Questions about barrel porting


September 14, 2007, 03:43 AM
I'm thinking about getting a Tarus 608 .357 with a 4" ported barrel, but I know nothing about barrel porting. How much of a difference does it really make? How much velocity do you lose? I think I read somewhere you can't shoot shot shells from a ported barrel - is this true?

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September 14, 2007, 04:10 AM
Well, this is JMO, so take it for what it is worth, but I HATE ported barrels. They make any gun louder, and the .357 is about the loudest gun there is anyway without making it louder. And the .357 does not kick enough to make porting worthwhile anyway. Now, in a .454 or .500 S and W, it might make more sense. But, if you do get one, make sure you wear hearing muffs, and plugs too.

September 14, 2007, 08:35 AM
Porting seems to be a love it or hate it type thing.
There's many types/styles of porting and from what I've seen, the bigger the caliber the more notible the feel when the gun is ported correctly.
For example, if you've ever shot guns like 30-06 or 300 Win Mags you may have woke up the next day with a bruised shoulder. If you shot a ported or comped gun like a Browning rifle with those same calibers, but that rifle had the BOSS system in place and adjusted properly, your shoulder would not be bruised the next day.
Compensating or porting can be a problem for night shooting because of the muzzle blast coming out of the side or top of the gun. It can hurt your eyes if they (your eyes) have adjusted for the darkness.
As pointed out above, the felt muzzly blast will be noticably louder due to the same reason. The blast is no longer just going down range, but is now being disbursed out the side or top of the barrel so in effect it is louder near you.
Then there's the cleaning of a ported barrel. That becomes a little more in volved and if you shoot a lot of lead bullets, that can now close up the porting and need to be cleaned out as some of the lead will deposit in the port holes.
You should probably try shooting someones ported gun before you send your gun in.
Again, some people love porting and others hate it.
Good luck, Jeff (GUNKWAZY)

September 14, 2007, 11:15 AM
^That's a muzzle brake, not porting.
Porting redirects gases (usually upward) to reduce muzzle rise. Sometimes it reduces recoil, but usually it just changes the direction of the recoil (straight back rather than back and up).
Muzzle brakes allow the gases to hit a surface (back side of those little walls) and the resulting pressure reduces recoil.

How much of a difference does it really make?
Depends. Porting (and muzzle brakes) is most effective with high pressure cartridges or loads that produce a lot of muzzle blast. More gases from burning powder = more effective.
Most guns with porting will have a pretty good reduction in muzzle rise.
I had a Mossberg 500 and Charles Daly Maxi-Mag 12 ga that were ported. Both had very little muzzle rise allowing easy follow up shots.

How much velocity do you lose?
Usually not enough to notice.

I think I read somewhere you can't shoot shot shells from a ported barrel - is this true?
That's not true. You can shoot shot shells with a ported barrels and many shotguns have ported barrels.
You CANNOT shoot shot shells out of a gun with a muzzle brake. The extra space in the muzzle brake (look at GUNKWAZY's picture) might give the shot and/or wad the space to open up and you'd have a really bad day if it catches that brake's baffle.

Some say ported pistols don't blind you at night.
I've never shot one at night so I don't know if that's true.
BUT I have shot my ported shotguns in low light while hunting.
They definately blinded me enough that I couldn't take a second shot if I had to.

September 14, 2007, 02:03 PM
^That's a muzzle brake, not porting.
by definition porting is a hole in the barrel wall to redirect gasses to either function action or reduce recoil/muzzle rise.a muzzle brake is a device(read not holes in the barrel) at the end of the bbl to redirect gasses to reduce recoil/muzzle since gunkwazy's python has holes milled in the barrel it is indeed ported.
very nice BTW my S&W 610 is ported the same way how were flames done that looks great.
as to the OP ports are an individual thing some do some don't, I love should shoot a ported gun if you can and form your own opinion.

September 14, 2007, 02:33 PM
Muzzle brakes don't have to be attached.

The difference between a muzzle brake and porting is a muzzle brake offers space for gases to expand and a surface for the gases to push on. Porting only redirects gases without the expanded gases action on some surface.
Take the S&W X frames for example. Those muzzle brakes look just like GUNKWAZY's gun and act the same way.
You could take a plain barrel X frame and mill the exact same openings into it making an integral muzzle brake.

Those flames (pretty neat looking) were probably masked off after polishing, then the gun was probably bead blasted. Take off the masking and it leaves the polished pattern. :)

Bob R
September 14, 2007, 02:57 PM
I have an older S&W Model 25-5 that has been worked over by Austin Behlert. One of the things done to it was doing a Mag-Na-Port job.

I don't know if it makes a difference because I haven't shot a 25-5 without the porting, but, this gun is probably one of the nicest ones to shoot in my safe. In fact, my wife now thinks it is hers after shooting it.

It is very soft recoiling, quick and easy to get back on target, and is just a real pleasure to shoot.

I don't know how much difference the porting makes, but I am sure it doesn't hurt.


Snapping Twig
September 14, 2007, 03:25 PM
I have three ported pistols, a 3" 629-2, a 6" 29 Classic Hunter and a 5" 627-0.

Porting makes a lot of difference to my mind. On the 3" 629 it makes the MOST difference. I've shot Lew Horton 3" .44's and they were painful. I used my own 265g reloads for a standard. Shooting my Mag-Na-Ported 3" 629 with wood Hogue stocks, there's no whoop, smooth as glass, easy on the hand.

On the 6" Classic Hunter, I can't see a big difference. It's better, but not hugely. The 627-0 is an N frame with a full lug 5" barrel, so shooting a .357 in it is light to begin with, add Mag-Na-Porting and it shoots full house 170g hard casts like wadcutters. My wife has decided that this is her gun. :)


Shorter barrels benefit the most from porting IMO.

September 14, 2007, 04:59 PM
Port - 1. An opening in the wall of a barrel to allow gas to operate a mechanism or reduce sensible recoil. 2. An opening in a receiver to allow loading or ejection
Muzzle brake - Device at the muzzle end usually integral with the barrel that uses the emerging gas behind a projectile to reduce recoil. See Compensator.
Compensator - A device attached to the muzzle end of the barrel that utilizes propelling gases to reduce recoil.
OK here these are the definitions from the HIGH ROAD LIBRARY.
You could take a plain barrel X frame and mill the exact same openings into it making an integral muzzle brake.

cutting holes in an existing bbl is porting!
Barrett rifles have an integral muzzle brake where it and the barrel are one piece but it is external. ie, it extends beyond the barrel

September 15, 2007, 06:18 PM
I've never enjoyed shooting wheelguns as much till I aquired these two with ported barrels.

September 15, 2007, 06:34 PM
Another style of porting.


September 15, 2007, 07:03 PM
The pic above shows that trapezoidal ports that I believe are a trademark of the folks who do Mag-no-porting. I am not in general a fan of the arrangement but I have a Model 83 Freedom Arms where it's very effective at reducing muzzle flip. I also have a Model 13 (actually a PC13) which I really wish didn't have the Mag-na-porting, but that's how S&W sold them.

Standing Wolf
September 15, 2007, 09:30 PM
All my carry revolvers are ported, and always will be.

September 17, 2007, 12:06 PM
I have S&W revolvers ranging from 38-ounce 686 to 12-ounce scandium 340.

I shot .357 from all of them and in my view, the muzzle flip is not so great as to be significant.
In 686 the muzzle rise is very gentle. In 340 there are other issues that would prevent you from taking a quick follow-up aimed shot (like excruciating pain in your palm) and for a last-ditch close-defence gun how much aiming does one really need?

My guns, of course, are primarily SD purpose. The 686 is my bedside gun that I don't want any excess blast and flash from in the middle of the night - to the point of using 38+P+ in at least some of the chambers.
The 340 is the one I carry most - by itself or as BUG. If I do need to shoot it in poor-light conditions or close to my head/body or even from inside my clothes, I would not want to blind or deafen myself and certainly not set myself on fire.
My 3-inch M66 and M60 fall in-between in size and weight but the same considerations appy to them.

Purely for a target range - shooting fast and accurately in good light and with hearing protectors on, I can see how the porting would be great. People I know swear by it - even when shooting mild, light 38s it seems to make a difference.


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