The Taurus PT-809 semi-automatic pistol is not a novelty, but is one of the most appreciated models from the well-known Brazilian company: enjoying more success in the U.S. than in Europe, it offers features that make it an interesting deal
It's no mystery that the Brazilian Forjas Taurus group is undergoing a deep change in terms of both leadership and manufacturing standards. Once this deep renewal is complete, the Taurus company will boost an improved product line and an improved image to face the future.
The renewal will also mean that several long-established product lines will have to go, and be replaced by new and improved products.
This includes product lines that proved to be troublesome in the past, as well as some that, on the other hand, built themselves a reputation for hell-bent reliability. Among those is the Taurus PT-809 semi-automatic pistol, the cream of the crop of the current Taurus product line, whose basic design has been developed into the new Taurus TH line of handguns which we covered at the 2017 SHOT Show, back in January.
The Taurus PT-809 truly stands out for both features and quality on the vast market of budget-priced handguns for target shooting, service, personal defense, and home or property protection.
The Taurus PT-809 semi-automatic pistol features a fairly conventional SA/DA trigger, with an external hammer and a firing pin protected by an automatic safety against accidental discharges, and a Browning-style tilting barrel locking system.
In terms of features, the PT-809 can be considered as a hammer-fired variant of the striker-fired PT-24/7 OSS, originally conceived in 2005 for the (later shelved) U.S. Special Forces' Joint Combat Pistol program. The PT-24/7 suffered from none of the many reliability issues that plagued the baseline PT-24/7 series, and garnered much attention and popularity on the U.S. civilian market, eventually winning the NRA Handgun of the Year award in the same year.
The Taurus PT-809 is built around a polymer frame with a light metal chassis, offering a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny railed dust cover for tactical accessories; Taurus' signature, black neoprene rubberized design dubbed the "Ribber Grip", this time coming with interchangeable backstraps; and a slot on the grip to activate the quintessential Taurus Security System.
On some markets, the Taurus PT-809 is addressed to as a "Tactical Modular Pistol" – this due to the fact that the design was initially conceived with modularity in mind.
Four versions of this platform existed overall: the PT-809; the PT-838 chambered in .380 ACP, currently available only in South America; the .40-caliber PT-840; and the PT-845 chambered in .45 ACP. When the platform was launched, in 2008, the pistols were meant to share the same frame, and be convertible to any of the available calibers simply by changing the magazine and the slide-barrel assembly, as originally planned for the PT-24/7 OSS as well.
The slide of the PT-809 is machined out of carbon steel and available in black Tenifer and stainless variants, and features front and rear slide serrations, a loaded chamber indicator, and genuine dovetailed Novak three-dot sights; tritium night sights are also optionally available.
The 4-inch, chrome-lined barrel is also manufactured out of stainless steel; it is a fairly conventional barrel, featuring an outer stainless finish and six right-handed grooves with a 1-in-10" rifling pitch.
The PT-809 feeds through detachable double-stack metal magazines with a well-pronounced black polymer buttplate; the standard magazine capacity is 17+1 rounds, although 10-rounds and 15-rounds magazines are available for those jurisdictions where capacity restrictions apply.
All controls on the Taurus PT-809 semi-automatic pistol are completely ambidextrous: the slide stop release lever and the magazine release button are located on both sides, and so is the double-use safety lever that flips up to engage the manual safety and can be pressed down to decock the gun for Condition 2 carry.
Conceived as a reliable defensive firearm, the Taurus PT-809 offers true "Strike Two" capabilities: in the event of a misfire due to a hard or defective primer, the trigger will reset automatically to DAO allowing the shooter to restrike the round simply by pulling the trigger.
The Taurus PT-809 is issued from factory with three grip backstraps overall; two magazines and a magazine loader; a cleaning rod; and two keys for the Taurus Security System. A complete package for a very handy, practical and sturdy pistol, adequate for the needs of most shooters – as a matter of fact, a top choice for those on a budget.
With so many shooters out there – mainly older-generation shooters, and particularly in Europe – still harboring mistrust towards striker-fired pistols and towards semi-automatics without a manual safety, the hammer-fired PT-809 with an ambidextrous safety and a decocker will be a great choice to go to enter the world of 21st Century standard defensive and tactical handguns for many. And it won't break the bank.
Taurus PT-809 - Specifications
Browning-type falling barrel locking system
SA/DA, external hammer
Frame-mounted ambidextrous manual safety also dubbing as a decocker.
Automatic firing pin safety; plus, the usual Taurus Security System (TSS)
15+1 rounds in double-stack magazine
104 mm / 4" / six grooves, RH, 1 twist in 10"
Fixed Novak sights with white inlays
209 mm / 8.¼"
800 g / 28.2 oz
Black (Tenifer) or stainless carbon steel, black polymer
Consult your dealer for local availability and pricing