Taurus Titanium 9mm Millennium
by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

August 20th, 2002

 

 

 

The Taurus Millennium series of semi-automatic pistols has been around  a couple of years now, and the guns have proven to be compact, reliable, and easy to shoot.  They have one of the better trigger systems available in a double action pistol, being striker fired and self-resetting; that is, the slide does not have to move rearward to reset the trigger, as in many other designs. This is a good feature in the rare event of a stubborn primer or dirt in the action of the pistol. The Millennium triggers are also very user friendly, being relatively smooth and light. In general, the Millennium pistols from Taurus are one of the best designs available for concealed carry. The Millennium series of pistols is available in most popular defense pistol chambering from .32 ACP up to .45 ACP. They all have polymer frames and, until now, either carbon steel or stainless steel slides.

We recently received for testing what is perhaps the best of all of the Millennium variations, the model PT-111Ti. This is the Millennium 9mm with a Titanium slide and tritium night sights.

The advantages of using titanium instead of steel are not only the weight savings of titanium, but the metallurgical properties as well. As for the weight savings, titanium has only two-thirds the weight of steel, resulting in an overall reduced gun weight, plus a lighter mass of reciprocating movement as the slide cycles. Titanium is also extremely strong and resilient, and corrosion proof.

The new PT-111Ti weighs only 16 ounces unloaded, with an overall length of just over six inches. The slide itself measures one inch at the thickest point, and is serrated at the rear to assist retraction. The three and one-quarter inch barrel locks into the ejection port at the rear, and solidly at the front of the slide, without the need of a bushing.  The polymer frame wears molded-in checkering for a good grip, with the frame accommodating two fingers and the magazine extension providing a place for the little finger. 

Speaking of the magazine, it is of steel construction, and holds ten rounds of 9mm ammo, giving the PT-111Ti a total capacity of eleven rounds.  The magazine release is on the left side of the frame, just rear of the trigger guard, as it should be. The slide release is located directly above where it naturally falls under the thumb of a right-handed shooter, but can also be released by the trigger finger of a lefty.

While not a necessity on a double action pistol, the PT-111Ti also has a thumb operated safety at the left rear of the slide, for those who like this added feature. This could be a useful device for those who might have their weapon snatched, such as a police officer. It would buy a little extra time in such an event if the gun were grabbed by someone unfamiliar with the design. The thumb safety locks both the slide and the movement of the trigger. 

Also incorporated into the right side of the slide is the Taurus key-operated security system. The gun is supplied with two keys, and can quickly be locked and unlocked. The system prevents the firing or disassembly of the weapon.  It is a feature that some will want to use, but is unobtrusive for those who choose to ignore this feature. 

As another safety feature, the trigger system makes it impossible for the gun to fire unless the trigger is pulled. While this Taurus is a thoroughly modern design, the safety of any weapon lies with the user. There will always be idiots who negligently shoot someone, and then want to blame the manufacturer of the gun.

The tritium night sights on the PT-111Ti are a nice feature. On a defensive pistol of this type, I find them to be of particular value. Most gunfights do not take place in broad daylight or under stadium lights. If carrying a pistol for protection, one is most likely to need it in less than ideal lighting conditions, need it bad, and need it now! Tritium night sights show up as three dots in the dark, and are very quick to get on target. The tritium sights on this Taurus are low profile and snag proof. They do not illuminate the user, and cannot be seen except from behind the gun. In my opinion, every handgun carried for self defense  could benefit greatly from tritium sights. They are well worth the extra expense.

One of the first things that I noticed about the PT-111Ti was the great feel of the grip angle and texture of the weapon.  Ergonomically, the design is very good, with all controls easily reached and the checkering providing a good grip without being excessively sharp. The trigger pull on this gun measured five and three-quarter pounds, is butter-smooth, and double action only. It has one of the best trigger pulls that I have ever felt on a double action pistol. 

After all the unpacking, weighing, measuring, photographing, and general fondling of the pistol, I gathered a variety of ammunition and proceeded with the actual firing for function and accuracy. Target firing was done at a range of 25 yards, where most ammo produced decent combat accuracy from a gun of this type.  All ammo grouped under three inches, with some going slightly under two and one-half inches.  Velocities of the combat ammo was very good from the short barrel, with the best results being from Cor-Bon 115 grain jacketed hollow point +P ammo, which averaged 1247 feet-per-second.  There were no failures to feed, fire, or eject any ammo tested in the PT-111Ti. Functioning was flawless. All cases were ejected up and to the right, well clear of both the weapon and shooter.

The Taurus PT-111Ti will slip easily into a front jeans pocket, but would ride almost unnoticeably in a good  belt holster. Loaded with eleven 9mm +P Cor-Bons, a person would be well armed against most threats. The gun  is lightweight, reliable, easy to shoot well, reasonably powerful, and rust-proof; everything a good concealable pistol should be.

My little brother and Illustrious  Webmaster, Boge, has fallen in love with this gun and is sending Taurus a check. There is no better endorsement than that.

Check out the Millennium pistols and other Taurus firearms online at:   www.taurususa.com

Jeff Quinn


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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

Taurus' PT111Ti 9mm DA pistol is a fine choice for those desiring a lightweight, easily concealable, and reliable self-defense weapon.

 

 

Smaller and lighter than many .32s and .380s, the Taurus PT111Ti carries eleven rounds of 9mm firepower.

 

 

The controls of the Taurus PT111Ti are placed just where they should be for a right-handed shooter. Magazine release is just aft of the trigger guard, with the slide stop above and just forward of the manual safety. The manual safety falls perfectly under the thumb and is positioned down to fire, perfect for shooters (like us) who favor the controls of the venerable 1911A1.

 

 

Author demonstrates the compact size of the PT111Ti. This pistol is perfectly sized for almost any shooter. The titanium slide offers welcome weight reduction, allowing a total weight of only 16 ounces unloaded.

 

 

The slide incorporates Taurus' key-operated security system, one of the most effective we have seen, and unobtrusive for those who choose not to use it.

 

 

The Taurus PT111Ti's polymer frame features very effective checkering. This, coupled with the excellent ergonomics of the frame, allows for the only good kind of "gun control"!

 

 

The little Taurus includes a very well-designed and effective set of Tritium night sights. Author thinks any defensive handgun should be equipped with such sights.

 

 

The heart of Taurus' PT111Ti is the dual recoil spring system. This system allows the lightweight titanium slide to handle full-power 9mm loads with ease.

 

 

The little Taurus strips to its component parts in seconds. Machine work, fit and finish are excellent, as we have come to expect from Taurus.

 

 

The reasonable purchase price of the Taurus Titanium 9mm Millennium includes a lockable plastic case and two keys for the Taurus locking system.

 

 

The folks at Taurus are making some of the most innovative products on the market today, and the PT111Ti is no exception. Stoked with quality loads such as the excellent Cor-Bon 115-grain JHP 9mm+P, the Taurus Titanium 9mm Millennium is a pint-sized, potent package!