(updated 3/27/2012, comments and a pic at post #43, after 2 years of owning this gun) Taurus PT-1911 ALR (this is the model that has AR on the slide) Government size, 34oz, Aluminum frame, with a rail, 5" stainless barrel, black slide, ambidextrous safety, Novak 3-dot sights, flat grip, beavertail grip safety with a memory pad, extended magazine release button, beveled magazine well. Checkering on the front and back of the grip. Checkered black plastic side grip panels. Serrations on the front and back of the slide, rounded hammer, stupid internal locking system (ILS) on the hammer. Made in Brazil. What is my handgun experience? I've acquired about a dozen handguns over the past 20 years that I've had my NYS permit, and regularly concealed carry either a compact 9mm or a .38 snubbie, sometimes a sub-compact .380. I've taken deer with my .44mag revolver. I have a semi-auto .22LR pistol for target shooting, and a single-action .22LR revolver for plinking. I've done some local club competition in bullseye, bowling pins, and IDPA. My homeland defense pistol is a Beretta 92FS. Why a 1911? I've never owned one before, and have only shot a couple different ones a few times. Probably have fired no more than 100 rounds of .45ACP before buying this gun. I don't need a 1911 for hunting, nor for target, nor for concealed carry. But I've always appreciated its role in military history, and always wanted one. Why the Taurus? I had thought about a more traditional mil-spec gun, with looks similar to the WWII era 1911. Probably the famous name brand gun, or maybe some of the copy cat brands. But as I looked around, I didn't really like the feel, didn't like the grip, and didn't like the sights of the various guns I looked at. Then, one day in a gunshop I picked up the Taurus, and I intitially thought I don't want a rail, and I wasn't looking for an aluminum frame, and I don't want a gun with the ILS. But then the grip fit me perfectly, and I liked the checkering all the way around, and I liked how the beaver tail safety depressed and was comfortable for me. I liked the 3 dot sights. I liked the light weight and how it felt balanced in my hand. And I immediately started thinking of uses for the rail (like spotlighting coyotes at night). In short, I liked everything about the Taurus except for the ILS. The specific model I was holding came with 4 mags, a kydex paddle holster, and a kydex double mag holder. The gunshop also had the .357 my wife liked. So we decided to buy them both. The purchase price was $799 for the Taurus package, and I mentally figured that the value of the accessories made it about a $700 gun. In comparing in NYS gunshops, there weren't a lot of other 1911s in that price range, and non of them felt good in my hand. The Taurus felt perfect (aside from the ILS). Internet scuttlebutt says I can replace the ILS hammer with various aftermarket hammers, should I ever decide to. I can also replace any of the parts, since the Taurus is supposedly built to conventional 1980s series specifications. I don't intend to replace anything, but at least I know I could change that hammer out if I wanted to. Taurus also has a lifetime warranty on the gun. Since I examined the gun before I bought it, there are no obvious flaws. Fit and finish is very good. Field stripping was easy, even with the full-length guide rod which I had heard are sometimes more difficult to deal with, but didn't give any trouble at all. I cleaned the shipping grease off of everything I could, and then lightly oiled with my favorite Hoppes lubricating oil. None of my guns ever jam or malfunction with it. Since 1911 models in general are noted for needing a break-in period, I decided to detail my round count and any potential issues that may arise. My non-1911 guns don’t malfunction all, so keeping track of rounds is a new experience for me. Here is the account of the 80 rounds I've fired thus far: Day 1, 10F. Blazer 230gr FMJ, aluminum cases. Rounds 1-8 in Taurus mag 1: no problems Rounds 2-16 in Taurus mag 2: round #16 failure to eject. (Case was fired ok, but stuck in the chamber, slide locked back open. Was able to slide case out with small screw driver, not much force needed). Rounds 17-24 in Taiwan mag 3: first round wouldn't slide into battery. Mag seems a little loose, so I pushed it up and held it up with my pinky finger, then the slide would chamber the round. Had about 3 failures to go into battery. Rounds 25-32 in Taiwan mag 4. Same problems as with mag 3. 5-shot 25 yard off-hand group was on target and a 5 3/4" group. Field stripped and cleaned the gun again. Day 2, 15F to 20F Federal American Eagle 230gr FMJ, only using Taurus mags from now on. Rounds 33-64 no problems. 5-shot 25 yard off-hand group was on target and a 3" group. Wife gave the gun a try. Round 65, while chambering first round of a mag, failed to go into battery, wife said she probably didn't have the slide pulled far enough back, and the round was still half in the magazine, after she pulled the slide all the way back it went into battery. Rounds 66-80 no problem (including her being able to chamber the first round of the subsequent mag). 13 of 16 shots on paper at 25 yards. The gun shot fine for her, and she had no complaints. When initially looking at the gun, and its aggressive checkering all the way around the gun, she didn't like that part as much as I did. But after firing it, she said she didn't even notice the checkering, and the gun didn't slip in her hand. Recoil wasn't too much for her, but since she did put 3 rounds off paper, 8 1/2" by 11", I know she wasn't totally comfortable with it yet. Her other 13 rounds were in a 4" wide by 7" tall rectangle centered on the paper. If I had to guess, she probably had 3 snowdiggers low off the paper from anticipating the recoil. These details are meant as a gauge of her comfort with the gun. If anything was sharp or abrasive in the grip or elsewhere on the gun, she would have let me know. But she seemed to like the way it shot. It is a very nice gun to shoot. But I hadn't realized initially that 2 of the mags were made in Taiwan. They are noticeably cheaper built than the Taurus mags. Shooting tests reveal they don't function well. As far as I can tell, the design allows the bullet to nose-dive too easily, and bullets do not sit up as firm against the magazine lips as they do with the Taurus mags. So, the Taiwan mags are junk. I'll see if I can exchange them for 2 more Taurus mags. When using the Taurus mags, the gun seems to function pretty good. There was one failure to extract for me, with a Blazer aluminum cased round. I'm not sure what caused that. Maybe the gun needed to break-in more. Or maybe the case was dimensionally larger than it should have been, or maybe the rim wasn't shaped right. But I didn't notice anything wrong with the case, and it wasn't split. Not sure why the extractor didn't grab it. I do notice the recoil. The amount of muzzle rise is about as much as my heavy .44 mag revolver. It is kinda a long slow push upward. I don't notice that sort of muzzle rise with any of my 9mm, not even my Glock 26. I could work on reducing the muzzle rise, but it doesn't bother me, it was more just an interesting comparison. I can see why in the great 9 versus 45 debates that some point out that the follow up shots with the 9 can be quicker. I haven't had a chance to bench rest yet, but I'm satisfied with my 3" off-hand group at 25 yards. I can't say yet how accurate the gun is, but I know it is at least accurate enough for casual target shooting. Overall impression? I like the gun a lot. I really like the way it feels in my hand, how it aims, how it is comfortable to shoot. Everything works fine on it. It has a nice light crisp trigger pull, well balanced and easy to hold steady. I expect that it will run reliable with the Taurus mags. The only thing left to do now is just keep shooting it and enjoying it. I'll update after I get a chance to put more rounds through it. Wanna kill these ads? We can help!