Gun Review: Taurus PT111 Millenium G2

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I’ll admit, the first thought that crossed my mind when I was told that I was to do a review on the Millennium G2 was, “Is my writing so bad that my editors are trying to kill me?”. As many of you may be aware, the Millennium G2 has a sordid history with a notable event of an unintended discharge, resulting in a severe injury and corresponding lawsuit.

But, I will give props to Taurus. Rather than shuttering the model, and burying the history, they have gone on to not only fix the existing issue, but improve upon the design, adding in some interesting safety features and other modifications.

So, let me briefly discuss the original issue that they had.

In my naiveté, I had always assumed that all “unintended discharges” were actually “negligent discharges” (e.g. the human screwed up). That was not the case here. What actually happened is that the striker block safety mechanism failed to prevent a “drop fire.” The striker block was an internal component whose job was to prevent the firing pin from impacting the primer. A failure of this component caused the gun to potentially discharge when subjected to a sharp impact (such as a drop).

Drop Test

Regardless of the update to the platform, I wanted to perform my own test. Using some extra 9mm rounds with the bullet and powder removed, I loaded up the magazine and proceeded to find a hard surface on which to drop the gun. I did this with both the slide safety and firing block safety engaged while “dry”, and safeties disengaged. I also performed the test with the weapon hot (with the “dummy rounds”).

Let me assure the readers that I did not have a single unintended discharge. I am willing to bet that Taurus did a much more rigorous (and scientific) test than I did. What I bring to the table is the curse of destruction–I break things in new and unexpected ways and, in this case, I did not have a failure.

Construction

The G2 is well put together. The components are tight and there was no rattling or “sloppy” feel to it. I sat on the couch and racked the slide a few hundred times. I ran a dozen dry magazine change drills and had no issues with the magazine dropping free. Reseating a fresh magazine was crisp. There are very few sharp or rough edges (basically the sight components and the ejection port) which makes it easier and more comfortable to conceal.  Also like most polymer framed pistols these days, it has a picatinny rail forward of the trigger guard to install your laser/light/bayonet/etc…

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I personally am not a fan of all of the safety mechanisms that seem to get installed on guns these days. I like a gun I can simply pick up and shoot. Having to remember that I have to disengage one or more mechanisms is a “no go” in my combat mindset, and my normal carry weapons do not have them. That said, I do understand the need for additional safeties based on your environment and situation. The G2 has what I would consider a “carry” safety (on the slide) which in my opinion is unnecessary since it is a DA/SA platform.  I found the slide safety challenging to disengage smoothly–it is a bit too small for my liking. The G2 also has a “storage” safety that locks the firing block by means of a key.  Just don’t forget what you did with the key…

Taurus G2 with Safety Key/Adjustment Tool

Taurus G2 with Safety Key/Adjustment Tool

The other safety enhancement (which is something I rarely ever pay attention to) is the loaded chamber indicator. I got into the habit of doing a press check when running my pistols and prefer to positively see/feel the brass rather than rely on a mechanical indicator (and I have heard that they can sometimes give a false positive if the gun is dirty).

The Millennium breaks down pretty much like a Glock. Clear the weapon, point in a safe direction, depress the trigger, pull down the forward tabs while gently pulling the slide to the rear, and the slide comes off forward. The gun was super easy to clean as the carbon just wiped right off from the coated surfaces. That and the application of some frog lube…

Shooting

I like to take a gun out a couple of different times for a shoot, for assessment. Once to just blow through some rounds and get a feel for how it functions and operates (usually three to four magazines worth). Then I like to take it a second time on a different day to run some drills (generally in the neighborhood of 12 “el Presidente” drills). I also like to shoot the crappiest ammo I have. I’ve never encountered a firearm that won’t run quality ammo. I have had a number of weapons that do not like “cheap” ammo. I’m not an olympic/competition shooter, so having a firearm in my arsenal that requires a very specific brand and/or configuration of ammo is not something I want.

The first time I shot it, I was not terribly impressed. It did what it was supposed to, slinging lead into my steel target, but it was not really anything new or different. But that is why I go out a couple of times.

The second time, I had a better experience. I found the stippling to be comfortable, and I noticed that the form factor fit my hand a little better than my Kel-Tec (the magazine finger groove allowed me to have a full and normal grip).

As I said, my preferred drill is an “El Presidente”. I have a well documented baseline for myself and I can do a pretty decent test without having to blow through a bunch of rounds. What I lose is the ability to do a “shoot until failure” assessment (unless, of course, it fails in the first 140 rounds or so).

My baseline with my Glock 17 (prior to the stippling) is sub 11.25 seconds (“C” class). I maintained the same rough times via an average of 11.16. My best time was 10.02. With more time and practice (like anything else) I’m sure I could bring that number down.

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I found the pistol to be fairly accurate. It was easy to line up the sights, and the G2 offers the ability to adjust the windage and elevation (using the provided safety key/screw driver). The dots are painted on, so don’t get too aggressive with solvents and brushes when you are cleaning it.

Reliability

I did have a light strike on the primer of my 89th round (during the drills). It was not repeated through my following 55 rounds. Since I only fired 12 drills with it (at 12 rounds) I’m going to chalk that up to an anomaly. Taurus discusses in the manual (yes, I actually read the manual) that a misfire due to primer not igniting enables a mechanism that “automatically changes the firing system from single action into double action”, allowing you to pull the trigger again without cycling the slide. Unfortunately I did not test this on the range for two reasons. First, I read the manual AFTER I got home, and second, I’ve had malfunction procedures drilled into me so heavily it is pretty much an unconscious skill (tap the magazine, rack the slide, re-engage). What this feature that Taurus added allows you to do is to practice dry-fire drills without having to rack the slide.

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Conclusion

The G2 was actually more pleasant to shoot than I had surmised (and had experienced in my first exposure). The initial trigger pull was crisp though a bit long (arguably longer than on my Kel-Tec PF9). This pistol is actually DA/SA so subsequent shots were pretty quick.

I feel confident recommending this weapon in the sub-compact category. It is a decent firearm, in it’s price point, with a number of features and modifications that make it safer than it’s predecessor.

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Pros

Small profile
Smooth rounded corners
Tight manufacturing
Huge capacity for a sub-compact

Cons

Manual safety is challenging to engage

MANUFACTURER SPECIFICATIONS
Model Number: 111G2
Action Type: Single Action/Double Action
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 12 + 1
Length: 6.24”
Barrel Length: 3.2”
Height: 5.1”
Width: 1.2”
Weight: 20.8 oz
Trigger Pull: 6 lbs
Sights: Fixed Front, Adjustable Rear (2 dot)
Price: MSRP-$434.59 (street ~$350)




Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • JumpIf NotZero

    Pretty questionable choice of firearm if the best review of it is summarized by “Well, it didn’t fire unintentionally or explode”

    Good for Taurus for making a firearm that didn’t explode or out-right fail during a review. But bad on Taurus on so many other aspects. I hope someday they challenge themselves to not just be second/third tier.

    • Zachary marrs

      I had a taurus pt22 disassemble itself on the first shot

      • Risky

        I had a PT22 that loved to burst fire half of its magazine per trigger pull, kinda-FUN but very UNSAFE.

        Taurus took it back for warranty, kept it for two or three months, and returned it with a paper stating “trigger bar out of spec, replaced”. My first magazine back with the gun went bang, bang, b-r-r-r-rp, empty. Traded it off (with full disclosure).

        • Zachary marrs

          I still have mine, ive sent it back twice, still disassembles its self tired of dealing with Taurus and couldn’t willingly sell it to anyone

      • Gunslinger

        Transformers! More than meets the eye!

  • BOB

    In b4 taurus haters

    • Zachary marrs

      Did it occur to you that people might have a legitimate reason to hate Taurus?

      • BOB

        Not at all

        • Zachary marrs

          You are either being really sarcastic, or really condescending, or both

          Either way, I applaud you

          • BOB

            :D

  • John Dalton

    Not a Taurus fan. Had two, will NEVER own again.

    My review: Hooray! The gun didn’t shoot by itself! Hooray!

    Taurus has been in business too long to still make excuses.

    No……just…..no..

  • allannon

    I’ve found a way to never forget what I did with keys for built-in gun locks:

    Remove the lock, throw it and the key in a baggie, put the baggie in the box, and store the whole shebang in case you want to sell the pistol later in original form.

    Too bad LCIs are too hard to remove without leaving gaping holes in the gun.

    • hkryan

      First thing I did with my Ruger Mark III, swapped the LCI for a steel filler piece.

      • allannon

        I ditched the mag disconnect, since it affects mag drops and the trigger. :) Still haven’t removed and filled the LCI slot.

        Still…it’d be much better if I didn’t have to, y’know?

        • hkryan

          Indeed! I forgot all about the stupid mag disconnect, I yanked that out too and put in a Clark MKII bushing. For the LCI filler, do a search for member name “bpatza” on the rimfirecentral forum.

    • Shadow

      I own a 24/7 with the same key system, and the security key is just a standard anti-tamper allen key that you can buy from the hardware store. There’s a very stiff detent that holds it in position, so it’s not going to rotate on accident. I believe it and the chamber loaded indicators were added for California compliance.

  • john huscio

    So its made to compete with the m&p9c?

    Lol…sorry, its hard to say that with a straight face…

  • plumber576

    Waiting for Tuohy to chime in…

  • Big Lee

    Why are you bringing up ancient 1st generation millenium pro drop test crap? This is from a California lawsuit ( 2005 I think). It has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the new G2. I’ve had 4 Taures-all ran great…and 1 was used.

    • Big D

      That is a pretty impressive collection you have there! 4 Tauri and all of them work??? After my bad experience with Taurus (FTF in a pt809), I only stick with reputable brands–Glock, Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Beretta, HK, FN, CZ, Springfield, etc.

      Too many good firearms out there to roll the dice on a Taurus again.

      • Big Lee

        Maybe you’re just inept…glock unsupported chambers, Ruger recall, s&w recalls,etc. And I’m not even a fanboy.First and last visit. You guys are pathetic.

        • Beju

          Well, if it makes you feel better, I know a guy with a Taurus 1911 that has fed everything it’s been given who also has an M&P40 that’s had the striker and slide stop replaced. Presumably, it post-dates the trigger sear problems since that has yet to fail. I also shot an early 4th gen Glock 17 that ejected shell casings straight back at my face, and experienced the early magazine problems with an XD45.

          • Zachary marrs

            1911’s work best when made cheap, just the nature of the design

        • iksnilol

          Haven’t heard about CZ goofing up.

          BTW do they still make Glocks with unsupported chambers?

        • Big D

          Big Lee you are either a closet fanboy or Taurus sales rep because no one would defend their reputation like that. Other manufacturers may have had recalls, but it’s the approach to the problems that can turn a disaster from one that ruins the company’s rep to one that is forgettable. Once Ruger found out about faulty triggers, they issued a recall and replaced triggers on all their sold pistols. If a Taurus is sent in for a defective part due to design flaws, the company sweeps it under the rug, does no investigation, and does not inform the public. Basically, when your firearm fails, you send it to them so they put in a new defectively designed part. THAT is the difference between Taurus and other companies.

  • barry newman

    Sorry, Taurus will not trick me again! My first firearm was a Taurus pt101 (their beretta clone in 40). The disassembly latch broke and flew downrange during live fire. Then, I bought a Rossi (owned by Taurus or more specifically Braztech) 357 mag revolver. On that example, the firing pin broke; and it was sent back for warranty. Thanks to their horrid customer service, I didn’t receive it back until 6 months later. 1 month after I got it back, the darn firing pin broke again!

    I didn’t want to believe what everyone said about Taurus’ reputation, but I ended up the fool for thinking I could get decent quality at their low price. Taurus is bottom tier, and I hope no one gets duped like I did. If you want to throw away money, go ahead.

  • dan

    whatever you do don’t shake that gun

  • Pete Sheppard

    What is the ‘slide safety’ you mention? I think of something like the Walther/S&W/Beretta hammer-drop safety, but I don’t see anything like that in the photos.

    • Shadow

      The slide safety he’s referring to is actually mounted in the frame, around the same position as a 1911. It’s that longer black one.

      • Pete Sheppard

        Ah. That’s what I figured. Thanks!

    • Shadow

      PS… Another cool fact: On my 24×7 if you are in SA mode and you take
      up the slack of the trigger(which is quite long), then apply the safety,
      the trigger will not move forward in to full reset, but instead rest
      against part of the safety while at the same time preventing travel
      rearward no matter how hard you squeeze.

  • Will

    I don’t have much to say about the gun, but wanted to give kudos for a great review. Its nice to see someone put a test gun on a timer and compare it to a baseline.

  • Zachary marrs

    What I like abot this is that its not a blatent rip-off of an older gun! They actually stole concepts from multiple manufacturers!

  • Caligula

    Another mediocre at best pistol from Tar-ass. Tar-ass pistols are the most expensive cheap pistols you’ll ever buy.

  • Kyle

    So Toreup fixed the whole “Dangerous and unsafe weapon” thing and made a mediocre middle of the road pistol. Neat.

  • insertjjs

    Not sure if anyone will care, but PSA has these on sale for $240
    http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/taurus-pt111-gen2-9mm-1-111031g2-12.html

  • Nicholas C

    We have this at my work. It is one of the most popular handguns for female customers. It is not too small, holds 12 rds and is easier to rack than other semi-autos.

  • h87111

    Just my personal experience…

    I bought a PT-111 around 2002, and a PT-145 Millennium Pro in 2005. Both have been reliable, good shooters. I have used the PT-145 successfully in several CCW qualifying classes. Comfortable and easy to shoot with 10+1, .45 acp. Easy to conceal.

    However, so far I have managed NOT to drop them.

    I have met and talked at length with the women who dropped her PT-140 after walking her dog and was VERY seriously injured. She seems to be doing well now and never has to work again. She despises Taurus to the extent she won’t shoot next to someone using one on the range.

    All in all, I don’t know whether to trust them or not. These are my purchased guns, not gun magazine loaners. How can you test a drop safety without potential damage to your firearm?

    • h87111

      P.S.
      The only guns I have ever sent back to the factory were Kel-Tecs and a S&W.

  • Christine

    Your reference gun is a PF9, really?

  • Shadow

    Tom: The Taurus 24/7 has a tactile round located indicator in the top portion of the ejector. It also has the firing pin block plunger that has a stronger spring than the firing pin return spring, so I’m not quite sure how Brazil had trouble with theirs.

  • Hyok Kim

    Why would anybody even bother with Taurus when one can get Walther for not much money? Far better gun.

  • Rudy Grein

    I owned my G2 for over a year and a half, love it. I also have a 627 Tracker and Rosi 92 both in 357 magnum. I have yet to find an issue with either weapon, other than the G2 lost the white dot on the front sight, on the 3rd round fired, a lil paint fixed that. The Tracker, being stainless has some blemishes on the fron of the cylinder, scrubbed tell I was blue in the face and can’t seem to get them out. My Rossi, was bought when Legacy Arms was importing them as a Puma M92, nice little carbine, put the big loop on it ( thought I would be John Wayne) I purchased from Steves Gunz a red fiber optic front sight, if you need somthing for the 92 he is the man to see. Back to my G2, I bought it cause it fit my hand, looked at a Glock but felt the 26 was too small, The SR9 and PX 4 compact were too spendy and no one in my area had a Shield at that time….everyone bashes Taurus, no it’s not a Glock or S&W , but Ford and Chevy aren’t Porsche or Mercedes-Benz, either.

  • Mark Finkelstein

    I own and have owned Taurus Firearms over the last 25 years and have never had an issue with any of them, they are well made and reliable.

    • Gunslinger

      I have an old Taurus 85 38 special that is a superb weapon. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the newer models. None of them. As a dealer I have had several come in that I have had the pleasure of testing and they have all had quirky issues. If you get a good one, hang on to it.

  • Mark Finkelstein

    Gunslinger, I have a model 85 in stainless and a 905 9mm, love them both, I don’t need the model 85 anymore since I have the 9mm 905 but it shoots so good I hate to sell it.

  • Blubberquatsch

    Hummm…. I don’t own a single Taurus but I have S&W’s, Walther, Steyr, Ruger and Glock in my safe. I don’t shoot the Glock 22 anymore. It is simple to dangerous because it is one of the first and was send in several times and came back repaired, – but with no improvements. The Walthers that I have, do have a lot of problems and the last that I had to send in 2 times, was the PPX with a broken firing pin or a faulty safety bold and did not fire at all. Good luck in a HD scenario with this gun. The S&W SD9ve had Trigger problems and needed also several repair attempts and works now fine with a 16-18 p trigger pull..
    Taurus like all the other manufacturers, manufacturing weapons to make money and not to please someone.
    The difference between Taurus and the others is only, how much money a manufacturer spend in advertising and WWW based opinions (posters by paid Opinionators in WWW forums and blogs) about their competitors.
    That’s all.

  • Buurga Topek

    This a different gun than previous pistols of this line. Shoots well, very dependable, and looks good. For those who will say ‘never buy a Taurus’ just to trash everything in the line is nonsense. Too many good reviews from too many sources to buy into the wailing in these posts. There are thousands of Taurus’ that shoot just fine. Some of these guys will never get out of the past.