Posts Tagged ‘slide cuts’

Even though I mostly focus on armor here, sometimes I just have to vent. And that time is now.

Recently (as in, the past several years), I have seen more and more “custom” pistols (mostly Glocks, but up to and including 1911s) with what I can only term “Debris Entry Ports” cut into the slides.

Referred to as “windows” or “lightening cuts,” the only thing I can think of when I see these is “wow, that’s an expensive cutaway demonstrator.” Pistols have dust covers for a reason- it is to prevent crap from entering into the space where the barrel, slide, and recoil system function. Cutting “windows” (I guess so the shooter can make sure their barrel didn’t get up and walk away when they weren’t looking) circumvents the dust cover.

The reasons I have heard for doing this range from “it reduces the reciprocating mass of the slide, making the gun more reliable and lessening recoil” to “it looks cool.” I take exception to the first, and shake my head at the second. Reducing the reciprocating mass of the slide will make the gun LESS reliable in feeding, since less mass means less momentum to strip the next round out of the magazine. And again, less mass will translate in GREATER felt recoil, as mass is what absorbs the impulse (compare a steel 1911 to a polymer pistol, all else being equal, the 1911 will have less felt recoil).

Intentionally circumventing a critical design feature (the dust cover) in a tool designed to protect life and limb, because “chicks dig it,” is…well, not particularly bright. If it is going to be a pampered race gun, only to be used for dropping steel plates or punching paper, go for it. But as a tool of self-preservation, function should always trump form. No firearm for “serious” work should have Debris Entry Ports.

And that’s just about all I have to say on the matter.

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