Taurus TH9 Review: Is This Budget Gun Worth It?

by Graham Baates

March 14, 2024

12 comments

4.6
(59)

I recently got my hands on the Taurus TH9, and let me tell you, it’s quite the looker. Taurus has been stepping up its game in terms of both aesthetics and quality, and the TH9 is a prime example of that. I got it at the recommendation of my friends and spent a lot of time with this gun at the range. Now I want to share my experience and thoughts on the TH9 in this Taurus TH9 review.

I originally reviewed this gun in 2022. But, after using the TH9 more and firing a few hundred more rounds, my opinion has changed a bit. So, keep reading to find out what I now think about the Taurus TH9C.

The compact edition of Taurus’s TH9 platform.

Sold at Palmetto State ArmoryGuns.com

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Taurus TH9C Specs

  • Caliber 9 mm Luger
  • Capacity 17, 13(+1)
  • Overall Length 6.85 inches
  • Width 1.3 inches
  • Height 5.16 inches
  • Weight 25 ounces
  • Sights Novak Adjustable
  • Safety Firing Pin Block Manual Safety

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 model 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 a 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.

As an army veteran, I’m personally a fan of hammer-fired guns offering these features. However, models like the TH9C are few and far between in today’s striker-fired market. Usually, it costs more to manufacture a SA/DA gun which pushes prices higher and demand down as less-expensive striker-fired can undersell.

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

Taurus-TH9C-review-features
1 Gun Safety Awareness

Three different modes of safe carry with a Loaded Chamber Indicator

2 Magazine Options

Compact magazine for concealment, full-size magazine also included.

3 SA/DA Trigger

Reliability only a SA/DS pistol can offer and at a budget price.

4 Hammer-Fired

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 TH9 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. Small guns are easy to carry, but usually offer less-than-friendly shooting dynamics on the range. If you’re unsure of this with your gun, try a 200+ round range session to get an idea of how it feels.

Starting with the ergonomics, what stood out to me about the Taurus TH9C was how comfy it felt in my hand. The round shape of the trigger guard made it easy for my trigger finger to find its place. I was able to pull it smoothly without an issue. During my time with it, I found that this design really helps with accurate shooting and prevents fatigue at the range during long sessions. But I have to mention that if you have got big hands like me, then you might feel a bit cramped. It didn’t bother me much, but it’s something to keep in mind.

The TH9C comes with adjustable rear sights, which is a nice touch. They were sturdy and gave me a clear view of my target. On the range, I was able to adjust the aim accurately without any issues. Plus, the sights stayed put, even after lots of shooting. However, some of my friends told me that they had to adjust the rear sight out of the box for better accuracy. But I personally don’t think it’s a big deal, you’ll get better accuracy after shooting some rounds with it.

Speaking of the magazine release mechanism on the Taurus TH9C, I found it to be responsive and intuitive. It allowed me to make quick magazine changes with minimal effort. The magazine release button was well-positioned and easy to operate, contributing to smooth reloads without compromising my shooting grip. However, I had some occasional instances of unintentional magazine ejection because of the button’s slightly protruding nature. Though it didn’t happen often during my testing, it’s something to be mindful of, especially in high-pressure shooting situations.

Budget-friendly is the theme with this Taurus both in price and in application. I’d say the finish on the slide and barrel may not be admirable a few years into ownership. Plus, the controls might even feel like they’re from a toy gun, 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 make sure that the gun would work well with the 9mm ammunition, I applied the 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. The gun functioned with all loads. In my first test battery, there were a few failures-to-fire. However, the round detonated every time on the second strike of the hammer. Were these failures caused by bad ammunition or a weak hammer strike? I 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.

While preparing for this article, I revisited the TH9C and tried a different range of ammunition. This time, I didn’t encounter any malfunctions. It seems that the issues I faced previously might have been related to the ammunition I used. What I noted was how mushy the trigger feels for a hammer-fired gun. Usually, 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 isn’t a fancy gun, but it’s a good deal for the price, giving you a lot of bang for your buck. Reliable, accurate enough for close work, and feature-packed leaves little to complain about. The TH9C does come at the expense of losing the interchangeable backstraps offered on the full-size model, and the right-side controls are also removed. However, this adjustment puts the TH9C on more even ground with the competition.

While the TH9C isn’t a pistol I’d actively look for, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from buying or owning it. As a first pistol it makes sense, as a first hammer-fired gun it makes sense. If you’re not particularly interested in another option that would cost a few hundred dollars more, then buying the TH9C is a safe choice.

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.

Report Card

Reliability

If it didn’t go bang on the first pull it did on the second.

B
Accuracy

Although mechanically capable of great groups, a sloppy trigger makes it more difficult.

C
Shootability

Extended range trips will be pleasant, but the trigger prevents them from being something to brag about.

B+
Ergonomics

Fits medium to larger hands

B
Value

Features are tough to match for this price range.

A

Our Grade

B

Reviewed by Graham Baates

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 32 Reviews

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Taurus TH9C FAQs

Is the Taurus TH9C suitable for concealed carry?

Yes, the Taurus TH9C is designed to be a compact and easily concealable firearm, making it suitable for your concealed carry purposes. Its smaller size, combined with its 12-round compact magazine option, makes it ideal for discreet carrying.

Is the Taurus TH9C a good pistol for beginners?

Absolutely! Taurus TH9C offers you a user-friendly experience as a beginner shooter. The versatile SA/DA trigger system allows for ease of use and provides added safety features, making it a great pistol for someone just starting out with firearms.

What is the construction of the Taurus TH9C?

The Taurus TH9C has a polymer-framed construction, which contributes to its lightweight and durable design. The polymer frame also helps to absorb recoil, making it easier to handle during shooting.

Is the Taurus TH9C good for self-defense?

The Taurus TH9C is just what you need for self-defense. Its reliability, accuracy, and compact size make it a perfect choice for keeping you safe. With its SA/DA capability, adjustable sights, and high-capacity magazines, you’ll feel confident and prepared to handle any self-defense situation that comes your way.

How is the trigger pull on the Taurus TH9C?

The trigger pull on the Taurus TH9C is quite smooth, especially for a hammer-fired pistol like this one. However, you might find it a bit mushy, especially if you’re used to higher-end firearms. Overall, it provides a decent trigger pull experience for both single and double-action shooting modes, ensuring that you feel comfortable and in control during your shooting sessions.

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 TH9

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.

For those without concerns of unauthorized access keep your firearm at hand through the night. CHECK AMAZON PRICE

Affordable Illumination, no laser, but not needed at in-house distances.

Check Amazon Price

Though Taurus isn’t listed, the TH9C uses Novak cuts to accept 1911 sights.

Check Amazon Price

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:

Veteran-owned CYA makes a great holster for the TH9C. These holsters are made out of Bolteron and tend to outperform standard Kydex. CHECK AMAZON PRICE

Compact and effective aiming assistance.

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Very affordable range ammo that the TH9C has no problem digesting.

Check Price

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.

#1 Canik TP9SF

CANIK TP9SF

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonmics B+
  • Accuracy A-
  • Value A

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 118 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

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Added To Our Reader’s Score

If you’re wondering what our favorite budget gun is…Check out the Canik TP9SF. Honestly, we just can’t recommend this gun enough!… READ MORE

#2 Mossberg MC1SC

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics B+
  • Accuracy A-
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

B

Based on 15 Reviews

Your Grade

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Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

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.

Looking more info on the Taurus TH9? Check out the following resources:

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About Graham Baates

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I am impressed with the gun, I have had several Taurus guns in the past and I think this is the best one yet. Fits the hand very good, feels great and shoots like a dream. Definitely a winner out of the box. I wish they made a .45 on this frame. Love it!

  2. I enjoy shooting this gun. I have fired a few pistols over the years and this one fits my hand comfortably. I spent 20 years in the Army using the M9 Beretta. Most of those pistols were well used and not always reliable due to magazines. This gun I have taken to the range and never had any issues with feeding or firing. For a small package it gets the job done. I wouldn’t have worried about magazine issues if I had to carry this in combat.

  3. Got the full sized myself just a bit ago. It is yet again another great surprise from taurus. Ive spent the money on M&P and Glock pistols. Their smooth and ooze quality but as for shootability this firearm has nothing to worry about. Its one of 2 i keep loaded for home protection.

  4. hahahaha, Just like everyone else, you didn’t notice the loaded chamber indicator. It’s a tiny leaf located just above the extractor. It has a bit of red paint on but it’s still very discreet. You can easily feel it in the dark. I’m not a professional gun gun slinger so I very much appreciate the addition of this device. Also, I like the fact that this pistol does not have that Glock perversion, trigger dongle.

  5. As “Jeff” mentioned in a previous comment, the TH9c is very easy to rack. As someone with rheumatoid arthritis, that’s an important consideration for me when it comes to buying a gun. The one disappointment for me are the sights. I’m considering changing them, but for now I bought some yellow and orange fluorescent paint and painted the “white” dots. For the money, I don’t think you can go wrong with the TH9c.

  6. I just purchased one, and I was very surprised on how well it shoots! I have shot, and carried several different pistols while in the military, as a police officer., and have many other pistols. And I must say, my TH9 is one of the best I have shot. And I have shot many more expensive pistols, than the TH9. I’m happy with it.

    1. Own 2-th9c love them 2- g3c and 1-gx4 none of then have ever had any failures sold my glocks and bought more ammo I couldn’t tell any difference between the g3c and a glock don’t understand that cheap feel your talking about all my taurus shoot closer to point of aim than any of my glocks

    1. Taurus th9 full size ,fun range weapon too big for summer carry but for $235.00 it works out well ,not big on defensive carry I rely on what’s between my ears ,99.99 percent of all altercations can be avoided,not saying bad things don’t happen but the ultimate is a firearm can and often does complicate most situations

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