The Taurus PT1911 is an affordable handgun with a long list of features. The 1911 is a great service and protection pistol, not to mention a match winning competition handgun. The problem for most is that the better class of 1911 pistols are increasingly expensive.
The Taurus 1911 is affordable and has earned a reputation for good function and accuracy. The pistol features an all-steel slide and frame rather than cast parts. The barrel appears well fitted and the serial number is stamped on the frame, slide, and barrel—old school style. The matte blue finish of my handgun isn’t anything to impress visiting dignitaries with, but it is credible.
The polished flats are well done. The pistol features both forward and rear cocking serrations. The pistol features a 5-inch barrel and a full-length guide rod. The fit of the barrel bushing is good. The ejection port is scalloped for sure ejection and easy administrative handling. The cocking serrations fit the hand well and forward cocking serrations give even better leverage. The pistol features high visibility sights.
I like the front strap checkering—something usually found only on much more expensive handguns. The trigger guard’s underside is also checkered in a 30 lines per inch pattern. The grips are black plastic, OK and serviceable but not attractive. The pistol features an ambidextrous slide lock safety and extended beavertail grip safety.
The slide lock and magazine catch operate properly. The trigger is a three-hole type in the popular fashion; the hammer is similar to the Commander type. The magazines are built by Taurus and particularly well finished and functional. Overall the handgun seems a good measure, somewhat outstripping less expensive handguns in features and giving competition to much more expensive handguns.
The drawback to the pistol on hand is the trigger action. It is tight with little take up, no discernible creep or over-travel, and feels smooth. However, it breaks at a heavy 8.0 pounds. I have felt Taurus 1911 handguns that were lighter. I have used this handgun as a test bed in ammunition testing and I keep meaning to do a trigger job, but I also keep getting credible results.
My personal Taurus 1911 is a rail gun equipped to handle a wide range of laser and white light. This is an advantage but makes holster selection more difficult. With a modest break-in period, the GALCO N3 has served well.
The Taurus PT1911 is reliable, having fired 2,800 or so cartridges without complaint until quite recently. The extractor failed to jerk a cartridge case from the chamber. This resulted in a case over jam, which I quickly cleared. I removed and tuned the extractor, cleaning up the extractor hook, and good function continued.
Feed reliability with hollow point bullets is a given. Most of the ammunition fired has been handloads. These include loads using the Oregon Trail 225-grain FP bullet over enough Titegroup powder for 790 fps. This is a pleasant loading that groups 3.25 inches at 20 yards on demand.
I have been asked often which .45 ACP load might give the best results for personal defense. I do not like loads that fragment and burst into petals or a rain of small shards, nor do I believe inflated claims concerning velocity. Some folks are worried about recoil. The .45 ACP does not need a +P load for good wound potential. A loading that is affordable, reliable and accurate is needed.
The Hornady American Gunner 185-grain XTP is among these. I have clocked the load consistently at 890 fps in the Taurus 5-inch barrel, with a standard deviation of just 6 feet per second. This load penetrates some 18 inches and expands to .58 caliber.
Control in a steel frame 1911 is good—accuracy potential excellent. The Taurus has grouped five of the American Gunner loads into three inches at 25 yards—service-grade accuracy. The Hornady Critical Defense offers more expansion, but I like the balance of expansion and penetration of the XTP. For home defense the Critical Defense load deserves a look. The Taurus PT1911 has given good results and is a mainstay in my working battery.
Everyone loves a 1911, but which is your favorite? Do you own a Taurus PT1911? Share your answers in the comment section.
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