Brazilian gunmaker Taurus is best known for their value priced line of polymer-framed pistols. Value-priced means a lower price-point than the mid-range guns like Glocks, or Ruger, but it also means quality issues. Shooters fall into two camps, those who love Taurus and those who hate them. After my disappointment with the PT-745 a while back, I have been reluctant to plunk down good money on another Taurus. Then I came across the PT-111 Gen 2 at a gun show and decided it was worth a look.
Taurus decided with their Gen 2 guns to refine the original designs rather than make major design changes. The new PT-111 is thin, light, and feel great in the hand. The original grip and slide contours are evolved into a more aesthetically pleasing package. The old, blocky slide has been scalloped, to give it a more sophisticated look and the Heinie 3-dot sights are fully adjustable, something you would not expect from a gun in this price range.
The guns are also fairly thin, thinner than the Glock or Springfield counterparts in this class. Despite that thin profile, the Taurus has an excellent 12-round capacity. The length of the grip exceeds that of the compact Glock, giving you a full three-finger grip. As I've noted before, everything is a comprimise when it comes to guns. To get the thinner profile and larger capacity you give up length in the grip, making the PT111 a little harder to conceal.
With a IWB holster from Cooks Holsters, I was easily able to conceal the PT-111, and the 22-ounce weight makes it easy to carry all day. The barrel is 3.2-inches, and the overall length is just 6.2″, marginally shorter than the Baby Glock.
Like the previous generation, the Gen 2 PT111 has a manual thumb safety. Like it or hate it, there it is. I found it very easy to engage and disengage, but I never used it except for my initial testing. The gun's trigger serves as an adequite safety. More on that in a moment. The pistol also has a levered trigger safety, similar to the Glock, preventing the trigger from being pulled without a firm complete press of the trigger.
Like the previous generation and other Taurus polymers, the PT111 features something called “second strike” capability. While the pistol is striker-fired, the trigger doesn't go dead when you engage the striker, it simply converts to a double action pull. This would allow you to pull the trigger a second time in case of a light-strike or failed primer before resorting to remedial action. Since this kind of problem is a rarity one must wonder if this feature is compensating for a potential flaw in the design of the firing pin or if the range ammo in Brazil is so bad that they built a feature to deal with it.
The PT-111 does have a number of other features that you probably will find useful, though. The Heinie sights are fully adjustable, there is a loaded chamber indicator on the side of the slide, the frame has a tactical rail for mounting lights or lasers. All-in-all, the PT-111 is feature-rich for a pistol in this price range.
At the range I found the PT111 to be remarkable accurate for a small gun, and my test was far more successfull than my previous PT745 review. Out of the box the PT111 ran like a champ and the sights were dead-on. The gun points very naturally and recoil was very easy to manage. The gun handled full-metal jacket and hollow points of various designs without fail.
Like the rest of the PT111, the trigger has also been refined. The aforementioned trigger safety is new to the Gen 2, and the trigger pull is much better. The Gen 1 trigger had half and inch of dead slack before breaking at the back of the trigger well. With the Gen 2 guns, Taurus has introduced a modest amount of resistance to the half-inch of slack, and then a more crisp break. It's much better than the old design, but it's still the gun's biggest downside. There's more resistance, no stacking or grit. It's comparable to the trigger pull on the Beretta Nano when the striker is de-activated and the trigger is dead. The resistance does not increase as you pull. You reach the break and it stiffens up quick, then breaks. It will take some getting used to if you already carry a different striker-fired sub-compact gun. The double-action pull is actually much better, but you will likely never experience it unless you dry fire or in the rare case where you have to use the “Second Strike” feature.
The PT111 Millenium Pro G2 is a very good gun for the money, with features you would not expect at this low price point. It's accurate, lightweight, easy to carry, and good looking with excellent ammo capacity and just one flaw: a trigger that will take some getting used to. If you buy it, practice enough to get used to the trigger before you carry it. Once you do, I think you will find that it was $300 well spent.
Ease of Use: ***
Ammo Capacity: ****