Gun Review: Taurus CT9 G2 Carbine

CT9 pic 1 

The rifle tested in this review was graciously provided by the Kentucky Gun Company.

I’ve always been a fan of 9mm carbines for two simple reasons: 9mm is relatively inexpensive and lacks any significant recoil. My HK94s and HK SP89 are my favorites, but these days they are more or less priced out the plinker/fun-gun market. Ditto for Colt 9mms. I’ve always wanted a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 that uses 33 round Glock mags, but they seem to be vaporware. The Beretta Cx4 Storm carbine is a nice gun, but it can also be hard to find and is kinda pricy once you “upgrade” the plastic fire control group. And then there’s the Hi-Point Carbine. It’s popular, well reviewed and at under $300, very affordable. But I just can’t get past its butt-ugly looks. Given the lack of availability of Sub-2000s and Berettas, I figure the market could support another entry into the 9mm carbine field. So along comes Taurus with its CT9 G2. Yeah or nay? Make the jump to find out . . .

CT9 Pic 2

Good News/Bad News

By the way, that’s Mt. Hood as seen from Lost Lake, Oregon. You gotta have views like that to put up with all the damn rain, uber-lib hipsters and earthy-crunchy hippies we get here in Portland. Anyway, before getting into specifics I’m gonna cut to the chase and give you the bad news on the CT9: it’s a work in progress. There are three major problems:

  • The CT9 uses proprietary magazines.
  • Currently only 10-round magazines are available – WTF?
  • Although not as lame as most thumbhole stocks, the thumbhole stock is still kinda lame.

Want more bad news?  Its MSRP is $898 which translates into street price somewhere around $670.

Two of the three issues are very fixable. If you can believe internet scuttlebutt, aftermarket 30-round mags are on the way.  If some enterprising soul (Choate, Magpul?) will produce a US-made folding stock for the CT9, the future should be very, very bright. A few 922 compliance parts will be needed as well if you take off the thumbhole stock. But as for now, the question of whether aftermarket parts will be forthcoming is still a wait and see game.

OK, if you got past the bad news, here’s the good news:

  • It’s a true military/law enforcement design
  • It’s extremely reliable
  • It’s extremely accurate when using its preferred ammo
  • It’s fully ambidextrous
  • It’s easy to disassemble and clean
  • Thumbhole stock aside, it’s got good ergonomics reminiscent of the HK MP5 and UMP
  • It’s festooned with Picatinny rails

Want more good news? Its MSRP is $898 which translates into street price somewhere around $670.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “I thought the price was the bad news!” Well, yes and no. On the one hand, a $670 – $700 street price may be high compared to the Hi-Point or Kel-Tec Sub-2000. And it’s only $80 – $180 or so less than the Beretta Cx4 Storm. But if you’ve been pining away for a HK94 or a UMP, you’ll think the Taurus is a total bargain. So whether you see value in the CT9 will depend on your expectations.

Whose Yer Daddy?

 CT9 Pic 3

Before discussing the specifics of the CT-9, it’s worth addressing its bloodline. As mentioned above, the CT9 is a defanged civilianized version of the Taurus SMT. “SMT” stands for “SubMetralhadora Taurus,” which, I am told, translates to “Sub-Machinegun Taurus.”

 SONY DSC

The SMT was designed by Taurus to meet the needs of the Brazilian military and law enforcement. Brazil fields some of the most highly trained shit kickers military police units in the world, such as BOPE and COE. And given that the ghettos of Rio de Janeiro and San Paulo are virtual combat zones, these guys are afforded lots of opportunities to put lead into scumbags. In the photo above, the COE military policeman on the left is armed with a SMT in .40 S&W. ‘Nuff said?

Unfortunately for us lowly civilians here in the good-ole USA, we can’t get so much as a semi-auto variant of the SMT.  Instead, the BATFE only allows us a “sporter” version of the SMT. Virtually everything that is lame about the CT9 is government-mandated lameness; and isn’t found on the SMT. To wit: the SMT has a folding stock, a shorter fore-end, a shorter barrel, a selector switch and it uses 30-round magazines.

Ironically, when I first handled the CT9, I had never seen (or even heard of) the SMT, but my vision of what the CT9 should look like was exactly what the SMT is. I mentally chopped off 4-5 inches of the fore-end and added a folding stock and 30 rounders. Well, that dream is not yet a reality.  However, as discussed below, the CT9 still has lots of potential.

The Basics

 CT9 Pic 5

 

So let’s drill down on the specifics. The Taurus CT9 is a shoulder-fired, blowback-operated carbine that fires a 9×19 mm cartridge out to a maximum effective range of roughly 125 meters or so. The weapon fires from the closed bolt position and the bolt holds open on an empty magazine. Due to the simplicity of the design and its blowback operation, there isn’t a whole lot that can go wrong with this weapon. As a result, the carbine should prove to be highly reliable.

The CT9 is 36 inches long and weighs in at 7 lbs., 6 oz. (unloaded, magazine installed). Note: Taurus’s website and internet ads list the weight at “6.6 pounds,” but that must be a typo because I checked the weight with two digital scales with consistent results. The owner’s manual sets the weight at 115 ounces without the magazine (7 lbs, 3 ounces) and 125 ounces with an empty 10-round magazine (7 lbs, 13 ounces).  Incidentally, that’s almost 1.5 pounds more than the HK MP5K-PDW and over 2 pounds more than the Beretta Cx4 Storm.

The CT9 carbine is primarily made out of aluminum and polymer. The lower is polymer over steel with steel veneers.  Steel is also used to reinforce the lower receiver, and is used to make the barrel, the bolt carrier group, the front trunion, as well as some of the critical small parts in the fire control group.

 CT9 Pic 6

Those of you who are familiar with the manual of arms for a Heckler & Koch MP5 or UMP will immediately be in familiar territory when handling the CT9. Although the CT9 is not an exact copy of the HK UMP, it’s obviously heavily influenced by the UMP’s design. HKs have traditionally used a non-reciprocating cocking lever on the left side of the upper receiver, and the Taurus follows this arrangement.

Like the UMP, however, the cocking lever on the CT9 is ambidextrous, and can be moved to the right side of the receiver – a nice touch. The cocking lever is made of steel and polymer and features a very ergonomically pleasing design. Rapid mag changes are facilitated by a thumb-activated paddle release located on the bottom of the carbine, just to the rear of the mag well opening.

 CT9 Pic 7

One feature I really like about the CT9 is the mag well: it’s designed with ridges and valleys to give dirt and grime a place to go. In the photo above, you can also see the ambidextrous bolt catch and the front receiver pin.

Furniture and Rails

CT9 Pic 8

The CT9 features an integral aluminum M1913 Picatinny rail along the full length of the upper receiver. Integral rails are nice because they’re typically much more solid than bolt-on kits. However, on the flip-side, if they’re damaged they are not affordably replaced.

The bottom of the handguard features an integral polymer rail section and additional sections of rail (not included) can be added to the sides of the handguard as well.

CT9 Pic 9

The UMP-inspired thumbhole stock , again, is mandated by import restrictions: the BATFE requires imported guns to be primarily suited for “sporting purposes” and apparently the folks at BATFE think that a thumbhole stock is “sporting.”  I don’t understand BATFE’s aversion to folding stocks; Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter, proved that a pump action shotgun is just as concealable and deadly as any so-called “assault rifle.”

In any event, the thumbhole stock is a mixed bag. On the good side, it’s a full-length stock that gives the shooter a good, solid cheek weld. And when I say “full length,” I mean it: some may find it to be too long. If you like the NATO length stocks on an AK, you’ll like this. Conversely, if you prefer the “Warsaw Pact”-length AK stocks, you may find the Taurus stock to be too long.

 CT9 Pic 10

The pistol grip is relatively open as far as thumbhole stocks go and feels comfortable. Compared, for example, to the disastrous thumbhole stock on the HK SL8-6, the stock on the CT9 is downright nice. The bad news is that the geometry of the pistol grip makes it difficult to manipulate the safety with your thumb if you have small hands. Most people can reach the safety with the thumb of their shooting hand, but barely. I have relatively small hands for a guy who is 5’ 10”, so the CT9 safety is not ideal for me. Although I have absolutely no issues reaching the safety with my shooting hand thumb when operating an HK MP5 or an M-16, I can barely reach the Taurus safety with the thumb on my shooting hand when held at low ready, and I can’t reach it at all with the weapon shouldered. Taurus should redesign the safety to make it about a 3/8 inch longer. 

Barrel

A_CT9 Pic 11

The CT9 is equipped with a chrome-lined, 4-groove, 16.25 inch barrel unit that is free-floated from the front trunion.  The barrel has a 1-in-10 inch, right-hand twist. Workmanship and detail work on the barrel are excellent. As discussed below, the long barrel gives the carbine increased muzzle velocity over 9mms in pistol configurations, and provides excellent accuracy if you can master the trigger. 

Magazine

CT9 pic 13

As mentioned earlier, the Taurus CT9 is a civilian version of the Taurus SMT sub-machinegun. The SMT uses 30-round curved mags that are very similar in appearance to MP5 mags. Unfortunately, the CT9 uses a proprietary 10-round magazine. It’s a strong design, visually similar to an UZI magazine. It’s possible to fully load bullets into the magazine backwards, which is never good. Also, the lack of curvature to the magazine makes it easy to attempt to load the mag into the well backwards. I watched numerous people who were unfamiliar with the CT-9 attempt this. Once you familiarize yourself with the mags, it’s easy to differentiate the front from the back – both visually and from the feel of the mag.  Thus, a bit of training/familiarization is all it takes to overcome these issues.

Sights

 CT9 Pic 12

The CT9 ships with removable polymer aperture sights. The front non-adjustable sight is a virtual dead ringer for the HK UMP sight, right down to the circular-shaped hood design. The front sight post is rather fat and includes a bright white tip. This type of sight works well in a CQB situation, but proves limiting when trying to shoot for groups on paper.

CT9 pic 14

The rear sight departs somewhat from the HK design. It features an L-shaped leaf sight similar to the sight on an M-1 carbine. Unlike the M1, however, the “short range” sight is an open pistol-style notch for better peripheral vision; the rationale is that enclosed apertures can give you tunnel vision and make you less aware of nearby threats.

 CT9 Pic 15

The sights are removable once the rifle is broken open – simply lift up on the retaining pins and slide the sights off the back of the rail. If you don’t like the factory sights, you can easily replace them by installing aftermarket iron sights, such as those from Magpul or Diamondhead, for example. 

Trigger

The single stage trigger on the CT9 is a definite bright spot. It breaks smoothly right at 6 lbs. and exhibits little creep through its 3/8 inch of travel. Granted, it’s not a “target” trigger like you’d expect on a bolt-action rifle. Then again, this isn’t a bolt action rifle. The bangswitch is very well executed and compares favorably to the best sub-gun triggers I’ve fired. I compared the trigger side-by-side with the HK SP89 and the Beretta Cx4 Storm, and the Taurus was the easy winner of the three.

Sling

 CT9 pic 16

The Taurus ships from the factory with a three-point nylon sling. The sling seems to have been designed for another gun, as the metal clips don’t interface correctly with the attachment points. Rather, I think you are supposed to tie it to the carbine using the nylon string that came with the sling. The whole thing looked a bit jury-rigged, and didn’t make much sense to me. I did like how the metal clips are shrouded with nylon material to keep them from making noise and scratching up the finish of the carbine.

Note: In talking to the folks at Taurus USA about the sling, they mentioned that they are working on improvements to the design.

Disassembly

CT9 Pic 17

One thing I really appreciate about the Taurus CT9 is the ease of disassembly and reassembly. Modern military firearms are designed to have a minimal number of small parts, and must be capable of being field-stripped in a matter of seconds without tools. In this regard, the Taurus passes muster with flying colors.

It’s a very simple design. The upper and lower receivers are held in place by two pins, similar to an AR-15. Unlike the AR-15, however, the front receiver pin is hidden away under the handguard. The handguard is secured in place by a threaded pin featuring a screw-on sling-loop nut (for lack of better descriptive terms). The threaded pin features a hole through which fits an impossibly small cotter pin. This cotter pin is nice to have, as it prevents the nut from loosening.  However, a pin that small is guaranteed to get lost if you try to remove it in the field.  For this reason, I would venture to say that the handguard is not intended to be removed in the field, and the carbine should simply be broken open using the rear pin.

According to the manual, once the bolt assembly is removed there is no further disassembly recommended. I ended up removing the firing pin, which was not a very difficult operation.  Assembly is, not surprisingly, simply the reverse of the assembly. All in all, this carbine is the easiest to clean semi-automatic long gun I have ever worked with.

 CT9 Pic 18

It just so happens that the rear receiver pin fits snugly into this hole in the stock. I’m not sure if it was designed to do so, but it’s a handy spot to store your receiver pin while you are cleaning the internals.

Workmanship  

Ct9 Pic 19

One area where Taurus has really upped its game is in the workmanship department. The CT9 displays excellent attention to detail in terms of fit and finish. Tool marks are virtually non-existent, both externally and with regard to internal parts.

  CT9 pic 20

The only area where the workmanship looks a little sloppy is where the internal steel parts assemblies are “welded” into the polymer lower receiver.  The polymer has been heated up in this area and then not refinished as nicely as the work HK does on their UMPs. That’s not a big deal, though, and I mention it only for the sake of completeness. 

Performance and Reliability

CT9 Pic 21

CT9 pic 22

To test the handling characteristics and shooting ergonomics of the Taurus, I shot it side by side with a SBR’ed HK SP89, a civilian-legal UZI, a Beretta Cx4 storm and a Wise Lite Arms Sterling Sporter. I would have really loved to have shot it side by side with a HK UMP, but alas, I don’t know anyone who owns one and we have had no luck getting HK to send us anything to review.

  • Unlike all of the other guns we tested, the Taurus really feels more like a rifle-caliber gun than a pistol-caliber carbine. For virtually everybody who handled it, this was a significant negative factor for the Taurus.
  • The recoil impulse of the Taurus is slightly stronger than the HK SP89, on par with the Sterling and Uzi, and less than the Beretta Cx4 Storm.
  • Accuracy of the Taurus is better than HK SP89 and the Beretta. (The Uzi and Sterling did not have optics, so we didn’t compare the accuracy of these carbines).
  • The Taurus gives an overall feeling of quality, toughness and ruggedness. The Beretta, svelte as it is, has a lot of plastic parts that don’t inspire the same degree of confidence at first glance.
  • The Beretta enabled the fastest transitions, whereas the longer and heavier Taurus made it a bit slower than the other carbines.

The CT-9 functioned flawlessly using anything from cheap 115 grain FMJs to 147 grain hollowpoints.  We put over 1000 rounds downrange over the course of three months and multiple range sessions with absolutely no issues whatsoever.

Accuracy

 CT9 pic 23

Accuracy varied from load to load, with heavier weight bullets generally turning in the best groups. The photo above shows two four-shot groups using Blazer Brass 124 grain FMJ at 50 yards. This was my first group after transitioning from 115 grain FMJ to 124 Grain FMJ. The first group consisted of four quick shots and was about four inches low. So I brought the scope up approximately 30 clicks on the Bushnell and fired a slowly aimed four-round group.  Also note how much difference there is between a 124 grain bullet and a 115 grainer – the rifle had been previously sighted in for the 115 grain bullets, but the 124 grain bullets fired four inches lower at 50 yards.

The photo below shows one of the better 2 inch 100 yard groups using 115 grain FMJ (Winchester white box). Three to four inch groups weren’t that difficult to obtain, but obviously the trigger wasn’t designed for this type of accuracy testing, so trigger-related flyers were understandably somewhat common.

 CT9 pic 24-1

As you can see, like most guns, the Taurus is capable of excellent accuracy once you find the ammo it likes. Note, however, that the groups shown above were achieved with a 6.5-power optic. Obviously, your mileage may vary if you are using the factory iron sites or a 1x red dot.  

Side-by-Side Comparison to Beretta Cx4 Storm

I asked five of my experienced shooting buddies (including two prior-service guys) to shoot the Taurus CT9 side-by-side with the Beretta Cx4 Storm and then let me know which carbine they like better. Invariably, everybody who shot both carbines side by side picked the Beretta. I was a bit surprised by this, since as a former military guy myself, I could immediately see the military pedigree of the Taurus. In almost every case, the folks who liked the Beretta noted that the Beretta was lighter and more compact. Admittedly, this is an important characteristic for a pistol-caliber carbine.

Nonetheless, when asked to compare the features, there were aspects of the Taurus that everybody agreed was better than the Beretta. I attempted to summarize the point-by-point breakdown in the chart below (X = advantage, “PP” stands for “personal preference,” with no clear consensus emerging, the  “=”  symbol indicates similar performance, no advantage. Multiple ”XX” marks indicate high degree of difference and importance.

 

Taurus CT-9   Beretta Cx4 Storm

X

Accuracy

 

=

Reliability (lack of jamming issues)

=

X

Ruggedness

 

Weight

XX

 

Carry Ergonomics (compactness)

X

X

Handling Ergonomics (Manual of Arms, etc)

 

PP

Shooting Ergonomics (stock length, cheek weld, etc)

PP

XX

Trigger

 

X

“Iron” Sights

 

X

Location of bolt catch / release

 

X

Ease of disassembly

 
 

Availability of High-Cap Magazines

XX

X

Cost

 

 

Conclusions

Taurus clearly has a winner with the CT9 if…and this is a biggie…the high-cap magazine issue is sorted out. On the other hand, I suspect that the project will flop if no high-cap mags are forthcoming. The availability of aftermarket folding and/or collapsible stocks and accompanying 922r compliance parts would also go a long way towards assuring market acceptance.

Assuming that mags and accessories are just a matter of time, the Taurus CT9 has the potential to appeal to the person who has always wanted an HK 94 or HK USC but didn’t want to pay the price of admission into Club HK. On the other hand, folks who are happy with the lower-end stuff like Kel-Tec’s Sub-2000 or a Hi-Point 995s will probably not be moved to spend double the bucks on a CT9. Anyone who would otherwise be ready to drop eight Benjamins on a Beretta will have a tough choice on their hands; the Taurus provides serious competition to the Italian carbine.

Best of all, the Taurus has loads of potential for the “modder” (my name for a gun guy who likes to modify and personalize his weapons). For example, the cavernous handguard will accommodate most suppressors; the only modification needed would be to widen out the front of the handguard. I’m seriously contemplating using the CT9 as a platform to build an integrally-suppressed SBR that would have a look similar to an HK MP5 SD. I don’t think it will take that much effort to build a rear trunion that can accommodate a Choate folding stock. Unfortunately, 992(r) compliance may be the tricky aspect of the build. My recommendation to Taurus: start producing US-compliant parts! Or even better, complete the built in the U.S. with the compliant parts already installed at the factory.

 CT9 Pic 25

Specifications:

Caliber: 9x19mm and .40 S&W  (No current plans for .45 ACP release)
Barrel: Chrome-lined, 4-groove, 16.25″ barrel with a 1:10 right-hand twist rate
Length: 36 inch overall
Weight: 7 lbs., 6 oz. (unloaded)
Operation: Semi-automatic, blowback
Finish: Blued steel, anodized aluminum, polymer
Trigger:  6 lbs., single stage.
Capacity: 10+1, two mags provided
Sights:  Polymer and steel removable HK-style aperture sites
Price:  $898 (MSRP) about $670 (street)

 

Ratings (Out of Five Stars): 

Accuracy: * * * *
The test rifle was more accurate with heavier ammunition. Not surprisingly, it tended to be more accurate with high-end defensive ammo such as 147-grain Federal Hydro-Shock. 124 grain Blaser brass provided some of the best groups during my testing. Conversely, lighter 115-grain bullets (Winchester White Box, Sellier & Bellot, etc.) seemed to give less consistent performance. Having said that, there was no ammo that gave unacceptable performance and a jack rabbit at 50 yards would be toast regardless of what ammo you used.

Ergonomics: * * * *
The full-sized thumbhole stock is surprisingly comfortable, but this carbine approaches the dimensions of a full-sized rifle.  I would like to see Taurus (or some third party) work on making this carbine more compact by adding a folding stock option and smaller fore-ends.

Reliability: * * * * *
The Taurus chewed up everything I offered it without a hiccup, from 115 grain solids to 147 grain hollow points. 

Customization: *
The gun is new. so pretty much nothing is available yet. Except whatever you can put on the rails. Stay tuned.

Overall Rating: * * * *
It’s not an HK MP5 or a UMP. But it’s pretty close for a fraction of the cost of an HK. I’ll give it a fourth star on the assumption that the 30-round mags will actually come in time. If I could get a folding stock for it, I’d be tempted to give it the full Omar Bradley.

53 Responses to Gun Review: Taurus CT9 G2 Carbine

  1. avatarTheBear says:

    This is an excellent, informative review.

    Thanks for this!

  2. avatarAdam says:

    Sub-2000′s (not p-2000).

    The kel-tec with it’s mag interoperability is what I’d love. I think this gun is ugly. But it would be interesting to shoot. Still at the price and lack of magazine I’d rather have an ugly hi-point.

    • avatarTheBear says:

      I personally have a CX4 storm for compatibility with my PX4.

      That said, I am thinking about buying an AR-15 pistol in 9mm. I haven’t decided yet.

      I can already break my CX4 down into small pieces so it is more portable.

      PPCs and magazine compatibility is a subject that interests me a lot. A good vid to watch about the Sub2k and S&W mags is:

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      Thanks Adam, Correction to Kel-Tec “Sub-2000″ made.

  3. avatar505markf says:

    That may be the best firearms review I have ever read. Useful, actionable, and comprehensive information. It is clear that you did not just introduce your own questions into the analysis but also thought of where prospective readers might be coming from. Very well done and thank you.

    • avatarrlc2 says:

      +1. Outstanding. Going in the bookmark list for later reference.
      Kudos to Taurus for listening on the straps, too.
      Hope they can fix the mags and aftermarket stock issues.

  4. avatarJohn S. says:

    I agree with the reviewer, 30 round magazine and a folding or telescoping or Folding AND telescoping stock and this gun would be a knock out. When that happens, I will happily buy one. Till then I will keep eyeing a 9MM AR-15

    • avatarover-educated economist says:

      You’d probably have to do a fair bit of parts replacement if you cared about 922r, albeit if you used American-made hi-caps, you’d probably be most of the way there.

  5. avatarAharon says:

    Hey Joe, thanks for the thorough review.

  6. avatarAvid Reader says:

    Excellent review. I look forward to you next one.

    I have one of the elusive Kel Tecs in 9mm, and I have to say it’s some fun.

  7. avataruncommon_sense says:

    I love pistol caliber carbines. The longer barrels mean you can reliably hit torso sized targets to 50 yards easily and to 100 yards with a little practice. And the longer barrels noticeably reduce the report. Most importantly, the longer barrels increase muzzle velocity and energy significantly. Of course recoil is much lower when the carbine weighs 4+ pounds versus handguns that typically weigh about 1.5 pounds.

    Regarding the increase in muzzle velocity and energy, the 16 inch barrels of the Taurus CT9, Beretta CX4, and Kel-Tec SUB-2000 carbines in .40 S&W match full power .357 Magnum loads (assuming a modern .357 Magnum revolver with a 4 inch barrel). Very few criminals simply walk away after absorbing full house .357 Magnum loads. And unlike .357 Magnum revolvers that are limited to 6 round cylinders, the carbines have magazines with more rounds.

    If you want a rifle, then buy a rifle. If you want a handgun, then buy a handgun. Or you can buy a pistol caliber carbine and get many of the advantages of both rifles and handguns in one single firearm.

  8. avatarErrantVenture11 says:

    Nice gun, but I still want a CX4 Storm so I can pretend to be a colonial marine from Battlestar Galactica when my wife isn’t home.

  9. avatarJohn Boch says:

    Why?

    For that kind of coin, you can buy a used M1 Carbine. With some Hornady Critical Defense loads or even soft-points, you’re looking at vastly more horseypower than a pistol-caliber carbine.

    If you like fancy optics (as I do), then there’s a company that makes a rail you can install on your M1 Carbine to make it uber-neat and even more functional. Mags are plentiful and cheap. Ammo isn’t bad.

    Or, if you really have a fetish for pistol-caliber carbines, buy yourself a 9mm upper for an AR.

    John

    • avatarTheBear says:

      Different strokes, different folks.

      For instance, I have -0- desire to ever own a 1911 but I have a friend who has 6.

    • avatarSixpack70 says:

      Not everyone wants an old M1 carbine. This is a brand new rifle. My M1 carbine is a lot of fun to shoot, but I only shoot it once in a while due to ammo cost. 50 rounds of .30 cal is around $19 for steel case $25-30 for brass. 50 rounds of 9mm is around $12-$13, or $8.99 for steel case like I bought last week. Additionally I can find 9mm or .40 everywhere, .30 cal not so much. That’s why.

    • avatarPaul G. says:

      M1 carbines are fun, very true. But 9mm ammo is more widely available, and at least 25% less costly. Otherwise my carbine would get more range time.
      9mm AR’s are best fitted with a dedicated lower. Besides, more options in the marketplace is always a good thing.

  10. avatarrammerjammer says:

    Good review. But for a fun pistol caliber plinker I’ll stick with my Hi Point.

    Ugly- yes

    Functional and accurate- yes

    If you really have serious needs for a pistol caliber carbine like LEO, go for a more expensive option. But for the average Joe looking for a fun gun at the range, the Hi Point will meet and exceed your expectations.

    • avatarTheBear says:

      I have never heard anything but good things about the hi point carbine from people who actually own them.

      I’ve been meaning on picking one up myself one day.

      • avatarMorseus says:

        Bought the 995ts at a gunshop in PA on black friday. It was extremely fun to shoot the following day. Ate everything I fed it (blazer aluminum, swiss 9mm brass, hand loads from mixed cases) My only complaint was the trigger was hurting my finger after the first 100 rounds, and that’s not that big of a deal.

      • avatarS_J says:

        Had a 995 for a little while, bought it used (like new condition) for about $250. Trigger was TERRIBLE (as bad as HP’s pistols), it managed to FTF at least once a magazine (to be fair the crappy mag springs were the problem and not the gun itself, I didn’t have a spare to test with) and the lack of an open bolt catch was annoying. It was a pretty fun range toy when it worked and managed about 3-4 MOA even with that lousy trigger but for a home defense carbine it was questionable at best. I don’t really miss it.

  11. avatarJonathan -- Houston says:

    I own both a Taurus pistol and a Rossi revolver. “Reliable” is not among the first thousand adjectives I would use to describe either one. Taurus magazine availability is hit or miss, too. Mostly miss. Maybe the carbine is different in all counts, but I wouldn’t ever take take the chance, especially at more than range toy prices.

  12. avatarJeffR says:

    I believe that carbine complies with Cook County’s AWB, so yippee for me . . . until someone rats us out and it is specifically added as a prohibited item like the Storm and some other compliant rifles have been.

    • avatarJeffR says:

      Correction. I forgot they made it a single feature test and added thumbhole stocks to the feature list. I cannot wait until I can move to Indiana.

  13. avatarArgues says:

    Looks very similar to the HK USC even down to the 10 rnd mag limit.

  14. Great review. I’d love to have one of these. Probably would if I did not already own a Thureon Defense .40 cal. carbine (also uses Glock mags … very nice; largest capacity = 22 round).
    http://owl.li/rFUbt

  15. avatarSteve says:

    The Hi-point carbine may be the ugliest production firearm in the world, however Advanced Technologies makes a nice replacement stock. In fact, it looks better than the Taurus. The Hi-point is a very crude rifle but it is cheap, reliable and fun. Great deal for a 9mm plinker.

  16. avatarPaul B says:

    Good review. I guess I am a bid of a Taurus junkie as I have 4 of there offerings. I cannot find a good reason to by a pistol caliber rifle so I am pretty sure one is in my future.

  17. I’m still confused why pistol caliber carbines haven’t explored bullpup territory… My RFB is shorter and handles better than the CT9, and it’s a .308! With such a short action stroke, it’s a shoe-in… You could have a 22 inch barrel and still be just barely 26 inches long… Maybe I should shut up and finish my design? :-p

    • avatarTheBear says:

      MSAR was developing one before they went bankrupt.

      http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/0114091919.jpg

    • avatarover-educated economist says:

      Both the Tavor and the AUG will have 9mm kits shortly. The problem is that both guns will run something like $2500-$3000 by the time you’ve bought them, and they don’t really let you run barrels much under 15″. 9mm _loses_ velocity past 16″.

      IMHO, you are better off cost-wise by going with an SBR. An AR-15 9mm or Glock in a stock is ~$1300 by the time you’re done. A Vector Uzi would be cheaper. Heck, if you could find a used Steyr SPP or B&T TP9, you might be able to SBR it for about the same range. I noticed that Atlantic Firearms is now selling SP-89 clones, so there’s yet another option for an MP5K AOW or the like.

  18. avatarBill says:

    I wonder why Taurus doesn’t just manufacture them here in the states to get around the import restrictions.

  19. avatarHannibal says:

    Good review, but…

    “It’s a true military/law enforcement design”- what does this mean in terms of “pro”? That you can look tacticool?

    • avatarMatt Richardson says:

      That sentence upset my stomach as well. “Milspec” and “military design” suggests to me that said piece of equipment is to lower standard than something spec’d/geared toward a private market.

      But alas, it’s Us VS Them and they chose it

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      What I meant by my comment was, as I alluded to, that that the gun is “G.I Proof.” The weapon has a minimum of small parts, doesn’t have any delicate parts that will break easily, and is easy to disassemble and maintain in the field, doesn’t have any parts that can be installed backwards (like the trigger leaf spring on an M-60), and the gun won’t fire with any key parts missing (like the Vz-58). A Ruger Mini-14 is an example of a gun that would never get any military contracts today, because it is too damn difficult to disassemble in the field and has an excessive number of small, easy-to-lose parts. The Beretta Cx4 storm is another good example: its got a number of small delicate plastic parts, and therefore would never fit a true military role.

      • avatarKenneth Waggoner says:

        I know right, if you want to make it bullet proof hand it to a soldier for 10 minutes, if he hands it back and it still works, you’ve done it. If it’s FUBAR, you need to go back to the drawing board. Think of Zoolander when they are looking for the files on the computer, and yes I can say that, Sgt, 8 years Navy, 4 years Army.

  20. avatarHinshelworld says:

    The sling is intended to be fastened to the gun with 550 cord and not to be clipped on. Its an Israeli style and all I use on my rifles.

  21. avatarRalph says:

    Another comprehensive Joe Grine review!

    One question, Joe: are you convinced of this carbine’s long term reliability, build quality and Taurus’ customer service?

    Okay, three questions.

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      I feel very confident in the long-term reliability and build quality of the CT9. It has no obvious weak points, and everything seems to be built to take abuse. Of course, that’s why it’s a bit heavier than say a Beretta Cx4. As for Taurus’s customer service, I have no first-hand knowledge.

  22. avatarOzzallos says:

    You realize you can get past the HiPoint’s butt-ugly looks for about $50, right? With an aftermarket stock that makes it look like the CX4? And still come in over two hundred dollars cheaper than the Taurus? Or that it’s made in the USA? With light years better customer service and warranty to boot? Did I mention it’s lighter than the CT9?

    The fact that people are pushing this Taurus as a good thing is almost criminal. Throwing the Sub2000 in would just make it worse if they weren’t made of unobtainium.

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      We aren’t “pushing” anything here at TTAG. If a product merits a good review, then it gets a good review. As for the Sub-2000, it’s a kool little gun and I would buy one (if they actually still make them?!?!). But its certainly not in the same league as the Taurus in terms of ruggedness, etc. Sure, its light, but it is obviously not built to take any serious abuse. As for the Hi-Point, I can’t really speak to the ruggedness of the design because I’ve never shot one. I may pick one up and test it out – I see them at the shows for under $300 so not a big investment.

  23. avatarJay says:

    Sorry, I haven’t been impressed at all by the Taurus products I have handled. Further, the pistol caliber carbine still seems like a solution looking for a problem. That which you can cover with a pistol, you should be able to cover with a long gun in a more decisive caliber than 9mm or 40.

  24. avatarPaul G. says:

    I’d like to get a chance to fire one of these, they look promising. I really enjoy 9mm carbines. I had one of the early hipoints, clunky, fugly, cheap and tons of fun. Moved up to the Marlin Camp Carbine, and really enjoy that gun, especially since it looks “normal”. I do have an AR in 9mm as well, with the CMMG upper. Both of those guns have normal capacity magazines in the 25-30 round range readily available.
    The Beretta looks cool, but when handling those I was left unimpressed. On originally seeing the Taurus, and the price tag, I felt similarly. After this review, I may have to revisit the Taurus idea, especially seeing how it fared against the Beretta. It seems to have bested the Beretta in some very key areas, and the extra weight may be a plus, I like pistol carbines to feel more “full sized” anyways.

  25. avatarcrzapy says:

    I love pistol caliber carbines. I have a Colt AR in 9mm, another 9mm AR I built myself, a civilian legal UZI, and a sub 2000 in .40S&W. Therefore I am intrigued by this rifle. However, I would much rather have the rifle pictured with the guys in the balaclavas and body armor than the nerfed version next to the lake.

    Finally, I would really rather have a Sig MPX or for HK to begin making SP89s again.

  26. avatarensitue says:

    Great review but PCCs that are as large and weigh as much as a 5.56 do not float my boat

  27. avatarC Wesley Bryant says:

    Another great review, Joe.

    I would have to disagree with your assessment of that thing on the ass end. Its not lame, its hairy-assed, Oregon hippy-chick ugly lame.

  28. avatarMediocrates says:

    I would love to own one of these. I would love to own a CX4, but at twice the price, my Hi Point 995 TS goes bang every time I pull the trigger. I have yet for any guys at the range to tell me how sexy I look shooting. Most of them want to give it a try…

  29. avatarTom says:

    Another negative if not already listed as I did not read all the comments,
    barrel not threaded.

  30. avatarPeyton says:

    I have a Kel-Tec Sub2K in .40 S&W. Got it for less than half of the street price I’ve seen the Taurus going for. It’s been 100% reliable, is a tack driver and I personally think it looks super cool plus the ability to fold it and carry it in the same range bag as my pistols pushes the coolness factor through the roof. I’m not sayin the Taurus is a bad gun or that I dislike the company ( I actually have a Taurus TCP .380 that has been very reliable and was priced very well) but they are out of their minds if they think they’re going to have a huge hit with this one at that price point. Way too much competition in the 9mm carbine arena with weapons that have better magazine capacity, mag availability/flexibility and guns that don’t have a really awful stock for a MUCH better price point. If they cut the price in half, and I mean the street price not the msrp, I would give serious consideration and probably even buy one. But until then there’s not a chance I would drop that much coin on this weapon. Sorry Taurus.

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      Having handled and shot both guns, I can say without any reservation that there is no comparison between the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 and the Taurus CT-9. The CT-9 is based on a military design that is currently serving with elite police forces and military units. The Kel-Tec Sub 2000 is a toy – a cool toy no doubt, but its a toy. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Sub-2000, and I will buy one if I can find one at the right price. But it is rather delicate – definitely not rugged enough for military use. I see the Sub-2000 serving the role of a break down survival gun.

  31. avatarSterling says:

    I handled one in my LGS a few days ago. many of the observations that you made were the same as mine. it seemed heavy for a carbine and the thumbhole is kindof a turn off but the quality seemed way better than what Taurus has been releasing as of late. the 10 round mags were also a bit of a bummer but in all honesty they are UZI mags. a person with a bit of know-how could modify 20-32 round Uzi mags to fit in much the same manner that 9mm AR15s are able to use modified Uzi mags.

    the trigger was the most impressive feature for me, much better than any other 9mm carbine I’ve tried including my AR15. the thing I flat out disliked about it was the sights. definitely calls for a red dot.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.