Gun Review: Taurus 24/7 G2 .45 ACP

Say what you will about Brazilian gunmaker Taurus, but don’t accuse them of laziness. Instead of flogging the same tired product line for decades or blindly copying other makers’ designs, Taurus has never been afraid to try something new. If it’s a hit like the Judge, they run with it. If it’s a miss, they design something to replace it and they move on. At the consumer end, we seem to read about a new Taurus handgun product about every other week . . .

I exaggerate, but you know what I’m talking about: since their centerfire revolvers and Beretta-licensed PT92 hit the scene in the late 1980s, Taurus has put out a mountain of different pistol designs including the 900 series, the 800 series, the 700 series, the OSS, the Judges, the Trackers, the Raging Bulls and Raging Hornets, the Milennium Pro, the PT1911, and the 24/7 Pro series. To name but a few.

Add the 24/7 G2 to this list. Joe Grine and ‘Tony’ joined me in testing it, to see how this $370 (street price) service pistol delivers its large-caliber goods.

Overview/Aesthetics

The 24/7 G2 is the latest offering from Taurus’ fertile test range: a double-stack automatic with conventional styling and ergonomics that take a discreet step back from its fashion-forward predecessor, the 24/7 Pro. That pistol’s striker-fired DA/SA action is the same, but the hooked trigger and bowed trigger guard are gone, replaced by a Glock-style safety trigger and an angular trigger guard.

The 24/7 is slightly thinner and shorter than a Glock 21, but a little longer in the grip due to the extended baseplate of its 12-round magazines. The grips are surprisingly thin for a double-stack .45 ACP, but the magazine sticks out well below the bottom of my average-sized hands. This could be useful if you were the 6-fingered villain from The Princess Bride, but for those of us on Inigo Montoya’s good side, it just makes the gun a little bulkier and harder to carry discreetly.

Features

The 24/7 G2 has everything we’ve come to expect in a modern polymer pistol, along with a few extra features. And maybe a few things we’d rather do without. The sine qua non accessory rail and Glock-style safety trigger are all present and accounted for; ditto the interchangeable backstraps. The fully-ambidextrous controls and adjustable sights are nice bonuses, and the loaded-chamber indicator seems like a useful feature although I don’t rely on it.

The 24/7′s nested recoil springs and telescoping metal guide rod are standard (and useful) features for a modern service pistol, and they help keep .45 ACP recoil to a minimum.

Your tastes may differ, but I personally like a second-strike capability, and I think everyone prefers a frame-mounted decocker/safety over a slide-mounted version. I consider the key-actuated safety lock to be an unnecessary and potentially vulnerable mechanical liability, although it caused no problems at all on our test gun.

Fit and Finish

The overall level of fit and finish of our test gun was more than acceptable; in fact it was only a few small glitches away from being downright excellent. There were a few rough plastic edges on the trigger and backstrap, which disappeared when I gave them a few careful wipes with 800-grit sandpaper.

There was a very slight discoloration on the top of the slide behind the ejection port/locking block. It’s so faint that I couldn’t get a proper picture of it, but it’s there. In addition, the action of the slide on the frame rails was grittier than I expected, given the very good machining of the slide/barrel assembly.

All in all, the Taurus 24/7 G2 is vastly more refined than a Kel-Tec or some Turkish/Filipino import, although it’s certainly not as smooth as a SIG/Sauer or H&K. Fit and finish is hard to quantify, but our tester had the feel and appearance of your typical Ruger or Springfield semi-auto. Which is to say, perfectly acceptable.

Trigger

The 24/7′s trigger is called a ‘striker-fired DA/SA system’, but this description is more than a little confusing. As you can tell from the pictures, it’s got a Glock-style trigger-inside-a-trigger and it doesn’t have a hammer. This makes it looks like a typical Glock/Springfield/M&P setup, but it’s not.

Those guns all partially reset the striker when the slide cycles, and if a round fails to fire you’ve got to rack the slide to reset it again. The 24/7 uses its long ‘double-action’ pull to cock the striker for the first shot, then switches to its shorter ‘single-action’ pull for subsequent shots. If you’ve got a hard primer you can just pull the trigger again and give it another whack, and in fact I had to to this three times during our testing. Many shooters prefer to rack the slide for a fresh cartridge when there’s a failure to fire, but a second strike will usually ignite a hard primer.

The 24/7 doesn’t shoot like any DA/SA system you’ve ever tried. Instead of an insanely heavy DA pull like a Beretta 92 or a squeaky plasticky one like some H&K USPs, the 24/7′s bangswitch gives you a smooth 6-pound takeup pull which partially cocks the striker, and then a heavy (but short and smooth) single-action pull that’s about the same as a ‘New York Trigger’ Glock or a Springfield XD. This so-called ‘single-action’ pull measured about 8 pounds on my trigger gauge, and it broke very cleanly.

An 8 pound trigger is too heavy for a fighting handgun, but only a little bit too heavy: the Glock ‘New York Trigger’ is also about 8 pounds, and Springfield XD triggers frequently run to 7 pounds or more.

One of the trigger’s best features is the delighftully short reset shown here. The reset distance, from full backstop to ‘ready to fire,’ is less than 1/4 inch. This reset point is also exactly the same point where the DA trigger pull stiffens and breaks in SA mode. Once your finger learns this single reset point, the transition from DA to SA firing is completely seamless. You’ll never blow the first shot because of the DA trigger pull, and you’ll never be surprised by an unexpectedly short trigger break in SA mode. It’s the most consistent DA/SA from shot to shot. I just wish the SA trigger were lighter, and I hope the aftermarket can ride to its rescue someday.

Note: our test gun arrived with an excessively heavy 12+ pound trigger pull, but Taurus repaired the trigger bar and replaced the firing pin promptly. After the repair the 24/7′s trigger was much smoother and lighter, although at 8 pounds it was still too heavy.

Accuracy

After the trigger repair, the 24/7 gave me groups like this all afternoon: a whole magazine dumped through a single big hole, with a couple of fliers opening up the group sizes from ‘astonishing’ to merely ‘outstanding.’ The nice ragged hole in this picture fits neatly inside a silver half-dollar, and even those annoying fliers only open the group up to 2.7 inches.

I shot it at 7 yards with the cheapest and dirtiest .45 ACP handloads I’ve ever assembled: 230 grain roundnose lead slugs over 5.5 grains of Unique. For you cheapskates out there, these loads will cost you less than $7 a box to assemble; just remember to wash your hands before you eat or touch your face to avoid ingesting lead from your fingers.

When you do your part and don’t get any fliers, the 24/7′s accuracy is flat-out crazy.

Maybe I spent too much time watching Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee on the telly last weekend, but am I the only person who thinks this target group is shaped suspiciously like England, Scotland and Wales? I didn’t think so.

Accuracy was slightly less impressive with Fiocchi 230-gr JHPs, mostly because I got more fliers. Or maybe I just got careless after a long day of shooting.

Still, six bullets went through one hole smaller than a quarter. With any ammo we tested, the 24/7 is more than accurate enough for defensive use or 3-gun competitions. With the right ammo, it’s almost accurate enough for slow-fire bullseye shooting.

This is all great for punching holes in paper, but how does the 24/7 perform in a slightly more dynamic shooting environment? Even with the insanely heavy trigger (before it was repaired) the 24/7 did fairly well on our collection of steel gongs and tumblers.

I’m not exactly auditioning for Team Taurus with this video, but my steel targets were 10-12 yards out and only 4 inches across. Those six misses were frustrating, but very single bullet would have been a headshot on a standard silhouette target.

After the trigger repair, it all got even better since the improved trigger didn’t provoke so many operator errors. I’m sorry I didn’t get any video.

Reliability

The 24/7 wasn’t completely reliable out of the box. On the first range day we fired 250 rounds of 230-gr FMJs (mostly Remington-UMC), then 20 rounds of Fiocchi 230-gr JHP, then 25 rounds of Hornady TAP defensive ammo. On the second range day I fired 50 rounds of 230-gr lead roundnose handloads, 20 rounds of plated 230-gr hollowpoint handloads, and about 30 rounds of the Fiocchi JHPs.

Here’s a summary of the 10 malfunctions we experienced in about 400 rounds fired:

  • 2 simple stovepipe FTEs at round count 75 on the first range day, firing UMC 230-gr FMJs. Both were cleared by sweeping the case out of the ejection port; the gun then returned itself to battery with the next fresh round, ready to fire.
  • 4 failures to feed at round count 150-175 on the first range day, firing UMC 230-gr FMJs all from the same magazine. These nose-dive jams were caused by a single dirty or defective magazine, and I foolishly forgot to mark the magazine as questionable. The gun was filthy at this point, and I gave it a cursory cleaning before continuing.
  • 1 double-feed jam with Fiocchi 230-gr JHP at round count 225, remedied by dropping the magazine with the slide manually retracted, then re-inserting the magazine and re-racking tha slide
  • On the second range day (after the repair) there were two failures to fire at round 374 and 379, firing Fiocchi JHP. The firing pin struck a fairly solid blow to their primers but they failed to ignite. They each fired on the second pull of the trigger.
  • 1 nose-up failure to feed at round 377 with Fiocchi JHP.

This video was from the first range day, and shows the string of jams all from the same magazine.

Ten jams in 400 rounds is not impressive, but it’s not quite as bad as it looks. If you eliminate the Fiocchi ammo which was responsible for 4 jams or misfires, and eliminate the bad magazine which caused 4 more jams, you get a better picture of the 24/7′s reliability: 2 simple stovepipes in 350 rounds. (Instead of 400 rounds, ’cause we’re not counting the Fiocchi, right?)

That’s not bad, especially when the last 275 rounds went downrange without a single gun-caused malfunction. Now that I’ve set aside the bad magazine and gotten rid of the Fiocchi ammo, the gun is running 100%.

Ergonomics

With the exception of the bad initial trigger, Taurus really hit one out of the park with the 24/7 G2′s ergonomics; it handles and fires extremely comfortably. The grip is textured enough to stay grippy even when dripping wet (I tested this) but not enough to beat up your hand like the meat-tenderizing mallet that FN euphemistically calls the FNS. The safety and slide release are both positioned in that sweet spot where they’re easy to manipulate, yet almost impossible to engage accidentally. The magazine release is well-positioned for my medium-sized hands.

The ambidextrous slide releases are perfectly placed and angled for quick reloads, but I almost never used them because the slide released itself whenever I slammed a loaded magazine into place. No ‘slingshot’ release method is needed, not that I ever do it anyway. I’ve noticed more new pistols doing this lately and it can be a bit of a surprise the first few times it happens, especially if you grew up around the 1911. As long as the slide doesn’t release itself at the wrong moment (which the Taurus never did) it’s pretty easy to get used to.

The polymer sights are fully adjustable and nicely visible, with a 3-dot configuration. Plastic sights might not seem as durable as metal, but if they’re good enough for Glock they’re good enough for Taurus and certainly good enough for me. The 24/7′s sights are streamlined enough that I can’t imagine them snagging on anything.

The grip is only 1.15″ wide, which is exactly 10% thinner than a G21′s chunky love handles. With the medium backstrap installed, the Taurus’ trigger reach is just under 3.0″  for a double-action pull, and only 2.6″ for single-action shots. These are wonderfully trim dimensions for a double-stack .45 ACP, and only minimally larger than most ‘compact’ double-stack 9mms.

Recoil was very comfortable and manageable in the robust .45 ACP chambering. The video I posted last week shows that I was bringing the gun down from recoil and aiming toward the next target before the 830-fps bullet even hit the target 10-12 yards downrange.

Conclusion

I approached this review with more than my typical skepticism, because I’ve had very guarded opinions about Taurus semi-automatics for decades. After shooting the 24/7 a lot, I’ve come away impressed: it comes very close to being a world-class fighting handgun.

It’s got excellent ergonomics and accuracy but it begs for a lighter trigger, and ammo sensitivity is not a mark of greatness. I give it a solid ‘B’ for effort.

Specifications

Type: Short-recoil locked-breech semi-automatic pistol.
Caliber: .45 ACP (tested), also available in 9×19 and .40 S&W.
Action: Striker-fired DA/SA with manual safety/decocker.
Barrel Length: 4.2″
Magazine Capacity: 12 (more in 9mm and .40)
Sights: 3-dot configuration with dovetail front and low-profile windage/elevation adjustable rear.
Length: 7.3″
Height: 5.8″ from the tip of the 12-round magazine to the top of the sights, measured perpendicular to the slide.
Width: 1.15″ (grip), 1.13″ (slide), 1.45″ (widest point of safety levers).
Weight: 29 oz. empty.
MSRP: $523 (about $380 street)

Ratings (out of five)

Accuracy * * *1/2
Lighten the trigger by two pounds and add a star. You could shoot horseflies at fifteen yards with a lighter trigger on this gun, and the adjustable sights mean you hit exactly where you aim.

Styling * * *1/2
Rugged and businesslike; I like the all-black version even better. Only the long magazine extension looks out of place, which must be why they don’t show it in their online pictures or their print catalog.

Ergonomics * * * *
All the right controls are in all the right places, with just the right feel except for the heavy 8-pound trigger. Lighten the trigger by two pounds for a perfect five stars.

Reliability * * *
It should have been better, but ammo sensitivity and a single bad magazine (along with some big problems right out of the box) took their toll on reliability. There is a silver lining: after a factory repair and much trial-and-error, it’s now running great.

Overall * * *1/2
The 24/7 G2 is a solid design and a good shooter at an amazing price, but it needs a lighter trigger and a little better QC to be really great.