The PT-145: An Experiment in Taurus Quality Control

 Traded into a Taurus PT145 Millennium Pro…  I’ve been wanting to try one of these for awhile.

 

PT145_1 

 

The PT145 comes with two 10 round magazines. It has an odd, but shootable trigger. With the mechanism pre-set you get a long, light take-up, a firm spot and then the break. If the round is a dud, you get another more revolver-like pull that gives it a second strike. Two pounds of pull is required during the take-up and the trigger breaks at six pounds, in SA Mode. The second-strike DA pull requires nine pounds to fire the gun. It has a thumb safety that mimics the 1911A1 in location and operation.

 

It has the Taurus key-lock on the slide, if you like that sort of thing. In size, it is shorter than the Glock 23 and roughly comparable to a G27 with a finger extension on the magazine. The PT145’s trigger guard is a little larger than either Glock, to facilitate the DA trigger mechanism. Still, Brazilians did an excellent job of shrinking an 11 shot SA/DA .45 Auto into the smallest possible package.

 

Taurus has a well-deserved reputation for spotty quality control, which manifested itself in the 20 rounds from the gun. One of the magazines was, politely put, a piece of shit. Luckily, the the dealer had another PT145 on hand and he swapped me out a good mag PDQ. With good magazines, pistol is reliable and it isn’t picky about bullet profile. It fed my .45 ACP, 230 lead flat-point reloads slick as a whistle. Early shooting indicates it will keep a magazine on your head at 20 paces.

 

Internet prattle on the PT145 is ripe with complaints about the sights, which are essentially Heine Straight 8’s. I find them a distant 2nd place to Glock OEM sights. Each of the PT145’s sights is secured in its dovetail by a set screw. Many users report that their PT145 prints low and this gun bears that out. It also shot a little right, so I set about adjusting the sights with the little allen wrench provided with the gun. I was able to loosen the front sight; but the set screw in the rear sight wouldn’t budge. I was able to accomplish windage correction via the front sight alone and I also removed some material to bring the POI up.

 

The second range outing involved 25 yard shooting from an old folding table, resting my wrists on the range bag. I used Armscor 230 FMJ, my bulk lead-bullet .45 ACP reload* and Winchester USA 230 grain JHP. We are in the spring monsoon here and it was cool and rainy; my shooting probably wasn’t at its best. I fired several 3 shot groups with the Armscor FMJ, while adjusting windage, and it wasn’t uncommon for those groups to be 2 1/2 to 3 inches. 5 shot groups with all mentioned loads averaged about four inches; but by then I was straining at the sights with visible rainfall between me and the target. So I called off the accuracy evaluation and shot plates/range junk, standing unsupported. At 25 yards, 6″ falling plates were pretty well toast and I nailed an old after-shave can several times with the pistol.

 

Overall, the PT145 is a decent small .45 Auto with a few liabilities. The rifling is very shallow, which may negatively affect accuracy particularly with lead bullets. It should do nicely with snake loads, though. Sights are usable, but could be better. I ran a magnet all over the frame rails and there is no steel to be found, so don’t look for the PT145 to enjoy a 50,000 round service life. I think the PT145 is a passable CCW .45 Auto, once an individual specimen is proven for reliability. It is in no way comparable to a Glock 30.

 

Then there’s that nagging ‘Taurus QC’ thing, which is irrelevant if you get a ‘good’ one. I think I just may have lucked out and done that.

 

*Assorted brass, Missouri Bullet 225 grain ‘Flathead’ and 5.4 grains of W231 with a CCI standard large pistol primer. 1.200″ OAL, does 840 fps from 5″ 1911’s.

Updated: 10 rounds of Tula 230 FMJ at 50 yards fired standing, unsupported. Dropped one off by the head; if you dig around in the photo, you’ll find doubles in the black. I’m OK with this given the size & weight of the gun.

 PT_10at50

 

04/19/13: A commenter asked about loads in short barrel 45’s. So I fired a round of Winchester USA JHP and Federal 230 HydraShok into random water-filled jugs at about 10 feet. The photo (taken via cell phone, sorry) depicts the result and is self-explanatory.

PT_JHPs

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15 Responses to The PT-145: An Experiment in Taurus Quality Control

  1. Sarge says:

    After about 350 trouble-free rounds through this gun, I decided to shoot it at a Dept. qualification today. The course includes yank & blast at 2 yards, double-taps & low ready presentations at 7, and two strings of 10 rounds from both 10 and 25 yards. All but the low-ready stages are from the holster (I used an old Fobus SP11) and under time. I shot a 184/185 with it, exactly what I posted with an issue Glock 22.

  2. 30wcf says:

    Sarge–just started carrying and shooting a Springfield Armory XDs in .45acp. I always thought XD pistols were some third-world Glock wannabees, I was definitely wrong. I actually shoot this better than my Glock 26/27 that I’ve been using for the last eight years (shoot them stock, no finger extenders). I really like the .45acp over the .40S&W and have decided to switch over to this pistol as my “BUG”. I also like the grip safety.

    Question, I was wondering about the use of hardball instead hollow points for self-defense? The XDs has a short bbl. of 3.3″ and I’m sure that the PT145 is similar–I know about the use of hollow-points in order to reduce ricochets and over penetration, but would a hollow point actually expand, just wondering… code-4

  3. Sarge says:

    The XDs is becoming quite popular. I have yet to shoot one but I expect to remedy that soon.

    There are basically two schools of thought on defensive ammo for these guns- fast 185’s vs 230’s. Being a complete unbeliever when it comes to ‘hydrostatic shock’ from service pistol cartridges, I am solidly in the latter camp. I am also convinced that all 45 autos–and especially SHORT ones–are substantially more reliable with the heavier slugs. At any rate, Post #21 of this thread has some expansion results of various 45 loads in wet newsprint: http://www.handgunforum.net/general-semi-auto/4826-45acp-hollow-point-doesn-t-expand-3-inch-barrel.html

    I haven’t done a lot of ammo testing with short-barrel 45 autos. I did recently shoot some 230 Golden Saber from the PT145 into water-filled containers; expansion was several thousandths over bore diameter, essentially a full wadcutter, which is nothing to sneeze at. I’ve got a few rounds of Winchester USA 230 JHP I’m going to test, which is a solid performer in 5″ guns.

    To answer your question on carrying hardball… I wouldn’t be bashful if that’s what the gun runs well with. I prefer a flat point and that’s why I worked up a load using Missouri Bullets 225 grain ‘Flat Head’ bullet. I’ve never been afraid to carry reloads and with the current ammo shortage makes it almost a given

  4. trebuh ziur says:

    hi everyone! Im from the philippines and a proud owner of 2 taurus pistols…pt 24/7 pro 45acp and pt 145 pro (bought on nov 6 this year). yes i know, this year taurus has the millenium g2 in 9mm and 40 caliber. hope a 45 cal would soon follow. for my 24/7, i fired around 290 rds with no issue/s so far. my 24/7 was manufactured in nov, 2011 and my pt 145 was manufactured in april, 2012 (based on the SN).

  5. trebuh ziur says:

    Hello everybody. Just wanted to share my initial experience with my Pt 145 PRO. Just got my FA on Jan 3 and tested it the following day at a gun range here in Quezon City, Philippines. Before going to the range i disassembled the gun and cleaned the slide to remove packaging grease or oil and applied gun oil on the railings of the slide and frame. Fired 20 rds of magtech and 32 rds of armscor, 230 gr, FMJ ammos. Groupings was ok at 7 meters. The gun performed perfectly no FTF, FTE etc.. or whatsoever. So far im satisfied… hope it will continue to function perfectly!

    As for my pt 24/7 pro 45 acp (gen1), still no issues/ problem so far with 350 rds of 230 gr. FMJ ammos fired.

    I usually prefer to buy the last series of a FA model before a new generation comes out. This way, i believe that issues/problems of the earlier series hasve been addressed/fixed/corrected already by the manufacturer.

    Maraming Salamat po! (thank you)

  6. Geoff says:

    I got one of the “bad” ones. At 283 rounds it quit. Called Taurus and the next day they had FedEx at my door to pick it up. Four days later I had it back with a new “drop safety” plunger. Still is unreliable with FMJ ammo that has a less rounded nose like Speer Lawman. Discovered the problem is related to the fit of the magazine. All of the mags I have have some axial play, i.e., they can be moved up and down within the grip after the mag catch is engaged. Problem mags move the centerline of the round to be loaded into the chamber about 2mm laterally when all of the axial play is taken up. Finally, I had to take one coil off of the mag spring to get 10 rounds into the mag. The lower spring force dramatically improved the feeding reliability. Almost forgot, when I ordered a new recoil spring I learned Taurus changed the recoil spring to increase the force by increasing the free length.

  7. Sarge says:

    Magazines are definitely the Achilles Heel of the 24/7 based 45’s, Geoff. I’d say your safest bet would be to just order a couple of new ones from the company and demand ‘current production’ when you do.

    Here is a detailed tutorial explaining the generational changes Taurus made in these 45 mags, trying to get them right.

    http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/24-7-series/16339-24-7-pro-45acp-12-rd-magazine-comparisons-1st-2nd-3rd-generation.html

  8. Boris says:

    Got a PT145 Mil Pro when they first came out around 2003, it had the double action trigger, standard 3 dot sights, and printed “Millenium PRO” on the left side of the slide. It was decently reliable and although it too shot low it was acceptable. Easy to carry, light and compact and the manual safety is nice for anybody used to 1911s. A few years later picked up another one built around 2009, it had the shorter pull single action trigger, Heinie sights and just the single world “Millenium” on the left side with the word PRO squished into the lettering on the right side of the slide. This one was finicky, with noticeably less tension on the recoil spring, but with a much faster reset on the trigger, almost Glock like. It too shot way low which was fixed by filing the front sight down. Overall these pistols are good bargains and if you get a good one can be a decent carry gun, although Taurus reliability and customer service is a mixed bag for sure. Taurus took 2 months to fix another gun, claiming the part was backordered from Brazil, one of the problems a company that constantly changes its guns designs almost every year.

  9. John Nesslage says:

    I would like to comment on the Taurus PT 145 Pro, as of this writing, Taurus has discontinued the production of said fire arm. I must of been one of the ” lucky ones” as I have put approximately 2000 rnds. through this pistol from the cheapest to the most expensive ammo I could find and it has performed flawlessly. In fact so, it is my primary concealed carry weapon of choice. It has never FTF or FTE even if I limp wristed it or even shot it “gangsta style”. My only gripe would be that it only came with two magazines and I prefer three. In ordering a third one for it, I was told that it was on back order from the factory……THANK WAS TWO YEARS AGO this month. I have called once or twice a month to see if any have come in and so far no luck. I had read that the 12 rnd magazine from the 24/7 would work but again they have noť one in stock. A much as I like this pistol, If factory parts or after market parts are unavailable, I am considering selling it for something more common that has readily available parts. Thanks to listening………………..John.

  10. Brian says:

    I have owned a PT-145 MIL PRO since I bought it new in 2004. I have lost count on how many rounds I have put through the gun. I have thrown every kind of junk ammo I could find as well my own reloads and defensive carry ammo without a hiccup. The only issues I have had to date were 1: my limpwristing the gun causing misfeeds. 2: After my last range trip the gun would not go into battery while loading a round if the slide was eased shut. 3: Magazine drops due to hand placement while firing.

    It’s a solid gun. Taurus could do a lot more if they would invest a little more into QA and after market parts to make the gun more customizable.

  11. trebuh ziur says:

    Hello again! So far, fired 650 rounds with my PT 145 PRO already and no issues whatsoever….

    For my PT 24/7 PRO 45 acp, fired 750 rounds and no issues likewise…

    How i wish that the millenium g2 would have a 45 too…

    both FA are my carry guns…

    Personally i’m very satisfied with both FA!

  12. Roccaas says:

    http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/07/taurus_agrees_to_voluntary_rec.html

    Please be careful with this design of pistol. This appears to be a flaw that was in the original design, Taurus knew about it but did nothing until the lawsuits rolled in.

    Get in early, there is a $30 million cap on the deal.

    Luckily, my independent gunsmith showed me the “less than expert” design flaws with the system, as well as the rushed shimming job the factory did after I couldn’t hit paper at 21 feet.

    I took the bitter medicine, paid more money, traded up for an M&P Shield.

  13. I like it whenever people get together and share views. Great blog, stick with it!

  14. Boris says:

    These Taurus PT series guns are being “recalled” for not being drop safe. However the “recall” is in limbo as litigation drags on and Taurus is refusing to honor either the original “Lifetime” warranty or the court drafted “Enhanced Warranty.” Looks like Taurus will fold up and if you send in your gun you will get nothing in return. DO NOT return your gun right now, they will not send a replacement or your defective one back! Taurus pistols are junk, buy a Glock, Ruger, or any other quality gun instead of these clunkers. These are throwaways and not worthy of being your main gun. Taurus is a crummy 3rd world company that makes junk.

    • Sarge says:

      One thing we agree on…there is no reason to own a Taurus as long as you can get used S&W Sigmas, Ruger LCPs etc. Their QC is too much of a crapshoot.

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