Taurus PT1911 Torture Test Part 5: 500 round challenge

Here we are at the planned end of the Taurus PT1911 Torture Test. I always wanted to close it out with something interesting like this, where I run the gun through something that’s beyond the limits of any gun’s normal operating environment. Hence the 500 rounds endurance test. By the end of the test, the gun was too hot to touch, mags weren’t dropping free, it was throwing brass everything, and it was filthy, but for two malfunctions it ran the test just fine.

That brings the PT1911 to exactly 2,000 rounds fired, with a total of 9 malfunctions of any time. 6 of those were incurred during two runs of the 10-8 Function test, which is designed to test base level function of the pistol, and places a high premium on extractor/ejector function.

At this point, my plan for the test is pretty much over, and here’s my verdict on this Taurus: I really like it. It is an absolute hoot to shoot, and I shoot it very well. It has personality, it feels like there’s a proper single stack competition gun hiding in this pistol that wants to come out and play.

But, and this is big, just because I like it doesn’t mean I’d recommend it for everyone. Here’s where I think this gun fits in the world: if you want a fun range toy, knock yourself out. It’s not reliable enough for an EDC gun or a serious competition gun, but it should be good enough to get you through a weekend USPSA/IDPA match. Range toy? Absolutely. It is a lot of fun to shoot, it’s easy to shoot well, but again it has those reliability issues that prevent me from being able to recommend it for serious competition or carry.

That brings me to the final question: what next? A lot of the commenters on the video want me to get into the guts of the gun and tune it up, see if I can fix the magazine problems and the extraction issues. I think that would probably be the most natural conclusion to the test, and it’s something I’m tempted to do. Other options would be to shelve the gun and move on to the next cheap 1911 you animals want me to test; which will likely be a Rock Island. So, what do ya’ll want to see? Tune it up? Move on?


  1. I’d like to see how far it goes before it has a significant failure like a broken operating part. I’m curious how far it can go, since its already done better than I expected it to be able to do.

    1. +1. I’d like to see how long it runs with proper cleaning intervals before something breaks.

  2. Move on to the Rock Island. If you start tuning the Taurus so that it passes your reliability test, you are just reinforcing the stereotype that 1911s are reliable, but only after you throw some money at them.

  3. Tune it up. Get a better mag catch in there, tune the extractor, throw some extended base pads on the mags to make the magwell actually easy to use, maybe get rid of that wierdo lawyer lock hammer, see if you can get it to run 100%

  4. RIA doublestack 9mm plz. I seem to recall Seeklander saying that his runs like a top, but I have a feeling that Armscor would give his special attention.

    I love the idea of a 9mm 2011-type gun that’s affordable to regular people and I want to know how if this one fits the bill or not.

  5. Tear it apart to see if there are any apparent issues with the internal parts developing, then put it back together after cleaning it and continue shooting it. Don’t put replacement parts in, but continue to shoot it an “factory condition” until it fails or you just give up because…its a rock. I would like to hear how some other 1911s compare to the Taurus after they undergo a similar “torture test”. You’ve mentioned the Rock Island guns. I hear Rock Island is the “largest 1911 manufacturer in the world” and that they make parts for several of the better known 1911 makers, but have never heard any details on just who Rock Island is making parts (frames and slides??) for. What are your thoughts on the Ruger 1911’s?

  6. Other then the possibilty of an extractor, tune the stock guts and take it too a high round count competition class.

    1. Yep, +1 here. I’d curious to see if the stock parts can be tuned to get it into better running order without throwing a bunch of money and aftermarket parts at it.

  7. I have a RIA 9mm and mine did not make it through 1,000 before it needed an extractor and slide stop. The RIA guns I’ve owned have weak internals. I’d be more interested in a new Colt 9mm which can be had for not a lot in basic/milspec form.

  8. Run it until it dies for good.
    Then tear it down and see what did break , and *what else* was about to. In so doing we can see what happens when these pistols are run well past the “100 flawless rounds” point.

    One issue with the gun business is that few people run pistols aggressive enough to really see where the quality counts. Many say the PT92 is just as good as a Beretta , because they don’t run the Taurus hard enough to find out . People with the money to run them hard generally buy something else.

    So, seeing what happens to a “100 flawless rounds” Taurus after its even moderately tested would be hard proof that they’re not serious defensive or competition instruments.

    1. Seriously true. Nobody runs the cheap guns to death because…well nobody can afford to do that even with a solid performing gun like a Glock or Beretta…

      My suggestion is to tune that sucker….seems a waste not to if you have gone through the 10-8 armorers course. Get that sucker up and running and once it is properly tuned…run it til it dies.

  9. Caleb, I would love to see you test an SR1911. A friend of mine has one and raves about it. I suspect that it’s the lower cost bracket leader in many respects.

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