Taurus PT709 Slim 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

August 23rd, 2009




Click links below for video!

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The firearms from Taurus USA seem to be getting better and better all the time. Taurus has always offered good reliable revolvers at an affordable price, with their Judge series being some of the hottest-selling revolvers on the market right now. Their semi-automatic pistols have been improving with each new model introduced. The latest to hit the market is their new PT709 Slim shown here, and it should fit nicely into the most popular segment of the handgun market right now, that being concealed carry pistols. I first saw the 709 Slim prototype at the 2009 SHOT Show back in January. The pistols are now shipping to dealers, and I received mine a couple of weeks ago. Three models are offered, differing in the material of which the slide is made. The 709 can be had with a blued steel, titanium, or stainless steel slide. The gun reviewed here is the latter model. The stainless slide contrasts nicely with the black polymer frame and sights. The frame has internal steel inserts where needed for strength. The 709 is a striker-fired action, and the trigger system is like a true double action/single action design. Normally, that means that the first shot is fired in the double action mode, with subsequent shots fired single action, as the slide cocks the striker when operated, but in the 709, it is fired single action every time, and the double action is there as a backup, in the event that a cartridge fails to fire on the first pull of the trigger. In other words, the trigger system has double-strike capability. The slide does not have to cock the action before the trigger can be pulled again, allowing the shooter to try again if a dud cartridge does not fire on the first pull. There is a manual safety also on the 709 which allows the pistol to be carried cocked and locked, if preferred. In fact, when a round is chambered, the striker is cocked, so applying the safety is the best way to carry the pistol, especially for a right-handed shooter. There is also a trigger safety, so carrying with the thumb safety in the “off safe” position will work as well. In addition, there is an internal firing pin block, that blocks the striker from reaching the primer of the chambered cartridge unless the trigger is in its rearward position. You can think of this sort of like the action on a S&W Sigma or Glock or any other similar striker-fired system, with the addition of a manual safety on the 709, for those who desire to use it. This weapon will not fire unless the trigger is pulled. The manual thumb safety blocks the trigger and locks the slide. The 709 also has the Taurus Security System internal key lock, which renders the pistol inoperable, if the owner desires to do so for storage of the pistol. The key for the lock also has a screwdriver for adjusting the rear sight, which is adjustable for both elevation and windage correction. The sights are of the three-dot pattern, and hopefully, night sights will be offered by either Taurus or the aftermarket soon.

The 709 Slim is the most compact Taurus 9mm to date, and is a very handy size for a concealed carry pistol. The closest thing on the market to the size of the 709 is the Kel-Tec PF9, shown in one of the pictures for comparison. Both are very slim, compact pistols. The Taurus is a little beefier, weighing in at about four ounces more, and is just slightly thicker, but the extra heft attenuates a bit more recoil, and should prove to help with long term durability as well. The grip of the 709 is well-textured for a positive hold, and shaped for a comfortable feel. I really like the low-profile magazine release. It is large enough for a quick reload, but is not so elevated above the surface of the frame that it might be unintentionally activated, dropping the magazine from the grip. The magazine release is within easy reach of a right-handed shooter’s thumb or a lefty’s trigger finger. The slide locks open on an empty magazine, and the slide release is on the left side in the usual location. Speaking of magazines, two are included with the 709 Slim. They are made of steel, and hold seven rounds each, for a loaded capacity of eight. Disassembly is easy by pushing down on the two opposing latches on the frame, after pulling back slightly on the slide, and then allowing the slide to move forward under spring pressure.

Below are the weights and measurements taken on the sample 709 Slim. The trigger pulls were measured on a Lyman digital trigger pull scale, and are the average of ten measurements. The magazine capacity is listed for the magazine only. Total loaded capacity will add one. The trigger reach was measured from the area where the web between the thumb and finger contact the frame, to the center of the trigger in its forward-most position. The overall height was measured from the top of the rear sight to the base of the magazine. The weight includes an empty magazine.

Weight 18.5 ounces
Barrel length 3.28 inches
Overall Height 4.53 inches
Overall Length  6.25 inches
Slide Thickness 0.95 inch
Frame Thickness  0.961 inch
Trigger Reach 2.53 inches
Magazine Capacity  7
Double Action Pull  5.75 pounds
Single Action Pull  5 pounds

The Taurus 709 Slim functioned perfectly right out of the box. No failures of any kind were experienced. The pistol fed, fired, and ejected everything offered it, flawlessly. The little gun handles recoil much better than anticipated, considering its light weight. It was easy to control, even with Plus P ammunition, as demonstrated in the video. The pistol is very comfortable to hold, and easy to fire quickly on target. Accuracy was outstanding. Most who write reviews of a pistol of this type limit testing to 21 feet or so, but this little pistol demonstrated very good accuracy potential, so I tested at 25 yards, like I do with hunting and target pistols. As shown in the photo, which was a typical group fired, the 709 grouped a magazine full of ammo into two inches at twenty five yards, and this was using Plus P Cor-Bon 147 grain FMJ, not a wimpy target load. I was pleased and surprised by the accuracy displayed by this little pistol. That is very good accuracy from a small 9mm defensive pistol, especially with me doing the shooting. Practical accuracy was helped, I am certain, by the excellent trigger pull of the 709 Slim. A good trigger makes target work much easier, and the pistol’s trigger is just about perfect for a weapon of this type. Anyway, this group shown was typical of the accuracy testing session, with most every brand of ammo tried performing as well as the group shown.

The Taurus 709 Slim is the type of pistol for which many who carry concealed are looking. It is small enough to hide easily in a good holster, such as the Cross Breed Supertuck, and the 709 would also work well for pocket carry. It hides easily in my front jeans pocket, but being left-handed, I would not carry it without a holster. There are several good pocket holsters on the market that cover the trigger, and I recommend the use of one for pocket carry. Simply Rugged makes one that is durable, functional, and affordable. The 709 Slim is just about the right size for most of us. It is no bigger than a Bersa .380, but uses the more powerful 9mm Luger ammo. Eight rounds of Plus P 9mm should get the job done easily for most of us, and the Taurus PT709 Slim is an excellent pistol to deliver those rounds accurately upon the target. I was impressed by the 709 Slim. I think that it is the best 9mm pistol that Taurus has produced to date. It is certainly one of the most useful, being small enough and light enough to always be at hand when needed. It is also accurate, affordable, and reliable. With a good set of tritium night sights or a reliable laser, it would be perfect.

Check out the entire line of Taurus firearms online at www.taurususa.com.

To find a Taurus dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.

To order the PT709 Slim online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.

To order the two holsters mentioned here, go to www.crossbreedholsters.com and www.simplyrugged.com.

Jeff Quinn

For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to: To buy this gun online, go to:






Taurus' PT709 (right) compared to Kel-Tec's PF9 (left).



PT709 (left) compared to full-sized Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm (right).





25-yard group, fired from handheld rested position, measures two inches.





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Click pictures for a larger version.


Taurus PT709 Slim 9mm semi-auto pistol.



Pistol comes with hard plastic case, keys for internal lock, instruction manual, and two steel 7-shot magazines.





Slide release and manual safety (top), disassembly latch (center), magazine release (bottom).





Sights are high-visibility "three-dot" pattern with adjustable rear.



Taurus Security System internal key lock.





Loaded chamber indicator.