESN’T have a basic, third grade, grammar error in it.
        Welcome to 21st century, where everybody is far too smart to remember how to read, and a third of the young people think the earth is flat.(sarc… naturally)
        https://www.livescience.com/62220-millennials-flat-earth-belief.html

        1. avatar Sir tri says:

          Idk. Imho you be right. I lol as I smh when I sees dem grammar meesteak to. Only 1/3? I heard 1/9 are earthiest believing that it doesn’t exist at all. Btw, that was ALL satire. Right?!

        2. avatar Kenneth says:

          Your beings is just right. Sattire is mine life. Its y mine engesh being so good.

      3. avatar Kenneth G Maiden says:

        I don’t know who I dislike more, the wordsmiths, spell checkers and punctuation gestapo. Or the tide pod eaters, demanding less freedom. Maybe their one in the same????

        1. avatar PistoleroJesse says:

          I see what your doing there…

        2. avatar Dave says:

          *they’re

          *you’re

        3. avatar Sir Tri says:

          Yea. Mee love chellsPECKER wrong time….

      4. avatar DCJ says:

        It doesn’t invalidate the article at all but it certainly detracts from it. I’m not taking about perfect prose, just the glaring mistakes.

      5. avatar No one of consequence says:

        In any given article, no.

        Overall, however, consistently across time and many articles? It does look, well, sloppy.

    2. avatar william wessels says:

      I once met Elmer Keith. Later I took care of him in the hospital. I lived in Clarkston Washington at the time. As far as I was concerned, the information that he had was valuable to me and proofreading was not. Such is the case here.

      1. avatar ironicatbest says:

        Wow you’ve met Elmer Keith, cool. He is one of my old timey heroes. My first large caliber sidearm was model 29, not because of dirty Harry, but Elmer.

    3. avatar Guest says:

      The follow uo to the 1911, the Browning HI-Power, has an external extractor. I guess no one told JMB they werent as good as the internal variety

      1. avatar cisco kid says:

        Actually Browning never invented the High Power Dieudonné Saive invented it as Browning had little to do with its invention and the original extractor was an internal one not an external one that came much much later on.

  2. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’ve had a lot more issues with crappy ammo and worn out springs than I have with extractors. I do really like my Winchester 70s, but my Rem 700 is more accurate. Once I got the trigger fixed.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Yep, my issue with Remy is that for me, I have to factor the cost of a Timn ey trigger into the price. Unless you’re hanging upside down from a tree I can’t see much advantage to ‘controlled feed’.

      Although, I recently bought a Ru ger Hawkeye (in .260 Rem) and I’ve notice it’s a lot easier to load than my .308 700 since the receiver is about 5/16″ longer. The opening on the 700 is about 2-3/8″ whereas the cartridges are 2.8″. I’m not sure if this is the c ase with all Mauser type actions, but as much as I like light compact ri fles, ease of loading is well worth the quarter inch.

      1. avatar Kenneth says:

        “Unless you’re hanging upside down from a tree I can’t see much advantage to ‘controlled feed’.”
        You don’t think the ability to unload a blind magazine without closing the bolt is an advantage? I do. It seems much safer to be able to clear the magazine without putting the rifle into battery.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Well now see I qualified that statement by saying ‘much advantage’ rather than ‘any advantage’. Between safeties that leave the bolt free and hinged floorplates I would consider that a pretty minor advantage. Although as I pointed out below, the possibility of a short stroke jam would be a pretty major disadvantage when hunting dangerous game or when in grizzly country, so the Mauser action has a significant advantage there.

        2. avatar John Davis says:

          You obviously haven’t spent much time with a Remington 700 rifle. It is simple to unload without closing the bolt.

          Point rifle up
          Push bolt forward until round pops free of feed lips
          Pull bolt to the rear and remove cartridge from its position laying in the open action
          Repeat

          If anything, it’s even easier than using a rifle with control round feed as you don’t have to pick the rounds up off the ground….

  3. avatar MyName says:

    I don’t own either a Winchester Model 70 or a Remington 700 but, I do have a Ruger M77 and a Savage 110 so, same comparison.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever noticed any real difference in the reliability of the two from the standpoint of extraction but, I have had a couple of misfeeds over the years with the Savage and don’t recall ever having one with the Ruger. That said, I’ve never had a misfeed on the Savage on a shot that mattered – just a couple times at the range.

  4. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

    .40 s&w is dead. .45acp is on life support.

    .9mm is the wave of the future. .9mm revolvers.

    Extractors? What the f*ck is an extractor? Is it that doohickey that pushes the bullets out of the clipazine?

    1. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

      Aren’t you worried about the extractor being to small and delicate on the .9mm?

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Cat’s claw extractors?

    2. avatar Skeeter says:

      Extractors are what extracts the bullets from the clips and launches them towards victims when the weapon of war is used in Full semi-auto mode. True story. Pretty sure.

      Now stop interrupting my condom snorting by making me teach you what I don’t know.

      1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

        My bad, bro.

  5. avatar Jim B says:

    No, most of the time it doesn’t matter. However, the controlled type feed bolt action is the favored dangerous game rifle for a reason. Mauser designed it to prevent double feeding. In a panic situation such as being charged by a cape buffalo, the shooter in a panic can start a cartridge in the chamber then pull the bolt back and push another round in. The result with a push feed is a double feed jam. With a controlled feed action the first round is ejected before the other round is pushed forward. It is easier to demonstrate than explain but when bolt actions rifles were the main battle rifle they were all controlled feed.

    There was a case in BC where two elk hunters were attacked and killed by a grizzly bear. At first the reports were that both there rifles were unloaded. The wives of the deceased found this difficult to believe since their husbands were experienced hunters and would not have their unloaded rifles while cleaning an elk in grizzly country. An investigator (James Gary Shelton) found that although one rifle was indeed unloaded probably because it had suffered damage before the attack, the other was loaded but not functional because of a double feed jam.

    So when people say that their Model 700 has never had a double feed jam I ask them how many times they have been charged by a grizzly bear. You would be hard pressed to find an African PH that uses a push feed bolt action. There is a reason for this.

    Push feeds came back because they were cheaper to make. For many years there were no production made controlled feeds manufactured in the US. Then came CNC machinery. Now they are common. They are my preferred action for hunting whether dangerous game or not. I have 8 of them! Yes, too many I know but so it goes.

    Oh, there is a disadvantage (besides cost which isn’t a big thing any longer) of controlled feed that I have never seen in print. It is a minor one and only comes into play if the shooter is negligent. It happened to a negligent friend of mine many years ago. He was with another friend and they were sighting in rifles the day before a hunt. My friend had an old FN Mauser action Weatherby in .300 Weatherby. The other guy was using a .30-06. Somehow the guy using the FN dropped a .30-06 cartridge in the chamber of the .300 Weatherby. On a push feed nothing would happen except the gun would go click because the cartridge wouldn’t headspace. However, the controlled feed extractor held the cartridge firmly enough without properly headspacing so that the .30-06 went off with disastrous results to a rifle with collector’s value. My friend was unhurt physcially but his pride was very much wounded. Not to mention what happened when he returned the rifle to his father who was a hot head!

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      Concerning the 06 in a .300 mag- at one of the sight ins for the Vermejo Park “hunt”, a very well-known gun writer and consultant showed up with a .300 Weatherby but no ammo. All he could find in Raton was .300 Win Mag, so he tried sighting in with it. WOW. They went bang alright but his groups at 100 yds were huge and the casings came out in 2 pieces. I was surprised the guys even let him do it but he was insistent. He ended up taking his cow the next daywith a Steyr Scout 308.

      1. avatar Kenneth says:

        Are you sure about the truth of that story? I’ve shot .300win in .300wby chambers quite a few times and only ended up with a fire formed .300wby case with a super short neck. What would force a case separation? The diameter and heads are the same. Only the length and shoulder differs.

        1. avatar Craig in IA says:

          I was there.

          Just curious- why would you do that?

        2. avatar Kenneth says:

          To see what would happen. With the winchester case being so much shorter I was curious to see if the brass could stretch enough to blow that shoulder out so far. Another time I was short on wby ammo so I used win to check zero. It printed a rather nice group for being fireformed also. About two moa. Good enough to hunt with for sure.
          Did your example separate at the head or the neck?

        3. avatar Craig in IA says:

          The case head as I recall. I wasn’t the shooter but came over to watch after my 3 shots.

          Related to this, a friend of my little brother’s is a firearms instructor. Often he’ll have various firearms and ammo laying out when they’re playing around, often switching handguns and calibers. More than a few times he’s stuck a Glock 19 mag in a 23 and touched off a few. Can tell by the report, of course… Funny brass to pick up. I also have a few .44 mag cases that a now-deceased friend fired in a .45 Colt. There’s a lesson here…

        4. avatar ironicatbest says:

          Uh oh,. I’ve shot 300 wins in my 300 weatherby too, why, because I like multi caliber guns. You want to have some fun? .410 single shot, –30-30, .45 long Colt, .44 Magnum, that’s versatility.

        5. avatar Kenneth says:

          Craig: The only way I can think of for that to happen is if, unlike when I did it in an action with claw extractor, it was in a cheap extractor rifle. In that case the striker should just push the too short case forward and misfire. But if the case was slightly large in the head area, or perhaps some gunk was in the chamber, then the striker may have pushed the case forward but it stopped after a few thousandths and then went off. In that case the brass would be stuck to the chamber walls by the pressure, but out of headspace spec, and so the case would have to stretch rearward under pressure by however far out of headspace the case was went it went off. Excess headspace easily causes head separations.
          I have also fired .44s in .45 chambers and .22 mags in LR chambers. In both cases the brass split, but due to the over diameter chamber, it splits lengthwise and doesn’t separate. I have a rather large collection of cases I’ve done weird shit to…
          Ironicatbest: .444 Marlin is awesome out of a .410…. I’ve done that a lot and never managed to make a single case to add to my weird looking cases collection. Never have they came out looking as anything other than a fired case. They even shoot to point of aim. Never managed to hurt the full choke either, even though its undersize for the .429 bullet by a lot. I can’t remember now exactly how much, but I miked the choke both before and after, and the measurement was the same to the thousandth.
          This one works so well I’m tempted to actually shoot something with a .444 in a .410, but I don’t quite dare pull the trigger with other than a string… at least not yet I haven’t.

        6. avatar Craig in IA says:

          To Ken

          Rifle in question was an at the time fairly new Weatherby Mk5.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Now that you mention it, I seem to remember something similar when my wife was shooting my .308 700. She once short stroked the bolt and didn’t eject the spent case but picked up a fresh round. It was as easy to fix as backing up the bolt and ejecting the spent shell and pushing the fresh round back into the magazine, but now that you mention it, I could see just about anyone short stroking the bolt under stress and unjamming it might cause a major panic attack. Of course, if you short stroke a Mauser type action you’re going to pull the trigger and hear ‘click’.

      1. avatar Jim B says:

        I had a girlfriend that got a double feed jam with a Remington Model 7. She got all excited short stroked the gun and tried to feed another round in. It took my Leatherman to free the jam. She wasn’t all that strong but there is a lot of leverage there. The bottom cartridge had a huge dent! Oh, the game that made her panic? A blacktail deer! She wanted that deer badly!

        A correctly functioning controlled feed won’t do that. If you short stroke it the cartridge stays with the extractor until you pull it all the way back to the ejector at which time it will eject the first cartridge and pick up the next one in the magazine. No click.

        On cheaper production controlled feed actions there will be at times feeding problems and the rifle should be checked when purchased by feeding at least 50 rounds through it. The better rifles have magazines that are sized to the cartridge for better feeding. Few production rifles have this and it’s on magazine size for all cartridge of the same length. That is usually not a problem but it should be tested before hunting. Custom gun makers such as D’Arcy Echols size the magazine to the cartridge but you pay for that.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘If you short stroke it the cartridge stays with the extractor until you pull it all the way back to the ejector…’

          That’s not short stroking. Short stroking is when you don’t pull the bolt back far enough to eject the spent shell. If you short stroke a Mauser you’ll feed the empty case back into the chamber and when you pull the trigger it will go click, not bang.

    3. avatar william wessels says:

      I prefer a double rifle for dangerous game. You just never know when those dang squirrels are gonna attack here in central Florida. Pesky critters.

      1. avatar DrewR says:

        Great, now I want to see a squirrel taken with a .500 Nitro Express, thanks.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Mmm… ground squirrel.

        2. avatar Alex in Oregon says:

          Would taking one with a .458 SOCOM count?

        3. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Saw a friend shoot a squirrel with a .308 once, many, many moons ago.

          Pink mist.

        4. avatar ironicatbest says:

          Years ago I was hunting with my grandpa and his 30-30, I seen a squirrel in a tree and took aim, Gramps said “bark him” what? ” Shoot the limb his sitting on, the splinters will kill it” sure enough dead squirrel and not to messed up

        5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          The .30-30 is the .45acp of rifle calibers.

    4. avatar Monkey Grip says:

      Sounds like having a semi auto chambered with the safety off is more important than the type of extractor.

    5. avatar Kenneth says:

      I just realized, there is no way that case could have went too far into the chamber and create excess headspace as I had theorized either. Both cases are belted and the belt would not allow such movement forward. Perhaps the case had been reloaded before and was just ready to separate anyway? It’s a rather common reloading problem with belted cases.

  6. avatar Craig in IA says:

    I own a number of the newer Win 70 Fwt rifles in various calibers and examples with controlled feed (the later rifles) and push feed. I’ve taken a fair number of MN whitetails with the .243 pushfeed, sometimes in very cold conditions and never had a problem. Always using my own reloaded ammo.

    I’ve also taken 2 elk cows in NM with my .30-06 controlled feed at Vermejo Park, the first by walking into a wooded area to shoot a cow at 180 yards in a large meadow, gun already in battery. The second time was a “jump out of the truck, rack in a live one, and shoot” situation. I squeezed first on an empty chamber (not smart, I know) and had to work the bolt quickly, then fire. Flawless. Both one-shot kills with my hand loaded 180s.

    My .270 Fwt is controlled feed, the .257 Roberts push feed. I’ve encountered no issues with either at the range. I also own a number of 1917 Endfields (controlled feed) and they chamber fine but are cock on closing. My Ruger 77 .458 is controlled feed and chambers fine. I have a number of Rem 700s from .17 Rem to 35 Whelen, all push feeds. Never an issue with them, either.

    If I remember the problems being discussed to death on this topic, it usually revolved around someone shooting buff or other dangerous game in Africa- the premise being that one could easily (???) drop a round on the ground when working the bolt under pressure because the extractor didn’t pick up and “protect” the next round. Of course on a charging buff or elephant (good luck with that), hippo or the like, one would likely be stomped to death becasue their follow-up was on the ground and they’d hear the same click I heard on my second elk… Of course, the same folk don’t take into consideration the guide with his .470 double along side of you.

    I’d be interested if anyone has ever read of this situation actually being the demise of someone. Anywhere, Africa, big bear in AK or other scenarios. If you do, link or post them. I think a lot of this was hype to keep the price of pre-64 Winchesters up there for those who have some.

    1. avatar Jim B says:

      Yes, read my first post above. It has happened. It has nothing to do with dropping a round or whatever but rather a double feed jam.

      1. avatar Craig in IA says:

        Thanks. And I also remember the double-feeding/not ejecting before trying to pick up a new round, just haven’t been reading any Capstick or Rikhoff in quite a while…

  7. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I don’t care what type of extractor any of my guns have. As long as it works reliably. Which is better for what gun??
    That’s not up to me. What I buy is.
    I don’t care as long as it works 1st time every time.
    I have better things to argue about the merits of…………………..

  8. avatar strych9 says:

    I can’t say that my experience leads me to think that one or the other is the significantly better option.

    The only thing that comes to mind for me is that milsurp Mausers, which I have great affection for, sometimes have extractor issues due to crap built up behind the extractor which physically blocks it from functioning. This is a milsurp/cleaning/cosmoline/previous owner issue rather than an extractor issue. It’s also an issue I’ve noted with used semiautomatic pistols ranging from Glocks to SIGs to anything else. Again, a maintenance issue that’s easy to fix and not a design flaw. Guns just get dirty.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Summary Judgment”

      That’s legal-speak for a court sticking its fingers in its ears and yelling “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!” like Pee-Wee Herman.

      A gutless ploy by a Leftist jurist.

      In other words, “This is my surprised face.”

      I hope the plaintiff submits it for consideration of cert., however.

      We *might* get lucky if a justice retires…

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        EDIT – Make that appealed to the First Circuit first, SCOTUS if necessary later. That buys more time for a justice to vacate the bench.

        Here’s the money shot in that ‘decision’ :

        “The Court found that the undisputed facts in the record “convincingly demonstrate that the AR-15 and LCMs banned by the Act are ‘weapons that are most useful for military service.’”

        …and yet AR-pattern rifles are used by *zero* major militarys.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Okay, it’s a bit easier for a shooter to screw up with a push feed rifle than with a controlled round feed rifle. However, most well-practiced shooters can go a lifetime without a problem that could have been avoided with a claw extractor.

    So buy what you like and can afford. If it comes down to two otherwise-identical rifles, the type of extractor might be the deciding factor.

  10. avatar Nanashi says:

    It matters a lot for steel case.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      In terms of steel’s tendency to stick to the chamber, and a beefier claw to yank it out of there?

      1. avatar Nanashi says:

        And that steel, as a harder metal, shortens the lifespan of ones meant to handle softer brass by a fair amount. It’s THE big issue (outside of mags without a proprietary lower that takes AK mags) with 7.62×39 AR15s. With Soviet guns designed to run steel ammo it’s not as big a problem, plus steel costs so much less with those calibers the idea of saving enough to replace worn parts is far more true than it is for western calibers.

  11. avatar Mb says:

    All ‘real’ semi autos handguns (not Desert Eagle) use a form of controlled feed — the cartridge rig slides up the breech face and under the extractor.

    Mauser did it the way
    Browning did it is way
    Remington is bankrupt

    Nuff sed

  12. avatar Specialist38 says:

    If i am shooting prairie dogs then i am fine with a Ruger American. Doubt theynare going to rush me if I have a double feed.

    If it is something that matters (dangerous game or a human threat), the I will use my Mauser or Ruger Scout.

    YMMV

  13. avatar Pat H says:

    I can’t imagine relying on a bolt action for truly dangerous game anyway.

  14. avatar Broke_It says:

    What’s up with that bolt face on the lead pic? Is that some kind of corrosion pitting or gas jetting around the primer pocket?

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Both. It’s a result of using corrosive primer ammo and having the primer pocket leak – and then not cleaning the bolt face.

      1. avatar Broke_It says:

        Rad, I love old used metal. Thanks for the knowledgeable reply.

  15. avatar Don from CT says:

    I don’t know enough about bolt action rifles to comment on controlled round feeding.

    But I do have enough rounds down range to comment on the external vs internal extractor discussion. You see, I’m a Glock guy. But I’m also a 1911 guy. And both types of extractors work.

    The difference is in how long they last and what you do if one of them stops working. In my humble experience, a well fitted (remember that word) 1911 extractor is good for 15,000 rounds. If its not fitted properly, it won’t last as long. And yes, it needs to be fit. You don’t just install it. You need to fit it. Look on youtube for the specifics if you would like.

    In contrast, I’ve found the Glock extractor to last. . . . well, I don’t know. The highest round count Glock I’ve ever owned had about 35,000 rounds through it and it worked fine. But if it had stopped working, it would be about a 30 second project to change it.

    So I guess that’s it. internal ejectors are products of another era, when CNC machines didn’t exist and you could pay a man not a lot to hand fit parts.

    Both S&W and Sig have thoroughly moder manufacturing processes. I suspect that the fact that the external extractors on their 1911s function just fine without hand fitting is part of the reason they use them. The fact that they probably last longer is just a bonus.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      One of the advantages of the 1911 extractor is that it doesn’t require tools to get it out of the slide. You can detail-strip a 1911 with no tools – by ‘detail strip,’ I mean I can take off most everything of a 1911 other than the safety detent & tube (which is staked on the left side of the receiver).

      There’s nothing wrong with the external extractor on the slide – it’s a very common design feature on lots of pistols, and the Star versions of the 1911 use the external extractor to reduce manufacturing costs. But when/if you need to replace these extractors, or you need to clean under them, you’ll typically need a pin punch, hammer and punch block to remove the extractor.

  16. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Here’s some gunsmithery perspective on the various types of extractors:

    1. The Mauser-type spring/claw extractor is, by far, the best, for two reasons:

    a) the Mauser-type extractor actually gets forced onto the case rim with more force the harder you pull back on the bolt. No other extractor design (to my knowledge) does this.

    Take a look at this picture of a 98 bolt:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/MauserSystem98Verschluss-03.jpg

    See that groove around the bolt just behind the bolt nose? The way the extractor fits into that one-sided dovetail groove makes the 98’s extractor want to push inwards toward the centerline of the bolt more, the harder you pull backwards on the bolt.

    b) The Mauser type extractor has more metal wrapped around the case rim, and is therefore stronger (ie, less likely to break) than the other types of rifle extractors. There’s just so much more material in the Mauser claw.

    As a result of (a) and (b), a Mauser98-type extractor on a forged bolt allows the shooter to haul a case out of the chamber that would cause most any Rem700’s extractor to strip out of the bolt nose.

    2. The Mauser extractor is the most expensive to implement on a bolt gun. This is part of the reason why Remington doesn’t do such extractors – Remington’s 700 design was all about cutting costs. That’s why the bolt is made in three pieces, that’s why they have that stupid trigger design with the floating connector that has caused so many liability issues, you name it. This is why the WInchester Model 70 lost the claw extractor in the 1964 “cheapening” of the Winchester product line.

    3. The best compromise (IMO) is the type of sliding-blade in the front face of a bolt lug that was implemented in the post-64, push-feed Model 70 Winchesters. In fact, this sliding blade extractor was what Peter Paul Mauser first wanted to implement on the M98. The German armaments board was the one that insisted on the claw controlled round feed extractor. Sako extractors The sliding blade extractor is better (by far) than the Rem700 extractor, and I think superior to the Sako or M16 extractors as well.

    4. The Rem700 extractor is so unimpressive for many shooters that there is a cottage industry in retrofitting either Sako or M16 extractors to Rem700 bolts. If you want to replace a torn-out Rem700 extractor with another cheesey 700 extractor, you’ll need to re-rivet the new extractor into the rim of the bolt nose.

    BTW, here’s another reason why gunsmiths consider the Mauser-98 style extractor is better than the Rem700: To my knowledge, no gunsmith has been asked by a customer to retrofit any other type of extractor onto a Mauser-style bolt.

    5. Contrary to popular lore, you can make a Mauser-style extractor can be made to pop over the rim of a cartridge, so that you can push-feed a single cartridge loaded into the chamber by hand. There’s a popular slam on the Mauser-style extractors that they can feed a cartridge only if it comes up form the magazine and the rim slides up under the extractor on the bolt face. If the tail of the extractor is thinned a bit (look at the photo above – consider the area of the extractor about 1.5″ rear of the bolt nose), then the extractor on the bolt face can flex outwards and over the rim of a cartridge that’s sitting already seated in the chamber.

  17. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Never had a problem with either type. I regularly load my 03 as a single shot, the extractor slides over the cartridge case, I’m told they were actually made to shoot as a single shot using rounds in the magazine as reserve. I used to drop a cartridge in my 1911’s barrel and drop the slide, somebody told me I’d break the extractor doing that, so I quit, but Gee’s I’ve loaded it that way a bunch of times.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Correct – the 03 was indeed made to be fed single rounds, with the magazine “cut off.” The “flip tab” on the left hand side of the 03 and 03A3 actions was there to turn the magazine feed on/off. It is even labeled “On” and “Off.”

      This, BTW, is just more evidence of a centuries-long obsession by US Army brass about infantrymen “wasting ammunition.”

      So the manual of arms was that the infantryman was supposed to drop single rounds into the 03 action and ram them home with the bolt, leaving his magazine loaded with five unused rounds.

      re: pre-chambering a round into a 1911 and allowing the slide to slam home on it. I recommend against doing this – on 1911’s, Garands, M1A’s/M14’s, and AR-15’s. All of these guns have floating firing pins, and it is possible for a slide slamming home on an already-chambered round to “slam fire” – in the 1911, this won’t be a big deal, perhaps a surprise. In the gas-operated rifles, it can (and usually does) cause damage to your bolt. This is more apt to happen if you’re using ammo with commercial (vs. NATO-spec) primers. NATO-spec primers are “stiffer” and resist going off from a light strike.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Is the Ruger Mini-14 susceptible to the “slide slamming home on an already-chambered round” issue, as the ’14 is supposedly a scaled-down M14?

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          I would have to double-check it by pulling down the Mini-14’s bolt. It’s been years since I’ve had one apart…

          Basically, if there isn’t a mechanism where the firing pin is positively restrained as the slide goes forward (eg, like the Series 80 Colt 1911’s), there is a potential of slam-fire if you load a cartridge into the chamber, seat the cartridge all the way into the chamber, and then allow the bolt to fly home after being pulled back all the way. On the Garand/M1A/M14/AR, the act of stripping a round out of the magazine retards the bolt enough so that a slam-fire doesn’t happen. Take away the resistance of stripping a round, and the bolt goes home much faster…

  18. avatar Saltywater says:

    I always thought the real advantage to a controlled round action was that you could cycle the bolt while hanging upside down in a tree. Life is good…onward through the fog.

  19. avatar cisco kid says:

    The real facts are that the Remington push feed extractor was made of cheap stamped sheet metal and has an notoriously bad record for breakage. Also push feed guns were found as early as 1891 to cause soldiers to jam up their guns under stress. I myself as a young man jammed up a Remington 700 so tightly with a double feed it took a very big long screw driver to pry apart the two thoroughly mangled cartridges which were both live rounds. Now that was a sweat getting them out of the gun without blowing myself up.

    The internal extractors of the FN High Power and 1911 were very strong but very unreliable as most Morons do not realize they were only meant to be used by feeding the live round out of the magazine not dropping in a single round into the chamber and then slamming the slide closed on a loaded round that will get them out of wack or even break them in short order. The pivoting extractor used later in the High Power was less strong but did not get out of wack when a live round was dropped into the chamber.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email