For more information, visit http://www.taurususa.com/.
To purchase a Taurus PT 111 Millennium G2 pistol on GunsAmerica.com click on this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Taurus%20pt111.
For some people, a sub-compact (barrel length less than 3.5 inches) single stack 9mm handgun just fits the bill for their concealed carry requirements. Taurus International Manufacturing understands this and offers sub-compact 9mm handguns designed around both single-stack and double-stack magazines. The Millennium G2 series of handguns was introduced in 2013 and is the double stack counterpart of the Taurus 709 Slim series of sub-compact single stack handguns. The G2 appendage on the Taurus Millennium name designates these models as second generation designs of the previously produced Millennium series pistols. Taurus went back to the drawing board for the Millennium G2 series, and has included a host of new features making them even better suited for concealed carry than their predecessors. Millennium G2 handguns are loaded with desirable features, yet remain very attractively priced. The PT 111 sent for review has a stainless steel slide and a retail price of $316. All Taurus PT 111 models ship with two magazines and are covered by the Taurus Lifetime Service program.
- Chambering: 9mm
- Barrel: 3.2 inches
- OA Length: 6.24 inches
- Weight: 22 ounces
- Grips: Integral
- Sights: White three-dot with windage and elevation adjustable rear sight
- Action: Single-action and double-action
- Finish: Matte stainless
- Capacity: 12+1
- MSRP: $316
With just a quick glance, you might dismiss the Taurus PT 111 as just another polymer-framed striker fired sub-compact handgun. Then you grip it for the first time and immediately appreciate how comfortable it feels in your hand. Looking it over more closely, you start to notice the extra things that make the PT 111 more than just a run of the mill sub-compact. The fully adjustable rear sight, Picatinny standard frame rail, and how the frame and slide have been carefully contoured to remove sharp edges. Opening the manual, you learn about additional features like the unique single-action/double-action trigger and Taurus Security System. There is certainly more to the pistol than meets the eye.
As I started the review, I will admit that I tempered my expectations a bit when I discovered the current retail and real-world prices of the Millennium G2 pistols. How well-crafted could a $300 pistol be? After receiving the pistol, I gave it a good once-over looking for obvious flaws or problems. The polymer frame had the same mold lines as more expensive poly framed pistols. The bead-blasted slide and barrel had a nice even finish. Taurus even applied a high polish to the barrel hood where it shows through the ejection port of the slide. I was almost ready to declare perfect fit and finish when I discovered a tiny area of tool marks directly above the extractor. Hardly noticeable, and certainly not anything that detracted from the reliable operation of the pistol. In the end, Taurus raised my expectations of the quality a customer can expect in a value-priced handgun.
Fit and finish aside, the trigger and sights on a handgun contribute greatly to accurate operation. The PT 111 has a unique single-action/double-action trigger system that operates like most other single-action striker fired handguns. As the slide moves to the rear after firing, the striker is pre-cocked for the next shot. The unique part is that if the chambered round fails to fire, the trigger can be pulled again in double-action fashion for a second strike. It may never be needed, but it’s nice to know the capability is there if necessary. The single-action trigger pull is long and breaks with an average pull weight of 8 pounds, 6 ounces. Interestingly, the double-action trigger pull is actually lighter at 6 pounds 7 ounces, but you probably won’t need the double-action trigger pull. Spoiler alert … I never did during the review.
Taurus installs low profile polymer sights, with a white three dot pattern, on the PT 111. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation via two recessed adjustment screws located on the side of the sight. Finding a fully adjustable rear sight on a sub-compact pistol was unique for me and something I took full advantage of when I got the pistol out on the range.
Range time brought additional discoveries about the PT 111. The PT 111 ships with two 12-round magazines. The magazines are steel and feature extended polymer base pads that mate well with the bottom of the magazine well. The gap between the bottom of the grip and top of the base pad is small enough that skin can’t come between the two pieces and get pinched during firing. The magazines are a challenge to load. I rarely use a magazine loading tool, but found using it was much more comfortable than trying to load the magazines to full capacity by hand. Once fully loaded, the magazines lock easily into the pistol with a gentle push. Slam them home if you feel compelled to do so, but it’s not necessary. Once emptied, the magazines drop freely from the magazine well with a firm push on the magazine release.
At the range, the first order of business was adjusting the rear sight to fit the sight picture I prefer with concealed carry handguns. Taurus provides photo illustrated instructions in the PT 111 instruction manual that walks you thought the adjustment process. In my case, I shot a sample group of 13 rounds. Following the provided instructions, I moved the sight a little and shot a second five-round group. I adjusted the sights again and shot another five-round group. After one final adjustment, my fourth group was another 13 round string that showed I had raised the point of impact to exactly where I wanted it to be. Once set, I never touched the sight adjustment screws again for the duration of the review.
The gripping surfaces of the frame have small patches of aggressive stippling molded in at time of manufacturing. There are two patches on each side of the grip as well as one on both the front and back straps. Above the grip area, Taurus has molded in an abbreviated thumb rest on each side of the frame. Directly ahead and above the trigger guard are two scalloped areas that Taurus calls Memory Pads. When your trigger finger is outside the trigger guard, it should be resting on the Memory Pad. With a magazine inserted in the pistol, I could easily get all my fingers comfortably on the grip. For me, the extended base pad gave me plenty of room for a full grip on the pistol.
With a full grip on the pistol, and plenty of stippling to help me hold the pistol, I found the PT 111 to be easy to shoot with modest recoil. The heavy recoil spring assembly and 22-ounce weight of the pistol also help dampen some of the recoil snap. Using 124 grain +P defense ammunition increases the recoil a bit, but it’s a pistol you won’t mind shooting for extended practice sessions.
After familiarizing myself a bit more with the PT 111, I shot some 10 yard braced offhand groups for accuracy. By carefully staging the trigger and taking my time, it was fairly easy to repetitively send five-shot groups into a 3-inch circle. When I was satisfied with my ability to operate the pistol, the final groups were recorded and tallied. Using four different varieties of defensive ammunition, all grouped under 3 inches. I’m satisfied the PT 111 is accurate enough to serve as a concealed carry option.
Using a Remora clip-less inside the waistband holster, I spent some time practicing drawing from concealment and shooting short stings of fire on an IDPA target set at 5 yards. For these drills, I activated the frame-mounted, non-ambidextrous safety lever when the pistol was holstered. I didn’t find it slowed me down to deactivate the safety during the draw. The safety lever is large enough to catch with your thumb by sweeping it down over the slide during the draw. As with most things, practice makes perfect so if you plan to use the safety it’s best to commit to using it all the time when practicing at the range. During these drills, my on-target results were good with the majority of my shots landing in the center of mass.
For the balance of the review I ran several hundred rounds through the PT 111 using various holds with targets set between 12 and 25 yards. When the final round count was tallied, I had put over 450 rounds through the review pistol. The functional performance of the pistol was perfect. There were no failures of any kind on the range.
Doing a final cleaning on the pistol before completing my review pictures, the pistol still looks brand new after 450+ rounds fired. The pistol appears to be built for a lifetime of shooting. If it does develop a problem, Taurus has you covered with their Lifetime Service program.
I’ll admit my personal preference gravitates to slim single-stack concealed carry pistols. When the pistol is too large to fit in a pocket, my usual carry preference is appendix inside the waistband (AIWB). This is where I carried the PT 111 for several days. I found it short enough to be comfortable while sitting or driving and really wasn’t significantly wider than most single stack pistols I currently own. The additional quarter inch of width was noticeable on day one and forgotten by day three. Carrying the PT 111 definitely changed my perception of double-stack handguns carried AIWB.
In its fourth year of production, the Millennium G2 series has an established track record in the market. At the current retail price points, they appear to be an incredible value with performance on par with similarly designed handguns with much higher retail prices. I’m frequently asked to suggest brands and types of firearms by family, friends and acquaintances. I will certainly include the Taurus PT 111 Millennium G2 on my list of future suggestions.
For more information, visit http://www.taurususa.com/.