So I traded a .45 1911 for a CETME – and while CETME’s built by century arms have a terrible track record, I did not mind because the pistol was a remnant from my divorce and USED to be part of a matched set that my ex demanded be divided.
I have more than one pistol, but not more than one .308, and I wanted to get a CETME to play with. You see from what I have heard every CETME owner eventually either gives up of becomes a CETME gunsmith, and once tuned they are really good battle rifles.
One of the reasons these rifles are so reliable (and every defensive gun is judged by a standard of 100% reliability IMHO) is because of its delayed roller blowback system. This is funny because the DRB system is the cause of most of the complaints about the rifle (other than the drunken sledge hammer toting monkeys that like to weld guns together without ensuring the sights are aligned over at CAI). The flutes machined in the chamber help blow the fired brass back out of the gun. To demonstrate this I have actually removed the extractor from my CETME and tried firing without and extractor. The rifle functions and extracts the brass. It does not throw the rounds as far or as hard as it did with the extractor installed, and it stovepipes pretty often, but it is a simple matter to sweep the stovepipe round out and recharge the gun to fire it as a single shot.
I really didn’t have a reason to do this other than I wanted to build a little confidence in my gun and explore its capabilities. It’s funny, but the big difference I saw in reliability was not from firing with or without the extractor, but from good magazines versus beat up magazines. That is something to remember when some knucklehead recommends using the magazine feed lips to pry out the pins holding the gun together. I know it might be in an old army manual somewhere, but not only do I have an old military manual that recommends standing in a field shoulder to shoulder with your buddies waiting your turn to shoot back at them, they also had the benefit of a military supply chain to replace magazines as they got damaged.
While I do not like the CETME beating up on my brass, I love the reliability, the concept of a CETME Firing Without an Extractor is pretty cool and speaks to the design.