Do I need a broken shell extractor?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by survivalmonkey360, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Is a 223/5.56 broken shell extractor, something I should get for my AR or will a broken shell never happen?
  2. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    In a nutshell, YES. I have had this happen to me numurous time, with both military, and civilian weapons and ammo. The first time ws in a M60 MG back in '87, I have had this happen with a SKS rifle shooting the lacquer coated chinese stuff to a CETME shooting American made ammo. They run about $10.00 to $15.00 bucks apiece. Real cheap insurance if this happens during SHTF/TEOTWAWKI.
  3. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    As RC said, cheap insurance. Broken shell extractors are typically associated with machine guns because of the extra slop in the chambers to allow them to digest anything you stuff in it, to include, dirt, rocks, sticks and twigs, mud, and left over MRE food. This extra tolerance causes the brass to stretch more so than a normal rifle. It is this extra stretching that causes case head seperation and stuck cases common in machine guns. This is the reason that most hand loaders don't like brass fired in a machine gun. If you shoot reloads, then definitely get one, as said before, cheap insurance. If you shoot factory brass or properly check your tolerances when reloading, then if you didn't have a SSE, you would probably never use it.
    Bottom line, just get one.
  4. magicfingers

    magicfingers Monkey+++

    While we are on the subject; are broken shell extractors caliber specific?? Or will one work for all different calibers?? I've always wondered about this..
  5. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    They are specific to case size .
  6. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I've decided to order one for the 7.62 x 39 and one for the 7.62 x 54R,...
    Just in case!
  7. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    They are size specific as Cephus said, they are designed to be pushed up into the chamber, through the missing case head shell and the end has a protrusion that is the same width as the outside neck diameter. The extractor has four cuts the length of it to allow the head of it to squeeze in and as it clears the mouth, pop back out and that ring then catches on the case mouth and you pull the case free.
  8. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Forget the whole SHTF etc. etc. nonsense having a broken shell extractor is a good way to keep from being ripped off by a gunsmith !

    On one of my first few shoots with my Cetme I had failed to clean the flutes of the chamber as well as I should have "new to this type of weapon don't ya know" and after a coulple of magazines it ripped the base off of a shell leaving the rest in the chamber , ending the fun with it for the day .

    Went home and after unsucessfully trying to get the broken shell out with a cleaning rod and anything else I could think of I got on the phone to see what a "Smith" would charge me to remove it .

    Found out to my dismay that my trusted old 1911 man was in a state of semiretirement and hardly ever there , and that a few other places had closed up .

    I finally found a place that was an hour and a half drive away and they told me they could have it fixed in about a week if I dropped it off and the cost shouldn't be anymore than $50 .

    Thats when I did some research and learned about the broken shell extractors and ordered one from Cheaper than Dirt for a total including shipping of around $18 it arrived in a week and time spent to fix the problem including signing for the UPS package was a whopping 10 minutes which included reading the instrustions and looking at the darn thing and cussing myself for not having the sense to do the research to know I should have bought one when I bought the gun !

    Sure beats a total of 6 hours drive time and a $50 charge for a Professional to do the work now doesn't it ?
  9. magicfingers

    magicfingers Monkey+++

    Thanks Cephus for the reply...Ok, to go a little bit further; do I need one for my 30-30 and for my 303 and one for my 308 or will a 30 caliber do them all??? Do broken cases ever happen to straight walled handgun ammo???
  10. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    Broken case extractors are more for semi automatic weapons due to the energy involed with their operation. As for your bolt action weapons, it would be very rare, if and when it happened, I would place the blame on old coroded ammo or hot reloads.

    As for straight walled handgun cases, had it happen once, but the case body did not stick in the cyclinder, it fell out behind the case head.
  11. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    I would sugest that you buy military issue BSE's that can be screwed to a segmented cleaning rod due to the fact that broken cses can really get STUCK in a weapon's chamber and what Brownells sells will not be able to pull those really stuck case bodies out of your chamber.

    It took quite a bit of smacks with a dead blow hammer to clear the broken case that I had happen in my CETME.
  12. Do you know anywhere that sells them?
  13. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Most 7.62 extractors will work on all of the ones you ask about ,but if ya have say a .223 you'll need one for that as well.
    As far as the straight case I'm not sure about all of them but I do know they used to make one for the 45-70.
    Hope this helps .
  14. magicfingers

    magicfingers Monkey+++

    Helps a lot!!! So if I get one for my AK it should work on the others?? Any particular kind or brand that would work the best?? It's very kind of you to share your knowledge and I do appreciate it...
  15. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Not really they are all pretty much the same ,I would say a military one would be a little heavier built like the AK or SKS ,The only one I have is for the 7.62x39.
    But to each his own .
  16. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

  17. groovy mike

    groovy mike Immortal

    If you don't hav eone and need to get a shell out - you can use a rat tail file.......
  18. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    bumpity for the freedom of info we all need.
  19. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I'd say a broken shell extractor is a good thing to have. One per caliber you are shooting.

    I know for a fact that a live round can work as one. Figured this out on a semi-auto rifle with weak FC brass. Bolt extracted rim and left neck/shoulder in the chamber. Next round chambered into stuck neck/shoulder. Next round went "click". Attempt to remedy malfunction by pulling bolt handle... stuck good. A bit more muscle and the live round came out with the stuck neck/shoulder neatly stuck on the end of it.

    I wouldn't recommend using a live round, but if you have no other choice it just *might* work for you too.
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