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Posted: 8/26/2005 4:51:43 PM EDT
Is the black extractor spring insert harder than the blue ones or is the color simply for quick ID of the spring tension?
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 4:59:26 PM EDT
ID of springs
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:14:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 10:04:01 PM EDT by WIZZO_ARAKM14]
I think the black one is older and the blue one is newer, for what it's worth.

WIZZO

EDIT:I thought wrong.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:24:41 PM EDT
i am a springmaker with 20 years of prototype experence. the color of stress relieved carbon steel music wire springs will tell you nothing. only that they have been stress relieved. wire dia. -wire type - O.D. and # of coils will tell you more.... this is VERY simplistic!! a smaller O.D. will be stronger. less coils with the same free length, will be stronger. a larger wire dia., will be stronger
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:10:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OTTOSEAR:
i am a springmaker with 20 years of prototype experence. the color of stress relieved carbon steel music wire springs will tell you nothing. only that they have been stress relieved. wire dia. -wire type - O.D. and # of coils will tell you more.... this is VERY simplistic!! a smaller O.D. will be stronger. less coils with the same free length, will be stronger. a larger wire dia., will be stronger



And that relates to the color of the insert how??

The man asked if the black inserts were firmer than the blue ones, or simply a color ID for the spring firmness; and the answer from Colt is that they are simply to ID the firmer spring type used in the M4 carbines; for GI armorers who get the springs and inserts packaged together, and have neither the time nor the inclination to be maeasuring spring diameters or numbers of coils on the springs they are replacing.

Now a major supplier of Colt parts, who thinks that all AR15 people are dorks who know nothing, swears that the black inserts are firmer. There are some on this site, who despite his freely published missives a year or so ago about what idiots we all are here, think this guy wrote the Holy Writ, and believe what he says. Those of us willing to invest in a phone call to Colt, however, have been told that the inserts are for ID only----and somehow I choose to believe the manufacturer over a self serving anal pore.

But hey, maybe Colt lies and this guy really DID write the Holy Writ.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:36:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 7:39:58 PM EDT by Orange_Neck]
LOL! Easy, Shamayim, easy on Otto. It's late and at times difficlut to read carefully when one's tired. I was just lazy and trying to save some time by asking here and not calling Colt. I was trying to decide whether to spend the time to go to a show tomorrow and look for a black insert for the Wolff spring I just bought or at the range trying it out. Thanks to you and Spooge, I'll be getting some trigger time at the range.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:42:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 11:46:29 PM EDT by CJan_NH]
The black insert is the newer one.

I've heard both sides of this argument about the different colors and have heard people that I trust say things that were exactly opposite.

Screw it. I have both blue and black Colt inserts in my parts bin. I'll see for myself and be right back
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:46:02 PM EDT
Come on, CJan. It's been 5 minutes. How long does it take to squeeze a couple inserts?
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:49:42 PM EDT
This should be a good discussion Ive heard both sides and if this goes there, I'm gonna hang out right hear and be a silent observer
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:00:30 PM EDT
I have my findings. Stand by for a sec while I post a pic...
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:06:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 8:09:48 PM EDT by CJan_NH]
I'm shocked

The blue Colt insert is CLEARLY much softer than the black-it's not even close.

Since nobody would believe me I balanced a glass of water on three inserts and snapped a pic.

Here it is:



The blue insert obviously is more "squishy" than the black one.

Ken Elmore was right

ETA: Sorry for the delay. Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass it is to balance three extractor inserts under a glass of water?
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:07:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 8:14:23 PM EDT by Orange_Neck]
OMG, squeezed a couple and now he's posting pictures! Thanks for going above and beyond.

On second thought, I still think it's photo shopped.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:11:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CJan_NH:
I'm shocked

The blue Colt insert is CLEARLY much softer than the black-it's not even close.

Since nobody would believe me I balanced a glass of water on three inserts and snapped a pic.

Here it is:

home.comcast.net/~cjan99999/Colt_Inserts.JPG

The blue insert obviously is more "squishy" than the black one.

Ken Elmore was right

ETA: Sorry for the delay. Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass it is to balance three extractor inserts under a glass of water?



LOL!!!
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:16:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Orange_Neck:
OMG, squeezed a couple and now he's posting pictures! Thanks for going above and beyond.

On second thought, I still think it's photo shopped.


I KNEW IT!!




Here's a better pic. I'd kill to have Stickman here right now to walk me through this macro shit:

Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:32:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 8:33:30 PM EDT by Orange_Neck]
LOL! CJan, much appreciated for the extra effort. Damn, guess I'll have to make the trip to the show and get the black ones then run to the range for a test run. Can't qualify any firearm for SHTF until it is tested after new parts are installed.

The extractor has been slipping off the rims. However, the failure to extract never happened when I was using Orlite mags; only on some US GI mags I have.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:40:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 8:41:18 PM EDT by luckypunk]

Originally Posted By CJan_NH:
I'm shocked

The blue Colt insert is CLEARLY much softer than the black-it's not even close.

Since nobody would believe me I balanced a glass of water on three inserts and snapped a pic.

Here it is:

home.comcast.net/~cjan99999/Colt_Inserts.JPG

The blue insert obviously is more "squishy" than the black one.

Ken Elmore was right



ETA: Sorry for the delay. Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass it is to balance three extractor inserts under a glass of water?




JESUS CHRIST MAN! you need a hobby....oh wait
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:48:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By luckypunk:
JESUS CHRIST MAN! you need a hobby....oh wait


Heh

My wife and daughter are in DisneyWorld this week. I've been going a bit stir crazy without them.

After five days without them I've started doing stupid stuff-like balancing a glass of water on extractor spring inserts, stuff like that
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 9:24:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CJan_NH:

Originally Posted By luckypunk:
JESUS CHRIST MAN! you need a hobby....oh wait


Heh

My wife and daughter are in DisneyWorld this week. I've been going a bit stir crazy without them.

After five days without them I've started doing stupid stuff-like balancing a glass of water on extractor spring inserts, stuff like that



No man, I think it's actually an excellent "visual aid"...not gonna get people questioning the answer on that one, a picture worth 1000 replys.

......But I suppose the family was gone when you made the Koolaid man suit to defeat Reddots
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 9:38:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By luckypunk:
......But I suppose the family was gone when you made the Koolaid man suit to defeat Reddots


Hmmm. Now that you mention it, they were

You're talking about this pic, right?



Yep, I get waaaaaay too much time on my hands whenever the family goes out of town
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 10:02:33 PM EDT



I love that pic.



BTW, I figured I might get something mixed up so I put "think" in bold.

I just had an epiphany.

I'm not supposed to be in deep thought about a .25" long by.125" piece of rubber and contemplating when it was made, which one is harder, and which one works better.

When does a hobby become a sickness?



WIZZO
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 2:37:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 2:42:01 AM EDT by j3_]

The blue Colt insert is CLEARLY much softer than the black-it's not even close


Yes it is. Old news for some. Unbelievable news for others. Must just be so you can feel the difference if the blue one gets dirty
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 3:05:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WIZZO_ARAKM14:
[When does a hobby become a sickness?


When one's willing to post a picture of oneself dressed up as a coolaidman decked out in white helmet holding a fully equiped AR, he's got the sickness. Gee, I left you guys for a few hours in order to catch some shut eye and look what happened.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 5:08:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 5:42:48 AM EDT by Ekie]
I am interested USGI extractor springs/inserts from a historical perspective to include in the variation guide. WpnsMan was a great help here:

ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=213973&page=4

Last time this topic came up was here (that I joined in):

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=242055

I had posted all this data before, but I think CJan_NH's picture will serve better to drive the point home. Good job. Here is what I got so far:



Extractor springs apear to be the same for USGI rifles/Carbines other then the 60's springs, and the new M4 gold spring. In the above picture the black extractor buffer with silver spring has seen quite a bit of use because it came out of a used USGI M4A1, and may explain why it is shorter? I have a new one that came with my M16A4 upper, need to take a look at it. The following weights were obtained by extending the assembled extractor with a trigger pull gauge.

1960's long spring, no buffer. These have one extra coil and are longer then later ones. There appears to be two types of these, the following reading is for the spring second from left.

4.0 lbs

White buffer, used on the M16/M16A1 starting by 1971 or so:

3.0 lbs

Red buffer used on the late M16/M16A1:

3.5 lbs

Blue buffer used on the M16A2 and early M4:

2.25 lbs

2.5 lbs

Black buffer used on mid production M4's, and the M16A4:

Can not find my data.

Black buffer, with gold spring as used on late M4's:

could not get a good reading, kinda stiff ya know, well over 5.0 lbs

CRANE donut, never got around to testing it.

These are not real scientific, too many variables, and too small a sample, but like CJan_NH's experiment it gives you an idea.

In regards to the SOPMOD bolt upgrade kit, this was a Band-Aid for the old M4A1 extractor set up, that is the blue or black buffer and silver spring. Due to the location of the gas port on the M4/A1 some of them had extraction problems (had one myself). Colt's had developed the specific gold spring and black buffer for the M4/A1 to address this, but the Big Army did not want to add another part to the system. So SOPMOD came out with the doughnut to fix it. Since then Big Army has approved Colt's gold spring set up, and M4/A1's are now delivered with them, and I would not think the SOPMOD kit is needed on these.

.



Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:17:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CJan_NH:
The blue Colt insert is CLEARLY much softer than the black-it's not even close.



Heck, I could have told you that if you'd asked, as I'd compared the stiffness before.

But it still doesn't negate the fact that the color difference was only to allow armorer's to differentiate between the two different extractor spring tensions. I think that the difference in stiffness is just a coincidence. Perhaps Colt found a new manufacturer when they switched from black to blue, and the newer contractor just happened to make them out of a stiffer substance.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:20:55 AM EDT
I use the "donut" - A Viton (material) O-ring. Works just fine with the softer blue insert and improves cycling for me. Cost pennies in 100 piece lots
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:23:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Orange_Neck:
I was trying to decide whether to spend the time to go to a show tomorrow and look for a black insert for the Wolff spring I just bought or at the range trying it out.



Use whatever color insert you have with the Wolff spring. Or use none at all if you prefer. It makes absolutely no difference if there is an insert in your extractor spring or not. There are some here on this board (I think Mongo is an example) who don't even use one at all.

Heck, I'm running a 30-year old RED insert in my M16, which came long before the blue and black ones.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:26:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By M4Madness:

But it still doesn't negate the fact that the color difference was only to allow armorer's to differentiate between the two different extractor spring tensions.



I don't think so, the insert is not a colored coded spring indicator, it is a extractor spring buffer. The changes to the buffer are not by chance, but on purpose.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:44:28 AM EDT
If it serves a functional purpose (as opposed to a cosmetic purpose), then why do rifles function just fine without any insert at all?
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:49:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By M4Madness:
If it serves a functional purpose (as opposed to a cosmetic purpose), then why do rifles function just fine without any insert at all?



Because some won't, and others won't under certain conditions.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:24:50 AM EDT
O'ooo, I have to

Could it be there for the purpose of : Acting as a buffer, to prevent the spring from being over worked, or over compressed, which would be less stress on the spring, to "highten" the reliability of the spring? And if that would be the case, the "stiffness" would play a huge part in that function...

Ok, im back in my bunker now, go ahead, shoot away
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:30:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By theshootersden:
O'ooo, I have to

Could it be there for the purpose of : Acting as a buffer, to prevent the spring from being over worked, or over compressed, which would be less stress on the spring, to "highten" the reliability of the spring? And if that would be the case, the "stiffness" would play a huge part in that function...

Ok, im back in my bunker now, go ahead, shoot away



That would be a good reason to name the part a extractor spring buffer, rather then say call it a colored coded spring identifier insert.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:36:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By theshootersden:
O'ooo, I have to

Could it be there for the purpose of : Acting as a buffer, to prevent the spring from being over worked, or over compressed, which would be less stress on the spring, to "highten" the reliability of the spring? And if that would be the case, the "stiffness" would play a huge part in that function...

Ok, im back in my bunker now, go ahead, shoot away



That would be a good reason to name the part a extractor spring buffer, rather then say call it a colored coded spring identifier insert.



+1
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:37:07 AM EDT
Must be a lot of misinformation going around then (3rd question down):

groups.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite/partsfaq.msnw
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:42:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 7:43:09 AM EDT by theshootersden]
Well there you have it... "It is stiffer to provide more gripping force." That tells me that there is more to it than just being a color code that identifies the spring...
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:47:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By theshootersden:
Well there you have it... "It is stiffer to provide more gripping force." That tells me that there is more to it than just being a color code that identifies the spring...



"It" being the stiffer extractor spring.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:51:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By M4Madness:

Originally Posted By theshootersden:
Well there you have it... "It is stiffer to provide more gripping force." That tells me that there is more to it than just being a color code that identifies the spring...



"It" being the stiffer extractor spring.



You know what Your right there
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:52:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By M4Madness:
Must be a lot of misinformation going around then (3rd question down):

groups.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite/partsfaq.msnw



Misinformation going around on the Internet ain't no big surprise. We could spend all day linking to incorrect info on the AR-15 series.

To be clear here, I am not positive that the silver spring used on the white, red, blue, and black buffer are the same, just that at this point I still think it is. But I am sure that the buffer is a buffer, and that the different colored buffers have different properties on purpose.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:56:03 AM EDT
FWIW, I just tried to call Colt (since I couldn't find an e-mail address), and they are closed for the weekend. There is already a member here who claims that Colt told him directly that the colors are to identify the various extractor springs, but I figured I'd call this time to settle this argument once and for all.

The red insert that I use is as limp as a wet noodle, but I've never had any extraction problems whatsover.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:56:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 7:57:29 AM EDT by shamayim]
You know, I ran a similar test to CJans, on red, blue and black inserts about two years ago, only used lead weights instead of water. Found no measurable difference in compression length.

You think maybe New England water is heavier than Georgia lead? Well, I've got a couple of new black pieces in the parts box, along with some old used blue ones. Even have a 35 year old white insert in there; if I can find it.

CJan, if you'll post how many ounces of water you had in those glasses, I'll run the test myself, and get back to y'all. Not that I don't believe you. Just that I'm someone who just has to see for myself that the blue one wasn't premashed.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 8:05:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 8:17:28 AM EDT by mongo001]

Originally Posted By M4Madness:

Originally Posted By Orange_Neck:
I was trying to decide whether to spend the time to go to a show tomorrow and look for a black insert for the Wolff spring I just bought or at the range trying it out.



Use whatever color insert you have with the Wolff spring. Or use none at all if you prefer. It makes absolutely no difference if there is an insert in your extractor spring or not. There are some here on this board (I think Mongo is an example) who don't even use one at all.

Heck, I'm running a 30-year old RED insert in my M16, which came long before the blue and black ones.



I use Wolff spring by itself. The insert, IMHO, does very little, no matter how "squishy" or "unsquishy" it is, as compared to the extreme stiffness of the Wolff spring. I buy them by the tens and will replace one if there is the slightest hint of issue. I haven't replaced one yet, but I expect to here soon. One carbine is getting up there in round count and may need one soon. I tried a bunch of combos and the Wolff spring, by itself, is the easiest for me, so that's what I do.


Keep the big picture in mind here, guys. The force of the spring is probably 100 times the force of the insert. The insert does very little. Maybe a little buffering, but it in not essential. Most commercial ARs don't come with anything in the extractor spring. This is a Colt spring identifier.



Courtesy of Jeff White (and PS Magazine) The black insert is used to identify the new STRONGER extractor spring. Its really the spring that is different, the insert color was changed so you could ID it at a glance. Spring and Insert are purchased as a pair. The new spring was developed to solve some extraction issues of the M4. It is stiffer to provide more gripping force. Orginally only used on the M4 it is now authorized to be used on all M16s (instead of the older blue insert/spring).


Remember PS Magazine is an Army publication. So TIFWIW.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:05:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 9:07:36 AM EDT by j3_]

Most commercial ARs don't come with anything in the extractor spring.


It has been years since I got an extractor spring with no insert and I order from every where. I think Bushmaster is the last place I got any years ago and the springs were black.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:20:58 AM EDT
And folks wonder why Ken Elmore has no respect for this site? LOL
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:31:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By M4Madness:
FWIW, I just tried to call Colt (since I couldn't find an e-mail address), and they are closed for the weekend. There is already a member here who claims that Colt told him directly that the colors are to identify the various extractor springs, but I figured I'd call this time to settle this argument once and for all.

The red insert that I use is as limp as a wet noodle, but I've never had any extraction problems whatsover.



There are several hundred employees at Colt's, and precious few that would know jack squat about such things (like not the one that is paid to answer the phone). Just because a guy works at Colt's, or is in the Army don't mean they know much about service rifles. The guy at Colt's to ask about extractor buffers would be Michael LaPlante.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:42:48 AM EDT
Oh gees, what have I started? It was just a insert-newbie asking a simple question. Who would have thought a low tech insert can be so technical and complicated.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:43:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 10:47:49 AM EDT by j3_]
Colt guards its stuff closely. You are unlikely to get any real technical information from them. I think I read the M4 stuff is theirs till 2011. Agreement with the Government.
It is funny that everyone thinks that putting a stiff piece of material around the outside of the spring will help with extraction but putting a stiffer one on the inside will not.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 1:45:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 1:47:23 PM EDT by M4Madness]

Originally Posted By Ekie:
The guy at Colt's to ask about extractor buffers would be Michael LaPlante.



I'll let you handle this one, Ekie, as I'm currently working on contacting a certain gentleman at Benelli regarding the Benelli M4 Legalities thread. My head's about to explode.

Ekie, that thread is one of your specialties as well. Might want to join us.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 2:03:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 2:09:17 PM EDT by jmart]

Originally Posted By j3_:
It is funny that everyone thinks that putting a stiff piece of material around the outside of the spring will help with extraction but putting a stiffer one on the inside will not.



If I'm not mistaken, O-ring or Defender are used around a stock spring to increase tension. Otherwise, go to stiffer aftermarket spring (SAW, Wolff). As best I know either option is sufficient.

Going to stiffer spring w/Defender or O-ring isn't really needed.

I don't think anyone's saying using a stock spring you could replace the insert with a heavy weight spring insert and get the same benefit. So once again, it all goes back to being able to identify spring stiffness by looking at the insert color.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 2:35:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 2:47:19 PM EDT by Ekie]

Originally Posted By M4Madness:

Originally Posted By Ekie:
The guy at Colt's to ask about extractor buffers would be Michael LaPlante.



I'll let you handle this one, Ekie, as I'm currently working on contacting a certain gentleman at Benelli regarding the Benelli M4 Legalities thread. My head's about to explode.

Ekie, that thread is one of your specialties as well. Might want to join us.



Well, I am planning on contacting Mr LaPlante for help with the variation guide, and the extractor spring/buffer will be one of the topics I probably can't figure out without factory help.

In regards to 922(r), that is something I can jump in on tonight. Went ahead and subsribed so I would not forget. I am kind of tired of 922(r) topics, in that ATF don't enforce it, in regards to the end user.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 2:59:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 3:18:56 PM EDT by Orange_Neck]
Here I go again thinking out loud- I think the insert (or buffer- whatever you want to call it) has very little to do if anything at all in terms of aiding the extractor holding its claw firmly against the case rim during the extraction cycle. At that stage of the game, the extractor spring is almost fully extended and there's enough gap between the tip of the insert and the inside face of the extractor that the two will not come into contact. I think that the only moment they would come close to contact each other is during the locking stage where the extractor claw would be forced to lift its front edge out and there by compressing the spring on the back end to allow the claw to skip up and over the rim and "hook" onto the case. Even at that very moment, the spring would never come close to bottoming out. After all, the 5.56x45mm case is a rimless one. It's not as if it has that much rim height to overcome. After that, the two shall not come into contact again. And if the insert does not come into contact with the inside face of the extractor, what force can it possibly exert on the extractor to hold its claw firmly against the rim?
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 4:53:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 4:58:23 PM EDT by j3_]

that stage of the game, the extractor spring is almost fully extended

The extractor spring is never fully extend once the extractor is installed in the bolt. You compress the spring to about the same height as the insert when you install it and put the pin in. When the round is loaded it compresses the spring and the insert slightly. Both the spring and insert must compress for the case rim to be pulled out from under the extractor. Since you are trying to keep the extractor from slipping over the rim of the case is that not when the insert should come into play?

I do not think you want to have a design where a spring is not partly loaded. The first and last portion of a springs compression is different that that of the rest of the spring.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 5:11:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 5:14:35 PM EDT by theshootersden]
This is suppose to be what they were originally used as:
To give stability to the spring and lengthen its service life...


This is what the black ones are supposedly used for:
Due to the tough, dense rubber, it will prevent extractor bounce that can occur in rapid fire conditions... The insert keeps the extractor from losing contact with casings and reducing faulty ejection of the spent casing...

Now I'm just the messenger here, please don't "kill the messenger"...

Edited because of bad spelling
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