Taurus 740 SLIM Review: Handful of 40 Caliber Thunder

Taurus 740 SLIM

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 PT740 SLIM was not completely reliable, and recoil is rather harsh.

Let’s not waste any more time and jump into the review.

Product Update

This pistol has been discontinued. I have no specific information on why or if it was part of the class-action lawsuit against Taurus for guns that allegedly fired when dropped.

There are many single-stack pistols that serve as good alternatives to this pistol. You may wish to read some of the following reviews:

If you are a Taurus fan, I recommend against the Spectrum. However, the G2S seems to be getting good reports from some people.

General Features

The Taurus PT 740 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 40 cal SLIM slide is made of steel.  The frame is black and 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 in the Taurus SLIM 40.

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

Accessories

There are a variety of Taurus PT 740 SLIM accessories on the market. Here is an overview of them.

Lasers

Lasers make a good supplementary aiming tool on subcompact firearms. There are a couple of options for the PT 740 owner.

Crimson Trace

Crimson Trace is the premier laser maker for small arms, and the company’s LG-447 is the best option for the Taurus 740 pistol. The unit costs more than the LaserLyte unit below, but, in my opinion, is a much better product and worth the extra money.

taurus pt740 laser and holster

The laser mounts to the front of the trigger guard and has an instinctive activation switch that integrates with the grip. When you firmly grasp the gun, the laser comes on. Loosen your grip and the laser shuts off.

If you pocket carry, take a look at this version of the LG-447 laser. It comes with a fitted pocket holster.

LaserLyte

The LaserLyte TGL is a good laser, though it is not nearly as elegant a solution as the Crimson Trace option above. However, in my testing of the LaserLyte TGL, it proved reliable. Additionally, it is comparatively cheap.

laserlyte laser for pt 740

The big downside is that LaserLyte appears to have discontinued it. There are still some for sale on Amazon here, but I don’t know how many the company has in stock. If this is the laser you want for the PT 740, I’d recommend buying sooner rather than later.

Magazines

Magazines are one of the primary failure points for a semi-automatic pistol. It is always a good idea to have four or five spare magazines for any gun you rely on. While the PT 740 comes with a pair of flush-fitting 6 round magazines, I’d suggest picking up at least two more.

Something else you might want to consider is the extended, 8 round Taurus PT740 magazine that the company also makes for this pistol. While this magazine is tougher to find, it might be just the ticket for carrying as a spare mag. The base plate includes an extension of the grip which can help with the gun’s recoil.

Weapon Lights

Unfortunately, there are currently no options for a weapon-mounted light on the Taurus SLIM.

Your best bet is to pick up a handheld light and learn to work the gun with a separate light. For a very compact light, I like the Streamlight ProTac 1AA. For a little larger (and a lot brighter,) I’ve found the best flashlight for the money is the Streamlight ProTac HL. Click the above links to see my reviews on them.

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 long 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 experienced 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 functioning.

Ammunition Testing

AmmunitionHigh (fps)Low (fps)Average (fps)Energy (ft-lbs)
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

Performance measured with a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph at an approximate distance of 15' from the muzzle of the pistol. All measurements are an average of five shots.

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. The Glock 43, Smith & Wesson Shield, Walther PPS and the Springfield XD-S are all reliable pistols that are thin and reasonably priced.

Disclosures

I value you, the reader, far more than any company or manufacturer. Therefore, I fully disclose all possible conflicts of interest when I review a gun or other product.

This gun was loaned to be by Taurus for the purposes of testing it and writing a review on it. I approached them with the request for a 740 review, and they have not paid or offer to pay any money for the publication of this article. Taurus asked for no special consideration, and the company received none. At the end of the testing period, the gun was returned to them.

I do not have any financial interest in any company associated with the shooting industry.

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.

Questions and suggestions are always welcome. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. I aim to make this the best review site on guns on the internet.

TL;DR

The Taurus PT 740 Slim is a subcompact .40 caliber pistol designed for self-defense. Recoil is harsh, and my sample proved unreliable. I recommend looking at another gun such as the Smith & Wesson Shield or the Walther PPS M2.

28 replies on “Taurus 740 SLIM Review: Handful of 40 Caliber Thunder”

I have had the PT740 ‘Slim’ for a couple of years now and used it as a concealed carry until recently. It is NOT a fun piece to use for any long period of time at the range for fun-firing because of the recoil…which is to be expected.
But the reason(s) I would not recommend this weapon is it’s unreliability and the failure of the manufacturer to correct what appears to be an inherent design flaw. The recoil spring is under-designed to take the abuse of the elevated .40 recoil and could fail when you need it the most.
Compounding this, when I called the Taurus facility in Miami and explained my problem they identified the issue as the recoil spring but they didn’t have any in stock. That was almost three months ago and still do not have any. I call every other week and get the same song and dance.
Save your money…it’s an unreliable cheap piece manufactured in South America with poor American customer service.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I was hoping that the company was improving customer service after talking to them for an extended period of time at the SHOT Show. Based on your experience, however, it sounds like things have not changed.

-Richard

Had this one for several years and it’s my daily carry love the feel and size, well last night I shot a deer,it was down for 5-10 minutes so I got my tractor to go dress it etc,,,,a coyote was near it and wouldn’t leave so I drew the 40, didn’t fire,no pull weight on trigger manually reloaded several times same thing, next day cleaned it wasn’t bad,ok reasembled, still nothing, wiggled trigger safety got one snap cap fire, nothing again, fooled around with trigger safety and deassembly button back to working,,,,,,no way I can have a unreliable hanging,,,,,do not buy

I haven’t had any problems out of mine except for one that dropped it in the dirt here in Florida I’ve never dropped a firearm before I was seriously embarrassed but after cleaning rigorously it has never failed me one but my wife calls it her black dragon and she’s happy with it I don’t believe it would fail her in a time of need. But I do believe I will downsize her to 9 millimeter next year the Taurus does have an awful recoil Springfield sounds good

Hi Robby,

I’m glad to hear yours is working well for you guys. Yep, the .40 can be quite snappy during recoil. I’ve tried the XD-S line and really like those guns. Another one you might be interested in is the Walther PPS M2. The PPS M2 surprised me with how much I really like shooting it. Thanks for reading and taking the time to post your experiences.

-Richard

Strange, fired nearly 1000 rounds, NO failures. Last outing my wife shot 100 rounds with an instructor and she was deadly at double taps. She normally shoots R LCP 380, The 740’a added size, she didn’t notice increased recoil. The instructor, former Police and Police range instructor also carries a 740.

My PT740 came out of the box with a severely pitted barrel. Taurus drug their feet, wouldn’t return my calls, and after returning the gun for a replacement barrel that takes 30 seconds, they told me 12 WEEKS if I’m lucky! It’s been 8 so far and no word at all. I now see why they were dumping the guns on the market for under 2 “Franklins”. SCCY-CPX-2 twice the gun for the same money.

I have had mine for almost 3 years now and I guess I got the only good one in the batch. I have fired 2500 rounds or so threw it and have had no issues up to this point. It is not my primary weapon of choice but it is great for canceled carry at more public events where my XD tends to stand out and draw more attention. As for customer service I have not had to deal with them. The store I shop at has its own smith on site and they tend to deal with manufactures when an issue arises. As everyone else has said the recoil will get to you after a few rounds but is to be expected with the .40 coming out of such a small frame. It packs a punch. The only complaint I do have is my hand is kind of big so I have to add the extension to the mags. Other than that I have had a good experience with mine.

Had mine for nearly 5 years now it was my first pistol and still is my CCW . Never have had any issues with it other then the recoil of course it is quite harsh. I have fired thousands of rounds through it, have had multiple people fire it including my kids and NEVER had any issues. I love this firearm I would recommend it.

I’ve got 2 of these. They seem to work for me. I was skeptical when I bought the first one. Price so low.. my advice is to try all sorts of guns buy the one that is right for you. I can afford pretty much anything on the market but this one turned out well for me. Cc it with in the waste band alien gear holster. Best set up for me in 20 years. I’ve got concerns about reliability. But have not seen any. Nice little pop gun.

Hi Alex,

Sounds like you got a good pair of 740s. This review is from when the gun first launched, so it is likely the company worked out the issues I experienced.

Just curious – what carry ammo are you using? I’ve had good luck with the Speer Gold Dot 155gr JHP in my other pistols, but none of them have a barrel as short as the 740. The lot I tested in this gun had a very wide velocity spread (more than 200 fps) that surprised me.

-Richard

I have 740 and 709 and carry both . I put the pierce grips on both and no recoil problems at all. Have run hundreds of rounds thru them no problems. Also I use pcm starfire ammo. I will continue to purchase Taurus firearms forever they are that reliable…

Hi Clay,

Glad to hear you have a pair of Taurus pistols that are reliable. It seems that the second generation 709 and 740 have a much better track record than the original guns did.

I haven’t heard about the PMC Starfire ammo since the company brought in back in 2017. It’s too bad they never loaded it to its full potential. Tom Burcynski is certainly known for great bullet designs, and I suspect that if PMC loaded the rounds to faster velocities you would see more consistent expansion of the rounds.

Best,

Richard

I purchased a Taurus PT 740 cal.40 and I need to know exactly what type of bullets my gun takes. Thank You.

Hi Darrell,

The Taurus PT740 is chambered for the .40 S&W cartridge. This is a common handgun cartridge and any local gun shop should be able to help you with finding the correct ammunition for it.

Best,

Richard

Have owned a PT 740 for probably 5 years now. Love the size. I have put approximately 2200 rounds through it with not a single malfunction. It feels / functions exactly as I expected. There is a definite ‘snap’ to the weapon which was consistent with every other compact or subcompact .40 I have owned. Sights were accurate out of the box. Admittedly, I am religious about maintenance so it is cleaned consistently and NOT over oiled. That may or may not be an issue with some owners. This weapon is better maintained like a Glock (dry) than a Beretta (oiled) due to its design. Any moisture or oil around firing pin will cause malfunctions over time. Would recommend it for a CCW.

I’ve had my 740 for 5 year and put close to 10,000 rounds through it from cheep ammo to expensive and had no issues with reliability…its my everyday carrier and put my and my families life on it . Deffently not the funniest pistol i own to shoot though …extremely snappy

Bought my 740 roughly 6 years ago I don’t even have a good idea of how many rounds I put through it but it’sALOT. As far as reliability I’ve never had one mishap fail to fire or fail to cycle. When I bought it I bought it solely due to the price. Trigger definitely takes some getting used to. Like any pistol I find pistol accuracy is generally up to the users more than the gun. I know when I first started shooting it The Recoil was rough enough that it made me develop a flinch which obviously destroyed accuracy. I did find however that shooting a lighter self defense round like a Hornady was very helpful on mitigating recoil. My 740 has been my daily carry since I bought it and God forbid the day ever come that I need it I 100% trust it to do what I need it to do to protect my family and I.

Hello
I have had my 740 for over 7 years and have put well over 5,000 rounds through it without a single failure, the recoil is harsh and if your wrist is not locked you will get a failure to feed or eject, so if your wrist gets tired than this is to much gun for you,and you should try the 709. this is a great gun for cc and range. Just keep it clean and your wrist locked

I shot close to 2k rounds out of mine still shoots like new and the recoil is nice to me not much of a kickback my 10 year old daughter loves to target practice with me and she handles it just fine I think it’s like most other guns you get some good ones and some bad ones best 9mm I shot so far

ive had pt740 slim now for 5yrs atleast and its my beast.. ive bragged and bragged about it,shot atleast 1,000 rds and not one hiccup.Ive run i know 5 diff brands of ammo thru her and perfect..i carry my Taurus more than my glock or Springfield because of concealment.ive had the pt380 as well and same thing as .40… my girlfriend and i have ran atleast 500 rds thru and not 1 hiccup.one last thing,ive dropped,fell between my seats of truck,thrown in range bag and just 100% used,played with rough and is def on my waist 90% time,pt740slim.
thanks,DARYL

I’ve had one now for about 5 years and for the first 8 months I dropped mine just about once a week fully loaded and it never fired once. It kept coming out of the holster and after fixing that then the holster didn’t stay in place and it kept hitting the pavement. Finally had a custom holster made and haven’t dropped it since. After reading about the gun’s potential to discharge when dropped and it’s reputation of not always being reliable makes me wonder if I got a good one that doesn’t fire when dropped or a bad one that doesn’t reliably fire consistently.

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