This diminutive single-stack, 7+1 capacity 9mm from Taurus lives up to its name by being quite narrow at just under 1 inch wide. The 709 Slim is 6 inches long, and its diminutive size and polymer frame mean it weighs only 19 ounces unloaded.

An external, frame-mounted safety reassures those who like having a manual backup to the integral trigger safety. The three-dot sights are adjustable for windage and elevation, and the top of the receiver hosts a loaded-chamber indicator. The magazine’s follower is also brightly colored to help you confirm by glancing through the ejection port (when the slide is held open) that no rounds remain in the magazine.

The grip has comfortable, ambidextrous impressions for the thumb of your firing hand to afford a more comfortable grip and to promote control of the pistol during recoil. The front- and backstrap checkering aid in firearm retention, too, despite moisture and the recoil of powerful defense loads.

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