I'll begin at the end. Anyone looking for a polymer, easy-to-fire, concealed-carry pistol at a reasonable price will find the Brazilian-made Taurus 809C the ideal answer. The Taurus 809C is a compact, multi-cartridge weapon with a 13-bullet and double-column magazine that fits into the pistol's stock.
Anyone feeling threatened or apprehensive about carrying a pistol that holds so few rounds can take a second 17-bullet magazine along, which comes with the purchase of the weapon, along with an adaptor that elongates the stock's "missing" part. The problem is that the weapon's concealability is lost, unless worn under a vest or some heavy clothing to hide the stock. It would be best to carry an extra magazine in the holster on the belt horizontally to avoid giving it away; the number of bullets remains the same.
The weight and volume of the metallic double-column magazine enables the stock to be relatively thin for a multi-bullet pistol. However, the size doesn’t detract from the weapon's normal operation, and after a little practice, the operator becomes skilled at firing with one hand. In short, the Taurus 809C is not a slim weapon, even though it is called "compact."
The weight, 766 g (without a magazine), is about the same as any multi-bullet polymer pistol (the magazine's thirteen 9 mm shells add another 220 g). As a lightweight weapon, law-abiding civilians seeking self-protection, on-duty police officers who require a concealed and multi-bullet handgun, and special force troops armed with a long-barreled weapon who also pack a pistol in their combat vest can all easily carry the Taurus 809C for hours.
A Simple and Easy Mechanism
Taurus International Manufacturing succeeded in developing a weapon with a genuine, convenient, simple, and most of all, a logical Selective Action mechanism (Safe, Fire, and Decock), without compromising safety. The three easily operable carrying options are as follows: Safe – loaded magazine in the pistol stock (empty chamber); Fire – cocked and loaded, with a bullet in the chamber; and Decock – hammer cocked, chamber loaded, and hammer decocked. In the first setting, with a loaded magazine the safety lock can be either opened or shut (there's no reason to lock the pistol if the chamber is empty). For firing, the hammer is cocked and a light pull on the trigger releases a bullet from the barrel. Each single-action pull releases another bullet until the magazine is empty, which is simple and easy (position no. 3).
The weapon can also be carried in a loaded position – cocked and locked – with a bullet in the chamber and the hammer cocked. After cocking with a loaded magazine, the safety device is raised, and until it is brought down parallel to the barrel, the weapon can't be fired. Each shot is single-action in this position as well (position no. 1).
In the third position, the pistol can be safely carried with a bullet in the chamber, but with the hammer released. After the weapon is cocked and the chamber loaded, pressing down on the safety device releases the hammer without the operator having to touch the trigger or hammer. This is in contrast to other pistols, where the hammer has to be powered while pulling the trigger (position no. 2).
The first bullet is fired by pulling the trigger (double-action mechanism) and the rest of the bullets are shot by a single-action mechanism. While shooting with bullets still in the magazine, the pistol can be locked by clicking the safety device upwards or pressing it down and returning it to the loaded (but not cocked) position.
Thus, the Taurus 809C can be carried safely in multiple modes, depending on the operator's needs. Its sights are high and clear and can be mounted quickly and in conditions that are less ideal than those in a closed firing range. After each recoil is completed, the pistol automatically returns to the center of the target (a feature that I consider to be a godsend).
The external hammer significantly reduces the likelihood of misfire in the case of a hard primer, as sometimes happens in pistols with an internal striking pin. In addition, double-action firing can kick-start a sluggish primer. In this case, the 809C employs the "Strike Two" capability – a second blow by the striking pin on the primer. Whether this method is used or the operator practices stopping exercises in order to extract a fractious bullet from the chamber and load another bullet in its place is a matter that each shooter has to solve individually.
Taurus products are famous for their sleek finish and the smooth interaction of all parts. This holds true for the 809C in both its appearance and operation; it passed every test with excellence. The stock is made of black, slightly gritty polymer, and the pistol's ergonomic curves and molded surface enhance the operator's grip, especially when firing powerful +P+ cartridges. Bottom slide serrations enable quick mounting of tactical lights or laser markers, or a combined unit as in all modern handguns.
The magazine's ambidextrous safety device can be operated either by the thumb or index finger, which omits the need to alter the pistol's position in the palm during magazine changes. When pressing one side of the magazine safety device, the other side protrudes. If this proves uncomfortable, the operator can solve the problem with a little practice.
The barrel's angle relative to the stock contributes significantly to firing quality. Since the firing mechanism consists of an external hammer rather than an internal striking pin, trigger pull is light and relaxed, without the need for calibration by a gunsmith.
The Taurus 809C can be disassembled in a few seconds according to the following steps: after double-checking that the chamber is empty, shift the divider slightly rearward and hold it while simultaneously pulling down the dismount latch and pushing the slide forward. When the disassembly latch is released, the slide slips off the frame. The gun is disassembled to its most basic components, and reassembly is quick and easy.
Taurus produces pistols and rifles of proven quality, but for some reason, its weapons do not reach Israel. The 809C will not disappoint, especially in light of this performance test.
Firing the Taurus 809C is a pleasant experience with no recoil effect (unlike most compact polymer pistols), even with very rapid fire using 9 mm +P+ cartridges (produced by the Brazilian Magtech Ammunition).
Target No. 1: firing with Magtech 115-grain FMJ (full metal jacket) bullets – 30 rounds.
Target No. 2: rapid fire with Magtech 9H series 115-grain +P+ power bullets.
Target No. 3: same bullets as in Target No. 2 but slower.
Target distance: 10 m