Here’s a neat fact about the F-16 fighter jet. The pilot’s seat is far more reclined than those in other planes. That’s a bit of physics and biology trickery to help the pilot deal with high G forces.
What does that have to do with pistols? If you create gas ports in a pistol barrel, like those in the Smith & Wesson M&P 40 Ported model from the Performance Center, you can create a similar bit of trickery that reduces the adverse effects of recoil. As with the F-16 where a comfy chair can’t negate the laws of physics, ported pistols don’t actually reduce recoil. However, they redirect it to help you keep sights on target. As an extra bonus, the perception of felt recoil is also reduced along with muzzle flip.
The Performance Center M&P 40 Ported has cuts in the barrel and slide that direct muzzle exhaust upward to either side of the front sight in the 10 and two o’clock directions. Those miniature “rocket engines” make neat flame patterns when you shoot, but more importantly, they exert a downward force on the muzzle. All of this reduces the amount of muzzle flip and helps you keep the sights on target.