- Beretta had won a huge contract in 1974 to produce small arms for the army of Brazil. Part of the deal was that Beretta construct a Brazilian factory and use Brazilian labor. This they did, in the southwestern coastal city of Sao Paulo. When the contract ran out in 1980, Beretta sold the plant, literally "lock, stock and barrel," to Taurus. Taurus now owned everything that once belonged to Beretta, including drawings, tooling, machinery, and a very experienced work force. Taurus was in the pistol business, and immediately sought to improve on the Beretta design, resulting in the popular and acclaimed Taurus PT-92 and PT-99 9mm pistols.
- In one fell swoop, Taurus was in the pistol business. While the Beretta factory continued to manufacture Beretta-type pistols under the Taurus name, the Brazilian company set out to redesign the pistols for improved performance and ergonomics. The result was the Taurus PT 92 series.
- At first glance, the Taurus PT 92 and PT 99 appear to be simple Beretta 92 clones, but while similar, the PTs are functionally different than the Beretta product. Beretta 92 and Taurus PT 92 parts will not interchange, not even magazines.
- While the Beretta 92 series pistols are excellent handguns, they lack several features that many pistol users find attractive. The most significant change undertaken by Taurus engineers was redesigning the fire control mechanism and moving the selector switch from the slide down to the pistol's frame, where most shooters feel it belongs.
- The ambidextrous Taurus selector switch is right next to the shooter's thumb and can be accessed without changing one's grip on the pistol. The uppermost position is "safe," while the first notch down is "fire." Pressing the selector switch down beyond the "fire" position safely drops the hammer.
Taurus USA History
American Handgunner, May, 2002 by Charles Cutshaw
This FAQ was the product of the group effort of all the moderators of Taurus Armed.