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Picture of kkina
posted
When loading a semi-auto capacity + 1, should you always strip the top round from the mag? This to avoid extractor damage. Are there any handguns that it's OK to load directly to the chamber?



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Posts: 12368 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ruger LCP. Manual says it’s OK.


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Posts: 2692 | Location: NE Kansas | Registered: February 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since I've always had plenty of mags for any semi I've owned, I just use a spare mag with one round in it to "barney up". Especially in competitions, it makes it a lot easier to "load and make ready".



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Posts: 8971 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A good question, and as usual, it will be interesting to learn the answers from people who actually know and aren’t just guessing or airing their personal opinions about what we ought to do.

One specific thing I’ve often thought of was whether the extractor design made a difference. In rifles there are two major extractor designs, the “controlled feed” or Mauser design, and the so-called “push” feed.

As the name indicates, the Mauser design was designed by … (one of?) the Mauser brothers. It features a large springy hook, and when things work properly, the rim of the cartridge case slips up behind the hook during the cartridge feeding action as the bolt is pushed forward for chambering. The centerfire Ruger rifles I’ve owned all had the Mauser type extractor, and even though the design is intended for the cartridge case rim to slip up behind the hook during feeding, if that didn’t happen, it was still possible to push the cartridge into the chamber and close the bolt because the extractor hook would snap over the cartridge rim. In that way the Mauser extractor acts just as what happens when we drop a cartridge into the chamber of a pistol and close the slide rather than chambering from a magazine.

The Mauser extractor is similar in design to the internal extractors of guns like the original SIG P220 and P226 with carbon steel slides and separate breechblocks. Their extractors are a single piece that consists of a hook at the end of a (hefty) leaf spring.

The other common rifle extractor is the push type that is used in the Remington model 700 and countless other makes and models, including virtually all AR-15s and variants. That extractor consists of two parts, a hook and a separate coil spring. With that design there is no way for the cartridge rim to slip behind the hook and therefore whenever a round is chambered, the hook snaps over the rim. As AR shooters can attest, their extractors snap over cartridge rims tens of thousands of times without failing.

The push type rifle extractor is similar in design to the so-called external extractors of SIG pistols like the P229, P320, and newer P220s and P226s with stainless steel slides. The extractors consist of a hook and separate coil spring. But despite that design, during normal operation of the gun the cartridge rim still slips up behind the extractor hook during feeding.

Because the push type extractor in rifles is specifically intended to operate by snapping its hook over the cartridge case rim, it seems to me that the similar extractors in pistols like the P229 or P320 should be, or at least could be just as robust and immune to damage if they were subjected to the same type of chambering, i.e., they were allowed to snap over the cartridge case rim rather than operating like the Mauser extractor that involves the rim’s slipping up behind the extractor hook during feeding. As an aside, the operator’s manual for the P320 describes how to load the gun by using the magazine, but there is no warning about placing a round directly in the chamber and closing the slide.

Thoughts only and it would be interesting to learn what other thoughtful and knowledgeable people think.




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— Immanuel Kant
 
Posts: 40250 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Logically, if loaded the magazine to full capacity risked damage to the gun, the manufacturer would annotate the manual to preclude numerous returns. It's amazing how many "facts" are circulated in the shooting community.
 
Posts: 15006 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Most semi-auto pistols are controlled feed, i.e., the case slips up under the extractor first before being stripped off the top of the mag and fed into the chamber, not push feed where the cartridge fully chambers before the extractor climbs over and snaps into place. So the extractor is not really designed to snap over the rim. However, IF it hurts anything at all, it would probably be after many hundreds of times. I think this is one of those things that everybody "knows" but nobody has really tried. I still like to load my chambers from the mags.
 
Posts: 22583 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of kkina
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quote:
Originally posted by Fredward:
Logically, if loaded the magazine to full capacity risked damage to the gun, the manufacturer would annotate the manual to preclude numerous returns. It's amazing how many "facts" are circulated in the shooting community.

My question wasn't about using fully-loaded magazines, it's about the proper way to chamber the +1 round. In some cases the instruction is you must strip from the magazine to avoid extractor damage (after which you much drop the mag and top it off with the missing round), in other cases apparently loading directly into the chamber manually is acceptable (forcing the extractor to "jump" the casing rim when the slide is released, perhaps something it wasn't designed to do).



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Posts: 12368 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of kkina
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Can anyone provide some input on 1911 designs regarding this particular issue? Just curious.



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Posts: 12368 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by kkina:
Can anyone provide some input on 1911 designs regarding this particular issue? Just curious.


Insert loaded magazine, drop the slide to load the first round into the chamber, then drop magazine, load 1 more round, then re-insert magazine.
 
Posts: 18016 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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1911’s are the design most likely to cause problems if a round is dropped in the chamber and slide closed on it. I have had at least one 1911 I picked up used that needed extractor tuning because of this exact issue. The antiquated design of the 1911 extractor is dependent on being properly bent to provide the right spring tension, and dropping a loose round in the chamber and forcing it closed will over time destroy the tension. As a standard practice it just makes sense to load from the magazine with all platforms. Even extractors that age pivoting like the Glock can sustain damage ( I have seen a couple with the lower edge chipped out) from not loading via the magazine.
 
Posts: 2477 | Location: Finally free in AZ! | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by kkina:
Can anyone provide some input on 1911 designs regarding this particular issue? Just curious.

Much of the "myth" of how rounds should be chambered originates from the 1911 and has carried over into more modern designs...this also applies to the "Tac Load" and the "Press Check" (for those who remember being taught to hook your thumb in the front of the trigger guard, your index finger under the barrel, and squeezing the two fingers together)

The reason you don't drop a round into the chamber of a 1911 and then close the slide is that the stress, on the long extractor, of snapping over the the rim of the cartridge wears quickly on the extractor...first to weaken it and then to cause it to break. The 1911 was designed to gradually allow cartridges to raise up under the extractor hook to be retained against the breach face and pushed into the chamber.

This was pretty much the standard until the advent of the short coil spring powered extractors...as seen on the 1911's replacement, the M9

The coil spring of these "short" extractors are designed to allow the extractor hook to "jump over" the rim of cartridges without causing metal fatigue of the spring properties on the extractor hook...because extractor is now powdered a coil spring which is designed to be compressed and retain tension.

But habits die hard and some are just repeated as gospel without understanding the properties of the mechanisms involved




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Posts: 13385 | Location: northern california | Registered: February 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shooting a 226 X5 over the years in USPSA and PPC I have always kept one spare magazine in my back left pants pocket with 5 or 6 rounds in it. When given the command to load and make ready, I will load that mag, chamber a round, drop that mag and put back in pocket, then load a fresh 20 round mag into the gun and finally place gun into holster. Thereby being ready with 21 rounds loaded. I do this with any other brand gun that I am shooting. Whether or not it is a design necessity, I could not tell you. I adopted this method as best practice 20 years ago, and continue to this day.
 
Posts: 916 | Location: Manufacturing Ghost Town | Registered: April 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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