Taurus 709 SLIM Review – Bulging Cases and Broken Sights

Taurus 709 SLIM review

Evaluating a new gun is normally a fun activity. But, this Taurus 709 SLIM review turned into a headache.

It didn’t start that way, mind you.  In fact, I was excited to get this little pistol to test.

But once on the range, things went downhill and never got better.

Before I give you the details on what went wrong, let me describe the pistol first.

Quick Note

Since I wrote this Taurus 709 review, the company discontinued the pistol. If you are looking for a small, single-stack 9mm pistol, there are some very good alternatives on the market. Here are some reviews of other guns I recommend:

General Information

The SLIM is a thin, single-stack 9mm handgun that was developed for the concealed carry market.

The Taurus 709 magazine holds seven rounds (plus one in the chamber) of 9mm and is rated for +P ammunition.  The gun comes with a second magazine, which allows you to have 15 rounds available (eight plus a reload) when carrying this gun.  Considering the small size and weight of this pistol, that is pretty good.

The barrel is 3″ long, and the overall length of the gun is double that at 6″.  Unloaded, the 709 weighs in at 19 ounces.  Part of the reason the gun is so light is that it has a polymer frame.

Taurus 709

There are two versions of the Taurus 709 SLIM being sold.   One has a matte black slide and carries a suggested retail price of $349.  The second Taurus pistol has a matte stainless steel finish on the slide and sports an MSRP of $513.  I had the stainless steel slide version for this review.

Unlike some of the other CCW guns currently being sold, the 709 SLIM is large enough to be easily used.  Although thin, the grip is still large enough to get most of your hand on it (the pinky tends to hang off of the bottom) and the controls are easily reached and manipulated.

The sights are also large enough to be easily seen, though they are somewhat smaller than what you would find on a larger pistol.  The rear sight is fully adjustable using an included screwdriver.

In general, I do not like adjustable sights on defensive handguns, as they tend to be more susceptible to damage in my experience.  Unfortunately, this wound up being the case during this Taurus 709 review.  Scroll down to see what happened to these sights.

Taurus 709 Review

The gun uses a single-action/double-action trigger pull.  This means that once a round is chambered, the gun will be in single-action mode.  Only if a round fails to fire will the 709 reverts to a double-action mode.  In theory, this gives the shooter the “second strike” capability.

In other words, if the round fails to go “bang,” just pull the trigger again and it might shoot that time.  The system works, but I don’t know what value it has in a combat situation. This is the same trigger system that Taurus uses in the PT24/7 line of handguns.

Although it is not really needed to carry the gun safely in SA mode, the pistol does have a frame-mounted safety on the left side of the 709.  Down is fire, and up is safe.  A bright red dot is one the frame, which gives the shooter a visual indication that the gun is ready to shoot.

The Taurus 709 SLIM is pretty slick on the outside and doesn’t have a lot of sharp edges or angles to catch on clothing or flesh when carried and drawn from concealment.  The inside of the slide has a number of sharp edges suggesting a less-refined machining process. None will cut you when cleaning it.

Taurus SLIM 709

As far as cleaning goes, this pistol field strips just like a Glock pistol.  Push down on the bar running through the frame and under the ejection port to remove the slide, barrel and recoil spring assembly.

As I mentioned above, the Taurus 709 magazine holds seven rounds.  The mag is flush-fitting, and it drops free without any problems.  Since the frame is relatively short, many people will probably experience the dominant hand’s pinky curling under the gun rather than providing any real grip on the gun.  It would be nice to have an extended Taurus 709 SLIM magazine that added a round or two and gave that pinky a little purchase on the gun.  Unfortunately, no one makes such a thing right now.

The 709 has two safety mechanisms to satisfy the nanny state folks.  The first is a loaded chamber indicator on top of the gun.  When a round is chambered, a small piece of metal levers up from the slide.  While I never had any issues with it, I am always worried about something protruding from my pistol that doesn’t need to be there.

Taurus 709 for sale

The other safety device is an internal lock that renders the entire gun inoperable   The locking mechanism is inside the slide assembly and is activated from the right side of the frame.

The gun ships with two keys for the lock.  I did not experience any problems with the locking mechanism, but I strongly dislike having unnecessary parts in a gun.  It just adds more points of potential failure.

Overall, I really liked this pistol before I headed out to the range.  But once there…

Range Time – First Try

I took the 709 SLIM to a nearby shooting club that lets me run a chronograph on their outdoor range.  Unfortunately, once I got there a Florida rainstorm rolled in.  The rain was not enough to keep me from shooting, but it did preclude me from setting up the chronograph.  So, I do not have any ammo velocities to share with you.

The SLIM shot fairly well and was pretty accurate.  It had a couple of failures to feed in the first 100 rounds, which is not terrible for a brand new gun.  The next 100 rounds were flawless.

Taurus 709 SLIM review

Recoil was sharp, but the Taurus 709 SLIM was still very controllable.  After 200 rounds I was ready to take a break.

Picking up my brass, I observed some significant case bulges from the ammo.  I checked, and the bulges appeared on all of the ammo I shot: +P and standard pressure and all brands.  Concerned, I discontinued shooting the pistol.

I took the 709 home and field stripped it for cleaning.  I did not see any obvious problems when cleaning the gun, so I figured I better contact Taurus and ask about the bulges.  That is when the next problem happened.

When attempting to re-assemble the pistol, the slide -somehow- got hung up on the barrel and frame:  the whole system was jammed up.  It was the damnedest thing I have ever seen.  Somehow the recoil spring was working to exert pressure to keep the slide and barrel jammed against the frame.  The system was stuck in a half-on/half-off position and nothing I could do (within reason) seemed to help.

Taurus “Repair” & Broken Sights

I contacted Taurus customer service to make use of the company’s lifetime repair policy.  I was instructed to print off a repair form and send the pistol in, which I did.

About a month later, I got the pistol back.  The slide was unstuck, but now there was a new problem:  the rear sight was broken.

I kid you not:  Taurus broke the rear sight fixing the gun and sent it back to me in that manner.  Ugh.

Taurus Warranty

I looked at the included paperwork from the service department hoping for some sort of explanation:  either for the original case bulge problem or for the broken sight.

Taurus Broken

For “Problem Found,” the explanation given was “PART BROKEN.”  For “Resolution,”  the response was “REPLACED.”  Seriously – that was the sum total of the explanation.  A call to the service department for information on the repair and the now broken sight got me a phone tree and a voice mail.  I never received any return call from Taurus, nor any kind of explanation.

Taurus 709 Invoice

Range Time – Second Try

Well, even with a broken rear sight, I took the Taurus 709 SLIM back out to the range to see if the case bulges were still showing up.  Fortunately, that problem seemed to have been fixed.  I put another 100 rounds through the gun, and got no additional case bulges.

Final Thoughts on the Taurus 709

Every manufacturer occasionally makes a defective product.  I don’t care who you are or what you make, sometimes one slips past the quality control folks and makes it into the wild.  This Taurus 709 SLIM may have been just that – the oddball gun that is the exception, not the rule.  When something like this happens, it gives me the chance to evaluate the customer service department and how well a company stands behind its products.

Taurus 709

Unfortunately, Taurus did not live up to my expectations when it came to warranty work.  Yes, they seemed to have fixed the case bulge problem, but they failed to provide ANY kind of explanation regarding what the problem was.  In fact, I never was able to talk to anyone about the repair.

They also got the slide un-stuck (I am still clueless about what happened,) but they sent back a gun with a broken sight.  This is completely unacceptable.  The fix one problem but cause another.  Then they failed to call me back when I call them about it.

Taurus SLIM

The bottom line is this:  After the case bulge fix, the gun seemed reliable.  But it wasn’t terribly accurate since the company broke the rear sight.  Since the company never fixed the broken sight, I cannot recommend the Taurus products at this time based on their warranty.  The guns might work, but you better hope you never have to send one back for service.

I’ve had numerous problems with Taurus pistols and cannot recommend them at this time. Feel free to read my reviews on the Spectrum and 740 handguns.

If you are looking for a subcompact 9mm for concealed carry, I recommend several other guns including the:

Taurus safety

Disclosure

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Some of the links on this page and site are affiliate links to companies like Amazon and Palmetto State Armory. These links take you to the products mentioned in the article. Should you decide to purchase something from one of those companies, I make a small commission.

The links do not change your purchase price. I do not get to see what any individual purchases.

Taurus safety on

Taurus 709 SLIM

Taurus 709 magazine

Taurus 709 SLIM

37 replies on “Taurus 709 SLIM Review – Bulging Cases and Broken Sights”

I bought a new one from Shoot Straight in FL about 1-1/2 years ago (2017), and put about 100-150 rounds through it. Even with the rear sight ratcheted full to the left, the gun would not center on the target (verified with a laser sighting tool). I took it out to the range a couple days ago and started shooting standard (not +P) 124 gr FMJ factory loads through it (5 rounds in mag). Between the first and fifth round, the slide cracked, from the top of the slide down through the thumb rest, and nearly to the trigger guard, on the right side. Discussed with Taurus – said to ship it back for review, but will take at least 12 weeks to get back to me – WOW! Third Taurus handgun for me, but never again. Revolver had misaligned sights; first auto had no problems, just too large for my hands.

Shot tons of pistols an for the price its been most accurate an no issues shooting an never jammed I’ve shot probably 1k rounds an still shoots like it did on 1st an that was perfect.

I bought a taurus 709 slim 9mm for my wife and I have the same problem with the cartridge bulge problem also. I talked to Taurus about this problem also they wanted $50.00 just to look at it and blamed it on the ammo. Long story short I never sent it in and bought Sigs instead. I’ll never buy another Taurus. I should be able to run any brand ammo through any gun without problems. If I were to carry this for a EDC I would be dead if I got in a gunfight for a malfunctioning product.

Hi Benjamin,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Taurus has a new CEO and sent out an e-mail yesterday acknowledging the poor customer service that many people have experienced. Hopefully with a new boss and crew (they just relocated to south Georgia from Miami) they can turn things around.

Thanks for reading!

-Richard

I Have My 709 for about 6 yrs and have not had any of the Failures mentioned I also have 111g2 & G2c, with no Problems , I Have heard of the Taurus nightmare stories about C/S , I believe the New CEO wants to Clean up, Maybe that’s why they Moved to GA, Miami Can be Dreadful as far as any C/S, Just Rude & Nasty They Had to do something if they were going to survive, and I have Heard that the Company is Stepping Up their service , Just wish they would sell the Needed parts , I do My own work , if I have to send My 200,00 gun in and wait 12 weeks to get it back? I’m Looking at another gun from another company I Live in Fl, But not from Fl,

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