In the world of firearms, there are few things as uniquely American as the 1911 handgun. A masterpiece developed by John Moses Browning, beloved throughout the 20th century up until today. Interestingly, the design has remained virtually the same since 1911, with only minor updates and changes. One of the changes made to the 1911 was the appearance of an external extractor on the gun, a design that Smith & Wesson has since incorporated into their version of the 1911 pistol.
While the external extractor may be regarded as a controversial tweak, Smith & Wesson has found this extractor model to perform fantastically for reliability when compared to the original internal extractor design.
To start, the external extractor found on the SW1911 is more stable than its internal predecessor. The original internal extractor design is steel bent to tension, tension that will relax over time and cause issues extracting spent cartridges. In contrast, the external extractor design comprises a pin that the extractor pivots on being held under tension by a spring; this provides a more constant and stable extractor.
Smith & Wesson has taken the external extractor one step further in reliability through its size. The extractor on the SW1911 is substantially larger than its internal counterparts, optimizing the ability to “grip” onto a casing’s rim, thus enhancing the pistol’s reliability.
In addition to the oversized extractor, the Smith and Wesson 1911 sports a full-length guide rod, bull barrel, and a firing pin block safety, none of which were original to the 1911. With these improvements to this century-old design, Smith & Wesson has been showing 1911 Model enthusiasts that old dogs can absolutely learn new tricks.
• Throated barrel
• Precision crowned muzzle
• Polished feed ramp
• Spherical barrel bushing
• 30-Lines per inch checkering
• Ambidextrous frame safety
• Slide lightening cuts
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