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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hope I can articulate my question well enough to get some good answers here. I'm not new to firearms but I am new to this type where the barrel tilts and then locks back into (hopefully) a consistently repeatable place every time the slide slams shut. I'm curious what the points of contact should be as this doesn't make a lot of sense to me compared to my experience with long guns where you want it "bedded" so the barrel is free floating and you wouldn't want something touching at the end of the barrel. Or does that not apply to such a short barrel?

Forgive me (and educate me please) if I use incorrect terms here:
I notice that the barrel is off center in the front of slide and is pressed tightly against the slide there. Here's a picture showing a very thin strip of parchment paper pinched between the slide and barrel so tightly you cannot pull the paper out. Is this by design that the barrel should contact the slide when in battery? Or should there be a gap all the way around so the barrel is not touching there? EDIT: see my second post in reply to this first one - duh - of course it looks off center - :ROFLMAO: How did I miss that earlier?
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Here I took a picture of my barrel and drew up my understanding of how the barrel returns to battery. Hoping one of you gunsmith experts will set me straight here. I'm just confused about whether the barrel is supposed be pressing against the slide as mine is in the above picture with the paper pinched tightly as shown. Or should the barrel only be supported at the points I numbered 1-4 and not be touching at 5?

OR have I got it all wrong and the idea is the muzzle is captured at #5 so call that the fulcrum and #1&4 push up until it hits #2 and can't go up any further and the points of contact that define the angle of the barrel in battery are #5 #2 and #1?
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
OK ... I just realized something I should have noticed earlier. But I see it now. The hole in the slide where the muzzle pokes thru is an angled hole to allow the barrel to tilt. So of course now I see why it looks like the barrel is off center towards the bottom when I look at the front. If I poke some paper far enough back on the top, it is a tight fit on top too ... just further back into the slide as in this new drawing I made.

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However I still have the basic question I was asking in the original post. Does the barrel rely on pressing against the front of the slide to land at the same tilt angle each time it cycles? Or are the contact points around the ramps etc. enough to achieve consistency and (in a perfect world) would the barrel be able to have a tiny gap all the way around that front hole in the slide?
 

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John Browning invented the barrel tilt mechanism as far as I know. Different pistols lock up in slightly different ways , but for the most part when the barrel returns to pickup the barrel is nice and tight in the slide .
 

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I'd like to page @JayhawkNavy02 to this one, if he's still around. I don't have the technical knowledge required to really discuss this one in-depth (my understanding of things both starts and ends somewhere close to this article: Fitting a Replacement Barrel for a Semiauto - Handguns), and he's detailed accuracy/precision concerns specific to the XD-platform in the past, and likely will have some valuable info. to share....
 

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I believe the barrel cut-out in the slide is oblong to allow the barrel to be angled enough to slip out of the slide while field stripping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe the barrel cut-out in the slide is oblong to allow the barrel to be angled enough to slip out of the slide while field stripping.
Yes, Once I noticed (in post #2) that the cutout in front was angled (like the yellow lines I drew over the picture) it was obvious why it had looked so goofy to me in the first picture I had posted earlier. The barrel is actually centered it just doesn't look that way from the front view if you don't know the hole is machined angled and elliptical to allow the tilt.

So the question I still have is whether or not the barrel is "supposed to" rest against that cutout in the front of the slide or not. I mean is it by design that the barrel should press against the bottom of that cutout in order to return to the same point of aim after every slide cycle? Or do all those machined surfaces above and below the chamber end of the barrel hold the barrel tightly enough that the muzzle end should float freely without contacting that cutout in the front of the slide?

In case anyone isn't familiar with the concept of glass bedding a rifle barrel ... (I hope I don't screw up this explanation too badly) the idea is that a barrel has a natural harmonic like a tuning fork and vibrates/wiggles in a specific way due to that natural harmonic. By bedding the barrel at the receiver end and leaving the rest of the barrel free to vibrate (not touching the stock at all), the barrel will vibrate the same way with each shot and the bullet will leave the muzzle at the same spot in that barrel motion for a tighter grouping. But if the barrel is in contact with the stock or if the barrel were resting on a sand bag etc., the harmonic motion is now disturbed and the barrel will be vibrating/moving in some random motion with no consistency of where the barrel's vibration is pointing when the bullet exits the muzzle.

I realize, of course, that a long range rifle is not the same as a 4" pistol ---- but all the same I am curious about having the tilting barrel return to the same exact spot for every shot and whether or not that contact between the front of the slide and the muzzle is intentional (required even?) or not. I guess an easier question would be if you can get tighter group from a fixed barrel pistol like a Beretta M9 - or do the tilting barrel pistols perform about the same as a fixed barrel like the M9?
 

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Yes, Once I noticed (in post #2) that the cutout in front was angled (like the yellow lines I drew over the picture) it was obvious why it had looked so goofy to me in the first picture I had posted earlier. The barrel is actually centered it just doesn't look that way from the front view if you don't know the hole is machined angled and elliptical to allow the tilt.

So the question I still have is whether or not the barrel is "supposed to" rest against that cutout in the front of the slide or not. I mean is it by design that the barrel should press against the bottom of that cutout in order to return to the same point of aim after every slide cycle? Or do all those machined surfaces above and below the chamber end of the barrel hold the barrel tightly enough that the muzzle end should float freely without contacting that cutout in the front of the slide?

In case anyone isn't familiar with the concept of glass bedding a rifle barrel ... (I hope I don't screw up this explanation too badly) the idea is that a barrel has a natural harmonic like a tuning fork and vibrates/wiggles in a specific way due to that natural harmonic. By bedding the barrel at the receiver end and leaving the rest of the barrel free to vibrate (not touching the stock at all), the barrel will vibrate the same way with each shot and the bullet will leave the muzzle at the same spot in that barrel motion for a tighter grouping. But if the barrel is in contact with the stock or if the barrel were resting on a sand bag etc., the harmonic motion is now disturbed and the barrel will be vibrating/moving in some random motion with no consistency of where the barrel's vibration is pointing when the bullet exits the muzzle.

I realize, of course, that a long range rifle is not the same as a 4" pistol ---- but all the same I am curious about having the tilting barrel return to the same exact spot for every shot and whether or not that contact between the front of the slide and the muzzle is intentional (required even?) or not. I guess an easier question would be if you can get tighter group from a fixed barrel pistol like a Beretta M9 - or do the tilting barrel pistols perform about the same as a fixed barrel like the M9?
I'm sure a bigger factor would be the hands in which the pistol sits 😆. If they were to give me a 1moa super duper pistol , I would never be able to match its performance.
 

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Yes, Once I noticed (in post #2) that the cutout in front was angled (like the yellow lines I drew over the picture) it was obvious why it had looked so goofy to me in the first picture I had posted earlier. The barrel is actually centered it just doesn't look that way from the front view if you don't know the hole is machined angled and elliptical to allow the tilt.

So the question I still have is whether or not the barrel is "supposed to" rest against that cutout in the front of the slide or not. I mean is it by design that the barrel should press against the bottom of that cutout in order to return to the same point of aim after every slide cycle? Or do all those machined surfaces above and below the chamber end of the barrel hold the barrel tightly enough that the muzzle end should float freely without contacting that cutout in the front of the slide?

In case anyone isn't familiar with the concept of glass bedding a rifle barrel ... (I hope I don't screw up this explanation too badly) the idea is that a barrel has a natural harmonic like a tuning fork and vibrates/wiggles in a specific way due to that natural harmonic. By bedding the barrel at the receiver end and leaving the rest of the barrel free to vibrate (not touching the stock at all), the barrel will vibrate the same way with each shot and the bullet will leave the muzzle at the same spot in that barrel motion for a tighter grouping. But if the barrel is in contact with the stock or if the barrel were resting on a sand bag etc., the harmonic motion is now disturbed and the barrel will be vibrating/moving in some random motion with no consistency of where the barrel's vibration is pointing when the bullet exits the muzzle.

I realize, of course, that a long range rifle is not the same as a 4" pistol ---- but all the same I am curious about having the tilting barrel return to the same exact spot for every shot and whether or not that contact between the front of the slide and the muzzle is intentional (required even?) or not. I guess an easier question would be if you can get tighter group from a fixed barrel pistol like a Beretta M9 - or do the tilting barrel pistols perform about the same as a fixed barrel like the M9?
I'm not sure how much the barrel harmonics play into the accuracy of the pistol; the useful range and acceptable accuracy of the pistol may not allow a disturbance to meaningfully impact accuracy (50-100 yards max with the average use case probably being sub-50, maybe even sub-10).

For example, if you look at how most AR15/AR10's with "free-float handguards" are free-floated, I've been told that the handguard-barrel nut-barrel interface can supposedly upset the barrel harmonics; however, for use with low magnification or unmagnified optics at ranges under 300 yards (5.56, 300 Blk, etc.), I would assume that most users won't see much of a difference. AR15/AR10's that mount the rail directly to the receiver are reported to have slightly higher accuracy, but these are mainly used on precision rifles in terms of factory made AR15/AR10's. (If someone is getting an AR10 and intend to put a powerful scope on it will affect accuracy).

My point is due to sight radius, ammunition ballistics, viable use range, etc., whether or not the barrel is free-floated may not produce a measurable/meaningful difference in accuracy; hence, this is why entry level hunting rifles have truly free-floated barrels and most tactical rifles do not.
 

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I hope I can articulate my question well enough to get some good answers here. I'm not new to firearms but I am new to this type where the barrel tilts and then locks back into (hopefully) a consistently repeatable place every time the slide slams shut. I'm curious what the points of contact should be as this doesn't make a lot of sense to me compared to my experience with long guns where you want it "bedded" so the barrel is free floating and you wouldn't want something touching at the end of the barrel. Or does that not apply to such a short barrel?

Forgive me (and educate me please) if I use incorrect terms here:
I notice that the barrel is off center in the front of slide and is pressed tightly against the slide there. Here's a picture showing a very thin strip of parchment paper pinched between the slide and barrel so tightly you cannot pull the paper out. Is this by design that the barrel should contact the slide when in battery? Or should there be a gap all the way around so the barrel is not touching there? EDIT: see my second post in reply to this first one - duh - of course it looks off center - :ROFLMAO: How did I miss that earlier?
View attachment 847073

Here I took a picture of my barrel and drew up my understanding of how the barrel returns to battery. Hoping one of you gunsmith experts will set me straight here. I'm just confused about whether the barrel is supposed be pressing against the slide as mine is in the above picture with the paper pinched tightly as shown. Or should the barrel only be supported at the points I numbered 1-4 and not be touching at 5?

OR have I got it all wrong and the idea is the muzzle is captured at #5 so call that the fulcrum and #1&4 push up until it hits #2 and can't go up any further and the points of contact that define the angle of the barrel in battery are #5 #2 and #1?
View attachment 847074
Yea make sure you guid spring in correct
 
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