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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A friend swapped his PT111 for my Springfield 1903A3 30-06 for a week, so we can each see if this is what we want. We will meet up again next weekend to finalize or cancel the deal. My friend bought this gun from another party who needed cash, and has never fired it himself.

The serial number on the PT111 translates to having been produced in 2005, making it a second generation pistol. I have removed the stainless steel slide from the black body and looked inside; the pistol looks to be factory new, inside and out. No blemishes or scratches whatsoever. It does appear to have been fired, although I have no idea how often, and well maintained. Includes the original Taurus box with two magazines (15 rounds each), two safety lock keys, and the instruction manual. Also includes a nylon web holster with belt clip and front pouch to store an extra magazine; the gun fits into the holster like it was made for it (probably was). All in all, it seems like a complete package. I will take it to a shooting range this Saturday (my friend even included a Ziploc bag of 9mm rounds!) and see if the two of us (the gun and I) get along.

I have been perusing this Millennium Pro forum in order to learn all I can from previous posts about this nice 9mm. What I am seeking from this outstanding group of gun enthusiasts (you!) is any advice on what to look for in a used PT111, just any advice or thoughts at all. I found an excellent multi-page checklist in another section regarding used revolvers, but not for semiautomatics. If I missed a similar checklist for autos, well, there's a reason I don't hunt rattlesnakes for a living. I look forward to good advice and sound wisdom. And, perhaps, a touch of humor.
 

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The Millennium 2nd and 3rd gen pistols are excellent ones. I suggest you give the PT111 a good clean & lube before shooting even though it has not been shot for a while. Also, I would take the mags apart to clean them. From now till Sat, I would load the mags fully and let them sit fully loaded until you hit the range. If I'm correct, the PT111 mag can hold 12 rds, not 15.

Last but not least, don't drink too much coffee before shooting.
 

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I think you'll like it more when you shoot it!

My pt111 was a 3rd gen and it was a great shooter. I sent it down the road as I wanted a more "do it all" pistol. Sometimes I regret that decision! It was a great gun for concealed carry and was easy shooting.

I'd look at the feed ramp and slide rails and frame rails, if everything there seems to be on the up and up I'd say you're more than likely good to go, if everything is as you say looking like new in box.

Happy Range Trip!
 

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I might buy 1 some time in the future. I love the compact size, the soft recoil and the capacity of the PT111.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Millennium 2nd and 3rd gen pistols are excellent ones. I suggest you give the PT111 a good clean & lube before shooting even though it has not been shot for a while. Also, I would take the mags apart to clean them. From now till Sat, I would load the mags fully and let them sit fully loaded until you hit the range. If I'm correct, the PT111 mag can hold 12 rds, not 15.

Last but not least, don't drink too much coffee before shooting.
Dddddon'ttt ddddddrinkkk tttoo much cccccoffee? Why eeeevvver nnnnnot?!
 

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I predict that you'll come back after spending some serious time with the PT111, just singing it's praises!

Have fun. :)
 

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Sounds like a great deal. But as this pistol is coming third-hand to you, make sure that everything is legit. No sense in owning something that is stolen, or may have been used in a criminal act....
 

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Yup, like the others say, open up the gun, clean it and see how it looks on the inside. There is a particular wear mark that will indicate how much it has been fired. It's a ramp on the right side of the slide that slams the trigger bar down during the cycle. It'll gradually make a dimple in the slide on that ramp. I noticed it at about 400 rounds and look at it at every cleaning. Others have written that it creates a peened out projection that drags on the frame and affects the action. It's fully exposed, easy to see and easy to file off.

Cleaning. The firing pin and its channel must be whistle clean. If that begins to slow down there will be failures to fire and the gun becomes unreliable. Disassembly is a little involved and not for the timid. I've been lucky to have not completely lost a spring or two in there but I feel that that channel needs hosing out and a dry lube for best operation. Poke around, there is a sticky somewhere on how to do that.

That little gun is my carry and I take care of it as best I can. There are other much smarter people than I on this forum. Heed them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you, all of you, for your responses and suggestions. RevolverFan, that's good advice. Fortunately, the gentleman with whom I swapped guns is a chaplain for the local police department, so the concern about this gun's history is minimal. However, should I decide to keep it, I'll ask my neighbor for a gun check...he's the head of the local police department SWAT team, besides being an investigator. bre346, you give some excellent pointers. I removed the slide; as several have pointed out, cleanliness in a semi automatic is second only to Godliness, so I checked inside again with a good flashlight. Some minor crud, but very little. I found the dimple in the right side of the slide, and notice polished and worn metal in other places. Considering this gun is 7 years old, I suspect it has seen its share of rounds.

Now that the initial enthusiasm has waned, I'm not so sure about keeping it. I'll take it to the range on Saturday, but I feel drawn to keep looking, maybe at revolvers. Hopefully, some time spent shooting it will help me make up my mind. Once again, thanks for the responses.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Follow up report after a visit to the shooting range. Well, I put 50 to 60 rounds through that seven year old PT111 today (I didn't keep an accurate count, I was having too much fun). Flawless operation, no Failure to Fire, no Failure to Eject. A very nice gun, I can see why you fans rave about it. My personal observations are:

1. Y'all are absolutely correct in your assessment of the stock sights. When we were kids, my brothers and I would make play rifles out of scraps of wood, 1 X 2, 2 X 4, etc. and use finish nails to make gun sights. Those finish nails were better sights than those bricks installed on the PT111! What in the world were you thinking, Taurus? Come on, you're better than that! (Now that I think of it, ya know, the nail sights on those hand-made toy rifles were so good, we NEVER missed our target. Not ever. We just had to convince whomever was the bad guy that they should have fallen down.) ;)

2. I was kind of surprised at how far I had to pull the trigger from full forward to striker release. Perhaps this is a characteristic of semiautomatics and is normal, but I have only fired a few in my lifetime and am not used to it. There was no change in resistance in trigger pull from full forward to when the gun would fire, so it was always kind of a surprise when it went off. I'm used to a shorter throw from my rifles and the revolvers I have fired. I also fired my son's 22 caliber semiautomatic today, and the trigger on that little gem was much more what I expected and am used to.

3. Recoil is, as was expected, minimal. A number of years ago (more than I care to contemplate) I had opportunity to fire a friend's Smith and Wesson Model 29 44 magnum. The 9mm is almost a popgun to what I remember from firing that revolver. The 111 is pleasant to fire, and a lot more fun. (In case you're interested, yes, I did hit six out of six soda cans from 50 feet with that 44 mag :D)

Conclusion: The Taurus PT111 is a very nice gun. I understand why it's followers hold on to them (or wish they had), and why one of the first things you do is change the sights. However, I have decided that a semiautomatic is just not for me. I have nothing against them, but I was born in the early 1950s and grew up watching Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, and many others, where the six gun was king. All my toy pistols were six guns, and they and I just seem to get along. So, once again, many thanks for advice and help and suggestions, it all added to a fun day at the range with my son and daughter-in-law. This forum has become my favorite place to haunt on the internet and you are all a great bunch of guys and gals and old geezers and...and...nice ladies. If I may coin a phrase from Arnold: "I'll be back."
 
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