What’s the purpose of the slide vents?

Canik, Walther, Grand Power, other race guns, all have these openings.My first guess was lightening the slide to keep its mass the same as an shorter models. Wouldn’t just thinning the slide achieve the same purpose without creating new paths for dust and sand to enter the gun?

Second guess, for venting heat from the barrel. Just how necessary is that for competition shooting?

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13 Responses to What’s the purpose of the slide vents?

  1. Cybrludite says:

    Race guns aren’t as at risk for gunk as duty guns are, I guess. I’ve always figured the non-functional holes were a sort of go-faster stripe.

  2. Glock has said specifically that the G34 slide hole is to make it the same weight as their G17. Reciprocating weight disturbs your aim and slows you down. SIG said the same thing about their P320X5

  3. LarryA says:

    My Dan Wesson barrel shroud has similar slots, but I’m presuming your barrels aren’t ported.

  4. J. Smathers says:

    Manufacturers can save money by cutting two slides the same way, one for the argument of mass reduction, the other for the models that have ported barrels. Two birds, one stone.

  5. Jay says:

    Part of it is (as I understand it) reducing the cyclic weight to match a different spring rate to get the pistol to cycle faster in competition. The other half is likely as much of the “chicks dig it” factor that sells more cool looking guns.

  6. Ray says:

    It makes it look cool to Dubba, who already has 1o Glocks, 2 1911’s and a Sig. Really Oleg. The gun market is as glutted as it was at the end of world war 2. Those 1200$ AR’s from just a few years ago are selling for less than 800 $ new, and have no resale value at all. Gun corp. Inc. is desperate to sell. So any gimic ,no matter how derpy, WILL be hitting the market. That’s all that is about.

  7. LarryA says:

    Manufacturers can save money by cutting two slides the same way.

    The Dan Wesson revolver is designed to swap barrels easily, and comes with both ported and non, which fit the same shroud. The different length barrels require different, same-length shrouds.

  8. l2a3 says:

    Planned obeisance. Allows the slide to break faster after impacting the frame during it lifespan.

  9. Ken R says:

    Cooling the barrel makes no difference during competition shooting. It may help during practice. Definitely looks cool, good for marketing. If it’s just as strong, less slide weight can be a good thing. To a point they can reduce the perception of recoil. A lighter slide slamming forward with a lighter spring will have less tendency to dip forward.

  10. Andy says:

    If it were sharp cornered square cutouts rather than rounded ones, it’d be “planned obsolescence” of the stupid kind, the same as making the slide “thinner”.

    Rounded holes are stronger, forex, search for a cutaway picture of the spars and ribs in an aircraft wing: They use rounded holes to decrease weight and maintain the majority of the structural strength. A good source image set is a search for “RV-10 wing ribs” which will bring up the internal structure of home-built kit Vans RV-10 aircraft (Yes, “scratch-building your own” isn’t limited to AR-15s or AK-47s.)

    If you’re (always) operating within a certain recoil envelope, tuning slide weight as well as fiddling with the damping provided by the springs to that level (add/remove mass, stronger/weaker springs) can increase your maximum rate of accurate fire (by increasing/decreasing the total motion of the slide and consequently, the felt recoil.) than just practicing alone.

    I disagree with the idea, though: If you’re serious about competition, you’ll want more control over exactly how your weapon’s set up. Starting with holes means you’d have to add tungsten inserts rather than removing extraneous metal from the slide. (Basically, “measure twice, cut once” rather than “I keep cutting and cutting this just slightly too short piece and it’s still too short!”)

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