Extractor help!

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by dwillia29, May 7, 2007.

  1. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

    Hi -

    Pleased to report that my M9-A1 functions flawlessly. Just under 400 rounds, a stew of gold dot, hst, and ranger t. Then I switched gears and fed it a couple boxes of blazer aluminum. Not a single malfunction.

    The extractor claw is as flat as my ex g.f. and the extractor pin spring has the all the tension of a slinky, but the handgun runs. Some brass to the forehead every now and then, but no one's perfect. Important thing is that it's 100% reliable. And I'm really surprised. I feel vaguely like I should complain to someone...! I expected this to exhibit all the FTE quirks of my S9s -- pre- plunger mod and SAI extractor upgrade.

    Anyway, i decided to clean the extractor channel. I've done so a couple of times on my S9s. My freshman effort took some time, but after that puddle was jumped, it became part of my semi-regular cleaning routine, i.e., every 1000 rounds or so.

    Please take a look at the below pics. Someone has to own an M o/ M-A1 that has this type of shiny spherical extractor pin. The actual extractor (not pictured) visually appears identical to the v.1 extractors on my S9s.

    That's where the similarity ends. A detent is not visible, if one even exists. I can't remove the extractor & I've spent 30 increasingly frustrated mins. on it. Chances are I just need to have a beer, get back to it later, and it'll come apart like butter. But in the off chance it doesn't...

    In the past i followed the instructions given on the tutorial to the letter: Hold down the pin w/ a small flathead, push (pull? admit i don't recall) the extractor out, ease the pin forward, carefully remove the spring, etc. Not a big deal.

    This extractor can't be removed via this method. Or at least I can't do it. And believe me, it's not for a lack of time and effort. The pin is held down just fine but it does NOT tilt out and the extractor doesn't want to budge either.

    As separate parts that were assembled together, they can be disassembled. I know that much! But i can't figure out how to do it.

    Here are some close-ups, some of you must have this pin design -- how do you access the extractor chamber? What am i doing wrong?

    Thanks for in advance for any help!



  2. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

    I'm guessing that you're just frustrated and nothing's going right - I'd sleep on it and try again tomorrow. You have to push the pluger as far back as you can, and then the extractor kinda rotates up and away and out. Of course you seem to have experience with this, so I'm sure that I didn't tell you anything you didn't already know. Sorry I can't be of more assistance :cry: - if it's any consolation, I'm sure you'll get that sucker out of there with a few more tries. :)

  3. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

    well, let's change the objective. instead of following the tutorial to the letter, let's ask what the aim of the tutorial is.

    in order to remove the extractor, you must push the extractor pin into the slide. once in, the extractor will pull straight out of its slot.

    what hihoslva discovered is that because of the design of the extractor, all of this could be easily accomplished using the technique you've become so familiar with. this technique is apparently not working, so we have to go back to the objective...push pin in.

    before hihoslva posted his technique, i used the same small screw driver and rested my thumb on the back of the slide. this allowed me to pull the pin to the rear (push the pin deeper into the hole against its spring) and wiggle/shake the extractor out.

    what made it easier from there was LIGHTLY clamping the slide in a vise with soft jaws covers. this gives you your third hand back. now i could push the pin with one screwdriver and pop out the extractor with another, being very careful not to scratch the slide.

    hope this helps. or you invent a new technique. or the old technique works after all.

    the responsible side of me wants to remind all reading this that booze and guns don't mix.

    the "it'll be allright" side of me hopes that in the very least, there's no ammo out and about.
  4. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

    Thanks BT, your vise suggestion ended up working. It still took an inordinate amount of time, but it helped significantly.

    The reason I was having such a problem (i think), is because the extractor pin is coated in a black polymer, thus making it a bit more slippery than metal. During my struggle, the screwdriver flecked off pieces of the thin coating to reveal what appears to be treated steel; of the same matte gray/black appearance of my current S9 extractor finish.

    Also the pin is spherical. Harder for the to flathead to find a secure "grip". Half a sphere actually, the bottom half -- like all extractor pins I've seen -- fits directly into the spring.

    Which btw is longer than my original S9 spring. I compared them side-by-side. Original has 10 (or maybe 11...) coils, this one has 14. Another note, the coils are of the rounded, music wire variety rather than a flat spring, e.g., the recoil guide rod spring.

    Gotta be somewhat prototypical. If no one here has this design, i'll assume it never made it to mass prod.

    I hope SAI is able to offer individual parts for sale soon. Having an updated back-up for this assembly would be reasuring. I haven't checked, but I doubt Steyr's warranty covers the replacement of parts that work as advertised. (caveat: at least so far... 500 round, no issues). Not even sure how i'd go about sending it back? "My handgun is 100% operational, please repair it."?

    Anyway, thanks again for all your help!

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

    Call up SAI and tell them the situation. Maybe they will send you something in the mail or tell you to send it in (they can give you shipping instructions).
    Good luck
  6. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

    i think you've got an extractor that works. more coils = more preload, assuming the spring rate stayed the same.

    the rounded design was one of the extractor re-designs. if it works, it works. i wouldn't do, think, worry about anything unless it gave you grief.
  7. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

    After contemplating the (currently non-) situation for a bit, I've decided to leave Jeff & Co. at SAI in peace unless my Steyr does, in fact, start giving me some lip.

    Time (as in < 2 weeks) will tell, but my bet is that I won't encounter any functionality issues at all.

    I've hypothesized why the extractor pin on this M9-A1 was designed as it was -- and also why the design was abandoned.

    Furthermore, I've theorized that I have WAY too much time on my hands as well as an overactive imagination. :wink:

    The polymer-coated, spherical steel extractor pins only purpose is aesthetic in nature. While that might seem far-fetched -- especially for a part that's barely the size of a BB -- it's the only explanation I can come up with.

    It's more difficult to access the extractor channel and it doesn't act as a secondary LCI. As such, it offers no practical advantage whatsoever. In fact, it offers two distinct, albeit minor, disadvantages. But it's SHINY. Just as the extractor itself has a noticeably better finish than either of my S9's.

    The extended spring indicates to me that Steyr engineers were addressing weak extraction issue. They hadn't gotten as far as redesigning the extractor itself -- and from my own experience, and other owners who adopted the 1911 plunger spring fix -- they may not have even needed to.

    Anyway, when this prototype pin/pistol was kicked upstairs for review, the powers-that-be recognized it's inherent weaknesses, and to their credit, realized that NO ONE was going to walk into a gunshop, spy a Steyr, and exclaim "Eww... That's the ugliest pistol I've ever seen... Wait a sec... Just LOOK at the gorgeous extractor pin! Ring it up!".

    So mgmt wisely kicked it back downstairs and told them to keep at it.

    Forgetting for a moment that I have too much time on my hands, why am i even bringing this theory/nonsense up?

    Well, for all the companies blunders, if I'm even somewhat on base here, this little extractor pin may shed some light on Steyrs corporate culture. Far from the stereotypical portrayal of the methodical, perfectionist, myopic Austrian engineer, at Steyr they're actively encouraged to innovate and run w/ new ideas & designs...

    On the flipside, if a prototype is rejected, it's released onto the market anyway... But then again, it does it's job, so I'm not complaining.

    Again, thanks again for all your help, I was on the verge of giving up. And also thx. for reading my little, inconsequential extractor pin hypothesis!

  8. squirrelpotpie

    squirrelpotpie Premium Member

    Hi ya DW,

    For what it is worth, - you are not alone in having a spherical pin and am not convinced that design has been abandoned - refinement is an ongoing process and the next batch of Steyrs may all have an extractor pin with a similar look and the improved spring. I think my M357-A1 is fairly recent production with a serial number of 52000 something and that there are probably a few other steyr club members with pistols from the same batch.

    Haven't fired enough rounds through mine to make a definitive statement, but so far have had zero extraction problems and have no urge to mess around with it.

    I agree with Big Taco:

    On the other hand, guess this thread started out with your desire to give your pistol a thorough cleaning and thanks to your pioneering efforts I'll be looking for something with a concave or flat tip made out a wood or plastic to depress that pin with when it comes time.
  9. mugdava

    mugdava Premium Member

    I had one! A spherical pin that is. At about 700 rounds my M357-A1 got picky about what it would and would not eat. SAI replaced the extractor assembly and now it looks like this and keeps time better than a Timex:


    My M357-A1 has a 52000 serial number w/ 2000+ rounds through it.
  10. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

    That's good to know, thanks!

    I'm at ~500 rounds now with no problems whatsoever (save an odd "double feed" in the first 25 rounds, but with a new gun, any malfunction that occurs that early doesn't even count, imo).

    Hope it stays that way, but as many have pointed out & I know from firsthand experience, if it begins having problems, SAI will take care of it professionally and promptly.

    Now I've just got to find a holster... Lots of good info here, just need to find the time to pore through it all. I don't know if I'm just plain unlucky, too picky, or both, but my record with rigs isn't the best. For every handgun, I usually end up buying ~ three (3) holsters before I find the "one" that works for me.

    I have a Hoffners OWB and Fist IWB for my S9s and am pretty dissatisfied with the former while the latter is acceptable but nothing to rave about (imho). Wish I could find a C-Tac... I have one for my Walther P99, and once I got it adjusted to my liking, it's as close to perfect as one could ask for.

  11. amishrakefighter

    amishrakefighter New Member

    I posted this in the Cheap and easy thread, but here is a pic of the Plunger setup.
    Of course, I added an O-ring. But this is what it looks like. BTW mine is an M9-A1 52000+ Ser. #

  12. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

    amishrakefighter -

    O-ring? Would you mind elaborating?

    I'm not too keen on disassembling my extractor assembly again until absolutely necessary (!), so although I see your assembly differs... I'm not sure in what way? And why?

    If i'm missing the obvious, please point me to the relevant link.


  13. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

    Never mind...

    I used the power of "search" :lol:

    Neat idea. I'm curious as well to see how it holds up.