The last decade has witnessed an industry trend for small, slimline pistols that are easy to conceal, ergonomic, streamlined, but large enough to shoot relatively well. The Firearm Blog was recently provided the Taurus PT709 chambered in 9 millimeter for testing.
Key Specification of the Taurus PT709 Slim:
- The Taurus PT709 is chambered in 9mm and 40 S&W
- The 9mm has a magazine capacity of 7 rounds. The 40 S&W has a magazine capacity of 6 rounds.
- Slide is available with a blued or stainless finish.
- The Taurus PT709 weighs 19 ounces, has a 3” barrel and an overall length of 6 inches.
- Checkered polymer grips
- The PT709 includes a tool that adjusts both the rear sight and disables the pistol for security
- The Taurus PT709 has the PT24/7 Pro SA/DA trigger system. When a round is chambered, the trigger sets into single action mode and requires less energy to break. If the round does not go off due to the primer not igniting the powder, the end user simply has to squeeze the trigger again to (hopefully) ignite the primer. The conventional solution to this type of malfunction would be to tap the bottom of the magazine and cycle the slide again.
Field testing took place at some BLM land near my home. Unboxing the Taurus PT709, I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable it felt in my large hands. After cleaning off the large amounts of oil it was packaged in, I checked to make sure the pistol was not loaded and preceded to dry fire the weapon. The lines of the weapon were smooth and lack potential snag points. The weapon did not pinch when handled and the controls did not impede manipulation of the weapon. The safety was easily accessible and the magazine release was not accidentally engaged at all during my courses of fire.
During testing, I found the weapon to be 100% reliable. I fired PMC bronze, Winchester “white box”, and Hornady Critical Defense in addition to the 50 rounds of Aguila that was provided for testing. I fired several strings with a very loose grip to simulate “limp wristing” and the pistol cycled 100%. I attribute the reliability of this pistol to its design, which borrows heavily from other modern striker fire pistols, notably Glock. In regards to being drop-safe, the designers in Brazil appear to have copied Glock’s Safe Action System (For the record, most modern striker fired pistols currently on the market copied Glock’s Safe Action System). The Taurus PT709 also has a loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide that indicates if a round is chambered.
During my first range trip, I set up an 8×10 inch steel plate. Using my Leica range finder, I placed large rocks in 5 yard increments from the target. After placing rocks out to 25 yards, I first loaded up my Glock 19 to establish a baseline of accuracy. Starting 5 yards from the target, I achieved first round hits from the 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 yard lines. I then repeated the same drill with the PT709. Hitting the 8 x 10 inch plate at 5, 10, and 15 yards was easy. Accuracy started to fall apart at the 20 yard line. Past 20 yards, it took several rounds to get on target. I generally find that it is easier to shoot further with large pistols. After testing accuracy and shootability, I ran through several malfunction drills. I found the pistol to be ergonomic and the design did not impede manipulation of the weapon.
After boxing up the Taurus PT709, I grabbed my Glock 19 and ran a full magazine through the weapon. I always do this after firing test pistols, or a friend or colleague’s pistol. After an hour of shooting the Taurus PT 709, the Glock 19 felt damn near like a Desert Eagle. After cleaning up my brass, I went home.
In this video I fire 6 rounds relatively fast from about 7 yards. Notice the last two rounds went down my shirt.
After 150 rounds and several hours with the Taurus PT 709, I came away with a positive opinion of the pistol. With the Taurus I could handle any threat from 0 to 15 yards with a high degree of accuracy. My main weapon is a Glock 19, which meets all of my personal needs. That said, if I needed a backup gun or lightweight backpacking pistol, I would not hesitate to carry the Taurus PT 709. While at a Calibers shooting range in Albuquerque, New Mexico, several petite female shooters handled and shot the Taurus PT709. They had no problems achieving a high degree of accuracy at 15 yards and thought the recoil, though snappy, was not bad. The pistol is available in 40 S&W, but I would stick to 9mm. When you purchase the Taurus PT 709 you get a 1 year NRA membership. The Taurus PT 709 has an MSRP of $301.52.
A big thank you to Aguila for providing the ammunition for testing. As always tips, jokes and questions are welcome in the comments below.