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 Preview Image

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.

  • http://www.backstepfirefighter.com Bill Carey

    Nice little rig. Do you do any 'recoil therapy' with rifles?

  • Naddie

    Why do all the people in this blogring carry guns around with them? Aren't you a medic?

  • Ambulance_Driver

    And being a medic means I can't carry a gun… why, exactly?

    Aside from it being a constitutionally enumerated right that existed long before the U.S. Constitution, it's a hobby I enjoy.

    But if you're asking whether I carry a gun when I'm working on the ambulance, the answer is no.

  • Ambulance_Driver

    Rifles, shotguns and pistols, Bill!

  • Will

    Impressive lack of recoil. 'Course, you do have a bit more mass for damping impulse then I do ;-)
    Maybe Pearce Grip inc makes grip extensions for your stock mags.

  • http://www.backstepfirefighter.com Bill Carey

    I'll have to make a point to definitely meet you the next opportunity. I shoot competitively, mostly 4 position small-bore and high power long range. I used to shoot silhouettes with a Thompson Center 7mm TCU for awhile, but enjoy paper better.

  • reformedyankee

    Naddie, some of us happen to be medics AND cops. However, most of us love guns and all things gun related no matter what our profession. AD, I actually like the glock trigger but to each their own. The Taurus autos have never impressed me but I just got a Taurus 617 in 357 that I do like quite a bit. I haven't gotten a chance to get to the range yet but confidence is high.

  • Sigivald

    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.

    The idea is that a questionable or hard primer might take two hits.

    (But in any case, since the striker/hammer/whatever is “down” after that, it kinda has to go to DA to cock it no matter what, doesn't it?

    If you have a DA/SA capability, it kinda has to go to DA after a failure … otherwise you're just SA all the time.

    In that respect it's no different from every normal DA (not DAO) pistol in the world, eh?)

  • TexasDad

    Adjusting for windage? Are you engaging the enemy from a distance greater than 25 yards with a pistol?

    I carry a Stihl MS 650 on a shoulder rig. It has an effective range of about 2 meters when fully extended from my arms. The effective audible range is approximately 100 meters. It stops bad guys and gals in their tracks, and it gets the full attention of everyone in the neighborhood. The best part, I've never made a call where a child accidentally played with their father's chainsaw and shot themselves or someone else.

  • Ambulance_Driver

    I spent a good portion of my EMS career working in logging country.

    Worked a helluva lot more accidental chainsaw injuries with adults than I did accidental gunshot wounds in children and adults combined.

    Maybe we should lower the minimum age for purchasing a handgun to 5, and outlaw Stihl MS 650s.

    Well, at least for adult use, that is.

  • Ambulance_Driver

    And a real bad guy would just back off more than 2 meters, shoot you, and take your shiny new Stihl MS 650.

  • Valerie

    As Paul Harvey would say, “And now for the rest or the story.” What Grayson did not tell you is that the video shown here was the 5th take.

  • Ambulance_Driver

    Liar liar, pants on fire!

  • Valerie

    That's slander! My pants are not on fire!

  • TexasDad

    Any bad guy that wants to get within a two-meter range of someone walking around with an unconcealed chainsaw is about to become a footnote on the Darwin Awards.

    I don't walk through my life here in the USA feeling threatened, so I don't see need to carry a concealed pistol. I have a brother and a brother-in-law that, one with 10+ years, and the other with 15+ years in federal law enforcement. Neither has needed to ever display their concealed and licensed firearm, here in the USA or overseas, so why is it that every other yahoo feels the need to carry a concealed weapon to feel brave enough to make it through the day.

    I choose not to live my life in fear.

  • Ambulance_Driver

    I'm glad you choose not to live your life in fear. I've made the same choice.

    I carry a weapon for the same reason I have a fire extinguisher in my home, even though I've never had a fire.

    And if you're going to call me a cowardly yahoo on my own blog, even indirectly, you can take your readership elsewhere

    Thanks for playing.

  • TexasDad

    AD,

    Done, but I'm saddened.

    I applaud your bravery at allowing dissenting opinions to be posted to your blog (you are ultimately the editor of all content).

    There are bloggers that censor comments and only allow posts that praise them. I wish there were more who shared your desire to bring about a discussion on how the profession of EMS could become sigma six culture. That is an important task, and one with too few individuals brave enough to expose themselves, their organizational practices, and the entire EMS culture to the light of truth.

    It seems that you also want the liberty to mix personal and professional posts to the blog, and expect two different types of responses based upon the professional versus personal nature of your posts.

    It is unfortunate that your perceptions real or imagined caused you to suffer any discomfort by a post by some yahoo from Texas.

    May G-d continue to bless Texas and the United States of America.

    Best of luck to you AD

  • Ambulance_Driver

    You and I disagree on many things, TexasDad, politics not the least among them.

    But you know that you have always been free to post dissenting opinion here on my blog, and I've engaged in a number of civil debates with you.

    But “so why is it that every other yahoo feels the need to carry a concealed weapon to feel brave enough to make it through the day,” is beneath you, and your normal level of discourse.

    It's small-minded and petty, and the implication is that anyone who disagrees with you on the subject of carrying firearms is ignorant and cowardly.

    If I called you a busybody, panty-wetting liberal who is not only scared of inanimate objects, but thinks everyone else should be as well, does that accurately describe you, or encapsulate your personal beliefs?

    But you see, I didn't say that, because I don't think that, and the statement is just chickenshit name-calling.

    I didn't go there. But you did.

  • Rabbit

    We were out near Elsewhere last weekend and stopped in an as yet unvisited gun shop as we headed back home. Chanced upon a 709 in the display case and had the opportunity to inspect it, and came away favorably impressed. Wife is interested in selling her PT111 and investing in one for herself, as she's fond of single-stacks. Thanks for an interesting review, AD.

    Regards,
    Rabbit.

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