Taurus is coming on like gangbusters in the 21st century firearms field, aggressively creating new guns for the U.S. market, and new for this centennial year of the 1911 is the Model 1911SS-9—the company's 11th version of this iconic design. It's a lot of gun for the money.
The forged steel frame and slide is clothed in subdued stainless steel with wide and deep fore and aft slide serrations. The slide is crowned with low profile, black Novak, white three-dot fixed sights that can be removed and replaced or drifted for windage.
The ejection port is enlarged, flared and lowered. The pistol's two-lug stainless barrel features a polished, fully supported ramp and is slightly belled at the muzzle for a snug bushing fit. It has hammered-forged rifling with a 1:16-inch twist and 6 grooves. It has a Series 80 firing pin safety and an enlarged internal extractor increases reliability. Firing pin and extractor can be removed in the traditional manner.
Its frame features ambidextrous gas pedal safeties that are melted into the receiver. The Commander-style hammer contains the firm's key-operated security system that renders the action inoperable. An enhanced, humpback beavertail grip safety also disables the action if not fully depressed and facilitates a very high grip. In addition, the pistol features a hammer half cock intercept notch prevents the hammer from contacting the firing pin if the trigger has not been compressed.
Below the beavertail is a flat mainspring housing that boasts 30 lpi checkering, and the magazine well is slightly beveled. The handsome double-diamond grips are black plastic and are locked into place by Allen head screws.
The Model 1911SS-9's more prominent magazine release button is just right for me, and I can jettison a magazine without relinquishing my firing grip. Its slide release or lock is also slightly oversize. The medium-length ventilated metal trigger is adjustable for overtravel, and the initial pull weight ranged between five and 5.5 pounds. However, after extended shooting the trigger dropped to 4.75 pounds.
Overall, the almost 40-ounce 1911 appears to be an ideal contender for IDPA Enhanced Service Pistol and USPA/IPSC Double Stack divisions.
Fast Specs: Taurus Model 1911SS-9
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 9+1 (11+ 1 optional)
- OAL/Width/Height: 7.87/1.5/5.45 in.
- Barrel: 5 in., 6-groove 1:16 twist
- Weight: 38.4 ozs.
- Trigger: SA, 5- to 5.5-lb. pull
- Construction: hammer-forged stainless steel frame and slide
- Grips: black double-diamond plastic
- Sights: fixed, dovetailed Novak
- Price: $780
- Manufacturer: Taurus USA
Tested at 15 yards from a hand-held rest. Average of five five-shot groups.
Smallest average: Winchester 115-gr. JHP—1.21 in.
Largest average: Corbon Pow'R Ball—1.80 in.
Average of all ammo tested: 1.58 in.
Average accuracy: 1.58 in.
Editor's Note: The full text of this article by Bob Pilgrim, along with complete accuracy tests and specifications, is scheduled for a future issue of Handguns magazine.