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Let’s get down and dirty with Taurus for a minute.

Taurus, a company frequently known for its insanely powerful Judge and unbelievably affordable G2c, has honest-to-goodness delivered a dirt-cheap option for those who like to carry concealed with a hammer-fired firearm.

Courtesy of Taurus

It’s actually not a bad-looking little firearm, is it?

The Taurus TH9c is a budget-friendly concealed carry option that carries a respectable 13+1 rounds with its compact magazine, and 15 in the second included mag. It’s a polymer framed and DA/SA, meaning however you’re comfortable carrying is available. It’s even got a decocker and something resembling a half-cock for those CZ aficionados out there (myself included), although it’s really a 15% cock at best. That brings me to the very first thing I noticed about this firearm, aesthetics notwithstanding:

That trigger pull is long.

It’s not even that heavy, it’s just longer than the line to get into any given Star Wars-related Disney attraction. I struggled a little with that, which we’ll get into in a minute. My grandfather, which we’ll also introduce in a minute, was more or less unphased.

The specs of this firearm are pretty straightforward, so I’ll link you to Taurus’ site for the full rundown. It packs a 3.5″ barrel, is chambered in 9mm, and is remarkably broad at 1.3″. Some people are going to love that — I have bear paws for hands and was quite comfortable with the short magazine — and some are going to claim that’s too fat. I didn’t find it concerning.

The sights were a different question.

At 10 yards, I struggled more than a city boy trying to fabricate folksy simile.

Courtesy of my own human failings

Don’t let the bottom grouping deceive you — that was two separate groups. The top grouping was aimed at the -1 it’s centered around, but still. Yikes.

Something wasn’t clicking with me, obviously. Luckily, I was at the range with my grandfather at the time, who once upon a time was attached to Delta and has forgotten more about shooting than I’ll learn in my pathetic little life. He was willing to give it a try and ensure the fault truly lay with me.

Courtesy of an overly-patient veteran

Those three outliers were him dialing it in, and the rest was bang-on. He commented that the sights seemed to get him over to the left a bit, but as you can see, that didn’t throw him off all that much.

It was nice to see that the firearm could function like it was supposed to, but then it was back to work trying to figure out just what the hell I was doing wrong.

The answer turned out to be the sights.

I told you I have enormous hands.

That’s how I was looking down the three-dot sights. It’s how I work the Tristar T-100 I normally carry, and I can acquit myself reasonably well with that firearm.

I changed the sight picture, just a little bit, and that turned out to make all the difference.

Made you look.

That upward angle might be a hair exaggerated relative to what I did downrange, but not by much. Lifting that front sight far beyond what I normally do, even with other Taurus models, made an enormous difference.

What, again? Come on, man.

Two groups. The first, the lower of the two, remained loose, but if you eliminate the two fliers we’re down to a 2.5″ grouping, roughly speaking. The second group was high, mostly because I was so excited I was making progress that I aimed even higher, and the group became something much more close to what I like to see. It ended up making for a pretty nice day at the range.

If you wanted to sum this gun up, you’d need to just pick up on two things:

1. This is not a $200-$300 firearm that fires like an $800 firearm. This is a $200-$300 firearm that shoots like a $400-500 firearm.

If you purchase this firearm expecting it to be a world-beater, you’re going to be disappointed. That’s not something Taurus designed the firearm to be. It is, however, exactly what it was made to be — a strikingly-inexpensive (I saw one on sale at a pawn shop for $189), genuinely compact firearm that can serve as a concealed carry option for someone on a tight budget.

2. Taurus has made a *massive* improvement on their semiautomatic handgun game.

Taurus has suffered a far less-than-sterling reputation for its semiautomatic firearms in the past. Despite having a perfectly serviceable 1911 model for quite some time, Taurus was known for value-level revolvers, inexpensive options for your .38 or .357 jonesing, especially for those who like a snub nose for concealed carry. Not too long ago, the now-famous Taurus Judge made a splash as well — also a revolver, and one I adore.

If Taurus continues in the trend that it set for itself with this and the G2c, their reputation challenges will be a thing that Twitter troll historians remember with a sense of awe. It’s worth noting that there was not a single FTF through the entire battery of testing, and I used four different brands of ammo in a vain attempt to trip it up.

If you’re considering a purchase, you have my blessing — not that you need it, but you got it anyway.

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