Monday, March 10, 2008
The Armed Agrarian: Taurus Versus Kel-Tec
Like most Western Pennsylvania Country People, I like guns. Aesthetically, my favorite guns are muzzle loaders, but if it shoots, I am interested.
I know there are many people who do not like guns in the hands of everyday folks. To me, The reality of sin and evil are the only provable points in Christian theology. Creation is fallen.I will not debate the morality of self defense, but would refer the reader to the learned Father Frog on the matter.
Because of our beliefs, both my wife and I keep ready arms in our house, and carry concealed handguns everywhere we legally can. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, open carry is legal without a permit (except in vehicles), concealed carry permits are available to any adult who can pass a simple background test, and thanks to the Pa. Attorney General, a Pa. Concealed Carry hermit is recognized in many other states (Always check the law for yourself-I am not a lawyer)
Being old fashioned, for years I carried revolvers of various sorts. My only auto was a 1911 I traded to a coworker years ago. I bought another 45--a Ruger Blackhawk with an extra cylinder in 45 ACP. I like revolvers.
However, I kept passing the relatively cheap 9mm ammo at gun shows, and decided to get a small auto pistol. I wanted a pistol that could unobtrusively go anywhere. I settled on a Taurus PT 111 Millennium Pro, based upon a very positive experience with one of their Model 94 22 revolvers.
From purchase, the Taurus did not function well. I attributed some of the jamming to break in , but the trouble got worse as I shot more. One spent case actually cracked and scratched the stainless steel coating on the slide. The local dealer sent it back.
While the Taurus was gone, I found a deal on a used Kel-Tec at another shop. I had given Kel Tec consideration based upon a favorable review by this guy in Backwoodsman magazine. The Taurus came back last week, so I have had an opportunity to shoot and carry both guns and offer a comparison. Here's my review:
Overall: Both guns are 9mm, which is considered a minimal caliber for self defense. I am careful to carry only premium ammunition that has a good performance record. However, a 9mm in my pocket beats the 12 gauge at home. Both guns are highly concealable.
However, the Kel-Tec is really concealable. The Taurus conceals well in a shoulder rig or inside the waist band holster. The Kel-Tec conceals anywhere. It is truly pocket size.
Comfort: The Taurus is more ergonomically comfortable. In your hand it feels like a standard pistol. It is very controllable with recoil. The Kel-Tec had a tendency to bite my hand a little in prolonged shooting until I bought a magazine grip extension.
Trigger Pull: The Kel-Tec has a trigger much like a double action revolver. The Taurus has a long mushy feel, unlike any other pistol I have shot. The Kel Tec has no safety (Again like a double action revolver), the Taurus has a left side safety.
I got used to the Kel-Tec Trigger quicker.
Sights: The Taurus has Heinie sights that require holder over the target: not a standards six o'clock sight picture. A coworker thinks they are the best combat sights he ever saw, even better than his Glock. They took me about 300 rounds to get used to, but I know like them OK. The Kel-Tec had the non snag standard three dots.
Reliability: After a return to the factory, the Taurus now functions. The dealer is madder than I am about the way Taurus dealt with the whole affair.They fixed the slide internally, but not the chip in the finish. After 450 rounds, the Kel Tec had one failure to feed that I quickly cleared. Kel Tecs are not pretty, but mine is very reliable.
Overall, I am won over by the Kel Tec. I will keep the Taurus, but will not buy another. The small dealer will no longer sell them, based upon their service. The Kel Tec also accounted for one marauding possum, who was eating the barn cats food. I pray each day, I never need any of my guns for more than that, but knowing the reality of the world, I must remain an armed agrarian.