The Taurus TH Pistol is a fabulous entry-level pistol, at a great price.
The modern semi-auto pistol market is dominated by striker-fired guns, but that wasn’t always the case. Not so long ago, DA/SA (double-action/single-action) hammer-fired semiautos like Beretta’s M92 and SIG’s P226 ruled the 9mm market. But with the prevalence and popularity of striker-fired guns, is it time to let our DA/SA designs go?
Taurus doesn’t think so, and that’s why they offer the TH series of 9mm and .40 S&W semiauto hammer-fired pistols. These pistols feature an exposed hammer with an ambidextrous decocker/safety lever. When the action is cycled, a cartridge is fed from the magazine into the chamber. Pressing down on the lever decocks the hammer safely, and pressing up on the lever engages the safety and locks the slide.
Taurus TH Pistol Review
About the Taurus TH
The DA/SA design was favored by shooters and law enforcement agencies because it offered an added layer of safety when carrying a gun. The hammer could be decocked and carried in the lowered position so that the shooter would have to fire the gun in double-action mode for the first shot. In DA mode the trigger pull was heavier—about 11 pounds for the Taurus TH—and therefore required a more concentrated effort to fire. Subsequent shots could be fired in SA mode, which required a trigger pull of about 5.75 pounds for the TH.
The TH 9mm version I tested came with two metal 17-round double-stack magazines (10-round mags available in capacity-limited jurisdictions), and the .40 S&W version has two 15-round mags. All magazines feature a bright yellow follower that is easy to see, and there’s a loaded chamber indicator. My TH 9mm was the full-size version with a 4.27-inch stainless steel barrel, but there’s also a compact model with a 3.54-inch pipe that’s better suited for concealed carry.
The Taurus TH At The Range
I spend most of my time shooting striker-fired pistols, but the Taurus TH reminded me how nice a SA/DA pistol can be. Having the ability to engage the safety or decock the pistol (or both) offers peace of mind, and the controls are easy to master.
The sights are basic but functional. Five-shot groups fired from a bench at 25 yards averaged between about 2.3 and 3.5 inches. Oddly, when the three dots were lined up in a row, the front sight was higher than the rear notch sight. Functional reliability was good throughout testing except for the two cartridges with hard primers.
I do wish that this pistol had front slide serrations for easy press checks. But the ergonomics and control layout are excellent. The magazine release is easy to access, and the grips are large enough to comfortably accommodate large hands. The trigger is average for guns in this price category with lots of take-up and a bit of grit. But it works fine and seemed to smooth out during shooting. I also wish there was an optics-ready option.
All TH pistols come with a polymer frame in a choice of brown, black, cyan, OD green, and tan. The frames feature micro-texturing and finger grooves on the front strap. Taurus adds a substantial beavertail to keep the shooter’s hand away from the slide and hammer. There are finger grooves on either side of the frame behind the trigger and a pair of “memory pads” farther up on the frame where the thumbs rest while shooting. The full-sized TH’s offer interchangeable backstraps. And all models come with an accessory rail on the dust cover for mounting lights and optics.
The matte black alloy steel slide features angled rear serrations and angular slide cuts that cut weight and make re-holstering the gun simpler. Novak drift-adjustable front and rear three-dot sights are dovetailed into the slide.
The full-sized TH 9mm pistol I tested weighed 28.2 ounces unloaded and measures just over 7.7-inches long. Width is 1.30 inches, and height is just under 6 inches. That’s big for carry, but that’s a matter of opinion. What’s not debatable is what a great value this gun is with a suggested retail of just $389.
SPECS/TAURUS TH 9MM FULL-SIZE:
- ACTION: Single/Double, Semi-Auto
- CHAMBERING: 9MM Luger (Tested), .40 S&W
- FRAME: Polymer, Interchangeable Backstrap Inserts
- SLIDE: Matte Black Alloy Steel
- BARREL: Stainless Steel, Satin Stainless Finish, 1:10 Twist
- BARREL LENGTH: 4.27”
- CAPACITY: 17 (As Tested)
- SIGHTS: Novak Drift-Adjustable Rear Notch, Novak Drift Adjustable White Dot Front
- TRIGGER: 5.75 lbs. (SA), 11 lbs. (DA)
- HEIGHT: 5.98”
- WIDTH: 1.30”
- LENGTH: 7.72″
- WEIGHT: 28.2 oz. unloaded
- ACCESORIES: Two Magazines, Speed Loader, Gun Lock, Pin Removal Tool (2), Cleaning Brush
- MSRP: $389
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