The firm of Taurus Forjas of Porto Alegre, Brazil, is the largest handgun manufacturer in Latin America. The company began making handguns in 1941, and in 1968 it entered the U.S. market where, thanks to its quality and economical prices, it quickly became a major player.
It will come as no surprise that the PT-111 Millennium G2 uses a polymer frame. The use of polymers for handgun frames and internal components began in the 1980s and took the firearms world by storm because the material proved capable of standing up to service and wear as well as, if not better, than metal; it had excellent resistance to moisture, salts, wear, oils and solvents; the material is significantly lighter than metal; polymer frames flex under recoil, absorbing some of the recoil pulse; and polymer components could be produced faster and cheaper than those made from metal. Today just about every handgun manufacturer in the world offers pistols and/or revolvers featuring “plastic” frames.
Taurus designed the G2 specifically for concealed carry by licensed civilians and police officers. It is available chambered in either 9mm or .40 S&W, and it features a machined, blued steel slide (stainless slides are optional) with sharply cut cocking serrations and a large external extractor. The ejection port has been lowered and flared to ensure that spent cases get out of the way quickly and reliably, while a loaded-chamber indicator resides atop the slide where it provides a visual and tactile indication of the pistol’s condition.
Oval relief cuts on the forward part of the slide give the pistol a distinct profile while holding down weight for reliable operation with a variety of loads. All of the edges are beveled for comfort and to reduce the likelihood that the pistol could hang up when being drawn from concealment.
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The front sight blade contains the usual white dot. The rear sight features dual dots to aid in sight alignment and, uncommon on this class of pistol, it is fully adjustable for elevation and windage. On the right rear of the slide, below the rear sight, is a small button into which you can insert a provided key to activate the Taurus Security System, which prevents unauthorized firing of the pistol when in the locked position.
Aggressively textured panels on the sides, front and rear of the grip frame provide a firm purchase that is accentuated by the finger-rest extension magazine baseplate which allows a full, three-finger grip. The gun’s double-column magazine holds an even dozen rounds of 9mm ammo, and 10-round magazines are available for those poor souls living in states where politicians have infringed on Second Amendment rights.
All of the controls are easily accessible without moving the pistol around in your hand and positive in operation. The pistol’s ergonomics proved first rate and the grip-to-frame angle was such that when I brought the pistol to eye level, the sights were already aligned on the object I was looking at. A nice touch is the accessory rail, which allows the mounting of tactical lights or lasers, which would be especially useful if the pistol is used for home defense.
Most of the striker-fired pistols on the market today do not feature an external, manual safety. The G2 differs in being fitted with an external thumb safety that, when engaged, immobilizes both the trigger and slide. The safety is well positioned and swiping it off with the thumb of your right hand as the pistol is drawn is almost a natural action.
Additional safety is provided via a lever on the face of the G2’s trigger, which must be completely depressed or it blocks trigger movement, and a firing pin block that is only disengaged by a full stroke of the trigger.
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The G2 is a striker-fired pistol that brings us to yet another feature that sets it apart from the competition—its double-action/single-action trigger. When the pistol is cocked, the trigger has a long, light take-up before a crisp single-action let-off. But unlike most striker-fired designs on the market today, the trigger provides a reassuring double-strike capability.
In case of a misfire, you do not have to partially retract the slide to reset the striker—you just pull the trigger through a somewhat heavier stroke for a second try at a stubborn primer. I believe this is an excellent feature and one that is missing on many of today’s striker-fired pistols. It should also be noted that the trigger on the G2 I tested had a very short reset that could be both felt and heard, which is a nice feature for making slow, precise shots.
To The Range
Accuracy testing was conducted from 15 yards by firing a series of five-shot groups off an MTM K-Zone rest with 9mm factory ammo loaded with four different bullet weights. Apparently, the pistol had been zeroed before it left the factory, as all of my groups were close enough to the point of aim that I did not have to touch the adjustment screws on the rear sight at all.
I then set up a combat target and ran the G2 through a series of drills. As I did not have a suitable holster, each drill began with me holding the pistol at the “low ready” position. From 5 yards, I lifted the pistol and fired six rounds with a supported grip. I then switched the pistol to my weak hand and repeated the drill. At 7 yards, I fired six sets of double-taps, lowering the pistol between each two-shot string. Finally, from 10 yards, I lifted the pistol and fired 12 rounds through slow, aimed fire.
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The pistol’s recoil was very controllable and overall handling was excellent, which, combined with light trigger pull and large, easy-to-see sights, allowed me to put ever single round—except one that mysteriously wandered out into the 8 ring—inside the confines of the higher scoring zones of the target. That’s not too shabby a performance for the first time out with an untried pistol.
The finger-rest extension on the magazine permitted a secure purchase that, when combined with the aggressive texturing and ergonomics of the grip, resulted in enhanced recoil control, especially for a pistol this light.
I found Taurus’ PT-111 Millennium G2 a fine-handling, easy-shooting pistol that would be a very practical choice for concealed carry by civilians or police officers, home or business defense, and it has the added benefit of retailing for considerably less than many of its competitors.
For more information, visit http://www.taurususa.com or call 800-327-3776.