The Taurus 809 pistol is a polymer handgun that offers a lot of value for a modest price. The new pistol is chambered in 9mm and uses 17 round magazines. This gun has a 4″ barrel and weighs slightly more than 30 ounces when it is unloaded.
The gun is an odd mix of actions. Instead of being a traditional double-action/single-action, it is a single-action/double-action pistol. This means the first and all subsequent shots are a light, short single action trigger pull. However, should the gun ever fail to fire, the next shot will be a double action trigger pull. Why, might you ask, is that?
Most failures of a gun to go bang when ammo is properly chambered is the fault with the ammunition. According to Bob Morrison, the former president of Taurus, the majority of ammo that fails to fire the first time will fire when the hammer falls on it a second time. If your ammo ever fails to fire in the 809, all you have to do is pull the trigger again, and the gun will likely fire. Neat concept, but I don’t know how tactically sound the concept is. Regardless, it is an option to use should you choose. Taurus calls this the “Strike 2″ technology.
The backstrap of the 809 can be swapped out with several other sizes of backstraps. This allows the shooter to better configure the gun to his or her hand. After all, it is a lot easier to resize a piece of plastic than a body part.
The slide of the pistol has a Tennifer finish, which is the same exceptionally durable finish used on Glock pistols. Tennifer is a nitriding process that makes the metal very resistant to corrosion. To have it on an relatively inexpensive gun is a real plus for the owner.
Taurus states the 809 is on the medium autopistol frame. They do not list a specific width for the gun. It appears the gun would be acceptable for concealed carry, though it is not going to be nearly as thin as the company’s Slim line of pistols.
This gun, as with all of the company’s guns, comes with a lifetime repair policy. So even if you have problems down the road, they are willing to help make things right.
Cleaning and field stripping this gun is pretty straightfoward and easy. Even so, Taurus published this very helpful video showing shooters how to properly disassemble their 809 handguns. I really appreciate a company that takes the extra step to make sure their customers have all of the resources they might need to care for their products.
The Taurus 809 ships with two magazines, various sized backstraps, a cleaning brush, magazine loader and hard case for storage. The MSRP on the pistol is $497, while street prices tend to be much lower. Don’t be surprised if you find this 809 for sale closer to $425. Oh, and don’t forget the bonus: Taurus includes a free one year membership to the NRA to help protect all of our rights.
Here are a few more photos of the 809 pistol:
I found this video from Guns & Gears on YouTube. The video talks about the problems they ran into when shooting about 1,000 rounds through this pistol. The video shows the gun being disassembled and cleaned after the shooting. All of the filth in the gun is not the fault of Taurus – that is the ammo. However, it is interesting to see the gun was unable to make it 1k rounds of shooting without the trigger problems.
This is not the worst gun ever made, and I would guess that it would serve most people well for home defense. However, I would not pick this as a self-defense gun if I had a little extra money to buy another gun. I’ve spent a lot of time on the range training. A gun should be able to handle 1,000 rounds (and more) before cleaning without developing trigger problems.
In my former law enforcement career, it would be nothing to put 1,000 rounds downrange in an advanced pistol class. With the Glock 17, Glock 19, Glock 22, HK VP9 and SIG SAUER P226 (in both 9mm and .40 S&W), I never experienced any problems with these guns. I’ve put a lot of rounds through a Smith & Wesson M&P9, and I would expect the same level of good performance out of it.
I’m not looking down on the PT809. However, if you have the money, I’d recommend upgrading from Taurus and into another of the brands I mentioned above.