I’m looking at you, Taurus.

You know, Taurus is one Gun Maker that has more than it’s share of detractors.  But I have to give them some props.  Their 1911 really is a solid and well built gun for the money.  Bang for the buck value is through the roof.   I took a couple that we have at the gun counter, hit them with some Slipstream… and I kid you not, the bloody things are the smoothest 1911s in the case now.  (In fact, I’ve never felt such a drastic effect from Slipstream, as I did with the Taurus 1911s!)   These are very good 1911′s, not just “for the money”, but very good 1911s – period.

The only real problem it has, is that they are not selling.

So to help Taurus out, I’ve got some ideas to help Taurus sell more of these guns.  Now, of course Taurus will get this note, so from now on I am talking specifically to the CEO of Taurus.  Just to let you know, Sir… I am a raging 1911 Fan, and I am also a lowly clerk at the gun counter of one of your best full line Taurus dealers.  I show 1911′s to Customers on a daily basis, and I am always pulling out a Taurus 1911 as part of the Show and Tell.  Customers will generally either not pick up the 1911, or will put it back down faster than any other 1911 I pull out of the counter.   Why is that?

Well, there are some things that turn people off.  For one thing, it doesn’t feel like any other 1911s.   I could be blind folded and out of a line up of 1911s, I could identify every Taurus gun in the test.   Two things on the grip effect this, and this is where you are losing sales… where I am losing sales on these too.

First off, the grip frame profile is blocky.  The front is very square.  You need to have someone go out and grab a SIG or a Springfield 1911, or a Dan Wesson… and wrap your hands around those grips.  Notice how these are rounded?  That’s what a 1911 is supposed to feel like.  Yours doesn’t quite feel like that.  Change that.  Please.  For the love of all that is holy, I can’t sell your 1911′s if they don’t feel like 1911′s.

Second is your grip panels.  The stock panels pretty much suck.   No, they really do.  They look and feel cheap as hell and they are a major turn off.  Oh yeah, I tell folks “You can swap grips” but it’s really too late by then because they are already turned off and have picked up a different 1911 that doesn’t feel so wrong. This happens 99% of the time.  The relatively few times by comparison that I sell a Taurus 1911, it’s because they have a friend that has one and has let them put some rounds down range with it.  Other guns are sold on reputation, looks, and feel… but yours has to be sold on actual first hand experience.  This is a huge disadvantage since most gun sales tend to be spur of the moment sales, preplanned based on reputation, or upgrades to what folks had thought about buying in the first place.    You know what a good grip is?  Consistently I have people telling me that they like “these” grips.  Those grips in question, are the Hogue rubber grip panels.  Heck, I like them mysel.  So much so that I have a set that I put on my ATI 1911, and I am thinking about putting a set on another of my 1911′s.  They are simple, cheap, but feel good.  They work.  Why wouldn’t you use these?  They can mold your spiffy bull’s head logo into them and that would go a long way helping your dealers sell your guns.

Your slide serrations are unnecessarily too widely spaced.  I know I’ve mentioned this before in an older post, but the fact remains that these serrations are a detriment.  They not only look wrong… like they are incomplete… but they also do not afford a good solid grip.  Not as good as standard serrations.

You also have way too much printed on the slide.  For one, the Made In Brazil – doesn’t exactly help sell in the USA.  Print that small on the frame.  Also – everyone knows it’s a 1911, so you don’t have to print that on the slide either.  No one else does – for a reason.  This is stupid, like the guys that put the CHEVY or FORD window stickers on their Fords or Chevys.  It’s annoyingly redundant.  You know what would be cool?  That bull head logo on the optional wood grips?  Make that smaller and engrave that into the slide behind the serrations.  That would would look sharp.  Look, I know you guys want a 1911 that has a distinct look.  You want it to stand out.  I understand that.  But a 1911 is about subtle elegance.  Don’t try to force it.  What looks good on a 1911 is a 1911 that’s done well.  1911′s are about tradition, history, and heritage… don’t reinvent the wheel.  That’s not what 1911 buyers want.

I’d really like to see you guys do a Commander length 1911.  Either a 4″ or a classic 4.25″ with no forward slide serrations.  And while your at that, do the frame with your Titanium.   That would be awesome.  In fact, if you did that, while rolling with my other suggestions – I would buy that in a heart beat.  I’m not even kidding.  In fact, I’ll start saving some extra cash just for it in the hope that you do make it.

11 thoughts on “I’m looking at you, Taurus.”

  1. Outstanding idea sir! Well worded and yet so biting in the criticism. I hope it gets some attention!

  2. George,
    A very well worded letter. I also looked (briefly) at a Taurus 1911 and you are dead on with the blocky grip frame comment. But, I confess, I never seriously considered it anyway due to a bad experience when I tried to help a friend break in his new Judge.

    The Judge’s cylinder bound up tighter than a miser’s pocketbook on the second cylinder >45 cowboy loads we ran through it, the pistol had been cleaned, lubed and then we took it to the range where it went boobs up in the first 15 minutes. I purchased an RIA Tactical which has been rock solid and reliable as the sun-rise after nearly 800 rounds.

    I am still VERY leery of Tauri after that experience, especially when considering the horror stories that are attached with their customer service.

    Best of luck.

    1. See, I hear people talk about “horror stories” of Tauri’s CS… but I’ve honestly never experienced anything but stellar service. Any time I have an issue with any Taurus, I send it back with a note detailing the issue, and a few weeks later it comes back fixed with no charge. Done. Every time. I don’t even have to call them. This includes a well used revolver that was missing parts. I sent it off, it came back with new parts, no charge.

  3. I had a Rossi bad CS experience several times that I think could be laid on Taurus. It was a Rossi 6-shot 357 snubbie and I was the original owner, bought it new out of the box. The box had “Rossi” in big letters on the box but in a number of places it also said Taurus, I think Taurus bought Rossi a while back.

    Anyway, the cylinder bolt on this Rossi/Taurus revolver broke inside after less than 50 rounds of 38 and a couple of standard 357s. This great warranty of theirs meant they fixed it (eventually, it took about 6-7 weeks) after I sent it to them on my dime. After being fixed, the same exact part broke again after about 500 more rounds a year later. Another trip to the factory on my dime. I’d made up my mind to just sell it to a pawn shop or something after that, but my dad needed a 38 so I lent it to him just to try at the range. The same part broke a 3rd time on the first cylinder of 38s he put through it. This third time it went to the factory I came to my senses and sold it to a gun shop for whatever he’d give me. The guy running the shop wanted to test fire it with a cylinder of 357s and I was crossing my fingers the whole time. When it worked, I really liked that revolver, in my hands it was really accurate and comfortable to shoot. Must have had cheaply made or poorly heat-treated parts or something in it though. This Rossi/Taurus experience was not good, and it wasn’t cheap either. I spent $325 on the pistol and about an additional $150 or so sending it back to them 3 times for them to fix it.

    Compare and contrast that level of customer service with Springfield Armory. I bought a lightly used Springfield 1911 from a local guy, and 400 rounds later the hammer strut (if I recall correctly) broke. Not being the original owner, I called Springfield and they put a tech on the line with me who diagnosed the problem, told the CS rep that it was a warranty repair, and then they emailed me the FedEx labels 10 minutes later so I could ship it to them on their dime. The gun was fixed and was back to me within 10 days, not the 6-7 weeks Rossi/Taurus took.

    I’ve bought a few more Springfields since then. The Tauri look like neat guns but you couldn’t pay me to get another.

  4. I’m still pissed at the bull for not returning my.357 Thunderbolt which I had sent back for repair/replacement. If I had known they were going to keep it I’d a kept it instead and learned to live with its little foible of going off occationally while I was unloading it, heh, heh..

  5. I’ll probably by a 1911 within the next year. And because I am young and poor, it won’t be a high end one. On the budget end, I’ll probably look at three options- The Rock Island Tactical,$450 locally; The PT1911, $550 locally; and the Remington R1, $600 locally. I probably wont get the Remington because I want the upgraded features, so I’ll probably end up saving a hundred bucks and buying the Rock Island. And there’s one reason, and it’s not the hundred dollar savings. TAURUS 1911′s ARE FRIGGIN’ STUPID LOOKING MONSTROSITIES. Maybe Taurus will check in on your website and read the comments. Taurus, I would rather drop nearly 5 bills on an inferior product than be seen with something as stupid looking as what you’ve created. Ditch the stupid serrations (preferably ditch the forward serrations all together), and ditch the billboard, and I’ll buy your gun.

  6. My 1911 that I’m planning on getting this year is the Remington. I don’t want Taurus, because the name Taurus equals Inconsistent in my mind. If I want a cheap 1911, I’ll go for the ATI, but I want a basic, functional 1911, preferably made in the US, so I’m going to stick with the Remington as my target for this year.

  7. There has been a Taurus PT 1911 on my hip for over 2 years. I have burned over 2,000 rounds through it with nary a hitch. It is a gun I trust. I didn’t buy it to impress anybody with its sexy looks. I bought it to poke big holes in bad people.

    1. I had a Taurus as well but, over time, found that the wear and tear was more pronounce than on any of my other 1911s. I have since replaced it with a Springfield Loaded and the difference feels like night and day. No play in the fit on the slide/frame where my Taurus always had a good but of play. And the thumb safety feels good, solid, and tight fit. I think Taurus made a tough gun, but they could do for a good bit better quality control on it. It doesn’t cost them any more to verify the job is done right before the gun leaves to the dealer.

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