Taurus is known for bringing higher end features and budget-friendly pricing, in this review we’ll look at the hammer-fired compact TH9C.
The compact edition of Taurus’s TH9 platform.
Taurus TH9 Background
In an update of their line, Taurus refreshed the aesthetics and feel of the 809 and named it the TH9. The “C” model is the compact featuring an easier-to-conceal 12-round magazine in addition to a full-size 17-round magazine for bedside and range duty.
Experienced shooters will appreciate the ability to fire in either single- or double-action providing the ability to strike a round again should ignition fail. Enabling full advantage of this ability the TH9C can be carried cocked and locked in single action with the safety on, decocked for a double action first pull to serve as the safety, or decocked and with the safety on.
I’m personally a fan of hammer-fired guns offering these features, but models like the TH9C are few and far between in today’s striker-fired market. Typically it costs more to manufacture a SA/DA gun which pushes prices higher and demand down as less-expensive striker-fired guns are able to undersell.
|Caliber||9 mm Luger|
|Overall Length||6.85 inches|
|Safety||Firing Pin Block Manual Safety|
In addition to the second strike benefit, hammer-fired pistols are much safer for carry; place your thumb over the hammer while holstering and no amount of trigger interference will discharge the firearm without first giving you clear tactile feedback that something is amiss. With appendix carry being en mode these days it only makes sense to have that added level of safety and security.
Taurus TH9C Features
1 Gun Safety Awareness
Three different modes of safe carry with a Loaded Chamber Indicator
Compact magazine for concealment, full-size magazine also included.
Reliability only a SA/DS pistol can offer and at a budget price.
Decent choice for your first hammer-fired pistol.
Taurus TH9C Colors
This pistol comes in a wide array of colors ensuring every shooter gets their hands on something they prefer.
Taurus TH9C Review – Our Take
The TH9C is sized in the Goldilocks realm of being both small enough to carry and large enough to be shootable. I consider this vital, especially for those looking for a first pistol and those who understand the importance of getting practice with their carry gun. Tiny guns are easy to carry, but typically offer less-than-friendly shooting dynamics on the range. If you’re unsure of this with your gun, try a 200+ round range session and reflect.
Budget-friendly is the theme with this Taurus both in price and in application. It doesn’t cost much, and it doesn’t look or feel like a gun that costs much. The finish on the slide and barrel isn’t likely to be anything worth admiring a few years into ownership, and the controls have an almost toy-gun feel to them, but they work. For less than $300 there’s not much room to complain about such trivial traits, and I don’t think the target will complain either. A 9mm projectile is going to exit the TH9C with the same speed and force it would any other pistols with a 3.5” barrel and perform just the same on impact.
To verify that the gun would properly digest 9mm ammunition we applied our What’s For Dinner?™ test and tested ten different loads from 65gr through 158gr including hollow points, full-metal jackets of various designs, brass, steel, and aluminum-cased. Ammunition brands included American Eagle, Blazer, Browning, Fiocchi, Hevi Shot, Inceptor, PPU, Remington, Speer, Winchester, and Wolf. The test runs three rounds from slide lock to see if it’ll feed under the slide’s own spring pressure, cycle completely, and lock the slide open on an empty magazine. All loads fed and functioned the gun, there were a few failures-to-fire in our first test battery, but in every instance the second strike of the hammer detonated the round. Were these failures caused by bad ammunition or a weak hammer strike? We don’t know. That part is worrisome, but the gun saved itself by being able to strike the same round again with another pull of the trigger.
In preparation for this article we revisited the TH9C with a different selection of ammunition. No malfunctions were experienced on this most recent trip which leads me to believe those first experienced may have been ammunition related. What was noted was how mushy the trigger feels for a hammer-fired gun. Typically hammer-fired pistols have a crisper feel and cleaner “break”. The TH9C is no 1911 and certainly not a performance pistol, but the mush and squish through the hammer falling was closer to a typical striker-fired gun than a 1911. If you’re new to pistols, or coming from a striker-fired gun like a Glock the TH9C won’t feel odd at all, just don’t expect a $300 pistol to feel like a race gun.
For those $300 I don’t feel the typical gun-shop bro talk questions of, “How much is your life worth to you?” applies, but nor does, “You get what you pay for.” The TH9C is far from a nice gun, but it does offer incredible value for the price. Reliable, accurate enough for close work, and feature-packed leaves little to complain about. The compact does come at the expense of losing the interchangeable backstraps offered on the full size model, and the right side controls are also deleted, but that simply puts the TH9C on more even ground with the competition.
While not a pistol I would specifically seek out, the TH9C is not a pistol I would deter anyone from buying nor console for owning. As a first pistol it makes sense, as a first hammer-fired gun it makes sense. Unless you really have your heart set on something else and the couple hundred extra dollars something else would require the TH9C is a safe buy.
Taurus TH9C Pros and Cons
- A versatile pistol that can fill many roles
- SA/DA Capability including second strike
- Very high value proposition
- Feels cheap
- Potentially limited durability
- Although less expensive than alternatives, ultimately outclassed by those same alternatives in terms of fit, finish, and shooter experience.
If it didn’t go bang on the first pull it did on the second.
|Although mechanically capable of great groups, a sloppy trigger makes it more difficult.|| |
|Extended range trips will be pleasant, but the trigger prevents them from being something to brag about.|| |
|Fits medium to larger hands|| |
|Features are tough to match for this price range.|| |
So you’ve decided to pick up a Taurus TH9. It’s a solid option especially for those looking to purchase their first hammer-fired pistol–or first pistol in general. However, there are a few things you’re going to want to get in order to maximize your shooting experience.
Best Home Defense Accessories for the Taurus TH9C
If you intend on using your Taurus TH9C as a home defense pistol, there are a few accessories that we recommend to make it more effective.
YHOUSE Adjustable Bedside Holster
Best Range/Carry Accessories for the Taurus TH9C
Heading out to the range or utilizing the TH9C as a CCW is going to require a different set of gear. Here’s what we think make for great accessories for these situations:
CYA Taurus TH9C IWB Holster
Other Budget Pistols of its Class to Check Out
Finding a great budget gun doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out some of our favorites we’ve reviewed.
Did you even know Mossberg made a pistol? Well, technically it’s their second pistol. And while this is slightly more expensive than the TH9, this gun punches well -above its weight and is excellent value. READ MORE
How to Care for Your Taurus TH9
A key part of owning a weapon is knowing how to disassemble it, clean it, and put it all back together the way you found it. NoblesTX does an awesome job showing us how to takedown and reassemble the Taurus TH9C.
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About Graham Baates
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