View Full Version : Semi-auto pistol porting

July 14, 2008, 09:12 PM
Let's hear some opinions.

My wife has a Colt Defender which has quite a kick. She recently bought a Springfield 1911 Ultra Compact V10, the one with the ported barrel. Now, before anyone points out that these are different guns, I'll point out that they are almost identical. The Springfield has about half the kick of the Colt. I believe it's due to the porting. Now to my question.

I have a Steyr S-40 that is a honey to shoot. Very controllable recoil and just fine as is. However, anything can better. If porting this gun would have the same effect as the porting on the Springfield, that 'd be great. Does anyone have an opinion or experience with ported semi-autos? Is it worth the cost and effort on an untried gun?

Basically, should I do it or not? Would the benefits equal the expense?

July 15, 2008, 10:53 AM
I used to build ported 1911s for folks way back when. They seemed to work reliably and reduce felt recoil perceivably. Recently, it was pointed out to me that there is no way ported barrels for the 1911 will have any recoil reduction effect because of the low operating pressure of the round. So, you decide: experience saying it works, or people saying it won't work because they "figgered it out" on paper.

July 15, 2008, 01:02 PM
So, you decide: experience saying it works, or people saying it won't work because they "figgered it out" on paper.

Thanks for the reply. Now, if someone can tell me if a non-ported Springfield has significantly less recoil than a Colt Defender...

Personally, I believe the porting couldn't hurt and could possibly help, + it looks cool. Makes the gun more personal.

Peter M. Eick
July 19, 2008, 02:21 PM

My Springfield P9 ultra is ported and I later got a barrel fitted to it that was not ported. Now I can swap barrels and test how much porting matters. In this case it is the same gun, same ammo, same everything but the barrel and the ports. Ports make a big difference in the real world for a high pressure round.

Those that say otherwise either have not had this type of experience (ie high pressure round with same everything) or have very unique guns.

July 19, 2008, 05:23 PM
Now I can swap barrels and test how much porting matters.

OK, now how about the results? How much difference did the porting make. Do you think it would make a difference on .40 S&W?

July 20, 2008, 09:12 AM
Would make more of a difference in the higher-pressure .40 than in the lower-pressure .45; however, I agree with Scorch, in that my experience is that my compensated (not ported) .45 barrels significantly tame slide speed and muzzle flip.

Peter M. Eick
July 20, 2008, 11:17 AM
My p9 Ultra is a 40. It makes a HUGE difference. My wife basically took this gun from me because she did not like the sharp snappy recoil of the MD96 and preferred the push of the P9. It is louder yes, but that can be dealt with so she shot it a lot. First time she tried it without the ports her comment was the gun is broken.

You go from a snappy sharp rap in the web of the hand without the ports to a more gradual shove with the ports. Put some 135's that are book max reloads with the right powder (one of the slower ones like AA7) and you can get the barrel to recoil down. It is neat to be able to see the target after you fire the gun instead of having the gun obscure it.

I don't really have that many pictures to show the difference. Maybe I should pull the barrels and show you the results. Here are guns in question though.


As an aside, I have shot over 8,261 rounds down the P9 and changed the barrel out at round 5675. I will try and pull it apart and shoot some new pictures. I have not shot the gun in a long time (10/24/05) as I have gotten tired of chasing brass and now I shoot more revolvers and autoloaders.

July 20, 2008, 11:34 AM
A few guys in my action shooting league back in the 90's were shooting 135's in their .40's, and they swore by them. That bullet weight/pressure combo really makes the comp work.

Peter M. Eick
July 20, 2008, 05:26 PM
I found that 135 JHP's and 155 FMJ's worked best in my guns. I used to buy Winchester 155 FMJ's in 2000 rnd boxes and was heartbroken when they stopped selling them. The 155's were accurate and could really be driven well. Both really worked the ports well and shot great.

Unfortunately for the 40's I moved up to 10mm and never looked back.