David Compares the 9mm and 45 ACP versions of the Taurus 24 / 7 DS

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By David Freeman

Personally, I’ve been amazed at how easy the Taurus 24 /7  DS Pro has been to carry as a daily concealed carry weapon, especially since I’ve previously carried various 9mm semi-automatics. I borrowed my former 9mm pistol for a little show and tell. I can show you better with pictures than with a lot of writing, but I do want to mention just a couple of things before show and tell.

First, in size the guns are almost identical. The perspective in some of my photos may skew that a bit, but they are very difficult to tell apart. The magazine wells are at slightly different angles and of course the 45 is a tad wider. The ejection port is slightly larger on the 45, and of course the inside dimension of the barrel is bigger – not the outside, though. The external barrel dimensions are almost identical.

The guns weigh the same. Empty, they weigh in at 18 ounces on my postal scale. The loaded magazines–17 rounds in the 9mm and 12 rounds in the 45–both tipped the scale at 10 ounces. So there you have it – 28 ounces fully loaded.

The double action trigger pull on the 45 seems a little longer to me–not harder, just longer. They both point and shoot the same. I’m sure the 45 has more recoil, but honestly, I don’t notice it and am able to get back on target quickly.

I hope this is helpful for anyone trying to decide. The price is the same, at least where I bought mine. $379 at Academy Sports.

Update May 2016:

Taurus upgraded the 24/7  series, along with the Millennium Pro series a couple of years ago. The new guns are supposed to be better, but frankly, I’m glad I still have my old ones. There was some issue that resulted in a law suit claiming the originals would, or rather could, fire if dropped at a certain angle. Taurus did the right thing by offering a repair/replace program to existing owners and modifying the guns resulting a G2 version. Either version are fine guns in my book.

SigPro SP2022

Sig Pro 2022The price was unbelievable. A Sig Sauer for $399? Something must be wrong with it. There were a few rumors on the net about a new Pistol, the SP250, coming out as a replacement for the SP2022. Wrong! They’re both stil in Sig’s lineup. Maybe it was a police buy that got caught up in politics. Who knows, but Cheaper Than Dirt had ten at this unbelievable price and they were sure to go fast.

I didn’t need another pistol, especially not another 9mm, but what the heck. It was a Sig and I could always get my money back. When I got to looking closer, I discovered the gun had a few add-ons that would normally jack the price up. It has Tijicon night sights and a double action only (DAO) trigger.

The gun feels good in the hand. It hold 15 + 1 and magazines are readily available. I bought one at the Fort Worth Gun Show and a couple more from CDNN Sports in Abilene. The gun came with two. There’s no question that it’s a Sig with the quality typical of the brand.

At the range I found it frustrating at first. The trigger pull is just over 10 pounds and it’s a long pull. I found myself tiring while waiting for it happen. More than once I did the shooter’s equivalent of stepping out of the batter’s box on my first shot. After a while I got used to it and my shots didn’t suffer. Here’s a target from my third or fourth trip to the range. This was shot at 15 yards.

Sig Pro Target

I made one adjustment to the gun that doesn’t seem to make much difference in either shootability or accuracy. I replaced the stock trigger with a short pull trigger, a $9.95 mod. This didn’t change the weight of the pull, but was supposed to shorten the length of pull. I honesty can’t feel any difference.

The SP2022 spent a few months as my daily carry weapon. Although it has no external safety, the heavy double action trigger makes it a very safe IWB carry weapon. Had I needed the gun, the trigger pull would have been a non-issue. Now, it’s my upstairs household gun and with it’s Trijicon sights and excellent accuracy, it is comforting to have around.

Follow Up – April 2011

It’s now a year after I wrote the original blog entry and I still have an SP2022, but it’s not the original DAO pistol. I advertised the original one for sale on TexasGunTrader.com and it found a new home. A couple of months later Academy Sports put the Sig Sauer SP2022 on sale for $399 and this one was a DA/SA pistol. I bought one. It doesn’t have the night sights the original one had, but it sure shoots easier. I often take it to our CHL classes to let people who have not yet decided on the gun they want to carry shoot it for their proficiencey test. This one I’ll probablykeep.

Update May 2016:

I’m now surrounded by Sigs. The second 9mm, the one written about in the April 2011 follow-up is one of the loaners we use at Texas Gun Pros for our License to Carry Class. After 5,000 to 6,000 rounds the slide got to where it wouldn’t lock back after the last round was fired, no matter what magazine was in it. A quick trip back to Sig with a very small repair charge and it’s back at work again.

I got a replacement for the house, one with night sights and it’s now my wife’s upstairs comfort gun. She has an M&P 9mm by her side of the bed. One thing that continues to intrigue me about the SP2022 is the quality for the money. I have a couple of P226s and a couple of P229s that are $900 to $1200 pistols. The SP2022 is almost exactly the same size as the very popular PP229. The slide operation is easier, or seems so to me, and the slide lock is definitely easier to operate. There is not $500 difference in those guns. The SP2022 is one of the best values on the market for a good 9mm or .40 ACP handgun.

Comparison of Stoeger Cougar 8000 and Beretta PX-4 Storm

By David Freeman

These two pistols are similar in design, though more than a decade apart in orginal manufacture. Both were designed by Beretta and originally manufacturered by Beretta. However the Cougar 8000 was discontinued by Beretta some years back and in recent years returned to production by Stoeger, a Beretta subsidiary who manufactures the guns in Turkey.

The two firearms share a unique design–a short-recoil, locked-breech system that uses a rotating barrel. When the gun is fired, the recoil impulse pushes the slide and barrel to the rear. After a short movement, the barrel is revolved by cam action against what is called the central block tooth, which is best described as an angled protrusion on the top of the locking or central block. This block rides on the recoil spring and guide rod inside the frame, turning the barrel as it moves back and forth. This unlocks the barrel, allowing the fired case to eject and then chambering a new round. This rotating design keeps the barrel in alignment with the target, potentially creating a more intrinsically accurate firearm. The barrel is throated and the frame relieved so that the chamber will accept a wide variety of bullet styles, reliably keeping feed malfunctions to a minimum.

The models compared here are 9mm models, both were purchased in 2009 from Academy Sports. The Cougar retailed for $399. The Storm retailed for $519. The Cougar is all metal, the Storm has a Polymer lower housing.

Here other some other comparisons:

Stoeger Cougar 8000 Beretta PX-4 Storm
Weight (loaded)  28.5 oz  29 oz.
Height  5.5″  5.5″
Length  7″  7.5″
Mag Capacity  15  17
Barrel Length  3.75  4

Before we get to the photos, I must tell you that these two guns have been totally flawless in operation. We’ve fired hundreds of rounds of Winchester White Box, Federal, Monarch, and Remington FMJ ammo through them and several brands of JHP, including Winchester, Magtech and Hornady. Both guns are a pleasure to shoot. They are Double/Single Action, hammer-fired pistols with an external safety on the slide. Double-action trigger pull is very comfortable and the single action trigger pull is very light. Both are very accurate out to 25 yards, shooting groups as tight as we can hold them.Hopefully, these pictures will help you with the subtle differences and the similarities.

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Taurus 24/7 DS – 45 ACP

By David Freeman

Taurus 24/7 45 ACPI grew up shooting revolvers. The first semi-automatic hangun I owned was a Stoeger Cougar 8000 in 9mm. It was a sweet handling and shooting gun. My son liked it and I had been eyeing a Taurus 24/7, so I sold him the Cougar (at least it’s still in the family) and picked up a 9mm Taurus 24/7 at Academy Sports.

The gun was winner from day one. No jams, no misfires and right on target. Plus the trigger was nice and smooth and easy. Since I was getting the gun bug, I soon bought a Sig Sauer SP2022 (it’s a Sig, right?) on sale at Cheaper Than Dirt for a really great price. You can read about that gun elsewhere in my blog, as well as the Beretta PX-4 Storm. Here I was with three 9mm semi-automatics (one to carry, one for the truck and one for the upstairs bedroom was my argument). I carried the Storm, kept the Taurus in the truck and the Sig upstairs. But on range day, I carried all three. Even though the Taurus was the least expensive of the three and the one from the company that has to fight against a bad rap from years gone by, it was the most fun to shoot and at least as accurate as the other, two, if not more so.

Because I had so much invested in 9mm pistols and had good supply of ammunition, I tended to resist the magazine articles and instructor admonitions that for defensive carry, a 45 is better. It was while attending the NRA Handgun Instructor Course that it finally dawned on me. It wasn’t that I couldn’t effectively stop a bad guy with my 9mm. It was more about who else I might endanger while doing so. The instructor explained quite graphically, that even with hollow point ammunition, because of it’s muzzle velocity, a 9mm will shoot through things, including people and possibly hit innocents, even if they’re behind a wall.

I sold the 9mm Taurus 24/7 and bought the 45 ACP version of what I thought was the same gun. It looks the same. It feels the same, even weighs about the same. It carries well. I loaded it up with some 230 grain hollow point ammunition and felt safe. Until I went to the range. Bang – jam. Bang – jam. Over and over.  I took the gun home, cleaned it really well and tried it again. I got as much as a bang, bang jam out of it this time. I tried different ammo and discovered I could shoot FMJ (full metal jacket, also known as “ball”) ammo through it without jamming.

It seemed at first it was a magazine problem. Taurus offered to send me a new one if I sent in the bad one, but I felt a little more testing was in order. I tried three different brands of 225-230 grain hollow point ammo:  Winchester Supreme Elite, MagTech Gold and Remington Golden Sabre. None of them fed without jamming. They did what gun people call “nosediving” where the nose of the cartridge doesn’t slide up the ramp into the chamber like it’s supposed to.

Most gun guys caution that it takes from 300 to 500 rounds to “break in” a new semi-automatic handgun. That wasn’t true with my 9mm Taurus. It was perfect right out of the box. But I after shooting 300 or so expensive rounds through the Taurus 45, it wasn’t getting any better.

I made another stop at Cheaper Than Dirt and picked up two types of 185 grain JHP (jacketed hollow point) — Black Hills and Speer Gold Dot. Problem solved. I may try some other brands later, but for now, I’m satisified that my 45 will perform when and if called upon in a defensive situation.

Oh, and it is pretty accurate. What misses is my fault, not the gun’s. Here’s an example:

Targets 04172010

UPDATE MAY 2016:

One of my mentors suggested trying Winchester Silvertip 185 Grain jacketed hollow points in the Taurus 45. After shooting two boxes of that ammunition with no failures I discovered that for this particular gun the break-in rule appeared to be real. It shoots anything and everything I feed it now with no problems whatsoever. Now that I’ve discovered the Ruger/Polycase ARX rounds, this .45 ACP Taurus 24/7 makes a nice addition to my carry gun rotation. I know many people opt for carrying the same gun all the time, but I like to vary my carry guns to justify having a “collection of them” (just kidding). The real reason is so that I have a broad experience from which to provide advice and guidance to the many students that come through our classes.