Almost a century after its introduction, the 1911 platform is still the pistol against which all others are judged. However, few are within reach of the average shooter. That’s why Taurus’ affordable, feature-packed 1911 line caught my eye.
Taurus’ PT 1911s are built on a hammer-forged, ordnance-grade steel slide, frame, and barrel. All three components are hand-fitted for reliable operation and accuracy. Then they’re marked with matching serial numbers to ensure that the hard work isn’t negated with a parts mix-up.
I tested the stainless steel variant, which features polished flats and a matte-finished top and bottom. The full-length slide houses its five-inch, stainless barrel and full-length guide rod. The ejection port is lowered and flared, and wide grasping grooves fore and aft facilitate slide manipulation in high-stress situations. Low-profile Hienie sights are dovetailed into the slide. The serrated rear sight has a single white dot below the generous notch. The front also has a white dot, which sits atop the rear sight’s dot in Heinie’s “Straight 8” pattern.
The frame has a beveled magazine well for fast, sure reloads. The front strap and flat mainspring housing are checkered at 30 lines-per-inch for a better grip. The underside of the trigger guard is similarly-checkered. Thin, black plastic grips provide additional traction.
A nicely-fitted beavertail grip safety with a bump looks good and is easy to engage, even with a less-than-perfect grip. The ambidextrous thumb safety engages smoothly and positively. The extended magazine release is checkered, and the slide release has three wide grooves.
At first glance, the hammer looks like that of a Commander. A closer inspection reveals it has Taurus’ key lock. As far as internal locks go, there is nothing wrong with this one. However, I don’t like them on any gun, and if I keep this one, the lock will go.
The trigger is a classic, three-hole aluminum unit. My test gun’s broke at five pounds, seven ounces. It had a tad more take-up and overtravel than I like, but it wasn’t bad for an out-of-the-box trigger.
Fit and finish were very good, the barrel was fitted nicely and I particularly liked the Heinie sights. But the proof is in the shooting, so I grabbed 350 rounds and headed for the range to see if there was any steak to go with all that Brazilian sizzle.
I started out at the seven yard line, where I fired four magazines to get a feel for the trigger and check the sights (which were regulated perfectly). Next, I moved back to the 25-yard line to shoot groups. My test pistol shot very well, and was phenomenally accurate with Federal’s 230-grain Hydra Shok and Hornady’s 200-grain XTP +P. I then returned to the seven-yard line for some reliability testing. My friend, Deputy Lance Bertolino, and I ran through another 220 rounds as fast as we could. As expected, the pistol ran flawlessly. It was also easy to control thanks to the front- and back-strap checkering. A cleaner trigger would have made our job easier, but overall, the new Taurus impressed.
Taurus claims the PT 1911 is street ready right out of the box. With features, accuracy and reliability to rival many high-end 1911s, I have to agree.