Monday, July 28, 2014

Taurus PT-145 Millennium Pro - First Impressions

The Great Procrastinator (who would be me) has finally gotten around to taking a decent look at my Taurus PT-145 Millennium Pro pistol in .45ACP. I guess it is about time, but not too bad for me since I picked it up in mid June earlier this year and this look omes sooner than for some of my other guns. I took a little more than a look at it today, I gave it a good cleaning too. Even though sold to me as new and unfired it needed to be cleaned prior to me firing it and no I have not fired it yet.

The asking price, on the label on the box, was $483.00. I got it at auction for $225.00. I seriously doubt that this pistol would have ever sold for the $483 asking price but who knows. As I write, there is currently a used one up for auction on Gunbroker that has a bid of $255 so far. Other used ones, without any bids yet, have required starting bids of anywhere from $175 to $425. I saw two listed as new in box with asking prices of $375 and the other at $495.99 with a buy it now price of $499.99. Go figure, it looks to me as if I got a pretty good price on mine but considering I had to leave it at the auction house, then get the necessary paperwork from my county PD and return to the auction house to pick it up that added a considerable mount to its cost. Still a good deal I suppose on the pistol itself.

The pistol comes in a black molded plastic box of the type without hinges, the plastic on back, where the hinge would be, acts as a hinge until bent enough times then usually breaks on this type of case. Same for the locking tabs on the front, no hinges just bendable plastic. The things included in the box were the pistol's papers consisting of a manual, a warranty registration card, an instruction sheet for the magazine loader. Accessories included in the box were a spare magazine, a magazine loader and two pistol lock keys for the built in pistol lock. Of course, the box also contained the pistol and an inserted magazine (total of 2 mags, both steel with polymer bottom, and both 10 rounders).

The pistol itself is a combination steel slide and polymer frame. The grip, to me seems to be on the smaller side as compared to other pistols I have shot with double-stack magazines. It is not so much that it is small overall but feels very narrow from its front of the grip to the portion of the backstrap where the webbing between your thumb and hand connects with the grip. Gives it kind of a funny feel at least to me but seems like it will be manageable. Time, a trip to the range, and shooting at least 250 rounds of ammo at the Seventh Annual Northeast Bloggershoot this weekend, should tell.

Taking the pistol down for cleaning was pretty straightforward and easy. It is also necessary to take it down for cleaning before shooting it if new. Take my word on that one because Taurus apparently filled it to the gills, so to speak, with a white and very thick protective grease; there was a good amount of it in there though relative to size not quite much as there would be Cosomoline in a Mosin Nagant rifle but maybe half that much relative to the sizes of each of those guns. I would imagine that if you took one of these right out of the box new and fired a couple to a few hundred rounds through it that you would wind up disappointed, because with all that goop in there it would, in my estimation, wind up failing to function sooner than later. Do yourself a favor and clean it before shooting it.

Disassembly consisted of taking out the magazine, assuring it was unloaded, locking the slide to the rear with the slide catch lever (their terminology), turning the disassembly catch clockwise, removing that latch, releasing the slide catch, pulling the slide forward while pulling on the trigger to remove the slide, removing slide spring and guide (again their terminology), and removing the barrel. Reassembly is basically done in reverse order. It was easier than a 1911 or a Ruger MKII, that's for sure.

The action is double action for the first shot, then single action for the ensuing shots. The trigger reset after each sot seems minimal and to me it felt surprisingly by feel but when I watched it function it seemed about average. If you let the trigger go fully forward after you pull it the first time in double action mode, you will find that there is very little resistance in pulling the trigger a second time once the gun recocks. If you are checking this without ammo in the gun, you need to action the slide after pulling the trigger in double action mode to get the effect so that the gun is now cocked in SA mode. The trigger pull necessary to fire in DA is on the lighter side as compared to other DA/SA pistols I have fired and the SA trigger pull also seems light to me. I am guessing around 5 pounds of tension required to get it to fire in SA mode but that is just my guess.

The rear sight on mine is the Heinie Straight Eight sight which apparently is a rear combat style, single dot sight, maybe adjustable for windage by way of drifting it. The front sight, also a Heinie, is a single dot sight that appears as if it may be adjustable by drifting it. Note I am not to sure on either sight being adjustable by drifting them so make sure to check with Taurus before trying to adjust them in any manner.

The barrel is blued at the front portion but unblued at the chamber. It is 3.35" long with a 1:12" rate of twist with 6 grooves. It is chambered for .45 ACP. With a fully loaded standard magazine and one round loaded in the chamber, this pistol holds 11 rounds (10/1). Note the this pistol has a built in locking device that when activated, with a key, makes it inoperable (not a feature I like at all in a self defense pistol). Overall length of the pistol is 6.125", height is 5.125", width is 1.25" and the weight is 22.2 ounces (I am guessing unloaded). Overall, the fit and finish appear to me to be at least very good. There were some sticking points when I tried to take of the slide during disassembly but I am hoping that is just because it is brand new (old stock); if that is a problem not due to the newness of the pistol but due to fitting or finishing of parts, that would drop my estimation of the pistol to a much lower level. As I said though, my guess is probably because it is brand new. The source of these specifications and more information about the Taurus PT145 Pro can be found at the following link: http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=39&category=Pistol

Note that this pistol is no longer in production. According to a check by serial number, on the Taurus website, mine was produced in 2011 and is the Taurus model PT145BP with no mention of Millennium Pro in there; however, the pistol is clearly marked that it is the PT-145 Pro on the left side of the slide and also clearly marked Millennium on the right side of the slide.

My first overall impressions, while not yet having fired it, is that this is a mid level to maybe somewhat high quality pistol in a mid budget price range that has a less than desirable addition of a built in locking device. Once I have fired it this weekend, I'll write up what I thought about its performance.

All the best,
Glenn B
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