Does porting improve or hinder a gun's accuracy or speed?


October 23, 2008, 09:55 PM
I've been reading up on the difference between ported and non-ported guns. I know that porting will usually help to reduce the recoil of a gun and that that can in turn help improve a shooter's accuracy with the gun. I was wondering if there were any other benefits to using a ported barrel and if there was any reason not to use a ported barrel (besides muzzle flare and possibly a louder bang). Because of the openings in the barrel, does using a ported barrel vs. a non-ported barrel actually reduce the accuracy of a gun if the shooter can handle the recoil and does it decrease the speed of the bullet? Is there any reason to use a ported barrel besides to reduce the recoil? Thanks in advance to everyone!

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October 23, 2008, 09:57 PM
the accuracy of the gun improves alot because when you port a gun you gain up to 30% reduced recoil which means faster follow up shots. i plan on having my bersa 9 ported sometime in the future but not before it gets duracoated. mag-na-port or robar

October 24, 2008, 12:27 AM
A reason not to: when shooting from various retention positions you run the risk of ruined clothing and injury.

October 24, 2008, 12:33 AM
^ or if you need to shoot across someone (like a driver stopping a threat coming from the passenger side or vice versa) your companion might shake your hand in thanks if he/she ever regains their eyesight and hearing.
For a range/competiton gun it sounds like the bees knees but I wouldn't use it on a defensive gun.

October 24, 2008, 12:42 AM
Shooters using Mag-na-port's "autoporting" services do not experience the large flash of muzzle blast experienced with systems dumping larger volumes of gases through holes positioned across the center line. Law enforcement agencies and companies offering night sights have tested our porting service finding no increase in muzzle blast or night blindness attributed to our porting service.
from magnaport.

your going to blow someones ear drum out anyway i don't know if you use hearing protection but the last couple times oh man 9mm out of a 16" barrel is one thing but less then 5" is another!! ACC if you have money and thread your barrel and order a stock one.

October 24, 2008, 07:03 PM
For general handgun combatives at close range, I see no point in gun ports. I have a G19C. It fires just as accurately as the M9, 1911, 92SB, or Detonics 9MM Pocket Pal I had before - but they all worked well under 50 feet.

If I start using it for a general carry gun, some of the points noted won't work well. I don't need to flash a passenger's face with gasses. Violently moving cover near the barrel may reveal my location. Loose debris could be driven back to my face. Shooting from the pocket, not good.

Gun ports are really a target range item for long distance accuracy from higher powered rounds. They work well there - they're not the best option in a carry piece, especially in street calibers that are quite manageable with practice.

Nothing outrageously wrong with them, just something that has it's place and doesn't need general adoption.

October 24, 2008, 07:48 PM
I have a couple of ported .45's and have shot them from a low retention stance during a combat course to see if the muzzle blast affected either me or accuracy. As far as I'm concerned, neither was affected. However I haven't shot them at night. I have shot them in a dimly lit range and didn't notice a bit of difference in reaquring targets or muzzle flash. After this I wouldn't pay a dollar to get it, nor pay a dollar to get rid of it.

Ghost Walker
October 24, 2008, 09:07 PM
:) I've been shooting muzzle-ported pistols for more than 35 years. I have yet to blind myself or set my clothes on fire. On the other hand, I have excellent control over the muzzle and reduced front sight dwell time that has allowed me to put on several impressive displays of accuracy and firing speed with a pistol.

There are a lot of variables to take into consideration. I suspect that no matter the port design, at most, there is no more than a 20% reduction in muzzle flip. Any corresponding loss of velocity is, also, going to be less than 4 or 5% too.

What kind of recoil reduction and improved muzzle/front sight control will you realize? It varies with the type of port design and from gun to gun. Recoil reduction can, also, be affected by the speed at which you fire. It's been my general experience that a great many shooters are not that well tuned into their pistols. I suspect that for a majority of these casual shooters porting of any type offers little or no advantage.

(Someday, just for kicks, I'd love to see someone set his clothes on fire - What a hoot that would be!) :p

October 24, 2008, 10:49 PM
RE: porting I think it depends on the weapon and its intended application.

I only have two ported handguns: a G22C and a S&W 329 PD.

With the Glock the porting is unnecessary - I don't mind the recoil of a .40 at all. It does have significantly less recoil than other .40's but I've not noticed any improvement in accuracy. Follow-up shots are very fast, but I can't attribute that to the porting or to the overall function of the handgun w/ my shooting style.
This gun frequently sees duty as a CCW. Yes, its been through the same "quals" as my other CCWs.

The 329 would be unshootable if it weren't for porting. I know, I've tried. I'm not averse to recoil...or so I thought. Before it was ported it was, literally, painful to shoot. Mag-na-porting it AND adding Pachmyer "Recoil Reducer" (or something similar) grips changed it into a great shooter. Now I can shoot powerful .44 Mags w/o worry and it eats .44 Specials with no problem.
This gun is carried as a daytime backup (to either a rifle or shotgun) when fishing in Alaska: very limited and specific duty.

Don't know if this helps but I hope it does.

Take care,

October 24, 2008, 11:09 PM
so far, every one who has responded is only talking about pistols/revolvers. did i miss something? i have no experience with these. and really quite limited experience with them on rifles. on a rifle, it really helped my 45/70 guide gun for recoil. did not affect accuracy or velocity at all. (my brake is a "Gentry quiet muzzle brake") the reason they call it quiet is not because it really is any quieter than the others, it just directs the sound away from the shooter. it seems to work for me. the rifle does not sound much louder than stock to me. i apologize for wasting your time if you were asking about pistol brakes. but i did not see where you had specified what type of gun.

October 24, 2008, 11:43 PM
I am a fan of porting. I have had magnaport do the barrel work on my O/U, love it.

Both my .300 Win Mag rifles have it, makes it a lot easier to shoot comfortably.

My Glock 20 is the "C" model and I have no problem with it as a carry gun, and it helps control the jump and percieved recoil.

October 25, 2008, 01:46 PM
Competition gun: Yes, by all means do it. Won't help on the first shot but will make follow on shots quicker.

Defensive gun: No, besides the downsides others have mentioned if you have to use it at night it will absolutely destroy your night vision. Kind'a hard to hit what you can't see. Ever wonder why there's a flash suppressor on many combat rifles? Hint: it isn't there so the guy you're shooting at can't see where you're shooting from.

October 25, 2008, 02:06 PM
But, for the record, the glockC models shot at night or in very low light DO NOT produce enough flash to bother your night vision. This is a myth that seems like it could be true but is bunk. First off, most people blink. Second off, you could always pick a lower flash load (there's a lot of difference). Third off, if it's that dark, you likely aren't shooting as you likely won't be able to make out your sight. Fourth off, many times you wouldn't even have the handgun up to eyelevel with a defensive shooting. But the reason that the above don't really matter is ... the amount of flash is minimal!

Would I want it? No. Here's why. Ports work to differing levels depending on the amount of power available ... i.e. how hot is the load. I typically shoot my carry rounds a lot less than range ammo. That's even more true given the cost of ammo. Second reason ... go google up USPSA videos, look at the shooting speed for a limited, limited10, production or singlestack shooter (all guns without comp's/ports). You can train to shoot faster, it doesn't take porting.

IF i had handgun cannons, then my answer would be different. And for rifles they are EXTREMELY effective. Even on my AR (low powered round ... .223) it means I can double tap targets ... crosshairs never leave the target! The before and after for the comp I'm using is night and day different.


To top it all off, wouldn't we be hearing about burning clothes and blind shooters if it were true? As rare as kabooms are, they are documented on the intelligence web :)

October 25, 2008, 04:06 PM
flash suppressor on many combat rifles? Hint: it isn't there so the guy you're shooting at can't see

Yeah I guess that is why on the AR-15/M-16 rifles the ports of the flash hider face up. Sorry Werewolf, that does not pass the sniff test.

Master Blaster
October 25, 2008, 04:19 PM
I owned a ported springfield armory champion V-10. The blast from the ports was very loud especially at my indoor club and worse than the recoil from .45acp by far.

I understand it helps control muzzle rise with some powerful rounds, but I find the noise to be worse than the recoil.


October 25, 2008, 05:14 PM
I can't comment on a carry gun for porting. But, I had a Mag-Na-Port Stalker & I could get 1" (yes 1 inch!) at 100 yards from the bench. Specific loads of course. You asked about accuracy. That should settle it for Mag-Na-Port. Though it workd great I hated the extra noise. 3 shot groups, 44 mag, 2X Leupold, & 4 fellow shooters w/me. Now I can't do that off hand but it was astounding for the guns inherent accuracy. Oh yeah! Luck too. But it was repeatable.

October 25, 2008, 07:10 PM
Don't try to shoot from a "speed rock" or close retention position with the ports up, as if the angle/wind are right, you will get hot gas in your eyes. Muzzle flash probably isn't as much of a concern as the actual gas/debris jets. And if you get rushed and forced into a "Sabrina" position (bent isoceles, gun pointed up) by a charging attacker or because you get knocked down and are shooting up from a kneeling position, the gas/debris jets could be pointed right at your eyes.

25 Jan 02

Thoughts on competitive shooting and shooters:

This is from a friend in the Philippines:

"A local shooter was trying to learn the 'speed rock' as taught by a number of instructors. He was using a Para Ordinance Commander in 40S&W, equipped with a Hybrid barrel. He nearly dropped the gun after only one shot. Had he not been wearing glasses, he would have spent a longer time in the hospital, I'm sure.

Ported pistols are popular here because of the dominance of IPSC. Even local trainers are essentially products of the IPSC system. Few have ever seen the wrong end of the gun. The IPSC culture has even permeated the ranks of Police and Military services. I cannot remember the number of times I've seen beat cops using IPSC holsters on duty.

It saddens me that many have unwittingly decided to adopt the games approach to survival rather than learn from the true lessons of our past. I've met my share of real world survivors over here, and none of them had ported guns or fancy rigs. All of them lived to retire."

Another potential problem with shooting a ported gun from contorted positions is that ported guns often shave jacket slivers off the bullet and propel them out of the ports at high velocity. If you're doing square-range shooting with the gun way out in front of you, it's harmless, but it could potentially be another problem from a retention stance or with reflection from a wall, I suppose.


Comments on ported handgun barrels, from a friend at a large, metro police academy:

"We had a minor injury on our range yesterday. Students were firing at close range with pistols held close to holsters, with the support hand in a high, blocking posture. A student suddenly realized he had a laceration on the inside of his left forearm. He subsequently found a sliver of bullet jacket lodged in a cut on his arm.

A band-aid sufficed, but I was concerned about the origin of the bullet spatter. I then noticed that this student was using a ported G23. A student standing to his right found a similar fragment lodged in the underside of her cap visor. This piece was a long, curled ribbon, much like that from a sharp drill in soft metal. Ammunition was white box, generic. I've had similar occurrences with ported guns, but this is our first injury, albeit a minor one.

In any case, I agree with your assessment of ported pistols. The only hole that belong in a serious pistol's barrel is the one the bullet comes out of."

Comment: This kind of thing is surely not likely to be helpful during a real fight. Ported barrels do not belong on serious guns.


4v50 Gary
October 25, 2008, 07:39 PM
Porting serves to reduce recoil and increase recovery time.

I can't see the need to port handguns that aren't heavyweight magnum calibers. For instance, the 9mm, 45 ACP, .357 Magnum are all manageable without porting. Porting is OK for competition guns (faster recovery) or for folks who can't handle the caliber they're shooting (depends on the individual). My general thoughts are that unless you're under some sort of handicap, why bother? Now, for those bear-killer caliber guns like the .454 Casull or .480 Ruger, I'd say yes to porting. There's absolutely no need to have wrist problems like Mel Tappan did when he got older.

As to rifles, if you're a smaller shooter or the caliber is big, I'd say yes to porting too. I don't think they're necessary on the .45-70 or .30-06 but on larger guns, like the .458 Winchester Magnum, .416 Rigby, .338 Winchester or those Weatherby Magnums, port 'em. Who needs a detached retina anyway?

Ghost Walker
October 25, 2008, 09:08 PM
:rolleyes: Why is it that these porting threads always seem to end up in exactly the same place?

(Internet Wonderland!) :p

Anytime you fire any pistol close to your face or body you assume a certain risk from muzzle flash and splatter. I've done it with revolvers; I've done it with stock semiautos, too. All you have to do is use the brain God gave you to keep your face and fingers away from the cylinder gap, muzzle, and open chamber.

If you can blind yourself with muzzle blast from a ported barrel, then, you can do exactly the same thing with a stock barrel. If you can splatter yourself with residue and shavings from a port, then, you can do exactly the same thing with a revolver's cylinder gap. (This I have done!)

I've, also done a lot of night shooting with all different sorts of firearms. Never once blinded myself, never once set my clothes on fire either. Ported or not, I've occasionally splattered myself with bullet residue. That can happen with ANY HANDGUN. Will this internet nonsense never end? OK, OK, that's enough already; everybody can stand down and go back to their video games and armchairs! :barf:

October 25, 2008, 10:47 PM
i agree with ghost walker 95%. everything but the muzzle flash at night. when i owned my smith 686 357 mag, i shot it at dusk a couple of times just to see how much flash there really was. with full 357 (158 g silvertips) loads, there was quite a bit of visible flames. i honestly think the majority of it was from the cylinder gap. but i am working on memory from 15 years ago also. it did not blind me per say, but a quick follow up shot would have been difficult. if it was really dark, it might have been worse. now, with 38 special wad cutters, the flash was greatly reduced. so ammo is definitly part of the equasion.

October 26, 2008, 06:14 PM
OK, big gun porting. I had my Ruger MKII .458 Lott Mag-Na-Ported Back in '07. It's since had about 300 rounds through it, including 4 in Botswana (one v. dead Cape Buffalo), and it recoils about like a .338. before porting, the 500-gr. Hornady soft points made that rifle belt me like a rabid goat. No question as to whether it helps. My S&W 500 10.5 inch bbl is also ported from the factory.

October 26, 2008, 07:51 PM
So now you have a ported barrel, now you must clean more. If everyone starts porting their guns, i am going to invest in pipe cleaners! I will be a millionaire.

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