Taurus’s new Commander has many fine features, including a 4.25-inch stainless-steel barrel. Unloaded, it weighs 35.0 ounces. All parts are manufactured and assembled at the company’s factory in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and imported to the United States. A passive block prevents the firing pin from moving forward until the trigger is squeezed.
The frame and slide begin as ordnance-grade steel forgings, and like all other parts, they are precision-machined to final dimensions. Almost everything considered to be important on this type of pistol is here.
The Commander slide has grasping grooves up front and at the rear. Novak sights are dovetailed to the slide, with two white dots flanking the 0.130-inch-wide rear sight notch and a single dot on the 0.130-inch front blade. The rear sight is drift-adjustable for windage. A lowered and flared ejection port combined with a lengthened ejector ensures trouble-free exit of spent cases.
The frontstrap, mainspring housing, and the flat surface of the magazine release have 30-line checkering. The grip safety is the high-sweep type with speed bump, and the extended tab of the thumb safety is nicely striated. The black synthetic grip panels have a double-diamond checkering pattern replete with the familiar El Toro logo. The lightweight aluminum trigger has an overtravel adjustment screw, and the magazine is made in Italy by Mec-Gar.
It’s not unusual for 1911 pistols to require breaking in before they will function reliably, and that includes some with price tags much larger than those hanging on the Taurus pistol. Prior to accuracy testing, I subjected the new Commander to several IDPA courses of fire. There were a few bobbles in the early going, so I removed the upper and noted it was quite dry inside. I gave the slide rails a light coat of Birchwood Casey Synthetic Gun Oil. While there was an occasional stoppage thereafter, once round count had climbed to 100, it had stopped misbehaving. Semiwadcutter bullets sometimes cause an off-the-shelf 1911 to choke, but the gun ran smoothly with my handload and Black Hills factory ammo loaded with that type of bullet.
Due to heavy rains prior to my shootout, the only target frames on dry land were at 7 yards, so I placed targets at that distance and shot the Commander over an MTM pistol rest with its butt resting atop a 1-inch-thick leather sandbag. Four, five-shot groups were fired with two handloads and five factory loads. The average for 28 five-shot groups was 1.36 inches. The smallest 20-round average was 1.17 inches.
The Taurus 1911 Commander comes in a lockable hard case with one magazine, a cable-style gun lock, and a nylon bushing wrench. According to Taurus promotional material, the company’s 1911 pistols are easily “customized,” and while many who buy one will be quite happy with it as it comes from the factory, the price does leave room in some budgets for improvements.
First on my list would include an ambidextrous thumb safety. I am right-handed, but I prefer an ambidextrous safety on a Model 1911 carry gun simply because it is quicker and easier to disengage with the weak hand should the strong hand become immobilized.
Next on my list is a trigger job. While my trigger finger has engaged worse, considering the amount of money saved when buying a Taurus 1911, a better trigger should fit into most budgets.
That being said, Taurus has made its mark in the world of guns by offering dependable yet affordable pistols and revolvers. The new 1911 Commander in .45 ACP continues that trend.
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