Gun Review: Taurus 740

Need an affordable, subcompact pistol chambered in a major caliber? Taurus claims to have your gun in the 740 SLIM. Introduced several years ago, the Taurus SLIM series of pistols are compact, polymer guns with a number of attractive features and a sub-$500 price tag.
 
The guns are chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W and are clearly designed for concealed carry and back-up duties. The Taurus 740 is chambered in .40 S&W.

But, all the features in the world won’t do you any good if the gun fails to function reliably.  My 740 functioned reliably, with a caveat. More on that farther along in the article.

Guts of the Gun

The Taurus 740 is a striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol. It is lightweight at only 19 ounces (unloaded) and has a barrel that is 3.2” long.

Unlike many modern pistols using a double-action/single-action trigger, the 740 uses a single action/double action (SA/DA) trigger.

The first, and every shot thereafter, is single action.  Should the gun fail to go “bang,” the pistol changes to a double-action trigger pull, allowing a “second strike” on the chambered round.

For a compact pistol, the sights on the 740 are very good. They use a typical three-dot arrangement, and the rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation.

Field stripping the pistol is similar to that of a Glock pistol. Partially retract the slide and pull down on both sides of the bar located in the frame above the trigger. Once the bar is down, the slide can be pushed forward and off of the gun.

While the exterior of the pistol lacks sharp corners or burrs, the internal pieces of the gun are less finely finished. I noticed that internal edges were sharp to the touch.  Assuming the gun runs reliably, this isn’t a problem for most people, but it does suggest a lack of detail in a gun’s manufacturing.

The 740 has a manual thumb safety that is useable, but small. Engaging the safety isn’t as intuitive as it is on a 1911-style pistol due to the diminutive size. However, it does function smoothly and does prevent the pistol from firing.

The Taurus 740 has a loaded chamber indicator and an internal lock.

My 740 came with two, six round magazines, keys that adjusted the rear sights and set the internal lock and a plastic carrying case.

Specifications:

•    caliber – .40 S&W
•    capacity – 6+1
•    sights – adjustable, three-dot
•    overall length – 6.24 inches
•    weight – 19 onces (empty)
•    barrel length – 3.2 inches
•    MSRP – $483 (blue finish), $498 (stainless finish)

Like many subcompact pistols, the gun is too small for my entire hand to fit on the grip. My pinky falls off the bottom of the gun. I really dislike this, but that is one of the prices you pay for a pistol that can conceal in a pocket or on an ankle.

The polymer frame is aggressively textured, allowing you a more positive grip on the pistol when shooting. After about 100 rounds, the grip begins to hurt. At about 200 rounds, the grip pattern is semi-permanently tattooed into your hand.  I really don’t suggest putting more than 150 rounds through the pistol during any given range session.

Range Time

I was pleasantly surprised to find the 740 was a very accurate little handgun. Two-inch groups at about 10 yards were the norm, and hitting man-sized targets at 15-25 yards was doable. 

The single-action trigger pull, combined with decent sights, made it easy to put rounds on target.

The .40 S&W is a high-pressure cartridge, and shooting a few hundred rounds from such a small, lightweight gun was not the sheer bliss a bucket of .22 might be. Shooting small guns tends to require more effort from the shooter to maintain a solid grip on the gun to ensure reliability. The Taurus 740 was no different.

The recoil from the .40 S&W, while not seeming too bad at first, would wear the shooter down so that by 100 rounds malfunctions were starting to show from “limp wristing” the handgun. 

As long as the shooter held the gun with a very firm grip, the gun ran fine. Start to loosen up on the gun, and malfunctions would follow.

Final Thoughts

The Taurus 740 is a good pistol for certain tasks.  If you need a subcompact pistol chambered in .40 S&W with good sights and an affordable price tag, it may fit the bill. At a size similar to my “hammerless” .38 revolver, I can get two more rounds plus a more powerful round in the 740.

However, if you were not limited to the subcompact size, I recommend a larger pistol. Larger handguns tend to be easier to shoot, are more reliable and are, with a longer sight radius, more accurate.

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