I have decided to retroactively review guns that I own or have owned to see how they stack up to use and carry.
I do this because for too long we have been subjected to reviews of guns right out of the box. Well that's all well and fine for a first impression, but how well is it holding up after 6000 rounds? I have had just about everything happen to my guns, especially my 1911's as I shoot them a tremendous amount. So I want to review those guns that I have thoroughly wrung out.
This is a review of the Taurus PT 1911. Or more properly, two PT 1911's.
Caliber: .45 ACP
Time owned prior to review: 4 years and 1.5 years*
Round count: approx 6000 rounds and 464 rounds*
Condition at purchase: New
Carry Gun: No/Yes*
Custom work: Yes/Yes
When I originally read the first review of the new 1911 being offered in 2005 I put in an order and then after waiting a while forgot about it. In (spring? summer?) of 2006 I received a call to come pick up my 1911 from my local pusher. Having forgot about it I was pleasantly surprised to find my first one waiting for me for $475 out the door. I promptly went out and shot it and loved how well it worked. I had carried a 1911 for years but was dipping my toe into different mods at this point and had already owned some high end 1911's, like my Springfield TRP. This pistol was pretty close to the higher end pistol superficially, and it shot very well. I went and was (I believe) the first (non reviewer) person who actually got one to review it on the internet at this forum and the second iteration of The Gun Counter forums.
Over time I managed to put around 6k rounds though the gun without a single stoppage. No, really. The gun gods were smiling on me I guess. Finally my plunger tube came unstaked and I figured it was time to mess with the gun a bit more. I had already ground off the billboard and blued the slide (I was never happy with the front serrations, especially as they were so sharp). I can't seem to find the picture at the moment.
I brought the gun to my smith last year and gave some instructions to build it up so I could use it for IDPA or IPSC, general competition type stuff. Again, I forgot about it until I got a call Friday last. The green gun is the result, I had a Caspian slide that needed the rails cut and had the dratted front serrations so I had him do a browning cut on the front, and turned him loose. He kept the frame, the barrel and the safety. All the rest of the parts are Ed Brown, Alexander Arms or Chip McCormick. Some Tru Glo day/night sights and a little Gun Kote and it was good to go. Shoots like my Wilson, and so far feeds everything. IDPA this weekend will give it a workout.
I understand why he replaced all the internals, if you strip the PT 1911 down the insides are not pretty, there are MIM parts everywhere and you can see seams on every part otherwise. Lots of rough stuff, even on the hammer spur. I am actually shocked it lasted so long, but then again Clint Smith did a 5k torture test and had great results....
Now to the second Taurus of this tale. I actually received this gun as part of a deal where I bought a 6.8 AR upper. He told me I could have it if I could get it to work.
Seems out of the box it never worked for him, the slide would have trouble going into and out of battery. He tried putting another barrel in (an old Remington Rand) and tried swapping out the FPS for a squared off one. Still had trouble. My buddy Fast Rope and I took one look at it and decided it was the locking lugs on the barrel. 10 minutes later it cycled fine. I took it out to the range and shot 6 one hole groups. Wow. This gun is about as accurate as my custom guns, no fooling. The finish is still rough, pretty standard for these guns I have noticed. The front sight, as you can see, was never drilled and is up at an angel. I need to get the drill press and fit that sucker. Much rougher than mine out of the box, but I got it working fairly quick so... there you have it. It has worked fine ever since so I added a Clip Draw old rubber Kimber grips, swapped out for a regular safety, broke the edges on the front serrations (to later be Gun Koted when I find my airbrush) and stuck it behind the seat with a spare mag for a rough and ready car gun.
I would recommend this gun fairly highly, especially as a base gun for a little build up. The slide and frame are forged as is the barrel, so it is worth the price just for the parts. I see it has gone up in the following years, but it is still not as expensive as Kimbers, Smiths or similar with the same features, which are also MIM for the most part. Heck, unlike my Kimbers it has a metal MSH! The guns have a fairly good rep and they run and run. I have sold other 1911's over the years for various reasons but these just keep sticking around somehow.... I guess Ill keep them!