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Thread: Does RDS make slide length irrelevant?

  1. #1
    Site Supporter dogcaller's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Northern Colorado

    Does RDS make slide length irrelevant?

    I'm new to the RDS world. I'm currently learning in a LTT RDO with an SRO and I have a G17 slide out to be milled and have a Steiner MPS mounted. Being an owner of the G19/17/34, I understand the relative advantage of the longer sight radius. That being said, it there any relative advantage to the longer slide when using a RDS?

  2. #2
    Swimming past it all fatdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Rural Central Alabama
    my answer would be balance or velocity, the way I figure if you have a 3.5" or longer barrel you have checked the box to get most defensive ammo up to a decent performance level, then it becomes a balance thing, felt recoil. I do better with a G19 or 17 slide than I do with my G34 once the red dot is in place in terms of shot to shot recovery, etc. and the accuracy is equal, even out to 50 yards

  3. #3
    The bigger the difference in barrel length the bigger the difference in vertical accuracy. Slower bullets will apex sooner. With a dot sight you can zero your gun at any distance you want and if you know what you are doing it will make the difference moot. This is only if you are into long range shooting, like beyond 25 yards. Other than that, its not much of a difference. It can be very noticeable if you are accustomed to the same loading, but if you are that accustomed to it you wouldn't be asking that question.

  4. #4
    No, slide length still plays a role in recoil characteristics and the like, it's been discussed several times, like here:

    Whether you're a good enough shooter to feel the difference, who knows. I doubt I'd be.

    That being said, a shorter slide is much easier to attach a compensator on, and still have good holster compatibility, so...

  5. #5
    Site Supporter
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    Dec 2015
    Define irrelevant - it makes some things less applicable, but physics still applies to everything. I think it's good to look at things holistically, rather than a checklist.

  6. #6
    There are really two thoughts here:

    1. Velocity

    2. Subjective feel.

    For Velocity, a longer barrel will always do "better" than a shorter one. As many have said "Velocity kills". Most ammo as already mentioned will perform just fine out of a 3.5 inch barrel but if you want that extra "oomph" that may not be able to be quantified by the layman, pick the longer barrel.

    For subjective feel there are two thoughts.

    1. The longer slides and barrels generally feel softer in the hand. They do however recover differently under recoil. Think of a longer slide as more of a "ker-klunk" than a "snap". The shorter the slide and barrel, the more the gun will snap in recoil. This is pretty nuanced and you have to really pay close attention to what's going on there.

    Pick your poison.

    I shoot a 34 equally as well as a 45/19X. I find the 19X slide to recover "faster" and I prefer that but I find myself shooting my 34 more often to save my hands as the 34 requires marginally less effort to shoot well.

    Having said that, I'm stuck on a 17 for work which I don't really care for as I find it to be the worst of both worlds lol.

  7. #7
    Did you mean to say "sight radius" irrelevant?

    If so, then "yes".

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