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Discussion Starter #1
This discussion started on another thread, but I thought it might be worth its own thread, so here goes:

I've had perhaps half a dozen handguns and one rifle that were ported, all by MagnaPort. A couple were ported when I bought them, the rest were done at my expense.

Never had one that spit particles or flame on to me or my clothing. Had several that darkened their sights - I'm an old 3-gun handgun shooter, so I thought darkening my sights was just dandy. Saved bringing a carbide lamp to the range. Of course, that was before I discovered white dots and Trijicon.

I am not sure that porting is of any direct value to the first round fired. It is from the 2d round to the nth round fired at the same aim point that porting is of real value. Porting physically reduces the angular distance that the muzzle has to brought back to the desired point of aim. Reducing that distance, from maximum recoil point down to point of aim, reduces the time required to get off the 2d aimed shot. And that is a good thing.

There may be some psychological value to the 1st round, in that good porting improves repeat round accuracy, and increases shooter confidence.

The longer the barrel, the farther the ports are away from you, and the longer the "lever arm" between ports and the shooter. Thus, ports have more effect on a long barrel than a short barrel. The shortest ported barrel that I have is on an S&W Model 60, 357mag, 3" bbl. It came that way, NIB. Smith apparently sent it direct to MagnaPort, and from there it got to the gun store where I found, and bought, it. I had a non-ported twin. I compared them against a timer, and I could dump a cylinder full aimed at a single target faster with the ported one than with the non-ported one. So, I sold the non-ported one.

Flame does come out the ports. It also comes out of the barrel-cylinder gap on every _revolver_, but usually that is below your line of sight. If the revolver is positioned so that the flame and particles from the barrel-cylinder gap don't get you, then the flame from the ports won't either.

I've never found smoke blackening of white dot or Trijicons to be a problem. After shooting, just clean the gun normally, and the sights are back at full brightness. I've fired as many as five 15-round magazines through a heavily ported barrel (cheap, mail order, extended/ported, non-MagnaPort, drop in replacement bbl for a Sig 226, 9mm) in near dark conditions, without cleaning, and the the Trijicons were still plainly visible. Unfortunately, that barrel was awful, wouldn't group for me, anytime, day or night, so I dumped it in the parts box. It even felt loose when you wiggled it with the action closed. Another blankety blank learning experience.

Try this: Shoot ported _and_ non-ported guns or barrels at a target in dim light. You will see the flames, but if you focus on the sights you won't be disturbed ... much. Some factory rounds, and some reloading powders make significantly less flame than others. Experiment for yourself. I did, and I carry ported when I can.

"Dark testing" is a good thing to do anyway, even if you don't carry a ported gun. Those "flame shot" rounds that make the spectacular covers of gun magazines shouldn't be in your personal defense weapon at night.

The longest personal weapon that I had MagnaPorted was a Sako Finnwolf .308 lever action. I think it had a 26" bbl, don't remember. Felt fast follow-up shots might be desireable. In the late 1970s, in a farm field, shooting from sitting, at 100 yds, Federal factory premium ammo, shot a fast 7/8" three round group. No movement necessary after each shot. Crosshairs came right back to point of aim. Maybe you can shoot better. I couldn't, and can't.

Incidentally, the biggest guns I ever fired were the nine 16" 50s on the battleship USS Wisconsin. They are loaded with powder in 100 lb. bags - up to six bags per barrel. We carried "day" (smokeless) powder and "night" (flashless) powder. For a spectacular photo shoot we reversed it, so that the camera saw a big cloud in daylight photos, and a big flash in night photos. By the way, the Navy never saw fit to MagnaPort them.

Charlie, did you have a hand in that?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More on Ported Guns

Had to add this:

Ported guns, when fired in enclosed spaces such as indoor ranges, or even a covered firing point at an outdoor range, seem significantly louder, to me.

YMMV, but I calls 'em the way I see 'em .... and used to hear them.
 

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MM hasn't V'd from what BigMike has posted. Usually, when you post that you own a ported gun, and (gasp) carry one regularly, the resulting thread will devolve into severe warnings of negatives, stated surely and authoritatively by those who don't own a ported gun, wouldn't own one under any circumstances, and slept in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn last night. I got tired of answering these, but I will add one thing to what Mike has so eloquently written. When visiting a new indoor range for the first time, with a MagNaPorted .357 snub, look at the ceiling over the firing line before you cut loose. This range had been closed for a time, and the ceiling over the stations had accumulated cobwebs. The cobwebs had accumulated dust bunnies, to a thickness of about 4-6 inches. While the blast from the ports is greatly diminished at some 8' above the muzzle, it is sufficient to anger dust bunnies, and cause them to attack. :roll: Bifocals turned to "nofocals", normally dignified salt and pepper hair went grundgy grey, and, worst of all, the gun collected enough debris to be unrecognizable. Inhaling the remains of dust bunnies isn't recommended, unless there is a tavern nearby for first aid after cleanup. I strongly suspect these may have been "vampire dust bunnies" since they were hanging from the ceiling, but the broom got them before we could save anything for forensics.
 

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I guess the definitive test would be to progressively hold the palm of your support hand closer and closer to the ports until you can't stand it. Then add some distance to your *own* minimum port-to-bare skin value, to compensate for palm skin being tougher than forearm skin.

Then repeat with a shirt-cloth barrier. :twisted:

Personally, I think the concerns are a bit overrated. Except for pointing the ports at your eyes, if you're close enough to the muzzle for that to be a factor, regular old muzzle blast is likely to be a problem, too!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Revolver flame test

At a fire-safe firing point (concrete, bare soil, or gravel underfoot, no dry grass or leaves around) drape a piece of copy paper over your loaded revolver.

Point it in a safe direction, like down range.

Pull the trigger.

Note what happens to the paper.

Be sure the fire, if any, is out.

Try it again with a ported pistol.

Don't try this with your hands. Or anybody else's hands.
 
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