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Thread: Installing Swenson extra long Ejector questions

  1. #1
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    Installing Swenson extra long Ejector questions

    My new build, 1911, 5 inch, 45 ACP, has never ejected correctly.
    The failure usually leaves the expended case on the breach, held there by the extractor, with the trigger in half cock.
    Dropping the magazine and pulling the slide back, drops the case through the empty mag pocket.

    I'm using a Wilson extractor, a Swenson oversize FP stop and Wilson Ejector.

    This failure occurs with several manufactures ammunition and Wilson recoil springs from 10#, 13#, 15#, 16# 1nd 18.5#.
    The original thought was weak ammo, too strong recoils spring, guess I've funded Wilson Combat with my flailing.

    Been through 2 "factory" extractors from Sarco, went to the Wilson combat.
    Bought The Wiegand extractor tension gages and use them with my trigger pull gauge. Image attached.

    I'm now thinking that I may be short stroking the slide since the failure mode is consistent and the case drops once I pull the slide back when clearing the failure.

    This thinking drove me to the extra-long ejector, now I' wondering how to tune this part correctly.
    I attached some pictures, one with marking showing where the slide is when the Wilson Ejector first contacts the case and a second mark indicating where the slide is when the case is ejected.

    The picture with green masking tape has marks showing where the unmodified Swenson XL ejector contacts and ejects.

    My question is how much should I shorten the Swenson Ejector for a first pass iteration in the testing process.??

    Thanks in advance...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bobster6; 18th January 2021 at 19:04. Reason: Title wrong. should read Ejector, not Extractor


  2. #2
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    Welcome to the Forum!

    Why shorten it at all before the next test firing?

    Go shoot it!
    When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. [Lord Kelvin]
    Last edited by niemi24s; 18th January 2021 at 15:09.


  3. #3
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    Tempted, but it won't feed when hand cycling.
    Guess I could start by shortening it until it feeds OK, then dress the front like the Wilson ejector.
    I was hoping someone had done this before and could steer me in the right direction.

  4. #4
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    A 5" 1911 should run perfectly well with a standard, non-extended, GI style ejector. I believe there's something other than ejector length that is causing these failures-to-eject. You've already tried a wide range of recoil springs to no avail. In my mind that leaves the extractor as a possible contributing factor. You don't have a shock buff in the pistol do you?

    Anyway, if you're determined to fit an extended ejector, this is how I fit the longest possible ejector in shorter than 5" 1911s.

    First, I buy an EGW ejector blank from which four ejectors can be made. Then I whittle an ejector from it and leave the nose as long as possible. In the picture below I've already made two ejectors from the blank so there are two remaining.




    Then I stick the ejector into the frame without securing it with the pin. I will be removing it multiple times during the fitting process.




    Then I insert a factory 230gr FMJ round into the barrel, put the barrel in the slide, install the barrel bushing, lock the barrel up with the slide insuring the rim is behind the extractor, and put the slide onto the frame. I then pull the slide slowly rearward until the case makes contact with the ejector. As I continue to slowly pull the slide rearward the contact with the ejector will push the nose of the cartridge up.

    Here you can see how much shorter the ejector would have to be to allow the loaded round to eject.

    Since the slide cannot be pulled any further to the rear, I have to remove the slide and shorten the ejector nose. I repeat this process as many times as needed until the tip of the bullet is within a hairs breadth of clearing the barrel hood. At that point I'll yank the slide rearward to see if it'll pop out the ejection port. If not, I'll remove a little from the ejector nose and yank the slide again. At some point the ejector nose will be short enough to allow the round to escape with a good yank on the slide even though pulling the slide slowly won't allow it to. At that point I'm done.




    Here's a not so good picture of what the ejector looks like when it's finished. Note that the nose is perfectly flat and 90 degrees in the horizontal and vertical planes. Also note how completely it fills the ejector channel in the slide. At this point I head to the range for test firing. I still have not secured the ejector to the frame and will not until test firing shows that all is well. I'm fully prepared to angle the nose if need be but have never needed to yet.




    Ejection is strong and consistent with the length and shape of the finished ejector. It kicks the empty brass out of the pistol early in the cycle and prevents it from interfering in any possible way with the feeding of the next round. I only use these grossly extended ejectors in less than 5" pistols and have never needed to put one of these in a 5" or longer .45 pistol.

    What I don't show here is relieving the underside of the ejector so there's no contact with the magazine or top cartridge in it.
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    JD11 (21st January 2021)

    Last edited by Steve in Allentown; 19th January 2021 at 09:17.


  5. #5
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    Thanks for the detailed explanation, it's just what I was hoping for.
    My 1911 is based on a 80% frame that I finished machined, with a Sarco slide, not a factory built frame, so I'm not surprised that there's some issues. I had to replace some of the Sarco parts, like pins and springs that didn't fit together, replaced most with Wilson Combat hardware.
    What you describe is the path I intend to follow, but you've added the missing details I've been looking for.
    I'll complete installing the Swenson Ejector, following your step by step examples and see how it works out.
    Successful or not I'll share the outcome here.
    Next step will be a trip to the Gunsmith if I can't get it running.

    Thanks for your response,
    Bob G.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobster6 View Post
    Tempted, but it won't feed when hand cycling.
    Guess I could start by shortening it until it feeds OK, then dress the front like the Wilson ejector.
    I was hoping someone had done this before and could steer me in the right direction.
    IMHO, Nieni24s is correct. What counts is what happens when you're shooting. If it ejects properly when being fired with live ammo but gets hung up when hand cycling, then the problem is you, not the pistol. I would reinstall the Wilson ejector and go shooting.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  7. #7
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    Just to clarify, the weapon cycles OK when hand cycled, but never has ejected correctly with live ammo.
    The closest to ejection I've had was a couple of stove pipes early on, none since I've used the Wiegand gage to set extractor tension.
    I followed Steve's instructions and installed the extra long Swenson ejector, results were the same, no spent cartridge ejection.
    Easy to switch back to the Wilson ejector but I'll leave as is for the next round of tweaking.
    I have another Wilson extractor that's still in the package.
    I'll install it, after I set the tension 25-28 oz and see how that works.
    Should I forget using the Wiegand gage and go back to the shake method? Might be light on extractor tension? I've had too much tension and it wouldn't feed a cartridge, That's when I bought the Wiegand stuff.
    According to the Wilson video, there's not much required beyond that when using their extractor, maybe some light polishing.
    I have checked the hook-to-breach face gap and it's 0.071", I believe that's in spec.
    One additional thing we've noticed, there is a very small nick on the case rim and an almost invisible scratch leading to the nick.
    I don't think that's normal, my Sig P220 doesn't do that.

  8. #8
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    I use the Weigand extractor tension gauge. It's actually rather amazing how little tension is really needed to make a 1911 function.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  9. #9
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    I'm using the recommended 25-28oz.
    What tension are you using?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobster6 View Post
    I'm using the recommended 25-28oz.
    In my experience, tension is the least important of the three factors involved in fitting an extractor properly. The three factors are geometry, deflection, and lastly tension.

    If you get the various radii, hook-to-breechface distance right and you set the deflection to no greater than .010", the extractor will tolerate what is generally considered to be excessive tension. When I fit an extractor I'm completely obsessed with setting the geometry and deflection as perfectly as possible. After that I just bend the extractor without worrying about the amount of tension. I've found that the EGW Heavy Duty extractors that I use are nearly impossible to bend enough to cause feeding problems. I use the Weigand bending tool but I never bothered to get his tension gauge because it would not be of any value to me.

    I have fit several dozen .45 extractors following these broad parameters (there is much more detail behind these parameters). All have functioned properly and none have ever caused a failure-to-feed. In fairness and like almost everything in life, it takes a little first hand experience fitting extractors to get the feel for doing it. I think I screwed up three or four back in the day when I was learning how to do it. Some folks who are more talented than me get it all figured out the first time they try.
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    JD11 (21st January 2021)

    Last edited by Steve in Allentown; 20th January 2021 at 22:24.


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