comes a time when the eight track rear drive blue steel and
walnut man much take notice of progress. As the pistol I discuss
illustrates, true progress is a good thing. For most of my life
I have used Smith and Wesson revolvers and Colt
automatics. These handguns have served so well for so long in
their respective duties I could not ask for anything better. But
best is a relative term. Police service and personal defense
differs, particularly concerning the individuals level of
interest. Civilians tend to practice on their own time and their
own dime. I practice, not simply qualify. Recently, a young
officer asked if that was a 1911 in my shoulder holster. I
replied it was a Springfield
LW Government Loaded Model. He replied that only those
who practice constantly should carry such a pistol. His
investigative duties keep him so busy he preferred a pistol
'simple to use and maintain.' While hard core handgunners may
flinch at such at pronouncement he is essentially correct. It
all comes down to proficiency and attitude.
double action only polymer frame pistols are simple enough to
maintain and use. Training time is closely scrutinized by bean
counting administrators. Training time is diminished by pistols
such as the Glock. The
Glock was first with the most, and while some of us never warmed
up to the 'Glob' it has been enthusiastically accepted and has
performed well when called upon. Just the same, over time
certain faults have surfaced. When the shortcomings of the
pistol are taken into consideration, there is a consensus of
what is needed in a service pistol. The Glock is not singled out
except in the sense that it is the majority pistol in police
holsters at the moment.
the 1911 was first becoming popular in competition and with some
police agencies, a number of shortcomings were observed. The
general agreement on upgrades became known as the consensus, and
pistolsmiths began offering basic packages that formed a
pistols featured improved sights, a speed safety, a trigger job
and perhaps a ramp polish. By the same token we have reached a
general agreement on polymer frame pistol improvement. The
consensus pistol would need improved sights, a different trigger
action, better hand fit, and superior safety features. Some also
asked for a second strike capability in the trigger action and
some modification to make the pistols less blocky.
that was needed was for an enterprising maker to combine
superior features in a single pistol and they would sweep the
market. Such a handgun requires considerable levels of
sophistication in technology and quality monitoring. Process and
development issues in a fresh design are considerable. The
problem with any process from one man shops to Six Sigma
operations is human error. The bane of new products is
insufficient testing. Design error, problems with suppliers, and
short cuts taken to reach a launch window conspire against the
timely introduction of handguns or other products. An emphasis
on cost rather than quality may doom a product.
While a rush job is not good business, a late
introduction may also prove costly. When all of these factors
are considered it is praiseworthy when these hurdles are
overcome and a successful pistol emerges.
think that we have a consensus pistol at hand with the Taurus
24/7. The 24/7 addresses key issues with popular service
pistols and accomplishes this goal so well there is little room
for argument. We have a consensus service/polymer frame pistol
that is so good it appeals to traditional shooters as well as
fans of the 'black gun.' The
pistol is not terribly expensive and offers solid performance.
The virtues of light weight, corrosion resistance, and low
maintenance associated with polymer frame pistols are maintained
in the 24/7. The
pistol maintains the simplicity of the type and the manual of
arms is quickly learned- load, holster, draw, and fire.
sights of the 24/7 are a considerable improvement over the
blocky sights of many service pistols. Certain versions are
fitted with Heinie custom Slant Pro sights. These sights
feature the 'Eight Ball' two dot system that some of us
appreciate. I do
not think the front sight of the 24/7 will be drug on during the
draw as has happened with the plastic Glock sight.
24/7 features a smooth DAO trigger that differs considerably
from other types. The action is smooth and while the weight is
advertised at eight pounds, it feels lighter. I disagree with
the designation of the 24/7 Pro series as double action/single
action. It is true that once the long pull has been taken, you
may merely take up slack and have a shorter press but this is
also true of the Glock. My definition of double action is that
the trigger press raises and drops a hammer. The 24/7 is striker
fired. In any case, the Pro action is smooth and consistent. The
trigger isnít prepped against the striker.
The 24/7 has a feature that neither the Glock nor the
1911 has: the 24/7 has a second strike capability. If the pistol
does not go bang you may simply press the trigger again for
another go. In my experience a dud round seldom fires on the
second try, but then sometimes it does. Plus, the action allows
endless dry fire, which the 1911 and the Glock do not.
24/7 breaks down simply enough, but not quite as quickly as the
Glock. But it does not have to be decocked - the trigger pressed
- to be broken down, which is a plus. True safety is between the
ears, not in a mechanical device, but the consensus is that we
needed more safety features. The pistol also features an
obligatory action lock that firmly locks the piece down with the
simple turn of a key.
hand fit the pistol excels. All who handled and fired the pistol
commented on the good hand fit. This is accomplished without the
aid of removable grip inserts. Despite the presence of an all
steel seventeen round magazine in my personal 9mm version, the
pistol features a grip frame that fits most hands quite well.
The topping is a rubber overlay of the ribber type first used on
Taurus Magnum revolvers. The advantage crosses over to the
automatic pistol well. Trigger reach is good. Double action
triggers require the trigger finger to sweep down in an arc and
press the trigger to the rear while single action triggers allow
straight to the rear compression. Slots in the frame similar to
those on the 1911A1 pistol allow the trigger reach to be further
shortened. Overall the trigger action is very good by DAO
pistol features the standard internal safety features such as a
firing pin block. The great advantage of the design is the
manual safety. This safety blocks both the trigger and the slide
when applied. I believe that the advantages of the automatic
pistol are abrogated when the piece does not have a manual
safety. A manual safety may buy time in the face of a gun grabber.
I can understand the common verdict by agencies in disallowing
officers to carry various Beretta and Smith and Wesson
pistols on safe. The slide mounted safety of such pistols is
difficult to quickly manipulate and is best manipulated in the
holster, when the pistol is drawn. The 24/7 features a frame
mounted safety that falls under the thumb as easily as that of
the 1911 pistol. The safety may be manipulated on the draw or
after the pistols is on target with no loss of speed. The pistol
is as safe as the Glock or Smith and
Wesson Military and Police if carried with the safety
off, but I highly recommend the safety be used on the 24/7.
Comments were positive concerning this safety. True safety is
between the ears but I applaud this design feature.
are other features of the 24/7 worth noting. The pistols
features a loaded chamber indicator in the form of an extractor
that protrudes when the chamber is loaded in Beretta 92 fashion.
This gives both a tactile and visual confirmation the piece is
loaded. There is the obligatory light rail. I am not certain I
wish to turn my handgun into a beacon but the rail is an
obligatory feature in order to remain competitive and it is as
good as any other.
pistol's slide is thinner than most at one inch. It is beveled
and very good looking, even compared to my revered Browning
designed pistols. I will reiterate the obvious: the 24/7 differs
considerably in detail from other polymer frame pistols. My
person 24/7 is the Long Slide version. The Long Slide is simply
a pistol with a 5.25 inch barrel in contrast to the standard
four inch barrel version. The longer pistol weighs but 30.5
ounces. The LS version is scarcely longer than the 4.49 inch
barrel Glock 17 but somewhat more compact than the Long Slide
Glock. The pistol points well and feels good in my hand. The
longer sight radius may not be quite as quick on the target at
short range but is accurate due to the longer sight radius. An
advantage in ballistics is obvious. I ordered the pistol in 9mm
Luger because the 9mm is inexpensive to fire and the pistol is
an experiment designed to be fired by shooters of diverse
ability and experience. My personal preference is for the
calibers beginning with a four. Just the same, a 115 grain
hollowpoint at 1400 fps is comforting. That's right, 1400 fps.
The extra one and one quarter inch of barrel gets the legendary Cor
Bon +P loading to 1,400 fps. Cor Bon is a little faster than
it used to be and the 4.49 inch Glock and five inch High Power
pistols I have tested develop well over the stated 1350 fps.
A light, controllable 9mm spitting a well designed bullet
out at 1400 fps is a bit of a marvel.
eighteen round capacity is comforting. Consider the example of Officer
Robert Wuller of Philadelphia, the 2006 Officer of the Year.
Wuller kicked down a door to confront suspects who had tied a
family up and were stabbing some of the family members. He
confronted two armed suspects and downed both in a flurry of 9mm
rounds. Officer Wuller fired ten rounds - the perps were DOA.
Sometimes our protein-fed ex con criminal class can take
a lot of hits. The easy shooting 9mm with good loads will do the
business. As Robert Wuller proved, the man or woman behind the
gun is most important.
personal 24/7 is a joy to shoot and quite accurate at any
reasonable range. Man sized targets are in danger well past
fifty yards. At twenty five yards bench rest groups of less than
three inches are common with quality ammunition. The Cor Bon 115
grain JHP has given excellent results and so have a number of
quality loads and my own handloads. With nearly two thousand
rounds in the piece, I am impressed. There have been no failures
to feed, chamber, fire or eject.
I am accused of looking through the gun writer's rose colored
glasses, let me assure you I have not suspended critical
judgment for access. There are issues with the 24/7, but they
are at present simply unanswered questions rather than faults.
My tests indicate that everything is indeed rosy with the piece
but there are hurdles to be overcome.
the issue of quality. Taurus was once known as a maker of
inexpensive clones of the Smith and Wesson revolver and Beretta
automatic pistol. While quality has
steadily improved, I maintain that you have always gotten your
money's worth with the Taurus line. I recall a time when Taurus
revolvers cost about half the tariff for a Smith.
Today, Taurus has reached world quality status and the
price differential is not as severe although still in Taurus'
favor. Recently, Philippine police placed an order for 5,000
Taurus pistols to replace their aging Beretta 92 pistols after a
rigorous testing. As far as quality goes, the 24/7 has
transcended its roots.
other shortcoming is a lack of a rigorous police or military
test program, although the Philippine's test program is a start.
Some years ago the Ohio State Patrol tested nineteen
pistol types, ten of each example,
for one hundred ninety pistols to the tune of two hundred
twenty eight thousand rounds of ammunition. Even mid size
agencies test pistols to ten thousand rounds or more, and most
smaller agencies rely upon the big guys' test program and buy in
on very reasonable 'state contract' prices.
In the light of such tests a single example nearing two
thousand rounds is interesting but not earth shaking. So, it is
very much wait and see. At this point I am enthusiastic
concerning the 24/7 and added to my personal battery. The pistol
looks good and I am certain rank and file and bean counters
alike will take notice.
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