What do you think of Porting

When I started shooting hand guns porting wasn’t much of a thing. .22, .32, .38 and 45 long colt and 45 apc were about all we had to shoot. I took classes shooting the S&W 5 inch model 10. Most of the 45s I shot were S&W 45 long colts. Must have had a 6 inch barrel. And of course the 1911 45s were the favorite automatics.

As the years went by I got a S&W Highway patrolman in .357 and it too had a 6 inch barrel. I cruised along for quite a while with the .357 till a friend of mine bought a S&W .44 mag with a 5 inch barrel. I thought the .357 had as much muzzle lift as I could take but that .44 mag was a bruiser. It wasn’t long before our shooting club was almost over run with .44 mags from S&W, Ruger and Colt. I wasn’t ready for the kick till my friend got his Ruger Ported. To me this was a revelation and made me start thinking about .44 mags. In the meantime I went into the military and my "club days were just about over. The only handguns I had access to were 1911s.

When I got out lots of .44 were shorter than 6 inches and people were getting them ported. I even got to shoot a 454 Casull and I only saw them in ported models. Porting didn’t help me master the .454.

Now comes the question. I decided to add a .45 to my stable and I wanted to get one in the same family as my 9mm. It had to be one I could conceal carry. However the .45 has a lot more lift than my 9 so I decided to invest in a ported barrel. I have noticed it still has more flip than my 9 but not as much as the non ported .45 barrel. So far I like it and shoot it about as well as the 9. Does anyone else have an opinion on a ported automatic?

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The only reason I wouldn’t ccw a ported gun, is the blast from the ports. If I had to use it in close quarters, like inside a vehicle, or a small room, I wouldn’t want those hot gasses in someone’s face, or my own.

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Take this with a grain of salt, my edc is a smith and Wesson shield PC (has a potted barrel). I found this gun for cheaper than the standard edition at the time and it has all the upgraded sites, trigger and potted barrel. My wife has the original shield and I definitely prefer mine. I actually think the 2.0 would be a better option now, but that wasn’t released yet and I am very happy with my shield.

All that being said, the shield is a small gun and I could see your situation being a little different.

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May I ask which 45 and 9 did you make your comparison on? I’ve been thinking about a ported barrel for my CW40 (you can purchase them from the Kahr factory).

I haven’t ported any of my firearms, but wouldn’t mind trying a few. It’s my understanding that it is louder for the shooter, adds complications for unorthodox firing positions, and in some extreme cases may require a change of recoil springs, i.e. on some aggressively ported compensators. It’s also my understanding that the higher velocity calibers will see more of a difference than the lower velocity calibers.

I guess one more reason I haven’t tried the extended ported barrels, is that I like my muzzle to be covered in my holsters.

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I think if I was looking at reducing muzzle flip and buying a new (threaded) barrel was not an issue, I would get a compensator. A compensator uses expansion chambers and baffle plates to trap and deflect gas. They pretty much achieve the same goal as porting does, but getting a barrel ported and a slide milled for porting is probably more expensive in most cases than buying a threaded barrel and a comp. I also just looked and there are some compensators you can buy without buying a threaded barrel.

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@Scotty
Both my 9 and 45 are M&P Shields. I started out with a .380 when I got my CCW as an EDC. The .380 is just about the same size as the 9mm. It takes a different OWB holster but the same IWB will work. The 45 is just a bit bigger than the 9 and it came with a reworked trigger, night sights and a ported barrel. I have shot the non ported 45 and I can’t get it back on target as fast as the 9mm. But then the 9mm is harder to bring back down than the 380. I now live in a state where I have a larger selection of weapons to choose from than I did in California. In fact I believe I can carry more than one at a time.

But anyway I notice the difference between ported and non ported in the 45. I don’t know if I would need porting with the 9mm. I like the ported barrel and it wouldn’t be too hard to get a spare non ported one if I didn’t. I also found the 185 gr easier to shoot than the 230 gr. Still I think the 45 has cured me from wanting a Desert Eagle 44 mag. However I do have an itch for a Kel Tec PMR 30. The little 22 mag is loud but it spits rounds down range with little more kick than a CO-2 pellet gun.

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Thanks for the reply. My carry 9 and 45 are both Kahrs (although the 9 is a subcompact). Have you tried other compact or even full size 45’s? Sometimes the kick and reacquisition will seem totally different on different designs for different people. For example, I recently rented a G30, and the kick was considerably more than my CW45 even though it was heavier and larger (although I don’t know if the rental gun needed a new spring or not). YMMV.

@Scotty
Yes I have shot other 45s. the 1911s mostly are bigger and I can hold them down better. That being said I am 5’9" and a bigger gun is harder to hide for me. Even with shorts I only need an un-tucked shirt and another inch or two with a belt to hide a Shield or some of the other single stacks in that class. The point was I wanted a 45
and I have gotten used to the 9mm shield. The 45 feels very much like the 9 in my hand. It does seem as if porting is a love/hate thing with many shooters.

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I am not a fan of adding extra holes to ccw guns, especially semi-auto slides. Why risk something getting in there and jamming the gun?

@Greg1
Thanks for the input. I researched the USCCA training sight and found an article on Porting by Duane A. Daiker . The conclusion seemed to be that yes I would get back on target quicker. Maybe get more shots on center mass. But it would require some additional training. My hope was to speed up my second shot acquisition so I could get that second shot off first. It will take some time before I can report back on how the plan is working for me.

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If you search through Jerry Miculek’s videos on YT, he goes over some of his techniques and stances which help with fast follow up shots.

Here’s a sample video:

Unfortunately I cannot use his techniques because of my arthritis.

@Scotty
Thanks for the video. It reminds me of a bad habit I often fall into. My instructor kept telling me, “dude you keep holding the gun like a revolver.” must be all those years with a thumb rest grip.

IMO, there’s nothing wrong with holding it like a revolver… maybe at the world record level, but unless we’re shooting faster than this guy on a revolver, I would assume there are other weaknesses in our techniques that are the limiting factor.

For those who are newer to firearms, porting is when holes are drilled in the top or sides of the barrel and slide to help manage recoil.

Here’s an older blog post about porting:

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@Dawn
Same blog I found.

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