1911 Auto 2011 long slide
Photo Courtesy of Brownells
A slide is the reciprocating upper unit found on most modern semiautomatic handguns. It is kept closed for firing under spring pressure or by a locking mechanism and normally includes the bolt or breechblock. Many of the previously described machining techniques would be used in the construction of typical modern slides.
Bolts or Breechblocks
Photo Courtesy of
This component bears against the head of an unfired cartridge case and locks in the breech of a barrel prior to firing. The portion of the bolt or breechblock in immediate contact with the head of the cartridge during firing is called the breech face. The bolt, or breechblock, not only locks the weapon for firing, it shuttles cartridges in and out of the chamber. It also may leave unique microscopic marks on the heads of fired cartridge cases.