Boasting light weight, a discreet and ergonomic profile, robust safety features, and a comparatively low price point, the Taurus Millennium G2 is the best value on the market today.
by the Shooting Daily staff
Want to start a shouting match? Just tell a group of CCW practitioners that the ultimate handgun to carry for personal defense is a model [fill in the blank].
The truth is that the best carry handgun is the one that works best for you—meaning you can carry it comfortably and discreetly, it is safe for your carry style (IWB, OWB, purse, ankle, shoulder), you can operate it intuitively and efficiently, and it is reliable. Unfortunately, that’s a whole lot of attributes to check off, and few pistols meet all of those basic requirements. A rock-solid shooter may be too heavy or too large for comfortable carry, while a pistol that practically disappears when you’re wearing it may not have the brass to get the job done.
Then, of course, there is the cost factor. Well-engineered and well-designed handguns often carry a proud price tag. That may be fine for a dedicated target/competition pistol or if you are a defense professional looking for a solid handgun to carry to work every day, but what makes for a good target or duty firearm doesn’t necessarily translate into the perfect daily carry gun. On the flip side, lower-cost firearms are often lacking in one or more of the basics—ergonomics, durability, reliability, and overall smooth performance.
Making The Choice
So how do you drill down and find a carry concealed handgun that checks off all the boxes? To begin, here’s what you need to consider:
- Caliber & Capacity – Seek and you will find the seemingly never-ending debates over what caliber handgun is best for personal defense. We’re not even going to go there because we don’t need to. The defense professionals have pretty much spoken on this topic. Given the diversity of ammunition types, ballistics, availability, and effectiveness, the 9x19mm is the optimal go-to round for a carry concealed handgun. Furthermore, this cartridge has better performance than smaller caliber handguns that may boast a higher magazine capacity, yet has a higher magazine capacity (depending on the firearm model) than relatively sized larger caliber handguns. The 9x19mm is the happy medium for performance and firepower in a personal defense pistol.
- Fit – A handgun is like a glove or a shoe. If it’s too large or too small for your hand or style of shooting, you’re going to have problems. The gun should provide a comfortable, positive grip that allows you to reach and pull the trigger without disturbing your hand placement. Furthermore, the grip design should allow for natural sight alignment when you aim. Some designs promote a “muzzle high” or “muzzle low” attitude due to the shape and angle of the grip. The thing to remember if you are choosing a handgun to carry concealed is that you want the slimmest, most compact gun that comfortably fits you. That may mean slightly compromising fit (compared to a gun you might choose for target shooting) for concealability. The key is to find the acceptable balance.
- Operation – Just because a handgun feels good in terms of grip and trigger reach doesn’t mean it fits in terms of operation. Can you release the magazine without disturbing your grip? Can you manipulate the safety without disturbing your grip? Can you release the slide lock without disturbing your grip? A properly fitting handgun will allow you to perform all of these operations while maintaining the correct grip—an essential part of defensive pistol craft.
- Carry Preference & Holster Availability – This is something many people who purchase a handgun to carry concealed often overlook: how they will wear the holster and what holster they will carry. Will you want to carry inside the waistband (IWB) for maximum concealment or outside the waistband (OWB) for smoother draw? Maybe you would rather use a shoulder holster, or you prefer to carry in your purse or a belt pouch. You should determine how you will most often carry your handgun and make sure there is a quality holster to fit it. Not all handguns come with a diversity of holster options, so it would be unfortunate to make a purchase based on your intent to carry inside your waistband, for example, and then discover that there is no suitable IWB holster on the market for your gun.
- Quality & Price – This should be the “it goes without saying” part of our discussion, but it must be said nevertheless: quality matters. Too many folks think of their carry concealed handgun as something they’ll only use in an emergency. Wrong thinking, that. Your carry gun is the one gun you should be using more than any other. You are staking your life or someone else’s life on this gun, and you need to shoot it regularly to hone and maintain your defensive pistol skills. If you buy a low-quality gun and practice like you should, you’re going to be disappointed, and the pistol may not perform when you need it most.
OK…those are many parameters to consider when it’s time to choose a handgun, and tossing price out the window for a moment, it’s not a simple matter to find a handgun that meets all of those requirements. We have found, however, one that comes pretty darn close. It’s the PT111 Millennium G2 by Taurus USA. Not only does the Millennium G2 satisfy our personal fit and requirements for quality, performance, and safety in a daily carry handgun, it’s priced well below the “halo” pistols on the market today.
Don’t let the Millennium G2’s “compact” classification fool you. With the magazine inserted in the well, even average to larger-sized hands enjoy a full grip that makes the pistol comfortable to shoot and easy to draw. Aggressive stippling patches on all sides of the grip ensure a no-slip hold even when your hands are sweaty.
We’ve been shooting the Millennium G2 for almost a year now, and it has become not only our go-to carry concealed handgun, but also our preferred range gun (which is a good thing since it’s important to train with what you carry). In spite of its compact designation, everything about the pistol satisfies our shooting needs.
The sights, adjustable for both windage and elevation, provide a clear sight picture for rapid alignment on the target. Bright white sight dots aid in alignment, but what we like most is the ample rear sight notch. It gives you a clear view of the front sight so you don’t have to “hunt” for it when shooting under stress.
Safety is an issue with any firearm, and especially so for handguns designated for carry concealed duty. The Millennium G2, unlike some pistols in this class, gives you options. In addition to the default trigger safety (which utilizes an integrated trigger safety that prevents the trigger from moving backwards unless the trigger safety is depressed), the Millennium G2 has a manual safety. Some folks prefer to carry with this safety in the off position while others keep this safety engaged until they are ready to fire. What we like about this manual safety is that it is perfectly positioned for easy engagement or disengagement with your thumb without disturbing your grip.
In addition, the Millennium G2 features the Taurus Security System, which lets you lock the action with a provided key and render the pistol inoperable.
As mentioned earlier, the handgun that’s best for you is one that fits your hand and allows for smooth operation. We’ve carried a lot of pistols that are accurate, run like there is no tomorrow, take the abuse, and beg for more. Many of them, however, didn’t quite fit and required us to accommodate the pistol instead of the other way around. Not so with the Millennium G2. We can easily drop the mag, release the slide lock, or actuate the safety without disturbing our grip. The trigger reach is spot-on, and while length-of-pull is a bit longer than we like, the break is predictable and crisp—a big plus in shooting accuracy.
In short, the Millennium G2 is our kind of carry pistol. The polymer frame, short 6.24-inch overall length, and slim width deliver a light, low-profile pistol that works well in any carry scenario—IWB or OWB. That it sports a 12+1 capacity and performs on par with its larger and heavier polymer-frame class competitors provides the kind of confidence we all seek in a handgun designated to protect our families and ourselves. That it comes priced well under $300 is just a little icing on the cake.
SPECIFICATIONS: Taurus Millennium G2 (model 111G2)
Weight: 22.0 oz.
Overall Length: 6.24 in.
Barrel Length: 3.2 in.
Frame: compact, polymer
Sights: fixed front (1 dot); adjustable rear (2 dots)
Safety: loaded chamber indicator, manual safety, trigger safety
Additional: Taurus Security System
article © 2016 ShootingDaily.com; promoted by Taurus Holdings, Inc.