The Taurus PT845
Affordable High-Capacity .45 Firepower!
Text and Photography by Joshua D. Silverman
As seen in HuntX3 Magazine
For years, Brazil’s Taurus International Manufacturing has been cranking out affordable revolvers and automatic pistols that have improved with each new offering. Each new model year has seen the company expand their product line, catering to a wider and wider swath of the firearms marketplace, from serious shooters to firearms enthusiasts and those simply looking to keep themselves and their families safe at a reasonable price. Recent Taurus models like the Judge have brought both sales volume and widespread recognition, positive energy that the company has obviously used as motivation to create even more new models like their new 24/7 G2 in compact, standard size and long slide models, the SLIM series of ultra-concealable pistols, the Public Defender and Raging Judge revolvers and polymer-framed Judge and .38 Special revolvers. Another new line recently released by Taurus is their 800 series of feature-rich, affordable, high-capacity automatic pistols that include full size and compact models in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. The PT845 brings both the legendary stopping power of .45 ACP and twelve-plus-one rounds of ammunition to the fight!
Big enough for duty carry yet reasonably concealable thanks to a four-inch barrel and overall six inch height, the 845, like the rest of the Taurus 800 series, offers a long list of standard features that, for a suggested retail price of under seven hundred dollars and an even lower “out the door” price at most local shops, is very impressive. The hammer-fired PT845 is available with either a stainless steel or black Tennifer-finished slide atop a beefy polymer frame with finger grooves and horizontal lines that provide a positive grip. Controls like the magazine release, three-position safety/decocking lever and slide stop are ambidextrous and the pistol operates in either single or double action mode. Furthermore, like so many other recent Taurus pistols, the 845 offers what they call “Strike Two” capability, which allows the shooter to take a second, double-action whack at a hard primer should the pistol misfire. An accessory rail at the front of the frame allows the user to mount a laser, light or other accessory.
The slide of the PT845 offers a few handy features of its own. Angled, parallel serrations at the rear of the frame offer plenty of grip for cocking and clearing and are augmented by a few more serrations at the front of the slide near the muzzle. Three-dot Novak sights are standard and the slide wears the PT845 name and .45 ACP chambering like a badge of honor along its right side. The external hammer that fires the 845 and the rest of the 800 series is, according to Taurus, a feature “requested by so many…valued customers.”
Though equipped with a steel slide and offering a full twelve-plus-one rounds of .45 ACP in the double-stack magazine, the Taurus PT845 remains relatively light at a shade over 28 ounces. By comparison, the Glock 21 .45 ACP pistol weighs in at just over 26 ounces, the Smith & Wesson M&P45 pistol in .45 ACP weighs 29.6 ounces and the Springfield XD .45 ACP weighs 32 ounces. In terms of capacity, the Taurus also holds its own, packing more of the big .45 rounds than the M&P and just one short of the XD. However, the Taurus can be found regularly at a lower price than its competitors, and some may prefer the thumb safety/decocker, single action/double action options and exposed hammer over the many striker-fired, polymer-framed .45’s that share shelf space with it. That part, however, is up to the buyer.
Once out of the store, onto the range, out of the box and into the hand, the Taurus PT845 offers excellent performance. For shooters with smaller hands, the grip frame of the 845, holding its double-stack magazine, will feel a bit large but the ergonomics are sound. Fingers and thumbs wrap securely around the frame and naturally find the right places to be for a secure, comfortable and technically sound grip. Shooters with larger hands will find that the 845 fits in their mitts very well. Fine tuning the grip’s size is accomplished via interchangeable back straps that are included with each pistol. Between the ergonomic angle of the grip and the Novak three-dot sights, even shooters new to the pistol had little difficulty pushing the 845 out onto target accurately and keeping it there.
Once the loud noises began, the Taurus PT845 proved that the sum of all the parts is an excellent pistol mating ergonomics with firepower and stopping power in an affordable package. Various brands of ammunition from American Eagle to Blazer all shot very well through the 845 which, though recoil was a bit more pronounced than in a 1911, remained very controllable and easy to keep on target even when shooting rapidly. In single action, the trigger pull was very light and short, allowing shooters to keep shot after shot in tight groups even out to twenty-five yards. At ten yards and other short distances, the 845 will shoot as accurately as the person holding it can manage. At no time during shooting did the Taurus PT845 fail to feed, fire or function in any way, with any ammunition. Many 1911 aficionados who can get their heads around a pistol with a polymer frame might show an interest in the PT845 after learning that it can be carried “cocked and locked” in a manner similar to the venerable Colt thanks to its exposed hammer and ambidextrous thumb safety.
Field stripping the Taurus PT845 for cleaning and regular maintenance is extremely simple. After removing the magazine and ensuring that the pistol is unloaded, the user simply pulls the slide slightly back out of battery, pulls down on the takedown bar on both sides of the frame and then allows the slide to come forward and off the frame. Removing the recoil spring and barrel completes the disassembly process. It actually takes less time to accomplish than it did to read this paragraph. Pistol shooters with any experience with Glock handguns will find the process extremely familiar.
Reasonably light, accurate, reliable and packing a long list of features, the Taurus PT845 is an excellent handgun well-suited to personal protection, duty carry or home defense. The stopping power of the .45 ACP round is not in question and the ability to carry twelve of them is an awful lot of a good thing. For pistol shooters on a budget or anyone looking for a big handful of .45 firepower, the Taurus PT845 is an excellent pistol.