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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    342

    Default 9mm Firestar extractor problems

    Hello:

    Several years ago I bought a firestar in 9mm and I really like it. It has always been accurate and 100% reliable. In fact I liked it so much I bought another one for my brother for Christmas at a gun show. His is just like mine and only off by a few thousand in the serial number. However his gun consistently fails to extract. The thing is so unreliable as to be almost useless. He brought it over for me to check it out and I swapped his slide onto the rest of my gun and sure enough my gun immediately started to experience extraction failures. I looked closely at the extractors and they seem identical to me. Then I tried pushing out on the extractor with a brass punch to try and get a feel for the spring pressure. That on his extractor is noticeably weaker than on mine, but not by much. The other difference I noted was that my gun has what appears to be a roll pin holding the extractor in whereas his appears solid. I looked around online for someone selling an extractor with no luck. So I guess my question is: Has anyone else expereinced this problem and if so how did you resolve it. I feel kind of foolish after telling him how great, reliable, gun the firestar is and then giving him one that doesn't work. Thanks in advance for your help.

    - Marzon
    ACORN stole my vote and all I got was this lousy socialist.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Backwoods Virginia
    Posts
    1,388

    Default

    Extraction problems were chronic on SOME Firestars made during a certain period in the early '90s, and both the cause and cure defied easy explanation. Several extractors of different design were successively introduced in midstream, with widely varying success. The problem did not exist in many guns; it seemed to be more related to the particular dimensions of individual pistols than to anything in general.

    There are, however, some things you can try. Try the simplest and cheapest things first. If when you swapped out slides, you also used your brother's barrel, try using YOUR barrel. This test is to eliminate three possibilities: a fouled or rough chamber; possible interference between the extractor and the extractor cut in the barrel; or the barrel is not being adequately supported as it unlocks. If with YOUR barrel and HIS slide, the problem goes away, you'll have the problem halfway isolated.

    If that doesn't help, the next step is a stronger (or slightly longer) extractor spring. That alone might do it. Often a little extra tension is all it needs, so long as it does not restrict full movementl of the extractor. A new extractor, with the late-type extension on the bottom, is the last resort because replacements are almost impossible to find here in the USA. If needed, maybe Jorge ("STAR") can supply one. The last extractor requires slide modification for installation on an early slide, but it DID cure most extraction complaints. Whether it truly addressed the root cause of the malfunction, I don't know; I kinda doubt it.

    The roll pin was a short-lived economy tried by Star. It's really not a very good pivot and retainer for an extractor. Star soon went back to a solid pin, and later to a pin of larger diameter, which also required a different extractor. If yours works, I'd leave it alone. In any event, it does not affect the operation of the extractor.

    M

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Thanks for the info. I beleive we tried my barrel in his slide but I am not sure. My brother left the gun with me so I can certainly try it. Is the extractor spring something simple to make? I have a local gunsmith who has made simple springs for me before.
    ACORN stole my vote and all I got was this lousy socialist.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Backwoods Virginia
    Posts
    1,388

    Default

    Every gunsmith accumulates a shoeboxfull of gun springs. Hardware stores have all kinds of springs from which a likely candidate can be snipped to the right length. Also Wolff, Brownell's and others sell generic gun spring assortments.

    Use the old spring as a guide to determine approximate size by wire and coil diameter and number of coils. Cut one a coil or so longer, or from a little heavier wire, and try it. It's not rocket science. It just has to be small enough to fit in the extractor recess and compress freely. Fit the closed & ground end (finished end) against the extractor; the cut end can be ground more or less flat and goes toward the slide.

    The most difficult part is removing and reinstalling the extractor, without damaging the slide. If you don't have a padded bench vise and the correct pin punches, don't attempt it. Take it to a gunsmith.

    M
    Last edited by MGMike; 01-15-2009 at 06:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    274

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
    A new extractor, with the late-type extension on the bottom, is the last resort because replacements are almost impossible to find here in the USA. If needed, maybe Jorge ("STAR") can supply one.



    M
    Yes, I have these available if needed by anyone, also without the extension on bottom. All come with the late, solid, large diameter pin (2.50 mm if I remember well).

    I am an international patron of Gunboards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Saint Peters, Misery....er.....Missouri
    Posts
    9

    Default

    You are my all time hero if you in fact have an extractor available for a Firestar M40. Recently replaced one which I had owned years ago, and never had a problem with, by purchasing one at an auction, NIB. 68 rounds later I wound up with a broken extractor. OUCH! If you could help me out I would greatly appreciate it.
    Jim
    Last edited by turkeestalker; 01-27-2009 at 08:34 PM.

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