The Taurus PT1911 is an all steel, five inch barreled 1911, just as John Moses Browning intended his .45 caliber pistol to be. After almost one hundred years, the 1911 .45 automatic is still the standard to which all fighting pistols are compared. Even with all of the designs introduced in the past few decades, the 1911 is still the choice of professionals who have to carry a handgun into a fight. The PT1911 is a superb firearm right out of the box. It's 100 year blood line has been enhanced with over nineteen once thought custom features and the quality seems second to none! The PT1911 also has a little Colt blood in it's veins so it's no wonder that this pistol has made a strong name for itself so early in it's existence. Taurus CEO, Bob Morrison was the Vice President of Colt Sales and Marketing for nine years prior to his current position at Taurus. I'm sure he knows a thing or two about the 1911 pistol.
The Taurus PT1911 integrates nineteen custom features, including:
Full-Length guide rod & reverse plug
Heinie Straight Eight Sights
Serrated slide rear and front
Checkered 30-lpi trigger guard
Checkered 30-lpi mainspring housing
Checkered 30-lpi frontstrap
Beavertail grip safety with memory pad
Target hammer (with built in Taurus gun lock system)
Skeleton serrated trigger
Lightened and polished trigger job
Custom fit barrel (with gauged bushing)
Custom slide-to-frame fit
Polished feedramp and barrel throat
Lowered and flared ejection port
Custom internal extractor
Extended mag release button
Beveled mag well
Second 8-round magazine
When I bought this gun, I really had no intentions of buying a 1911 or even a pistol for that matter. I had previously ordered a Ruger Hawkeye M77 in 7mm Rem Mag. I had prepaid for the rifle with inheritance money my Grand Pap had left me after his estate closed. But 3 weeks had already gone by and my dealer still had no leads on when the rifle would be arriving for me! Frustrated, I asked him if I could cancel the order and pick out some thing else since I had already paid in full for the Hawkeye. He said that would be fine and I immediately asked to see the Taurus PT1911 sitting in the case. The minute I put this gun in my hand, I knew I was a believer in the school of John Browning! The gun just felt good in my hands. The perfect grip angle, assertive weight and a definite perceived solidness. I didn't even pick up another gun that day. I was even more impressed as the dealer told me of the extra features the PT1911 had over the other Springfield and Rock Island 1911's sitting lonely in the case. As I worked the action, I noticed that it was crisp and clean. My eyes found nothing but perfect lines and tight tolerances in the overall design. The blued finish is a handsome shade, but does seem to be a bit thin and marks easily. I'm prepared for holster burn, but I don't mind because I feel that it will add a characteristically rugged look to the gun. I've handled other 1911's before, but this gun is different. It just begs to be shot.
Specifications as tested:
Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel Length: 5"
Finish: Blue Steel
Grips: Pachmayer ALS
Weight: 38 oz
Frame: Mil Spec, large
Front Sight: Heinie
Rear Sight: Straight-8
Trigger Type: Ventilated
Rate of Twist: 1:16"
When I got the new pistol home, I immediately field stripped it for examination and cleaning. I was impressed by the stainless barrel and matched barrel bushing. I also took note of the matching serial numbers stamped on the frame, slide and barrel. The full length guide plug was a bit cumbersome without the bushing tool but manageable none the less. The slide seems heavy and very solid. The trigger mechanism was smooth and had obviously been tuned and polished. The only thing I didn't like about this hot rod pistol was the factory checkered plastic grip panels. I think Taurus didn't put a lot of effort into selecting a stellar set of grips because they knew that the owner will prefer to add a set of grip to his/her preference. And thats exactly what I did. less than a week later, my new set of Pachmayer American Legend Series 1911 grips arrived and I installed them without haste. It took an extra ten minutes with a Dremel tool to carve out the underside of the right grip panel to accommodate the PT1911's ambidextrous right side safety lever, but it went smoothly and I quickly found myself holding possibly the most comfortable gun I've ever held! The new grips fit my hand like a tailored pair of gloves and it was extremely hard to put the gun down.
Off to the range. About one week after I got the PT1911, I headed up to camp in Elk County to try out my new found joy. I had read lots of other positive reviews online and I had already discredited most of the Taurus bashers so I was fully expecting this gun to run well. I was not disappointed! I started out with some American Eagle ball ammo and finished up with some Whinchester White Box and I did not have one single failure to feed, failure to eject or any other type of misfire. It chewed up 150 rounds like a good steak diner and was eager for more. I found the Heinie Straight 8 sights easy to get used to. The sight picture seemed a little more open than other sight systems and it was very natural to use. Once again, I was not shooting paper targets so I don't have much information on groupings, but I was very pleased with the accuracy as I put down aluminum cans one after another at 15 to 20 yards. The Straight 8's seemed to be extremely accurate right out of the box. I still have not needed to adjust them. I feel certain that this gun will shoot better than I am capable of. As with any 1911, the firm weight of the handgun helps to absorb the stout recoil of the .45 ACP round and I found the PT1911 no exception as I was easily able to maintain control during rapid fire. This gun is a pure pleasure to shoot.
In conclusion, my experience and feelings with the Taurus PT1911 would lead me to recommend it to anyone looking to buy a customized 1911 at a decent price. As well as this gun performs, I find it hard to imagine what other higher priced 1911's have to offer over this little hot rod! The PT1911 is now available in a beautiful stainless steel finish that has already made my short list of guns to own!
Review and Photography by: RocketFoot
Thanks for looking and happy shooting!
Sources: Taurus-Intl., TaurusArmed.net