Taurus 740 SLIM Review: Handful of 40 Caliber Thunder

Sure, I’d like to do a Taurus 740 SLIM review, I thought.  Who wouldn’t want to repeatedly shoot a small, light handgun stoked with full power .40 S&W ammo all afternoon?  How about for several afternoons?

Generally, I like the pistol.  The SLIM felt good in my hand.  It was small, but not so tiny that I could not get a handle on it.  The grip seemed pretty comfortable, and I thought this might make a great CCW gun for me.  Unfortunately, the Taurus 740 SLIM was not completely reliable, and recoil is rather harsh.  More on that below.

Taurus 740 SLIM

General Features of the Taurus 740

The Taurus 740 SLIM is a subcompact, single stack pistol chambered in .40 S&W.  It holds six rounds in the magazine, plus one more in the chamber for a total of seven rounds.  The unloaded weight of the gun is only 19 ounces.  So even with seven 40-caliber rounds the weight is still pretty light.

The frame is polymer and the Taurus 740’s slide is made of steel.  The frame is black and the the slide has a matte black finish, though Taurus calls it blue.

Taurus 740 SLIM for sale

The sights on the 740 are pretty good.  They are low profile, but still very useable.  The rear sight is adjustable, which I know some people will like.  On a defensive pistol, I prefer fixed sights, as they tend to be more durable and are less likely to get knocked off point of aim.  The sights are “three-dot” style.  A fiber optic or tritium front sight would have been appreciated, but not really expected at this price.

The barrel length is 3.2″.  This creates a situation where the gun is easier to conceal, but the rounds will not develop as much velocity as they likely would from a “full size” 4-5″ barrel.

The 740 SLIM has a manual safety mounted on the left side of the gun.  Pressing down, so that the lever is horizontal to the deck, puts the gun in fire mode.  A red dot is shown on the slide indicating the gun is ready to fire.  Pushing the safety lever up prevents the gun from firing.  The safety is easy to operate, and I did not find it accidentally engaged.

Taurus 740 SLIM

A bar runs through the center of the frame in the area above the trigger and below the ejection port.  When pressed down, the gun can be field stripped.  The process is very similar to the Glock pistols.

Also similar to the Glock handguns is a center lever in the middle of the trigger as an added safety to help prevent an unintentional discharge.

The magazine release is a push-button style release.  I had no problems ejecting empty mags or inserting loaded ones.

The Taurus 740 SLIM is offered for sale with two magazines, a hard plastic case, two keys for the internal lock and a variety of paperwork.  The gun also comes with a free one-year membership to the National Rifle Association.  MSRP is $349.

Taurus 740 SLIM Review

Range Time

I shot this pistol over several sessions at the range.  Some earlier reviews I posted on this pistol were based on initial range trips.  This one is based on a longer period of time shooting the handgun.  So, any variances between this and other reviews should be taken as this review having authority as it represents a longer time spent with the pistol.

I shot this handgun using a variety of ammunition including inexpensive FMJ and more pricey self-defense hollowpoints.

The sights were easy to see and use at both indoor and outdoor ranges.  They are smaller than the sights found on full size pistols, but this Taurus 740 SLIM is a compact handgun.  For the size of the gun, the sights are excellent.  In a head-to-head match with larger three-dot sights, they do ok.

Accuracy was very good with this handgun.  Out of the box, I did not need to adjust the rear sight – point of aim was pretty much dead on.  I didn’t measure any groups.  Neither the accuracy of the gun nor me would set any records.  But I’m not looking to set records and the gun isn’t designed for it anyway.  At 15 yards, all of the shots were well within the center mass area of a man-sized target.  Slowing down a little allowed me to consistently place holes in the head at the same distance.

Taurus 740 SLIM magazine

The trigger is a single-action/double-action pull, meaning the first shot is single-action.  For every shot that cycles properly, the trigger pull will continue to be single action. If any round fails to fire, the gun reverts to a long double-action pull, offering the shooter a second chance to shoot the same round.

A number of manufacturers have claimed than most rounds that fail to fire the first time, will fire if you drop the hammer on them a second time.  I don’t know what kind of studies support those claims, but the Taurus passed this test during shooting.  I had several rounds that failed to fire, but fired on a second trigger pull.

Taurus 740

The single-action trigger pull was light and it felt like it ran about seven pounds.  The double-action pull was longer and felt like it was a little heavier.

I found two main problems with the 740: recoil was harsh and functioning was unreliable.

Recoil generated by a relatively high-pressure .40 S&W self defense load is not unsubstantial, especially out of a small, light handgun.  It is less punishing that other, higher-powered cartridges like the .357 Magnum.  However, it is nothing to sneeze at.  If you are at all recoil sensitive, you will probably not like shooting the Taurus 740.

Taurus SLIM 740

I can put up with quite a bit of punishing recoil, but after several hundred rounds in a single range trip, the gun really beats you up.  It would not be a fun gun to run through a training course.

Reliability is an absolute must with any firearm.  Sometimes, a gun needs a little time and running to break in.  Others will only function with certain kinds of ammunition.  Unfortunately, I found the Taurus 740 became less reliable with time and the problems did not appear to be ammo specific.

The first time I had the gun at the range, there were few problems.  The first time at bat for any gun is not a guaranteed home run, so a few hiccups are not unexpected.  However, after cleaning the gun and getting it back on the range, the frequency of problems increased.  A third cleaning and trip to the range did not solve the problems.  Nor did any ammo changes.

Taurus 740 Review

The problems I experiences were failures to feed, failures to extract, failures to fire and double feeds.  Problems were experienced with both magazines.  I had other people shoot the gun to see if anyone else could run the gun reliably – nope.  Everyone had problems.

The problems were relatively frequent – about one failure per magazine became the norm.  It was very frustrating and I could not identify the cause.  I held the gun loosely, firmly and with an iron grip.  Nothing seemed to positively impact the functioning.

Taurus 740 SLIM Ammo Testing

AmmunitionHigh (feet per second)Low (feet per second)Average (feet per second)Energy (foot-pounds)
Blazer Brass, 180 gr FMJ1078855909330
PMC Starfire, 180 gr JHP1008868955364
Speer Lawman, 155 gr TMJ10549651013353
Speer Gold Dot, 155 gr JHP125410351146452
Speer Gold Dot, 180 gr JHP896866879309
Winchester PDX1, 165 gr JHP1066917995362
Winchester White Box, 165 gr FMJ925873903299
Ammo testing from the first range day. Ammo shown is not representative of all of the ammo shot with regards to reliability, rather just the ammunition that was shot over the chronograph.

Shooting Chrony Beta Chronograph set up at 10' from the gun muzzle and tested outside with screens in place.

Taurus 740 Review Conclusions

I am in the unfortunate position of liking a gun that I cannot recommend.  The pistol ran well initially, but over time became unreliable.  It is too bad.  The Taurus 740 SLIM has a lot going for it.

The size of the gun is great for concealed carry; the sights and controls are easy to use.  The price is very affordable.

Taurus 740 SLIM review

Even with stout recoil, I would be happy to recommend this pistol if it ran well.  But it did not, so I cannot.  I do offer this caveat, however:  this is a review on merely one pistol the company made.  It is very possible I got a fluke gun, and all of the other 740 pistols run without any problems.

If you otherwise like the pistol and are willing to shoot a lot of ammo through it to make sure it runs properly, go for it.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a concealed carry pistol that you can be reasonably sure works out of the box you might want to pick something else.