Taurus CT9/CT40 Carbines – New Gun Review

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By Paul Helinski, Editor

Taurus CT9/CT40 Carbines
http://www.taurususa.com/carbines

The Taurus CT9 and CT40 are pistol-caliber carbines made a lot like the H&K USC, which was actually a .45ACP. No word yet on if we'll see a CT45, but we got to test the CT9 and it was both reliable and accurate.

The Taurus CT9 and CT40 are pistol-caliber carbines made a lot like the H&K USC, which was actually a .45ACP. No word yet on if we’ll see a CT45, but we got to test the CT9 and it was both reliable and accurate.

For urban combat and self defense, many would argue that there is no better choice in a firearm than a pistol-caliber carbine. It has almost no recoil or muzzle rise, little muzzle flash and plenty of punch to get the job done in close quarters. The H&K MP5 is legend when it comes to SWAT and SPEC-OPS deployment, and it has achieved that status firing the 9mm cartridge, despite concerns of many that the 9mm is underpowered. The Taurus CT9 and CT40 are new entrants into the pistol-caliber carbine market, and they look and work a lot like H&K’s follow up to the MP5, called the UMP. The civilian version was called the USC, and is no longer produced (it was too expensive). The Taurus CT9 is a more full-featured gun than the USC, and with an MSRP of $879 and street prices under $750, this new carbine should fly off the shelves. As this article is coming out, the .40 S&W version was released, but we were able to test the 9mm gun. Our results showed the CT9 to be extremely reliable and tolerant of different types of ammo. The accuracy is at least as good as other pistol caliber carbines we have tested, and the features on the gun are all you could want for home and personal defense. This year is going to see a new emergence from Taurus since Mark Kresser took over the company. With the new focus on quality control and great customer service, the

The CT9 comes with a hard case, two 10 round magazines and a really nice sling.

The CT9 comes with a hard case, two 10 round magazines and a really nice sling.


affordability of Taurus products will finally be backed up by a company that puts customers as #1. The CT9 is the first truly new product from Taurus for a while, and minus a couple peeves, it seems to be everything you could want in a pistol caliber carbine.

Why a pistol caliber carbine to begin with?

If you are reading this, there is a fair chance that you are considered the “gun expert” among your circle of friends. So let me ask you a question. What is the best overall gun I should buy for home defense, plinking, and, oh, I want my 110 lb. wife to learn to shoot it and enjoy shooting it?

There are very few actual wrong answers to that question because everyone has an individual list of priorities and everyone’s priorities are different. If you answered a semi-auto pistol or revolver, in theory you could be right, because you want something that is

The cocking handle comes installed on the left side for right-handed shooters. It is swapable for lefties.

The cocking handle comes installed on the left side for right-handed shooters. It is swapable for lefties.

handy and maneuverable in close quarters. The problem with handguns is that they are hard to shoot accurately at distances of over 20 yards or so. This is due to the short distance between the front and rear sights, called the “sight radius.” The farther apart your sights, the more finely you can attune your aiming point, and pistols are just too short for most people to shoot accurately even to the end of the driveway.

If you said “an AR-15,” congratulations. It’s a great answer.  The .223/5.56 cartridge actually stops quicker in wall materials than most handgun rounds, so an AR-15 is a really good choice if you are worried about missing and potentially harming a neighbor or family member in a confrontation with bad guys inside your home. Outside, at distance even, most ARs are capable of great accuracy, and the ergonomics of the gun make it a proven performer. You can also trick your AR-15 out with lights, lasers, optics, even thermal imaging if you want to, and it is probably the best battle-tested option you can buy.

The problem with ARs is that in close quarters, indoors, at night, the muzzle flash and sonic concussion are intense. Your wife may shoot the AR really comfortably during the day outside with hearing protection, but in a genuine firefight both you and the wife will most likely find that the muzzle flash temporarily blinds you and that the crack from the shot is deafening, and certainly not what you prepared yourself for with all that trigger time.

The front of the mag well is molded for a forward grip.

The front of the mag well is molded for a forward grip.

Shotguns, according to VP Joe, are great advice, but unless there are no small potential shooters involved, and unless you are prepared for a hefty recoil, hefty muzzle rise and hefty boom, shotguns aren’t a great choice. What makes the shotgun so desirable is that people have been convinced that the pellets “scatter.” It is, after all, called a scattergun. But that works mostly for only very small pellets, BB-sized shot or smaller. And while I have seen some internet “experts” expound the use of birdshot for home defense, knowing that I may only get off one shot before potential return fire from an attacker, I’d rather have something that can shoot through a Lazy Boy at 10 feet, and birdshot cannot. Most experienced SWAT guys and will tell you that nothing short of 00 buckshot is acceptable to truly end a gunfight, but if you have seen any of our combat shotgun articles, buckshot doesn’t scatter into bigger than a 4″ hole until you get out well past bedroom distances. So much for the scattergun theory. Shotguns with buckshot are great weapons for the right shooter, but they are not an across the board good choice for home defense.

That leaves, surprisingly, the pistol caliber carbine. If you ask any experienced SWAT cop, they will invariably tell you that they favor the MP5, in 9mm, because anything more is overkill and just adds muzzle flash and rise that they would rather not have to deal with. But remember, SWAT cops have a specific task of short-distance room clearing. Generally a guy that is assigned to enter and clear a building is going to have snipers outside to take the long shot if needed. He also will have a doorbuster, and guy standing right next to him with a 12-gauge to bang through whatever obstacles get in the way. You won’t have any of that, and long shots, as well as busting through stuff, are where pistol calibers fail miserably. Even the lightest .223/5.56 bullet will have three times more energy at 100 yards than any pistol caliber pushes at the muzzle.  Up close, you generally don’t need the extra energy. Downrange you sometimes do.

This is a top down view of the gun. As you can see the bolt release and safety lever are on both sides.

This is a top down view of the gun. As you can see the bolt release and safety lever are on both sides.

So, as you can see, the pistol-caliber carbine is as much of a conundrum as the rest of the firearms world (along with everything else in life), and your best answer to our original question, “What is the best…?” is “well that depends.” For plinking, pistol-caliber carbines are much more fun to shoot at distance than pistols, and you can shoot them cheaper and reload them easier than the necked case of the AR-15. And you thought that this was going to be a simple gun review!

Testing the Taurus CT9

These days, the real measure of a new self-defense gun in the market is how well it meets the needs of today’s consumer. That means options. The Taurus CT9 is completely ambidextrous, with a left-hander-swappable charging handle and double-sided safety and bolt release. The magazine catch is up inside the handle, so both hands can access it equally. The charging handle is non-reciprocating, which means that it doesn’t follow the bolt back and forth. You pull it back to cock the gun and it returns forward, where it stays during firing.

The front and rear sights are movable on the rail.

The front and rear sights are movable on the rail.

The upper receiver on the gun is aluminum and the lower is polymer. This means that the top Picatinny rail is metal, and the one you see on the bottom of the forend is plastic. If you look at the pictures, you will see that the magazine well is shaped into a front grip, similar to the profile that you see on some aftermarket Magpul front grips. The balance point of the gun is on the magazine well, which ergonomically gives you a tight and comfortable shooting profile without the need for an attached front grip. This leaves the forend rail free for a light and/or laser combo. And if you want something else on the front of the gun, like a camera or something, there are two metal screw sleeves molded into the grip at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions meant for attaching standard rail sections.

The aluminum top rail is long enough for a regular optic and night vision attachment, or a holographic sight and magnifier, and night vision. The CT9 comes with a decent set of open sights with a hooded front post and an elevation-adjustable rear with a choice of slot or ghost ring. Both sights can be moved to anywhere on the rail via a spring catch, but they do not fold down. Neither are they windage-adjustable. To remove the sights, you break the gun down to field-strip level, which is the removal of one pin, then just slide the sights off the back of the receiver.

Taking the CT9 down is as easy as removing a pin.

Taking the CT9 down is as easy as removing a pin.

Reliability is something that you cannot take for granted in a semi-automatic rifle, or any semi-automatic for that matter. This gun is “blowback” operated, which means that the recoil of the cartridge is all that pushes the bolt back to re-cock the hammer and strip a round from the magazine for the next shot. An AR-15, for example, uses the expanding gases in the barrel to push on the bolt, but blowback guns rely only on the initial recoil of the cartridge. This means that these guns can be extremely ammo sensitive when it comes to cycling reliably. We tested the Taurus CT9 with eight different types of 9mm ammo, ranging from high-end carry rounds to military surplus to steel-cased Tula. All of them functioned perfectly, with no failures to cycle or fire, and all of them showed increased velocity over the box values because of the longer 16″ barrel of the CT9. Longer barrel equals more powder burning before the bullet exits, which equals more velocity and more energy. We used the open sights for our accuracy testing at 30 yards with four types of 9mm, and they all grouped into between 1.5″ and 3″ over a 10-shot group. Why this distance? Because it is pretty close to “the end of the driveway” for most of suburbia.  Why a 10-shot group? Because in a gunfight, if you need to fire 3 shots, you probably ought to fire 10. As an “end of the driveway” gun, the Taurus CT9 performed really well, and probably at least as well as any pistol-caliber carbine in its class.

The biggest problem with this gun is the position of the safety. Your thumb can't comfortably reach it, unless you are Anderson Silva, who coincidentally lives near where these guns are made in Brazil.

The biggest problem with this gun is the position of the safety. Your thumb can’t comfortably reach it, unless you are Anderson Silva, who coincidentally lives near where these guns are made in Brazil.

My peeves with the gun are two. One is that it only comes with 10-round magazines. After what we have been through over the past year with gun bans and magazine bans, Taurus really should have shipped this baby with a 30-rounder, or at least a 17-round “standard capacity” doublestack 9mm mag. The magazine appears to be a proprietary design, and doesn’t match Taurus pistol mags. Oh well for now on this point. The customers will yell loudly enough to at least get some aftermarket companies cooking.

The other problem with the gun is the safety release lever. Unless you have a freakishly long thumb that is comfortable bending backwards, you won’t be able to release the safety with your firing hand without difficulty. The answer to this is either to control the safety with your non-firing hand, or to ride your thumb on the lever located on your firing hand side of the gun. See the pictures, because this is a lot less complicated that it sounds. This gives you a comfortable shooting method with the CT9 that you can train for and practice. Is it ideal? No. This is a design flaw in the gun. But is it a deal killer? You be the judge.

My solution is to keep the gun at the ready with the thumb out of the grip and riding on the strong side safety lever.

My solution is to keep the gun at the ready with the thumb out of the grip and riding on the strong side safety lever.

The Taurus CT9 comes with a hard case, two 10-round magazines and a really nice sling with finish protectors over the end clips, as well as the cleaning brush, manual and a lock. It weighs 7.54 lbs. on my scale with an empty mag. After over 300 rounds with this gun, we found that it works reliably, ejects the same ammo to the same small pile all the time (a great sign), and that it doesn’t beat up your brass if you are a reloader. Like pretty much all blowback operated guns, you get a face-full of smoke when you shoot the gun rapid-fire (the MP5 is the worst for this), and it does get dirty, so you’ll want to clean it after a healthy range session. The good news is that 9mm ammo is finally available at close to normal prices again these days, so we can all go back to actually shooting our guns for fun instead of just planning for Armageddon.

Taurus is going to be the company to watch in the coming years, now that they are being led in the right direction. This CT9/CT40 is a great start. Everyone should have at least one pistol-caliber carbine in his gun accumulation (which is different than a collection, but we’ll get to that some other time). I think you will love the Taurus CT9.

 

The sling has protected metal clips at the ends.

The sling has protected metal clips at the ends.

I don't know why they made this sling swivel not fit the sling clip that comes with the gun.

I don’t know why they made this sling swivel not fit the sling clip that comes with the gun.

It is a bummer that Taurus couldn't come up with a way to send at least 17-rounders with the gun. These mags are actually 17 round length, but have this crimp in them to limit the follower to 10 rounds. Generally drilling out the crimp on these kinds of mags isn't smart unless you get new springs as well.

It is a bummer that Taurus couldn’t come up with a way to send at least 17-rounders with the gun. These mags are actually 17 round length, but have this crimp in them to limit the follower to 10 rounds. Generally drilling out the crimp on these kinds of mags isn’t smart unless you get new springs as well.

If you plan to shoot at long distances, the 147 grain Hornady Critical Defense is the best for punch.

If you plan to shoot at long distances, the 147 grain Hornady Critical Defense is the best for punch.

The MagTech was a tack driver at 30 yards, and the others were well within expected accuracy for a blowback operated pistol caliber carbine.

The MagTech was a tack driver at 30 yards, and the others were well within expected accuracy for a blowback operated pistol caliber carbine.

Even the Tula ammo was capable of head shots at 30 yards.

Even the Tula ammo was capable of head shots at 30 yards.

The 115gr. ammo, like the rest, came in about 10% over box velocities due to more powder burning in the longer barrel before exit

The 115gr. ammo, like the rest, came in about 10% over box velocities due to more powder burning in the longer barrel before exit

Threading the CT9 for a suppressor would not be difficult for any experienced gunsmith, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see it come stock threaded in the future. The 147 grain was just hovering at subsonic with the 16" barrel.

Threading the CT9 for a suppressor would not be difficult for any experienced gunsmith, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it come stock threaded in the future. The 147 grain was just hovering at subsonic with the 16″ barrel.

The trigger pull is fairly light but is a bit scratchy, with no real positive release point.

The trigger pull is fairly light but is a bit scratchy, with no real positive release point.

The bolt face of the CT9 doesn't get overly dirty, but you can see from the mags that there is a lot of nasty particulate traveling around in there, so clean well.

The bolt face of the CT9 doesn’t get overly dirty, but you can see from the mags that there is a lot of nasty particulate traveling around in there, so clean well.

It is always a good sign when a gun dumps spent brass always in the same place, free of dings and dents.

It is always a good sign when a gun dumps spent brass always in the same place, free of dings and dents.

{ 83 comments }

{ 81 comments… add one }

  • Scouse November 25, 2013, 6:37 am

    The best bet, for enterprising gunsmiths, convert this Carbine to take Glock 17 round magazines, and the “big stick” 33 round one would fit also.

    Hint for the factory, make two versions, Glock mag shoot-able! And in house.

    • Charles Slement November 3, 2014, 12:51 pm

      Wish they would make it in 357 SIG

    • spot November 3, 2014, 7:11 pm

      One in 10mm please!

      • Russ November 3, 2014, 7:38 pm

        Oh hell ya, good idea.

    • Gary Winters November 28, 2014, 9:09 pm

      I’ve a CT40 that I purely love. the sights, at full extension, are very accurate. Breakdown is easy. I’ve put several hundred rounds through it using S&W, Fedral, and Amercan in both JHP and FMJ, no problems. The scarcity of .40 S&W ammo has been over for a while. My only complaints were pointed out in th article – blowback is dirty and I can’t wait to get my hands on bigger mags. I added a bi-pod for truly FUN shooting!

  • Squatch November 25, 2013, 7:37 am

    The MP5 is a legend…that has been almost completely replaced by AR15’s in special operation and SWAT use and for good reason. Pistol calibers are not reliable man stoppers compared to rifle calibers and even a 10% increase in velocity from the longer barrel isn’t going to change that significantly. Also, body armor or cover are going to greatly reduce the 9mm’s effectiveness. This carbine doesn’t do anything that an AR can’t do much better. As for the noise and flash of an AR being detrimental in an indoor situation, entry teams both domestically and fighting abroad have not encountered a significant problem with this that I have heard of. Besides, any negative effects of muzzle flash and noise would be far worse for the bad guy on the receiving end, coupled with high velocity rounds coming his way at a high rate of fire, would make for a bad day.

    • Evan November 25, 2013, 9:03 am

      Looks like someone beat me to it. Exactly what Squatch said, the pistol caliber submachinegun is obsolete. Shooting any gun inside is going to be loud, pistols included, and I’ve never had a problem with muzzle flash. If these are a problem, .300BLK and a suppressor is a better solution than a 9mm with 10 round mags.

      • jeff w December 1, 2013, 7:38 am

        The only folks I know that have had issues with the M4 carbine is a group of Sheriff’s officers in SC who transitioned from the MP5 to the M4 Commando. While on the surface it is an excellent cqb carbine – the 11.5″ barrel is a flame thrower (and also tends to jam at inopportune moments) – which blinds you at night and is at the minimum hazardous in some situations (read: meth lab raid). noise is vicious but with tac radios/hearing protectors that is not a huge deal – buth the mazzle flash is (and the dept cannot afford suppressors).

      • jeff c January 22, 2014, 2:14 pm

        Evan,

        I think the reason “why” to buy this gun is just a “what the hell?” I mean if I have rom in my safe why not? its a nice little gun that shoots 9mm and it looks cool. I have everything from nagant pistols to M&P smiths and .50 Desert Eagle not to mention .50 BMG and all those wonderful hunting rifles. So gain to answer your question again, the question is… do I have any room in my safe?

      • Jake November 3, 2014, 1:54 pm

        There’s an element of economics to that. A .300BLK rifle will cost you $700-1000, but you’re left with a loud gun firing a rifle cartridge. If you want to suppress that, it’s another $400 or so for a mid-range suppressor, plus the $200 tax (and the wait for your Form 4), so you’re up to $1300-1600 for a CQB carbine, which is expensive to feed so you’re disinclined to get lots of practice with it. A pistol carbine, while a little louder than some suppressed rifles, won’t cause acoustic shock indoors like a pistol, and it will be much cheaper to take to the range and go through 100+ rounds of Winchester White Box.

    • WiscoGunner November 3, 2014, 11:19 am

      Mr. Helinski leaves out a very viable competitor for home defense that also happens to be produced by Taurus. I recently tested a Taurus Public Defender .410/45LC revolver with 2″ barrel. I fired five rounds of .000 buckshot at a human-sized outline target from distances of 15 and 25 feet. Every projectile from 15 feet hit the center torso area of the target with a diameter of about 14″. From the 25ft distance, there were only 2 fliers that hit just outside the outline, the rest peppered the torso, neck and head of the outline. I then fired 5 rounds of the 45LC from 25ft and I created one ragged hole with the first 4 rounds. To be sure I wasn’t seeing things, I fired the last round 3 inches below that hole and it hit where I aimed. I was astounded by the accuracy from a 2-inch barrel. In a 7 to 15 foot encounter (home invasion) I would have great confidence in the Taurus Judge Public Defender loaded with .00, .000 buckshot or the Winchester Defense Rounds that have a mix of discs and large shot. A revolver is easy to retrieve, goes bang about 99.9% of the time and is less cumbersome to store in a bedroom. The one shortcoming is the limited number of rounds.
      I like the CT9 and CT40, but for the money, the Hi-Point Carbines come in 9, 40 and 45 calibers and are less than half the price, plus, there are 15-round mags available from ProMag. Just my 2-cents.

  • T. Jefferson November 25, 2013, 9:06 am

    Let me know when you make a CT45

    • Gabbo November 3, 2014, 9:10 am

      I’ll wait for the CT10mm

  • Charlemagne November 25, 2013, 10:06 am

    There is a certain utility to having a carbine in a pistol caliber like the various 44-40 and 44 magnum lever actions. These advantages include: the ability to use the same ammunition in two different types of guns as well as the increased performance and accuracy of a pistol cartridge in a carbine.

    That said I would go with an AK instead of one of these carbines. A side folding butt stock (something not possible with an AR) allows an AK with a 16.3 inch barrel to be folded up to a mere 25 inches in length. The 5.45 round offers similar performance to 5.56 but ammo can be had for as little as 16 cents a round! The 7.62×39 round is a little more expensive but it delivers a harder punch than either the 5.45 or 5.56 (to say nothing of 9mm and 40cal). On top of that you have the legendary AK reliability and durability.

    • Evan November 25, 2013, 10:52 am

      The lever actions in magnum calibers are different. I have a Marlin 1894 in .44 mag and I’ve cut down a tree with it. I don’t think you could do that with a 9mm.

    • AXE November 26, 2013, 2:33 pm

      I have a nice pistol caliber carbine. It’s called a PS90 and it’s made in Belgium. So easy to shoot my ten year old can do it. Unlike this thing, it suitably comes with a Fifty round magazine. Who ever came up with the idea for proprietary mags with a ten round limit should be fired. I was thinking nice thoughts about this thing until I read the magazine part. Big boo boo.

  • sevenheart November 25, 2013, 10:12 am

    I don’t dismiss muzzle flash and noise so casually. I had to use my S&W 357 in a hasty situation without hearing protection and have enjoyed a ringing ear for the years since. Not to be a whiner, but here in Kolorado, I get thrilled when a company offers 10 rnd magazines. It can be difficult to buy the latest greatest when they come with more than 15 rnd mags, retailers were forced to send every gun with greater than 15 rnd capacity back to the manufacturer to comply with the law, comrades. And buying in a neighboring state? Every retailer I’ve talked to refuses to sell to anyone with a Kolorado drivers license- even hunting guns.

    • Evan November 25, 2013, 10:50 am

      I have tinittis as well, but it was from Iraq. I’ve learned to deal with it. Either way, in any self-defense situation, the state of my future hearing isn’t getting factored in. I don’t think the words “hold on Mr. Rapist, time out – lay off my wife real quick while I put in this hearing protection before I shoot you” have ever been used in the history of mankind. In a self-defense situation, I’m going to choose the firearm that gives me the maximum advantage over my opponent, and not the one with a quieter report. I can’t think of a case where a pistol round gives me a better chance than a rifle round.

      • Mason November 25, 2013, 12:11 pm

        Ever try to pull an AR-15 or any other carbine out from under your pillow or bed covers? Home defense assumes you aren’t gun in hand when a intruder makes themselves known. This is where the pistol overrules all long guns – hands down – access time.

        • Evan November 25, 2013, 1:42 pm

          Or you could just have it right beside your bed instead of under the pillow,within an arm’s reach, and access it equally quickly. Plus, rifles are way easier to shoot accurately, especially if you’re still half asleep having woken up suddenly in the realization that something is seriously wrong. In that case, I’d rather have a rifle with an EOTech (already on, those batteries last forever), and a good weapon light. In my own home, I want to increase the probability of a first shot hit as much as possible. No matter what caliber we’re talking about, you can reduce the possibility of a projectile going through a wall to zero if it never hits the wall in the first place. With a pistol, you’re missing out on the holographic sight, and probably the light too (I don’t like pistols with lights on them anyway, I think they ruin the balance). We’re not talking about in public here, where carrying a rifle isn’t always practical or legal. There’s no reason not to have a rifle for home defense. A pistol is nothing more than a backup.

          • John November 27, 2013, 9:08 am

            I’ve heard it said that a pistol is what you use to cover yourself while you retrieve a real weapon. I still enjoy my handguns but this saying did give me something to think about, as did your comments. Thanks.

  • JD November 25, 2013, 10:17 am

    They should have made this to accept 24/7 mags that will accept the smaller PT mags along with the full size. So as far as pistol cal. carbines go, I will keep my M1 carbines handy. And if price is an issue, nothing wrong with picking up a Universal/Iver Johnson version for around 400.00. At least you have the option of 10/15/30 round mags

  • Pete November 25, 2013, 11:00 am

    ARs are available in a wide range of calibers, including pistol calibers. My 9MM accepts Colt mags or slightly altered Uzi mags. I always compare the AR platform to the PC; that is, everyone makes parts or accessories for them. The versatility can’t be beaten. You can have as many calibers as you can afford uppers and mags for. I don’t mean to infer that these don’t sound like interesting products, but the price sounds a bit prohibitive for what you get.

  • Paul November 25, 2013, 12:15 pm

    From what I understand Taurus had to make them 10 rounds to get them approved for import. They are standard in Brazil with 32 round magazines.

    • Wilson Baptista Junior December 29, 2013, 8:37 am

      Here in Brazil they can only be sold to the military or the police, so there would be no restrictions on magazine capacity. Guns for civilians have been to all purposes outlawed in Brazil by misinformed politicians.

    • Mark N. November 1, 2014, 1:37 am

      This is true, and which is why it is made so that magazines from its pistols do not fit. Although the aftermarket is free to experiment, federal gun import laws preclude Taurus from shipping or making compatible mags in excess of ten rounds.

  • supersixone November 25, 2013, 12:20 pm

    I think that this marketed for those of us who wanted an HK USC but could not find or afford one, competition for the Beretta CX4 carbine, and an upgrade over the truly atrocious looking but functional Hipoint 995ts. Its tactical looking and has a few tactical accessory features that a Kel Tec sub2k does not. I would pay $600 for one. If you compare it to an GSG 22LR MP5 clone the Taurus starts to make a little more sense and a reason to exist. I recently looked to buy a HK USC and they are now close to 2000$ and arent made anymore so parts and repair will certainly be costly.

    This will probably be bought by people like me who have multiple guns, multiple carbines in different flavors.

    My choices for indoor QCB and home defense costs about double. I would recommend the FNH PS90. it has the versatile high velocity 5.7 round, it has low recoil and comes with either a 30 or 50 round magazine. It is bull pupped so it is very short and compact for clearing the corners. The rounds do not over penetrate much like the 223 as mentioned above, but also have a strong track record of effecting the target with intended result.

    My second choice would be a Kriss Vector. It handles the 45ACP man stopper with much reduced recoil. and has the side folding stock to decrease length.

    Please remember that the reason for the 10 round magazine is due to import law. they cannot import the gun from Brazil if it had more than 10 rounds. The goal would be for someone else to make high cap magazines for it. it would have been nice for it to take a standard mag like a Glock or Beretta mag. But im sure Mecgar or Promag will eventually come up with one.

    I say “Thank You Taurus for making something different or at least similar to the unobtainable HK USC, something for the Tacticool crowd.” We need more options and alternatives. I have had several AR15s no matter what you do to it, its still just like every other AR, they can become boring, so some gun enthusiasts like myself need something a little different. I have a PS90, Kriss V, CX4, Sub2k, Mac10, TP9, FS2000, pistol AR, Yugo PAP pistol, CBRP AK47 bullpup, SGW SKS bullpup, and MSAR 556. So you can see that I like the variety and a taste for something shorter than an AR.

    So I would consider this a star or allen hex driver in your tool box, it will not replace your Phillips and flat head bits, and it should not be the only bit you have, but it is a tool that is useful.

    • Keith November 4, 2014, 5:26 pm

      This Taurus carbine is priced way too high. It only has ten round magazines and they want $650 to $700 for a 100 yard weapon.

      Hi-Point makes carbines in 9 x 19, .40 S&W and .45 Auto calibers for $330 that have ten round magazine capacity. Masterpiece Arms makes a model MPA1SST45 carbine that uses .45 Auto. I have found them priced at about $560 and it has 30 round magazines. Masterpiece Arms also makes a $490 carbine in 9 millimeter that has 35 round magazines. There are much better options out there than this Taurus carbine.

  • Mason November 25, 2013, 12:31 pm

    While this is a well written and informative article in may ways, this entire article’s assumptions for defense are actually from an offense weapons operation stand point – not a defense standpoint. Comparing to SWAT protocols for room clearing – are all offense tactics. The article assumes the defender is aware and has some prep time to get their home long gun defense weapon from where it is securely stored to defend. This is rarely the case when intruders burst into a home, or are already in the home when the resident becomes aware of their presence and it’s why long guns in general are only “better” options when the defender has several seconds or minutes to prepare – a rarity, and not useful at all when the resident awakes with a stranger in their bedroom. Real home defense requires multiple weapons of different types and to be hidden/secure but easily available in several parts of your living areas and perhaps even one in the garage. Otherwise, a home defense weapon that can’t be instantly accessed is more of a psychological comforter for the resident than a useable defense weapon.

    • Ray November 25, 2013, 10:06 pm

      Mason, I agree with you completely on the relative uselessness of rifles for “bedside defense.” I carry the Seecamp .32 because the diminutive size makes concealed carry so easy .. It is always with you. Large frame .45 and .40 cal semis shoot nicely, but spend their lives in the safe. They are useless except in the hands of lawmen or in open carry states. Carbines, ARs, Bullpups are terrific fun, but absent a pitched gun battle, not likely to serve well in a home invasion scenario.

  • Victor November 25, 2013, 12:46 pm

    Hot load 9mm NATO 124 grain ball ammo is still one of the few pistol caliber ammunitions that will reliably defeat type 2 and type 3 soft body armor. Shoot that same ammo from a carbine instead of a pistol, and you gain 200-300 fps in travel speed, and that much more punch….. Its a big part of the reason the SEAL teams still use 9mm handguns, along with their 9mm carbines… That and the availability of heavy subsonic rounds for suppressed weapons….. Load up the 147 grain defensive ammo, and you have excellent stopping power in a fast shooting weapon with minimal recoil for follow up shots..

    • Sargintrock November 3, 2014, 3:02 pm

      I concur. I get aggravated at all the negatives bandied about by armchair warriors concerning the negatives of 9 mike mike utilization. It’s as if the British Commandos with their Sten’s and the IDF and their Uzzi’s never accomplished anything of note in a combat setting!!!

  • colt November 25, 2013, 12:48 pm

    It looks great! I’d like one in .45ACP with at least three 20 round mags from the factory. And more readily available.

  • Mike November 25, 2013, 1:18 pm

    This firearm is similar to the Beretta CX-4. The nice thing about the Beretta is that it uses the same Magazine as the Beretta-92. It comes with 2 10 round mags, but you can buy the 15 round high cap mags at any gun store. Also available are 30 round high cap Mags online. They were hard to find after the panic created by the Sandy Hook school shooting, but are available now. It shoots great with all types of 9mm ammo. You can purchase a picitenny rail as an accessory. then you can add a light or laser or a light. It’t in the same price range as the Taurus 9mm Carbine.

    • will November 26, 2013, 2:16 pm

      I have a HK USC 45 and a CX4 -9 and 2 Hi-Points 1 in 9 and 1 in 40, so i like the PCCs, but i keep the Sig 556 close to the bed. The Taursus better really be nice because id pick a Beretta over a Taurus any day and i have a 24/7. Not that Taurus is bad but i think for the money the CX4 might be the better gun, but wont know till i get the Taurus in my hand, heck it might be great for the money.

  • BLU November 25, 2013, 1:53 pm

    I’m sure it’s fun to shoot but as Squatch said not a really great man stopper. Plus for the money the Sub 2000 is just as fun, easier to carry and 1/3 the cost…..Plus it takes a number of different magazines.

  • BLU November 25, 2013, 1:54 pm

    I’m sure it’s fun to shoot but as Squatch said not a really great man stopper. Plus for the money the Sub 2000 is just as fun, easier to carry and 1/3 the cost…..Plus it takes a number of different magazines.

  • KBSacto November 25, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Any chance Taurus will put a bullet button on this, or at least configure it so one can be installed? Here in CA, they are required for pistol grip semi-autos. I’m also wondering how different the CT platform is from the Beretta CX4. Thanks.

    • Administrator November 25, 2013, 4:09 pm

      The thumbhole hole stock configuration may not put this in pistol grip territory

      • Dale November 25, 2013, 8:04 pm

        viewing the story photo’s, the magazine feeds/seats in front of the trigger guard, just like an AR or AK, not in the pistol grip.

      • Evan November 25, 2013, 10:57 pm

        I’m not 100% sure, but I believe that in California, a thumbhole stock counts as a pistol grip. I haven’t lived there in years and don’t remember all the details of their inane laws, but I believe that thumbhole AKs were banned (I never heard of a “bullet button” until after I left).

        • Mark N. November 1, 2014, 1:42 am

          Yup. this gun cannot be sold in California. Nor the Beretta. I have been told by a local gun store that we are pretty much limited to the Hi-Point when it comes to pistol caliber carbines. And I would not hold my breath for Taurus to make a compliant version any time soon. Because of the microstamping mandate for semiauto pistols, Taurus is down to a single .38 caliber semiauto and a number or revolvers.

  • Whyawannaknow November 25, 2013, 2:51 pm

    This plastic lower/Aluminum upper “tacticool weapon” weighs 7.54 POUNDS EMPTY?!

    Why? An M1 carbine weighs just over 5, and it’s made of steel and walnut.

  • Freedomlover November 25, 2013, 3:09 pm

    I would take a Hi-Point .45 Auto carbine over the Taurus CT9/CT40 Carbines. Hi-Point .45 Auto carbines cost $350 about and have about the same magazine capacity. If you are limited to ten shots might as well take a more powerful round and the Hi-Point carbines cost half the amount of the Taurus.

    • frank pope November 3, 2014, 12:51 pm

      I agree, you would have to look far and wide to get better bang for your buck than a High Point 9MM carbine. It is so accurate out to 100 yards I couldn’t believe it. Short enough to clear corners in buildings and rugged enough to be a “truck gun”. The trigger could use some work, but overall, can’t be beat.

  • Mark Johnson November 25, 2013, 4:07 pm

    The article said: “…Even the lightest .223/5.56 bullet will have three times more energy at 100 yards than any pistol caliber pushes at the muzzle…”.

    Is this really true? Seems to me they are saying no pistol is capable of more than 3-400 ft-lb muzzle energy. I think some pistols and many revolvers are capable of more.

    • Administrator November 25, 2013, 4:13 pm

      Trying to make yourself sound smart will really only get you make fun of here. The desert eagle is the only pistol that handles a caliber over that kind of energy and it is still far under a 223 because in the equation velocity is squared. The desert eagle and large frame revolvers are really only novelty guns and carried by a few for self-protection

  • Philip 66 November 25, 2013, 6:48 pm

    You know all these posts are very informative, but as a past law enforcement officer I have a Ruger Mini-30 and despite everything I find the 7.62×39 a very formidable weapon for a fire fight and with 30 rd mags it is my choice for close in and longer range shots. God Bless

  • noel p.mellen November 25, 2013, 7:10 pm

    Extreme noise indoors (magnified) will disorient a formerly sleeping person. Pistols and short carbines are easier to use and more adaptable in home defense cases. The problem though of having a weapon easily available right beside the bed and easily accessible is just that its easy to get to. I remember a distinguished Senator’s brother loss of his only daughter when she walked up to her sleeping father’s night table, kissed him on the head, said goodbye after taking the gun out of the upper drawer and blew her brains out. I’ve seen more such horror stories and I believe that few if any recover from the loss of a child.
    I use a bedside safe and keep three pistols in it. Each has a different asset for use. My shotguns and carbines are stored but accessible to me after I get up with a pistol in hand. In the old house I live in the pistol is the most useful item in the house only. As to the Taurus carbine I’d rather spend my money on the Beretta. It is more handy, probably better made, and has adequate magazine capacity. Price is about the same also. Try looking at the Masterpiece arms SBR carbine with the folding stock. it uses the new FN short cartridge and costs about the same but has that stock and a 20 round easily replaceable magazine.

  • noel p.mellen November 25, 2013, 7:11 pm

    Extreme noise indoors (magnified) will disorient a formerly sleeping person. Pistols and short carbines are easier to use and more adaptable in home defense cases. The problem though of having a weapon easily available right beside the bed and easily accessible is just that its easy to get to. I remember a distinguished Senator’s brother loss of his only daughter when she walked up to her sleeping father’s night table, kissed him on the head, said goodbye after taking the gun out of the upper drawer and blew her brains out. I’ve seen more such horror stories and I believe that few if any recover from the loss of a child.
    I use a bedside safe and keep three pistols in it. Each has a different asset for use. My shotguns and carbines are stored but accessible to me after I get up with a pistol in hand. In the old house I live in the pistol is the most useful item in the house only. As to the Taurus carbine I’d rather spend my money on the Beretta. It is more handy, probably better made, and has adequate magazine capacity. Price is about the same also. Try looking at the Masterpiece arms SBR carbine with the folding stock. it uses the new FN short cartridge and costs about the same but has that stock and a 20 round easily replaceable magazine.

  • Dave Rockwell November 25, 2013, 7:37 pm

    As a fan of the Beretta CX4 (PX4 17rd 40 S&W mags), the weight and, especially, the length, of the Taurus are considerably greater. The Beretta runs 5 1/2 lbs, and 29 1/2 inches. The shorter OAL is handier, especially in the house, or car. Handling the Taurus, the longer butt section prevents me from pulling the gun in to my body as much as I’d like. Keeping the mass close reduces the moment arm on pivoting, and allows you to protect the gun from an adversary better.I was surprised at how large a gun the Taurus was for a 9mm. Many AR’s are handier, with better ergonomics, and higher capacity.
    While I applaud a pistol caliber carbine, for reasons stated in article, Taurus just didn’t give us anything that’s an improvement over what’s already available.

  • Ben Knight November 25, 2013, 8:08 pm

    Have to say the first thing the went through my head when I saw the photos “Oh look another Taurus knock-off of a Beretta design”. I own a CX4, love it!

  • TJ November 25, 2013, 8:41 pm

    How about an AR15 with a suppressor? Seems like that would be the ultimate for the reasons you state, and won’t have the drawbacks you state.

    And you can keep one buttstock up right next to the bed. Rolling out of bed you’d have it shouldered before you got your slippers on.

  • Jay W November 26, 2013, 4:56 am

    A heavy, accurate, reliable, 10 round, 9 mm carbine. Sounds just like my Hi-Point which is a couple hundred bucks cheaper. I have fired both the HP and an AK indoors and the carbine is substantially less damaging to the ears.

  • Dylan H November 27, 2013, 10:44 am

    Helpful review. Living here in Maryland though, 10 round mags are just something I have to deal with. The gun looks great though!

  • Shane November 27, 2013, 9:48 pm

    How about the M1 carbine? No shortage of stopping power there and it’s super lightweight and easy to shoot. Best home defense carbine there is in my opinion.

    • Mark N. November 1, 2014, 1:48 am

      I agree of the utitlity of the M1 because of its form factor, but try finding a real one in good shootable condition for anywhere near the price of this rifle is impossible, and the Universals and Kahrs have serious reliability issues.

      • Damon November 3, 2014, 12:12 pm

        I own 2 Kahr M1s, one standard, the other polymer folding stock. Thousands of rounds of Tula through both, with no issues.

        I often wonder if those who complain of issues with M1s know how to shoot the design. You have to brace up to the gun, and provide a solid surface against which the action can maximize the force of the expended propellant gases to reliably cycle the bolt. If you “soft shoulder” any M1 carbine, regardless of the maker, you will have issues.

  • SteveA November 30, 2013, 1:38 am

    +1 to Shane. I love my M1 carbine and have heard that legacy is going to make one in 9mm.
    Super lightweight, compact and one of the most reliable firearms I have ever owned.
    Now if legacy would just make one is 7.62x25mm I would be truly happy :)
    Shouldn’t be too hard as the .30 carbine is a 7.62x33mm. HMMM, maybe I should talk to my locale gunsmith

    • Daak December 2, 2013, 11:13 am

      SteveA is there an advantage to 7.62x25mm over .30 Carbine?

      • Administrator December 2, 2013, 3:17 pm

        cheaper and easier to get

  • Dgm December 23, 2013, 12:58 pm

    I have been using a “Marlin Camp 45″ for a long time.
    With a 10 round 1911 mag, I can put all 10 rounds in the 10 ring with-out
    the front sight moving off target, in less than a minute.
    Don,t need another rifle.

  • mike December 26, 2013, 3:35 pm

    Are ANY of these carbine mags interchangeable with any Taurus pistol mags??

    • Administrator December 26, 2013, 4:04 pm

      Not that we have been told.

  • Steve W April 4, 2014, 12:50 am

    10-round mag for a long gun?
    Not interchangeable with the same mfg’s pistols?
    Or any other common platform [Glock, Colt/AR, Beretta, S&W etc.etc.]

    This is a joke, right?

    They really must not have expected this market offering to be taken seriously.

    Still on their website, but I bet the product is already dead by now [4/2014].

  • Mark N. November 1, 2014, 1:50 am

    Mark Kresser? It was widely reported last July that he had been canned by new Brazilian management.

  • dale November 2, 2014, 1:06 pm

    i prefer the old reliable colt 1911 45

  • Seanny November 3, 2014, 3:58 am

    My 45 XDM,with 3 mags and a TRL 2-G is fine by me,Then my Sig p220 45,Last but least glock 27 40 S&W.Ok Then Sig P 238 380,If those Don’t donit or even the first 1-or atleast tje 2nd one.I Shouldn’t have my license of XDM AND 3 mags Don’t get the job done.I have AR-M&P but 45 is fine with some HST COMING OUT AT YOU!!!!! My glock 40 has more kick then my 45’s.(Lol)

  • Justin November 3, 2014, 6:43 am

    My biggest issue with Taurus is every gun they make uses different magazines and they are hard to get. I have an 840 and an 840c. The 15 round mags are different and not interchangeable and even Taurus has not been able to sell me an 11 round one for the c in over two years. So, although this looks nice, I won’t buy one. I’m afraid I’d be stuck with only two ten round mags. And what happens when a mag breaks? Until they get better with the mags, I won’t buy any more Taurus firearms. Everything has been great but that has become a deal breaker for me. Take a lesson from Glock. My full size .40 mag will work in any of my Glock .40’s, including my compact.

  • Zach November 3, 2014, 6:52 am

    Colt SMG 9mm mags work in these with no modifications. I currently run my Taurus ct9 with a legal NFA 5 inch barrel, 32 round colt smg mags, custom mounted folding stock, and a magpul grip. The grips need a little heating but an AR grip works just fine.

  • inglwud November 3, 2014, 9:08 am

    The hi point is lower priced does the same job and they have the best warranty and have been around for years. is taurus trying to copy a winning idea?

  • Alec November 3, 2014, 9:36 am

    At 67 years on this planet, I’ve been focusing on my bucket list a little bit lately. I only have two, “I wish I could…………”!!
    Not bad huh? The reason these are the last two is that each totally exceeds my available resources.
    Number 1.) “I wish I could could find the magic wand that would gift me a 1911 Commander style .45 ACP!”

    Number 2.) “I wish I could find a magic Carpet that would wisk me off to my 50th Year Reunion of the class of 1965!”

  • robert p November 3, 2014, 10:31 am

    These commenters seem to focus on my caliber is better than yours or my favorite gun is better than yours. The fact in my mind is to keep it legal so problems caused by arrest seeking, quota needing LEOs are mitigated as criteria number one. Number two is solved by almost anything you are proficient with. That problem of course is home defense. From my point of view, I want to have a 9mm rifle that shares the same mag as my 9mm pistol so I have common ammo and common mags. Can you imagine having lots of 40 cal JHP ammo with a broken firing pin in the pistol and a 9mm Taurus CT9 low on ammo? No, I want same caliber and common magazines. I happen to like 9mm since ammo was easier to get during the nationwide ammo shortages we all experienced. And 9mm has super penetration power due to its slightly smaller diameter. But for a man stopper, nothing beats the acp since it can smash rather than ricochet off bone due to its larger mass and slower speeds. If I could buy a 45 cal rifle with a compatible pistol mag then that I would pay premium for them both. My preferred pistol in 45 is the Glock 26 and 30 models. But, in conclusion, a Ruger SR22 in the hands of a proficient shooter works too.

    • Damon November 3, 2014, 12:24 pm

      Marlin Camp Rifle. Kriss Vector.

      I like same caliber rifle/pistol combos as well. Keltec PLR16/AR, M1 carbine/Ruger Blackhawk .30, Ruger 10/22/Charger (Black Dog 50 rd. drums).

    • Lopaka Kanaka November 4, 2014, 8:01 pm

      Mech Tech in Montana makes a carbine that you use your frame from your Glock and you have a choice of caliber 9 MM, 38 Super, 40 SW, 45 ACP, 45 Super, or 460 Rowland. For more information contact http://www.mechtechsystems.com. I have a 45 ACP and a 38 Super carbine converstion. The carbine is shipped to your door UPS. The magazine you use on your Glock is your choice 33 or 50 rounds?

  • Jack Clark November 3, 2014, 11:46 am

    I agree to the several advantages to having hand gun/carbine calibers the same. The reason I purchased the Just Right Arms carbine in .40 SW is because I have that same caliber Glock and the magazines are interchangeable. More expensive to shoot than 22’s but they are fun on the range and doable even for a small woman.

  • Airborne8 November 3, 2014, 12:10 pm

    Why isn’t someone screaming at the top of their lungs, “Why doesn’t Taurus make this gun in a .45 ACP that WILL ACCEPT a regular 1911 mag.??!!” In this day and age of the gun grabbers trying to make it harder to buy ammo, all of us who have several 1911’s ONLY…to consolidate our ammo needs would LOVE to have this gun in a .45ACP. The 1911 is THE most widely used and owned semi-auto handgun out there so I can’t figure out what’s going through the co. president, CEO or whoever’s mind at Taurus in building a new gun that is NOT a .45 ACP shooter.

  • Terry November 3, 2014, 1:58 pm

    I had an issue with my Taurus PT111 G2 that required the assistance of a gunsmith. Several of the gunsmiths I contacted wouldn’t work on a Taurus much to my disappointment. I love the weapon but the seeming shunning of the gun by qualified gunsmiths seems to be a handicap for the brand. I wonder how this new firearm will be greeted. By the way Taurus indicates they will repair any weapon for free. Not true. They have an automatic $35.00 “bench fee” and of course all shipping is at your expense. Again I truly am happy with the gun, but think the company needs a lot of marketing and customer outreach work.

  • Steve kuehnel November 3, 2014, 5:54 pm

    I would try the highpoint in 9,40 and 45. Great firearms! I have one of each and never a miss fire, plus for 250.00 they can’t be beat.

  • Joe G November 4, 2014, 1:12 pm

    Any gun you can shoot well.
    YOU HAVE 110 POUND WIFE??? Now THAT is something to talk about!!

  • Dale November 4, 2014, 7:00 pm

    There is no one gun that is right for every situation, and a pistol caliber carbine does have a lot of merit. The MP5 is a dandy weapon, and is very controllable even on full auto. Having said that, I would be more interested in the Taurus carbine if it accepted the Taurus pistol mags, or even Glock mags, of which I have many.

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