Taurus Firearm Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,006 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Changing the front sight on my PT809c - RANGE RPT 15 APR 2012

Most recent report 15 APR 2012: See end of this post.


Team, you might possibly remember that I'm very, very happy with my $342 stainless-steel concealed-carry wonder known as the PT-809c.

I've been carrying this little handgun in "Mexican Carry" fashion with no holster for three weeks. I won't recommend "Mexican Carry" to everyone, because it's not that secure, but I feel far less insecure than I would with a Glock (Plaxico Burress, anyone?) owing to the combination of a manual safety, and a double-action trigger (hammer down). The short butt and muzzle of the weapon definitely enhance concealability. I will get a holster for this superb little defender (or perhaps make one out of Kydex - documenting the process here, as usual) so that I can carry it at 5:00 position.

That being said, I did have two very minor concerns about the handgun: The trigger is pretty firm (but it has little creep!) for my high-falutin' tastes, and the Novak front blade is amazingly tall - and thinner than Kate Moss. Honestly, the damned thing looks like a knife on edge with a white dot, hanging off the front of the slide. The amazingly tall profile is none too good for CCW, and it makes the gun shoot LOW - placing the sights dead center on a target rewards you with a group in the 7-8 ring. You'd practically have to aim at shoulder height to hit center mass on a person 20 feet away. I have no idea why Taurus chose this Novak sight for this particular handgun.

Additionally, the thin blade is annoying. I'm not sure why, but it seems I'm trying to constantly correct the bizarre gulf of distance between the left and right sides of the front blade in notch of the combat rear sights. Ever since I got the gun, I've fantasized about correcting this deficiency with some new sights.
sightbladevert.jpg

In searching around, there's very little information about replacement sights for Taurus handguns, and literally no documentation of fitment of new sights on the PT-8XX series. I have been intrigued about the benefit of fiber optic sights because the manufacturers are producing reasonably-priced accessories that enhance your visual image of your sights on your target by using the available light, collected by an enclosed fiber optic segment. I examined Williams Fire Sights, Hi-Viz and Tru-Glo, and eventually selected the red Hi-Viz front sight, purchasing it from Midway USA. It arrived yesterday - just in time for my birthday (today!) and I proceeded to install the unit on my gun.

How it measures up:

* The stock front sight of the PT-809c is a Novak unit. It's oddly high at 0.30", and oddly thin at 0.120". Replacing it with a Hi-Viz wasn't particularly difficult - you must locate a 0.050" allen wrench, loosen the tiny set screw, and you can drift the old sight out with hand-pressure. The Hi-Viz sight is 0.150" in width, markedly wider than the Novak.

img3168fn.jpg img3169h.jpg

* Fitting the Hi-Viz is not a particularly advanced effort, but if you don't have jeweler's files - especially a thin three-sided unit - you may not want to take on this task.



As you can see, the stock sight's "foot" ("tongue?") is ground to 0.295" and can be pushed through the notch on the firearm's slide with hand-pressure. The Hi-Viz is 0.300" so you must take off a little metal off the front and back of this portion of the sight, and you have to retain the angle so the fit will be snug. I gently filed away at the front and back of the "foot" until I brought down the measurement to 0.297", whereupon I tapped the sight in from right to left using a brass punch and only tapping on the side of the "foot," not the blade of the sight. The fit is very snug but not so snug that you need a $100 sight pusher to make it move. I can't anticipate any situation that would cause it to be jarred out of alignment - including any kind of a violent impact to the pistol.

When I finally centered the sight, I looked over the top of the pistol and was delighted to see that the front sight perfectly filled the Novak rear sight's notch. The profile is finally the correct height. I doubt I'll have to aim for the neck to hit center mass again! The red optic picks up any light in the room and it enhances your ability to obtain a good sight picture. Outdoors the Hi-Viz gets high-marks for the brilliance of the red dot, and the serrated parkerized coating on the back face of the blade which prevents glare from ruining your sight picture.

This accessory was $33 + shipping/handling, and well worth the mod. Stay tuned here for range reports when I test it out.


-------------------------

UPDATE 15 APR 2012: I finally got to the range just yesterday, and have concluded that the shorter front sight is much, much too short. This handgun's now shooting 7-9" high @ 18 yards. I'm either going to have to stick my stock sight back on or use a Williams Fire Sight rear sight which is adjustable.

The thing is, in Brownell's Q&A section, a commenter asks if the #70969 Firesight set will fit his Taurus PT845, and they reply "No."

Which is weird.

The dovetail looks identical. Sadly, Hi-Viz doesn't make an adjustable rear sight to match my front sight; they only make a fixed... I guess that could be the correct height, so maybe I'll give them a call tomorrow.
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,006 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Additional photos - 5 is max.
img3165gd.jpg

In daylight, the sight really illuminates. Here's a pic of the sight in shadow and in full light from the side:

hivizcombopic.jpg

A side profile shot (mildly OOF):

img3166pv.jpg

Indoors:

img3167rf.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I too recently bought a Taurus PT 809. I love the gun haven't had a problem with it yet and have some 500 rounds through it. However, after ever day at the range I was disappointed with how it shot low. I started to compensate like you said by just aiming higher but then you can't really see what you are shooting at because the 3 dot sight blocks it. I have Novak sights on it and noticed that the front sight seemed really tall. I have been looking for an adjustable rear sight because I thought that would be more practical to have an adjustment than to permenatley change the height of the front sight, but rear adjustable sights are 60 bucks and higher! So far you are the only other person that I know has done this because there is nothing on the internet about replacing PT800 series sights. The base you refer to as a foot, is called a dovetail and they come in a bunch of different sizes. Without taking my sight off of the slide I had no way of measuring the width of the dovetail with a micrometer, so I'm glad to actually hear a number as I could not find this information anywhere! When you ordered your front sight did you get something that said it would fit a 24/7 or another PT model because I have found no sights that say fit a PT 809?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
Welcome to the forum, xdragon17!

I too have a PT809, and it shoots point of aim.

Did you align the three white balls? Don't use the tops of the sights, that was my mistake when I first got this pistol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Well I was always taught to "lollipop" your target. That's where you align the the tops of the iron sights and put them right beneath the bulls eye. Like the next picture. Is that not how it should be done?
six_0.jpg

I did a quick google search and came up with this, which is what I think you are telling me. That just seems like it makes it harder to hit the bulls eye because your gun and sights are all in the way. I was doing both, making sure the dots were lined up and using the tops of the sights.

aim2.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
I don't think it's possible to keep both the tops of the front and rear sights level, and the three balls in line. When the three balls are in line, the top of the front sight is significantly higher than the rear. When I shoot like the second picture, it hits perfectly.

This sort of sight is not really designed for bullseye shooting, in that you need to completely cover the X-ring in order to hit it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,331 Posts
As you can see, the stock sight's "foot" ("tongue?") is ground to 0.295" and can be pushed through the notch on the firearm's slide with hand-pressure. The Hi-Viz is 0.300" so you must take off a little metal off the front and back of this portion of the sight, and you have to retain the angle so the fit will be snug. I gently filed away at the front and back of the "foot" until I brought down the measurement to 0.297"
I like it! There's another way to fit sights that's easier - just hold the tenon flat against a stone and rub it back and forth. You take a little off the bottom that way which has the same end result of narrowing the tenon. The only time that's a problem is when you have really tight fit between the bottom of the sight blade and the top of the slide. I've fitted quite a few sights using this method and never had a problem. The advantage is that you don't have to worry about screwing up the angle. In one case I cut down a HiViz 1911 sight to fit the screwball dovetail that Para uses up front, and for that I had to cut the sides. For work on the sides of the tenon I like to use a three sided needle file. With a three sided file you've got 60 degree angles all the way around, and the dovetails are cut at 60 degrees. If you use the bottom of the sight as a reference, and keep one side of the triangular file parallel with the bottom of the sight, the side that's doing the cutting will be cutting at 60 degrees. Just passing it along...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Thanks andreew. I'll have to double check how exaclty everything lines up next time I'm out at the range. I should probably shoot some from a sand bag or bench too, I have only shot standing up. Thanks for the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
Like Andree, I align the 3 dots, not the posts as I do on some weapons. Key is shoot and move the sights around to find the sight picture that allows you to hit the bull.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I took my 809 back out to the range over the weekend and aligned the three dots and put the middle dot on the bulls eye. That did the trick, it shoots point of aim like its supposed to. Thanks for the input guys.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andreew

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Thank you very much for this post as I just recently bought a pt845 and took it out to the range yesterday for the first time. Both myself and my friend were shooting low tho that may be because both of us havent shot anything in 10 years, (me because I was out of the country and him cause he had no one to shoot with since I left.) This is the first Taurus I've bought and it is freakin amazing. I had a Ruger p95 back in the day and although this was 10 years ago and I've only put 100 rds thru it so far I think this 45 has smoother recoil and feels better than that 9mm. I'm planning on getting some training on all the proper safety and marksmanship and I've been worried about the posts saying that the pt800's shoot low so this is a big help to me and I'm sure many others that have decided to purchace this fine series of firearms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I don't think it's possible to keep both the tops of the front and rear sights level, and the three balls in line. When the three balls are in line, the top of the front sight is significantly higher than the rear. When I shoot like the second picture, it hits perfectly.

This sort of sight is not really designed for bullseye shooting, in that you need to completely cover the X-ring in order to hit it.
This was my experience, also. I filed some of the top of the blade off so that the three dots line up just as the top of the blade lines up with the top of the rear sight groove. Shoots point of aim now. jrh
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
379 Posts
Great thread.. my front sight just fell off my pt809 at the range.. I like the fiber optic firesight/ or hi vis..
Lucky my buddy has the right pitch triangular file at his shop, now to find a gun shoppe with the right front sight.
& again great info!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top