1. Sports
Taurus Millennium PT145 .45 ACP Pistol
By Dick Metcalf, Technical Editor, Shooting Times.

onstructed with a hammer-forged slide and an injection-molded polymer frame, Taurus’ new Millennium PT145 is a pocket-size, extremely lightweight double-action-only autoloader in .45 ACP that weighs a mere 22.6 ounces. It joins Taurus’ family of ultra-compact personal-defense Millennium autoloaders.

The Model PT145 features a 10-round magazine capacity for 10+1 firepower, but the most central feature of the gun is its rugged recoil-operated action instead of the simple blowback mechanisms found on many other pocket-size pistols. The linkless barrel operates via a Browning-derived cam-lock ramp. There is a full-length guide rod but no separate barrel/slide bushing; instead, the muzzle end of the barrel is “belled” with a smaller-diameter area immediately behind to allow the breech to drop slightly during the unlock cycle without binding. Barrel-to-slide fit is very solid when in battery, as evidenced by the consistent accuracy and even group pattern.

Dimensionally, the PT145 is a subcompact, and with its six-inch overall length, it will fit in the palm of an average-size hand. Barrel length is 3.27 inches, which offers a functional five-inch sight radius. The sights consist of a wide flat channel on top of the slide that holds a staked-in front semi-Patridge white-dot blade and a screwed-on wedge-profile (Novak-shape) square-notch white dot rear.

The Millennium action is striker-fired and operates in double-action-only (DAO) mode, meaning that it fires only by a consistent and repeatable long pull on the trigger. And, much to my applause, the Millennium action requires no pre-loading of the firing mechanism. In other words, the Millennium pistol does not require any rearward movement of the slide to pre-set the striker springs or sear. Thus the PT145 has repeat-strike capability, allowing a second trigger pull against any misfire without having to manually cycle the slide to reset the trigger action.

SPECS
Taurus PT145 Millennium
.45 ACP Semiautomatic Pistol
Distributor ....Taurus International Mfg. Inc.
16175 NW. 49th Ave.
Miami, FL 33255
Model ................................................PT145
Operation ........Recoil-operated autoloader
Caliber ............................................45 ACP
Barrel length ...........................3.25 inches
Overall length .........................6.00 inches
Weight, empty .......................22.6 ounces
Safety ..........................Manual striker block;
self-engaging firing pin block;
Taurus Safety Lock
Sights .....Low-profile three-white-dot system
Sight radius ............................5.00 inches
Rifling ............................6 grooves; RH twist
Stocks ...................Integral molded polymer
Magazine capacity ..................10 rounds
Finish ...............................Satin black/blued
chrome-moly slide;
matte black polymer frame
Price ...................................................$414

Like full-size duty guns, the PT145’s slide release lever is located on the left side of the frame, and the magazine release button is positioned where John Browning intended, directly behind the trigger guard on the left side. The molded polymer, hump-backed grip frame is textured and grooved for a secure grasp.

Disassembly employs a simple takedown lever on the left side of the frame (again, a full-size feature). Remove the magazine, clear the chamber, lock back the slide, rotate and pluck free the takedown lever, and move the slide/barrel/recoil-guide/spring assembly forward off the frame. It couldn’t be simpler.

On the side of safety, the PT145 is equipped with a manual sear-block safety located on the left rear of the frame. The gun also has a self-engaging firing pin block that doesn’t
release until or unless the trigger is squeezed all the way to the rear. Plus Taurus has added a slide-mounted version of its key-operated Safety Lock to the PT145. A quarter-turn rotation completely freezes the firing pin and deactivates the gun until unlocked.

SHOOTING TAURUS’ .45 ACP PT145
Factory Load
Muzzle
Velocity
(fps)
Standard
Deviation (fps)
50-Yard
Accuracy
(Inches)
Federal 165-gr. Personal Defense
999
12
1.88
Hornady185-gr. HP/XTP
815
9
2.88
Remington 185-gr. +P Golden Saber
1021
13
2.13
PMC 230-gr. Starfire
771
8
2.50
Winchester 230-gr. SXT
825
22
2.00
Overall average accuracy
2.10
NOTES: Accuracy is the average of five 10-round groups fired from
a sandbag benchrest at the self-defense distance of 50 feet. Velocity is
the average of 10 rounds measured 10 feet from the gun’s muzzle.

One feature I’m very glad the PT145 Millennium pistol does not have is a magazine disconnect (a device that renders the gun unable to fire with the magazine removed), which is a feature common on many models of semiautomatic pistols of all sizes in this modern era of political correctness and product liability. If I ever lose or damage a magazine in a crisis situation, I still want to be able to fire my gun as long as I can get a round into the chamber— even by single-loading manually if I have to. And the PT145 is able to accommodate me on that.

Light in Weight but Comfortable to Shoot
The results of my shooting trial of the PT145 using five current varieties of premium-grade commercial .45 ACP ammunition loaded with high-upset, defense and law-enforcement bullet designs are listed in the accompanying chart. Shooting the .45 ACP cartridge was surprisingly comfortable in the small, lightweight Millennium, considering its power rating. The low bore-axis positioning of the striker-fired mechanism relative to the grasping hand, combined with the Model 1911-like grip angle and palm-filling shape, make for a very fast, direct-back, quick-recovery recoil cycle. You can double tap this little gun as quickly as any full-size DAO design I’ve fired.

This is one of the few polymer pocket pistol designs I have yet encountered that is equipped with a feature set I would actually carry myself for protection of life and loved ones. Considering its extremely competitive pricing, I
suspect that the PT145 is going to be extremely popular with handgunners who are looking for a powerful yet lightweight pocket-size autoloader.

This article was originally published in Shooting Times' Handgun Buyer's Guide 2001.

More Features

Product Reviews

Subscribe to the Newsletter
Name
Email

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.