Technical Semi~Auto Question.

This is a discussion on Technical Semi~Auto Question. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok...Many of youse guys...Oh Sorry! That should be "yins" guys...I get my Pittsburghese all "messed up" sometimes. Let me start again.... Many of yins guys ...

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Thread: Technical Semi~Auto Question.

  1. #1
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    Technical Semi~Auto Question.

    Ok...Many of youse guys...Oh Sorry! That should be "yins" guys...I get my Pittsburghese all "messed up" sometimes. Let me start again....
    Many of yins guys have more book learnin' than I do....So riddle me this???

    I understand that every semi~auto slide needs forward momentum in order to slam that top (in magazine) round "home" ~ up out of the magazine and into the barrel chamber.
    Gun makers have cut the weight on many modern auto loaders by going to polymer & lightweight metal frames & lighter weight minor parts. But the slides are (as we all know) still quite HEAVY.
    Pistol slides were always historically made from steel to retain mass & the necessary weight needed to reliably feed & chamber rounds.
    No slides were ever made from Aluminum (save for some .22 & .22 short slides) because Aluminum "work hardens & it can't take much in the way of slide punishment.
    BUT, if a gun maker really wanted to make an ultimate LIGHT WEIGHT auto loading pistol...say in .45acp ~ Could that slide be made from Light Weight but much TOUGHER Scandium or Titanium and....the lack of slide weight be "made up for" by stiffer recoil spring pressure?
    In other words...Would a lightweight but durable slide "slamming home" under GREATER recoil spring force do the very same job as a normal heavier STEEL slide "slamming home" with lesser spring force?
    Or...is there some other mysterious reason why that cannot be done?
    I'm just curious since NOW there are very light weight modern "exotic" metals that are extremely tough & can take much more overall punishment than Aluminum.
    As usual...any & all thoughts and comments are very welcome.
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    I'm going to have to consider this for a bit QK, let it stir around in this mud I have left of a mind and I'll give you my opinion shortly.
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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    What I'd expect is two-fold - the heavy slide absorbs recoil energy that would otherwise slam into the frame, your hand, whatever follows the path of least resistance. It's possible to make a gun so light you don't want to fire it. This might be the reason why.

    The other reason is simple stress - the lightweight slide slamming home with no absorption could cause the thing to shatter or knife-edge its way off the mechanism. With no mass, it slams into a stop and shatters or flies and keeps going. Material strength doesn't overcome huge, massive stresses or repeated problems.

    A thin, light slide if it blows is literally shrapnel in your hand.

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    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Red face

    I agree with rfurtkamp on this...the slide must have considerable "mass" to function properly...F=ma...There is a certain amount of Force required, and the slide is the easy way to get that force. Could increase the acceleration of the slide to make up for mass, but I believe that in order to do that, you'd have to use a much stronger "spring". I suspect that if you put in a spring that would make up the difference, you probably couldn't pull the slide back to chamber that first round.....my two coppers.

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    Also I have seen "race gun" 1911's with holes cut thru em to lighten em up, as well as holes cut in the front of the slide too. Too little weight and the recoil will be difficult to manage as well.

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    I believe there is an upper bound that limits recoil spring strength. There's only a certain amount of recoil energy available for a given chambering. This energy has to be able to overcome the recoil spring and move the slide rearward a sufficient amount to cycle the action. If you make the recoil spring too strong, it will interfere with the reliable operation of the action. You could even take it to the level of locking the gun up completely.

    Also the mass of the slide is one of the things that regulates the speed of cycling. If you have a really light slide with a heavy spring, assuming that the energy available can move the slide sufficiently rearward, it's possible that the slide will cycle too quickly for reliable feeding.

    Mike

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    What about the " Procilen(sp) G& made in Germany that goes though metal detectors and costs more than you make in month " lol howd they keep that one together

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    I think I read somewhere that in the case of a 1911, some parasitic drag is needed as the bullet is out of the bbl before it cycles and if that is not the case the 1911 pulse can be hampered with too light a frame/not enough parasitic drag.

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    ok.my turn..
    I've worked as a machinist for a long time, before turning to the Investigations Field. <besides, it's more fun than cuttin metal> The slide needs forward momentum, along with a negative push <expanding force> from the recoil spring, to help strip the round from the mag. the weight of the slide, made of hardened steel, or stainless with a hardened bolt face of rockwell 45 or greater isneede, along with the slide weight gives the Inertia movment needed to make this happen. I think if you tried Scandium, coupled with a Rockwell 45-55 for a bolt face, it just may work. Berrillium ir Titaiium may be possible as well, but I 'm not sure if I want to stand behind it fo rth efirst time.. Good question for that Myth Busters show...

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    Thanks Folks

    I am thinking also after reading your replies that the ultra light weight slide might need to move so fast that the magazine spring might have a hard time "keeping up" during very rapid fire. That is just a guess on my part.
    I'm sure it would throw the normal Colt "timing" way off.
    I actually am decently recoil tolerant.
    It was all just one of those "brilliant" dreams that I had of a larger caliber pistol that was compact ~ weighed nearly nothing ~ & still functioned flawlessly.
    I guess somebody one heckova lot smarter than me would have invented it by now if it were possible.
    What sort of "sparked it" was when I was on the American Derringer Corp. site a while back and saw they offer an ULTRA Light Weight Derringer with aircraft Aluminum frame AND barrels in .38 & 44 Special & it does not say anything about them being steel lined barrels. So...I figured why not an ALL totally light weight semi~auto pistol??? Oh well, back to the drawing board!
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