Taurus PT1911 Torture Test Part 2

Taurus PT1911 9mm

The Taurus PT1911 went over the 500 round milestone with no mechanical issues this week. As of today, it’s fired 606 rounds of mixed 9mm ammo, with one failure to extract coming on round 606 exactly. With that one exception, the gun has run like an absolute champ, and even that failure to extract came on the last round of the magazine, which meant it didn’t really tie the gun up in a meaningful way.

At this point, I’m in kind of a weird place with this gun. It has been relatively reliable, even though the round count is still pretty low at only 606. It keeps feeding out of full magazines just fine, and only exhibits problems with extraction on the last round out of any given magazine. What usually happens is that it will fling that last round either straight back towards my face, or straight up in the air, as opposed to back and to the right like the rest of the rounds. That’s problematic, and then during the last range session, this happened:

PT1911 failure to extract

That’s a definite failure to extract, and I had no choice but to count that as a stoppage, because regardless of the presence of another round in the magazine, the pistol failed to properly complete its cycle of operation. That round was fired from a standing, two handed grip, so there shouldn’t have been any issues. I will note that it’s a factory Taurus magazine in there as well, not the Wilson ETM.

That brings me around to the subject magazines. As mentioned in part 1, magazines do not readily drop free out of this gun. Right now, you have to hit the magazine button with EXACTLY the perfect amount of pressure to make them drop free. Too much pressure and they bind, not enough pressure and nothing happens. That’s annoying, especially if your preferred magazine release technique is like mine: MASH BUTTON MAKE BAD MAGAZINE GO AWAY. That doesn’t really work with this gun, and if I’m working on reloads it has caused problems. I’ve got about 25 minutes of shooting video from the last range session that I haven’t uploaded because it’s horrifyingly boring hat-cam footage of me doing various drills with the PT1911, but if I do upload it you’ll get to hear me cursing at the magazines a lot.

But the gun continues to feed ammo. There are other things that I find bothersome – the thumb safety isn’t fitted very nicely to the gun, and it’s not profiled into the beavertail the way I’d like. The spring in the grip safety is really strong, requiring a crush grip if you’re shooting weak hand only. But…the gun keeps feeding ammo.

So I’m in this place where, to be honest with you, I actually kind of like the gun. It’s a 9mm 1911 that feeds whatever I stick in it so far, and that’s nice. The issues that I have with it are the sorts of things that bother me because I like to shoot my guns, and I had crazy dreams about this being a solid budget Single Stack/ESP gun. Here’s the rub – while the issues I have this gun drive me crazy, are they the sort of things that would bother the average gun owner?

PT1911 muzzle detail

When I’m really honest with myself, I have to say that no, they’re not. You have to be relatively serious about shooting, either competition or self-defense to actually care about things like ejection patter in 1911s or how the thumb safety is fitted to the gun. If you’re just looking for a fun range toy that feeds, the PT1911 probably fits that bill. I should note that at 606 rounds, I’ve probably exceeded the round count of 99% of 9mm PT1911s on the planet. The test doesn’t stop here, I’m committed to getting this thing to at least 2,000 rounds, and I’d like to push it to 5,000 if possible. It’s been my experience that 5k is where weird things start happening with guns sometimes, because that’s when I start to have to change parts.


  1. My 1988 PT99 broke it’s locking block and locked up the gun for quite a while with a round in the chamber at just over 600 rounds. I’m curious to see how this gun holds up to getting into four digit round count territory.

  2. That actually is a failure to eject isn’t it? I mean it extracted OK it seems, just didn’t eject. Or am I picking nits and should STFU?

  3. Not sure the ejection pattern is limited to the PT1911’s. Had the same issue with the PT809, except it was 50-60% of the time, the ejected casings were coming straight back at my face. Sent it to Miami for a visit. They confirmed the issue, couldn’t fix it, replaced it. Replacement did the same thing, except only about 30-40% of the time. Ate every piece of 9mm ammo I put in the thing which was great, but couldn’t trust it not to try and put my eye out. Also had to work out the mag release which was extremely stiff. Had to work it a couple hundred times to break it in. Once that was done, the mags would “rocket ship” out of the gun. Liked everything else about the gun except for it consistently trying to blind me. Eventually traded it in for my M&P9c.

  4. Sounds like the inside left surface of your mag catch is oversized…a little carefully done work with a file should remedy the problem. I had the same problem with my 1911 with an ed brown mag catch. Mash the button too hard and the inside left surface of the mag catch will press the magazine into the frame and it won’t drop free.

    I might also suggest just ditching the Taurus mags. People who use factory 1911 mags are suckers. 😀

  5. I shoot left side and have a non-Taurus 1911 which throws hot brass in my face with one particular hand load, but none of the many other hand loads or factory rounds I’ve run through it.

    With failures to feed/chamber, especially on a 1911, I’d try a different, high quality magazine. Could also be a rough feed ramp wanting a light polishing.

    I’ve got a MK III Hi Power which has fed, fired, extracted and ejected thousands of rounds, wide variety of loads, without a single stoppage of any kind. One exception. It won’t reliably extract Sellier and Bellot cases.

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