Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Taurus handguns are undeniably popular. For years, novice shooters and experts alike snatched up the .45 Long Colt/.410 Bore-shooting Judge revolver for either its novelty factor or Taurus’ promise of what the handgun could do for self-defense. Many desiring to buy a firearm turn toward Taurus because of the affordability. 9mm and .40 caliber pocket guns sell for less than $250 and you can pick up a Taurus 1911 for less than $500. There aren’t many other reputable firearm manufacturers that can compete with Taurus’ pricing.
Some will argue against Taurus as a “reputable” company, but those opinions are largely based on the company’s first imports to the U.S. made over 30 years ago. When the Brazilian gun maker moved to the United States in the 1970s, producing Smith & Wesson revolver clones, the manufacturer’s quality was hit or miss. Unfortunately, even years of improved CNC machinery and quality control, many of those who labeled Taurus as trash never allowed Taurus back out of the bin.
Have people reported problems with Taurus handguns? Sure, but I know people who have had problematic Springfields and terribly expensive Kimbers returned back to the shop time and time again for serious issues.
Despite the haters and perhaps due to the fact that the current team at Taurus is dedicated to building a much better firearm, ask Taurus owners today what they think about their guns and the majority of them don’t complain. In fact, one of my gun-nuttiest friends loves his Taurus 1911.
Of our top five best selling Taurus handguns, all of them are semiautomatics worthy of target shooting, home defense and concealed carry.
The Taurus Millennium Pro G2 models PT111 and PT140 chambered for 9mm and .40 S&W respectively are lightweight, compact polymer-framed striker-fired semiautos. The two models have been around for quite awhile, but Taurus improved the two guns aesthetically for concealed carry in 2013.
Both models operate in single or double-action mode and feature high-profile sights, a textured grip, melted edges, a loaded chamber indicator, accessory rail, and a manual safety. Sharing the same specifications except capacity, the Millennium G2 Pro pistols have a 3.2-inch barrel, weigh 22 ounces and are 6.24 inches long. The 9mm model holds 12 rounds plus 1 in the chamber, while the .40 S&W model holds 10 plus 1.
Millennium G2 owners say:
- No ejection or feeding issues
- Smooth trigger
- Shoots better than my Glock 17 Gen 1
The Taurus 1911 is available in 9mm and .45 ACP with a black, stainless or duotone finish, railed and unrailed. Cheaper Than Dirt!’s top selling Taurus 1911 is the all-black 1911FS model for $459.99. With hammer-forged steel frames, slides and barrels, each 1911 is hand-tuned and hand-fit, built 100 percent from Taurus parts. The Taurus 1911FS is chambered in .45 ACP and comes with an 8-round magazine. The 1911FS has a 5-inch barrel, full-sized frame and an overall length of 8.5 inches. It weighs 38 ounces. Novak sights round off the many upgraded features on this affordable 1911.
Taurus 1911 FS owners say:
- Shoots as good as my Kimber
- Superb value for a 1911
- Shoots comfortably and consistent
The .45 ACP-chambered 845 is loosely based on Taurus’ 24/7 OSS—the company’s answer to the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) inquiries for a new service pistol with one major design change—the external hammer. This hammer-fired, polymer-framed double/single-action semiauto can be carried cocked and locked—also called Condition One. The Taurus 845 also lacks a magazine disconnect safety—if the pipe is hot, you can fire the gun without a magazine inserted.
With a 4-inch barrel, 1.14-inch width, 8.25-inch overall length and 28.2-ounce weight it carries quite comfortably—especially with the added bonus of the 12-round magazine. All controls on the 845 are ambidextrous, including the decocking lever, which lets you leave a round in the chamber and put the gun on safe. Three different sized backstraps are included for a better feel and grip, as well as Novak 3-dot sights for quick target acquisition.
Taurus Model 845 owners say:
- Light on recoil
- More accurate than my 1911
- As good, if not better, than guns costing twice the money
709 and 740 Slim
The 709 and 740 models are single-stack, striker-fired subcompact concealed carry guns. The 9mm-chambered 709 holds seven rounds, while the 740 .40 S&W holds six rounds. Both will handle +P ammo. Though the dimensions on the SLIMs are slightly different, both guns weigh 19 ounces unloaded. The 9mm 709 has a 3-inch barrel and is 6 inches long, while the 740 .40 S&W has a 3.20-inch barrel and is 6.24 inches long. The sight system is traditional 3-dot with the rear sight being adjustable. There is a trigger safety and a left side mounted manual safety. Taurus incorporates its Second Strike capability to these two guns. Each shot fires single-action, however with double-strike capability in case of a faulty primer in the ammo. If it doesn’t go bang, just pull the trigger again in attempt to fire the round.
Taurus Model 709 and 740 owners say:
- Shooter friendly
- More accurate than my Kel-Tec PF-9
- Well finished
Taurus produces other popular firearms—for concealed carry there is the affordable Model 85 revolver, a full-sized Beretta 92 clone, the large Raging Bull series of revolvers, the 738 TCP .380 popular with women and even a carbine, the CT9 and CT40—among others. For 2015, Taurus released very few new models. The Curve generated the most interest. Only time will tell if the Curve will be just as popular as the Judge. To check out all of Taurus’ firearms, click here.
For more reviews and news about Taurus firearms, click here.
Do you own a Taurus? If so, what model? In the comment section, tell us what you like and don’t like about it.
Introduced to shooting at young age by her older brother, Suzanne Wiley took to the shooting sports and developed a deep love for it over the years. Today, she enjoys plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!
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