Operating Systems 201: Tilting Barrel Locking

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Previously, we looked at the most common type of locking mechanism for rifles, but what about handguns? Well, today we’ll be looking at tilting-barrel locking, a method used in virtually every modern locked-breech handgun today.

Tilting barrel locking was invented by that Utahn gun maestro, John Moses Browning, as an evolution of a translating barrel mechanism he had invented earlier. The principle is simple: Create surfaces on the barrel that when it is straight prevent the breechblock from separating from it and moving to the rear, then tilt the uprange end of the barrel down during operation to allow the two elements to separate. This mechanism is almost always coupled to a short-recoil action, where the barrel and slide float together on the frame, although hypothetically it could also be operated by gas or another system.

The two photos of my Glock 19 handgun below illustrate how the barrel tilts at the rear to move the front locking surface of the barrel out of the way of the slide, unlocking the two elements and allowing the slide to move to the rear:

PHOTO_20160613_233954use PHOTO_20160613_234042use

You can see how interference from the square rear part of the barrel interferes with the slide in the first image; this gives the pistol the strength to fire higher pressure cartridge. Recoil of both the slide and barrel then after a short distance cause unlocking; this is enough time for pressure in the cartridge to drop to safe levels for extraction.

Tilting barrel locking is incredibly simple, and very easy to manufacture, while being extremely compact. As a result, it has positively dominated handgun design for well over the past 100 years, and the vast majority of modern designs to this day use it. It’s such a great mechanism that this is no wonder, however it does possess disadvantages. Tilting-barrel locking leaves something to be desired in the accuracy department; while pistols that use this system are hardly inaccurate, it suffers in too many details to make it the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Nashvone

    “Tilting-barrel locking leaves something to be desired in the accuracy department”

    I’m sure the fan boiz are sharpening their pitch forks to come after you for that comment.

    • Anonymoose

      Fanboiz? You mean everyone who likes guns other than just Berettas, P7s, and straight blowbacks?

      • Nashvone

        Mostly Glock owners. We all know how easily offended they can be about their precious tupperware pistols.

        • Cymond

          Yeah, I’m not sure who are worse, the Cult of the 1911, or Glockophiles.

          • Riot

            1911s, seeing as most of them are AR15 fanbois as well they make contradictory arguments with regards to 45acp and 5.56

        • Anonymoose

          Same with 1911 owners.

    • MPWS

      That is a correct statement: it is physically impossible to guide barrel straight in line and at the same time to allow for its tilt. HK seem to solve it with O-ring, but I am not sure with what degree of success. I know they supply couple of them as replacement.

      • Hyok Kim

        “That is a correct statement: it is physically impossible to guide barrel straight in line and at the same time to allow for its tilt. HK seem to solve it with O-ring, but I am not sure with what degree of success. I know they supply couple of them as replacement.”

        Keeping the barrel straight in line has very little to do with slow fire accuracy. What matters is how tight the lock is when the bullet exists the muzzle. How the barrel moves after the bullet exists the muzzle has nothing to do with slow fire accuracy. Now, fast fire accuracy is a different story.

  • John Pate

    What you mean is, “Precise hand fitting is required to achieve maximum practical accuracy in a tilting barrel pistol.” A properly gunsmithed one would be as accurate as anything else possibly could be.

    • Robert w

      No, there is no such thing as a perfect fit, no matter how good a ‘smith that works on it.the very fact that the barrel is decoupled from the sights means that there will be a loss of accuracy. Now, if you had something like a sighttracker with both front and rear sights attached to the barrel, then you truly could have that accuracy

      • John Pate

        And yet people still use hand fitted 1911s in competitions that require accuracy. The sights being fitted to the barrel is a part of of the equation, not the full story.

        • Cymond

          They use them in competitions where time is also a factor. One must wonder what could be achieved by something like a Contender or an Encore where lockup is tight and the sights are attached to the barrel.
          Sure, you might need to use a Ransom rest to fire the groups and a ruler to notice the difference, but there would be a difference.

          • ostiariusalpha

            That’s right, in competitions like ISSF Center-Fire Pistol, revolvers strongly dominate.

          • Hyok Kim

            Actually, one does not need a Ransom rest to appreciate the advantage of sight trackers. But one does need multiple targets, and time pressure to appreciate the sight tracker.

        • Yeah, but they’re not exactly using them as F-Class rigs, now are they?

      • Hyok Kim

        “No, there is no such thing as a perfect fit, no matter how good a ‘smith that works on it.the very fact that the barrel is decoupled from the sights means that there will be a loss of accuracy.”

        Not necessarily true. Walther P5 had decoupled the front sight from the barrel to the slide. It is more accurate than P38/P1/P4, the same lock up system. P38 style linear barrel lock up does not lock the most forward portion of the barrel to slide at all, and as a result the front sight on the barrel does not stay in the same position in relation to the rear sight on the slide. So the front sight ‘wanders’ in relation to the rear sight, messing up the POA each time one fires, fast firing compounding the ‘wandering’.

        On the other hand, P5’s front sight is fixed to the slide like the rear sight to the slide (dovetailed). So the front sight does not wander in relation to the rear sight, making POA more stable. Mechanically, they are the same gun, with P38 having longer radius, but P5 is more accurate, especially in fast fire.

        “Now, if you had something like a sighttracker with both front and rear sights attached to the barrel, then you truly could have that accuracy”

        My understanding is that the sight tracker has front sight attached to the barrel, but not the rear sight, which is attached to the slide.

        Btw. The reason for better accuracy of the sight tracker has little to do with relation between the front sight and rear sight. It has a lot more to do with the front sight not moving to the rear much, it remains nearly stationary to rear, it does move vertically so from the shooter’s eyes, the front sight wanders very little from the target, making the sight acquisition very fast, which is very important in fast fire accuracy involving multiple targets.

  • FU

    This post is lacking illustrations and definitions of terms like breechblock. It’s just not going to be of any use to anybody who doesn’t already understand tilted barrel locking. You should break it down more.

    • The series is meant to be read together. I define the terms in question in previous posts. I might start adding hyperlinks to the previous posts for terms I use.

      As for illustrations, I am working on getting open source illustrations/animations that won’t step on anyone’s toes. For now, we’ll have to make do with my light box.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  • BattleshipGrey

    Handy pic for visual learners.

    • Twilight sparkle

      That looks like a cross between a cz75 a glock and a 1911

      • BattleshipGrey

        I thought there might’ve been some S&W thrown in for good measure.

  • guest

    “Tilting-barrel locking leaves something to be desired in the accuracy department; while pistols that use this system are hardly inaccurate, it suffers in too many details to make it the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.”

    I have yet to meet a living breathing human being – besides some well-known YT extraordinaries – who can actually leverage that very minute difference in accuracy. So unless someone starts using pistols for bench-rest shooting it’s not an issue and never will be.

    • I have. He was my CNC instructor at TSJC.

      • guest

        Good for you, assuming your statement is true, which is doubt, no offence. However for 99,9% of ALL hangun end users this will not even be close to relevant no matter how well they train, hence mentioning it is about as relevant as saying that some people will find regular tap water lacking as it is not the same 2000+ year old “untouched” purity as that tapped from unadulterated glaciers in the Swiss alps. Practical use > theory, as always

        • You seem to be confused. My statement was that the accuracy gap between tilting barrel locking (among other things) is the reason why it is not typically used in weapons where extreme accuracy is required, such as for example bench rest shooting or Olympic pistol target shooting.

          Now, doubting that I was taught by Speedy is another thing. You doubt it, essentially implying I am not telling the truth, but I should take “no offence” at this. Well, I won’t, because you are some rando who can’t even be arsed to create a screenname and who wouldn’t understand context if it took physical form and was used to give you a prostate exam.

          No offense.

    • Jeremy Nettles

      And that, my friend, was his point.

      He’s talking about operating mechanisms in general here, not just those that apply to pistols, and certainly not to pass judgment on every model. At longer ranges, the deficiency is obvious–hence the lack of tilting-barrel short-recoil rifles. Because this system is not ‘the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.’ It is, however, quite sufficient for pistols at close range, as the writer said.

      • Hyok Kim

        “At longer ranges, the deficiency is obvious–hence the lack of tilting-barrel short-recoil rifles. Because this system is not ‘the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.”

        The reason tilting barrel lock up is not used in rifles is due to non-linear moving nature of the lock up, not its potential for accuracy. It would be too big and heavy, given everything else equal.

        • Jeremy Nettles

          Well, somebody certainly fancies himself an expert…

          A longer barrel would certainly demand careful design, but it’s not like we’re talking about earthshaking forces here.

          • Hyok Kim

            Based on the book that I had read, if one wanted to build a rifle based on tilting barrel short recoil, that would come to weigh about 30 to 40lbs. This is for a battle rifle.

          • Jeremy Nettles

            Granted, I haven’t read whatever book you did, but from a purely intuitive perspective, I’m not buying it. Sure, scaling up a glock to handle .308 would be ridiculous, but there are other ways to design a tilting-barrel action, and it’s silly to make a sweeping generalization like that.

          • Hyok Kim

            “…….and it’s silly to make a sweeping generalization like that.” – Jeremy Nettles

            “At longer ranges, the deficiency is obvious–hence the lack of tilting-barrel short-recoil rifles” – Jeremy Nettles

            ……well, are you not?

            Btw. the notion that tilting barrel action is not the foundation for precision accuracy is simply not true. The most accurate factory combat pistol ever was Walther P88, which used their own special version of tilting barrel action which locks the muzzle end to the slide rigidly. Will Clapp tested it on ransom rest, back in the 80s, sub 1″ 5 shot group at 25 yards. Only pistols that have ever matched it have been a few high end custom 1911s and HK P9S competition model with special barrel weights.

            The vaunted HK P7s, and P9S combat models with their fixed barrels were not as accurate as P88.

          • Jeremy Nettles

            Umm…you said that any rifle based on a tilting-barrel action would weigh 30-40 lbs. There are hundreds of variables in that equation, and you just ignored them to make a pretty bold one-size-fits-all statement.

            I made a generalization about a fairly specific set of circumstances–at least, I thought my assumptions were obvious; perhaps I was wrong about that. Existing tilting-barrel short-recoil action (i.e. pistol), beyond the effective range of most pistols.

            Since there aren’t any rifles with a tilting-barrel action, I have to ignore some variables, too, but at least I tried to qualify my generalization a bit. Your only qualification was ‘based on the book I read,’ which, let’s be honest, isn’t doing to much to establish you as a voice of authority on the subject.

            Look, I never said this type of action couldn’t be accurate. The point is that it’s much easier to make an accurate firearm with a fixed barrel then with one that flops around between shots. Pointing out a couple of tilting-barrel pistols that are slightly more accurate than a a couple of static-barrel pistols proves that it CAN be done, but that’s not the real issue. If you look at target pistols, you’ll see almost exclusively fixed barrels. Sure, these guns aren’t practical for combat or carry, but that’s beside the point–you’ll see more good shooters, whose single greatest concern is accuracy, with fixed barrels than with tilting barrels.

          • Hyok Kim

            “…but there are other ways to design a tilting-barrel action,…….”

            …….like how?

            “Umm…you said that any rifle based on a tilting-barrel action would weigh 30-40 lbs. There are hundreds of variables in that equation, and you just ignored them to make a pretty bold one-size-fits-all statement.”

            ……Umm….like what kind of hundreds of variables?

            “Since there aren’t any rifles with a tilting-barrel action, I have to ignore some variables, too, but at least I tried to qualify my generalization a bit.”

            …..like what some variables?

            “Your only qualification was ‘based on the book I read,’ which, let’s be honest, isn’t doing to much to establish you as a voice of authority on the subject.”

            …..nope, it’s more than that. It’s based on all those pistols I have tested on the tightness of the lock between the muzzle and the slide or pressing the muzzle sideways. Absolute slow fire accuracy of firearms (as far as mechanicals are concerned, given everything else equal) is based on how the muzzle changes the position between shots when the bullet exists muzzle.

            “Look, I never said this type of action couldn’t be accurate.” – Jeremy Nettle

            “At longer ranges, the deficiency is obvious–hence the lack of tilting-barrel short-recoil rifles. Because this system is not ‘the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.’ It is, however, quite sufficient for pistols at close range, as the writer said.” – Jeremy Nettle

            Didn’t you mean by ‘deficiency’, accuracy?

            “At longer ranges, the deficiency is obvious–hence the lack of tilting-barrel short-recoil rifles. Because this system is not ‘the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.’ It is, however, quite sufficient for pistols at close range, as the writer said.” – Jeremy Nettle

            ……then how come Walther P88 (a tilting barrel action) is more accurate than roller delayed block back action employed in HK P9S or gas delayed action employed in HK P7? They’re all about the same weight class. The action employed in both P9S and P7 are basically scaled down versions employed in battle carbines ala ‘assault rifles’.

            “The point is that it’s much easier to make an accurate firearm with a fixed barrel then with one that flops around between shots.”

            The point is the reason why tilting barrel action is not employed in rifles is not that it can’t be made accurate (as the typical actions employed in rifles), but it cannot be scaled up as readily as other actions, given the weight and size limitation.

            “If you look at target pistols, you’ll see almost exclusively fixed barrels. Sure, these guns aren’t practical for combat or carry, but that’s beside the point–you’ll see more good shooters, whose single greatest concern is accuracy, with fixed barrels than with tilting barrels.”

            …….and most of those target pistols with fixed barrels are simple blowbacks. So how come are there lack of simple blowback fixed barrel rifles if the accuracy is not the issue?

          • Jeremy Nettles

            Alright, I don’t have the kind of free time you seem to, so I’ll keep this relatively short.

            For ‘other ways’ I meant other than the Glock design. This would’ve been obvious if you’d paid attention to the whole sentence.

            For variables: cartridge dimensions (case length, shoulder location, angle, and length, projectile caliber, maximum, average, and minimum chamber pressures, maximum, average, and minimum projectile weight and length. The intended use of the firearm, including length requirements, weight requirement and distribution, control requirements, cyclic rate, width and height of firearm, magazine system and capacity, desired materials, suppressor compatibility, accessory compatibility, optics system needs, acceptable recoil – felt, energy, and impulse. Construction materials availability, design cost, design period length, manufacturing tolerances and cost, manufacturing time. Type of operation (semi or fully automatic), method and direction of case ejection (assuming cased ammo, which is not a given) standard or bullpup configuration, type, location, and function of safety and selector, at least a dozen options that pertain to ergonomics, electronic or mechanical ignition, and finally aesthetics.

            That’s just, off the top of my head, some of the variables we’d need to consider in order to determine the weight of any rifle design. Sure, most of the variables will only swing things an ounce or two, but add all those up.

            Look, I’m not saying your figure is definitely wrong, but you haven’t given me any reason to believe it, other than ‘I read a book that said it.’

            Same with your pistol action testing – you’re not giving me data, just a subjective judgment that one is ‘better’ and another is ‘worse.’ Regardless, unless you do a controlled, quantified test of several examples of every relevant pistol action (which is totally unfeasible for…really anyone), all I’m hearing is anecdote.

            I did not say a tilting-barrel action would always be inaccurate. Like the author of the article, my point was that, generally speaking, pistol actions with tilting barrels are LESS accurate than some alternatives, and in particular fixed barrels. One or two examples to the contrary do not disprove the general trend.

            And there ARE plenty of simple blowback fixed barrel rifles! Most are .22’s, but regardless, they’re capable of better accuracy than most tilting-barrel pistols.

            I don’t see why this is so hard to understand. You’re trying to push for an irrevocable truth that will apply to all firearm actions, but there’s just too much baggage with every design to look at anything but general trends. If you can make or find a dead-nuts accurate tilting-barrel pistol, then by all means, knock yourself out. It’s going to be harder, though, because of the design challenges faced by that type of action. That’s all I’m trying to say.

          • Hyok Kim

            “For ‘other ways’ I meant other than the Glock design. This would’ve been obvious if you’d paid attention to the whole sentence.” ” – Jeremy Nettle

            What ‘other ways’? Here we are talking about tilting barrel action, not just Glock design. That should have been obvious if you’d paid attention to the subject matter on hand.

            “Look, I’m not saying your figure is definitely wrong, but you haven’t given me any reason to believe it, other than ‘I read a book that said it.’

            Same with your pistol action testing – you’re not giving me data, just a subjective judgment that one is ‘better’ and another is ‘worse.’ Regardless, unless you do a controlled, quantified test of several examples of every relevant pistol action (which is totally unfeasible for…really anyone), all I’m hearing is anecdote.” – Jeremy Nettle

            ………and have you given a controlled, quantified test of several examples of every relevant pistol action to say tilting barrel action is not suitable for bleeding edge precision?

            “I did not say a tilting-barrel action would always be inaccurate.” – Jeremey Nettle

            “At longer ranges, the deficiency is obvious–hence the lack of tilting-barrel short-recoil rifles. Because this system is not ‘the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.’ It is, however, quite sufficient for pistols at close range, as the writer said.” – Jeremy Nettle

            Had you said it could be accurate above?

            “Like the author of the article, my point was that, generally speaking, pistol actions with tilting barrels are LESS accurate than some alternatives, and in particular fixed barrels. One or two examples to the contrary do not disprove the general trend.” – Jeremy Nettle

            “At longer ranges, the deficiency is obvious–hence the lack of tilting-barrel short-recoil rifles. Because this system is not ‘the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.’ It is, however, quite sufficient for pistols at close range, as the writer said.” – Jeremy Nettle

            “Same with your pistol action testing – you’re not giving me data, just a subjective judgment that one is ‘better’ and another is ‘worse.’ Regardless, unless you do a controlled, quantified test of several examples of every relevant pistol action (which is totally unfeasible for…really anyone), all I’m hearing is anecdote.” – Jeremy Nettle

            …..and have you? At least, I gave a concrete example of a tilting barrel action pistol outperforming in accuracy slow fire against fixed barrel in the same caliber.

            “And there ARE plenty of simple blowback fixed barrel rifles! Most are .22’s, ……..” – Jeremy Nettle

            Oh! So you consider .22 used in target pistols as rifle caliber rounds! Most of us here, when we talk about rifles, we are talking about, at least .223 (some of the old timers don’t regard even .223 as rifle rounds, but merely carbine rounds), and above, like 30-06, .308, etc, Most of us here are most definitely not talking about rimfire .22 used in target pistols as rifle rounds unless as a joke.

            “….. but regardless, they’re capable of better accuracy than most tilting-barrel pistols.” – Jeremy Nettle

            Apples vs. Orange. Tilting barrel action pistols use more powerful rounds than .22 rimfire used in target pistols. Also, you’re comparing pistol vs. ‘rifles’, really pistols with longer barrels with longer sight radius and shoulder stock against pistols with shorter barrels, with shorter sight radius and no shoulder stock.

            Is this your idea of controlled, quantified test?

            “Same with your pistol action testing – you’re not giving me data, just a subjective judgment that one is ‘better’ and another is ‘worse.’ Regardless, unless you do a controlled, quantified test of several examples of every relevant pistol action (which is totally unfeasible for…really anyone), all I’m hearing is anecdote.” – Jeremy Nettle

            “You’re trying to push for an irrevocable truth that will apply to all firearm actions, but there’s just too much baggage with every design to look at anything but general trends.” – Jeremy Nettle

            …….but I haven’t. Who are you arguing with? I merely disagreed with your notion that tilting barrel action cannot be the ideal foundation for precision accuracy, by simply showing that the most accurate pistol from the factory ever made was a tilting barrel action pistol, more accurate than any other fixed barrel pistols with the same caliber rounds.

            “If you can make or find a dead-nuts accurate tilting-barrel pistol, then by all means, knock yourself out.” – Jeremy Nettle

            I already had a long time ago. Can you show me an example of simple blow back fixed barrel 9mm pistol from the factory that can shoot sub 1″ 5 shot group at 25 yards?

            “It’s going to be harder, though, because of the design challenges faced by that type of action. That’s all I’m trying to say.” – Jeremy Nettle

            ……….that design challenge had been overcome a long time ago by Walther, back in 80s. How the barrel moves after the bullet exists the muzzle has no bearing with the slow fire accuracy from mechanical perspective.

            You’re merely repeating misconception of what makes a pistol accurate from the days of yore like 70s and before.

            “I don’t see why this is so hard to understand.” – Jeremy Nettle

            Is it so hard for you to understand you are criticizing me for something you don’t do yourself to support your reasoning?

            “Like the author of the article, my point was that, generally speaking, pistol actions with tilting barrels are LESS accurate than some alternatives, and in particular fixed barrels. One or two examples to the contrary do not disprove the general trend.” – Jeremy Nettle

            “At longer ranges, the deficiency is obvious–hence the lack of tilting-barrel short-recoil rifles. Because this system is not ‘the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.’ It is, however, quite sufficient for pistols at close range, as the writer said.” – Jeremy Nettle

            “Same with your pistol action testing – you’re not giving me data, just a subjective judgment that one is ‘better’ and another is ‘worse.’ Regardless, unless you do a controlled, quantified test of several examples of every relevant pistol action (which is totally unfeasible for…really anyone), all I’m hearing is anecdote.” – Jeremy Nettle

            ……have you given me any data, any controlled, quantified test to support your reasoning?

          • Jeremy Nettles

            Again, you clearly have too much time on your hands. I almost never tl;dr, but here’s a case where I merely skimmed.

            You’re still not listening. At this point, I don’t suppose that should surprise me.

            No, I have not given the type of evidence I’m asking of you – but that’s because I’m accepting conventional wisdom; you’re the one challenging it. Again, I’m perfectly willing reject conventional wisdom, but only if given adequate reason to do so. You have not provided this.

            You didn’t say ‘centerfire rifle,’ merely rifle. Since accuracy at ranges beyond typical pistol engagements are in question here, I see no reason that a .22 rifle is immediately disqualified. The question is about accuracy, so why are you calling ‘foul’ on a different variable?

            Accuracy is not Boolean. One system can be less accurate than another, but still sufficiently accurate for the intended purpose. If you can’t grasp this, then there’s no further point in discussion.

            ‘the most accurate pistol from the factory ever made was a tilting barrel action pistol’ – Hyok Ki

            That’s just too broad an assertion for me to accept without some hard evidence! Science does not allow us to be impressed with a system’s accuracy, notice that it’s better than a handful of other examples in a pool of thousands (which we never test on equal terms), and then declare it ‘the best ever, bar none.’

          • Hyok Kim

            “Again, you clearly have too much time on your hands.” – Jeremy Nettles

            “Alright, I don’t have the kind of free time you seem to, so I’ll keep this relatively short.” – Jeremy Nettles, 2 days previously

            ……well, you certainly seem to have plenty of free time to indulge me.

            “I almost never tl;dr, but here’s a case where I merely skimmed.” – Jeremy Nettles

            ….but you do in this case……..for me, right?

            “You’re still not listening.” – Jeremy Nettles

            Oh, I do, and found your reasoning to be inconsistent, and lack the hands on knowledge.

            “At this point, I don’t suppose that should surprise me.” – Jeremy Nettles

            …then why continue…….especially after claiming you had no free time .. twice. Another proof of your lack of reasoning?

            “No, I have not given the type of evidence I’m asking of you – but that’s because I’m accepting conventional wisdom; you’re the one challenging it.” – Jeremy Nettles

            …..conventional wisdom according to whom? Jerry Miculek, Rob Leatham, Brian Enos? They all greatly appreciate tilting barrel action, that’s what they use to win championships! They certainly don’t use fixed barrel pistols, not even HK P9S, P7, and certainly not, HK VP7, the simple blow back, fixed barrel 9mm pistol you claim to be so superior to tilting barrel action.

            “You didn’t say ‘centerfire rifle,’ merely rifle. Since accuracy at ranges beyond typical pistol engagements are in question here, I see no reason that a .22 rifle is immediately disqualified. The question is about accuracy, so why are you calling ‘foul’ on a different variable?” – Jeremy Nettles

            ……because .22 lr used in target pistol is not considered ‘rifle caliber’ rounds by conventional wisdom you like to hide behind so much. When experienced shooters talk about rifle rounds, we aint’ talking about .22lr. We automatically assume centerfire rounds. Heck, many of us don’t even consider .357mags, or .30 carbine as rifle rounds. If the best you can do is to hide behind some verbal gymnastics, you already betray your lack of conventional wisdom.

            .22lr is ballistics-wise a pistol round, also by conventional wisdom. By your ‘reasoning’, all those 9mm, and .45acp subguns would qualify as rifles, by the virtue of having fixed barrels, and shoulder stocks (well, most of them), just like those so-called .22lr ‘rifles’ per your definition.

            Tell me, mechanical action-wise, what’s the difference between simple blowback fixed barrel, .22lr ‘rifles’ and 9mm, .45acp, simple blowback fixed barrel subguns? Conventional wisdom-wise, simple blowback fixed barrel 9mm, .45acp guns with should stock (or not) are not considered rifles.

            “Accuracy is not Boolean.” – Jeremy Nettles

            Wow! Fancy word, there, Boolean! You could have simply said, black and white! You one of those fancy people, huh? Full of conjectures based on hearsay, and book learning, but very little hands on experience.

            “One system can be less accurate than another, but still sufficiently accurate for the intended purpose. If you can’t grasp this, then there ‘s no further point in discussion.” – Jeremy Nettles

            …and where did I say that was not the case?

            ‘the most accurate pistol from the factory ever made was a tilting barrel action pistol’ – Hyok Kim

            “That’s just too broad an assertion for me to accept without some hard evidence!” – Jeremy Nettles

            You can google, Walther P88, and Willy Clapp, a very well, respected authority and a Walther enthusiast.

            “Science does not allow us to be impressed with a system’s accuracy,…..” – Jeremy Nettle

            ……..how do you measure a system’s accuracy if not through science?

            “.. notice that it’s better than a handful of other examples in a pool of thousands (which we never test on equal terms), and then declare it ‘the best ever, bar none.'” – Jeremy Nettles

            …….poor Jeremy, we do it here all the time. If you insist on testing like you said above, you shouldn’t be here. Here is just one example.

            http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/04/17/tfbtv-5-best-surplus-rifles-500/

            Since you are obviously sucking up to Nathaniel F. the author of this very article, ask him whether he did the testing like you insist when he reached this conclusion………

            “One major downside of the round was that it had to be properly oriented during loading, however even with this somewhat quaint characteristic it still would have been a great advance versus existing muzzleloading cartridges.” – Nathaniel F.

            …..whether he personally tested thousands of muzzle loading cartridges from the era with the thousands of this particular cartridge.

            …….from this article.

            http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/07/19/potd-58-schubarth-an-egg-of-brass-lead/

          • Jeremy Nettles

            This is what I get for feeding the troll.

          • Hyok Kim

            You are not a shooter. It’s obvious from the lack of first hand info, mere conjectures based on semantics.

          • Jeremy Nettles

            You’re mistaking a healthy understanding of the limitations of my own experience for a lack of experience. Not terribly surprising, since you’re willing to make blanket statements about every pistol ever made because ‘I read a book once,’ and ‘I wiggled the barrels and they seemed pretty solid!’

          • Hyok Kim

            “Again, you clearly have too much time on your hands.” – Jeremy Nettles

            “Alright, I don’t have the kind of free time you seem to, so I’ll keep this relatively short.” – Jeremy Nettles, 2 days previously

            “……well, you certainly seem to have plenty of free time to indulge me.” – Hyok Kim

            “You’re mistaking a healthy understanding of the limitations of my own experience for a lack of experience.” – Jeremy Nettles

            ….still at it, poor Jeremy, enough free time engaging in amateur sophistry. You could have simply said, “Humor me, I’m not a shooter.”

            “Not terribly surprising, since you’re willing to make blanket statements about every pistol ever made because ‘I read a book once,’ and ‘I wiggled the barrels and they seemed pretty solid!'” – Jeremy Nettles

            ……except I didn’t. I merely talked about Walther P88 with regard to slow fire accuracy. Btw. Your criteria for testing small arms are not met by anyone, not even U.S. Military.

          • Jeremy Nettles

            The point about free time is that I don’t have the time to craft book-long responses, as you obviously do.

            Also, no military’s primary requirement for a small arms is accuracy. There are so many variables ahead of accuracy that it’s not really on the table until a lot of other requirements have been met. Hence the lack of target .22’s in military use.

          • Hyok Kim

            “The point about free time is that I don’t have the time to craft book-long responses, as you obviously do.” – Jeremy Nettles

            “For variables: cartridge dimensions (case length, shoulder location, angle, and length, projectile caliber, maximum, average, and minimum chamber pressures, maximum, average, and minimum projectile weight and length. The intended use of the firearm, including length requirements, weight requirement and distribution, control requirements, cyclic rate, width and height of firearm, magazine system and capacity, desired materials, suppressor compatibility, accessory compatibility, optics system needs, acceptable recoil – felt, energy, and impulse. Construction materials availability, design cost, design period length, manufacturing tolerances and cost, manufacturing time. Type of operation (semi or fully automatic), method and direction of case ejection (assuming cased ammo, which is not a given) standard or bullpup configuration, type, location, and function of safety and selector, at least a dozen options that pertain to ergonomics, electronic or mechanical ignition, and finally aesthetics.
            That’s just, off the top of my head, some of the variables we’d need to consider in order to determine the weight of any rifle design. Sure, most of the variables will only swing things an ounce or two, but add all those up.” – Jeremy Nettles

            “Also, no military’s primary requirement for a small arms is accuracy.” – Jeremy Nettles

            ………and had I ever said it? Who are you arguing with?

            “There are so many variables ahead of accuracy that it’s not really on the table until a lot of other requirements have been met. Hence the lack of target .22’s in military use.” – Jeremy Nettles

            Again, the proof that you are not a shooter. .22lr is not used for general military purpose for one simple reason, lack of range, and stopping power. Even a novice shooter knows this.

          • Jeremy Nettles

            Dude, you’re still on this?? Let it die in peace!

            Also, you just restated my exact point in different words, and yet seem to think you’re disagreeing with me.

  • Twilight sparkle

    Doesn’t the tilting barrel design also pose some issues with suppressors needing a recoil booster?

  • Hyok Kim

    “Tilting barrel locking is incredibly simple, and very easy to manufacture, while being extremely compact.” As a result, it has positively dominated handgun design for well over the past 100 years, and the vast majority of modern designs to this day use it.”

    It’s also a super reliable system, especially when firing slow, unlike most fixed barrel and linear lock ups, the barrel/chamber moves down with a tilt for reliable feeding (ammos don’t have to ‘jump’ to get into the chamber), but when firing too fast could create extra vibration and instability akin to limp-wristing, due to its higher internal friction (why it can be made compacter and lighter than other lock ups), especially when it’s dirty or when it’s extremely cold, or firing one handed, or firing wearing gloves, or too small hands or short fingers, creating more chances for jams. Also, clearing a jam is a bit more difficult than some other lock ups due to its barrel/chamber moving in more different directions due to that tilt, plus higher internal friction.

  • Hyok Kim

    “It’s such a great mechanism that this is no wonder, however it does possess disadvantages. Tilting-barrel locking leaves something to be desired in the accuracy department; while pistols that use this system are hardly inaccurate, it suffers in too many details to make it the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.”

    Let me qualify it a bit. When it comes to slow fire, tilting barrel lock is a system that can be made more accurate than any other lock ups, and even the wheelguns, especially with some hand fitting. Walter P88 series is the most accurate factory pistol ever. On ransom rest, sub 1″ 5 shot group at 25 yards. Walther used a special version of tilting barrel lock that locked the muzzle totally rigid to the slide. I used to handcheck the potential accuracy of pistols by pressing the muzzle against the slide, and P88 is the only factory combat gun that didn’t budge a bit. When I pressed HK P7, and P9S, (‘fixed barrel’ guns, btw. Luger is not a fixed barrel, but many mistakenly believe it is) they moved. Only some custom 1911, and HK P9S competition with special barrel weight didn’t move.

    Now, with that out of the way, fast fire accuracy from hand, freehand, especially one hand is a different story.
    Slow fire accuracy (strictly mechanically speaking), especially from a ransom rest is dependent on how tight the lock is with regard to the muzzle and slide, and slide with frame. Nothing to do with how the barrel moves after the bullet exists.
    Fast fire accuracy(again, mechanically speaking), especially from one hand is dependent on optimum combination of slow fire accuracy, and how the barrel and the slide move, and the relation of the weight differences between the barrel, slide, and the frame, and how good is the trigger, the optimum trigger for fast fire accuracy being, positive and fast reset, and the balance of the time it takes to pull the trigger, and the reset, given a trigger finger, with its strength, reach, and the size of the hands regarding the grip.

  • Hyok Kim

    “Tilting barrel locking is incredibly simple, and very easy to manufacture, while being extremely compact.” As a result, it has positively dominated handgun design for well over the past 100 years, and the vast majority of modern designs to this day use it.”

    It’s also a super reliable system, especially when firing slow, unlike most fixed barrel and linear lock ups, the barrel/chamber moves down with a tilt for reliable feeding (ammos don’t have to ‘jump’ to get into the chamber), but when firing too fast could create extra vibration and instability akin to limp wristing, due to its higher internal friction (why it can be made compacter and lighter than other lock ups), especially when it’s dirty or when it’s extremely cold, or firing one handed, or firing wearing gloves, or too small hands or short fingers. Also, clearing a jam is a bit more difficult than some other lock ups due to its barrel/chamber moving in more different directions due to that tilt, plus higher internal friction.

  • Hyok Kim

    “It’s such a great mechanism that this is no wonder, however it does possess disadvantages. Tilting-barrel locking leaves something to be desired in the accuracy department; while pistols that use this system are hardly inaccurate, it suffers in too many details to make it the ideal foundation for a bleeding-edge precision firearm.”

    Let me qualify it a bit. When it comes to slow fire, tilting barrel lock is a system that can be made more accurate than any other lock ups, and even the wheelguns, especially with some hand fitting. Walter P88 series is the most accurate factory pistol ever. On ransom rest, sub 1″ 5 shot group at 25 yards. Walther used a special version of tilting barrel lock that locked the muzzle totally rigid to the slide. I used to handcheck the potential accuracy of pistols by pressing the muzzle against the slide, and P88 is the only factory combat gun that didn’t budge a bit. When I pressed HK P7, and P9S, (‘fixed barrel’ guns, btw. Luger is not a fixed barrel, but many mistakenly believe it is) they moved. Only some custom 1911, and HK P9S competition with special barrel weight didn’t move.

    Now, with that out of the way, fast fire accuracy from hand, freehand, especially one hand is a different story.
    Slow fire accuracy (strictly mechanically speaking), especially from a ransom rest is dependent on how tight the lock is with regard to the muzzle and slide, and slide with frame. Nothing to do with how the barrel moves after the bullet exists.
    Fast fire accuracy(again, mechanically speaking), especially from one hand is dependent on optimum combination of slow fire accuracy, and how the barrel and the slide move, and the relation of the weight differences between the barrel, slide, and the frame, and how good is the trigger, the optimum trigger for fast fire accuracy being, positive and fast reset, and the balance of the time it takes to pull the trigger, and the reset, given a trigger finger, with its strength, reach, and the size of the hands regarding the grip.