One of the best and most influential weapons from the early years of the 20th century was John Moses Browning’s Colt M1911. The gun manufacturing comes from the year it was recognized as the U.S. Army’s sidearm since it was made in response to a demand by the US government for a pistol firing the more powerful round.
The Colt M1911 was chambered for heavy and powerful .45 cartridge in place of the less-operative .38 caliber revolvers. The standard military load of a 230-grain jacketed ball bullet has a comparatively low muzzle velocity of around 850 ft./s, which contributes so quickly that these fat, stumpy bullets earned the enormous reputation of man-stoppers.
Originally, the Colt M1911 .45-caliber pistol was intended as a combat pistol with larger authorisations between parts. However presently, the tolerances in many new 1911 handguns are much closer-fitting than the older Government Issue Colts.
|Extractors||Name||Editor’s Comment||Rating||Get The Deal|
|EGW – 1911 Heavy Duty Extractor|
Most Recommended Option
1. HD Extractor is Vacuum Heat-Treated 49 to 51 RC to provide a long service life
|10/10||Check Current Price|
|Millenium Custom Ii – 1911 Advanced Competition Extractor|
1. The A.C.E. Extractor incorporates two coil springs
|9.5/10||Check Current Price|
|Brownells – 1911 Extractor||1. Available for both 70 and 80 series 1911 pistols in blue or stainless steel |
2. Extra-tough for long life & reliable extraction
3. Heat-treated machined steel
|9.5/10||Check Current Price|
|Wilson Combat – 1911 Bullet Proof Extractor||1. Has a full diameter rear shaft and is guaranteed for life against breakage |
2. Reasonably priced
3. Bulletproof extractor is machined from a S7 shockproof tool steel
|8.5/10||Check Current Price|
|Ed Brown – 1911 Match Extractor||1. Made after the original Mr. Browning Idea of how a 1911 extractor should look |
2. Fully machined from 4340 alloy steel
3. Match extractor has an extra-deep hook with competition-style relief
|8.5/10||Check Current Price|
What is an Extractor and What is it Used For?
However, the prime deliberation for any new-in-the-box 1911 in a self-defense role is reliability. As a feature in the firearm, the cartridge extractors are usually through a single piece of spring steel with only one purpose in mind, and that is to remove used cases of fired cartridges after the ammunition has been fired.
Most factory extractors require attention to achieve the maximum in reliability because they probably cause more failures and jams than any other part, including the magazine. Located on the internal side of the 1911 slide and made to act as one long spring, the internal 1911 extractor is engineered from bar stock and relies on leaf spring tension.
Regardless of the material used, the internal design of the 1911 extractors with the leaf spring setup is disposed of due to the loss of tension over time and usage.
There are also two kinds designed for the Series 70 and Series 80 1911 style pistols. The Series 80 extractor brags a retainer stud that holds the firing pin safety plunger as compared to Series 70. While the extractors made for Series 80 will work in all Series 70 guns of the same kind, the opposite case is not likely.
What Makes the Best 1911 Extractors?
From manufacturer to manufacturer, you will find diverse designs and materials used. You should not be taken by surprise that one of the most recurrent reasons for malfunction in the semi-auto pistol is the poor material of the extractor.
While the quality 1911 auto extractors are engineered from both carbon steel and stainless steel, gun reviewers do not recommend the extractors that are cast or made by MIM (Metal Injection Moulding) equipment.
Extractors made of quality steel can successively be filed or sanded and bent to attain the right tension and proper fit. However, those made with the wrong materials can only be changed with a quality aftermarket part.
Another important feature is proper tensioning – mostly because it is what provides reliable chambering, extraction, and ejection. Although the tension can be attuned with your fingers, proper tension tuning should be done using tension gauges and the Weigand 1911 extractor tool steel that will tolerate you bending the entire length of an extractor.
Review of the Best 1911 Extractors
Below is a mini list and mini-guide that we have reviewed some of the best 1911 extractors on the market– as of this writing. Each review gives you some of the best and worst features for each product. You’ll also be able to notice which are best for certain uses. Hopefully, by the end of this mini-review guide, you will find a great extractor to add to your 1911.
1. EGW 1911 Heavy Duty Extractor
Starting way back in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, Evolution Gun Works (EGW) is one of the biggest suppliers of 1911 pistol parts, and it is easily one with the best reputation for what they do. With nearly 3 decades of experience in the gun parts and accessories industry, they have fittingly acknowledged a few design flaws in the legendary Colt pistol and presented some precise improvements on extractors for the 1911.
First, EGW engineered the1911 AUTO HD extractor with the latest CNC equipment from the exclusive steel alloy perfectly appropriate to the heavy-duty extractor.
The redesigned, ruggedly-made EGW is vacuum heat-treated to RC 49-51, yielding great spring properties and preserving tension for dependable extraction and long service life of 70,000+ rounds.
Secondly, this upgraded device under manufacturer code 10312 comes with somewhat changed geometry by dropping the space from the breech face to the extractor hook and putting on an acute angle, so the hook sinks better into the case rim.
Unlike the regular back section that is relatively thin, the back part of the EGW extractor is almost three times as thick as the stock original for increased strength and tension-retaining material.
Although the EGW 1911 AUTO HD extractor is made as a drop-in part, it needs fitting beyond that which a beginner can do. However, this is a pioneering choice with unique materials that we have chosen as the best overall choice for the 1911.
2. Wilson Combat 1911 Bulletproof Extractor
Wilson Combat is one of the most well-known manufacturers of high-end components for any 1911 pistol. Wilson Combat’s 1911 BulletProof extractor is engineered from tough bulletproof steel bar stock and it is obtainable to fit either series 80 or series 70.
This extractor with manufacturer part number 41570 uses selected bulletproof material dubbed S7, which is a shock-resistant air toughening steel with a tensile strength of 275,000 PSI. This shockproof “non-stainless” tool steel lets the extractor work as a spring in order to preserve proper tension on the cartridge case through the life of a gun.
Since the S7 steel is heat-treated to maximum toughness and is cryogenically treated it has brilliant impact properties along with brilliant wear resistance. Since the extractor`s hook corners are radiused for protracted life, it is sturdy enough to endure the shock which results in smooth feeding and removing rounds and empty cases.
All Wilson Combat Bulletproof Extractors are made as drop-in units, but many pistols may need minor tension adjustments and fitting to work as expected. A well-designed and sufficiently tuned Wilson Bullet Proof extractor will outlast standard factory parts many times over. It makes the 1911 extractor a choice of professional gunsmiths. It is also the best bang for your bucks.
3. Millennium Custom II 1911 Advanced Competition Extractor
One of the most dependable extractors in the industry is AFTEC’s Advanced Competition Extractor that is now sold under the manufacturer’s name, Millenium Custom.
Distinctive to the traditional extractors that are bent to attain tension, the A.C.E. Extractor’s tension is achieved by 2 coil springs that push on the sides of the extractors. While the regular extractor design will flatten out over time and cause malfunctions, the Millenium extractor needs neither bending nor slide modifications, just a little filing on the firing pin plate for a perfect fit.
A Millenium Custom II 1911 Advanced Competition Extractor, as its name says is predominantly prevalent in race guns used by competitor shooters and for self-defense purposes. While Millenium Custom is beefier than the stock extractors, it is made from high-quality alloy steel with long-lasting coil springs for augmented service life and consistency.
However, it’s not a drop-in part, so you will need to fit the hook end of it. Some users saw that installing this extractor in 1911 with both springs ensued in far too much tension, so they recommended using only the rear spring for perfect functioning.
Although the manufacturer markets the A.C.E. Extractor as a resolution for all who may not be able to get the extractor tuned correctly, it’s a bit awkward to install and you may have to make changes to your firing pin.
4. Brownells 1911 Extractor
Brownell’s 1911 extractor is an excellent replacement part for the factory extractors and is engineered from properly heat-treated steel and is obtainable in both blue (BL) and stainless steel (SS) versions, as well as for both series 70 & series 80 pistols.
By abating contact between the tips of the claw to the bevel of the ammunition case, the Brownell’s 1911 extractor provides improved geometry, which allows a good grip on the case and steady, smooth feeding and extraction.
This Brownell’s upgrade is somewhat beefier than stock 1911 extractors, making it appropriate for consistent operation in modest and tactical use. The material used is hardened and heat-treated steel, which offers smooth functioning and flawless extraction.
Like many comparable designs, this 1911 extractor is not a drop-in piece and it will need a lot of fitting to work. The part with designation 078-000-031WB is an extractor envisioned for the .45 ACP Series 70 autos with blue finish. Another variety is made of stainless steel, but some customers have criticised it due to a particular copper colour from the heat-treating process that stands out from the usual stainless steel colour.
5. Ed Brown 1911 Match Extractor
Another caliber-specific extractor comes from a famous pistol-smith Ed Brown, whose products are relatively well known among 1911 extractor and gun owners. As it is standard, the Ed Brown Match extractor is fully engineered from heat-treated steel bar stock. Utilizing a 4340 alloy steel, the extractor comes with extra strength and can withstand an extended service life followed by a manufacturer lifetime warranty against splintering.
The extractor under manufacturer number 1301 is envisioned for use in 1911 Auto Series 70 pistols. As its name suggests, it sports extra-deep hook and radiused edges to tolerate optimistic extraction for competition pistols, just as Mr. Browning intended for hook strength.
Combining maximum dimensions (2-11/16 inches long and .080 inches thick shank) with competition-style relief, the extractor takes away many of the feeding and extraction issues that are collective for the ailing made extractors.
This Match extractor seems to be a bit too long for some gun owners’ liking, so it may project from the rear of the slide depending on the slide manufacturer. Otherwise, the Ed Brown extractor is recognized to be of high quality, tensions easily, smoothly occupies the rim edge, and works flawlessly.
The Ed Brown Match Extractor is an outstanding replacement part for cheap 1911s with poor quality and poorly made extractors. This is a product that will function just fine with some minor tuning and is guaranteed against breakage for life.
When you install these extractors, you should know that most modern day, properly shaped, and tuned products come with a minimum service cycle of about 5,000 rounds. So, you’d know which is the best for your usage.
As mentioned previously, the tension is critical to reliability in the 1911 style pistol, therefore neither too much tension or too little tension is valuable for the flawless effectiveness of the gun.
You should check the extractor tension using the slide test from time to time and regularly. If the extractor is not providing adequate tension, replace it with what we have recommended in the above guide for the best 1911 extractors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How do you tune a 1911 extractor?
A poorly made and a poorly fitted extractor is one of the most common features of malfunction in the 1911 style handguns, most often instigating jams and failure to feed (FTF) or failure to extract (FTE) issues.
- First, you should look for a higher quality extractor made from top-quality materials and manufactured to fitted tolerances to ensure consistent and reliable extraction.
- Your item should be set up so that there is minimal space between the inside of the extractor hook and the bolt face of the slide.
- A properly tuned extractor should have corners that are radiused for smooth and faultless feeding.
- Then the tip and the inner groove should be well cleaned and polished.
- You are not supposed to alter the angle of the hook, but the only angle of the side area.
- The cut for the firing pin stop is held to a constricted spec to fit snugly in the groove.
- With the slide removed from the frame, place the cartridge under the hook and it should be able to hold it together.
- If this test is not successful, put the extractor halfway into the channel in the slide and apply just enough pressure to bend the extractor just a bit.
- Repeat until it holds the cartridge in place together during the slide test.
- Usually, the back is a little long so you can blend it to your slide for a flawless fit.
Hello there, it’s Michael here. A gun lover since young, served the country for the last 20 years. I started the blog to share my experience and gun-related knowledge accumulated throughout the years. Hopefully, you will find something useful over here or just have fun! You can learn more about me here.