My Sig P220 .45 is about 12 years old and has probably had 30,000 rounds through it, mostly reloads. I bought it to shoot IPSC matches and then went on to use it for IDPA.
I cleaned it thoroughly after each range session, and kept it well lubbed. Keeping true to it's reputation it was very accurate and never jammed.
Then a couple of months ago it started to choke. About one out of four shots it would jam with a spent case half way extracted and jammed by a fresh round under it. Each jam was exactly the same. I suspected the extractor.
I took the gun to a very reputable shop that had two Sig armorers. One of the repairmen did a detail strip and cleaning and then examined the parts. He suggested that the recoil spring and mag springs should be replaced. Nothing else appeared out of spec. No charge for the diagnosis.
New springs were ordered from Sig and arrived within a few days. The new recoil spring was indeed quite a bit longer than the old one. Same with the mag springs. So my hopes were up. It looked like replacing the springs was going to fix the problem.
At the next range session the gun jammed exactly as before. The new springs had no effect on the problem.
Back home I examined the extractor with a magnifying glass but found no problems. Thinking that there might be gunk under the extractor I used a punch and knocked out the roll pin holding the breach block in the slide. After taking the block out and removing the extractor and firingpin, everything looked fine. So I cleaned the parts and put it back together.
The next test gave the same results. More jams. I figured my options now were sell the gun, send it to Sig for repair, or do some more research.
I could not find any information on Sig 220s with this problem. But all the info on 1911 pattern .45s always says to check the extractor. The extractor causes 90% of all extraction problems.
So I hammered out the roll pin again and removed the extractor again. That is when I noticed that it had a slight bow in it. Maybe it is supposed to have MORE of a bow in it. I clamped the extractor in my vice and put pressure on it. Then checked it with a straight edge. I repeated this until the extractor had noticibly more curve than before. After putting everyting back together I found that the extractor now had way more tension than before.
Todays range test showed that the gun now functions perfectly. So it is possible to shoot a Sig until it goes out of tune.
great info headless,
Good information. I will have to keep watch on how many rounds I shoot. I think my new P220ST only has about 300 rounds through it. I now feel the need to find out how many it will take til my extractor will wear out.