my opinion goes to a 1911 with serrations like this
I have been at the range shooting a few different guns lately -- one thing i noticed is that some slides (near the back) are designed differently (maybe better) than others.
which semi auto pistol has the best slide in terms of ergonomics?
^ not bad. The XD's aren't bad either. M&P's are my favorite (one of the reasons why I like them so much).
It depends on the individual. Each persons hand is different and that is why some like one brand/model and others like a different brand/model.
Beretta 86 Cheetah. No slide racking at all: http://www.katsko.net/Firearms/Beretta/86b13.jpg
Chambered in .380 with a medium sized frame that makes recoil a non-consideration. Double stack. From Beretta, a proven design and a good company.
Makes one wonder what the slide serrations are there for...
The Cheetah 86 is out of production. I saw one recently in "mint" condition going out for $750.00. A lot of money for that firearm in my opinion.
But for someone who has problems pulling back the slide I would think this would be a good option. A modestly capable round with plenty of firepower (I believe 13 rounds in the magazine), a decent size from a reputable manufacturer.
If there is a misfire, the slide will have to be manually cycled to chamber a new cartridge
If there is a stove pipe the slide will have to be manually cycled
If you're cleaning the gun the slide has to be pulled to the rear to get to the breech face....
Cocking serrations make slide manipulation a lot more easy to accomplish...
Now, as far as the actual question of this thread is concerned....
On 1911s, I prefer the finer serrations such as these:
But I've got other guns with differing serrations. So long as they are cut at a sufficient depth, at a decent angle and provide enough friction I really don't care.
I can tell you more about what cocking serrations I do not like....
The original Springfield XD, could never really get a good grip on them with sweaty hands
The Kimber SIS due a combination of the Kimpro finish and lack of "grit" on the serrations themselves
CZ models, just not enough surface area
The current generation Para Ordnance guns with "Griptor Grooves"