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If you’re looking for a slim and lightweight pistol that is easy to conceal, the Taurus 709 Slim may be just what you’re searching for. This semiautomatic handgun has a sleek design and 7+1 capacity, making it perfect for self-defense or carrying on the go. This pistol has been getting a lot of buzz lately, so I decided to take it for a test drive and see what all the fuss is about. Here’s my review.
Taurus 709 Slim Pros and Cons
- Compact design: It’s less than an inch wide, and only three ounces over one pound when empty, making it an excellent concealment weapon.
- Reliable: I fed it with different ammo types, and encountered no issues.
- Excellent sights: Sights are very visible with white dots and the rear has windage and elevation adjustments.
- Feature-packed: It has a loaded chamber indicator and the yellow magazine follower is easily seen.
- Easy to use: Controls are laid out well. It’s easy to shoot and strip as well.
- Excellent trigger: It has a short trigger reset with restrike capability. The rigger breaks cleanly after take-up.
- Ergonomic and Supportive: Frame has “dimples” for your shooting finger when not in the trigger guard and for your support thumb.
- Very short grips: It has two fingers with included magazine base plates. Extended mags (10 rounds) and base plates are available from 3rd parties.
- Slippery grips: The gun jumped in my hand. More texturing would help improve this dilemna.
- Long trigger take-up before engaging: Also, the trigger safety blade sometimes catches when pulling the trigger.
These are about the only negatives I could come up with for the 709. You may see things differently, but at least, we’ll let this serve as a basis for discussion.
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The Taurus Company
We have looked at Taurus quality in some detail. Now, let’s talk about the company itself. I did a fairly complete look at the company’s history in my article on the Spectrum .380.
It makes for interesting reading, especially considering that Taurus had, at one time, working relationships with both Smith & Wesson and Beretta. This explains why they can make some revolvers that look a lot like an S&W and then turn around and make a 9mm semi-auto that is a pretty faithful reproduction of the Beretta 92. It is all legal — just read the history for details.
Taurus Customer Service
I was once pretty fairly on the other side of the argument. I also have had my dealings with what passed for customer service several years ago. After having a second encounter with their CS just a short while ago, I noticed that the time the gun was away had been cut at least in half from my first experience.
This tells me that the company is trying to do better where CS is concerned. They also reinstated their lifetime warranty on at least nine different pistols and revolver models fairly recently. These had been changed to a flat one-year warranty a few years ago. So with this change, Taurus is exhibiting confidence in their product and putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak.
Another plus is their investment in a brand-new plant and facility in Bainbridge, Georgia. They seem to be here for the long haul. Something else I learned is that Taurus was the first manufacturer to offer a lifetime warranty that followed the gun. Not just the original owner. At least, this is what my research turned up. They have since changed their limited lifetime warranty to cover the gun as owned by the original purchaser.
Taurus 709 Slim Review
The 709 Slim has been around for a good while. It is not currently listed on the Taurus website, but you can still find new ones to buy online.
I was fortunate enough to have been loaned this example by our youngest son, who carries it regularly (learn more about concealed carry insurance). Before we get into the gun too deeply, let’s look at the specs.
|19 oz. (empty)
|Usual drop-safe trigger block with bladed trigger. Left-side thumb safety
|Single action with repeat-strike capability
|Trigger Pull Weight:
|5 pounds, 9 ounces (measured)
|7 + 1 rounds
|Ships with hard case, 2 magazines and 2 safety lock/ sight adjustment keys, stainless
In case you were wondering where Taurus got the nickname “Slim”, look at the width measurement — it’s less than an inch, and that’s pretty slim in my book.
Taurus 709 Slim Review: Photo Gallery
We all know that I tend to include way too many photos in my reviews. However, I figure that some of you out there might appreciate the plethora of images. I’ll comment, in the caption, if needed. So, without further ado, here is the 709 Slim up close and personal.
Notice the small built-in feed ramp, ejector and locking block.
Mag release is able to be moved to the other side. We lefties appreciate that.
Note firing pin block and orange striker channel. Note both the polished surfaces and those not so thoroughly polished.
Note loaded chamber indicator and rear sight set screw.
Surprisingly, this bargain 9mm uses a dual recoil spring. It’s good thing. Plus, the guide rod is steel.
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Taurus 709 Slim Review: Build Quality & Company Impressions
Taurus makes some decent guns for the money, but you need to shoot a few and decide for yourself. Notice I didn’t just make a blanket endorsement of the brand — I don’t do that with any brand of gun, as we can find even brand-new top-end pistols that need work.
Many Taurus guns and their related customer service were not the best. I think the company is working hard to overcome that negative reputation. With their new HQ and factory in Georgia, they are making a statement that they are here to stay. This, in itself, should say to shooters that this company is wanting to be done with its bad rep and is wanting to look to better things in the future.
Anyway, the 709 is an older model that uses technology that has been modified and improved upon in the intervening years. Even so, I find very little to slam with this gun. Build quality is decent. Also, I see no overt mold lines, burrs or overtly-heavy milling marks that didn’t get cleaned up. To be sure, I point out some minor milling marks on the underside of the slide above, but this is not a big deal.
I’ve also had some brands of guns (not Taurus) built with so little heed to quality control that you could hardly pull the trigger due to all the burrs. Those guns do not stay on the market long, as their makers either go out of business or they clean up their act (and their burrs) and start making decent guns.
Taurus has been there, done that, and now they’re past it, at least in my humble opinion. I have seen, over the years, my share of Taurus guns, so I think I know a little about this area.
Taurus 709 Slim Review: Shooting Performance
I shot the Slim and was most impressed. It is slim in hand — almost too slim, like the Ruger LC9S I had for a few years. My hand size is just average, so I would think the gun would fit well in a smaller hand.
Of course, there is always the Hogue Hand-All slip-on grip cover — that tends to make the grip a bit wider.
This is the biggest kick I have about this gun. I had to re-grab (the technical term) the grip after each shot, as the gun imitated a small, squat snake and tried to wriggle free with every shot.
I attribute this to two factors: the above-mentioned slim width of the grip and the lack of what I like to call “sticky” texturing. Manufacturers are finally starting to get it when it comes to grip texture. Some newer pistol grips, like the Sig P365’s, are just sticky enough that it feels almost like the grip was lightly stippled.
The new Springfield Hellcat falls into this category, as well. Even Taurus got it right with their later-released G2C/S and G3. However, the 709 belongs to the previous generation of pistols, where parallel lines and small, raised squares were thought sufficiently effective in keeping the gun firmly in the shooter’s hand.
I am a stippler — I have been known to use a small, pointy soldering iron to stipple many of my pistols’ grips. For a before-and-after example of my handiwork, check out this review. I have even been known to apply industrial stairstep tread tape (think skateboard tape on steroids) to my grips.
This is some seriously sticky stuff, as the guns will not squirm in your grasp upon firing. This is not for everyone, I admit. I think the Slim might benefit from a re-do with some frame texturing. The 709’s single-stack 9mm replacement, the G2S, has nicely-stippled grips.
Shooting the Taurus 709 Slim & My Targets
The Taurus 709 Slim shoots pretty well. Here’s just one quickly-shot target I held on to for a photo.
I was shooting offhand at 10 yards with a cold, wintery breeze blowing the targets around and making my shooting concentration a bit less than when it’s 75 degrees out and sunny. Anyway, here it is.
I shot a couple of magazines — 14 shots — using a center hold, at this particular target. As you can see, it grouped low and a bit to the right.
The bright spot about this is that the rear sight is fully adjustable, so I could move it to put these Winchester 115-grain full metal jackets into the center of the black square if the gun were mine. There is a silhouette target at the top of this review — those shots are a little closer to center, from 7 yards.
The gun is more than accurate for its intended purpose, and (with a trial of several different 9mm ammo brands). We could find at least one self-defense load that would be accurate and reliable. However, I didn’t have the chance to shoot some NovX 65-grain very-high-velocity fluted rounds but I’d bet those would work just fine here. Also, I didn’t try my handloads either since this was a loaner gun.
Taurus 709 Slim Takedown
I won’t detail the process, because you take it down exactly the same way as you would a Glock. But, here’s a video to demonstrate how to field strip this pistol.
Is the Taurus 709 Slim Discontinued?
Sad to say, the 709 was discontinued around 2016. The good news is that you can still buy one, both new and used, from a variety of internet merchants and probably from your neighborhood gun shop.
Wrap Up: Is the Taurus 709 Slim a Good Gun?
I like the 709 Slim. I do know that Taurus sold a bunch of them while they were in production, and that some online gunsellers still have new ones in stock to sell.
The fact that these folks are still selling these guns is a testament to their perceived value, and the gun is still popular. If you are looking for a small 9mm less than an inch wide to carry, check out the 709 Slim. I think you might be glad you did.
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you’ve had experience with one of these thin-gripped Taurus 9mms. As always, shoot straight and be safe.