If you’ve ever shot a powerful handgun, you know that recoil can make it uncomfortable to shoot. Physics is physics, so the bigger the bullet, and the faster it goes, the more the shooter is going to feel it. The muzzle flips up sharply, which can make it difficult for some shooter to regain control of the handgun and take a second shot.
That’s where porting comes in. It’s a simple idea—put slots in a gun’s barrel at just the right locations that minimize what the shooter feels as recoil and muzzle flip, making the gun much more manageable to shoot. Shooting competitors may port a handgun for use in matches, in which milliseconds count when trying to make fast follow-up shots.
The whole idea of “porting” pistols isn’t new, but it sure seems to be catching on recently. The Smith & Wesson Performance Center team has recently released a slew of ported models, and we tested two of them side by side with non-ported versions to see and feel the difference that ports make.
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