Gun Review: Taurus PT 1911

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    Taurus offers one of the best buys in a 1911 when you consider price and included extras. I’d place them in the number two spot in value but that’s just my opinion.

    The price Taurus charges for the 1911 series of pistols is very reasonable. The primary reason for this is Taurus not only makes all the parts in house they also design and build their own CNC machinery. Since they are made in Brazil wages are less than in the United States which also contributes to lower prices. When you keep everything in house you can sell a product at a lower price and still offer more features than most competitors. Taurus is actually the third largest firearms company in the world which also makes it easier to sell at lower prices.

    When Taurus introduced their version of the 1911 it didn’t take long for sales to take off. In fact they were pretty hard to find for a good number of months. The initial offering was a blue steel version.

    In house gunsmiths then and now give these guns extra touches not seen except on high end and custom 1911’s. In fact the Taurus pistolsmiths hand fit each of the 1911 value added features to very tight tolerances then stamp each major part with matching serial numbers once inspected to the high standards Taurus demands.

    Each Taurus 1911 is given a match grade trigger job as well as hand fitting the slide and frame. The match barrel and bushing also receive the same treatment.

    Recently the sights on some models have been changed to Novak’s. I actually prefer the Heinie sights on my Taurus. The straight eight sights use a single dot on the rear sight just below the notch with the front sight also with a white dot. The method of use is stacking the front dot over the rear dot which forms a figure eight. This makes these sights very fast to align. The image below lists many of the extras.

    Model 1911B-1
    Caliber .45 ACP
    Capacity 8+1
    Finish Blue
    Barrel 5″
    Twist 1:16″
    Overall Length 8-1/2″
    Weight 39.4 oz
    MSRP (Price) $789

    Most new 1911’s only have one magazine while Taurus supplies two magazines with each 1911. The frame and slide are forged steel with an alloy backstrap. The Duo Tone has a steel slide and alloy frame.

    As far as the child safety is concerned that is mounted as part of the hammer. A key is provided with each gun so the hammer can be locked which also locks the action.

    I waited to purchase my Taurus until the stainless version came out. The reason for that were rumors of the finish wearing off quickly on the blue guns. Those rumors were true. Since then the formulae has been changed and this is no longer a consideration for the potential buyer. That and heck I just like stainless 1911s 🙂

    About a year after the stainless version came out a new model was on the shelves that had a rail mount under the barrel shroud for mounting lights, lasers etc. this increased the weight of the gun to almost 40 ounces. Not a comfortable prospect for an all day carry gun. Since then the railed models have an alloy frame bringing the weight down to a reasonable 32 ounces. I believe the blued version is still available in all steel construction and higher weight.

    As of this writing there are nine versions of the Taurus 1911 with a few limited edition models that appear from time to time. There are two tone pistols in gray and blue as well as a stainless version with black highlights on top of the slide and bottom of the frame. Black inserts are also added to the slide cuts. The Duo-Tone as Taurus calls it cost approximately $100 more than the blue or stainless models. I for one am still waiting for a compact model to be released. The reasoning behind the lack of a compact may be that with so many other small pistols in the Taurus line they may have some concern about a compact 1911 taking away sales from the polymer compact pistols.

    Calibers available are .45 ACP, 38 Super and 9MM all in full size pistols. The 9MM has a capacity of 9+1 except for the HC (high capacity) which is 11+1. The 45 ACP HC has a capacity of 12+1.

    As far as handling the Taurus 1911 performs well. While not advertised there are no sharp edges to speak of. The serrations on the match trigger can be a bit sharp but that’s easily taken care of with a bit of wet dry sandpaper in 600 grit. It takes little effort or time. Just be cautious not to mar the finish of the trigger guard.

    Since the weight has been dropped to 32 ounces on some models it’s a quick handling pistol I enjoy using during tactical scenarios. Even those 6 or so ounces make a difference for me in speed of presentation especially on multiple targets.

    One concern I should pass along is repair time in the rare cases it may be needed. Turnaround time is pretty dismal with an average time of one to two months. In my view that is way to long since the repair facility is in Florida not Brazil.

    Range Time

    Of course I’ve had my personal Taurus on the range many times in the last couple of years. It’s always been very reliable with just about any ammo you can think of. Even out of the box there were no problems.

    The Duo Tone (blue/gray) pictured below was supplied to me for this review and like my personal pistol it performed flawlessly. As I mentioned the 33 ounce weight was a nice surprise. Granted I just did a review on “The Firearm Blog” with the Kimber Aegis which was in 9MM and about the same weight. The 45 ACP was no problem in the recoil department even at this lighter weight. Actually it was pleasant to shoot.

    I used a variety of ammunition for this range session. I used 230 grain ball ammo from Remington and Winchester. Hollowpoints were from Speer in 230 grain and Hornady 185 grain +P. I shot from 10 and 15 yards. The best average group with ball ammo was from the Remington brand. At 15 yards the group average was 1 ½ inch. A total of 100 rounds were fired.

    Using hollowpoints the Speer load turned in the best average group at 1 ¼ inch. Groups with the Hornady ammo spread groups out a bit to just under 2 inches. This pistol did better with standard power Speer 230 grain hollowpoint loads averaging. The best group of all was fired from 10 yards with the Speer ammo turning in a best at 7/8th inch! 100 rounds of hollowpoint were fired. There were no malfunctions.


    Taurus makes a nice 1911 with all the features anyone would want or need. The fit and finish is very good on all the models I’ve handled. This particular sample 1911 has a very uniform attractive finish. The slide to frame fit is good and was very smooth when manually operating the slide. The barrel to slide lockup is snug. The hand fitting is obvious considering the groups it turned in. This sample has a trigger pull of 4.8 pounds. These 1911’s really are a good buy since most guns with these options cost hundreds more. It’s a reliable, accurate pistol I believe any 1911 fan would be very pleased with.

    Phil White

    Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m retired as associate editor since December 14th 2017. My replacement is my friend Pete M email: [email protected] you can reach Pete for product reviews etc.