Six Delightful Handguns From Turkey

Posted 6/6/2021

Turkey’s role in world politics is important as it lies right on the border of Europe and Asia. The government of Turkey mimics ours in many ways with an elected president, parliamentary representatives from each of 81 provinces and a judiciary branch. The country is highly industrialized and exports products around the world. The firearm business in Turkey is particularly robust. A Turkish business directory lists over 260 companies producing firearms. Eighty-five of those companies list shotguns as their major product. Eight companies manufacture rifles and nine companies list handguns as their primary product. I was somewhat surprised to learn my new Winchester Wildcat .22 rifle was made in Turkey by Istanbul Silah. Many of the companies also manufacture air guns and a few manufacture ammunition or gun parts. It’s not unusual to find a firearms manufacturer who also manufactures aviation parts. We are fortunate in that several of the pistol manufacturers export their products to the United States.

These six handguns featured in this report are representative of many affordable pistols manufactured in Turkey and sold in the US. Top Row: Girsan MC28SA, SAR 9X, Tisas M1911A1; Bottom Row: Canik TP9SA, SAR B6, Stoeger STR-9C

Good Quality — Fair Prices

I’m not sure what it is about the Turkish economy that allows them to produce firearms with quality equal to that of German, Italian and American firearms but at considerably lower prices. It’s not unions as there are unions in Turkey. Perhaps it’s fewer levels of management and lower marketing costs. I don’t know, but I’m glad it’s the way it is. Turkey not only equips its own military (strength over 500,000 and all males are required to serve) with firearms created in country, it exports firearms to a reported 70 countries with many of the exported firearms for military and police use. Firearms used by military and police are well-tested which helps with quality and reliability. The volume also helps with pricing.

My first semi-automatic pistol was a Stoeger made in Turkey. It was essentially a Beretta 8040 Cougar. Beretta owns Stoeger and shortly after the purchase, they moved tooling for the Cougar to Turkey. That Cougar is a delightful gun now owned by one of my sons. This report is about six modern handguns produced by Turkish companies, all sold in the US and priced considerably below similar handguns made in Germany, Italy and the US. I’ll discuss them in alphabetical order by brand and model.

Let’s Break Them Down Starting With Canik

Canik TP9SA
Canik TP9SA

First up is a 9mm Canik TP9SA in FDE. This gun is imported by Century Arms and is usually priced somewhere around $349–$389 at retail. The TP9SA is one of many models of Canik pistols imported by Century. This is the only gun in this report that doesn’t belong to me. I borrowed it from my good friend Alf Evans, who I sometimes play bass guitar for at the church where he is the worship leader. Alf has had this gun for several years, and it is his favorite of several 9mm handguns. I can see why. As I shot it along with the other five handguns in this report, had I not recently put myself on a gun diet, I’d be looking for one to add to my carry gun rotation. It’s a very nice handling pistol and very accurate in addition to being very attractive. The TP9SA came packaged in a plastic case along with a paddle retention holster, extra magazine, cleaning brush and exchangeable grip panels, along with the requisite trigger lock and owner’s manual.

Next Up is Girsan

Girsan MC28
Girsan MC28

Next up is a Girsan MC28SA. Girsan is known for its quality line of 1911 handguns plus a few originals such as this MC28. This one captured my attention while browsing EAA listings for affordable carry guns. It’s not an M&P clone, but it sure is a doppelganger in both appearance and function. The gun arrived in a plastic carrying case with two extra grip panels giving the shooter the option of small, medium and large grips plus a tool for swapping the grip panels. The medium panel installed at the factory fit my hand the best. I was immediately impressed with how much the look and feel of the MC28SA matched that of Smith & Wesson’s original M&P, of which I have several. The trigger is different because the Girsan has the blade safety trigger and S&W handles that function a little differently, but the other controls closely match those of the S&W, as does the grip texture. The dimensions are the same, the weight is the same. Features vary slightly. Girsan equipped their pistol with 3 dot sights, the rear one being a Novack style. Instead of the fish scale cocking serrations on the M&P, the Girsan has angled serrations at the back of the slide and abbreviated serrations at the front.

A Couple of SARs

I have two guns made by Sarsilmaz Firearms Corp., doing business in the US as SAR USA, the SAR B6 and the SAR9X Platinum. Sarsilmaz is a privately-owned company in Turkey that produces guns for law enforcement, military and civil use. They are the sole supplier of pistols for the Turkish National Police and the Turkish Armed Forces. SAR introduced its B6 handgun to the US market in September 2012.

SAR B6

The B6 is a polymer-framed clone of the iconic CZ-75. It shares the easy handling feel and operation of the CZ with a decent trigger and sights and is priced such that we were able to sell it in our store for $340. We sold a ton of them, especially when SAR started offering them in colors like pink and purple. Today a typical advertised online price is $349. The B6 was, and still is, a fine handgun for personal use, including home and self-defense. It carries well, shoots well and is durable.

SAR 9X Platinum
SAR 9X Platinum

I first saw a SAR9 at an NRA Expo in Dallas in 2018. I was not impressed. My first thought when looking at it was “just another black gun.” The SAR9 is different than the SAR B6, but I didn’t see it as an improvement. Later I read about the extensive testing the SAR9 had been put through in order to qualify for military acceptance, but it still didn’t make me want one. But this year I was captured by an ad for a SAR9X Platinum. I reached out to SAR to see if I could get one at a writer’s price and the answer was positive. This is one beautiful gun. I didn’t pick up on it when looking at a totally black SAR, but it’s almost a clone of the H&K VP9. The Platinum edition came with lots of goodies including swappable grip inserts, an extra magazine, holster, magazine carrier and even a light that will mount on the dust-cover rail. I really liked the SAR9X except for the trigger, which was meeting some kind of resistance during the pull. I studied the gun a bit and discovered the trigger bar was rubbing against the inside of the frame. It appeared to be bent. I straightened it with a pair of needle-nosed pliers and, lo and behold, the trigger became more than acceptable. It became good.

Back in the Stoeger Business

Stoeger STR9C
Stoeger STR9C

Most of us know Stoeger as a shotgun company, but they have manufactured handguns from time to time. Stoeger also makes air guns, some of which are quite sophisticated. In recent years Stoeger has been offering STR-9 and STR-9 Compact pistols, making the STR-9 platform affordable by offering different configurations. I went for the STR-9 Compact packaged with only one magazine and one backstrap. The MSRP is $329, but I bought it for $299. The all-up model with three magazines, three backstraps and Tritium sights has an MSRP of $449 and can be bought for less than $400. I would put the STR-9 up against handguns costing twice as much as far as performance and reliability. Stoeger put all the features into the STR-9C you would expect to find in a carry or home defense gun. The sights have large white dots, one in front and two to the rear and are made of steel and dovetailed into the slide. Trigger manipulation is very solid with very little take-up and a crisp break at 5 lbs. If you shoot the STR-9, you’re going to like the trigger.

A US Army 1911A1 Without the Steep Price

Tisa 1911A1 U.S. Army

The Tisas 1911A1 U.S. Army model is a historically correct reproduction of the original US Military service pistol. It’s the only .45 in my selection of Turkish pistols for this review. All the others are 9mm. From its Parkerized finish and hammer-forged barrel to its weight and feel, this pistol accurately replicates the original military issue Government model pistol. It ships with one 7 round Mec-Gar mag, a cleaning brush and manual in a factory box. It accepts any aftermarket magazines and accessories that would fit an American-made GI M1911A1. Tisas firearms are imported into the US by SDS Imports of Knoxville, TN. Several retailers currently have their US Army M1911A in stock for around $450.

How Do They Shoot?

Ammunition Available for Testing During the Ammunition Shortage
Ammo Available for Testing During the Ammunition Shortage

Based on ammunition available, I took a measured approach to shooting these guns for this report. Except for the Canik, I’ve personally put several hundred rounds through each of them. I’ve had success finding ammo during the shortage by ordering from manufacturers who sell direct from their websites. I had Norma Range Ammo and Armscor FMJ, Hornady Hunter, Pilgrim JHP, Red Zone JHP, IMI JHP, Geco JHP and Norma MHP to shoot through the 9mm guns. I only had Pilgrim JHP for the .45. I used EZ2C Targets with six circular targets per page. Using a different brand of ammo for each page of targets, I shot several rounds of five shots from each gun into its own target. The photo you see with this article was my fourth in the series and was shot using Armscor’s FMJ ammo for all five of the 9mms and Pilgrim .45ACP +P JHP for the Tisas M1911A1. I could have photographed any of the targets in the series and the results would have been similar. The range was 10 yards, and I shot freehand from my wheelchair. I cannot explain why the holes in the Stoeger STR9C target appear larger than the other 9mm targets because it’s the same ammo. Perhaps it was the angle of the target path which was lower than the others.

Turkish Pistol Targets
Turkish Pistol Targets

As you can see, every one of these targets shows excellent grouping for a personal protection handgun. I have carried both the SARs and the Stoeger as my EDC in the past. The Girsan is currently the gun I keep in my truck console. I gave the Canik back to Alf and the Tisas M1911A1 represents my historical WWII M1911A1 handgun.

Any One Of Them Is Worth Buying

If you’re not able to locate or afford one of the better known US or German made pistols, the pistols described here are representative of excellent alternatives being imported from Turkey on a regular basis. Canik, SAR and Stoeger have US locations that sell through wholesale distributors. Girsan is imported by EAA Corp. and Tisas is imported by SDS Imports of Knoxville, TN. All of the guns described here sell for under $500 and were readily available when I wrote this during the midst of the great Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ammo shortage.

(www.canikusa.com, www. eaacorp.com, www.sarusa.com, www.stoegerindustries.com, www.sdsimports.com)

Changing Sights is Not Always Hard

Taurus USA’s move to Georgia late last year has been somewhat eclipsed by the new product offerings coming from the company- There was the TX22, a .22 caliber handgun that mimics a typical 9mm carry gun in many ways, the G3 and now their latest offering the G3c, which is a down-sized G3. In many ways it mimics the ever-popular G2. The two guns are sized identically, but the G3c has a few cosmetic changes. I’d done a write-up for it that will appear in a GUNS Magazine future issue and it’s currently well-covered in YouTube channels so my purpose here isn’t to tell you about the gun.

Taurus G3c
The new Taurus G3c

If you’re a Taurus fan, you’ll likely buy one and if you do, you may find yourself looking at the sights like I did and thinking, I need something better. One of the press releases accompanying the PR announcing the G3c was from TRUGLO announcing that some of their existing sights were compatible with the G3c. I went to Amazon and searched for one of the models the PR mentioned, tritium night sights with a big orange dot surrounding the tritium on the front sight. My eyes are such I need help so these sights seemed to be just the ticket.

It was about 9:30 on a Saturday night when I placed the Amazon order. The sights showed up at my house the next day (Sunday) around 4:00 in the afternoon. Say what you will, but that impressed me for two reasons: 1) Amazon had them in stock and 2) Weekend delivery is treated the same as weekday delivery for Amazon. Remember when you get ready to bash Amazon for being liberal (I don’t know if they are or are not), they have lots of gun stuff.

TRITIUM PRO Night Sights (Orange)
TRUGLO Tritium Night Sights

A recommended product along with the sights was a small tool for removing and installing Glock front sights. The literature with the Taurus indicated the sights on the G3c were designed to be replaced by aftermarket sights compatible with Glocks, so I bought the tool. Together, sights and the tool, the total cost was around $80. The Glock tool came in handy, making the sight change project straight forward. Here is the results:

If you’re not familiar with the Taurus G2/G3 products, I suggest you take a look at them whenever product is back in the gun stores. These guns sell for half what a corresponding Glock costs and they do the same job. I’m a little prejudice toward the Taurus pistols I admit. My first semi-auto pistol was a Taurus and I’ve owned several since. They shoot well, I’ve never had any issues with any of them, and this newest offering keeps up the tradition of offering a quality gun backed by a lifetime warranty at a working man or woman’s price.

Taurus G3 – A Real Winner

A value proposition caused me to buy my first Taurus semi-automatic pistol, a 9mm PT 24/7 Pro. That was at least fifteen years ago. Sometime thereafter I bought one in .40 S&W, and later I picked up a .45ACP PT 24/7 Pro DS. These guns have always been among my favorites. I’ve watched the YouTube videos and read the rants on forums about problems and issues with these earlier semi-automatics while mine have continued to perform flawlessly. There was a recall and a settlement of a class action lawsuit regarding the PT-111 Millennium. With that all in the past, I’ve been comfortable for years recommending the Taurus Millennium series as a carry gun to budget-minded customers.

Current reports from wholesalers and Gunbroker indicate the Millennium G2 is one of the top selling concealed carry handguns. That makes sense as it typically sells for around $200 and is very close in size to the popular single stack nines that hold six or seven rounds and cost more than twice as much. The G2’s capacity is 13 rounds. Even though I own more expensive guns in brands that everyone stands up and applauds, I keep a G2 handy in a Nate Squared IWB holster for whenever I have reason to leave the house on short notice. I know some of you reading this have concerns about Taurus quality due to publicity and recalls, but I personally have been a heavy and consistent Taurus user for years and haven’t experienced any of the reported problems, nor have any of my customers. Taurus has faced those earlier problems and apparently fixed them. They also offer a lifetime guarantee on their firearms.

Now Taurus has released an upgraded, larger version of the Millennium G2, calling it simply the G3. Before my pre-release evaluation copy of the G3 arrived, I found myself hoping it would be a 9mm version of the Taurus TX22. I recently reviewed the TX22 and called it a .22 in 9mm clothing. The G3 is not configured like the TX22 and I think the Taurus engineers missed an opportunity there. But it’s close and they did what they set out to do—make a G2 big brother.  

The Taurus G3

The G3 has a lot to offer, starting with the grip. Aggressively stippled grip patches on the side panels, the front strap and the back strap provide a no-slip grip that does not become uncomfortable during extended shooting sessions. The stippling is little bit finer, more sandpapery, than what’s on the G2. Further defining ergonomics of the grip is a palm swell located high on the backstrap. The palm swell, along with thumb shelves on either side of the frame, help the shooter obtain a fast, secure grip that orients the muzzle. The combination makes the G3 a natural pointing machine. Integrated into the frame above the trigger are what Taurus calls Taurus Memory Pads, which are small recesses that offer a natural location for indexing of the trigger finger when not actively engaging the target. The thumb shelves and memory pads are on both sides of the frame to accommodate left- and right-hand shooters. These features are carryovers from the Taurus PT 24/7 Pro.

Ambidextrous Thumb Shelves and Memory Pads help provide a secure grip for the shooter

A version of the PT 24/7 dubbed OSS was designed as an entrant when The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) issued requirements in 2005 for a new .45 ACP service pistol. That USSOCOM request was at first delayed, later cancelled, leaving Taurus with an excellent candidate for the concealed carry market. Not long after I bought my first one, a friend who is a Texas State Trooper told me the Texas Department of Public Safety had seriously considered the Taurus PT 24/7 before the decision was made to outfit the troopers with Sig Sauer P226s in .357 Sig. Many of the troopers preferred the Taurus, but politics apparently intervened.

The lineup at Taurus changes from year to year. The PT 24/7 pistols were in the 2017 lineup but dropped for 2018. It’s refreshing to see a full-size, striker-fired Taurus back on the market with the G3. The MSRP is $345.23 in all black and $360.70 with a stainless-steel slide, which will translate to around $300–$325 at gun stores when the guns are readily available. Taurus wanted to give its customers a lot of gun for that $300–$350 price tag and it appears they did just that.

The G3 weighs 25 oz. and has a 4″ barrel. The pre-release gun I received for evaluation has one 15-round magazine and one extended 17-round magazine. The slide is rounded and tapered in the front making it easy to holster and snag free around clothing. It has standard 3-dot white sights, which are a little smaller than on my G2, making them harder for these old eyes to see. The rear sight is adjustable. Mildly cut serrations front and rear make slide operation easy and the Picatinny rail for lights and lasers is present. A small viewport at the back of the chamber serves as an indicator to see if the gun is loaded.

The G3’s trigger is much improved over earlier Taurus pistols. I measured it at a consistent 6 lbs. Once a cartridge is chambered, the G3 utilizes a single-action firing system. A feature you’ll only find on Taurus handguns as far as I am aware is the second-strike capability. In the event of a failure-to-fire, you can reset and pull the trigger again to restrike the primer. You can do it again and again and again if you want to, but of course somewhere along the line you should probably stop and get a new cartridge in the chamber.

David compared these different Taurus models at the range and liked them all

Since the G3 is both a new gun and an evolution of other Taurus products, I decided having some of those other products at the range for some comparison shooting would be a good idea. I took a 9mm G2, a .45ACP 24/7 Pro DS and the .22 Caliber TX22. I started the session by shooting the TX22 which is a delight to shoot and closely matches the ergonomics of the G3 test pistol. Then I shot a few groups with the G2. They were tight and set the bar. The 24/7 has great sights, a smooth trigger and ergonomics very close to those of the G3. But I didn’t shoot it much because it’s a .45, and for some reason I was a little extra sensitive to recoil that day.

I had several brands of 9mm ammo on hand and expected to shoot the G3 for a while before settling down and concentrating on getting a nice grouping for a photo. But I was in for a surprise. The first ten rounds I fired was from an old box of Winchester White Box FMJ and darned if they didn’t produce a group I figured would be hard to beat. I marked that one for my target photo, but as I continued shooting at other targets with various types of ammo, any one of several resulting targets could have been used to show off the G3’s accuracy. Naturally I had some flyers, but whenever I settled down on the sights and operated the trigger correctly, the G3 sent the rounds straight and true.

Let’s be honest. Not everybody has a six-figure income. For many of us, a $300–$350 gun that carries well, shoots well and has a lifetime warranty is exactly what we need for self-defense. It’s a good gun to use when introducing a friend or family member to the shooting fraternity. It can be an addition to any gun collection with a non-painful acquisition cost. And just wait. I bet Team Taurus will make owners of this gun proud by making it a winner in competition.

Sometimes One Holster Will Work for a Variety of Guns

Most people I know who have been around handguns for long, especially those committed to daily carry, admit to having a drawer (or drawers) filled with holsters they’ve tried but just weren’t up to their expectations. I’ve got a different story! Being fortunate enough to have acquired a number of excellent handguns, any one of which are suitable for a daily carry gun, I feel guilty if I don’t rotate them some.

crossbreed1For me, having a bunch of guns has not equaled having a bunch of holsters. Guess I’ve just been lucky and chosen well up front. My first concealed carry holster was a Crossbreed SuperTuck, purchased a little more than eight years ago for a Taurus 24/7. There it is right there, with that original 24/7 in it. It has held up well.

The Taurus got replaced with a Beretta PX-4 Storm 9mm. Okay, not replaced as in traded. I kept the Taurus, but carried the Storm a while. It fit the same holster, just fine. Then I got a Springfield XDm .45 ACP and was pleasantly surprised to find it worked in that same Crossbreed Holster. So did a Smith & Wesson M&P and a FNX 40 and a Sig P226.

bullard1When we started carrying D.M. Bullard Leather Holsters in our store, I figured I’d give the local company a try. I’d become a 1911 person by then so I got one of their 1911 holsters for a 5 inch gun with a rail. Works fine with my Colt and Springfield 1911s, but it also works fine with any of the 4.25 inch barrelled 1911 Commanders.

I liked that holster so much I decided to get one for my double stack 9s and 40s, but hmm, let’s see, which one. The biggest and heaviest of the bunch was a Sig P226, so I ordered a custom D.M. Bullard leather holster custom made for a Sig P226. It was no surprise that it also fit the Sig P229, but guess what else fits in that holster?bullardmix

That original Taurus 24/7 fits it. The Springfield XDm fits it, All of my M&Ps (9, 40 and 45) fit it. The FNX-40 fits it. The gun you see in it here is a CZ-P07. They all fit with what’s commonly called Level 1 retention. That’s enough friction to hold the gun snugly in the holster so there is no danger in it falling out as you move about. These guns a all draw easily from the holster, as well.

So don’t go getting all antsy about having to have a bunch of holsters on hand if you want to grow your gun collection. Get a custom holster for something like the Sig P226 and chances are it will work just fine for many of the other guns you may want to try that are of similar size and capability.

Tell you a secret. I’ve been known to carry a 1911 Commander in my D.M. Bullard Sig P226 holster without realizing I’d put on the wrong holster that morning. Heck I might could have gotten by with just one of their wonderful holsters! Just kidding. The 1911, being a single stack, was just a little loose, if I’m honest about it.

The Crossbreed Super Tuck – a Holster that Works Well for Me

By David Freeman

I’ve read a number of comments from magazine writers and bloggers about having a “drawer full of holsters” most of which were accumulated while trying to find one that works best for them as a concealed carry rig. Sometimes it’s a function of different holsters for different clothing. I’m very fortunate. The first holster I tried after obtaining my Concealed Handgun License worked perfectly for my needs and continues to do so.

I stumbled across the Crossbreed SuperTuck in a few forums and decided to try one. My initial carry gun was a Sig Sauer SP2022 and I ordered the holster to fit that gun. It also fit my Taurus 24/7 very nicely, though not contoured for it and was workable for the Beretta PX-4 Storm that I like to carry on occasion.

My son, who is a lot thinner than I am doesn’t have the same luck with his Crossbreed which he uses to carry a Stoeger Cougar 8000. The other night we were going out to dinner and he watched me pick up my rig and stuff it in my pants ready to walk out the door in about 20 seconds. He said it wasn’t that easy for him.

I wear my rig at about 2:45. Rarely do I wear tuckable shirts. Banded bottom knits work best for me. If I wear a shirt with a tucked in tail, I almost always wear the gun outside it and a vest over it. Here are a few photos showing my rig in action:

Supertuck with Taurus 24/7
This shot with the shirt lifted shows how the rig fits in my pants along

Crossbreed Supertuck tucked.
Same seated position with the shirt pulled down

Supertuck not visible at all.
Here I am standing with a different shirt. The gun isnt visible at all.

Heres how the gun rides at this position. I simply lifted the shirt to show you.

Heres my well-worn Super Tuck. The Gun is a 45 Caliber Taurus PT 24/7. Dont tell the SuperTuck folks, who like to customize a rig for every gun, but I use this same rig for my Sig SP2022 and my Beretta PX-4 Storm. It fits the Sig perfectly, in fact, was probably made for it rather than the Taurus.

This heavy duty gun belt from Crossbreed turned out to be a necessity for me. I tried the holster for a month or two with regular belts because I didnt want to spring for the gun belt. Its a waste of time. Get the gun belt, if youre staking your life on having a proper carry rig.

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.