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Are aftec extractors worth it?


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I know a lot of people run these, and they're kinda the standard, last I checked. But reading through (I did a search) all I saw were guys having issues with them. Their claim is traditional 1911 style extensors straighten up over time, but I've seen people claim to have run a standard extractor for years without issue, but on the aftec you have to replace the springs all the time. I almost think a good quality extractor, such as the ed brown or a tool steel one would be good for basically a lifetime.

 

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I have been running AFTEC in all my 1911/2011 pistols for 20 years.  I have never had to change springs or broken one yet.  Knock on wood.  So, what's that tell ya.
Good to know. I figured you only hear about the issues. Does the hook need to be fitted/beveled or is it 100% drop in (well nothing is 100%)

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38 minutes ago, nhyrum said:

Good to know. I figured you only hear about the issues. Does the hook need to be fitted/beveled or is it 100% drop in (well nothing is 100%)

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They generally need tuned and fitted. I have them in two open guns and only problem was one of the caps disintegrated a year or two ago. And I do change springs occasionally. But they work great for me.

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They generally need tuned and fitted. I have them in two open guns and only problem was one of the caps disintegrated a year or two ago. And I do change springs occasionally. But they work great for me.
Tuned how? I thought the whole point of the springs was to eliminate tuning. Does the hook need the fitting? I can do about everything myself, other than the hook

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59 minutes ago, nhyrum said:

Tuned how? I thought the whole point of the springs was to eliminate tuning. Does the hook need the fitting? I can do about everything myself, other than the hook

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They need to be fit with the FPS.

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Your Firing pin retainer plate gets fit and then you cant go back.
I could see one in a Super gun for major as they are a bit more tolerant of Super and super comp brass.  My open gun would run at minor, but at major I had to have 2 extractors, one for practice (super) one for match SC. I imagine an Aftec would help. Never shot 9mm major so no idea for that.
Have one in my Para 40 limited gun. Havent had issues with it, however I wouldnt waste money on it again. Standard one in my SS and STI been working fine forever.

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The design is solid and pretty ingenious. Some of the problems in years past had to do with QC in the heat treating/materials department.  They seem to have worked that out though. Having said that...I’ll never use them. Either design (traditional/Aftec) have their strengths and weaknesses. The original JMB Design manufactured by Wilson, Ed brown, EGW are much cheaper and with proper fitting just as reliable. I’d pick the design you think is matched to your preference for maintenance and wallet (Aftec ain’t cheap) and stick with it. 

YMMV

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The only thing you have to do when using an Aftec Extractor is put a .005"+ radius on the right side of the FPS.  A little more is fine.  The notion you cannot go back to a conventional Extractor afterwards is just nonsense.  You do not have to tune the hook per se, but you SHOULD round the areas shown in the attached diagram.

Extractor Diagram.jpg

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I shot a Para 16-40 Limited in competition for several years before blowing out the original extractor. Had Derek at Palm Beach Shooting Center install and tune an Aftec some 5K+ back and have had zero issues. Excellent investment in my opinion. 

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I haven’t shot 1911/2011s much in the last 15 years or so, but when I shot a 2011 in Limited I ran an Aftec. I went to it after Area 4 in 2000. The standard extractor that came with the gun gave up the ghost at that match.....mid 130 point stage. Had about 5000 rounds through the pistol at that point. Changed to the Aftec and ran it another 70k rounds or so and never had a problem. If I were to get another  1911/2011 that I planned to shoot major caliber with I’d get me another Aftec for sure.

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Too expensive, too complicated, more moving parts that can break, modification required, too easy to lose the tiny springs when field stripping for cleaning, harder to re-install.... I never saw the point.

 

Do they work? Yep. Do they work better or last longer than a properly fitted and tuned stock extractor? Not that I've seen. I'm happy to install one if a customer requests it, but I don't push for them either.

 

GI surplus extractor $3, AFTEC extractor $85. How about no.

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On 2/18/2020 at 9:19 PM, Sarge said:

They generally need tuned and fitted. I have them in two open guns and only problem was one of the caps disintegrated a year or two ago. And I do change springs occasionally. But they work great for me.

Yep, and they seem to never disintegrate during a practice session but rather at a match during a great run!

 

The caps are bad and I have bought a couple as spares after heartache last year. 

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