The 4 rules of gun safety

*The 1st Law of Gun Safety - The Gun Is Always Loaded!

*The 2nd Law of Gun Safety - Never Point A Gun At Something You're Not Prepared To Destroy!

*The 3rd Law of Gun Safety - Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

*The 4th Law of Gun Safety - Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shooting my PT809..... and sending it in for service

Received my PT809 on January 8th. Gun was very nice and clean. My dealer had done a cleaning on it prior to handing it over to me. For those that don't know, the guns are usually covered with oil to keep them from rusting while sitting on dealers shelves. The insides are usually "well" lubricated as well, so again, do a thorough cleaning before firing your new handgun. Was very excited to go shoot my new toy, but decided to wait until Saturday the 9th to go play.

On the way to the range on the 9th, I picked up a couple boxes of 9mm ammo from Walmart (pretty good prices on ammo here). I picked up a 2 boxes of Federal American and Winchester White Box ammo.

Loading up the gun at the range was really easy with the Maglula Uplula magazine loader. What this does is push down on the top round so you don't have to cut up your thumb putting in the next round. These things are excellent.

I shot the gun at 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards. All groups were very acceptable with no misses of the targets at those ranges. Recoil was certainly reasonable as well. It didn't take long to get the sights back on target from the recoil of the previous round. The only issue I had with the gun was the ejected shells coming back at my face/head. Had a couple go down my shirt and I gotta tell you, that is not a good feeling. Had one shell ping me in the forehead that just about drew blood. I had my sons and the range officer fire the gun and we all had the same issue, so it wasn't a question of how we held the pistol. I decided to come back the next week with some different ammo to see if it was ammo related. Also, your handgun may have some early issues with failure to feed (FTF) and failure to eject (FTE). It's usually suggested to run 250 rounds through your gun before sending it in for repair. So far, I have shot 100 rounds through the gun and probably 98% have ejected towards my head, so not an auspicious start.

The next weekend, I went back to the range with 100 rounds of Magtech 115gr and another 50 rounds of Winchester White Box ammo. Again, the pistol shot very well. Nice groupings at all ranges out to 15 yards, but I was still ducking shell casings. Now, with 250 rounds down range and probably ducking 235ish shell casings, I decided to call Taurus and speak with their customer service.

Taurus for those who aren't aware had a pretty bad reputation in the 80's and 90's. They are a high volume manufacturer who have really good prices on their firearms. When Bob Morrison, former President of Smith and Wesson took over, he did so with the idea of reforming Taurus' name and making them a better company. In many respects, he's accomplished his goal. Taurus is ISO certified in their manufacturing plants in South America and the US.

My call to customer service was pleasant. I spoke with the rep for about 10 minutes and she agreed that my gun had an issue. She gave me the information I needed to send the gun back via Fedex with shipping costs picked up by Taurus. It left me on January 20th and arrived and was checked in by Taurus on January 21st. So far, so good. Taurus has a repair check online so I checked my status weekly. On the 26th, I found my gun in "Repair in process" from "Received, awaiting repair". Nice, things are moving well. Most of the information I was able to derive from the web indicated that Taurus typically had repairs done and shipped back in about 3 weeks, so one week down, we're doing pretty well. I checked again a week later and we're still in "Repair in process". Week 3 check, same status. Week 4 had no change, so I decided to call Taurus and check in. I was told that the gun definitely had an issue and was under "management review" to determine whether to replace or repair the weapon. Figuring that shouldn't take too long, I stayed the course. Weeks 5 and 6 again showed no update to the repair tracker and each week I called in I received the same feedback. Still under "management review". These times, the CSR said it was unusual for their process to take that long for the gun to be reviewed and they would check in further and call me back. Well, I didn't receive a call back either time. So, one more phone call to Taurus at the end of week 7 and I get a status change. Taurus has decided to replace my gun and needs my dealer to fax their federal firearms license to Taurus.

My dealer has been very good to work with. Most of his sales are online and he has a small office that he does firearms transfers through, so he's able to keep his prices very competitive. He's also very responsive. Within 10 minutes of my emailing and leaving him a message, I receive an email confirmation that the FFL has been faxed to Taurus. This was on Thursday, March 10th. Now, with all the issues I have had with Taurus, I figure it might not be a bad idea to call them to ensure they received the FFL. I called Friday morning first thing. Nope, they can't find the FFL. Left message for my dealer to please re-transmit and let me know when accomplished. He does so and let's me know. I call in to Taurus and nope, they can't find it. Not in their system and not on the fax machine. I contact my dealer and he can't believe how bad Taurus has been with this. He decides to call them himself so he can fax while on the phone with them. Unfortunately, he was on hold for over 30 minutes and couldn't stay the line longer. He faxed one more time and let me know he couldn't get through. I decided to call at the end of the day on Friday the 11th to check status. Again, Taurus can't find the FFL and asked that I call back on Monday at the end of the day to see if it's been checked into the system.

So, here I am on Monday the 14th of March. I'll be calling in this afternoon to see if Taurus has finally received the FFL.

I've decided that I'm done with the PT809. When I get the new one back, I'm going to sell it and get something different. Well, I already ordered "something different". I even ordered another Taurus. Just waiting for it to arrive. I ordered a Taurus M92 pistol. Ok, so why would I get another Taurus? Well, the PT92 family from Taurus has been around over 20 years and is a clone of the Beretta model 92 which has been the US service pistol since the late 80's as the M9 model. Taurus has made a lot of improvements to the model and word on the street is that problems with a 92 family pistol are so far and few, that it's a huge surprise when one is found. Ok, so we'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, while my 809 was in repair, I purchased what would be my IDPA competition pistol. I purchased a Smith and Wesson Military and Police 9mm. This pistol is in use by many police departments and was under consideration for a US Military contract. I have received this weapon and took it to the range this weekend for the first time. I'll talk about it in my next post.

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