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What Happened to the Taurus CT?

In the next edition of our What Happened series, we dive into the background and demise of the Taurus CT lineup.

Do you know what Taurus really missed the boat on?

Bringing a capable pistol caliber carbine to the market.

Scorpion (3)
Shooting the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S2 Micro

They tried and briefly shined, only to fail tremendously in the end. Today we are looking at the Taurus CT9 and CT40 and what could have been — but never was.

The CT9 and CT40 were 9mm and .40 S&W PCCs, respectively. At SHOT Show 2011, Taurus promised a .45 ACP version, but I can’t find any evidence that Taurus actually produced any in that caliber.

Taurus based the CT9 and CT40 on their SMT9 and SMT40 SMG series. Production of the SMG variants began in 2011, and they were adopted by police forces in Brazil, Chile, and Bangladesh.

They are blowback operated, closed bolt SMGs made with a hefty dose of polymer and barrels just short of 8 inches.

Taurus took the SMT design, extended the barrel to 16 inches, added a thumbhole stock, changed the magazine design, and the CT series was born. These civilian market versions came in at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

Taurus CT9
Taurus CT9 with Primary Arms Prism Sight (Photo: Gunmagwarehouse)

Taurus seemed in a prime position to be a part of the PCC takeover that was coming to the U.S. market. Their full-sized PCCs appeared to be doing some kind of HK UMP impression, which made them intriguing to some.

What Is It?

The CT series featured an extended handguard, which was a smart choice to accommodate the extended 16-inch barrel. This also had the added effect of lengthening the sight radius, which is always beneficial to accuracy.

Across the top, we have a massive optic rail and another rail across the bottom for accessories. The thumbhole stock isn’t the worst, but it lacks any ability to collapse or fold. Overall it was fairly large and relatively heavy.

Top to bottom: Beretta Cx4 Storm, Taurus CT9, Wiselite Arms Sterling Sporter (Photo: Thetruthaboutguns)

The gun weighs 7.4 pounds unloaded and is 36.25 inches long, which is on the bulky side for a PCC. At the time, guns like the Beretta Cx4 and Kel-Tec Sub 2000 weighed significantly less and were often shorter, even with similar 16-inch barrels.

Like the SMT9, the CT9 and CT40 used a blowback-operated system. Direct blowback is simple and reliable but creates more recoil than other systems — nothing painful or shoulder bruising, but more than you’d expect from a 9mm.

Reviewers often praised its reliability and accuracy despite its rather long trigger and plastic sights.

Taurus CT9 target at 30 yards (Photo: Gunsamerica)

So What Happened?

Taurus seemed to have the market cornered. It wasn’t until 2015 that the PCC market would explode. CZ released the Scorpion, Sig Sauer released the MPX, and boom — it was off to the races. Taurus had a two-year lead on the other two, but they lost it.

How?

Well, they completely ignored the firearm and the target market. The CT9 and CT40 came with restricted 10-round mags and were almost California compliant from the factory. As such, it languished on shelves.

Taurus’ proprietary magazine was limited to 10 rounds from the factory, and that’s how it remained. They never released anything with a higher capacity when they could’ve simply used magazines sourced from any of the popular pistol platforms.

These CT9 magazines are meant to hold 17 rounds but are dimpled to limit them to 10 rounds. (Photo: Gunsamerica)

The company never addressed complaints about the thumbhole stock or ever released any aftermarket modifications for the gun.

As an imported gun, the CT was subject to some restrictions on features during importation.

However, guns like the FN SCAR and Springfield Hellion are imported as neutered firearms but are converted to proper weapons once they reach the States. Taurus could have done the same thing but chose not to.

The Taurus SMT9. Replace the stock with a brace, ditch the full-auto, and you’d have a much more appealing package. (Photo: Thefirearmblog)

Pistol variants and braced versions of the CT9 and CT40 were never considered. On top of that, the gun has an MSRP of $898. That’s crazy high for a neutered, 10-round, AWB compliant PCC that weighs as much as a rifle variant AR.

Taurus shot themselves in the foot, and the CT9 and CT40 were only on the market for a little over a year before being discontinued.

But modders always exist and have seemingly taken a shine to this oddball of a firearm. They’ve modified Colt SMG mags to fit, and some have cut off the thumbhole stock and replaced it with a more conventional stock. Heck, one guy even turned one into a short-barreled rifle.

Final Thoughts

The CT series seems to have its fans. If Taurus was smart, they might consider importing a proper pistol variant that’s brace ready — and do so at a reasonable price point with high-capacity magazines.

Shooting the Taurus CT9 (Photo: Gunmagwarehouse)

If the novelty interests you, they are relatively easy to find and fairly cheap on Gunbroker. Do you want one? Do you have one?

What do you think of the Taurus CT9 and CT40? Let us know in the comments below. This is a new series for PPT, so be sure to tell us if you like it and check back next week for another What Happened. In the meantime, check out last week’s look at the Avidity Arms PD10.

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2 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Brazilian Guy

    Greetings from Brazil!

    We use CTTs a lot here, especially the CTT-40. But we've never even seen a 10 round magazine, it's only marketed in 30 and 32 rounds. As it is very popular, there are many pieces available in the market for customization. As for the price, well, guns in Brazil are very expensive, but a CTT is much cheaper than an AR here.

    July 16, 2022 10:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John

    "Taurus promised a .45 ACP version, but I can’t find any evidence that Taurus actually produced any in that caliber."

    Not for production, they did produce a prototype.

    July 16, 2022 4:15 pm
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