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Slide Lightning

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TEX, Jun 24, 2011.

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  1. TEX

    TEX Member

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    What , exactly is suposed to be the benefit of slide lightning, on an automtic handgun. People buy tungstun guide rod to keep the weight out front heavy. Wouldn't a heavier slide do the same thing. Does it offer faster cycling, less recoil, etc. ???
     
  2. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Nothing. No gain. There is a proper slide weight range for a given load of ammo. As long as your in that range you'll be fine.

    Unless the slide was too heavy to begin with. Like a 6" 1911 or a custom Glock 35 slide without the slide cutout.

    Long heavy slide, combined with weak powder puff comp ammo may be a problem. Lighten the slide so that you can shoot weak fluffy ammo in comps?

    Weight of the slide effects how much the slide moves before the bullet leaves the barrel. Too light can be really bad, poor accuracy. Too heavy and the recoil is too weak to function proper.
     
  3. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

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    Some of the higher level speed shooters lighten the slide to increase the cycling speed. They can utilize the gain where most of us can't realize the slight decrease in time the faster cycling affords.

    Also, on a pistol using soft loads, the cycling speed is slowed, especially when the slide returns to battery because of the softer recoil spring weight. Lightening the slide allows a slightly heavier recoil spring to be used and feeding reliability returns along with the faster cycling slide. Again, most of us won't realize the gains, nor even detect if the gun is not adequately spring tuned and it also weakens the slide.

    The tungsten guide rod doesn't reciprocate, so doesn't enter into the slide equation. It puts weight out front to help steady the pistol. Some shooters like them, some don't. It is a matter of the balance of the pistol the shooter prefers.
     
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    The most heavily lightened/cut away slides I've ever seen, that functioned, were those used in the Steel Challenge. There is a very low power factor and speed is king in this sport. The lighter slide starts and stops faster, going both backward to eject and forward to chamber a new round. The lighter gun is also faster to start and stop in target transitions...moving between targets

    The trick to making a 1911 function is balancing the slide weight and the springs.
     
  5. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I thought at first this was going to be about some new lubricant. :p

    If a slide is lightened, it is for a specific purpose, e.g., the shooting games mentioned above. Generally, the gun makers know how much the slide needs to weigh. ;) In a couple of cases I can think of offhand (SIG P229, .40-caliber Browning HiPower), they actually made the slides heavier to accommodate the heavier-recoiling (than the original 9mm Luger) cartridge.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    That is what I thought too. I'm pretty sure the OP meant Slide Lightening and just left out the "e"
     
  7. TEX

    TEX Member

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    Thanks for the replies folks. I was bascically trying to get information on how it woudl affect cycling, etc. I have entertained the though of building a super light Glock (fluted barrel, lightened slide, titanium parts, etc.). I know the Glock is pretty light anyway, but it got me to thinking that if a M26 works just as well as a M19, but has less slide weight why couldn't you mill away a spot hre and there to get the slide weight the same as a 26?. It looks like if you are going to monekey with the slide weight you would have to compensate with a different spring or varible weight spring to keep the gun from unlocking to soon (and know what you were doing). I sort of guessed it might allow faster cycle time, but like most of you, I can't get back on the trigger quick enough to probably ever take advantage of that. I know that Taurus does or will make a titanium slide version of their little 9mm, so I am guessing the recoil spring will be pretty darn stout. I have a friend who has a 40SW Hi-Power and the slide does seem to be a bit heavier, but the recoil spring is the real bugger. His 110-lb wife can't even cycle the slide to get it going.

    Thanks Again
     
  8. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    The idea of reducing reciprocating mass to realize various benefits has merit and is not limited to handguns. Like any engineering change, the liabilities must also be examined.
     
  9. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    A balance is needed between cartridge load, recoil spring weight and slide weight. The pistol came functional in a "range" of these factors.
    If you change only one factor significantly, the balance has changed and the pistol may not function well with the same range of ammunition. Slide 'battering' can occur with what used to be a 'normal' load. Felt recoil/muzzle-flip will probably change.
    Changing the recoil spring weight and/or the load can rebalance a lightened slide through trial and error means.
     
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