Monday, July 25, 2011

Taurus PT- 1911 9mm Review

Taurus PT- 1911 9mm Review

As a very proud  owner of several Taurus firearms I have found them to fill the value based gap in the firearms industry with excellent quality, accuracy and reliability and sometimes with a finish that rivals much more expensive brands.  I was thrilled to add Taurus to be added to Taurus’ list of official reviewers. I was even more thrilled when I received the Taurus PT-1911 chambered in the cheap 9mm round that can be less than half as expensive to shoot as it bigger .45ACP brother.

FIT - This gun is atypical fit to all Taurus guns.  Good fit throughout the gun without any rattling or loose bits.  I did find the trigger a little loose, however this did not hamper the trigger feel at all.  The critical barrel to bushing fit was tight and the gun locks up very tightly when in full battery.

FINISH - The Taurus PT1911 line is available in a variety of materials from blue to stainless to a mix of blue and stainless and alloys.  The 9mm version is available in stainless or blued only.  The finish on the Stainless Taurus I was provided had an excellent low glare bead blast finish which had definitely taken the abuse it had seen as a test gun.  Some of the parts such as the hammer and thumb safety I would have liked to see a little deeper grooving on, however overall very nice finish on all the parts.

FUNCTION - Here is where the sand entered the Vaseline. I had many feeding and reliability issues which I believe were 99% magazine related.  Another tester and I used both high end Winchester PDX, less expensive Winchester White Box ammo, and my own “proven” reloads. Although the magazines are supposed to be nine rounds, they are the thumb-busting equivalent of getting the last round in a Glock magazine.. it can be done, but it hurts.  I should note that getting the first round in the magazine was kind of a twist and wiggle affair as well.  That tight magazine fit at full capacity was clearly the culprit to all of issues we had of getting the gun to pick up and chamber the first round in the magazine.  A fellow tester and I resolved that issue by just dropping the magazine capacity to eight rounds.  

The next issue was a FTF (Failure to Feed) which occurred at least once per magazine in the test gun with magazine A and also had one stove-pipe jam which was caught on video.  Magazine B worked better, but we still saw some FTF issues intermittently.  My thought is that the magazines included with this well worn test gun had been beat just too, hard too long, and the feed lips were simply out of spec.  To be completely fair, the Winchester PDX ammo had far less problems feeding. It is well documented that 9mm 1911’s can be a little more finicky so it may be simply an issue of replacing these magazines and then finding the right ammo.

Once the gun started cycling we did not have any issues with light primer strikes and the slide held back after the last shot.  The trigger feel was pretty good for a factory 1911.  The bobbed hammer was fast and featured a half cock detent.  The groves on the hammer were a little shallow a did require a little more conscious thought to cock.

FEATURES - This is where the Taurus line excels with a lots of extra features included at the regular price.  Fine checkering covers the front and rear of the grip and the underside of the trigger guard.  Typically this amount of checkering is only found on more expensive custom guns. Genuine Novak Sights, ventilated trigger with over travel adjustment, Taurus hammer safety, extended beavertail safety, ambidextrous thumb safety, ejection port contour, hammer forged receivers and barrels,   two magazines, hard case, and take down tool.  This is a very long list of included add ins for a pistol with a street price around $570.

ACCURACY - The accuracy matched my of my other semi-auto pistols with an average 3.7” groups at 25 yards off sandbags. It should be noted the PT1911 .45ACP versions I have shot were much more accurate.  Personally I was hoping for better accuracy from the 9mm version, and it may simply have not liked the Winchester and handload rounds I tested, however perhaps with some care to find the right performing round, accuracy would improve.


Model: 1911SS-9 Finish: Stainless Steel Status: Available
Caliber: 9 mm Grips: Checkered Black UPC: 7-25327-60278-1
Capacity: 9 +1 Weight: 38.8 oz Barrel Length: 5"
Construction: Steel Frame: Large Action: SA
Front Sight: Genuine Novak Length: 7.87" Trigger Type: Ventilated
Order #: 1-191109-9 MSRP: $780.00STREET: $570

As much as I wanted this to be a glowing testament and review of the Taurus PT-1911, the magazine issues were a first ever disappointment in the Taurus line-up.  Along with my own long experience, I have shot numerous other Taurus guns as well including a couple PT1911 chambered in .45ACP.  Those PT1911 left me extremely impressed with sandbag shot 2.5” groups at 25 yards and had zero reliability issues noted by the owners. 

Overall a great quality gun and an excellent price for a 1911.

It could have been this particular PT1911 in 9mm that was the issue and tainting my results.  The gun I received was the “ridden hard left wet” model apparently used extensively and never cleaned.  At some point it had been taken apart and not re-assembled correctly by the last writer and was jammed and would only partially cycle... like I said “ridden hard”.  The culprit was the barrel link had not been lined up and was jammed against the take-down pin. That issue required rubber mallet and punch to disassemble the gun, lots of cleaning, lubing, and re-assembly. Unfortunately this is occasionally the case with these sample test guns.  I will talk with Taurus and find out if they are interested in my testing a different gun, however it is my belief that swapping the magazines would cure all the reliability issues we experienced during testing.


Doug B. said...

I hope you had an opportunity to get another PT 1911 to test with better magazines. I would like to, at some point, get one of these guns. A 1911 with all the features of this one at its price point is rare. I perfect gun to tinker with.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great review. I just purchased PT1911 and just waiting on delivery. Hoping I don't run into the same problems

Unknown said...

This gun sucks. I hate it. Sold it the next day for 150 less. Im sick.

Lord Lafayette said...

Fantastic pistols in 9mm, 38 Super and 45 ACP. I own several of each caliber (except only 1 in 45 ACP). They are all more accurate than I can shoot and perform flawlessly with factory magazines.

Lord Lafayette said...

I own at least one PT1911 in 9MM, 38 Super and 45 ACP. They are exceptional pistols, perform flawlessly and are more accurate than I can shoot.

Aussitôt dit, aussitôt oublié said...

I just picked mine up today. I gave up after four magazines. Stove Pipe or Failure to Feed probably every third or fourth round. When I check out the magazines themselves by just pushing down on the cheap yellow plastic feeder, they just stuck about 1.5 inches down in the magazine. The gun is beautiful and the rounds I got off were dead accurate with almost no felt recoil but I'm going to have to replace these junk mags. By the way I was shooting Winchester "Whites" so not exactly top shelf but still... Any suggestions on mags that are compatible and higher in quality?