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?
Since this review was written, Taurus discontinued the “SLIM” line that includes the 709 and 740 models.
If you are looking for a similarly sized pistol from Taurus, check out the GX4 through our affiliate link.
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.
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 made of 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.
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.
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.
There are a variety of Taurus PT 740 SLIM accessories on the market. Here is an overview of them.
Lasers make a good supplementary aiming tool on subcompact firearms. There are a couple of options for the PT 740 owner.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 than 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.
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.
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.
|Blazer Brass 180 gr FMJ||909 fps||330 ft-lbs|
|PMC Starfire 180 gr JHP||955 fps||364 ft-lbs|
|Speer Lawman 155 gr TMJ||1,013 fps||353 ft-lbs|
|Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP||1,146 fps||452 ft-lbs|
|Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP||879 fps||309 ft-lbs|
|Winchester PDX1 165 gr JHP||995 fps||362 ft-lbs|
|Winchester USA (white box) 165 gr FMJ||903 fps||299 ft-lbs|
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.
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 M2 and the Springfield XD-S are all reliable pistols that are thin and reasonably priced.
Last Update: August 29, 2021
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.
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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.