If it weren’t for the fact that I’m a Taurus fan, always searching amongst products for something to promote, I might not have discovered the TS9. Maybe I’ll be able to change that, but as of this writing, I’ve not seen any ads or other promotions for this pistol. I found it on the CheaperThanDirt! website while searching for a TH9. TH9 (Taurus Hammer-Fired), TS9 (Taurus Striker-Fired) — get it?

The story on the TS9 17-round, striker-fired pistol, as explained on the Taurus website, is this: The TS9 passed the rigorous NATO pistol proof tests. It is the pistol of choice for elite Brazilian military and law enforcement special operations units. Now, it is available on the U.S. market for the first time thanks to a government contract overrun. So, we have a limited time opportunity to enjoy this duty-ready service pistol.

Taurus TS9 9mm semi-automatic pistol, left profile
The Taurus TS9 is a duty-sized pistol developed for elite members of the Brazilian military and police units and only recently introduced to the U.S.

Apparently, someone in the “What do we do now?” loop came up with the brilliant idea of “Let’s see how the U.S. market likes them.” I’m just one of the U.S. market, but I’m an influencer, so I’m betting my take on the gun is going to stir up some interest, because I like it.

There have been some Taurus guns I didn’t particularly like. The 709 hurt my hands to shoot, so I had no use for it. The Spectrum never struck a chord with me. However, my first semi-automatic handgun was a Taurus 24/7 DS 9mm. Though I’ve owned a lot of handguns since that one, it is still one of my favorites.

The G2 struck a chord with me, as did the G3. The G4X is okay, and though I seem to be in the minority on this, I like the G3 better. Looking at the TS9 online, I thought it might be similar to the G3. However, now that I have one in my hands, I recognize it as an entirely different gun.

For one thing, the TS9 is larger and heavier than the G3. Here’s a comparison of the size and weight:

  Taurus TS9 Taurus G3
Length (inches) 7.25 6.8
Height (inches)  5.64 5.20
Width (inches) 1.26 1.20
Weigh (ounces) 35.25 24.83

Taurus TS9 Features

Both guns use 17-round magazines, and the texturing on the frame is similar. However, that is where the similarities end. The TS9 has finger grooves on the grip where the G3 does not. The TS9 has interchangeable backstraps in four sizes — something the G3 doesn’t offer. The undercut at the back of the trigger guard is significantly higher on the TS9. The shape of the trigger guard and the Picatinny rail ahead of the trigger guard are a pretty close match to the G3.

Taurus TS9 9mm semi-automatic handgun in a carrying case with two magazines, grips, and loading tool
With so many Taurus handguns shipping in boxes, it’s refreshing to have a pistol that ships in a plastic carry case with two magazines, mag loader, and interchangeable backstraps.

When looking at the width measurements of the slide, the very small difference is somewhat misleading because the TS9 is totally flat on top. It doesn’t even have an opening for the ejection port. I don’t know when I’ve seen a semi-automatic pistol with only a side-ejecting port, but that’s how the TS9 is configured.

The top of the slide is totally flat except for a little pin that sticks up when the chamber is loaded and the sights, which are a standard three-dot pattern. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a pistol manufacturer used the same size sight notches for all its handguns? That would make aftermarket sights so easy.

Since the TS9 is new to the U.S. market, I don’t see any aftermarket sights designated for it, but I did find that both the 24/7 Pro and the 9mm 1911 Commander have the same size sights. Fortunately, there are lots of aftermarket sights for both models that should work fine on the TS9.

Takedown button on the Taurus TS9 9mm semi-automatic pistol
Takedown is initiated by pressing a single button at the top front of the trigger guard.

Unique to this gun (among Taurus pistols) are the ambidextrous slide lock/slide release and mag release, and (for the guns that have them) a manual safety. My gun does not have the manual safety, but it does have a drop safety in the form of a firing pin block and the ubiquitous trigger blade safety.

Embedded in the bottom of the trigger guard is a device the manual refers to as a Trigger Lock Manual Safety (if installed). The way it works is to push up on the sides while the trigger is in the forward position to lock the trigger until it is pulled. The “if installed” apparently refers to something that makes the device move, because on my gun it doesn’t. No worries, I doubt I would use it if it was activated.

The takedown button is a single button at the top front of the trigger guard. Press and hold the button, and move the slide approximately .25-inch forward. Then, lift it off. To reinstall the slide, align the notches on the slide with the small rails on the frame, press it down, the move it backwards less than .5 inch, and it will snap in place.

Takedown button inside the frame on the Taurus TS9 handgun
This is the takedown button inside the frame. Pushing the button in the trigger guard allows this button to move the very small amount required to release the slide.

Taurus has a politically correct statement in the manual in which it recommends carrying the TS9 with a full magazine and an empty chamber until the user feels he or she is facing a threat. Taurus acknowledges that whether you’re facing a threat is a judgment call, and each individual must make that decision on their own. That statement validates what you see in the movies whether it is a pistol, rifle, or shotgun.

The gun toting star, police force, or whoever is on screen, makes a big deal of racking the slide or cocking the long gun to get ready to face the bad guys. My reaction to that has always been that it’s pretty hokey, because the gun should already have a round in the chamber. According to Taurus, I must be wrong. You do what’s right for you, but regardless, be careful.

Speaking of the trigger, it appears the double-strike trigger is a thing of the past at Taurus, as neither the G4 series nor this gun have it. I asked somebody at Taurus and was told the new triggers offer aftermarket opportunities that weren’t available with the double-strike trigger.

What we’re looking at with the TS9 is about .5-inch take up followed by a 6-pound break. It’s almost exactly what I’m used to on my G3. The slide lock/slide release has a small fence around it to prevent accidental engagement while shooting, but the size and shape of the lever makes manual operation a breeze.

For a long time, Taurus has offered finger placement grooves to facilitate both trigger reach and finger indexing on the non-shooting hand. They are there on this gun, too. However, they are a little deeper than on some of the other Taurus guns.

Field stripped Taurus TS9 9mm semi-auto handgun
Cleaning the TS9 gives one a healthy appreciation for how the pistol was designed.

Range Testing

During my range exercises with the TS9, I was able to pass it around and have some of my shooting buddies put rounds down range. The unsolicited comment I got from every one of them was something to the effect, “This gun just feels right.” I’m in full agreement with that statement.

I think the weight has something to do with it. When aligning the sights and squeezing the trigger, the gun remains rock solid in my hand, and the holes in the target appear where they should. Follow-up shots remain consistent.

I tried several different brands of ammo, including both JHP and FMJ, and experienced no hiccups with any of it. Most of my shooting was done at 10 yards, shooting freehand. And regardless of the ammo type or bullet weight, the TS9 is not a picky gun.

Taurus TS9 handgun with several boxes of ammunition from various manufacturers
The author and his friends tried a variety of ammo types in the TS9, and could not induce a failure with any of it.

Final Thoughts

Because the TS9 is new to the U.S. market, I was suspicious of some of the holster ads I saw that lumped the TS9 in with other Taurus pistols that I knew were quite a bit smaller. I had two holsters for my Taurus 24/7 that fit. One was a Crossbreed originally purchased for my Taurus 24/7 DS Pro, and the other was a Bullard Leather Company IWB holster originally purchased for my Taurus 24/7 DS Pro. I suspect holsters will be coming forth shortly, but meanwhile if you order one for the 24/7 DS Pro, it will fit as the two guns are the same size.

I’m not sure if Taurus will continue the TS9 in the U.S. once it runs out of the inventory on hand, but I hope they do. Just in case they don’t, you might want to pick one up now while they’re available.

Are you a Taurus fan? Which model is your favorite and why? How does your favorite handgun compare to the Taurus TS9? Share your answers in the Comment section.

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