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View Poll Results: What do you think of the Taurus PT-709 Slim?
I've shot one and it's all-around great. 0 0%
I've shot one and it's good for concealed carry. 1 8.33%
I've shot one and I'm not impressed. 0 0%
I haven't shot one, but they seem cool. 4 33.33%
I haven't shot one, and I'm not interested. 7 58.33%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2010, 02:16 PM
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Thumbs up Review: Taurus PT-111 Millenium Pro vs Taurus PT-709


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A while back I bought a pair of pistols - a Taurus PT-111 Millennium Pro and a Taurus PT-709 Slim. The goal was to have dedicated concealed carry weapons for my wife and I. I bought the Slim for her and the Millennium for me, both in blued steel.

Initial thoughts:
  1. Both guns point naturally for me.
  2. The PT-111 is noticeably heavier, but it's not all that bad. Even with a topped-up magazine I wouldn't feel overly burdened to have it in a cargo pocket. The PT-709 is a true featherweight, though. You might even be able to forget you have it on you.
  3. The PT-709 feels quite small in my hand. I don't have very large hands for a guy, but I still need to readjust my hands every time I grab it. The Millennium, on the other hand, feels very natural. I can fit my full pinky on the mag extension, and the greater width fills my palm nicely.
  4. Both guns break down easily without the need for special tools.
I recently got to take them to the range in preparation for the CCW class. I wanted to break them in a bit. I shot a bunch of Federal 115-gr FMJs, then I tried out some hand-loaded hollow points. Recipe: Federal Brass, CCI Primers, Hornady 115-gr XTP Bullets, 8.0 grains of Alliant Blue Dot Powder.

Range Day Reactions:
  1. Both guns seem to be plenty accurate, but I can't tell for sure. I was shooting everything pretty poorly that day.
  2. Both guns had windage that was set incorrectly for me. Fortunately, both are easy to adjust.
  3. The PT-709 shot well below its sight picture at 25 yards. I need to see if there's some way to vertically adjust the sights.
  4. I actually preferred the Heinie Straight-8 sights on the PT-111. They were quick to employ.
  5. The factory ammo shot without a hitch. No failures to fire or failures to eject.
  6. CCI primers must be thicker than Federal's factory primers. Out of 10 handloaded rounds, I had two failures to fire in the PT-709. (Does anyone know of a good, thin primer that I can buy? I hate the thought of purchasing expensive defense ammo.)
  7. The Millennium felt fantastic to shoot. It had a light, crisp trigger pull, good pointability, and quick return to the target. Between the heavier upper receiver and the comfy grip, recoil was managed quite nicely. The trigger had a huge reset. I didn't really mind, though, since everything was so light.
  8. The Slim was not as much fun. Once I got used to wrapping my hands around it the thing felt OK, but it just wasn't as natural-feeling. The sights were pretty easy to align, but not as quick as the 111's Heinie sights. The trigger was crisp, with a smaller reset, but quite a bit heavier. That heavy trigger became more of a burden as the recoil started to batter my trigger finger. Nothing else was painful; just that poor index finger. I never quite figured out what was causing the abuse, but it really hurt after 30 rounds or so.
The final conclusion for me is that I wish I had bought two PT-111s. The Slim is a fine piece and it sure is easy to carry, but for me the Millennium is just a better gun. We'll probably shoot the Millennium at the range for fun, and we'll leave the Slim for carry only.

What do you owners think of the Slim?
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2010, 07:28 AM
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Images

Here are some images to illustrate some key points:

Taurus PT-709 Slim:


My grip is goofy; sorry. You can get an idea of size by looking at my pinky, though:


I like the single-stack mag. It's easy to load, and it counts each round:


Sight picture:


The adjustable sights are simple. The front-side screw adjusts windage. The rear-side screw seems to have a cam with four preset heights:


One possible liability - the rear sight leaf is plastic. You can see it fraying already:

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Last edited by 3cl3c71k0r; 07-14-2010 at 07:32 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2010, 08:03 AM
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Pt-111

Taurus PT-111 Millennium Pro



This feels much better in my hand:


The double-stack magazine counts every four rounds, and the spring is pretty stiff. I haven't gotten 12 rounds in it yet:


Sight picture:


To adjust the rear sight (windage only), loosen the set screw in the top, pop the slide in a vise, and tap the sight with a hammer and punch:




Size comparison shots:


The 709 is just a teeny bit smaller on each dimension. The thickness is the most noticeable difference:


Another big difference is evident from the front. The PT-111 has a heavier barrel, which I like very much:



Overall, both are excellent guns. The fit and finish is good, and the mating of the slide and frame seems to be simultaneously slick and solid. The controls are easy. The polished feed ramps do their job. I had no failures to feed. I would recommend both; just maybe the PT-111 a little more.
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2010, 02:07 PM
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Return to the range

I went back to the range today to do a little more testing. I had done a little research on primers, and I found out that the Federal #100 small pistol primer was a good choice for lighter strikers or hammers. Using the same recipe (115-gr Hornady XTP Bullet, Federal case, 8.0 grains of Blue Dot), I made a new batch of rounds and tested them in both guns.

Both weapons handled the new stuff perfectly. There were no failures to feed, fire, or eject. They all fired predictably, and with (possibly) greater precision than the factory FMJs. I say possibly because the groups looked better, but I was shooting everything offhand. The improved factor might have been me.

Overall I am very pleased with both guns. I still prefer the Millennium, but I'm warming up to the Slim. I think it'll be a fine carry gun, especially if I can figure out how to lighten that trigger.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2010, 02:48 PM
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Make sure you get all the shipping grease out of the striker channel. Even too much light oil will make it act like a shock absorber and give you light strikes.

Picked up a 24/7 some time ago and I really like it.
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2010, 03:52 PM
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Thanks for the tip! I suppose I should get some lithium grease on the slide rails, too.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2010, 04:34 PM
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Not to burst your bubble but the wife and I both had Taurus Millennium's and they were problematic from the very first sesson at the range. The clips would not stay in the pistol once the round was fired. Needless to say after several sessions and showing the owner of the range and gunstore the problem, these pistols went down the road for a much more dependable pistol with a track record to back them up........GLOCKS!!!
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2010, 05:28 PM
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Maybe Taurus is better at making pistols than revolvers, all I know is I won't own another. Your write up is very good though, good pictures and excellent descriptions, I'll give you an A for this one.
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  #9  
Old 07-19-2010, 07:37 AM
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Tracer - Wacky. Maybe they hammered out those problems by the time they got to the Pro model. I'll keep my eyes open, though. Thanks!

How much did you end up spending on the Glocks?
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2010, 07:39 AM
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mattsbox99 - Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:43 PM
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Last time Tracer said that, it was Ruger LCPs, so I'm guessing he just inserts whatever brand he wants to bash in a copy and paste post. I have an LCP, Kel Tec PF9, P32, and P380... I suppose if the Taurus isn't priced too bad I could pick one up to play with... I don't carry Micros too often, just when its not practical to carry my M&P 40 Compact.
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Last edited by mattsbox99; 07-19-2010 at 03:45 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-19-2010, 06:40 PM
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If you have an Academy Sports store, they seem to have the Taurus pistols at good prices. They sell the PT-111 a bit south of $350 and the PT-709 a bit north of $370.

I think I'll only be able to carry small weapons. I'm a tall guy, but I'm pretty thin (6'2", 155 lbs). Anything bigger than that Millennium would probably look like a small planet in my pocket.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:35 PM
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No Academy here, in fact, the nearest big name store is well over 250 miles away. I have plenty of guns to get me by for now though . 155 is pretty skinny!
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2010, 08:45 AM
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Another Range Day

I took these pistols back to the range again. My initial thoughts still stand, with one addendum - the PT-111 Millennium Pro is looking and feeling better and better to me. I liked it from the start, but I really, really like it now. Despite its short sight radius, it is a pretty darn good 25-yard gun. The low trigger weight, crisp break, comfy grip, and larger sights make it predictable and precise. Now I'm considering picking up a full-size 24/7 before they get to Gen2. It looks like the Gen2 will have the 709's trigger, and that wouldn't be awful...just worse than the current trigger.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:48 AM
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I have read in several posts that folks were having difficulties with the PT-709 and Winchester ammo. I just thought I'd throw in that I did a test with my Slim and a loose-pack box of Winchester 115gr FMJs. So far no problems. I have shot these rounds through both the Slim and Millennium with no failures to eject.

At this point my only problem has been a batch of handloaded rounds. The strikers on both guns are not strong enough to properly punch CCI primers. Since the switch to Federal primers, I have had no difficulties at all.
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2010, 07:59 AM
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PT-111 pro is a great gun! I have fired many rounds through mine without issue.. I keep it in my car with extra mag all year long without humidity issues. The only issue I had with it was when I removed the slide for cleaning. I almost did not get it back on It seemed a little finicky.. I have shot many different glocks and the PT-111 feels better than all of them! I might have to pick up a 709 now that I have seen yours!
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:47 AM
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@ 3cl3c71k0r

Looking at the taurus site - the 709 is 19oz compared to the 111 18 oz. So its actually heavier than the 111 so I am interested in your comparing them and saying the 709 is a featherweight?

I'm sure the ammo plays a huge roll, but if you only load as many rounds into the 111 as the 709 holds wouldn't the weight be almost equal, if not leaning towards the 111 as lighter?

Im looking into a conceal carry weapon and I'm torn between the thinness of the 709, but it looks bulky (flat and sharp edges) compared tot he 111 with rounded edges and more ergonomics. Assuming weight is equal, is the 709 really that much easier to conceal than the 111? The thickness seems negligible. What are your thoughts?

Last edited by timmy22; 10-08-2010 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:02 PM
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timmy22 - Interesting. Taurus' site used to claim a 21-oz weight on the PT-111. I wish I had some scales. The 111 feels heavier to me.

There are two observations that make the two pistols very different to me, even though the specs make them appear to be very similar.

I have carried both guns in a cargo pocket; I could pretty easily forget that the PT-709 was even there, but the PT-111 just felt more massive. It was pulling down my trousers and swinging around more than the 709. I'll give this test another try, though. I'll make sure they each have 7 rounds of ammo. In terms of spatial dimensions, the Slim hides much more easily than the Millennium. It doesn't seem like it should with those sharp edges, but it does. It's only a little more intrusive than a cell phone in a pocket. I keep them both in DeSantis holsters, which pretty well eliminate "printing."

There is just some part of the story that the specs don't tell. If you can check out both at the same time at an Academy or something, you should. The difference in the feel of them is somehow greater than it would appear.

I'm still totally sold on the 111, and so is my wife. To us it feels heavier and bulkier, but it is great to shoot. It isn't painful at all! I'm actually planning to sell the 709 and get another 111.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:20 PM
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Range Day!

I got my wife and I out on the range a week ago. We each put about 20 rounds through each gun, shooting an 8-inch target at a range of 7 yards. We shot Federal 115-gr FMJs and handloaded Hornady 115-gr XTPs. The handloads were hotter than the factory rounds.

My wife's impressions:
1. The PT-709 hurt. A lot. The muzzle flip was very uncomfortable for her.
2. The trigger was too heavy. Both supposedly have a 6lb pull, but the Slim's narrow trigger makes it feel heavier.
3. The PT-111 was much more comfortable to shoot.
4. She was able to be more accurate and consistent with the PT-111.
5. Final results - the PT-111 will be her carry weapon.

My impressions:
1. The handloads were even painful for me in the 709. The factory rounds were OK.
2. The PT-111 actually does point more naturally for me.
3. The PT-111's heinie sights are wonderful. I can quickly acquire a target after drawing, and reacquire a target under rapid firing.
4. Final results - I will defer to my wife and carry the Slim...until I can swap it for another Millennium. I also am thinking more seriously about picking up a 24/7 Long Slide before the G2 version arrives. I fear the G2 is going to borrow too much from the Slim.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:56 PM
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I am one who has owned Taurus weapons (not either of these) and will never own or recommend one to anybody else. It's your money and your experience may differ from my own.
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