This week we have been fortunate enough to be allowed to test and evaluate the Taurus 809 pistol. The 809 is a full sized polymer framed high capacity pistol from Taurus International. Most gun owners know the company simply as Taurus, but the Brazil based company also owns Braztech International, the maker of Rossi firearms and Heritage Manufacturing. Taurus has been manufacturing firearms since 1982 and all feature their lifetime warranty. Along the way they have been awarded several awards by industry groups for their Judge revolver and their 1911 pattern pistols. Currently the company offers several eight differing classes of semi automatic pistols for consumers to choose from.
The Taurus 809 is a full sized polymer framed pistol that was spawned out of the ashes of the OSS pistol project. The 809 is similar in appearance to the OSS pistol which is now known as the Taurus 24/7 , but the 809 has a list of technological differences. The 809 sports features such as an external safety and a hammer fired operation, where the 24/7 pistol has neither of these.
The market for reliable, safe and affordable defensive firearms is tighter than ever before. Each year dozens of manufacturers produce pistols of varying sizes, calibers and materials in order to attract entry level buyers. Taurus has tossed their hat in the ring and has gone after the bigger fish in the firearms manufacturing world.
Polymer framed pistols have been quite popular for many years, allowing manufacturers to combine durability with the light weight of polymers over traditional steel manufactured parts. This is not a new idea for Taurus, already having more than two dozen models of semi automatic pistols featuring polymer frames, but only a few with external safeties. Lets take a look at the specifications of the this offering from Taurus.
- Name: Taurus 809
- Type of Weapon: Semi Automatic Handgun
- Caliber: 9mm
- Weight: 30.2 Ounces
- Barrel Length: 4 Inches
- Overall Length: 8.25 Inches
- Frame: Medium sized
- Frame Material: Polymer
- Action: Single Action / Double Action
- Grips: Checkered Polymer
- Magazines: 17 +1 rounds each (comes with two)
- Sights: Novak 3 Dot style
- Ambidextrous 3 Position Safety
- Novak Sights
- Aggressive Checkered Grips
- Accessory rail
- Three different size back straps
- Accessory Rail
- Smooth Single Action Trigger
- 17 Round Magazines
- Easy to clean Tennifer finish
- Good price point
- Lifetime warranty
- Three Different Sized Back Straps
- Easy to see Novak sights
- Double Action Trigger is long 10-11 lbs range
- Doesn’t seem to like PMC 115gr full metal jacket ammunition
- Wide frame even with small backstrap
- Size of frame will cause issues for people with smaller hands
- Magazine release was stiff but loosened up after 100 rounds
Bottom Line / Overall Performance:
The Taurus 809 is not a Heckler & Koch or a Nighthawk 1911, so you can’t expect the fit and finish of a $1500 pistol from it. You also have to know what to expect when shopping for a pistol of this class. I compare the Taurus 809 to a farm pick up truck, it’s not full of bells and whistles but it works when you need it to.
In preparation for the shooting portion of our review we managed to scrounge up a wide selection of 115 and 124 grain full metal jacket ammunition. All of the ammunition we used for the initial 255 round test was new factory ammunition featuring brass cases. We chose 255 rounds because its fifteen full magazines worth of ammo.
The above picture shows a small sample of the ammunition we used, the entire list was as follows: PMC 115 gr, American Eagle 124 gr, American Eagle 115 gr, Herters 115 gr, Fiocchi 115 gr, Winchester 115 gr, and finally UMC 115 gr. In the interest of full disclosure I grabbed the 124 grain American Eagle by mistake, it was in the shelf with the 115 grain of the same manufacturer.
Unboxing the 809
Unboxing the Taurus 809 is pretty much like unboxing any other new firearm today. Taurus ships their pistols in a locking hard case with their logo prominently displayed on the cover. I opened the case and took inventory of the components, two locking keys that render the pistol inoperable, two 17 round magazines, two extra back straps, and one polymer framed 809 chambered in 9mm parabellum.
When I first handled the Taurus 809 I noticed that Taurus likes to ship their guns well lubricated. We aren’t talking just a little bit of gun oil on the rails and barrel, it was literally coated in lubricant, almost to the point of being slippery. While I applaud Taurus for not skimping on the lube, this was a bit excessive.
Several minutes of wiping and cleaning off had to occur before being able to handle the gun. Once I felt I could safely disassemble the pistol without dropping it due to over lubrication, I performed the usual safety sequence, checked the chamber and lock the slide back.
If you have ever disassembled any pistol made by Glock then you can disassemble the Taurus 908 with ease. It’s a very straightforward operation and I was actually a bit surprised at how similar the two pistols are to take apart. It breaks down into four major components, the slide, frame, barrel, and recoil spring assembly.
Prepping for the range
I wanted to provide the readers of the Loadout Room a well thought out and complete review of this pistol, and in doing so I took a lot of notes during the process. I started making my notes writing down what lubricant I used, what brand of ammunition I loaded first into the magazines making sure to note any issues that came up.
In preparing for the range I made sure to completely clean the 809 as best I could and used Weaponshield as my lubricant. Once I followed the instructions for my lubricant I chose the Herter’s Select Grade 115 gr. full metal jacketed ammunition and grabbed the Taurus supplied magazine loading tool.
This is where things began to get interesting, the loading tool provided from Taurus was more of a hindrance for me personally. I used it on the first magazine and then used the old fashioned manual method to load the second. To my surprise both magazines only held 16 round instead of the 17 rounds Taurus reported. I unloaded both magazines and reloaded them, still only being able to get 16 rounds into each one.
I made my notes in my notebook and attributed this to the tight springs on new magazines, which I hoped would eventually loosen and stretch allowing the 17th round into the magazines. Not a make or break issue in my mind, but I wanted to note any anomaly no matter how small.
The night before I went to the range for the first phase of the live fire testing, I spent more than an hour working the action of the 809 and practicing dry firing the pistol. The 809 can fire in both single and double action modes so I made sure to alternate between both actions to get a better feel for the trigger. The ambidextrous safety and decocking mechanism was also actuated at this time to ensure it was properly lubricated and operated correctly.
I grabbed my range bag, double checked it was loaded with all of the important items I needed: pistol, ammo, note pad, pen, personal protective equipment, lubricant and headed out the door for a day at the range….
This concludes Part 1 of our testing and evaluation of the Taurus Model 809 pistol, be sure to check back with us when we review the ups and downs that the 809 experienced at the range. There are some interesting things that came out about this pistol, Will it make it a bad review ? will any issues out of the box be attributed to “breaking in” the pistol ?
Be sure to check back for Part 2, where we will go into our experiences shooting the 809 and how it held up in its first shooting session. We exposed the Taurus 809 to three different shooters; myself, a retired U.S. Postal Inspector and a former competitive shooter. You don’t want to miss the results.
(Feature Image courtesy: Taurus.com)