Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Review
Part 3 - External & Operational Features
December 23, 2015

Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Review

In this part of my Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Review, I'm going to try to show and comment on the external and operational features of this pistol.  Keep in mind that these photos and video were taken prior to me ever firing any rounds which means the only shots fired were those by Taurus.

 

This video is my attempt at providing some YouTube content on this part of my review.  Sorry for the length, but I tend to get a little detailed.

This pistol is a single stack 7+1 capacity 9mm compact pistol with a polymer frame, blued finished carbon steel slide and stainless steel 3.26" barrel.  Overall I feel the pistol has an attractive appearance with the angled surfaces on the slide, frame and trigger guard.

Figure 1
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Iso View Front Left

Everyone has a different opinion on what makes a handgun attractive and I would put this in the categories of being simple, yet stylish.  With the single stack magazine, shortened grip and 3.26" barrel, this pistol also clearly falls within the compact category.

Figure 2
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Iso View Front Right

These next photos give you another view of the pistol.  Also, keep in mind that clicking on any photo will bring up a high resolution image allowing you to see greater details.  From these photos, you can see that this is a hammerless pistol which means it also falls within the striker-fired category.

Figure 3                                                         Figure 4
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Iso View Rear Right  Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Iso View Rear Left

These next few photos are the same ones from Part 2 and I like to also include them here so I have a complete set of photos on one page.

This pistol measures 0.97" across the slide and frame and 1.07" across the frame and manual safety.  When compared to something like the Ruger LC9, which comes in at about 0.90", the Taurus is slightly wider.  When compared to the S&W M&P9 Shield, the Shield comes in at 0.95", so the Taurus would be very similar.  The overall length of the Taurus measured about 6.20".

Figure 5
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Top

The height measured 4.54" with the flat base plate installed on the magazine.

Figure 6
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Right

Figure 7
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Bottom

   Figure 8                                                          Figure 9                                                            Figure 10
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Front  Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Left  Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Rear

The pistol weighed in at 1 lb. 3.0 oz. (19 oz.) empty and 1 lb. 6.2 oz. (22.2 oz.) with eight rounds of Hornady Critical Defense 115gr FTX ammunition.

Figure 11                                                              Figure 12
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Weight Empty  Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Weight Loaded

The pistol comes with a set of highly visible three dot sights which are made from some type of polymer material.

Figure 13
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Sights

The rear sight is adjustable in both windage and elevation which is not a feature found on all compact pistols.  The front screw on the right side of the rear sight is used for adjusting the windage and the rear screw is used for adjusting elevation.  The windage seemed to move in distinctive clicks or detents, while the elevation adjustment was more smooth.  I wasn't overly impressed with the feel of the elevation adjustment screw, but it seemed that once I got it sighted in that it should hold the zero.

             Figure 14                                                              Figure 15
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Rear Sight  Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Front Sight

I'm a fan of the three dot sight system, but it seemed like something was out of proportion with respect to dot location, height front sight and depth of rear notch.  I know this sounds a little nit picky, but if you align the top of the sights you get one point of aim and if you align the dots you get a slight higher point of aim.  For most people, they will develop a sight picture for this pistol and probably never notice the difference.  For me, I like the top of my sights all at the same height for my preferred sight picture.

Figure 16
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Sight Picture

This next photo gives you a look at the top of the rear sight along with the loaded chamber indicator in a position for an unloaded chamber.  It also gives you a look at the grooves on the side of the slide used for gripping when pulling the slide rearward.  The grooves had a good feel and were not overly aggressive, yet still allowed for a good gripping surface.

Figure 17
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Top of Slide

This next photo shows the loaded chamber indicator in the up position with a round inside the chamber.  The indicator gives you both a visual and tactile indication that a round is in the chamber.  At the rear of the slide below the sight on the right side is the gun lock feature called the "Taurus Security System®".

Figure 18
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Serrations

The key rings that come with the pistol include a tool (key) for adjusting the rear sight and locking the pistol.

Figure 19
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Lock

To lock the pistol, you must first make sure the pistol does not have a round in the chamber.  Next you will pull the trigger which takes you out of the single action mode.  Last you turn the tool (key) 1/2 turn clockwise until it stops.  The locking feature will rotate slightly out of the slide as shown below.  When the pistol is in the locked state, you cannot pull the trigger or pull the slide to the rear.

Figure 20
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Lock

On the left side of the pistol is the slide catch and manual safety.  The slide is also marked with the Taurus logo and "Made in Brazil."  The manual safety is shown in the "safe" position in the photo below.

Figure 21
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Manual Safety Engaged

In this next photo the manual safety is shown in the "fire" position.  I found it relatively easy to actuate the manual safety with the side of my thumb.  Disengaging the safety (pushing it down) seems easier that engaging the it (pushing it up) and I could see that someone with less hand strength may need to use more than just the side of their thumb to engage the safety.  I also found it easy to release the slide catch with the side of my thumb.

Figure 22
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Manual Safety Disengaged

The right side of the slide is marked with the model name "709 Slim", caliber "9mm", serial number, "Taurus Int'l Mfg" and "Miami, FL - USA".  This pistol has been designated as both the PT709 and 709 Slim at different times by Taurus.  I think the most recent designation is the Slim version.  The Instruction Manual indicates that this pistol is +P capable with SAAMI rated ammunition, but they don't recommend using it unless you need it or practicing with +P ammo because it may reduce the life of the pistol.  Also note that the serial number is marked on the barrel, slide and under the barrel on the frame (not shown).  On each side of the frame you can also see the end of the disassembly latch (more in Part 4).

Figure 23
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Markings

When you pull the slide to the rear, you can see the stainless steel barrel pivots slightly up similar to many pistols.  The barrel measured 3.26" from the breech face to the end of the barrel.  I have seen it advertised as 3.0", 3.2" and 3.3" which might seem a little confusing.

Figure 24
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Barrel

The picture below might be one of the best capturing the matte blued finish on the carbon steel slide.  The photo also gives you a good look at the trigger on this pistol which is one of the key features according to Taurus.  The trigger comes with a blade style trigger safety like many other pistols, but the trigger pull is fairly unique for a striker fired pistol.  Taurus advertises this as a SA/DA (Single Action / Double Action) trigger.  Your first thought might be that the double action would allow you to carry the pistol without the striker partially cocked.  This is not true because the only way to fire double action is after you have pulled the trigger in single action and the slide does not cycle.  If for some reason you had a light primer strike or a primer was much harder than normal, you could pull the trigger again to strike the primer again.  Maybe I have been lucky over the years, but I haven't had this to be the case on any of my striker fired pistols to date.  I'm sure there will be a time when this finally happens and having the capability to double strike the primer might be a very valuable feature.  Until then, I would consider the DA capability to be a neat feature, but I wouldn't get too hung up about it.  Also worth mentioning is that the pistol comes with a striker block which will prevent the striker from ever making contact with a primer unless the trigger is pulled.

Figure 25
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Front of Barrel

I measured the trigger pull in both the single and double action modes and it came in at 6.2 lbs in SA and 6.8 lbs in DA based on 10 pulls each with a Lyman Digital Trigger Pulls scale.  The Taurus spec states 5-7 lbs SA and 7-9 lbs DA and the pistol was easily within specification.

Figure 26
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Trigger

While taking the measurements midway up the trigger, I found it takes about 0.45" of travel to move the trigger to a point where you start feeling any significant pressure when in the single action mode.

Figure 29
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Trigger in Single Action

The trigger breaks at about 0.50" of total travel which gives about 0.05" of additional pull under force in the single action mode.

Figure 30
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Trigger at Break

It seems to reset at about 0.33" of travel which is about 0.17" in front of the break point which gives you a relatively short reset that can allow for faster shot times.  Overall I feel that this pistol has a good trigger for this style of handgun.

Figure 31
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Trigger at Reset

This next photo gives you a look at the breech face, fixed ejector, extractor and loaded chamber indicator.

Figure 32
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Breech Face

It is not completely apparent due to the round in the magazine in the photo below, but there is also a small ramp area on the metallic frame insert just below the highly polished ramp on the barrel.

Figure 33
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Feed Ramps

The polymer grip has checkering on all sides to allow for positive gripping.  I found the grip to be very comfortable in my hand and it had a really nice feel even without the use of a magazine extension.  These next photos also give you a good look at the magazine release.  The magazine release is very low profile and I doubt you would ever press it by accident.  With my long fingers I was able to press it with the side of the thumb joint, but I still preferred pressing it with the end of my thumb.  Each time I pressed the release, the magazine popped out without issue.  Taurus advertises this as a "reversible magazine release" and comes configured in right hand configuration, although they don't give you any instruction on how to switch the sides.

Figure 34                                           Figure 35                                           Figure 36
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Grip Front  Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Grip Side  Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Grip Rear

The front of the magazine well is slightly tapered to help with magazine insertion.

Figure 37
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Magazine Well

The 709 Slim came with a single magazine which has a black finish and you can see that it is clearly a single stack magazine.  Magazines are not cheap and will run you about $33.

Figure 38
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Magazine Front

The magazine holds 7 rounds and has holes on each side to show the number of rounds loaded.  The magazine also has a catch location on each side so that you can us it with both a right and left magazine release configuration.

Figure 39
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Magazine Left

Overall magazine construction appears to be like most on the market.

Figure 40
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Magazine Rear 

Figure 41
Taurus 709 Slim Pistol Magazine Right

I also picked up some Garrison Grip Taurus 709 Grip Extensions and show them in the video below.  These grip extensions add about 1" to the grip length allowing you to get a full perch of your little finger on the front of the grip.  This is one of the longest grip extensions on the market for this particular handgun and other grip extensions exist that are shorter and more suitable for someone with slightly smaller hands.

This next video gives you a look at the holster I purchased for this pistol.  The holster is from The Holster Store and is their Pro Carry LT Taurus 709 IWB Right Hand holster.  I was pleased with the fit of the holster after breaking it in according to their instructions and the overall quality looks like it should give years of service.

 

Thoughts

The Taurus 709 Slim compact pistol has a great feel, good trigger pull and I was pleased with the quality of this handgun.  If I could change one thing, I might have opted for metallic sights and tweaked the sight height ratio with respect to the top of the sights and the white dots.  Other than that, I think this is a good value single stack 9mm.  Accuracy and reliability will be evaluated in Part 5, but at this point I feel it was a great buy.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments below.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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