TFBTV: (Comment) Myth Busting – Can You Shoot A Pistol Without an Extractor?

    In response to a reader comment claiming that handguns will cycle reliably without an extractor, James decides to test this claim in a “mythbuster” style format with several variations, including use of a suppressor and an MP5 with a fluted chamber.

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    The full transcript follows ….

    Hey, guys. James again from TFBT TV.

    If you remember my video from last month, the Glock 19 versus Ruger SR9 mud test, a viewer left a comment on the video.

    Something to the effect of handguns don’t need extractors to properly function.

    They’re superfluous. Something like that.

    I responded and I said that I would test that theory out.

    So we set up a little experiment where we got a couple of guns and a couple of different configurations with a couple of different ammo types to really put this theory to the test.

    Almost like a comment busters if you will.

    I was pretty surprised with the results.

    I think you might be too so go ahead and have a look.

    Like I said, I removed the extractor from this Glock 17.

    I’m gonna run some brass cased ammo through it first.

    Let’s see if this gun will run without an extractor.

    (gunshot) Well, there you have it.

    First round, it’s about halfway out.

    Did not eject.

    (gunshots) (gunshots) As you saw, the brass clearly not working.

    Shooting it normally, shooting it sideways, shooting it upside down to maybe get a little gravitational assistance, not working.

    So, I’m gonna try shooting aluminum cased ammo because I think it won’t expand as much.

    Let’s see if it works.

    (gunshot) Well there you go! That one actually just extracted.

    Let’s do another one. See what happens.

    (gunshot) Now that one didn’t.

    (gunshots) Yeah, that one didn’t extract either.

    That first one may have been a fluke.

    We shot about a box of brass and aluminum cased ammo.

    The aluminum would drop free.

    The brass would need a little prying, but neither was reliably extracted.

    Alright, I’m gonna change the game on you a little bit here, guys.

    I’ve got the Advanced Armament AAC EVO-9 on here.

    I’m hoping that a little bit of back pressure and maybe a little friendly encouragement from the Nielsen device will kick these casings out if that’s actually gonna happen.

    We’re gonna stick with the aluminim.

    The brass- I think I was right when I hypothesized about the brass expanding a little bit more than the aluminum because it seemed a little bit less anxious to get out of the chamber than the aluminum is.

    So we’ll stick with the aluminum.

    We’ve got six rounds in here and let’s see what happens.

    (gunshot) Well, there you go.

    The first one just popped right out.

    Actually got a little bit of distance on it too.

    Let’s see if these other five will work.

    (gunshots) There you have it.

    It fed just as perfectly as you’d want it to, no exractor.

    Not bad. Wonder if we can repeat that with brass.

    (gunshots) Brass worked just fine.

    – [Man] Did you want to record that? – I did.

    – [James] After shooting a couple boxes of aluminum and brass cased ammunition through the suppressed Glock 17, all rounds were 100% reliably extracted, which was bizarre.

    Okay guys, gonna throw another variable on you.

    Gonna change it up and use an MP5.

    I’ve removed the extractor from the MP5.

    Some of you out there may know that the HK MP5, and also the P7 pistol, have fluted chambers that are supposed to assist in extraction.

    So I’m gonna shoot it without an extractor.

    We’re gonna use the aluminum ammo again.

    I’m pessimistic about it, but let’s see if the HK lives up to its name.

    (gunshot) Well, looks like we’ve got a stovepipe in this first round.

    It did try to come out, but it just didn’t make it out.

    Just didn’t get that expended round to clear the chamber.

    (gunshot) There we go.

    (gunshot) So we did have one pop out.

    But anybody who claims that an MP5 will work just fine without an extractor because of the fluted chamber just doesn’t really know what they’re talking about.

    (gunshot) Yeah, another stovepipe.

    I would say it’s pretty unreliable without an extractor.

    Alright so finally, I’m throwing the AAC, the EVO-9 on this MP5 and maybe we’ll get the same results with the aluminum cased ammo that we did in the Glock with the EVO.

    You would think in conjunction with the fluted chamber it would work but we’ll see.

    Funny isn’t it? – [Man] yeah, it’s gonna make the James Reeves cut.

    – (gunshot) – Look at that. Nothing.

    It did better by itself, without the suppressor on there.

    (gunshot) Yeah, again.

    Its not even stove-piping.

    It’s so weird.

    You would think with the suppressor it would’ve worked better.

    (gunshots) There we go.

    We had one just clear like three feet.

    (gunshot) Nothing.

    – [Man] God.

    – Alright, well it certainly looks like just from this cursory test that Awww (beep), my lab mic came off.

    – [Man] I can’t tell who you’re talking to.

    – Doesn’t matter.

    Looks like just from this cursory test the Glock with the suppressor is actually working better than the HK with or without the suppressor.

    Maybe it’s the combination of the back-pressure and the Nielsen device working in the Glock, but it ain’t helping the HK.

    That’s unfortunate.

    So, as you saw from the video, running a gun without an extractor is inadvisable.

    The pistol would not work.

    The MP5 would not work.

    Now strangely, as you saw, the Glock functioned fine with the suppressor 100% of the time.

    Which was really bizarre.

    Worked perfectly.

    A gun without an extractor? I wouldn’t rely on it.

    I would not say that extractors are superfluous.

    They’re obviously necessary and I think a lot of people would say that’s a no-brainer, but it was an interesting test and really interesting how the results turned out with the supressor on the pistol.

    So we can go ahead and say that this comment is busted.

    If anybody has any suggestions for future videos or things they might want to tested out, feel free to leave a comment.

    Thanks again for watching, don’t forget to subscribe, and I’ll see you next time.

    James Reeves

    • NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
    Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
    • TFBTV Executive Producer
    • Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
    • Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
    • GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
    • Lawyer
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