The firearms industry has some interesting fads, and over the years, the market has transformed to appeal to the latest and greatest. Can you remember the firearm industry in 2013? It seems like those were the days of pocket 380s and single-stack 9mms. What’s big now that wasn’t big then was the PCC concept. In 2013 PCCs existed but weren’t huge or popular. That didn’t stop Taurus from releasing the CT9 G2 Carbine.
In just two years, PCCs would hit huge. Well, PCCs and subguns. CZ and Sig would release the Scorpion and MPX in 2015. In 2013, there weren’t a ton of PCCs on the market. We had the Hi-Point, the KelTec SUB 2000, the Beretta CX4, and a few more. The CT9 entered a fresh market and had an opportunity to conquer it.
The CT9 G2 is derived from the Taurus SMT-9, a submachine gun produced for Brazillian military and police contracts. Sadly, this was before the era of popular subguns, and pistol braces just became a thing. Taurus decided to radically change the SMT-9 to form the CT-9 rifle.
The Taurus CT9 — From SMG to Rifle
For Taurus to turn the SMT into a rifle and import it into the United States, they had to make some cuts. Some of those cuts include additions, including a 16.22-inch barrel that lacks any threading. Gone is the folding stock, and in its place is a fixed, thumbhole style stock that looks atrocious. The Taurus CT9 mag(s) are proprietary and hold a mere ten rounds. They are actually 15-round magazines that are dimpled to hold only ten rounds.
The CT9 retailed for a fairly affordable 650ish and did a lot of things right. First, they did the little things right. They included iron sights, which are still rare these days. Hell, they included a polymer rifle case with the gun, and I didn’t get that treatment with my 2,000-dollar Benelli M4. They included two magazines and even a sling. I mean, it was a 3-Point sling and a mess, but it’s a nice inclusion.
Here is where things went wrong for the CT9. Taurus released it and then promptly stopped supporting it. They didn’t release 922R kits or parts, and they didn’t release some kind of less than ugly stock or mags not pegged to 10 rounds. They just dropped the rifle to the public and then dropped any kind of support for it. Hell, the only thing they offered was some more 10-round magazines.
The Taurus CT9 in 2022
My gun store is doing a remodel and finding all sorts of odds and ends they never put upfront. One is a Taurus CT9. Brand new, old stock in the box and ready to go. I like the weird and interesting, so I snatched it up. I’m a big PCC fan because I’m a fan of fun guns and PCCs are a ton of fun.
I own way too many of them for logical sense, and I figured this would join my collection of failures to launch in the world of firearms. The Taurus CT9 went home with me, and I’ve been kicking it like it’s 2013 ever since.
This is a heavy gun, or well, a heavy PCC. It weighs 7.62 pounds. For context, my Colt EPR is a 16-inch barreled AR 15, and it weighs 6.6 pounds. A lot of that weight comes from the fact it’s a straight blowback design. That’s a popular way to design SMGs and PCCs, so it’s no surprise to find it in the CT9.
Straight blowback guns require a combination of a heavy buffer or heavy recoil spring to operate. Taurus relied more on the heavy bolt, and that bolt added a hefty sum of weight to the gun. Taurus also chose, for some odd reason, to add a very long stock. Overall, length wasn’t an issue, so why they chose a length of pull that exceeds 15 inches is beyond me.
Accessories and Accessorization
You do get tons of rail space for optics and accessories across the top. A rail sits at the bottom of the gun as well. We have slots on either side of the gun for attachable rails, but those rails were never sold.
The gun does come with a set of iron sights, but they aren’t great. They are two hunks of plastic. The front sight is hooded and cannot be adjusted. The rear sight features adjustments and two apertures. These two apertures include a standard peep sight and a very Glock-style open sight for close-range shooting. Sure these sights work, but I took them off and replaced them with a Primary Arms 2X Prism with the Gemini ACSS reticle.
Other than that, the CT9 didn’t offer much in the world of customization. You can’t do a whole lot to the gun besides adding an optic or light to the bottom rail.
At the Range with the Taurus CT9
The CT9 does do a few things very well. Surprisingly well for a gun released in 2013. First, the controls are fantastic. You get ambidextrous everything: an Ambi safety, magazine release, and a bolt release. The charging handle is non-reciprocating but can be reversed for left or right-handed shooters.
The length of the pull is entirely too long. At over 15 inches, it’s ridiculous. So long that it’s easy to see why Taurus included the built-in Taurus CT9 well grip, it’s tough to reach forward of that part of the gun comfortably. This is coming from a 6’4″ tall goon.
The recoil is the perfect example of the problem with blowback-operated guns. It recoils in excess of a 5.56 carbine. The heavy blowback bolt gives you a wallop well beyond what you expect from a 9mm rifle. On top of that, the long length of pull likely decreases control. However, a 9mm is still just a 9mm. While the recoil exceeds 5.56 levels, the gun doesn’t beat you up by any means.
What surprised me was how nice the trigger turned out to be. I get a little takeup, then a crisp and clean break with a short reset. The trigger pull is light and sweet with a 2X optic and a nice trigger, and a resting position the gun groups very well, even better with heavier bullets. I got a sweet and tight sub-1-inch group at 50 yards with 147-grain ammo. That’s not bad by any means.
The Taurus CT9 doesn’t seem to be super ammo picky. It goes bang, cycles, and all that with any round I’ve put through it. From Winchester Forged to the higher quality Global Ordannce 9mm ammo. It easts, ejects, fires, and doesn’t tap out.
Mag changes are near impossible to do quickly. The magwell grip and short magazines are a real pain to manage and figure out. You won’t reload quickly. If you had a nice 32-round magazine, then it might not be as much of an issue, but with the 10/15 rounder, it sucks.
As ugly as the thumbhole stock is, it’s plenty easy to get a nice cheek weld and et on target. Out to 100 yards, I dropped plenty of 9mm rounds into a man-sized target.
Let me quote my dad here, the CT9 has ‘good bones.’ The CT9 could have been a solid CC, but Taurus missed the mark with the CT9. They should’ve pulled an FN and neutered the CT9 as it came into the states. They should have offered it with American-made folding stocks or even AR 15 stock compatibility. Then released 32 round magazines on the cheap, side rails, and more.
Hell, a pistol version would have been great. Yet, the CT9 got zero love, and it was abandoned fairly quickly. It’s not a great gun but could’ve provided a functional and affordable alternative for the PCC market. Yet, it just barely missed the mark.