Previous Section: Firing


Extractor Types In a sense, extracting the empty case from the chamber after firing is the inverse of feeding. In feeding, a cartridge pushed towards the chamber and guided by ramps, feed lips, and the cartridge itself, will usually arrive at the chamber without additional positive control of the round. However when the case is extracted the only components guiding its rearward movement may be the extractor and the constraining presence of the chamber. Also since firing case expands it against the chamber walls under great pressure, freeing it requires considerable force. For these reasons removing the spent case requires an extractor hook.

The extractor is attached to the bolt so that it slips over the rim of the cartridge when the round is fed or chambered. When the bolt opens, the extractor pulls and guides the case from the chamber.

There are various ways to design the extractor but in general it is a latch using spring tension to allow it to snap over the rim when moving forward but retain the rim when moving rearward.

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