I posted a review of the Taurus 740 pistol at GHG today. If you are not familiar with the gun, let me share with you some information on it.
The 740 is part of the SLIM line of handguns being sold by Taurus. These diminutive pistols are designed for concealed carry, and their size makes them interesting for use as a back up gun. The 740 is chambered in the .40 S&W cartridge, while the 709 is chambered for the slightly smaller 9mm.
Taurus uses a double action, striker system to fire these pistols. A manual safety is standard on the left side of the frame.
To be completely honest, I like the shape and size of these pistols, and if they were reliable, I’d have bought two in 9mm. Unfortunately, the guns are not reliable in my experience.
I tested a 709 (the 9mm version) and had a smattering of problems, not the least of which was bulging cases. When I sent the gun back to Taurus to be fixed, they replaced something, declined to tell me what had been fixed and then returned the gun with a broken rear sight. Argh.
I followed up the 709 evaluation with the 740. As the 740 was newer than its 9mm counterpart, I hoped that early bugs had been worked out and the gun would run smoothly. Unfortunately, no, it did not.
I had a number of reliability issues with the 740 pistol as well. So many, that I could not recommend the gun for any purpose other than as a collector’s piece. It certainly should not be used for self defense or backup duties – based on the one I tested.
As I said earlier, I wanted to buy a pair of these guns if they ran reliably. Taurus designed the size and feel very well, and I really wanted to like them. But, at the end of the day, neither the 9mm nor the .40 warranted a thumbs up from me.
Update: Even though I had problems with the Taurus 709 and 740 pistols, I still hoped to find a good Taurus pistol to recommend for backup use. It would have to be reliable and accurate, but I know a lot of officers are looking for something affordable to carry.
With this in mind, I recently completed a long term review of the Taurus Spectrum. This is a .380 ACP pistol that – on paper – offers a lot of things other subcompact pistols like the Ruger LCP do not. However, I was very disappointed by the Spectrum’s performance. It proved to be unreliable even after a trip back to the factory for repairs.
Based on my experiences, I do not recommend the purchase or use of any Taurus product for the purposes of self-defense or duty carry.