Saturday, September 22, 2012

Taurus 24/7 OSS

  I went to the range this week expecting to get a lot of material for this post. I believed that I would leave the firing line with a negative opinion of this Taurus, and plenty of criticisms.
Surprisingly that didn't happen.

  This gun belongs to a family member, and only had a few hundred rounds through it before today. It was for sale, and I have the opportunity to buy it because:
1) I live in one of the free states in which that is legal. My condolences to those that don't.
2) The owner already has another full sized 9mm, and would rather have some cash for a new CCW gun.


Barrel:    5.25" Match Grade
Length:   8.19"
Weight:   32.5oz
Safety:     Firing Pin Block, Trigger Safety, Ambi External Safety, Ambi Firing Pin Decocker, Cocking Indicator, Loaded Chamber Indicator
Sights:     Novak 3 Dot (Driftable rear sight)
Capacity: 17+1
Caliber:    9mm
Trigger:    SA/DA (6.5lbs SA & 7.5lbs DA)

  Most of the specs were taken from the manual. I had to hunt around a bit to find the trigger pulls and I hope those are correct. No guarantees on that however.


  This handgun (Actually the .45acp version) was originally made for the USSOCOM test in 2005. The military was looking for a replacement pistol and as there was a potential for up to 650,000 handguns (And gear) this could have been a very lucrative contract. Taurus was one of the manufacturers that submitted a pistol and the 24/7 OSS remained in the trials until the program was cancelled.

  The 24/7 OSS won the NRA's Handgun Of The Year award in 2005.

  Now you know what I know regarding the history of this firearm.


  This handgun has a 5.25" match barrel.

Safety Lock:

  There is a key lock on the right side of the slide. The Taurus Security System (TSS) locks with a key, and disables the gun.
  To use the TSS, unload and clear the pistol. Let the slide go forward and squeeze the trigger while pointing the gun in a safe direction. Insert the key and rotate the TSS mechanism clockwise 180 degrees.
  To disengage the TSS merely rotate the mechanism counterclockwise 180 degrees.

  I dislike having key locks built into firearms because I feel that they exist for one reason, to keep the gun from being used by a child. This sounds admirable, but the problem is that if a child can find your gun then he/she can also find your keys. IMO these kinds of locks are a poor solution.
  If you're worried about children handling your guns then get a safe of some kind (and train your kids to behave). They aren't that expensive, and in my opinion opening a small safe that has a keypad is quicker than trying to find the TSS key and unlock the gun.
  If things go bump in the night and you need to quickly unlock your handgun, I believe that you'll find your fine motor skills are suffering do to fear and/or adrenaline. Easier is always better in such a situation.
  I'll say it again. I don't like these tiny locks and little keys. I prefer safes that can be opened via a keypad, and I'm a big believer in keeping my guns secure around children.

  The TSS lock no doubt satisfies the company's lawyers and the nanny states that require such a system.

  A truly cheap trigger lock was also included in the case. I would say that it's at the low end of the price and quality spectrum.


  The 24/7 OSS has a SA/DA trigger. Most of you are familiar with the system. It''s been around for a while and many manufacturers use it for a model or two.
  The single action trigger pull is reported to be 6.5lbs. There's a good amount of slack initially and then it breaks cleanly when being used in SA. I wouldn't say it's M1911 like in the way that it breaks but it's not at all bad for this kind of trigger system.
  The double action trigger is supposed to be 7.5lbs. I think that it's a little heavier, but I don't really have any complaints about the pull. There's a little take up when shooting  double action, and then the trigger is smooth and consistent for the rest of the pull.
  I'm not a big fan of SA/DA triggers but I've had them on a couple of Rugers that I used to own and the Taurus has a much better trigger than my P85 and P89. Of course those models had awful triggers so that is not exactly high praise for the Taurus.
  I recently got to play with a relative's CZ P-07 and it's ridiculous how much nicer the trigger is on that gun. Of course it sells for over $600 so it's a little unfair to compare the two.
  Is the 24/7 OSS trigger better than that of the Beretta? It's worth mentioning since this was intended as a replacement for the M9.  I hope to borrow a friend's soon so I can do a comparison.
  Edit:    The Beretta was finally borrowed, and it clearly has a better single action and double action trigger pull than the Taurus.

  The manufacturers of SA/DA semi autos always make a big deal about having a second strike capability when you have a misfire. With a SA/DA system you can squeeze the trigger again when a round doesn't fire instead of having to rack the slide. I've always been doubtful about the usefulness of this since most of us train to slap, rack, bang when the pistol doesn't fire.
  I wouldn't buy a gun just to get this capability unless I had a great deal of problems racking the slide (Hand injuries, arthritis, etc). Actually, I would most likely just get a revolver instead of a semi automatic if I couldn't easily rack the slide.


  There's an ambidextrous three position safety. The lower position is off, and a red dot is visible on both sides of the frame to indicate that the weapon will fire.
  Moving the safety lever to the middle position engages the manual safety, and locks both the slide and trigger in place.
  If the safety is pushed all of the way up it decocks the firing pin, and the safety lever then automatically drops back down in the middle position. This will require the shooter to disengage it by pushing it down before firing.
   Placing the safety off and on is pretty easy, and I doubt that many will have problems with it. The safety lever seems stiff enough to prevent it from accidentally being disengaged while not being so stiff that it's difficult to engage.
  The decocker is a little harder to use with the shooting hand, and most of the time I have to shift my grip a little when using it.
 Just out of curiosity, I gave the gun to my wife and she had to use her off hand to operate the decocker.
  More information on this weapon's safety can be found in the manual on this site.

Accessory Rail:

  The picatinny rail is a rail. My light fits on it. Nuff said about that.


  The grip feels really good. It fits my hand as well as my XDM does. The Springfield Armory XDM has been my standard  of comparison for the last few years. As I sit here comparing the two guns, I'm having a hard time deciding on which gun feels better. The Springfield wins by a nose.
  There are some slight finger grooves molded into the grip, and the magazine's base pad completes the area of the grip where your pinkie rests.
There is a provision for attaching a lanyard at the bottom of the grip. I'll never use it, but it's a nice extra feature. The lanyard ring was a requirement of the USSOCOM trials.

  The magazine release is reversible for wrong handed shooters. The button really could sit out a little more. I have to rotate the gun slightly in my hand in order to press it. The magazines drop free easily.

  There are Ambidextrous Indexed Memory Pads for your trigger finger to rest on when it's not inside the trigger guard.
I don't know what we did before these were invented (Sarcasm).
  They look nice and add another interesting shape to the frame, but I wouldn't go overboard in talking about their usefulness. Proper training and common sense are what keeps your finger off of the trigger when your sights are not on the target.

24/7 OSS vs. 5.25" XDm


  The slide on this pistol has a black Tennifer coating. I have high hopes for it, but really have no idea how tough it will be. I expect the finish will be as durable as the Tennifer coating used by other manufacturers. Time will tell.
Edit. Actually time probably won't tell since the Taurus will probably be a safe queen. Hopefully the handgun can stand up to the rigors of sitting in my safe for weeks at a time.

  The slide catch (Taurus's term) can be depressed without having to shift your grip.

  If this gun is intended for a shared home defense weapon then expect for your wife to have to use two hands for some of the controls, or to change her grip on the pistol. I don't think that this should necessarily be a deal breaker, but it should be expected.
I just gave the gun to my wife and watched her use the decocker several times. She needed two hands to use it.
24/7 OSS vs. Springfield Loaded
The DaywalkersMom can sweep the manual safety off without a grip change but does need to shift the gun in her hand to engage it. She has no issues releasing the slide one handed and no grip change is needed.


  This handgun wears Novak 3 dot sights. The rear sight is easily adjustable for windage by loosening one torx screw and then drifting it over as you normally would.
  I found the gun shooting a few inches to the left at 15yds, and moved the sight over with just a few firm taps. I cannot see the rear sight moving on it's own even if the torx screw loosens up. Good to know.


  The blued magazines appear well made, and have an attractive blued finish. They hold 17 rnds and there are 3 witness holes (5, 10, 17) on the backside.
  The magazines disassemble easily and I couldn't find any burrs. The inside is very smooth. I feel that's worth noting after a manufacturer parkarized the inside of some Beretta magazines (per the gov request).
  I have no problem loading them up to 15 rounds. Getting them loaded to full capacity was just a little difficult for me, and impossible for the wife and Daywalker. One of the 4 magazines used for testing will only hold 16 rnds.
  No loading tool was included in the kit but I have seen other people reviewing the .45cal Taurus discussing the magazine loading tool that was included in their gun case. I haven't seen any reviews on the 9mm version that included one. Some people will not be able to top off the magazines without a loading tool of some kind.
  I would like to see more witness holes on the back of the mags. Since this handgun wasn't adopted by the military I'd rather see the magazines with a stainless instead of blued finish. To each his own.
  As it's a discontinued model I doubt that is will happen and all that I've seen are blued magazines online.

  XDM magazines are alongside the 24/7 OSS mags. Witness holes are done right on the Springfield mags.

  As I stated earlier, this gun is no longer in production. The 24/7 G2 magazines don't work with it. I managed to find magazines online ($35) but it took a little more effort than normal since everyone lists 24/7 mags, but most don't include which version.
All of my magazines are stamped 'Made In Brazil,' and I'm kind of bummed that I don't see any listed on the Mec-Gar website.


  I'm not going into great detail on this. Let me just say that it's easy. It's much simpler than taking apart a M1911, but just slightly harder than disassembling a Glock.
  One difference between this gun and most of the other polymer framed competitors is that the slide disassembly latch is removed. That's no big deal. It's just different if you're used to Glocks, XD's and XDM's. I expected it to just rotate and was surprised that it had to come out.
  You will have to squeeze the trigger when taking this gun apart. That's not something that I worry about, but some agencies don't like that requirement for their duty weapons.
Long story short... anyone can fieldstrip and clean this handgun. The manual can be found here if you're interested.


  This is always difficult to judge because I don't have a ransom rest and we are not allowed to shoot off of sandbags on my pistol range.
Thus, when the targets look bad is it me or is it the gun? It's generally me.
Anyway, here's my targets at 15 yds since a gun review without targets is BS, IMO.

  The target on the left was shot only in single action, and I got off about 1 round per second.
  The right target was shot only in double action, and was considerably slower as I had to decock after every shot (3-4 seconds perhaps?).

  This is from the Springfield Loaded at 12yds. While I didn't distinguish myself this week, I can shoot a little better than I did in the targets above.  BTW, once I get a few hundred more rounds through the Loaded I'll get a review up. I have very mixed feelings about this gun so far.

  It's a few weeks later and I had a chance to take the Taurus out again. The target at the right is from 15yds while shooting single action. I'm getting a bit more used to the trigger.
  A box of Tulammo and a little WWB was put through it today.  I figure that since this is a budget handgun it should probably be able to run budget ammo. There were no issues with the pistol and I'm starting to really like this gun.

  I believe that this is my third range trip with this Taurus. The groups are getting a little better. The target to the right was shot with the 24/7 OSS, and the one on the left was shot with a Beretta 92FS. The orange centers are 3" and the distance was 10 yds.


  The owner of this handgun was nice enough to break it in for me a few months ago. I watched him put about 200 - 250 rnds of really old reloads through the 24/7 OSS.
I also watched him clear a lot of jams. Stovepipes were by far the most common.
I firmly believe that some of the issues were caused by the age of his ammo but he was also limp wristing the gun a lot. He kept using a very low grip on the gun, and had about an inch of empty space above the web of his thumb. Very weird grip.
  I only put two magazines through the Taurus that day but had no reliability issues using what I'll call a 'Normal Grip.'
  I put 100 rnds of WWB through the 24/7 OSS a few days ago and had no issues. It ran perfectly, and I didn't clean or lube it before the range. I was curious how it would run after the owner had so many problems, and I didn't want it pristine before shooting.
So... what would I give it in regards to reliability?
  How about an 'Incomplete?' This weapon has had issues even though I'm almost 100% sure that it was operator error, lousy ammo, and the break in period (perhaps a combination of the three?). It's history is it's history, and 100 good rnds downrange doesn't negate that.
  Still... it ran fine for me.
92FS, PT92 & 24/7 OSS

  The 24/7 OSS comes with a coat of some kind of rust inhibitor inside. This white grease like substance does not appear to be a lubricant, and I can definitely see malfunctions occurring if the pistol isn't cleaned before shooting.
  I took care of that few months ago however before the original range trip.
  I remember seeing other reviews online, and from the tone of some of them I suspect that the owners went straight from the gun store to the range without even waving a can of Break-Free over the gun.

Random Musings:

  First of all, my wife insists that I note that those dirty rugs in the pics above are from the range and not our carpet.

  Secondly, did I mention that the gun was for sale? I'm getting it. I feel confident
enough in the reliability to buy it, but would hate to recommend this model to others without having a higher round count on it.
  It's going to be another fun gun for me and not a home defense gun. While I might grumble about sending an unreliable gun back to the factory, I have others that can fill the role for defensive use.
  Others may not have that in their budget. I would hate to hear that someone bought a 24/7 OSS based partially on my recommendation when I've only seen a little over 100 good rounds go through it. This is especially true since no defensive ammo was used thus far in my shooting.

  Thirdly, the pistol has been discontinued by Taurus. Sooner or later it will be hard to get magazines, holsters, etc.

  Taurus did a good job on the manual. It's much better than some I've seen lately.

  According to the all knowing, all powerful internet the year of manufacture for this gun is stamped inside of the slide. If that's true (and when has the internet ever let us down?), then this 24/7 OSS was made in 2009. There is a 9 (Middle aged eyes.... or perhaps a 6?) under the area of the slide in which the barrel is placed.

  One more thing, this is a large pistol. Even with the polymer frame it's still heavy. I wouldn't want to carry it, the size/weight helps a lot to reduce recoil. I believe that most people could learn to shoot this gun without developing a flinch. It may be a bit harder to get used to the SA/DA (And decocker) trigger system though. I wouldn't recommend any handgun with that form of trigger if the owner is only going to put a box of ammo through it and then put it away.

  What would $400 get you as a comparison? That's what this weapon currently sells for NIB (new in box).  We'll use the full sized service pistol category.
  The only new handguns that I can think of at this time are the Ruger SR9, EAA Witness, Caracal, Tanfolio, etc. You can get a Glock trade in for the same price at the local gun stores in my area. I've also seen some police trade in Berettas (.40cal) for under $400.
  But... this Taurus wasn't $400. It's $300, has $70 worth of extra magazines, and only has a few hundred rounds through it. I think that it's a very good value at that price.

  So in conclusion, I like the gun. It's fun to shoot, and a change from the M1911s and XDMs that I spend most of my time with. The SA/DA trigger is a little different from what I've been using these past few years. While I don't prefer that system for self defense, it's kind of fun now and then at the range.
The price is right. The handgun is pretty good overall.
I'll take it.

Only shipped with 2 magazines
  One last edit, I checked out the 24/7 G2 this week. I wasn't overly impressed, and actually prefer the OSS over the G2. Of course fondling the newer 24/7 for a couple of minutes at the gun store isn't much of a test.

  Edit:   It's been a few months since this review was posted. I've taken the Taurus to the range at least 3 more times, and am liking this gun more and more. I put it up against my two XDMs yesterday, and shot much better with the 24/7 OSS. Note that I'm not saying that the Taurus is more accurate. I just shoot it better (at least with slow fire). The latest target pic will be included below.
  BTW. recoil is noticeably lighter with this weapon than with my 4.5" XDM or 5.25" Competition XDM. Of course both Springfields are lighter pistols.
  Not everything is perfect in Taurusville however. There were a lot of failures to fire over the last couple of range trips. Because 9mm ammo is scarce, I tend to bring a few different brands when going to the range. The 24/7 OSS doesn't like 100gr Federal Premium Ballisticlean. I've had about 8 FTFs in the Taurus with this ammo. It will generally go off with a second strike. I picked up a case of it late last year, and it's worked fine in my other 9mm handguns. After running some WWB & Ultramax without any problems yesterday, I am convinced that it's just a quirk of this gun and the Federal Ballisticlean.

15 yds (3" Orange Bullseye)

Other Gun Reviews On This Blog

No comments:

Post a Comment