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Thread: A review of the Taurus PT 1911

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  1. #1

    A review of the Taurus PT 1911

    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!
    Like so many who undertake arduous journeys, I left a city of wise men and came back to a polis of fools. Ignorance, like time, brooks no returns.
    Last edited by Combat Controller; 19th July 2009 at 19:02.


  2. #2
    Very nice review,and it seems pretty unbiased also.
    Im actually wanting my blueing to get so light it needs redone so i can get it done in semi gloss black gunkote.I dont think ill ever have a reason to get rid of my PT1911,or at least i hope.But one day id like a 3" 1911 for ccw and a Dan Wesson in 10mm.
    I may mention that if people check out http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/rowland.htm as they are the people who do the .460 Rowland conversions,and they suggest the PT1911 as a recomended gun for the conversion.Many like the RIA arent suggested.
    That is why you should look for and buy a "Forged" frame and slide.
    Hopefully soon i can get around to redoing my PT's internal parts with higher quality stuff,and do it myself so i can learn from it.I figure if i mess up i can have a smith finish it correctly.

    Also my PT is alot more accurate than i am,i do find the Hienie's great for 25' shooting,but past that im gonna need finer sights.
    Last edited by Friek; 19th July 2009 at 20:00.


  3. #3
    Thank you for that. Mine ticked like a clock out of the box. It was bought for a custom build, and piece by piece was rebuilt into a totally new pistol. It now is everything it was plus all the enhancements, and better than ever. I switch between the stock barrel and the Ed Brown and see no difference with 230 RN FMJ's, but the Brown barrel shines with 200 SWC TMJ's. As you say the slide and frame are great, a buyer just has to shop to find one that doesn't have the machining discrepancies that can be found in these pistols. I waited, found a perfect one, and couldn't be happier.
    It's not a Colt or a Kimber, but none the less a fine pistol.
    My Best,
    Walt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    19th June 2009
    Location
    SE Ohio
    Posts
    4
    I'm a little confused. Shouldn't this thread have been labeled " a review of my completely rebuilt PT1911" ? I was looking forward to a review by someone that put a lot of rounds in a stock PT1911. As a new owner of a used PT1911 I was wondering how my gun will hold up as I only have about 500 rounds through her.

  5. #5
    In the beginning of the review I mentioned that I put 6k round through a stock PT 1911, and then I rebuilt it. It had not one single failure up to that point. The plunger tube at that point came unstaked and was sent off for rehab.

    An internet search will turn up (I believe) Clint Smiths 5k torture test.

    The second gun didn't work when I got it and I fixed it. It has worked since then.
    Like so many who undertake arduous journeys, I left a city of wise men and came back to a polis of fools. Ignorance, like time, brooks no returns.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    4th March 2009
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    158
    Very nice review, I've read some of your others and I appreciate them. I've got a PT1911 as well and the 6k rounds you put through yours without failure makes me smile.
    NRA member

    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

    -Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7
    Thanks! It affords me a chance to practice my photography and handle some guns that don't always get the loving they deserve.
    Like so many who undertake arduous journeys, I left a city of wise men and came back to a polis of fools. Ignorance, like time, brooks no returns.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    19th June 2009
    Location
    SE Ohio
    Posts
    4
    Got it. Had a Senior moment when I read the review the first time. For some reason I disregarded the part about running 6K through it and then rebuilt her. I'll try to read slower the next time

  9. #9
    Or I won't write so fast! :-)
    Like so many who undertake arduous journeys, I left a city of wise men and came back to a polis of fools. Ignorance, like time, brooks no returns.

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