Taurus keeps turning out innovative new pistols designed to meet the needs of defensive handgunners. The company’s recent series of light, highly concealable pistols was launched with the introduction of the Model 732 and 738 pocket pistols that digested .32 ACP and .380 ACP loads, respectively. These compact autoloaders tipped the scales at a bare 10.2 ounces (empty), and tucked handily away in a trouser pocket.
The new 740 Slim weighs only 19 ounces and measures just 6.24 inches in length. It’s also less than an inch thick and chambers the same .40 S&W round many law enforcement professionals depend upon. That makes it a great choice for concealed carry, whether you use an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster or simply tote it in your pocket. There are no projecting edges to hang up during a draw.
While the 740 Slim is slightly larger and heavier than Taurus’ .32 and .380 pocket pistols, it packs a lot more punch. The .40 S&W loads it fires also leaves the 9mm in the dust. The .32 ACP throws a 60-grain projectile at 970 feet per second (fps) with 125 foot-pounds of energy (fpe). The .380 ACP launches an 85-grain bullet at 1,000 fps with 189 fpe. The .40 S&W trumps them all. In my test gun, Winchester’s 155-grain Silvertip load moves out at 1,156 fps. At 50 yards, it delivers more than 400 foot-pounds of striking force. That man-stopping performance is from the Taurus 740’s 3.2-inch barrel.
Both blued and stainless steel versions are available. The gun I received for testing has a stain-less steel slide mounted on a black polymer frame. It’s a handsome pistol that shoots and handles well.
The Taurus 740 Slim is a streamlined package that feels good in the hand. Controls are simple—thumb safety, slide release and magazine release
are positioned on the left side of the frame. The safety and slide release can easily be operated with your thumb. With your right hand in firing position, simply raising your thumb alongside the slide places your strong first joint directly over the safety. This provides fast, positive activation. The slide release is easily disengaged with the pad of your thumb.
ssing the magazine release button requires you to shift your hand slightly on the grip. The button is partially recessed and must be pressed with the tip or the first joint of your thumb. Trying to activate it using the soft pad of my thumb failed to generate enough pressure to release the magazine.
Oval indentions at the top of the grip and on both sides of the frame near the front of the triggerguard are a nice and practical touch. The indentations on the grip allow your thumb to be identically placed each time you fire the pistol. Called “memory pads,” the forward indentations provide a safe place to rest your index finger before you’re ready to fire. They provide a visual and tactile reminder to keep your trigger finger clear of the triggerguard until it’s time to shoot.
In addition to the manual thumb safety, the gun features a “trigger within a trigger” safety similar to that found on Glock pistols. The gun’s mechanism incorporates a striker that’s cocked whenever the slide is cycled either manually or during recoil. If the first round misfires when you pull the single-action trigger, you have the option of immediately pulling the trigger again, this time in double-action mode. This “second-strike” capability is nice. However, if I ever find myself in a life-or-death confrontation and the pistol fails to fire, I’m going to rack the slide to chamber a fresh round.
The slide can’t be cycled with the safety on, so it must be disengaged before you can manually chamber a round. When a round is chambered, a “chamber loaded” indicator pops up at the rear of the ejection port. This allows you to check the gun’s condition—visually or by feel—without racking the slide.
The gun also features the Taurus Security System, which allows you to make the firearm inoperable once you’ve locked it with a key. The system is inconspicuous, but if you’re like me, you’ll promptly misplace the key. The absolute best way to keep any gun out of the hands of youths or curious friends is by locking it away in a serious gun safe. That positively precludes accidental firing.
A six-round magazine gives the 740 Slim a seven-shot capacity if you load the chamber from the magazine, then eject the magazine and add another round. Witness ports in the magazine allow you to quickly check how many rounds you have left. A bright-orange follower lets you know when the gun runs dry.
Takedown is fast and easy.
First, remove the magazine, then cycle the slide and check to make sure no round is chambered. Pull the trigger. Move the slide 0.1 inches to the rear with one hand, then, using the fingers of the
other hand, pull the dual dis-assembly catches downward. Now you can push the slide assembly forward and off the frame. Remove the guide rod and spring, followed by the barrel. Reassemble in reverse order.
The Taurus 740 Slim performed very well at the range. I fed the gun three different kinds of ammunition and it digested them all without complaint. It’s unusual for any autoloading pistol fired new out of the box to burn through 150 rounds of mixed loads without a single malfunction, but that’s what this gun did. This gun was specifically designed for self-defense concealed carry, an application that demands dependable functioning. The reliability I experienced was comforting, giving me warm feelings toward this light, compact pistol.
I found the gun’s trigger action surprisingly agreeable. The trigger traveled some 0.63 inches before breaking, and exhibited mild stacking near the end of the pull. In single-action mode, the trigger broke at just 4.75 pounds according to my RCBS Trigger Pull Scale. The double-action pull was an even pound heavier.
As expected from such a lightweight firearm, recoil was controllable, but definitely on the snappy side. The gun required a firm, two-handed hold and serious concentration to produce good groups. I was careful to fire for accuracy early in the testing. This took some 45 rounds—three 5-round groups with each kind of ammunition.
As I continued firing in a reliability check, groups gradually became larger as my hands began to sting. The knuckle of my right hand pressed against the bot-tom of the triggerguard and suffered mild bruising. The palm of my shooting hand also appeared slightly bruised at the end of the shooting session.
I don’t want to give the impression this gun was truly punishing or hard to shoot. Recoil was roughly comparable to what you experience when firing a lightweight .38 Special revolver with +P loads. The gun’s 6+1 capacity gives it an edge over compact revolvers.
The 740 Slim is manufactured by Taurus in Brazil. I’ve noticed increasing quality in the guns Taurus has produced over the last few years. The .40 S&W Slim appears to be a well-designed, well-made firearm. It should have a lot of appeal for those who want a light, concealable handgun chambered for this potent, well-proven cartridge. Check it out for yourself at taurususa.com or call 305-624-1115.