Taurus first began producing firearms in 1941. While it is certainly not the oldest firearms company around, it is certainly one of the best known to American shooters. One big reason for their success is the PT92 pistol, first imported to the U.S. in 1984.

Outwardly, this semi-automatic, recoil-operated, steel-framed pistol, with its 17+1 capacity of 9mm ammo and traditional double-action/single-action (DA/SA) hammer-fired system, very much resembles the modern Beretta M9. While the PT92 pistol is undeniably an offspring of the Beretta, Taurus has made this pistol their own, and it is very different internally.

As the story goes, Beretta sold its Sao Paulo factory with all the machinery and equipment to Taurus in 1980, having concluded a government contract to manufacture firearms for Brazil’s military. Taurus immediately began producing their own pistols, dubbing them the PT92 and PT99 (with adjustable sights). In doing so, Taurus kept what they felt was best about the original design and improved every other aspect of it. The end result is the current Taurus PT92, officially designated the 92B-17.

Gun Details

Like the original pistol, the PT92 keeps the safety securely mounted on the frame of the pistol instead of on the slide. In my opinion, this allows to the operator to more easily engage the safety. The new version also features an ambidextrous and elongated safety, which makes it all the easier to use with a firm click up for safe and down for fire.

The Taurus also features a decocker as part of the safety, so when it is pressed all the way down the hammer safely drops from the full to a half-cocked position and from single- to double-action mode. By retaining and improving the frame-mounted safety, Taurus PT92 can be carried “cocked and locked” if so desired.

This full-sized pistol shares the same racecar look and feel of the Beretta, with its open-top, drop-hammer-forged steel slide. The Taurus PT92 features fixed, steel, three-dot sights with the front sight machined into the slide itself and the rear slide dovetailed into the slide—thus drift-adjustable for windage.

One of the first handguns I ever purchased was the original Taurus PT92. This new version is significantly different and improved, including the larger and wider cocking serrations on the slide, which make slide manipulation a lot easier, especially under inclement conditions or when exposed to dirt or liquids. The open slide covers a 5-inch steel barrel with a 1-in-9.8-inch, right-hand twist rate and six grooves.

There are certainly those who are not fans of polymer pistols, and they will be pleased with the almost complete lack of polymer on this gun and with its weight and feel. In order to try and reduce the weight of this mostly steel pistol, Taurus does uses new ordnance-grade aluminum alloy frame. The frame and slide have been specially designed for added safety and to help prevent any chance of cracking or failure from using overcharged ammunition. However, Taurus specifically cautions against the use of +P or +P+ ammunition.

The frame has a very familiar squared-off triggerguard at the front. This feature is so common that many shooters may think it was always so; however, the original Beretta had a more traditional rounded triggerguard and it was Taurus who first changed this design feature. Another upgrade over the original Taurus PT92 is the addition of a built-in accessory rail on the dust cover, which is large enough to accommodate most tactical lights or light/laser combo units.

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  • Handy

    The Taurus PT92 does not have a steel frame. It’s aluminum alloy.