Unfortunately, I also cited some Internet rumors which suggested that installation of the AFTEC extractor required some gunsmithing. I thought I had made it clear that my experiences completely contradicted these statements
Specifically, in response to reports that installation required one to drill out the extractor channel before the AFTEC extractor would fit, I commented:
Either this description is VERY much out of date, or it is patent bullshit. I prefer to believe that this installation process is based on a very EARLY model of the Aftec extractor.Someone read this article a couple of days ago, and apparently read the original rumor but missed my refutation.
My experience was less traumatic. The Aftec dropped right in. The extractor channel didn't require any modification, and even the perennially Gunsmithing-Incompetent Geek was able to install the After-Market part without opening the dusty Dremel Tool box.
It seems appropriate to say it again, for the third time: no modifications to the gun were required to install the AFTEC extractor. It was so simple, even a Geek can do it!
The original article was written after completion of a single IPSC match, which involved shooting less than 200 rounds. (Yes, I was so confident in the quality of the merchandise that I took it to a match without fully testing it in my STI pistol.)
Having competed in several more IPSC matches since installing the AFTEC extractor, it is perhaps appropriate that I reinforce my original short-term impression.
The AFTEC extractor performed flawlessly, under less-than-perfect conditions, and I am entirely satisfied with it in all respects. I would recommend it to my dearest friend. In fact, I may buy her (SWMBO) an AFTEC extractor for her very own, if/when the stock STI extractor (which is, after all, a point-failure part) gives out on her. However, she has only been using that extractor for 4 or 5 years, so we haven't had to replace it yet.
One interesting aspect of the AFTEC extractor: you can buy it for either the .38 Super (as I did) or for the .38 Super Comp cartridge. The difference in the cartridges is that the Super is a 'rimless' case, and the Super Comp is a 'rimmed' case. This is a matter of a few thousandths of an inch in rim diameter.
Rumors seem to abound in reference to the .38 Super/Comp designs of this extractor; I have heard several of them, and the most prevelant may be that the extractor designs are identical. If you are using Super cases, you only install one of the springs; if you are using Super Comp cases, you install both of them.
I'm using the 'rimless' Super case, and I installed both springs. So far, this has not caused a problem. Extraction of the rimless case has been reliable and consistant, although I note that extraction of the cases has been more powerful. By this, I mean that the cases are extracted so emphatically that they land farther from my shooting position than they did when using the stock non-AFTEC extractor. (This is, of course, merely anecdotal evidence.)
This weekend, I intend to go to the range and run some Super Comp brass through my AFTEC-equuiped STI.
I'll let you know in a day or two if I experience any problems.
(Sure hope Chuck Bradley hurries up with my back-order of a backup ejector; I have a Points Match coming up!)
I said I was going to do it, and I done it, and here's what happened.
Saturday SWMBO and I went to the range for a bit of practicing. I took along a hodge-podge of ammunition, including ammunition .38 Super, .38 Super Comp, and .38 Super AP. (I haven't yet found an Internet website which defines the manufacturer of brass headstamped "AP"; if I do, I'll say so here. In the meantime, accept that it's .38 super 'rimless' ammunition which isn't headstamped "COMP".) *
Anyway, I shot a variety of both rimmed and rimless ammunition through an STI racegun with the AFTEC extractor installed. It didn't seem to care what the rim diameter was, it worked with 100% extractor reliability all the time, every time.
This is much superior to my experience with other types of extractor. After about 100 rounds of mixed ammunition, I experienced no problems with reliable extraction of expended brass.
Today, I went to the range again to practice a specific stage. At one time, I shot about 60 rounds from a 4' x 4' shooting box. When I was done, I picked up my brass. I found 56 of the 60 pieces of brass within a 2' circle, about 5' from the shooting position. The other 4 rounds were found within a few feet of that circle; apparently, they hit a rock (the shooting bay was surfaced with large gravel) just right to cause them to bounce farther away.
I continue to be impressed by this extractor. In the past, when I found .38 Super Comp brass in my rangebag, I gave it away to friends who were shooting that cartridge. Often, I didn't find it until after I had reloaded it. Now I can keep it, and use it indiscriminantly. This greatly increases my options to use ALL of the range brass which is returned to me. I may not be able to use enough salvaged range brass to recover the cost of the extractor, but it certainly helps by reducing the amount of money I spend buying new brass. (I just bought 2,000 rounds of new Winchester .38 super brass, to use during the 2005 competitive season. This cost me $205, including shipping costs. The cost of brass is not an unimportant consideration.)
* UPDATE: May 31, 2005
Friend "SAM38" sent me the following information about the .38 Super AP headstamped brass:
The AP stands for Armscor Precision. You are correct in saying that itThank you, Sam, for relieving my ignorance.
is a flavor of .38 Super rimless. It is made in the Philippines and
is a lot cheaper than other rimless brands
Note that I have also received other information to the effect that Armscor makes both rimless and 'semi-rimless' brass in that caliber, but that you can't necessarily tell the difference from the headstamp. I don't know if that helps. I don't even know what "semi-rimless" means!
UPDATE: December 11, 2005
I continue to get a lot of 'hits' from folks who reach this website because they have searched the Internet for the keywords "Aftec Extractor".
If you are her because of such a search, and you have read down to this part of the article, I would appreciate your feedback. Did this article answer some or any of your questions? What were the questions, and what questions were not answered.
You can respond either in a COMMENT to this article, or you can write to me directly (see the implied email address at the bottom of this page)
Jerry the Geek, who LOVES his Aftec Extractor.