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.
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.
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.