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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a 2017 L9 A1, which came with the #9 extractor, but had two FTEs on the first day of 100 rounds. I ordered a new extractor and spring, but the interesting part is that when I re[placed them, I found a major "ding" on the lower tip of the extractor I removed. That made me stop. I reassembled the slide without the recoil spring and installed it, and using dummy rounds, slowly went through the feed/eject cycle a few times. To my surprise, the slide's rearward motion was being stopped by the extractor hitting on the corner of the frame so hard that it is denting the extractor! I reinstalled the spring, thinking that the fully compressed spring would stop the slide before it hit, but the extractor was still hitting the frame. No wonder I was having failures to extract.
So when I thought about it, I realized I actually don't know what is supposed to stop the rearward motion of the slide when the pistol is fully assembled - does anyone actually know? I always assumed it was the fully compressed recoil spring - but that's definitely not happening here.
I also thought, "maybe this is normal for a Steyr", but I find that hard to believe. Do other people have dings in their extractors?
If you should have a recent L9-A1, and would care to pull the slide back on an empty gun, let me know what you find stops the slide. At least that way I'll have a direction to go with this.
Thanks! Jon
 

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Would it be possible to see some pics of the extractor, maybe top down on the frame as well. Anything look well worn? Below is a pic of my extractor, silver this theL9- A1, ignore the black it’s the A2. Unfortunately I do not have an A1 with me while I am out of town, but I will be back next week.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup, good idea. Here's the ding:

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You might be able to see that the extractor has been filed - probably the guy who owned it before me was having the same problem, tried the file routine, when it didn't work gave up and sold it to me.

So here's where it's hitting:

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Which, I think you'll find, is exactly what will stop the slide from going back if the barrel and recoil assy are removed. We can tell this is where the contact point is here:

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A thin piece of paper will bind as it is pinched between the extractor and subframe, even with the barrel and recoil assy in place. I always thought the recoil spring would coilbind to stop the rearward slide motion, so as an experiment, I added a 1mm nylon washer to the spring assy to stop the slide 1mm further forward:

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By installing the washer in the back, it is captive in the frame:

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But this actually did not fix it! The strip of paper was still being pinched behind the extractor.
So, as much as I hate to take up Jeff's time, this is the point where I called him. He said that the slide should be stopped by the barrel lugs in the locking block, which I just couldn't visualize, so I asked him to repeat that, and he said the same thing. Looks like we're all going to learn something, here. :) I sent the photos to him, I will keep you posted as I learn more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: I installed a 3mm nylon spacer:

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and this works! It also makes much more sense to me. The rearward force of the slide is now being distributed to the center of the disassembly lever, which sits low in the frame, almost equal to the web of your hand. The large end of the guide rod (at the back) would seem to act as a buffer if the slide comes back hard, i.e., +P ammunition. But importantly, the back of the breech (?) from which the firing pin protrudes stops about 4mm behind the back of the incoming cartridge, and less than a millimeter before the extractor would contact the subframe. But it stops solidly, I'm quite certain it will not hit. The spring rate has not changed, just the initial amount of force to get it moving, which is now the same amount of force required when the slide had backed up just 3mm previously. Considering that the total travel is about 45mm, that's a smaller percentage than the different spring-rate springs people install at random.
So, two questions remain - why/how did this happen? Incorrect guide rod? Or am I just putting a band-aid on something that really needs a different fix? Which brings us to 2: I'll send this latest info to Jeff as well, and get his response. More info as I learn!


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A happy gun again...
 

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Very odd, when I am home I’ll open up my A1 but the A2 I have does look to have changed some dimensions on where it is impacting. Also your guide rod looks right for a L9 so I can’t see that being an issue. That said I think it might just be a bandaid and worth looking into it more. Case might chime in with better answers then me. So guide rod looks right but I don’t have a A1 with me to see the rest, what I can say is that impact point is milled different in the A2 I have with me. Same operation with the paper and it does not bind. That said the ejection system was overhauled in the A1 to A2 generation
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right to both thoughts. I definitely want to hear from the experts before I close the case. And thanks for posting pics of the subframe of the A2 - it definitely is different, and in the second photo, it appears that the corner is actually bevelled off, right where the extractor would hit. That would've been an obvious solution, but I just have a real aversion to filing down a major part like that without knowing what I'm doing to the rest of the cycle.
More as I learn!
 

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Right to both thoughts. I definitely want to hear from the experts before I close the case. And thanks for posting pics of the subframe of the A2 - it definitely is different, and in the second photo, it appears that the corner is actually bevelled off, right where the extractor would hit. That would've been an obvious solution, but I just have a real aversion to filing down a major part like that without knowing what I'm doing to the rest of the cycle.
More as I learn!
With the A2 it is beveled so it can’t come into contact although I would be carful with a modification since the whole extractor system was changed. That said I haven’t tested the spring to see if they altered them as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, this has been bothering me - so today I emptied my pistol, and inserted an empty magazine. I then locked the slide back with the slide release. in this condition, I tried to move the barrel, and it wiggled freely, having no contact - well, no pressure - with the slide. Hm. So then I pushed the slide all the way back as far as it could go and held it there. The barrel, with it's lugs locked into the subframe, wiggled freely. It definitely was not preventing the slide from moving further back. Try it on yours.
Now, keep in mind, I have a 3mm spacer in my guide rod - so I have to be fair and say that the pistol is not in stock condition. But the slide could only move back another millimeter before hitting the subframe, and at this point, the barrel is having no affect on the slide motion.
So now I'm even more interested in expert technical advice I may be receiving via email. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heading off to burn up another hundred rounds of Winchester white box, and test the guide rod modification. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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Hello Nexus9 it I may have given you some misinformation when we spoke, the lugs of the barrel control the lockup itself so I may have misunderstood your question. The slide is stopped by the forward lugs on the sub frame. I think what you may have is a weak recoil assembly. Steyr did make some change to the area in question but seeing as many pistols as I do, I have rarely seen any unusual wear or or damage there. Email me at [email protected] and maybe we can discuss this further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Jeff,
Thanks for your help! I'm really sorry, I'm probably not doing a very good job communicating the problem here, because without a barrel or recoil assembly in the pistol, when the extractor hits the subframe in the back (which is as far back as the slide would normally travel, and the firing pin surface is 5mm behind the incoming cartridge), the front subframe lugs are 22mm away from the end of the slide grooves at the front of the slide. Try it. Remove the barrel and recoil assembly and let the slide slide back as far as it will go, then poke a flashlight in the barrel opening of the slide. I don't think the slide is going to go back another 22mm before it stops. So I'm probably just misunderstanding what you're saying. I hope you don't mind me writing to you here, this way we can all learn from your expertise! (y)

My recoil assembly tests at 17.6 pounds just as it coil binds.

With the 3mm spacer, the pistol shot beautifully - smooth, fast and accurate. No failures in 200 rounds. When I got home and dismantled it for cleaning, there was just a little silver spot on the new extractor where the ding had been on the old extractor, but no indentation.

So now I'm wondering if the guide rod might have changed slightly from the A1 to the A2, and perhaps I have an A2 recoil assembly in this gun? Remember, I bought it used, so who knows what the previous owner saw or read about that was the latest hot mod.

If anybody wants to check that (I only have one Steyr - shame on me!) my recoil assembly is 86.5mm from end to end, and the "buffer section" at the back is 15.5mm long, 19mm with the spacer. The captive spring is 66mm with the spacer, 69.5mm without the spacer. Can anybody confirm or deny that on a L9A1/L9A2?

Thanks!
 

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Hey Jeff,
Thanks for your help! I'm really sorry, I'm probably not doing a very good job communicating the problem here, because without a barrel or recoil assembly in the pistol, when the extractor hits the subframe in the back (which is as far back as the slide would normally travel, and the firing pin surface is 5mm behind the incoming cartridge), the front subframe lugs are 22mm away from the end of the slide grooves at the front of the slide. Try it. Remove the barrel and recoil assembly and let the slide slide back as far as it will go, then poke a flashlight in the barrel opening of the slide. I don't think the slide is going to go back another 22mm before it stops. So I'm probably just misunderstanding what you're saying. I hope you don't mind me writing to you here, this way we can all learn from your expertise! (y)

My recoil assembly tests at 17.6 pounds just as it coil binds.

With the 3mm spacer, the pistol shot beautifully - smooth, fast and accurate. No failures in 200 rounds. When I got home and dismantled it for cleaning, there was just a little silver spot on the new extractor where the ding had been on the old extractor, but no indentation.

So now I'm wondering if the guide rod might have changed slightly from the A1 to the A2, and perhaps I have an A2 recoil assembly in this gun? Remember, I bought it used, so who knows what the previous owner saw or read about that was the latest hot mod.

If anybody wants to check that (I only have one Steyr - shame on me!) my recoil assembly is 86.5mm from end to end, and the "buffer section" at the back is 15.5mm long, 19mm with the spacer. The captive spring is 66mm with the spacer, 69.5mm without the spacer. Can anybody confirm or deny that on a L9A1/L9A2?

Thanks!
There were no changes to the recoil assys from A1 to A2 that I am aware of. The slide stops at the front POLYMER lugs of the frame not the sub frame as I said before ,sorry, and keep in mind this is with the barrel and recoil spring removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ah, GOT IT! Yes, I see it with the barrel and recoil assembly out. The front "drop down" part of the slide (does that part have a name...?) should make solid contact with the "steps" on the inside of the polymer frame.

Thanks, Jeff, this is why I wanted to do this here, you just helped out a lot of people who might have the same question now and in the future!

So now I have a starting point. It is not the guide rod, and as Zudrick and I said before, I was just putting a band-aid on the gun by installing the spacer. Although it seemed to work okay, the end force is being applied to the disassembly lever shaft instead of being distributed over the much larger area of the frame itself. This is huge. I probably would've ovalled out that hole in the frame that the disassembly lever sits in by constantly pounding on it at the end of every cycle.

The question is, why does my extractor hit the subframe before the slide makes contact with the polymer frame? Now that I know what I'm working on, I will take some measurements with the new extractor in place and see what I come up with. I wonder if removing some metal from the subframe corner is actually a good idea? But three millimeters - that seems like a lot.

Jeff, thank you again for helping out everyone in the community.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, I don't know if that pointy little corner in the subframe had a substantial role in the duty cycle here, but I either just fixed my pistol, or created a $500 (very attractive!) paperweight.

Before:
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After:

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The slide now makes solid contact with the polymer frame without touching the extractor to the subframe. And the guide rod spacer is gone, so the slide is now coming back to it's originally designed location.

Gunsmithing 101! Hopefully, it won't blow up next time I take it out for a ride.
 

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Let’s hope it’s the fix rather then a paper weight. I will take apart my L9a1 Sunday when I get back and send pictures along
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay Jeff,
Well now that we've determined what should stop the slide when it comes back, the question still remains, why would the extractor hit the subframe before the slide hit the polymer frame? Does that sub frame look normal? Any other reason you can think of? What would cause this?
Thanks!
 

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While Jeff looks like he knows more then I. I will post up my A1 when I get home and check contact with the extractor. Should be back 4am tomorrow so maybe tomorrow night I can pull that off.
 
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