Thursday, February 25, 2010

Curing Failure to Eject or Extract

I got the following email, and I decided the answer would make a good post, as maybe it will help some of you to sort out one of the most frustrating things that can happen with a semi-auto pistol.
I've been searching the Internet to no avail to try to find out how to remove the extractor on my PT92 for cleaning. I put 400 rounds through with no problems and normal cleaning - but then had two failure to extracts in last 100 rounds today. I think (hope!) it's just a dirty extractor - but it sure is a bear to try to clean under there with toothpicks. I'd like to take it apart and really make sure it's clean under there. Can you send along the process? Other ideas on on failures to extract this early in the round count on a PT92?
To start with, I should define a couple of terms. When I talk about "Failure to extract" I am referring to the gun firing normally, but the expended casing remains in the chamber. "Failure to eject" refers to the gun firing normally, and the expended casing gets out of the chamber but stays in the gun, usually wedged sideways between the slide and barrel.

Failure to extract and failure to eject can look a lot alike, and have different causes most of the time. The only time the extractor actually extracts the casing is if the round fails to fire and you rack the slide to clear the chamber.

If the round fires as it should, the gas pressure drives the casing out of the chamber, pushing the slide back. The primary purpose of the extractor is to hold the casing against the face of the slide so when it is hit by the ejector it sends the empty spinning out of the gun. If the ejector was gone or broken off, for example, it's possible for the empty casing to stay against the face of the slide and end up riding the slide back into the chamber. Often the slide tries to pick up the next round, though, and you often end up with a pretty good train wreck of a jam.

A light powder load, a stiffness in the movement of the slide, a really dirty chamber, or a too heavy slide spring can all look like a failure to extract, with the expended casing not getting out of the chamber. "Limp Wristing", not maintaining a firm grip on the pistol, can also cause failures to eject. A worn or binding extractor is more likely to cause a failure to eject, rather than a failure to extract, in most cases.

If you have a Taurus PT-92, and it's like mine, the extractor is held in buy a small pin that goes through a hole in the extractor. There is a coil spring under the extractor. I suspect the Beretta is the same, although I don't have one at hand to look at. The extractor shouldn't need to be removed very often at all.

Hope this helps.

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5 Comments:

At Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:55:00 AM, Blogger Pr. H. R. said...

So help me understand the mechanics of this some more.

When my pistol does this, this is what I see: a spent case half in the chamber with a live round pusheding up against it with the nose of the bullet on the feed ramp.

Does this mean that the case is riding the slide back but that the slide is not getting far enough back for the case to hit the ejector? Or is the extractor not holding the case right so that the bump from the ejector doesn't send it spinning?

The chamber is not excessively dirty when this happens and I can always drop the spent case back in the chamber and take it by hand freely, so I don't think it's excessive pressure or a dirty chamber.

Thanks again,
+HRC

 
At Thursday, March 04, 2010 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Pr. H. R. said...

Here's a picture I found on the internet that looks just like what I have:
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1/Alpha_Mutt/PICT1162.jpg

 
At Wednesday, April 20, 2011 9:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I my self own a pt92 and i am having the same problem failure to extract and tried 3 brands of ammo

 
At Saturday, January 25, 2014 1:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I've been having consistent FTE's on my Desert Eagle 9mm (aka Baby Eagle, aka Jericho). I replaced the extractor to no avail. After reading your post, and understanding how the extraction/ejection process actually works, I realized my ejector was broken off (I actually have 2 of these guns, and comparing the 2 made this very clear). Anyway, just wanted to say thank you!!

 
At Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:49:00 PM, Blogger Preston Bowden said...

I have a pt92 myself and only remove the extractor to clean the firing pin, firing pin channel and the extractor about every 500 rounds. Now realistically it can wait and be done probably half that much at 1000 round intervals. More than likely if there us nothing mechanically wrong with the gun the failures are probably a result of a light powder load. I have 2500 rounds through mine and the only actual malfuntions have been a light strike occasionally as a result of cheap ammo and hard primers and only once have i had a failure to extract and it was a light powder load which in it self is scary because that can cause a squib. For it to have problems after only 500 rounds i would consider sending it back to taurus for inspection. Just to be safe. I didnt clean my extractor for the 1st 1000 rounds out of mine and had no issues.

 

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