Taurus has come a long way since its founding 60 years ago in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Initially a revolver-maker only, Taurus started building pistols when it bought a Beretta factory in 1980 and began manufacturing the excellent PT-92 and PT-99 pistols. Today, the company continues to expand its product line with new and innovative designs that display an authentic commitment to quality and ingenuity.
The new compact Millennium G2 is no exception. An enhanced upgrade based on the PT 111 Millennium, the G2 is a recoil-operated, polymer-framed, compact, lightweight, striker-fired, 9mm semi-automatic pistol that features a double-stack magazine with 12+1 capacity in 9mm.
The alloy steel slide has on both sides lightening cuts located forward of the ejection port. They’re attractive, help keep the weight down and make re-holstering a bit easier. At the rear of the slide, aggressive and well-spaced serrations make slide manipulation easier and help the shooter secure a firm grip even in inclement conditions. The slide also features a matte blued finish that looks black and has a very nice satin feel.
On the right side of the slide is an external extractor, which is well sized and does an excellent job of removing cartridge cases aggressively. Atop the slide are three well-designed white-dot sights. The front sight is fixed, but the rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation with the included key or a small flathead screwdriver. Located on the right side of the rear sight, the rear adjustment key controls elevation, while the front key controls windage; both are easily adjustable, although they do come factory set for point of aim.
The ejection port has been enlarged and lowered on both sides of the pistol to aid in cartridge extraction and to improve reliability. The 3.2-inch barrel is stainless steel and left in the white. The polymer frame represents a significant enhancement over the frame on the old PT 111. Taurus has added to the G2 an accessory rail, allowing users to take advantage of the wide availability of compact weapon-mounted lights and lasers now available.
Thumb rests are also present on either side of the grip frame for better retention during one-handed shooting. As is typical with compact pistols of this sort, the controls, including the slide catch and the manual thumb safety, are entirely left-side mounted for a right-handed shooter. Both the slide catch and the thumb safety are protected by a slight degree of shielding molded into the frame to help prevent unintentional engagement while firing. The D-shaped magazine release is also located on the left side of the frame, at the rear of the triggerguard.
Taurus has dramatically enhanced the Millennium G2’s ergonomics with aggressive texturing panels on the sides, front and rear, which significantly improve grip. Without feeling uncomfortable, the pistol seems to stick to the hand and does not shift under recoil. The grip design has also been adjusted to allow for a higher grip, one more in line with the muzzle, which helps to reduce perceived recoil.
The trigger on the Millennium G2 has also been altered. The new trigger is polymer and features a trigger safety tab at the front. The trigger is also located noticeably farther back in the frame, reducing the trigger pull to a pleasant 5 pounds and establishing an extremely short reset.
While the Millennium G2 is a double-action-only (DAO), striker-fired pistol, when the slide is racked the striker is pre-charged, which makes the trigger travel shorter and the trigger pull lighter. Taurus actually refers to this as a single-action stage. A full double-action, double-strike capability is also possible. If the shooter encounters a recalcitrant cartridge as a result of a poor firing-pin strike or a hard primer, the trigger can be pulled again, completely recharging and releasing the striker system.
The Millennium G2 has several safety features, including the aforementioned thumb safety that blocks the trigger in the forward position to prevent firing. There is also a trigger safety and a loaded-chamber indicator—a bright-red tab visible from either side of the pistol—that pops up when there is a cartridge case in the chamber. On the right side of the slide just below the rear sight is the Taurus Security System, which with a turn of the supplied locking key locks the action shut and prevents unauthorized use.
I had a chance to run the G2 Millennium through its paces at 15 yards with some Black Hills, Remington and Winchester ammunition. The gun ran flawlessly, and of all three loads the Black Hills 115-grain JHP shot the best with a tight group of 1.68 inches and an average velocity of 1,142 feet per second.
The Taurus PT-22 is an extremely compact, semi-automatic, blowback-operated pistol, chambered in .22, which features a convenient tip-up barrel design. This makes loading it extremely easy, especially for people with weak hands who have trouble with slide manipulation. The low-profile fixed sights are snag free for concealed carry. The hammer is shrouded, which complements the snag-free design, and the gun fires from the DAO mode with a long trigger pull. Controls, including a push-
button magazine release and thumb safety, are simple.
Taurus also offers the same gun chambered in the .25 ACP cartridge, which is not much different in terms of its power than the .22, but since it is a centerfire cartridge, it does tend to be more reliable. Both pistols are extremely small and lightweight, with the .22 version offering an 8+1 capacity and the .25 ACP version providing 9+1.
Keeping the same slim lines and compact design of the PT-22 and PT-25, the Taurus 22PLY is significantly lighter with its polymer -frame construction. At less than 11 ounces, the gun disappears in the pocket and can be very comfortable carried. Plus, polymer offers other benefits in terms of corrosion and scratch resistance.
The 22PLY has the same blowback, semi-automatic operation, convenient tip-up barrel-loading system, and fixed, snag-proof sights as the PT-22 and PT-25. The barrel release, thumb safety, magazine release and magazine capacity are also the same. It is also a DAO, hammer-fired pistol for reliability and double-strike capability. The array of finishes is not as extensive here, with only a choice between a black or stainless slide, but it is available in .22 LR and .25 ACP.
Taurus 709 SLIM
Designed from the start for concealed carry, the Taurus 709 SLIM is, as the designation says, an extremely slim, single-action/double-action, semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9mm. This polymer-framed pistol is striker-fired and features a left-side-mounted thumb safety, slide lock and magazine release. It has adjustable, high-profile, three-dot sights and accommodates a seven-round, single-stack magazine.
The trigger system allows for a double-strike capability and provides a smooth, crisp trigger feel in both modes. The 709 SLIM also features a trigger safety and a firing-pin-block safety as well as Taurus’ key-activated lock system, which locks the action completely. The pistol weighs a pocket-friendly 19 ounces empty.
Taurus 738 FS TCP
Taurus also makes a popular pocket pistol chambered in the .380 ACP cartridge, the 738 FS TCP. At just over 10 ounces empty, the gun is the company’s lightest. It features a polymer frame, semi-automatic operation, a 6+1 capacity, and a double-action, hammer-fired system for reliability and second-strike capability. The low-profile sights are fixed and completely snag proof.
The 738 FS TCP has no external safety, but it does offer a slide lock, rare in pistols of this size, and the standard magazine release. The polymer frame is available in a variety of colors, and Taurus conveniently includes with purchase a case that doubles as a concealed-carry belt pouch. For more information, visit taurususa.com or call 305-624-1115.