The New Taurus CT9 Carbine
One of the most peculiar types of firearms of recent times is that amalgam known as the pistol caliber carbine. These handy little rifles, firing rounds designed for handguns, are very popular and Taurus is trying to cash in with their own new design: the CT9.
What we like about it
Billed by the company as a 'close quarter carbine platform', the CT9 uses a simple blowback action from a closed bolt position to keep things reliable and effective in action. Similar pistol caliber carbines with a good reputation such as the Hi-Point 995 and the Beretta CX4 use the same principles (although much bulkier in the case of the Hi-Point). This Taurus 9-miilly also is dripping with Picatinny rails. Besides the full-length rail on the top of the gun the handguard can accommodate three additional Picatinny rails in the 3-6- and 9 O'clock positions.
The gun, like the CX4, can be simply switched from left to right hand operation.
(The new Taurus CT9 has a very similar look to the classic HKMP5, except for its thumbhole stock, 10-round mag, and semi-auto only configuration. Photo from Taurus USA)
What we don't like about it
Well here's the thing. As you may know, Taurus is a foreign-based company (Brazil). As such, high-capacity mags coming in the country with the gun are verboten due to BATFE regs. This means these guns are shipping with 10-rounders. While that's probably not an issue for buyers in states like California, for the rest of us, this is a handicap.
Further, the mags are proprietary, meaning that there are no aftermarket sticks out there for them, thus keeping you with the 10-rounder by default. A simple fix for this would have just been for the CT9 to use the same mags as the already widely spread PT92/99. Perhaps Taurus will get on this.
Also, what is the deal with the thumbhole stocks on these guns? They have ergonomic issues that are all out of proportion from the side-bonus of being compliant in states that restrict pistol grips. This will be a turn off to shooters in red states without such restrictions. Two variants, one thumbhole, one without, would be more attractive.
Then, there is the price of almost $900 MSRP, which is more than three times that of a Hi-Point 995, and about even with Beretta's very nice carbine-- without being as nice.
Specs (for the record):
- Model: CTG29
- Caliber: 9 mm
- Overall Length: 36"
- Barrel Length: 16"
- Weight: 6.6 Lbs
- Safety: Manual Safety, Manual Safety
- Capacity: 10
- Front Sight: Fixed
- Rear Sight: Adjustable
- Trigger Type: Smooth
- Finish: Blue
- MSRP: $898.00
When stacked up against other current pistol caliber carbines in production, the CT9 faces an uphill struggle. The market is saturated by the KelTec Sub2000 series and Beretta CX4 that both take more common (and hicap!) magazines. The CT9 is priced to where the budget carbine-- Hi-Points ugly but proven 995/4095/4595 series, can still eat it for breakfast.
Nevertheless, if they can market it right, price it competitively, and get the magazine issue fixed, the new Taurus carbine could be a crowd pleaser.