First, I want to say I'm not here to hate on SIG. I just want to gather information and proceed in a professional manner.
I would like to know how many here with a M11-A1 and P229 9mm have/have not had any FTE (failure to extract) with their handgun and the approximate date of manufacture.
Here's my story. I own 4 M11-A1s. I really like them. Three of them are from 2013-2014 period and have FTEs. One is a 2018 model and is running without issue. My very first one was made in 2013 according to the date on the box and I can't get through 50 rounds without 1 or 2 FTEs. Today I had 12 FTEs in 200 rounds. The total round count on the gun is 4300 rounds. It has been back to SIG once and is about to go back again.
On its first trip back in 2014 it returned with a heavier extractor spring. The replacement spring looked like the outer spring with an extra coil. The inner spring was not in place. It ran fine with that spring. The problem was that the spring was made by the gunsmith at SIG and no replacement was available if that one should fail or be lost. I began experimenting with my own solution for the other 2 guns. I tried extra power AR extractor springs and finally a cut down AR ejector spring which I settled on. Both of those worked, but I always wanted them to work with factory parts.
Fast forward to 2018. I was no longer seeing many complaints of FTEs with the long extractor 9mm's while doing internet searches. I found a good deal on my latest M11-A1 made in 2018 and bought it. This one has been working fine and has strong consistent ejection. Consistent ejection usually means consistent tension with the extractor. I started closely examining the 2018 gun to see what differences existed. Right off, I saw what I'm guessing are some sort of manufacturing control numbers in the slide was different from the other 3 slides. The 3 earlier slides have the same set of numbers. Also, what I call the cartridge pick up rail, is taller and more pronounced on the latest gun. I used calipers to measure the distance from the extractor pin hole to the breech face on all 4 slides. The 3 early ones measured the same, but the 2018 gun has the pin approximately .005" farther to the rear of the slide. It doesn't seem like much, but I believe it makes the difference.
While sliding a loaded round under the extractor on the 3 early slides, the cartridge base will not sit flat against the breechface without the front of the extractor hitting the top of the extractor groove in the brass. The 2018 slide will allow the cartridge to sit flat against the breechface without interference from the extractor.
It has been my hypothesis that the reason for the FTEs is that after firing, the brass moves rearward slightly, and bumps the extractor out of the way when the top of the extractor groove in the brass hits the face of the extractor. The slide recoils before the extractor can rebound and grab the brass and leaves it in the chamber. I think a heavier spring is only a bandaid fix for a design or manufacturing flaw of the early slides. I think SIG found this out and changed the location of the extractor pin hole to move the extractor hook slightly rearward.
I'm hoping I can convince SIG to replace the slide when I send it back. If they don't, I have no plans to part with my M11-A1s and will drive on with the cut down AR ejector spring.
Thanks and I hope all of this makes sense.This message has been edited. Last edited by: JasonTN,
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Ok, I'm not a SIG guru, but since I've owned my share of 228s and 229s, I'll step inside. I had an M11-A1, but I don't recall the year of manufacture, I'm thinking around 2015/2016. I did not shoot it a lot, but did use several different types of factory ammo. I'd read of extraction issues with the long extractor guns, but there were no malfunctions of any kind with mine.
Perhaps those reports reference the long extractor malfunctions and some breakage are part of what causes me to still prefer the older type slides with short extractor. I've owned a few P229s, the first shortly after the model was introduced in .40. I currently have a couple of the older type 9MM 229s, with what people are now calling the "Legacy" type slide. The reason I mention the Legacy/short extractor type slides is that I cannot recall any of my guns in .40 or 9MM ever failing to extract and eject. And I know none ever suffered a broken extractor.
What you describe with the newer M11-A1 slide could very well be a subtle engineering change to correct the issue you, and reportedly other owners, have experienced. I do know that a stronger extractor spring will sometimes alleviate extraction issues. But if SIG has received enough complaints, perhaps an engineering tweak is finally an answer. I wondered about the change to the long extractor. Given my own experience with the exemplary performance of the earlier short extractor guns since shortly after the 229s introduction. I never quite believed it could have been done to improve extraction.......ymmv
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In the 2013-14 timeframe, I had a P229, P226 and 2 P320 that had FTE issues and were sent back with extractors replaced, sometimes to no avail.
2017+ P320s and P365XL with no issues.
Thanks Blackwater. That’s the kind of info I’m looking for.
My M11-A1 was born on 10 Feb 2014, and was purchased on 3 Apr 2014. With 3659 rds.through it, I have no records of any malfunctions. It has the long extractor, and while I prefer the Legacy slide, I can not complain about the long extractor. The gun is currently at The Sig Armorer for the Carry Action work, and hope to have it back before Christmas.
Like it enough to start saving for another one!
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|teacher of history|
I have what I believe to be an early 229 9mm. The serial starts with AE. I have NEVER had any FTE or any other kind of problems with it and I have fired many thousands of rounds through it including many aluminum rounds.
The original long extractor has been redesigned by SIG. The newer MIM part has a redesigned claw.
The M11-A1 has a phosphated barrel without chrome lining. The phosphate adds to the friction inside the chamber which makes extraction more difficult.
Both the extractors and springs on the earlier long extractors probably should be replaced. The new claw is beveled at the bottom to make it easier for the claw to load the next round with a stiffer spring.
My M11-A1 had problems early in life. Thousands of rounds later not a single hiccup. Sent in first time for FTE, came back same problems. Sent back they returned it with wrong barrel (LCI, mine was not). Had to send in pictures since notes said nothing about any work to barrel. Rep called back almost immediately, "send it back.". Would not send new barrel.
After third trip, zero problems since and many thousands of rounds through it. Sent it back a few years back for AEP, Crown, and SSP. 1,000 +/- rounds since zero problems since and I got a bag of back up parts back.
I'd have to check, I think I bought it in 2014 time frame?
A couple SIGs and a few others
I have installed a current (as of last week) extractor and springs. I noticed the extractor also has more of a rearward rake to the claw. I was hoping that would fix it. It did not.
Two of my M11-A1s have the phosphate barrels and I have also tried switching the barrel from my 2018 gun with what I believe to be their DLC finish (it is the shiny, slick finish) and it also has FTEs in this slide. These two early barrels appear to be chrome lined. They have a dull silver finish in the bore and appears to be identical to my MK25.
When were they redesigned
I have one of the early M11-A1's that I bought used but unfired. I'd say between my son and I the gun has 7000 rounds through it and never an issue even when it needed a new recoil spring it shot very well. The ejection has always been very consistant.
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