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1873/1866 Extractor problems!


Bear Gunz SASS #47477

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Ok, so here we were, Dad and I are at the Texas State match this past weekend. First day, first stage, the extractor in his nearly new 1873 gives out. Not a problem, he has a back up in the truck. Second stage, the extractor in the back up rifle gives out. Now both of these rifles are in .45LC and had been shot the day before and worked fine to shoot the Wild Bunch match.

 

So here's my question, does anybody make a better extractor than the factory Uberti extractor? I know about the one from Cowboys and Indians, does anybody out there know of any others that might hold up better?

 

Any help would be most appreciated.

 

Bear

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I don't have a 45 LC, but it sounds like something is wrong as I've had the Uberti extractors last for many years.

 

They did have to be slightly reshaped and properly fit into the barrel notch.

 

Some things to look into are:

 

  1. Is the barrel notch properly cut?
  2. If the rifle timing correct - that causes many problems.
  3. Is the brass properly sized?
  4. Is the chamber properly cut?
  5. How does the extractor fit into the bolt?

Hopefully some more experienced smiths can help you out. But it sounds like your guns may need to be checked by a good cowboy gunsmith. They have enough variation in manufacturing, that you often have to see the gun to see what the issue is.

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Marauder,

Thanks for the insight. If it had been only one rifle that gave up, I would be more inclined to think it might be gun problems. The brass being used was new, unfired Starline brass.

 

Bear

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What does 'gives out' mean?

The extractors on both guns quit extracting. They no longer had any spring tension on them and would not grab the case head.

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Check timing, first thing. Sounds like they could both have been treated to a short stroke kit that has the carrier rising too early, and the extractor is being bent upwards (thus losing tension) by the carrier rise before the mouth of the case clears the chamber.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

PS. Also check that the extractor "neck" where it is thin, behind the hook, has not been thinned much at all. Weakening that area makes them unable to hold tension over a long lifetime.

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Bear Gunz, C&I is the only one's I use anymore. Problem is, maybe they do not have any in stock. I know the last time I ordered 2, it was about 4-6 months before delivery.

 

I have a spare. But is for the 38/357 caliber. I do have a 38/40 caliber rifle, that we could steal it from!

 

Will that work?

 

Oklahoma Dee

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What does 'gives out' mean?

========================================================

That's Southern for "it quit workin'"

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Bear Gunz, C&I is the only one's I use anymore. Problem is, maybe they do not have any in stock. I know the last time I ordered 2, it was about 4-6 months before delivery.

 

I have a spare. But is for the 38/357 caliber. I do have a 38/40 caliber rifle, that we could steal it from!

 

Will that work?

 

Oklahoma Dee

 

Dee,

Thanks for the offer, I had a spare Uberti part and used it to get Dad's 73 back in action. I'm just looking for something better to restock my parts box with.

 

Bear

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If the brass was new and was never sized, that could have contributed to the problem.

 

As a general rule new brass often needs to be sized and some even have a few rough edges on the case mouth - both which would make ejection harder.

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Interesting! I had always used Once-fired brass for the rifle on big matches. New brass in revolvers is ok.

 

Thanks for the new insight!

 

Oklahoma Dee

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Especially on 45 cal rifles, carbon has a tendency to build up under the extractor, eventually holding it up away from the cartridge rim. Remove both the offending extractors and see if they're broken or just held up by carbon deposits.

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Did the both give out at the same time that the new brass was put into play? The chances of two guns developing the same problem at the same time has to be astronomical. I would tend to look at other factors. Somebody already mentioned a possibility. If the new brass was not sized and was harder to extract than the previous used brass, the extractor could be pulling off of the rim due to the brass sticking in the chamber.

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Another thing to check is rifle headspace. If for ANY of several reasons the headspace is wide, your extractor might not grab the case rim at all. Insert a case in the chamber by hand, then close the bolt on a narrow feeler gauge slipped behind the case, alongside the extractor. If a .010 feeler will fit, ya might wanna send er to the doc and get er looked at. Failure to extract was the first symptom that led me to find WIDE headspace on a rifle. Turned out it had suffered an out of battery discharge and the lever was bent.

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The new brass was resized and loaded on a Dillon 550 just as all the other rounds had been so the sizing issue should not have been a problem. There was no damage to the rims on the cases at all, the extractors on both guns lost enough of the spring tension that they would not hold and pull out all of the cases. When you reached in with a finger you could feel the play on the extractor. Some came out and others did not, either way both guns were out of service for the match until the new extractor was installed. The first gun was a new Uberti with less than 400 rounds through it.

 

Needmore

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I'm told the extractors vary in their quality. Some gunsmiths have told me to replace the part before using it or wait until it loses tension or breaks. I don't know how true that is since I'm not a gunsmith.

 

The extractor in my .45 is about 7 yrs old or so and going strong. The one in my .357 knocked me out of a big match, was replaced with a C&I and is now due for replacing. The old one bounced over the rim now and then and I didn't realize it. When checked, it had lost tension and had too much verticle play. My .45 gets really filthy in the action, but I've not removed the extractor to clean underneath. It's not an issue with my gun.

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I would guess that whoever did the action work on these rifles created the problem. NOT the factory. I've never seen an extractor problem on a 73 from the factory. I MOST definitely have never seen 2 in a row with the same owner.

 

Owner/operator/gunsmith issue. Unlikely to be solved with a new extractor. Fix the problem, not the symptom.

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I would guess that whoever did the action work on these rifles created the problem. NOT the factory. I've never seen an extractor problem on a 73 from the factory. I MOST definitely have never seen 2 in a row with the same owner.

 

Owner/operator/gunsmith issue. Unlikely to be solved with a new extractor. Fix the problem, not the symptom.

 

What yon Sea Cow has said!

 

 

Just thinkin out loud here, but if a rifle has wide headspace, it would seem that when a round chambers, if it is "on the hook", it's headspacing on the extractor, beating the extractor to death in short order. Of course if it misses the hook, or slips during firing, it is gonna stay in the chamber.... The other possibility is a timing issue where the carrier is beating the case off of the hook before the case mouth is fully clear of the chamber..... Either would be "race smithing" issues, most likely.

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The thing to check is the small finger at the bottom of the bolt face, opposite the extractor. If the timing is not set correctly for the short stroke kit, the bottom finger will be bent or broken off in shjort order by being struck by the cartridge rim and/or the carrier on the way up to the chamber. This will result in the case having no support from the bottom to push it up into the extractor.

 

Cycle the lever, looking into the port and watch the bolt retract. It should back out of the way of the rising carrier. If it touches, there's your problem. Put a case in the magazine and slowly cycle it. If the carrier strikes the cartridge rim on its way up, the carrier is rising too soon.

 

If the small bolt finger is broken or bent, the interference will not show, except for the colsemess of the pass-by.

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Check timing, first thing. Sounds like they could both have been treated to a short stroke kit that has the carrier rising too early, and the extractor is being bent upwards (thus losing tension) by the carrier rise before the mouth of the case clears the chamber.Good luck, GJ

 

 

PS. Also check that the extractor "neck" where it is thin, behind the hook, has not been thinned much at all. Weakening that area makes them unable to hold tension over a long lifetime.

 

 

It will be either the above. Or, the rim shelf is broke off the bottom of the bolt face. Some smiths are now doing a coil spring fix for the weak extractors. Much like the coil spring fix for the 97 left side extractor.

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