Review: Taurus TH45 Pistol

Taurus offers a carry-friendly handgun in a caliber with the number four.

posted on December 4, 2023
Taurus TH45

No matter what the cool kids on the internet are saying, I believe size does matter in carry-gun cartridges. Even considering the “magic bullets” and the testing done by the FBI, the laws of physics say it is so.

When Taurus came out with its new TH45, I was delighted to see continuing support for the battle-proven .45 ACP. Call me a Fudd, I don’t care; we Boomers have a lot of real-world experience, and I still like my carry guns to start with the number four.

The TH45 is a double-stack, polymer-frame handgun. It features an integral rail and interchangeable rear grip inserts. Sound familiar? That’s just about every handgun introduced in recent years.

Where this one is different, though, is that it’s not striker fired. It is a double-action/single-action design. It has a decocker lever, like most DA/SA handguns on the market, but with a little extra. The lever can be pushed into the up position with the hammer cocked, where it serves as a firing-pin block safety, just like the 1911. That way, the gun can be carried cocked and locked in single-action mode. This is not a new idea, but what makes this different is the TH45 has an MSRP of $529.99 and an off-the-shelf price less than $400. That’s several hundred dollars less than the competition.

Taurus TH45 features
A generous ejection port contributes to the TH45’s reliability • Three backstraps allow the pistol a custom fit for one or multiple shooters • The handgun ships with two 13-round magazines, a good bit of .45 ACP on tap • Taurus’ latest offering features enhanced versatility in the form of ambidextrous fire controls • Texturing fore, aft and along the sides of the grip provide ample purchase • Southpaw shooters can access the magazine release easily.

As a lefty, I appreciate that the gun is fully ambidextrous. That includes the safety/decocker, slide release and magazine release (the loaded-chamber indicator is universal). One of my few complaints is the magazine release is so stiff that, in the vernacular of my cousin Philip, it takes “three men and a hairy dog” to actuate it. The fixed sights are a white-dot front and a drift-adjustable black rear. This is my other minor complaint. The gun shoots high with any ammo I used. Impact average at 20 yards was 3 to 5 inches above the center of the dot, depending on the ammo used.

The grip comes with three inserts. I installed the thinnest one, which makes this gun a good fit for my hands, allowing me to shoot it well. This handgun will be a good choice for those shooters with smaller hands or short fingers who want a double-stack pistol in a large-caliber chambering. The grip is aggressively stippled on all four sides, so it is quite stable in the hand. Shallow finger grooves help with control, as well. The single-action trigger is better than I expected, and is smooth and predictable. That’s not saying it’s dainty—it breaks at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The first of the two stages takes 2 pounds, 11 ounces of pressure, so it’s almost half of the total pull. That’s probably why it feels better than the scale says it should. The double action averaged 11 pounds and 9 ounces (with ice and time, my trigger finger will recover).

The TH45 has a 4.25-inch barrel and a full-size frame, so it’s not a petite handgun. Still, it weighs only a mere 1.8 pounds, making it a good candidate for a serious carry gun. The only thing that is not black is the barrel and the red dot on the decocker. I found it interesting that the serial number is on the frame, barrel and slide, which apparently follows the law in Brazil, where the gun is made.

Perhaps most important, the TH45 is accurate and predictable, with all ammo tested yielding an average group size of 2.5 inches. It’s also not fussy, firing every round of ammo I tried without complaining. I am lucky enough to have an MGM plate rack in my backyard, and I like to shoot during my lunch break. Today, I found that using Black Hills 230-grain FMJ, I could run the plate rack fast enough to not be embarrassed. I also did some fast drills on paper, including the “Mozambique drill.” I know, I know, it’s called the “Failure Drill” in polite company, but did you forget I am a Boomer? I have been shooting this since Cooper first brought it to our attention in the 1970s.

Taurus TH45 shooting results

At the suggestion of Caleb Giddings at Taurus, I ordered a Blackhawk Omnivore holster. This is supposed to fit more than 150 handguns, including this one. The trouble is they sent a right-handed model and I am a lefty. So, I did the drills from low ready. My best time was 1.3 seconds, and the average was about 1.5. For me that’s darn good, and proof that the gun is built correctly to handle recoil.

I put about 200 factory loads through the gun of at least four different ammo products, half FMJ and half defensive ammo, with no failures. Other than fixing the magazine release and possibly installing better sights, I really like this gun. I would not hesitate to carry it for my protection. After all, it is chambered in a grown-up cartridge. Go ahead, call me a Fudd. Again.

Taurus TH45

Taurus TH45 specs


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