Taurus recently released an addition to its TH (Taurus Hammered) series in .45 ACP. I’m always game to shoot a .45, and in this case, I was interested in practicing the 5-5-5 drill with the Taurs TH45.
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The gun comes with two magazines, along with the usual accouterments for pistols (manual and safety lock). It also came with two identical doohickeys that look like keychains and have an Allen [hexagonal socket screw] wrench and a miniature pin punch attached; unfortunately, neither of the two Allen wrenches fit the rear sight set screw. Of course, I didn’t need any of the wrenches for anything except for adjusting the rear sight! Fortunately, my husband had a wrench in his range bag that worked.
First, let’s look at the gun. The Taurus TH45 a what-has-become-standard polymer frame, with an alloy steel slide and a stainless steel barrel. Here are some other features:
Now, the thing about this gun – it’s a single-action/double-action hammer-fired gun, not a striker fired gun, with an external safety. Its action is like the classic SIG P220, with a short single-action trigger pull and longer and heavier double-action trigger pull, and a manual decocker. Like a classic Model 1911 pistol, it has an external safety that is missing, however, on the SIG pistol. So, because there are several possible combinations of chambered round/unloaded, safety position, cocked/de-cocked, you must first consult the gun’s manual for the Taurus recommendations on how to carry this gun before you use it (See Sheriff Jim Wilson’s excellent article on carry conditions for the 1911 for explanations of the pros and cons and safety levels of different carry conditions).
On the Range
After warming up, which means firing 25 rounds through the gun, we put it to the accuracy test at 7 yards, from a seated bench rest, in the 5-shots times 3 drill. I like this test, because it lets you see how the gun performs with different ammo. In this case, I only had Fiocchi Range Dynamics (labeled previously as “Training Dynamics”) and Fiocchi Defense Dynamics. But, hey, that’s some of the best ammo in the business, and the gun performed well.
Here are the results (groups are in inches):
Fiocchi Range Dynamics, 230 grain, full metal jacket: largest group – 1.5; smallest group – .5; average – .1.08
Fiocchi Defense Dynamics, 115 grain, jacketed hollow point: largest group – 1.5; smallest group – .25; average – .83
After the accuracy testing finished, it came time for the 5-5-5 Drill. Renowned gun writer and firearms trainer Ed Head, a prince of a man who has since passed away, originally wrote about the 5-5-5 drill in the April 2017 issue of “Shooting Illustrated” magazine. It appeared again online in an article in 2019, which you can read in full here.
The purpose of this drill is to learn to draw fast and get on target with accuracy. It’s intended for concealed carry holders, and since this gun also is intended for concealed pistol carriers, it’s crucial to drill for the skill.
Ed recommended index or playing cards (and in this case, it’s OK not to play with a full deck), a shot timer, target and holster. He also recommended that you have at least a box (25 rounds) of ammo, but between the hubs and me, we ran through 100 rounds easily.
Attach a card to a target backer and place it 5 yards away from you. It’s recommended that you stand, if possible, for this drill. If you are physically challenged, by all means practice this drill from a seated position or from whatever position you imagine you’ll find yourself in if the worst possible scenario unfolds. In fact, I think this drill would be an excellent one to practice not only on your knees, but also on your back, with supervision – to avoid shooting one of your lower extremities.
Back to the basics of the drill. Have a partner with a shot timer sound the little beep, then draw and shoot five times on the target, aiming for 5 seconds or better overall. This, in itself, is a great dry-fire drill, and one that I highly recommend you master before you load up (after triple-checking the gun is unloaded and using a safe backstop).
And then, go slow. Don’t try to get 5 or under in the first 5 or even 25 times. I got it to 4.6 seconds and I was happy with that, but I felt like I was still thinking too much about taking the safety off. If I were to actually carry this gun, you can believe I would do a lot of dry-fire practice with pulling and taking the safety off in order to develop that bit of muscle memory.
All in all, the price is amazingly low for a .45 of this quality, and the accuracy was spot on the dot.
The Taurus TH45’s MSRP is $529.99