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Range Report: Taurus 709B

I had been looking for a compact carry gun for some time, and at Blogorado had pretty much fallen in love with FarmDad’s Kahr P9. But, after one 300 pound buck and the resultant repairs to Frankenhoopty, the Kahr became a bit too rich for my blood.

Flash forward a month, and the receipt of an Academy gift card from a collection of people who never know what to get me for Christmas, and I brought home a new Taurus 709, otherwise known as the Taurus SLIM.

2009_1210Slim0017

And a slim little pistol it is, too, barely an inch thick, with streamlined and contoured edges. I carry it in a Don Hume model 715M size 30C IWB holster designed for the Sig P239, and the rig practically disappears under a shirt.

Specs for the Slim:

Model: 709B

Caliber: 9mm

Capacity: 7+1 (with a promised 9 round magazine supposedly on the way)

Construction: Polymer frame, checkered polymer grips

Finish: Blued

Front sight: Fixed

Rear sight: Fully adjustable for elevation and windage.

Weight: 19 oz

Length: 6″

Barrel length: 3″

Action: SA/DA

MSRP: $459

As usual, you can find them new for significantly less than MSRP. I picked mine up at Academy for $359.

It’s a well-balanced gun, and points well. I have fairly large hands, and one of my issues with compact semiautos is that I am forced to adopt a grip that is somewhat awkward for me. The Taurus 709 is no exception, but despite having no place to put my pinkie finger, I had no problems shooting the 709 accurately. Hopefully, a 9-round magazine with grip extension will make for a more comfortable grip without sacrificing a great deal of concealability.

Sights are of the 3-dot configuration, and unfortunately, made of plastic. In their favor, they are well contoured, with no sharp edges, and are fully adjustable for windage and elevation.

That’s a good thing, because the Slim shot low and left out of the box. Normally, I’d blame such a grouping on the loose nut behind the trigger, but it seemed that everyone who shot the Slim had the same general grouping, while I had no problems shooting my other pistols accurately.

On an amusing side note, while my guest and I were shooting the Slim, one guy at the range buttonholed us and offered his entirely unsolicited opinion that the Taurus Millenium Pro 9mm he had bought for his wife was an unmitigated piece of shit because it shot waaaay left.

I replied that I’d had no such issues with my Millenium PT140, and then proceeded to chew out the bullseye at 10 yards with both his new pistol and my slightly older PT140.

It’s a poor craftsman that blames his tools, folks.

The Taurus trigger does take some getting used to, however. The trigger on the Slim appears to be a hybrid of the Glock safe action trigger, working the Taurus SA/DA action. I wouldn’t call the SA trigger pull crisp, but neither does it approach the suckitude of a Glock trigger, and that particular piece of engineering hasn’t appreciably harmed my accuracy. With the Taurus SA/DA action, the first pull of the trigger is single action, albeit with a takeup most appropriately measured in furlongs, but if for some reason the weapon fails to fire, the trigger resets to DA mode.

Not sure of the utility of that feature, though. If the gun doesn’t consistently go “BANG!” when I pull the trigger, I’m not thinking, “Gee, what a relief that I can pull the trigger again before I go through my failure drill!”

More likely, after making sure it isn’t the ammo, I’m thinking, “Ditch this unreliable piece of shit before it gets me killed.”

Recoil is easily manageable, and accuracy is as good as you could hope for in a compact carry pistol with a 3 inch barrel:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-_PGwAkxjI[/youtube]

As you can see, I’m still a little left, and I threw one flier in there. Still, it’s a very shootable pistol, easily concealed and well worth the price. Round count is currently around 500, and thus far it has run without a hitch.

For a $359 concealed carry piece, the Taurus Slim is hard to beat.

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