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Open Top Slide Design?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Shane, Apr 16, 2003.

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  1. Shane

    Shane Member

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    Why don't more makers offer a semi-auto with an open top slide design like the majority of Berettas and some Tauruses?

    These are the advantages IMO of the open top design:

    Greater ejection reliability
    Easier to clear a jam (don't have to stick your fingers INSIDE the slide to reach the bore).
    A little easier to inspect the bore (more light can enter the bore)

    Disadvantages IMO:

    Can collect dirt easier with an open slide

    I've rented several Berettas and I like their very high reliability, and I personally think the open top slide also LOOKS nice. So much so, that I bought my first Beretta recently.

    I'd like to know why we don't see more open top slide designs. Are there more disadvantages besides letting dirt in easier?
     
  2. Longbow

    Longbow Member

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    It allows dirt in easier like you mentioned. And there are a lot of guns out there w/o that feature that are very successful, so why bother?
     
  3. 9x19

    9x19 member

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    More complicated mechanism required to effect locking the barrel and slide.

    It's easier to use the barrel hood and ejection port like SIG and Glock, or cut grooves in the top of the slide with lugs in the barrel like Colt, Kimber, Springfield, S&W... more durable as well.

    Beretta's under barrel locking block is the weak point in the design and could be eliminated with a closed slide... :D
     
  4. Bergeron

    Bergeron Member

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    One thing that I find amusing about Beretta is that after they advertised the advantages of the open slide design, they went on to make their fancier pistols have extra mass on slide with the "Brigadier" option.

    Don't get me wrong, I certainly would not kick a Beretta out of bed, this is just amusing to me.

    One thing that I think the open slide design has against it is the greater chance of burning your hands when handling the pistol after you have recently shot it. But seeing how I've never shot one, I don't really know.
     
  5. sig970

    sig970 Member

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    [ One thing that I think the open slide design has against it is the greater chance of burning your hands when handling the pistol after you have recently shot it. But seeing how I've never shot one, I don't really know.]:confused:

    Have yet to burn myself after thousands of rounds through a 92 and a 96 Border Marshal

    [It allows dirt in easier like you mentioned. And there are a lot of guns out there w/o that feature that are very successful, so why bother?]:confused:

    Never had a problem with dirt getting in. I have to admit that I don't roll it around on the ground.

    Funny thing is, I've never had a failure of anykind with my Berettas. I have with my Sigs and Kimber, and also with the G19 I got rid of.
     
  6. Bergeron

    Bergeron Member

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    Well, that's good to hear.

    I wonder Berettas are doing in service pistol bullseye competion, and if the open top slide allows for easier or more difficult accurizing. Seems the 9mm might be easier to shoot in bullseye than the traditional 1911 .45
     
  7. Shane

    Shane Member

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    Given enough time, IMO any gun will malfunction eventually. My most reliable semi-auto, a Sig P239 has never had a malfuntion in its life (about 4,000 rounds) but if its shot enough I'm sure it would eventually get its first. Nothing man made is 100 percent IMO. With that said, I would think it would be a little easier to clear a FTF with a Beretta since there is no small ejection port to have to stick your fingers in to.
     
  8. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    I don't know, I haven't had one yet ;) (crossing furry claws)
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    the only downside to the beretta/tarus/walther falling block design, in CCW, is that the slide is a bit wider...the has to be metal for the locking block "ears" to lock into.

    i also like the slickness of the beretta action and the non-tilting barrel. my 96 has never had a FTF or FTE in serveral thousand rounds...more than i can say for my sig 226 or glock 19
     
  10. Boats

    Boats member

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    Haven't you heard? You might dent the barrel against something!:D
     
  11. CZF

    CZF Member

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    For a long time folks thought the open top design (P38) was the
    key to Beretta reliability. Now that the Cougars are on the
    market, they are also very reliable.

    I prefer the older Berettas for C & L option...and choose the Taurus 99 stainless Nary a problem from it or the half dozen
    92F models that i've owned.
     
  12. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I should think the open slide design would let the barrel cool more quickly. I'm sure that's usually a trivial concern, but better ventilation and lighter weight strike me as pluses.

    In all other respects, Berettas have impressed me as ugly.
     
  13. sig970

    sig970 Member

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    Berettas ugly???

    I guess that's why almost every Hollywood movie uses them
     
  14. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The Beretta slide design has led indirectly to several problems. One is that the locking block on the Beretta is both smaller and weaker than on the P.38/P1, and many broke. I recall the owner of a range that rented guns showing me a handful (at least 2 dozen) Beretta locking blocks, all from U.S. made guns. They apparently solved the problem around that time, but I bought an Italian made pistol.

    And also, the Beretta open top slide with low slide rails is weaker than one with higher side rails or a more closed in type, and early U.S. made Berettas also had a problem with breaking slides.

    My main hangup with the M9 is that it is just too big, long and heavy for the 9mm cartridge.

    Jim
     
  15. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    That's what makes it such a great shooter Jim. It absorbs recoil forces, its stable, its accurate, and its flat out reliable.

    You guys can talk about weaknesses in a gun's design all you want... but you know what? All guns have them. But funny thing is, I don't hear any 92FS or 96 owners around here saying how they got beaned by the rear half of the slide flying off and smacking them in the face. Why? Because it doesn't happen.
    Another funny, I DID hear about Springfield 1911 slides breaking! Isn't that odd?

    The Beretta 92FS is a FINE handgun... one of the BEST in the WORLD wether you like it or not.

    (Yes, I know all the details about the Springfield issue and even talked to them about it personally when I shipped mine back to them. Temporary freakish issue... Springfield guns are just fine... I was only making a point.)
     
  16. blades67

    blades67 Member

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    It's no Glock!




    Darting and weaving to avoid incoming. :neener:
     
  17. 9x19

    9x19 member

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    Amen to that!

    :evil:{Now get outta the way!}:evil:
     
  18. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    it's also no 1911. it's fat, just as heavy as the 1911, and with a worse trigger and safety.


    funny. I seem to prefer guns with good triggers, safeties and sights. i wonder why.
     
  19. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    Cynic that I am, I'll suggest that the open top of the Beretta 92 (M9) has more to do with product identification than anything else. Beretta pistols have had open tops since early in the 20th century, think especially of the 1934. Colt revolvers open by pushing the catch backwards and Smith revolvers open by pushing forward, different mechanisms that do the same job, but in the heyday of revolvers each manufacturer used lots of advertising copy trying to prove that their system was best and each system became closely identified with each manufacturer, like engine hood holes in Buicks.
     
  20. Ramshackle

    Ramshackle Member

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    Some smiths are playing with slide lightening on 1911s race guns using a Beretta-type cut. Interesting idea, although I've never seen or shot a 1911 that's been modified that way.
     
  21. M1911

    M1911 Member

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    Then how does the barrel lock up if the top of the slide is cut away? Or did they leave the portion of the slide that the barrel locks into?
     
  22. Shane

    Shane Member

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    I know looks are subjective and everyone is going to like different styles.


    But, for me....I think the Beretta design is one of the most visually attractive of all the semi-autos. I'm not even an avid Beretta fan (I prefer Sigs and CZ's personally)--although I bought my first Beretta and will pick it up next week. Even with that said, in terms of looks I'd rank Beretta close to the top for semi-autos.
     
  23. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    The open top 1911s... the slide is cut away to the front of the top of the slide... well ahead of the locking portions. It's not much of an opening as the locking portion takes up much of the inner part of the slide. These I have seen but a few, and most if not all were longslide models.

    Pretty useless mod if you ask me. Your only shaving a little weight, while not doing anything else productive unless your wanting to port your barrels too.

    Most shooters are adding weight to the muzzle end of the gun. HK sells custom weights for your USP Match .45 and you can buy them for others as well. See the movie Tomb Raider and you will see what I am talking about. Those are weights on the HKs.

    Open top guns, open top cars... to each his own.

    Personally, then never really did anything for me. Then I saw a customized 92FS with a two tone finish...
    Light colored frame, dark slide, and a light barrel. That looked SHARP. Like a dang Tuxedo. I loved it. Oh, and dark colored carbon fiber grips too. It was soo nice.
     
  24. TheMariner

    TheMariner Member

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    George Hill, chill dude...

    Honestly, the M9 was no better than the 1911, and not any worse. My experience is each has its advantages... I personally see no real point in making a 9mm as heavy as a .45.... That excuse of "more stable, etc" is the same one international rifle competion guys for the school team give me for having a 12 or 14 pound .22 rifle and all the jacket and gear they mount on themselves to hold it. I find I'm just as accurate with a regular .22 and no jacket. Unfortunately, they don't take too kindly to that and make sure there are enough team rules to prohibit an unjacketed person and low weight rifle from making it to their firing line. Whatever.

    Many people, including me, prefer a platform as heavy as needed to place teh round accurately... And if I can punch all ten rounds inside teh 9 ring at 25 yards, I think that's stable enough for me. Any more weight is just more you drag around in the field...
     
  25. cool45auto

    cool45auto Member

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    l
    l
    l
    l
    V :neener:
     
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