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.
The SLIM is a thin, single-stack 9mm handgun that was developed for the concealed carry market.
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.
Since this Taurus 709 review was written, the company killed off the line. If you are interested in another compact pistol from Taurus, I recommend checking out the GX4 through our affiliate link.
Alternatively, I suggest taking a look at our reviews on the Walther PPS M2, Glock 43, Springfield Armory XD SubCompact and Smith & Wesson Shield.
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.
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.
Taurus 709 Magazines
As it came from the factory, the flush-fitting magazine holds seven rounds (plus one in the chamber) of 9mm ammo. Taurus included two of these magazines with each gun sold.
If you carried with one in the chamber (recommended) and the second magazine as a back-up, you could have 15 rounds available when carrying this gun. Considering the small size and weight of this pistol, that is a reasonable amount of firepower.
Taurus 709 SLIM extended magazines were also made for the pistol. These mags held 10-rounds. While they extended below the grip of the gun, they were fitted with a special base plate that allowed you to get a full hand on the pistol. This could be considered a win-win for a lot of people.
Check out all of the magazine options through our affiliate link here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Seemingly, they fixed one problem but caused another. Then they failed to call me back when I call them about it.
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.
Last update: August 29, 2021
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.
45 replies on “Taurus 709 SLIM Review – Bulging Cases & 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.
They went out of production
So they will go up in price,
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.
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.
These are out of production as of last year I have been told