With its low price tag and long list of features, the PT1911 pistol from Taurus offers the prospective handgun buyer a lot of bang for the buck. Let’s go through the handgun to see what it offers. For the money, some shooters may consider it to be a “basic” model, but its list of features would disagree. On the menu are a full-length guide rod, dovetail-mounted front and rear sights, front and rear cocking serrations, a flared ejection port, a relieved-mass trigger, a wide beavertail grip safety with raised contact area, checkered mainspring housing, checkered grips held in place by Allen screws, and a beveled magazine well.
One of the most notable aspects of the gun are its sights, which were designed by 1911 gunsmithing guru Richard Heinie. The version of Heinie’s Straight Eight sights used on Taurus pistols is exclusive to Taurus. The Straight Eight gets its name because the shooter places the dot found in the front sight directly over the single dot below the center of the notch in the rear unit. The two stacked circles create the numeral 8. These sights can still be used by centering the front blade inside the rear notch.
What kind of accuracy and power can you reasonably expect from this handgun? With Winchester USA .45 ACP 185-gr. FMJ USA45A rounds, the Taurus delivered an average muzzle velocity of 888 fps and 323 ft.-lbs. of energy. Its smallest group at 15 yards was 1.2 inches and the average was 1.4 inches.
A Black Hills .45 ACP 230-gr. JHP turned in 809 fps and 331 ft.-lbs. of velocity and energy at the muzzle. The smallest group was 2.1 inches with that round, and it averaged 2.2 inches. Hits were between 1.5 and 2.5 inches below point of aim at 15 yards.
The PT1911 has frontstrap and backstrap checkering and classic checkered grip panels, all of which provide a good gripping surface on the pistol. Inside the Commander-style hammer is a key-operated lock that is activated by one of the two supplied keys. Locking the gun with the hammer down over an empty chamber is the proper way to make use of this feature. The guide rod found on the PT1911 was a full-length design. A bushing wrench could certainly depress the spring plug, but it was possible to compress the spring and turn the bushing without using a wrench. Made in Brazil, the Taurus-supplied eight-round magazines feature a counting hole for each round, a wide flat follower, and a removable base pad.
Many shooters will agree that the PT1911 offers just about every custom feature they could want for a reasonable price.