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Old 06-30-2013, 06:29 PM   #1
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Revisiting Walther P22 Extractors

While clipping coils for the thread regarding modifying the P22 to handle subsonic rounds I was looking at three extractors I had laying about. One of the originals, one original I decided to peen on and one of the new ones....I decided to peen on too..



Going back seven or eight years ago when I was studying what was causing poor ejection direction I found that it was the large gap between the extractor tip and the rim of the round. Above is a picture of the revised extractor Walther manufactures and has been installed in the P22 since about '06 I'd say. As you can see it doesn't quite close the gap, neither does the VQ model. I had sent them all of the info along with pictures and asked them to make an extractor that would close down the gap, they did.....they just didn't close the gap either. So with a couple of original extractor sitting there I though I'd peen one, take pictures of the original stock one, an original but hand peened one and the new model. Then I'd peen the new one which proved difficult in the past.



Above are three extractors. The one on the right is an original square cut one. The one in the middle is an original that has been peened to bring the face rearward in order to reduce the gap between extractor tip and rim. The closest extractor is the new one. All of these are Walther P22 extractors. As you can see peening moves metal toward the rear, shortens the hook height and creates a very sharp edge. These work very well, better than the new model when peened properly.

The new model has a couple of problems from my experience. First while Walther extended the tip to reduce the gap they didn't reduce it enough. There is a reason for this, the P22 is sold world wide and must fit all rim thicknesses. OK, fair enough. The other problem is that the longer hook reaches in too far and pushes the rim off the center of the face of the breech block. This is of no consequence when firing or hand extracting but can play havoc with ejection direction. Notice that the tip is neither sharp and actually has a slight "S" shape to it where the tip is moved back away from the hook of the new shape.

So, I decided to peen the new one too. I recommended against this originally because the new shape has no supporting metal under the tip and is easily broken off. How do I know this.??? So on this one....I determined to tap very lightly.



Above are two peened extractors including the new one which now has less reach, a sharper tip and less space between it and a rim. Not particularly square peening but my bricks and rocks are getting old.



Both have a nice, sharp hook now and will be lightly polished on the rear side where I was hammering with some 600 grit emery paper.



Reinstalling the peened new style extractor has all but eliminated the gap. Test firing showed excellent ejection direction. The tip is no longer pressing the rim off center on the breech face. If the P22 had the same breech face of the new Walther made S&W M&P 22 then it wouldn't matter if the extractor pressed against the case. On that pistol the rim is nicely enclosed and held in place. So, Walther knows how to do it.....hint, hint, hint.... M1911

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Old 06-30-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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Since a rimfire IS a rimfire, it might not be in Walther's best legal interest to make the extractor fit too snugly on the rim. Ammunition manufacturing tolerances could cause an unpleasant surprise when the bolt closes.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nayrb View Post
Since a rimfire IS a rimfire, it might not be in Walther's best legal interest to make the extractor fit too snugly on the rim. Ammunition manufacturing tolerances could cause an unpleasant surprise when the bolt closes.
Every .22 I have has a tight extractor except the P22. Walther didn't make the same mistake again with the S&W M&P 22 they make. The rim is locked in place with a substantial extractor and enclosed breech face.. M1911

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Old 06-30-2013, 10:13 PM   #4
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I have no doubt you know more about these things than I do. Honestly, I've never had a reason to examine an extractor that closely, other than to ensure it was clean.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nayrb View Post
I have no doubt you know more about these things than I do. Honestly, I've never had a reason to examine an extractor that closely, other than to ensure it was clean.
Unfortunately the P22 has a design issue regarding the breech face and it has a long pivot on the extractor. You are right about not binding the rim. We've discussed this thoroughly years ago but new folks come on-line and buy new pistols all the time so no comments/questions are out of line. Gun safety is serious business. There are folks that know far more about this than I. But, this is still an issue with the P22.

The official reason for the big gap is the pistol is sold worldwide and must fit all rim thicknesses. I've never seen any .22 ammo with a rim that would require the huge gap the original extractor has but I haven't seen all the .22 ammo in the world either. What I did learn is that big gap allows the spent case to pop out of the pistol in any direction including right between your eyes. This was a huge topic about 5 years ago. And, the new Q model I recently purchased had extremely poor ejection direction. The trick is to have the extractor tip holding the rim on one side while the ejector punts the spent case out on the other side. The rim having to pivot over the extractor is what makes for consistent ejection direction. On the P22...nothing holds the rim tight or in place. The whole bottom of the breech face is open. When hand cycling to clear the pistol if you aren't fast the round will simply fall off the breech face.

A shorter pivoting extractor doesn't just move in toward the center of the case, it can move rearward also insuring a tight fit against the rim. This tight fit does not mean that you can place an extractor that will bind the rim. If you look carefully at a round moving from the magazine on the P22 you will see the breech face begin to shove the rear of the rim of a cartridge that is fully rearward in the magazine. If the nose of the round is up....this movement will force the nose of the round back down as the rim drags along the inside of the mag lips so that the nose of the round will engage the feed ramp. The breech face continues to shove the round forward until the rear of the cartridge clears the mag lips. At this point the rim of the slanting round pops up out of the magazine as it clears the lips and slides in under the extractor and up the breech face as the slide closes and chambers the round. So, the rim is slanting rearward at a critical moment and while you will simply bind slow movement of the slide when hand cycling the same cannot be guaranteed when firing and you are right about the rim possibly being pinched....only it would be worse than if in the chamber because when this is happening the round is not even close to being in the chamber.

Other .22 rifles and pistols deal with this in a variety of ways. Some have undercut extractor, some curve the hook to keep it from binding and most do a better job of securing the rim on the face of the bolt or breech block. At least that has been my experience. The new M&P has it right. The extractor has been moved higher up to allow the rim to square with the breech face before engaging the extractor. The pivot is shorter and a bottom leg on the breech face recess holds the rim in place full mag, empty mag or when unloading. The P22 could be designed this way but everything changes..mags, feed ramp, breech face, extractor, bottom of breech block, etc. So, that isn't likely to happen. M1911
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:05 PM   #6
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I shot the pistol today and it didn't blow up or come apart so I guess all is well with the re-profiled trigger bar ears and ejection was much better with the peened extractor. I was shooting some old bulk Federal and Winchester, both of which do no function well sometimes. They were popping out of there 100% with the shorter recoil spring. M1911
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:34 AM   #7
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I have some land for sale here...some guys showed up the other day that might be interested in buying it. One of the guys is a machinist and they plan on setting up a training area for teaching shooters. The machinist makes gun parts and they intend to make a line of parts for various firearms. So.............I asked could he make some extractors if I showed him prezackly what to do. Sure he said. If this works out I'm making extractors that properly fit the P22 so everyone can get one. Looks like an ideal situation for milling breech blocks and safety drums with precision also.

But first....they have to buy the place. M1911
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:01 AM   #8
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Sounds like a win/win/win all-around. All you have to do to seal the deal is give them a good deal on the land ... right?
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 1917-1911M View Post
I have some land for sale here...some guys showed up the other day that might be interested in buying it. One of the guys is a machinist and they plan on setting up a training area for teaching shooters. If this works out I'm making extractors that properly fit the P22 so everyone can get one. Looks like an ideal situation for milling breech blocks and safety drums with precision also.
I wish you luck on the land deal and look forward to hearing more about some more improved aftermarket parts. If this pans out, it will be interesting to see what all they start to produce.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:40 PM   #10
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Below is a little history on the extractor mods and changes over the years. M1911



The original Walther P22 extractor. Notice the square cut and the size of the gap as measured from the face of the breech block to the extractor face.



The "gap" that existed with the original extractor and the reason for poor ejection direction. I know the extractor spring is not installed in this photo but it makes no difference regarding the point that is illustrated.



The "new" extractor offered by Walther. The only redesign and the newest extractor offered by Walther for the P22. Notice the additional length of the tip and the undercut which allows the gap between the breech face and tip to be reduced. This concept came directly from our work here as the following pictures will show. Walther cannot duplicate our efforts exactly as that would involve custom fitting for specific types of ammunition. They have made a huge improvement with the new extractor and if yours needs a little more fine tuning, this model makes it very easy.

Remember, the extractor "does not" extract a spent casing when firing. The blow back gasses do that job. The extractor is necessary for removing unfired rounds when unloading the firearm, etc. The extractor also should play a very important part in ejection direction. What happens is the spent case, flying rearward very fast due to burned powder pressure is blown from the chamber, hits the ejector on the left edge of the cartridge rim. This causes the case to bounce forward and to the right and in the process be ejected from the firearm. With a properly designed extractor the rim on the cartridges right side is held captive by the extractor causing the ejector to "pivot" the case over the extractor's tip. A large gap here keeps the extractor from being able to perform it's critical role.

What our shooting has shown is the that the large gap of the original P22 extractor allowed the cartridge to float around and bounce off the ejector in any direction causing poor ejection authority and direction. If the extractor to breech face gap is reduced by peening the tip rearward, or making your own tighter tolerance extractor or installing the new Walther extractor with the reduced gap, then the extractor actually begins to play it's part in causing the rim to catch on the tip and the case to "have" to pivot over the extractor tip when bouncing off the ejector. The result, consistent ejection direction and with more authority.



The new Walther extractor with a round sitting on the breech face. Notice the reduction in the "gap". Walther understands what we were doing here and got with the program. S&W was furnished the new style extractors and a number of folks requested and received them. Unfortunately, the gap is still excessive.



Above is a contraption I made where I filled the existing pivot hole in the extractor and drilled another more toward the front. This closed the gap, was ugly but worked great. Compare this prototype to the VQ model shown below.





Many years ago and in a distant galaxy I figured out what the problem was and posted this picture of how to peen the tip to reduce the gap thus cure ejection direction. Note: The red portion is the part of the original tip that has been peened rearward to reduce the gap. In the process it has also become very sharp. This is good. Notice also that the tip hasn't been peened, rounding it inward, but remains in a proper shape for grasping the rim of a round. NOTE: The new extractors can not be peened, the tip us unsupported and will break off.



How to peen threads were posted along with before and after photos.



A step by step thread was posted on how to file your own perfectly fitted extractor from the barrel wrench.



The fit was so good that a round would actually be held against the breech face. Ejection direction was perfect. Then: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



1 DogFish said, "heck there is nothing to this" and milled some absolute beauties, for free. I got two, pictured flanking an original above, and they are both in operation today. He left just enough material on the face for each owner to easily file for the right tolerance in their pistol. Oh man these were perfect. I couldn't have expected Walther to have done any better. And that is a short summary of the history of correcting ejection direction with properly fitted extractors. Walther can't install an extractor with the tight tolerances of the custom ones above because the P22 is sold world wide and must fit all ammo rim thickness. This should provide you with enough history to illustrate the problem, the solution and show S&W reps that Walther does have a new extractor. M1911

Pictured below is the new VQ extractor. Nick at VQ sent me one for sending them the idea. Works pretty good too.





Just doesn't quite close the gap though. If it did it would function like the 1Dogfish model and ejection would be much better. A 1Dogfish currently rides in my new Q model. I am always amazed at how well it extracts and throws a round out of the chamber even when slowly hand cycling. Above is the story of where we are today regarding extractors. Revised Walther or VQ, your only choices.
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