Range Review: Taurus PT1911 1-191101 .45 ACP

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.

Have you shot the Taurus 1911? Tell us about your experience in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (23)

  1. This Taurus kicks with the other big dogs in the 1911 field. Mine also tends to bite both the target like any 230 grain biter , but can also draw from the owner as well. For that is my only issue with the unit I have and some filing and a little touchup blue will resolve that. Accuracy is spot on, other functions are in same field as both the Springfield an Para-Ordnance I own with around 250 rounds each down the tubes. Not used to nor do I use the the Hammer Lock as mine are not closet queens. Now to where this unit bites it owner is at the front of the grip at the point the Magazine base pad meets the front frame. If your pinkie finger Left or Right slide across the two edges of the magazine well mine will cut deep enough to draw blood..

    1. Love this gun! I’m no John Wayne, I was hitting paper plates at 100 yards. Folks were comin down to see what I was shooting. I put starburst grey punisher grips to complete the sexy appearance. Guys shooting the high end name Brands wanted to shoot her. Of course they were floored with fit & finish and most important-reliable an accurate. I can’t think of any reason not to purchase this over the Big Name brands. I love the rail to attach any laser’s or flashlights. I think I’m talking myself into buying another!!! I’m waiting for the new commander to come out in stainless.

  2. I own two Taurus 1911’s one 38 super and another in .45 acp I also have a Springfield armory 38 super 1911 and a Kimber classic royal 11 .45 acp 1911 and I will tell you the pair of taurus will out shoot the springfield and are more reliable than my Kimber the Kimber is finicky and will only work with some ammo (no hollow points even after polishing the feed ramp) and I can’t use chip mccormic power mags in the kimber and the Springfield head to head with the taurus using the same ammo in 38 super will out shoot the Springfield everytime I won my first Taurus in a competition and used ever since.

  3. The PT1911 was an unexpected buy. It makes the seventh 1911 pistol that I own. Went into Academy Sports, did not plan on buying the gun, but found it on sale so I bought it. I was looking for a range gun. So far, at 200 rounds with no reliability problems, I am very pleased with the gun. The guide rod has a horse-shoe part that rides on the barrel that was spot welded to the rod. I noticed the spot weld broke so I called Taurus right away. With no questions asked, they expedited me a new guide rod at no expense. I was very happy with their customer service. The features of the pistol are just outstanding, and boy is it fun to shoot at the range. I would recommend it to anyone. I have Colt and Ruger 1911’s, but the PT1911 is easily on par with quality and very well made.

    1. I also meant to comment, the pistol has a very clean appearance with the new subdued roll marks. Very clean. The Novak sights are very accurate and the front grip checking goes a long way toward controlling recoil. It included a high quality case and one magazine, a very well made and highly polished Taurus eight round clip. I found it as nice or nicer than any aftermarket clips I have seen. Well done Taurus!

  4. I have own one found them be very good 1911 for price rang. If your looking for high end 1911 made perfect high end finish has match grade barrel with match grade parts than your better off looking some thing else than Taurus 1911 at modest price rang. How ever if you want some thing cut above than than Gi version 1911 small sight no beaver tail grip safety than that what you get with Taurus 1911. In most case Taurus 1911 well be reliable bore firearm. Best way make sure that buy good 1911 after market magazines.

  5. 6-21-15 update on my Taurus 1911ss. Over 2000 flawless rounds now. Pistol purchased new in 2010. Wearing very well. Leather shoulder & IWB holster buffing muzzle area shiny a little. No visible wear inside or out. One of my best firearm purchases so far. Time & rounds are measure of a fine gun. I’m thinking of getting another one in traditional blue for a dedicated house gun. Price on blued is still around 600 bucks! My stainless was $700+ five years ago. Saved enough money to buy several nice holsters in different styles for any mode of carry. Inside,outside & shoulder. Very pleased. Get one! Bagpipe

  6. Update on 1911ss. 1500 trouble free rounds. Wearing nicely in vertical shoulder rig. Put VZ grips on it to make it mine but put stock ones back on. Felt better. This is one sorted out .45. Don’t need to do anything to it but enjoy. A great one at any price, not just for the money. My TCP in .380 is the same quality gun. Just add a Crimson Trace Lazerguard & it’s good to go. I’d compare either of these to the boutique brands(I own several of those too). Don’t listen to the gun snobs. Mas likes them & Dave Spaulding too. ‘Nuf said. Stay safe. M

  7. I own three Taurus products now. TCP .380,model85 38 revolver & the PT1911. All are in stainless steel for Florida CCW. All three have performed flawlessly & fill all dress/duty requirements. Fit,finish are great. I understand blind brand loyalty but I want great products at great prices and performance. Do your homework & check out Taurus products. Their company history & mindset is very very good. They make every part/component in house and pass the savings on to us! Unlike so many boutique brands out there. Their warranty policy,if unlikely needed is the best. Even if firearm is pre-owned! ‘Nuff said.

  8. I have a colt and the taurus and to be honest Im digging the taurus. For the price and features you cant go wrong..

  9. I’ve owned 2 PT1911’s (one Blued, the other Two-toned).
    Keeping them clean, never had a FTFeed/FTFire/Failure in any way with either of them.
    Even when one wasn’t kept up, and cleaned as often as it should’ve been, it still functioned perfectly.
    I’d put it against the Sig 1911 I had any day of the week.

  10. I own two PT1911s They both are reliable and deadly accurate. I see no need to purchase one of the so called “premium” brands. The PT1911 is the best 1911 value on the market.

  11. I have had great fortune with all of the product line from Taurus. I would imagine this one is no different. In the near future, I may purchase one in .45 Caliber. If the ammunition weren’t so darned expensive, I’d have probably done it already.

  12. I have been shooting 1911 style pistols in .45ACP for about 50 years and own several. I bought myself a Taurus PT1911 several years ago as a Christmas present and have been extremely pleased with it. It is by no means a target pistol, but it is an excellent personal protection pistol. The last time I had to fire for record all 50 rounds held center of mass or center of head using 200 grain, LSWC hand loads. The factory recommends 230 grain FMJ for flawless operation. Mine likes those too.

  13. I shopped around for a 1911 for a long time before deciding on the Taurus. It had every feature I wanted and then some for a very fair price. I have owned other 1911s and have handled and shot 1911s of friends, some with very expensive price tags or well know brand names. I don’t believe paying more money to have a brand name gun is worth it. This gun fits my hand well, functions flawlessly and goes bang when you press the trigger. I have taken it twice at Front Sight and never had a problem except with an old Colt magazine. I changed out the back strap for a rounded spring housing but other than that the gun is stock. You can pay a lot more money for a 1911 but I can’t understand why you would want to.

  14. I’ve had a Taurus PT99 in 9mm for many years and love the gun…no problems whatsoever. This year I purchased a PT 1911SS. I found the gun to be very reliable but it shot low for everyone who shot it. The trigger was extremely heavy causing the shooter to pull the shot low. I had purchased it locally so I took it back and they did a trigger job on it. It now has a very smoooooth 4 lb pull with no creep and what a difference! The gun shoots great, it’s very accurate and reliable. I really enjoy shooting it.

  15. I bought my Taurus PT1911 several years ago and absolutely love it. It has great fit and function. The trigger is light and crisp and all the other “upgrades” make it a pleasure to shoot. If you are wanting a 1911, the Taurus PT1911 is the way to go.

  16. As with the poster above, I also own several 1911s and again, many of them cost way more than my Taurus.
    I have my original IPSC pistol that has over $3K worth of work done to it and the Taurus can keep up with it with no problems.
    I was more than pleasantly surprised at how good it is and can recommend it without reservation.

  17. I own three of them and my father in law (owned several 1911s) after shooting mine went and bought one…I really like them and have had no issues with any of them. I’ve put 3k of some dirty tulAmmo through each and all still work like a champ. Granted I clean them after each use.

  18. I own a PT 1911 and two other 1911’s well I don’t mind telling you the “cheaper” TAURUS is my favorite . I will not mention the names of the other two but one of them has a retail of over $1,000.00 but i still like the TAURUS better . It has a better “feel” in my smaller [size medium gloves] hands and is more accurate . In this old guys opinion it is the best buy on the market I have found ………………

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