Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro: May be worth consideration for concealed carry

The Taurus Millennium series has been on the market for quite a few years now. At first there were many problems with this series, but shortly after its introduction, Taurus introduced the the Millennium Pro series. The Pro series featured better trigger pulls and rectified the problems that occurred in the original Millennium series of pistols. The Millennium Pro series features small, polymer frames, and either carbon steel, or stainless steel slides (there may also be a titanium version currently offered). These guns are available in calibers ranging from .32acp-.45acp, and all feature double stack magazines. Here is a link providing more info and specs for the Millennium Pro line up: http://www.taurususa.com/products/gunselector-results.cfm?series=CC1

I have personally owned and carried a Millennium Pro in 9mm with a stainless slide for four or five years now. I chose this gun to add to my concealed carry roster based on its size, weight, low cost, and many favorable reviews that I had read (plus I think it is a rather attractive little gun). I chose the 9mm version because this pistol only weighs 180z, and I felt that 9mm was an adequate defensive round yet offers low recoil, which would be a plus in such a light weight pistol.

My Millennium Pro is a DAO (double action only) pistol, and I believe that they all are (they all were when I purchased mine years ago). Because it is a DAO pistol, the trigger pull is quite long. However, it is perhaps the lightest DAO trigger I have ever encountered. I believe the pull is between 5 and 6lbs, but I don't have a trigger pull scale to prove it. These guns also feature a single-sided manual safety. Many people think that a safety on a DAO pistol is unneccessary, and technically it is, but it gives me peace of mind when holstering. It seems to me that when holstering a gun, there is a slight chance that something could get caught in the trigger guard and possibly pull the trigger as you push the gun down into the holster. Therefore, if my carry gun (even DAO) has a manual safety, I chamber a round, engage the safety, holster the weapon, then simply flip the safety off.

The capacity of the 9mm version is 12+1. Ofcourse there are ten round magazines available for areas that don't allow higher capacity. For having a relatively high capacity (for such a small gun), the grip is extremely thin, and one of the most ergonomically pleasing that I have encountered on a semi auto pistol. The sights on the Millennium Pro are large and very easy to pick up. Mine is the normal 3 dot (featuring white dots) set up, but I believe that night sights and straight 8 (dot on top of dot) set ups are also available. The sights on mine are so wide and easy to pick up, that they are good for quick aquisition, but less than ideal for precise target shooting. Lets face it, with its small size and DAO trigger, this is not a target gun anyway, so this isn't neccessarily a complaint. This brings me to the only real complaint that I do have.

The sights on my gun are not alligned perfectly for POI (point of impact), and they are not adjustable. My gun continuously shoots a feww inches high and to the left at 50 feet. I can't remember if others have had this same problem when shooting my Millenium Pro, so it may be my shooting style, but I don't have this problem with other guns that I own and shoot. I just compensate while at the range by aiming slightly low and right, but I doubt I would remember to do so in a defensive situation. On the other hand, in a defensive situation I would likely be shooting at a shorter range, so it probably would not be an issue.

This gun is rated to accept +p ammo, and that is what I carry in it. The gun handles recoil very well, for such a light weight gun, even with hot +p rounds. I have never had any sort of malfunction with this gun over the few years that I have been shooting and carrying it, which has been a very pleasant surprise based on its low price (I paid $279 brand new), and Taurus's somewhat spotty reputation.

I think that I would reccomend this model based on the reliability of mine, and the fact that I have read many positive reviews about this model. However, there are many horror stories on the net (I realize that you can't always believe what you read on the net) about other Taurus products. Infact, I recently purchased a brand new, never fired, Taurus 85 Ultra-Lite .38 speacial, that had to be returned for repairs before I was able to shoot it. I have not gotten it back yet, but I hope it is fully functional and the many issues are cleared up when I get it back. It seems from what I have read, and now experienced, that Taurus is very hit or miss with quality control. There are many great ones out there, but there are also many lemons. I should mention that Taurus does have a life time warrenty on all of their guns which is a deffinate plus. That being said, I got a very functional, inexpensive, and attractive little gun in my PT111 Millennium Pro. I definitely think that the Millenium Pro line of pistols is worth checking out if you are in the market for an inexpensive concealed carry piece.

5 comments:

brian r said...

I just checked on Taurus's website, and it looks like some of the Millennium Pro's are DAO, and some are now offered as SA/DA.

Zak Johnson said...

I've seen some double-action only revolvers with the covered hammer to allow you to fire without removing the gun from a pocket. These are intended for body guards & so forth. Ever had one of these? It seems a double-action semi auto would still not work inside a pocket (not that you need that feature most of the time) without getting caught on something. Any thoughts? Ever actually fired through a jacket pocket?

brian r said...

Zak,

A DOA semi auto still needs to cycle the slide. there is no external hammer, and a pull of the trigger both cocks the internal hammer and releases the sear (in that order).

I have never tried to fire from inside the pocket. I would be happy to try it if you lend me a jacket :)

Toxicboy said...

I like the honesty this post.

What scared me was the line "I recently purchased a brand new, never fired, Taurus 85 Ultra-Lite .38 speacial, that had to be returned for repairs before I was able to shoot it."

Can you address in another post, what kind of "issues" should a gun owner be looking for out of the box? Especially those that would require one to go back without being fired. You dont have to mention the Taurus's issues specifically, but I would be curious in learnign from your experience.

brian r said...

Toxicboy,

I'm glad you liked the post. There were a few problems with the Taurus 85ul. First off, the cylinder often wouldn't lock up in the correct position. This meant that sometimes the chamber in the cylinder would not be fully inline with the barrel. Also, sometimes the cylinder could be turned when it was supposed to be locked closed.

Another problem was that the barrel to cylinder gap was too tight and the barrel would contact the cylinder during rotation. The last problem was a strange feeling, inconsistent trigger pull.

After doing some research on this model, I found that the barrel to cylinder gap problem is a pretty common occurrence. After getting my gun back from Taurus, I am very happy with it. The trigger pull has been greatly improved, and the other issues have been corrected.

I would recommend that you thoroughly examine one of these if you are thinking about buying. Pay close attention to the barrel cylinder gap, and make sure that the cylinder locks up correctly. If you get one that functions properly, it is a really nice gun. Thanks again for your interest.

Brian