Handgun shape question.


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chris in va
March 31, 2012, 05:33 PM
I guess it's safe to say Glock started this whole square-slide craze, but curious...why? Just about every polymer gun since has a squared slide. Only recently have manufacturers started lopping off unneeded metal toward the front and sides.

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chicharrones
March 31, 2012, 05:43 PM
I guess it's safe to say Glock started this whole square-slide craze, but curious...why?

It takes less machine time to make a slide with less contours and that keeps costs down.

One example is the Kahr pistol line the slides on their "economy" models have less machine work done to the outside of the slide. Of course, slide work isn't the only thing that brings the cost down.

CM9 - http://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-CM9.asp
vs.
PM9 - http://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-PM9.asp

The Lone Haranguer
March 31, 2012, 05:47 PM
The barrel/slide lockup - squared-off chamber shoulder instead of locking lugs - necessitates that at least the top of the slide be flat and squared off. This was actually pioneered by SIG-Sauer. Most newer pistols use this type of lockup, as it is easier to machine and fit than the locking lugs used on, for example, the 1911, Browning Hi-Power and most of the old-style S&W metal-frames.

rcmodel
March 31, 2012, 05:52 PM
SIG actually started it with the P226 design.
Glock copied it.
And now everyone else is copying them.

Prior to SIGs enlarged chamber/ejection port locking design, slides were slimmer and the barrel locking & slide lugs were machined on the barrel inside the slide like a Colt 1911 High Power, and CZ75.

Oops: Looks like I was typing while The Lone Haranguer was actually posting!

rc

GLOOB
March 31, 2012, 06:00 PM
It takes less machine time to make a slide with less contours and that keeps costs down.
This. For the lowest cost, you start with the smallest block of steel that will get the job done. And then you cut away as little as possible. If you don't need the extra metal, it's better you don't start with it. Course, it's only a matter of time before cast or MIM slides become the norm, and we'll see a lot more variety in slide shapes.

The Lone Haranguer
March 31, 2012, 06:05 PM
Glock certainly took the squared-off look to an extreme, but this is in keeping with their design goal of keeping it simple and clean.

Zerodefect
March 31, 2012, 06:35 PM
When the sides of the slide are flat, the pistol is easier to point shoot. You can actually use the shape of the gun to aim, not just the sights.

All my Glocks and 1911's have mostly flat sides. I won't CCW a pistol that has sculpted sides. (Exception for mouses and J-frames)

balance 740
March 31, 2012, 06:45 PM
When the sides of the slide are flat, the pistol is easier to point shoot. You can actually use the shape of the gun to aim, not just the sights.

The slide on the Walther P99 and PPQ were tapered on purpose as a design feature so that if the pistol was brought up to eye level, the shooter's eyes would focus on the sights rather than the slide.

Here is the sight picture of my PPQ with the factory night sights:

http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n524/balance740/100_0820.jpg

GLOOB
March 31, 2012, 06:57 PM
I dunno why the side of the slide should matter. I saw an article once, about using the side of a Glock to sight with in case your sights broke. And I cried a little on the inside. Try looking at the TOP of the slide when you pointshoot, fer gosh sake.

A flat top or a slide with a sight rib works better for me than a rounded slide.

Zerodefect
March 31, 2012, 07:09 PM
You don't actually sight with the slide.

It's more like you concentrate on the target, but your Peripheral vision see's the blurr of your slide.

A flat slide just seems to scream "CROOKED!" if you're pointing crooked. Where a sculpted slide is so complex and blobby that your peripheral vision deosn't pick up on a poorly pointed gun as quikly.

Kinda the same reason why the slabsided Warren Sevigny Comp rear sight is usually better shooting than the Warren Tactical rear sight for many shooters.

jmr40
March 31, 2012, 07:53 PM
One other point. You need a certain amount of mass in the slide to assure proper functioning. To a degree this can be altered by using different spring weights, but if the slide is too light, or too heavy the reliabity is compromsed. Glock uses a wide slide, but it is flatter from top to bottom.
Most other guns slides tend to be narrower, but thicker from top to bottom.

Either method gives you the mass needed, but other designs tend to be thinner, Glock's design helps keep the bore lower to your hand.

The Lone Haranguer
March 31, 2012, 08:49 PM
The square and flat rear of the Glock's slide lends itself well to an alternative sighting technique I like to use, called a "silhouette point." (I didn't invent it. See Jim Cirillo's Guns, Bullets and Gunfights for a full explanation.) I doubt if this was an intentional design feature, more of an added bonus.

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