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New PT1911, New Opinion of Taurus

Discussion in 'Semi-Automatic Pistols' started by SynapticSilence, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    Yes, hard as I try not to be a gun snob, I've always been one when it comes to Taurus. I never could get past the terrible tales of poor customer service, guns that didn't run or even be made to run, shoddy construction, ad infitum, ad nauseum.

    I had heard, however, that their full sized 5" government model 1911, the PT1911 in .45 ACP, was a decent basic gun. Many people have said they like them because of their very heavy duty construction including a forged carbon steel slide, forged carbon steel frame, and cold hammer forged barrel, albeit they're perhaps not as well refined or machined as other reasonably priced 1911s. They also contain a considerable number of metal injection molded (MIM) parts, but that's true of most guns these days including all but a few top end 1911s. Anyway, I still had told myself I probably wouldn't ever buy one. Until three days ago.

    So, I had been looking for one but not very actively. Then I thought I'd found one a week ago at a local pawn shop whose name shall remain unknown, at least until I get a reply back from the owner to my letter I wrote him detailing why I wouldn't ever do business with him again. That aside, the PT1911 in the pawn shop had a fairly worn finish that made it look to have been heavily carried, but on first glance it didn't look shot out.

    The price was where I wanted it, so I had the sales guy take it out of the case. I started checking it out. I locked it open, swiped the feed ramp with my finger, and came away with a ton of oil and carbon. Not a deal killer, but whoever owned it hadn't even thought enough of it to clean it before selling or pawning it. So I ran a quick visual check on it for anything obviously rusted, broken, or botched by some home-based gunsmith wanna-be. For those who aren't experienced gun buyers, please be aware that doing this is very, very, very important on 1911s, since people buy them and immediately think that every 1911 must, without fail, be improved by adding high grade and expensive parts, even if they haven't even shot the pistol yet. I've seen Rock Island Armory 1911s with enough Wilson Combat, Les Baer, and Cylinder and Slide parts that the owners may have well just built one from scratch. I also checked the slide to frame fit, obvious broken or loose parts, magazine fit/release/drop, slide locking back racking it with the magazine in, etc. So far, so good.

    So I dropped the mag and then fairly gently dropped the slide (not with the slide stop). Then I pointed it down at the floor and dry-fired the gun to test the trigger, then re-racked the slide with the trigger still held down to test the reset and trigger consistency. I looked at it and, just as that 'Yeah, why not?' thought crossed my mind, the sales dude reaches across the counter with no warning, snatches the 1911 out of my hand, puts it back in the case, and says 'I know people say it doesn't hurt them, but I can't just let guys come in here and play with the guns, so no more dry firing.'

    Now, I'll admit, normally I ask before I do that, but I was pretty much in that 'gonna buy this' mode which led me to sort of automatically moved to the function check thing. After the sales guy's little stunt, though, my attitude instantly turned into 'I'm not gonna buy this thing no matter what price you're willing to go down to.' I kept my cool, although I did quite clearly mention that I'd bought thousands of dollars of guns at his establishment before I walked in there that day, that there would be no more money out of my pocket headed their way, and that I wouldn't be coming back. Then I went home, found out the pawn shop owner's name and home address from the shop's business license, wrote a very professional letter outlining what happened and why I wouldn't be visiting them any more, and dropped it in the mailbox.

    Which leads us to the actual subject of this post. The first part was just to point out that sometimes not getting what you want gets you something better. I looked on line here at northwestfirearms.com a few days later and, voila, learned that one of our members, Warsteiner, had a PT1911 on sale for a very decent price. So I contacted him and learned that not only did it come at a decent price, but that it was in excellent shape with about 500 rounds through it and came with the original single Taurus magazine along with three Wilson Combat 47D magazines, in my experience the best magazines I've ever used in my previous and current 1911s (A blued Colt 3" Defender and a stainless Colt 4.25" Commander). They run about $35 apiece, so that was another $100 discount on the gun as far as I was concerned. I immediately contacted him, said I wanted it, and set up a meeting with him at Tropics Pawn in Orchards. They're great people and only charge $21 for the transfer.

    I was blown away when he opened the case. He was the first owner so all of the factory literature/manual/etc was in there and looked as if it hadn't even been taken out. With the exception of one small scratch on the slide, it was in pristine condition. And, as an added bonus, this is one of the new PT1911s where Taurus has abandoned the giant ugly "PT!911" roll mark that takes up the entire slide along with the almost as big Taurus branding and logo on the other side. Instead, it has a discreet small round Taurus logo on the rear of the left side of the slide just next to the hammer and an equally discreet but elegant "1911 .45 ACP" on the forward end of the right side of the slide. The improvement in appearance over the old ones is amazing. Another happy discovery is that the PT1911 now has a genuine Novak two dot rear sight, something I noticed due to the brand on the top of the sight and confirmed by going to the Novak page. These are clearly the real thing, not an imposter, so that's something unexpected. Not sure about the front sight, but it's dovetailed in and seems to be of equal quality.

    So, I bought the gun, paid him a price that he seemed happy with but for which I'm still feeling a bit guilty, and went home. Warsteiner posted great feedback for me and I did the same for him. A really nice guy to do business with.

    Well, I finally managed to get my butt out the door today and up to Wolverton Mountain Gun Club (just a great outdoor range with great members) so I could shoot the thing. After 250 rounds of mixed everything (HPR 230gr FMJ, Fiocchi 230gr FMJ, Federal Hydro Shok 230gr JHP, and some other random stuff I had with me, without a single failure of any kind no matter what magazine I was using, all I can say is that this is really a great pistol. Attractive (finally), very well machined with no real visible tool marks, a trigger that breaks like glass with literally no creep or overtravel, a short reset, and far more accurate than I am. Get a good sight picture, press the trigger right, and a hole appears in the paper right where it's supposed to go. It was probably most accurate with the Federal Hydro Shok, but I would have expected that.

    So I'm keeping this one. If all the new ones they produce are this well made, something good's going on at Taurus. Pictures below.
    PT1911 Slideshow by SynapticSilence
     
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Hard to argue with a lifetime Warrenty.

    Bought one of their mouse guns at a steal from a dealer at a gun show right after it had come back from the factory and it looked and functioned as new.

    Then I found out I don't like mouse guns:p.


    Nice pics of that gun BTW;).

    Congrats!
     
  3. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Their 1911's are exceptional.
     
    Joe13, SynapticSilence and etrain16 like this.
  4. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Not much of a Taurus fan, but I have heard very good things about their 1911's.
     
    Joe13 and SynapticSilence like this.
  5. Too bad about your experience at the gun shop:eek:.. some guys are just too stupid or cranky for their shirts! Happily your cloud had a distinctly silver lining, sounds like you came out smellin like a rose... Stories like this warm the cockles of my heart...
    :)Best wishes for both you and Warsteiner in this coming new year!
     
  6. Connor Murphy

    Connor Murphy Washington County Well-Known Member

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    Same here. I really appreciate a "real guy" review that you trust, like that of the OP. Better than a dozen professional reviews.
     
    Alexx1401 and etrain16 like this.
  7. NIevo

    NIevo Hayden, ID Member

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    I had a Taurus 24/7 and never had a single issue with it. Probably fired 1000+rounds through it before I sold it.

    I had no issues deciding to buy a Taurus 1911 last year on a Black Friday deal, think I paid $350 including transfer fee. I haven't shot it much, but the little I have I really like it and have had no issues. When I was researching what 1911 to buy, I kept reading that for the price it was hard to find a better 1911 then the Taurus when you looked at it's standard features.
     
  8. Alexx1401

    Alexx1401 Pierce County WA Well-Known Member

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    Due mainly to the price point many Taurus get a bad rep. I have had many over the yeas. All worked fine. ALL mass manufacturers will let out a bad one now and then. Sucks when you get one but it's the way it is. Looks like a damn nice 1911. Of course all of them "do it for me" :D
    The experience at the shop I hope you post the name of the place. That is one I would avoid.
     
  9. partsed

    partsed Silverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I own a Taurus PT111 G2 in 9mm and couldn't be happier with it!! I appreciate the review on the 1911 as I have been looking at 1911's.
     
    Alexx1401 likes this.
  10. ThemGunsThough

    ThemGunsThough RIP City! Well-Known Member

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    Nice 1911 and glad you enjoy it. Almost picked one up on here a few months ago but the seller was hard to deal with. I've had my share of experiences with Taurus and the ones that have been good are with the Judge, the pt92, and the pt1911 (got to use one a few years ago and loved it).
     
  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I've owned two Taurus revolvers.

    Their problems with quality is rarely design or materials. Besides, the 1911, if they stick with the well known design, is not that hard to get right - there are a lot of examples of it being done right and wrong.

    The problem with Taurus handguns in my experience is a wide variance in quality control.

    The SS .44 mag I had a guy trade me once had the best trigger in a revolver I ever owned and it seemed to shoot well.

    Plus one for Taurus.

    The Ti Tracker in .357 Mag I had once, seemed to shoot nicely (except for a poor and gritty trigger, especially DA) - until I got to the last cartridge in a box of 50 and the cylinder locked up. Turns out it came out of the factory with a cylinder gap of less than 0.001" - entirely too little - and the powder debris after fifty shots jammed the cylinder.

    Minus one for Taurus.

    1-1=0

    IMO, you stand a 50/50 chance of getting something from them that you will be pleased with or that you will want to send back and have it fixed, and then - from what I have read - a 50/50 chance that they will fix it right or send you a new gun, while you wait weeks if not months to get it back.

    Personally, after that experience and having heard from many others who have had similar experience, I would rather buy a S&W or Ruger or other good brand and not take the chance that I will get something that may be at one end of the spectrum for quality or the other end.

    Plus, you don't always know, out of the box, or even after a thousand rounds, what is going to break or malfunction, because of poor craftsmanship at the factory, despite a good design and/or materials.

    YMMV
     
  12. NIevo

    NIevo Hayden, ID Member

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    Most of the issues I've heard of with Taurus are involving their revolvers.
     
  13. Alexx1401

    Alexx1401 Pierce County WA Well-Known Member

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    As another mentioned the problem is QC. The better it's done the lower the times a "problem" gets out. QC is not free though. Almost every large manufacturer of everything has played with this. Trying to increase the bottom line QC is often cut back. When it is more problems get out. Taurus sells a crap load of guns. If a large percentage of them did not work they would have long ago gone out of business. You can only sell crap at the price point their guns sell at for a short time. Especially with the net. The problem is 1000's of people buy one and it works. They don't say much. The one who gets a problem of course will take the air to say they make junk. The last gun I bought NIB that had some real problems was made made by Colt. Yes it pissed me off but I know better than to say a lot of what Colt makes if crap.
     
  14. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Revolvers do require more setup and craftsmanship.

    Despite an assumed simplicity due to their "manual" nature, they are actually significantly more complex than a semi-auto. Most of the latter I can take down to their smallest part. The only revolver I am comfortable taking apart is the later model Rugers as they are simplified and modular.

    In short, it takes a craftsman to properly put together a revolver and then time/adjust it to run properly. A semi-auto only requires a "handy" person. Quite the difference.
     
  15. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I watch for trends.

    There is always some percentage of people who say anything is crap, based on sample of one. But when I see a lot of people sharing their experience on something and it tends to be about 50/50, I pay attention - not to mention my own experience.

    So far, I have bought and shot 4 S&W revolvers and every one of them I have had no problems with with, plus I am pleased with the SA/DA action on three of them (the third, which I just bought a few weeks ago, was made in 1955 and has a very stiff DA trigger pull - which I am not upset with as it is a .22 RF revolver and I will only shoot it single action as I will probably never use it for defense, only target shooting and taking the occasional small game such as rabbits).

    Of course - the S&W revolvers cost me considerably more than the Taurus revolvers, but then I trust them a lot more too.

    As for Colts - I have heard more than one person say they really like them, but that repair can only be done by a few people due to the complexity and design.

    I really like late model Ruger revolvers - modular and built like a tank (at least the all metal ones - I have no experience with the partially plastic ones). I just wish they built their LCRs with longer barrels. I read now that next year they will have a 3 inch barrel - 4 to 5 inch being my favorite length.
     
  16. Alexx1401

    Alexx1401 Pierce County WA Well-Known Member

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    Should have mentioned the Colt I was talking about was a 1911.70 series. Was made close to the end of that line. Large store was getting out of selling guns and let it go for a price I could not pass up. It had some parts that I have no idea how they got past the inspectors that day. It was easy enough to fix. For many who did not know what to look for it would have had to go back. Colt was at that time going through a "phase" where they let out a lot more problems than was normal for them. Ruger did this too a few years later. It does not take long for that to really hurt a company as word gets around. Now days with the net it works 20 times faster. Start sending out a lot of junk and you soon can't find buyers. Of course though most who are happy just don't say anything since they are well, happy.
     
  17. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    I bought an S&W 686 Plus Pro, beautiful thing with a slab-sided barrel. I took it out to the range, loaded the cylinder up with run of the mill .357 rounds, and started firing. On the third round, the revolver locked up like a drum. I couldn't get the cylinder to rotate, I'm sitting there with a cocked hammer over a live round, and I couldn't get the hammer to fall. It took me a good 30 minutes of rocking the hammer back and forth carefully while putting pressure this way and that on the cylinder to get it where I could drop the hammer and get the cylinder out so I could unload it. Otherwise I would have been headed home in my car with a fully cocked .357 pointed at something inside or outside of my car. Not what I expected from a brand new Smith, especially one of their Pro models that supposedly is somewhere in between their regular models and the Performance Center guns.

    S&W was responsive and had me ship it to them on their dime. It turns out the frame was forged out of specs and QC didn't catch it. So when you fired the gun, it was fine for the first couple of rounds until it heated up, at which point the gap between the cylinder and the frame closed up to the point it wouldn't allow the case head of the round to pass between it. I probably didn't actually do anything that allowed the gun to finally unlock. More likely it was the gun cooling off and the slight shrinkage in the steel that allowed the cylinder to finally move.

    S&W then really disappointed me by taking all the old internals of the gun and putting them in a new in-spec frame. In my mind I deserved a new gun, with the parts fitted from the start as it was produced instead of trying to fit parts from an out-of-spec gun into a new frame. They simply refused to do so. So I got it, checked it out to make sure it at least worked, and sold it with full disclosure to someone on waguns.

    So I've shied away from S&W since then. My wife does have an S&W 442 in .38 +P that's a nice gun and my main carry gun is an excellent little 9mm Ported Performance Center Shield. But my experience shows even the alleged best customer service doesn't always live up to its reputation.