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

GunsHolstersAndGear.com is an independent, for-profit website. I do not charge readers a dime to access the information I provide.

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”

After reading this the only thing attractive about it is it’s cheap. $169 on classic firearms. Maybe if it goes on sale to $129, maybe.

I had an occurrence as you mentioned with the slide sticking in the back, or partially back position. I won’t mention the firearm make since it is irrelevant. What is relevant is the Ammo shot through it that caused a “bulged barrel”. When the occurrence happened to me I was at the range shooting .380 caliber shells. After a few shots in a mag capacityof about 8 a round sounded more like a firecracker or a ladyfinger than a bullet. The shell casing had jammed upon exit. I removed the jammed case and manually loaded the next. Unfortunately I failed to inspect the bore for instructions. The projectile was apparently still in the bore because when the next shot was fired the slide locked in the back position. Nothing I new of would free it. I sent it back to the manufacturer for warranty repair and was told it was a bulged Barrel. The manufacturer didn’t want to fix it but after a debate they agreed to fix it one time for me. I said apparently a projectile was left in the barrel when I another shot was fired. The scene oriole makes sense since the shot before it sounded like a firecracker and I shot immediately following cause the slide lock. The moral of the story is always check the bore far obstruction after a misfire.

Never rely on any ammunition to be perfect. A million or more rounds a year and you expect no flaws? I had a new Glock 17 and had the same thing happen. I was paying attention. If it doesn’t feel right, or sound right, it isn’t right. I cleared my pistol and forced the bullet out with a brass rod and mallet. It was stuck just forward of the chamber. So much for using plus P primers with rounds loaded by someone else. (they were guaranteed by the gun shop for timed ccw qualification). No (NO) other rounds were guaranteed including the new ammo in the shop. I don’t shop there anymore in spite of their range indoors. It was unsupervised and way too many people (1 is too many) turning their pistols parallel to the firing line to clear or chamber a new round.

I bought mine in May of 2017 and havn’t had a bit of problem it so far. I am not a fond lover of semi-auto pistols, more of a wheel gun guy. I had the mag release changed over to to other side because I am a southpaw and I also took some Florescent orange paint and changed ti sight color.

I have put 1200 as of today I average 100 rds per day in any weapon i carry. maybe it’s not the weapon. I know 3 others that carry this weapon concealed one is LEO and prefers this over his glock.

Thanks for reading and sharing your experiences with the 709.

I’m not sure what you mean by “maybe its not the weapon.” Bulged cases are not generally considered a shooter induced error, and the problem was acknowledged and fixed by Taurus.

Thanks again for reading.

-Richard

Maybe not the shooter, not weapon
Ever considered the ammo at error

Are you still using the Ammo you used the first time

This is an old model. Smaller ejection port. Doesn’t have the G2 extractor. 2 frame pins. The updated this pistol twice since this model. I own a 2017 model. Runs flawless even with steel casings.

Thank you for posting your comments.

This review was written when the gun shown was new. I’m glad to hear the company improved the gun to make it more reliable. There have been numerous management changes since this gun was introduced, so I am hopeful the company is improving its design and QC methods to ensure any new gun introduction goes smoothly.

-Richard

Mine is a 2015 model that shoots and doesn’t stop shooting, I even carry it more than half the year. I own Glock, Walther, Beretta, Sig, S&W ect. ect. It’s a great, cheap, accurate and reliable pistol. I recommend it to everyone.

Do you try and write a letter to their corporate headquarters about the broken sight? This will usually get the problem addressed very quickly. I know that someone should not have to go through a hassle like this but sometimes an action like this provides a change in the company’s culture regarding customer service. Having worked in sales and customer service for over 30 years, I have seen first hand corporate representatives kick some butt at the divisional level.

Bought a PT 709 Slim at Brownell’s in Grinnell, IA. Very first round jammed in the bore. Steel case, hollow point. An hour and a half to clear the jammed round, switched out to brass case ball. First round fed, fired and ejected, second round wouldn’t feed. Not one round of any kind of ammo would feed. Totally inoperable. Called Brownell’s. They said “bring it in, we’ll exchange it straight up.” Did so. New gun, took it to the range, fed fired ejected every single round of every type ammo I put in it. Since then I’ve put hundreds of rounds through it without a single failure of any kind. Pair it with an alien gear OWB holster and carry it all day every day. Love it.

Thanks for a clear and frank review. I just purchased a PT709 Slim, and within the first 50 rounds, my gun jammed as you had describe. I just sent it of to Taurus and after reading your comments about the damaged return, I will be paying especially close attention to it. I normally purchase higher quality weapons, but as it was for my wife (she liked the way it felt in her hand), I fall back to the age old axiom, you get what you pay for.

I purchased my PT709 Slim as a backup to my duty weapon. After wearing the pistol on my ankle in a Galco ankle holster for several days, I realized that the rear sight, made of plastic, was broken, probably from lightly bumping into a chair leg. I was never able to get a response of any kind from Taurus. I carried a Taurus 38 as a backup and undercover weapon for years and absolutely loved the gun. I can’t say the same for the PT709. Due to the non-response from Taurus I have no intention of replacing this pistol with another Taurus.

I too have the PT709 Slim. Can’t say I would recommend it either. When I first purchased it, I was using standard load 115 grain ball. I put a good 200 rounds through it. Lots of jamming. I changed out the rounds to the heavier Luger 135 grain +P Duty ammo. I was still getting rounds jamming about one every 10-15 shots. I then took the gun apart and oiled the rails heavily (I live in the desert, so not ideal). It reduced the jamming to about 1 or 2 per box of 50. This gun may wear in eventually, but for now I can’t rely on it for protection.

Sorry, Doug,
Mine so far has worked fine in both Montana climates and Nevada, one extreme to the other in temperature. No problems. Only ammo tested was ball, 115, from several manufacturers. Avoid the company that has a base in Boulder City/Henderson, Nevada. I was loading a mag without looking at the ammo and one round did not feel right. I looked down and it looked slightly thicker. It was a 10 mm with 49 9 mm. I have fired ammo from military factories, both in the U.S. and Europe and have had occasional problems. As for reloads, neither my sons nor I use ammo reloaded by someone else unless it is proven in front of our eyes. I have had propellent-less cases from the factory and from “approved” gunshop ammo reloads. One could have damaged my new pistol, but unlike the man further up, I follow the motto of “If it don’t feel right, sound right, and act right”, it isn’t right.
When my pistol did not make the proper bang noise, I did not squeeze the trigger again. Beware of plus P primers. They are powerful enough to fire the bullet, but not to get it further than a short ways ahead of the chamber. They also can make the slide partially operate and eject the old case. So, anyone trusting any ammunition completely is making a mistake. In my ccw carry ammo, I weigh each round on a digital readout scale. If they are not on the money in weight or short significantly, it does not get fired, let alone put in my pistol. Add this to bad primers and any ammunition at all, reloaded or new from the factory can, as Clint Eastwood said, “Make your day.” (a final one)

I think it was you not the gun. I also think most of the negative comments are from you or people you had make them. Because they are similar almost like a copy paste and very robotic.

PT-709: bulging casing PLUS …. using Winchester standard load FMJ Ammo, one jammed so bad in the chamber, it took two people to remove …. one pulling the slide while the other tapped the spent casing with a screwdriver, gradually eased it out. I’ve never gotten off the range without some failure. FTE, and stovepipes… I found that after loading the magazine, I tap it to settle the rounds against the back of the magazine, and have less problems. This was to have been my primary carry.

Why no picture of all the bulged cases? I have two PT709s and a PT111 G2C, and all have worked flawlessly through thousands of rounds of good ammo. Not the cheap stuff.

I bought the 709 slim in 2014
I have had no problems
Either you were unlucky, or I was lucky
Tbd

Have not had to contact them for any problems

The only thing I had, was as you said too small a magazine

I did find the 8 round version of mag on line, but always sold out, took forever to find an extra 7 rd mag..

Finally found one last Oct.

As of now, parts and mags are going to get rare, they quit production last year, and moved on to a new model

I bought a 709 slim this year and it is flawless, over 600 rounds through it and shoots perfectly. Love the gun, the fit and finish is not what you get in a 5-600 dollar cc weapon but this little bad boy 9mm is as reliable as any semi-auto I have shot. I think Taurus has “developed” this gun from its first production series to presently be a very reliable shooter. JMHO

First, If you feel the need to use +P ammo, just use a larger caliper to boost your manhood. +P ammo is just undue abuse of the firearm. That being said, I’ve had my 709 since 2010 and thousands of rounds through it. It shares carry time with my S&W 3913. I’ve never had an issue with any defense ammo, but I did have feeding and stovepiping issues with FMJ practice ammo. Since I reload, I was able to eliminate those issues and increase accuracy by reducing the OAL from 1.169″ to 1.135″ with 115gr Montana Gold FMJ, 4.6gr HP-38/W- 231. YMMV

Hi Tommy,

Thanks for taking the time to read the article and post your thoughts.

While you may consider the use of +P ammunition as a substitute for phallus size, it is factually not. 9mm +P ammunition is a SAAMI specification and not a randomly applied label used by marketing folks. +P+, however, is a wild card with no SAAMI standard.

Since you handload, I suspect you already know that velocity is one of the tools used when developing a load to ensure penetration and hollowpoint expansion to meet whatever goals you have for that load. When all other things are held constant, an increase in pressure generally results in an increase in velocity.

Shooting from short barrel guns like the Taurus 709 will generally cause bullets to leave the muzzle with less than optimum velocities for their designed duty. Increasing the velocity through the use of higher pressure rounds – that are still fully within SAAMI spec – is one such way of ensuring proper penetration and expansion.

Take a look at the Speer Gold Dot like of defensive ammunition. It is a well respected brand with years of verifiable “street results” that has shown it to be effective at topping violent attackers. I doubt anyone would refer the the line as a gimmick. As it turns out, Speer specifically makes short barrel 9mm ammo for guns just like the 709. That load is a +P.

Consider the .38 Special and .357 Magnum. Fire the same 158 gr SWC-HP from a 2-3″ barrel, but one loaded as a .38 Special and the other as a .357 Magnum, and which do you suspect will achieve a higher likelihood of stopping an attacker? Well, anecdotal evidence suggests the Magnum. So do many of the ballistic gelatin tests. The difference between the two is higher pressure in the Magnum that correlates with a higher bullet velocity.

Velocity alone does not stop an attacker. But, it is a tool to get maximum performance out of a hollow point bullet.

You do make a good point – higher pressures do result in faster wear on the gun. However, how much more wear on the gun? According to SAAMI, the Maximum Average Pressure of a 9mm round should be 35,000 PSI or less. For a 9mm +P round only 3500 PSI more. Is the extra 3,500 PSI causing that much wear? I doubt there would be any noticeable wear difference on a quality firearm with several thousand rounds through it.

Certainly concerns about pressure increases are valid. Many people are old enough to recall problems with running a lot of .357 Magnum through medium frame revolvers. But the pressure differences there were much larger – 17,000 PSI for .38 Special, 20,000 PSI for .38 Special +P and the huge jump to 35,000 PSI for .357 Magnum.

A 10% pressure increase going to 9mm +P is significant, yet pales in comparison to the more than 100% pressure increase when moving to the .38 to .357. Yet, it is the “institutional memory” of the accelerated .357 Magnum wear that influences people today – even when they don’t realize it.

You may disagree, and that’s ok. But, I think it is a bit unfair to use an anti-gunner technique of questioning someone’s manhood over +P ammo.

It sounds like you worked out a good load for your 709. Based on the feedback from more recent 709 purchasers, it sounds like the company may have worked out the bugs I experienced in the gun. I hope so.

Anyway, thanks for reading and posting.

Best,

Richard

THE 709 is very accurate , Its maker if on his toes created a masterpiece of a firearm. Yes plastic on weapons is not good but price wise in cost to us we live with it. After all we are not going to war with it , just sleeping with it. Yes the one
I have works thank God.

I got one made in 2016 with the newer extractor and I have fired about 200 rounds maybe more or less through it. I have not had any problems with bulging cases or failure to feeds or misfeeds. However I have had problems with the sights coming out of adjustment. But other than that I can still hit well with it and the finish has held up very well after carrying it for two years.

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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