Purchased from PARA Mallview Lahore on 19th March. In the morning they were out of stock but they told me that their new shipment was due on the same day by 4pm. There was only 1 more 809 available in the whole market which was 809 B but I was opting for 809 E. B model has front serrations while E model doesn't have front serrations plus E model has a distinctive straight staged cut on the slide that runs through out its length which B model does not have. Personally and aesthetically I prefer E model so I had to wait till 4pm for the new shipment. There came 2 pieces of 809 E Stainless(Matte finish) in the new shipment. I checked both of them, disassembled both, checked out each and every part and specially the trigger on both to settle down with this pistol. Asking price was 63K settled on 57K + 3K for a cheap Laser module. This specific piece has date of birth printed on box sticker, 28/12/2009 which shows its only 3 months old.
It was so so. I liked PARA's attitude as they do let a customer field strip and inspect a weapon thoroughly including trigger inspection. But what went wrong was they first assured me for VISA transaction and later on when the deal was done they told me their VISA swapping machine was not responding. Any how I managed to pay them in cash with a cold grin on my face. More over, I met Abbas sb and Sohail sb at the shop with their Winchester 1300 and it was so nice meeting them both.
The choice make up:
I wanted a Hi cap modern 9mm pistol with best of the features available in latest generation of handguns. I intend to carry every now and then and do some fun shoot and also mild to serious combat shooting practice with the new pistol. Wanted a grip of my preference and a nice trigger to count on. My barrel choice was 5" for some sports shooting and always prefered hammer over striker fired mechanism with grip/trigger combo on top priority. I did want a picattiny rail for some fun factor indeed.
The Final Contest:
Contestants in my game were Taurus 24/7 OSS DS, Baikal MP-446, and the last Taurus PT 809. Literally scanned through all options available under 80k and narrowed down my choice to above three candidates.
Dropped out MP-446 only beccause of its aesthetics which inclined me towards Taurus 809, then dropped out OSS on how its so famous and well reputed 24/7 Grips felt not so good in my hand. It felt bad to let go 5" barrel of OSS and durability of MP-446.
What I like in 800 series:
I like the trigger. It came out as a top trigger in all 3 contestants. Crisp break felt like 4 to 5 pound in SA, however there is a free slack before that which is lengtheir than many good triggers in the pistol world. DA is very smooth and consistant pull but is heavy, felt around 10 to 11 pound. Now the best part is the trigger reset in SA mode. Reset is so small and close that it literally marvelled me. I can think of faster double taps and other drills in combat style shooting due to this feature which is so helpful in the sense. Please check this video to have the exact idea of the short reset trigger on this pistol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVuOhJjG5Bs
I must say for me it was the Top Grip of all pistols I have handled in my life. All of them. In my opinion, when looking for a handgun, look for fit first. We shoot handguns that fit us a lot better than ones that don't. Resultingly it will automatically point better and you'll be more accurate with it. When you get the right gun into your hands, you will know it. So did I and the best thing is this model comes with 2 extra backstraps. NIB it is fitted with the Medium backstrap which I changed to Large. There is also a Small one for smaller hands.
Sights are 3-dot Novak type, white dot. Very visible and eye relaxing. They are dove tailed with the rare sight has a screw on it for windage adjustment only. I am satisfied with the feel of the sights as per my requirement and usage.
Barrel and Recoil Spring:
Barrel is Hammer Forged Stainless steel. Not Hard Chromed which is just as good if you get what I mean. Feed ramp is polished and shiny accompanied by the frame feeding lip which is also polished. Recoil Spring rod is PLASTIC, sorry to say that I always wanted metal guide rod but anyway. It is Seecamp style(Seecamp company fitted their pistols with this type for first time) dual-captured guide rod. I like it as it is known to take more stress with higher pressure ammo or by higher mileage. 4th Gen Glock also introduced this type of recoil spring assembly in I think G21 please correct me if I am worng.
Slide is Inox Matte finish as mentioned on the box sticker and is made from forged steel. Thanks it is provided with matte finish and not a shiny one otherwise I would prefer to go with the Black finish. I chose SS over Black mainly because of hot humid climate in our cities. SS is very much more resistant to scratches caused by mis handling or extensive holster use and also to the humidity changes. Slide is well finished I must say 90% for the finish quality of the slide, both external and internal.
She has it all. Can be carried cocked and locked (safety is flipped up). Safety parallel to slide is Ready position. Down is Decock. Safety lever is truely within the natural range of your thumb. I kind of loved playing with it up and down and that with a complete intact grip. You dont need to alter your hand grip to manipulate the safety lever and this has added a very nice and secure feel to the safety system.
Form and Factor:
It is a lighter gun weight wise @ 800 grams but not in competition with lighter pistols in the market. Weight balance is perfect and feels centered i.e not muzzle heavy. 17 round magazine capacity, 1-spare magazine with a Magazine Loader provided in the box. Size I must say is not optimum as a carry piece, moreover rails on the frame makes it harder to carry. But best thing is that I have decided that I will carry it. Pistol is completely ambidextrous, which ever lever or button is on right side is present on the left side as well.
Let us have an overview of official 809 specs:
Caliber 9 mm (9X19 NATO)
Action Single and double action (SA/DA)
Capacity 17 shots
Barrel length 108.6 mm
Total length 197 mm
Total height 152 mm
Grip width 29 mm (grip) and 36 mm (levers)
Distance between sights 150 mm
Trigger pull weight SA: (2.0 - 3.0)kg - DA: (4.0 - 6.0)kg
Weight (w/empty magazine) 800 g
Sights Fixed,3 dots system - tritium (optional)
Materials Slide: carbon steel or stainless steel
Barrel: stainless steel - Grip (frame): polymer
Safety Devices Firing pin block
Manual safety & decocker - ambidextrous
Loaded chamber indicator
Taurus Security System
Slide - finishing Tenifer, blue or stainless
Rifling 6 grooves, right hand
Initially I thought I did not have enough funds to purchase a Laser/torch module until I came across this cheaper than anything Laser for only 3K. Thing is a starter piece not for serious work though I doubt it would hold Zero perfectly. I did test it by jerking the pistol with it on the rails as hard as I could and did not see any change in aim. I'll see how it performs later on actual firing sessions. It came with additional weaver mounts and fits on the rails using picattiny mounts. It's model name is JG-5B Red laser with output of 5mW. I checked it in sunlight and it seemed very visible on sun lit wall.
Slide to Polymer frame fitting is very loose. No big deal because slide has extremely rock solid fitting with steel inserts in the polymer frame. I tested it by violently jerking the pistol after removing magazines. No it does not rattle at all. Not by micro mm's. Barrel fit is A+. Tried to move the barrel from muzzle end with locked breech, again great that it does not show any movements.
I found this pistol very interesting as it has certain resemblances with many designs from other top handguns. For example, it field strips exactly like a Glock which I think is simplest on earth. Barrel Lugs and locking resembles that of a SIG P-series. Trigger system like 1911 on the grounds of Cocked and Locked carry and slide contours and distinctive lines like that of an HK. The grip, the backstrap and to some extent the form factor resembles FNP-9 pistol. This pistol is relitively new and doesn't have all that huge track records but who ever has handled it has given thumbs up to the accuracy and reliability that it delivered.
NOTE: Viewers can have a look on this really fantastic video of 809 E doing a high round count which I found on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0LTeme0vuw
UPDATES (17th April, 2010):
A Casual Range review of 809 out of the box...
UPDATES (1st May, 2010):
Taurus PT 809 9mm (2nd range review)