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.