I had a S&W 442 that was ported from the factory.
The work was fine, accuracy was fine. I mostly shot FMJ through that snub nose so I can't talk about leading. Not really much extra to clean as far as powder deposits, just a couple lines of crud on the left and right side of the front sight blade.
Recoil reduction was difficult to judge. For 2 reasons - I had a wooden grip, and recoil in the airweight snub nose is no joke to begin with. If I had to guess I'd say (for a snub nose mind you, not 40 cal) a reduction of the muzzle flip by about 1/3, not necessarily in rearwards force. Sorry, wish I could remember better. I didn't put a lot of rounds through it.
I too have heard that porting works best in calibers/barrel lengths where there is still a lot of pressure at the front by the time the bullet exits. The snub nose is a good example because of the short barrel length, and shotguns would be an example where there is less effect because the pressure / gas is mostly spent by then.
More flash? Yes. I no longer have that revolver so i can't do more testing for you. I don't remember if it was louder or not because I always double up on hearing protection and it was a few years ago. Snub noses are loud to begin with due to the shorter barrel length and cylinder gap - so I'd imagine using in self defense would just make it even worse. I was less concerned about burning myself if I had to shoot from retention or from a jacket pocket.
I have heard mixed reports about no loss in velocity or a loss of ~ 100 fps.
In the end if it came down to learning recoil management vs. porting and it's trade-offs, for now I would not port. If I feel like I've "mastered" recoil management and follow-up shots (still working on it) and still felt unsatisfied I might consider it but I know I can improve without it for now.
I've never tried a semi-auto ported. I bet it would do well for competitions that allow it. Some folks buy an extended barrel that is ported and protrudes further out of the front of the slide. You wouldn't have to alter the slide for that. - whoops, I don't see anything like that available for the PPS. didn't mean to get your hopes up, sorry.
Last edited by dyl; May 5, 2012 at 09:42 AM.