Taurus PT709 Erratic Trigger Force
I'd like to compare experiences/discoveries with other Taurus PT709/740 owners/shooters/smiths.
My 709 started exhibiting erratic trigger force and by that I mean the required trigger pull would vary anywhere between 3 lb and 10 lb. I understand that this is no target pistol but I found that wide variation disconcerting; I was particularly concerned about the very light force measurements. I have read of others with heavy triggers (like 9 lb) who sent their gun back to Taurus for repair and were generally happy with the result although the repair tickets were pretty vague about what was replaced/adjusted/repaired. My problem seems different to the extent the force varies shot-to-shot. Given that the problem is intermittent I cannot be sure exactly when it began.
As an aside, Taurus previously replaced the front sight and the barrel (and maybe other things) because the pistol shot low and I replaced the extractor which cured an incomplete extraction/jamming problem. Other than this trigger force issue, the pistol is now reliable so I'm reluctant to send it back to Taurus again.
Prior to this problem I had removed the firing pin (striker) assembly a few times for cleaning, etc. and I think this may be related. The owners manual advises not to disassemble the slide (which would include removing the striker). The striker/firing pin rides inside a plastic sleeve and that sleeve controls the vertical position of the firing pin lug with respect to the frame and the sear. The plastic sleeve also rubs against the Taurus Locking mechanism when removing the firing pin assembly and it takes a bit of force to push the firing pin assembly out of the slide.
So I think it's possible that this plastic sleeve was deformed in a way that causes the firing pin lug to press down against the sear causing the high forces. Also, sometimes the sear fails to catch the firing pin lug if the slide is racked very briskly (this has never happened with ammo loaded). I suspect the plastic sleeve may cause the firing pin lug to be too low causing it to strike the sear prematurely, sometimes causing it to bounce and not fully engage the lug (sometimes missing it entirely) or to catch the lug squarely but also press down with excessive force making sear release difficult
I have read in many places that the 709 is supposed to have a great trigger so I think my gun has a problem. I would be interested in feedback from others who have experienced and (especially) solved 709 trigger issues.
By the way, I previously asked about this on the Taurus Armed site but the responses were along the lines of "that's normal for a belly gun" or "send it to Taurus". I don't agree with the first solution and I don't want to return the gun for such an intermittent problem.
Thanks in advance for any insights.
Last edited by Scott9mm; 12-30-2012 at 12:04 PM.
I don't have any experience w/ the PT709, however, what you have explained is a major issue in my opinion and needs to be addressed asap by either a competent gunsmith or Taurus. To have an inconsistent trigger pull which varies from 3 to 10lbs and not knowing what you're going to get is not only non-condusive to proper training and technique, but can be down right dangerous.
Last edited by denner; 07-09-2012 at 08:41 PM.
Mine seems the same from shot to shot, but I am considering trading this gun off because I have big hands and have problems during trigger press. I should have paid more attention when I was handling the gun in the store. I have heard of some people having the trigger bar replaced, thus making the trigger reach a little longer, but I don't know for sure.
You wrote that, "The owners [sic] manual advises not to disassemble the slide..." And yet, you confess, you nevertheless disassembled the slide.
Yes, it's probably the root of your problem, or at least at the root of some of it.
At this point, the best thing to do is to 'fess up and send the gun back to Taurus.
I was just going to make the same comment Steve did.
When you are advised not to do something in the manual by a manufacturer, there may be a pretty good reason for it.
It seems like this gun has had a few problems, I will say I am pretty amazed a new barrel and front sight on a little gun like that cured shooting low.
Hopefully you can get it fixed. A CCW that as a veriable trigger pull can be a dangerous thing. Good Luck.
Before discussing what I think I've learned, I'd like to make a few points in my defense. First the manual did not warn against disassembling the slide, per se. The manual provided field strip instructions and then stated: "No further disassembly is recommended unless done by a skilled gunsmith." Second, in similar designs, like Glock, M&P, XD, etc, removing the striker assembly is no big deal. Third, Taurus guns generally arrive with a thick coat of waxy grease that needs to be removed. Finally, many 709 owners have removed the striker without ill effect.
Now, the striker moves in an orange plastic sleeve (part 1.18 in the manual) that controls the vertical and lateral position of the striker. I closely examined the sleeve and found a burr at the hole for the Taurus Security System (TSS). This hole is on the top of the sleeve near the middle. The TSS includes a small horizontal (left to right) cylinder (key lock, part 1.23) which is notched-out where it passes through the striker channel, but not quite to the full diameter of the striker channel. In other words, the TSS "key lock" protrudes slightly into the into the striker channel even when the TSS is unlocked. This is what makes it difficult to remove the striker assembly. When the TSS is locked, this cylinder rotates so the full diameter of the key lock protrudes through the hole in the plastic sleeve to block striker movement.
After my initial problem (trigger varied 3-10 lb), I filed off the burr on the plastic sleeve and now the trigger force is much better although it still varies a couple pounds. So I removed the slide cap at the back of the slide to observe how the striker lug engaged the sear. I also formed a piece of wire to hold the sleeve in its normal position with the slide cap off. I saw that the lug engaged the sear higher up when trigger force was light but slightly lower down when the force was heavier. The difference was not great but still discernible to the naked eye. The lug-sear engagement point seemed to correlate with slide-racking technique. If I racked the slide very fast or very slow the lug engaged lower on the sear. At normal racking speed the lug engaged higher and I got a lighter trigger,
My trigger force is pretty decent now. Still, I ordered a new striker sleeve to see if that makes it even better. I also ordered a new striker and recoil spring as spares. Taurus CS was very helpful and the cost was very reasonable IMO. I also learned that the sear is a restricted part and it cannot just be purchased (you need to send the whole gun to get the sear replaced).
I have some tentative conclusions at this point. First, the orange plastic striker sleeve is critical to proper operation of the trigger. If it gets damaged or deformed in any way it should probably be replaced. Second, the the TSS cylinder (key lock, part #1.23) protrudes into the striker channel to the extent it makes it difficult to remove the striker assembly and such removal may damage the striker sleeve (part 1.18), at least this is so on my gun. The TSS on the PT709 makes striker-assembly removal problematic compared to other striker-fired pistols. Third, I think occasional striker removal may be necessary to clean the striker and striker channel but the striker sleeve should be carefully examined and replaced if it is damaged or bent. Last, storing the gun with the striker cocked may help keep the striker sleeve straight.
I'll report back after I've replaced the striker sleeve.
Suggestion: Completely remove the stupid and unnecessary key lock.
If you keep your pistol on your person most of the time, and if it's stored in a secure container when you're not wearing it, the lock is absolutely useless anyway.
I can't argue with any of that except it would leave a hole (in the side of the slide) that would be open to the striker channel. Padlocks (a la Ruger or CZ) are bad enough but at least it's easy to see if a padlock is on or off and it can't screw up the gun when it's off. Maybe a hole isn't all that bad after all; or maybe some aftermarket folks will make an attractive plug. Thanks for the input. Maybe this should be its own thread.
Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
I'll use the new puppy analogy....you get the puppy, it causes you some troubles, but you don't want to get rid of it, because you love it, and you can maybe train it to become better..............I guess that's what makes me different in the firearms world......if I can't shoot it without problems, if I can't assemble and disassemble without problems, if I can't trust it totally, it's gone. Good luck and hope you find a cure.
I get the puppy analogy but I guess I'm just a tinkerer and like to understand why things work or don't work.
Since last post, I replaced the striker/firing pin as well as the plastic firing-pin sleeve but only measured a slight improvement in the range of trigger force variation. After racking the slide, one of three things happened: trigger force was 3.75 pounds (a tad light), 6-7 pounds (not bad), or the sear failed to catch the firing pin entirely. Closer inspection showed that the sear did not always return to the full-up position under pressure of the sear spring. I concluded that either the sear spring is weak/damaged or there is a rough spot on the sear or sear frame that prevents the sear from popping fully up. Turns out that all three of these parts are restricted, which means Taurus will not sell the parts. I considered adapting a generic spring but lacking any specs (other than physical dimensions) I decided against it. So I sent the gun back to Taurus (to the tune of $70+) to let them deal with it. I did include a letter detailing the current problem as well as a complete history of previous issues and actions. Taurus received the gun Weds a.m. and I got an email acknowledging receipt around COB Thursday. Taurus' online repair tracking web site still shows nothing (as of COB Friday) which is par for the course, I hear. Last time, when FEDEX delivered the gun back to me the web site still showed received, awaiting repair so that online status "tool" appears pretty useless. Now it's time to wait. Possible update to follow.
Good move, let us know how it turns out.
Situation Report Update.
I'm the OP. My main complaint was erratic trigger force (between 3 and 9 lb) which seemed to depend on slide-rack speed and also the sear completely failed to catch the striker sometimes. I Fedex'ed the gun to Taurus Miami on 1 Aug and got it back 17 Aug. The online status tracking was not useful as it did not even show "received" for, maybe, 10 days and suddenly jumped to "repaired and enroute back" the day before it arrived here.
Previously: I sent this almost new gun to Taurus in Nov 2010 because I believed it shot seriously low. Taurus CS told me they made shorter front sights (just a little plastic piece) but they had none of them in stock and requested I send them the whole gun. I got the gun back in a week and now I believe they just replaced the entire gun with a new one from Brazil and stamped my S/N on the slide. My original gun had the S/N on the slide and barrel and the one I got back only had the S/N on the slide. In any event, the gun I got back started having occasional failures to extract (incomplete extraction); I bought and installed a new extractor which fixed this problem. Most recently I subjectively noticed significant variation in the required trigger force, which I confirmed with a trigger pull gauge. Taurus CS said all the associated parts (sear, sear spring, etc.) were restricted; they would not sell them to me but requested I send them the whole gun again. I sent them the gun Fedex (cost over $70) along with a detailed letter explaining the current issue as well as all prior issues and actions.
Result: The Warranty Form from Taurus said they replaced the trigger bar, the sear, the barrel, and the extractor. I have not fired the gun yet but I have determined the trigger force is improved but still erratic. In most cases the trigger pull was 4-4.5 pounds now but I observed 3 pounds a couple times, 8 pounds a couple times, and a couple instances where the sear failed to catch. I suspect my real problem is the sear spring is not strong enough to return the sear to the full up position , particularly during a very rapid slide racking. But I plan to shoot some before trying anything else, like a stronger DIY spring (this is a small torsional spring).
More Analysis: The repair ticket said the old TRIGGER BAR was damaged. The new trigger bar is different in that the little finger that trips the sear is visibly longer. I suspect this is a newer design part vs any actual damage to the old one. The practical effect is that the sear now trips with the trigger about 1/8 to 1/16 inch forward of where it tripped before (trigger almost touching the frame). This is an improvement. The repair ticket said the SEAR was damaged and replaced but I can't detect any difference between old and new. The repair ticket said the BARREL was damaged and replaced. Using a laser boresighter (the kind that fits in the chamber) with the old barrel, the laser dot was seriously high and right of the sights. With this new barrel, the laser dot is dead on the sights at 7 yards. This leads me to believe that the chamber in the old barrel was cut crooked to the bore. The repair ticket said the EXTRACTOR was broken or cracked. The old extractor was working 100% so I don't know what to think of this except maybe they replace all extractors as a precaution (bad extractors seem to be common on 709s, at least the early ones). Overall, I'm not sure Taurus read my letter or focused on the specific problem I described. It seems like they check the whole gun against a checklist and replace whatever doesn't pass muster (I had no complaints related to the barrel, extractor, or trigger bar).
Bottom line: Even though they didn't completely fix my complaint, I probably got my Fedex money's worth with the new barrel and trigger bar. It's possible that the trigger force may be fine during actual shooting even though it is still erratic on the bench. It's also possible that the trigger force will smooth out with use. I will continue to work with the gun myself to get it right but I'll be shopping for a good deal on a Shield or Nano (which were not available when I bought my 709) in the mean time. Still, lots of folks really like their 709s so maybe something simple (like a spring) is all mine needs.
I can't believe that you still own it.....
I hear you but I'm not going to dump this gun on some unsuspecting soul; I bought it and I'll deal with it. But you know the old cliche: "Fool me once..."
i must admit that each time i see the title of this thread, i see ERRATIC but my mind comprehends EROTIC and then i wonder about "erotic trigger force" .... and then i think about the "women and guns" threads and then i realize i just lost a half an hour daydreaming....
Yup. This is the most popular "adult" forum on the web. Yessirree, Bob!
Erotic triggers, indeed!
Range Report: The weather was dry yesterday so I took my recently "fixed" PT709 to my "range" (actually just a lane with a natural backstop in my 50 acre woods). I fired 50 rounds of S&B and 50 rounds of Lawman. There was one malfunction, a double feed on on the next to last round in the mag. That may have been a mag loading issue, i.e., not slapping the back of the mag to insure all rounds are fully seated against the back of the mag; it never happened before. There were no FTE so the new extractor is OK. Most of my shots were a couple inches low and a left (at 7 yards), which I'm sure is my fault. However, the trigger force was still erratic, essentially just like before I sent the gun to Taurus for repair.
The sear on this design has small cylindrical ears on each side that ride in slots in the aft frame (a MIM metal piece that also includes the aft slide rails). The slot is shaped like an inverted capital "L" with the bottom leg facing the muzzle. The sear is spring-loaded upward so the ears are at the top-horizontal leg of the inverted "L" and held full forward by the striker spring when the striker is cocked. Pulling the trigger pushes the sear aft (after mucho take-up) until the ears align with the vertical leg when the sear drops down to release the striker. Considering the sear was replaced, I'm convinced there must be rough areas in the "L" slots that create excess friction that prevents the sear from setting full forward in some cases and creates excess trigger force if it does set full forward. The aft frame (officially "mechanism support", part 5.01) is a restricted part which Taurus will not sell.
Since the gun works fine otherwise, I'll use it as is for the foreseeable future. I don't intend any more updates on this issue. But I won't be buying any more Taurus products.
PT709 Erratic Trigger Force - FIXED
I think I fixed the erratic (not erotic) trigger on my PT709.
Short recap: My 2010 model PT709 exhibited erratic trigger force; required trigger force varied randomly between about 3 lb (practically a hair trigger, just over the 2 lb take-up force) to over 10 lb (will thus thing ever fire?). I solicited advice on TaurusArmed but the moderators there were less than no help, so I moved my discussion here. I sent the gun back to Tauru$ Miami (see above) with a detailed letter explaining my problem and I suggested possible causes (including a weak/damaged sear spring). Taurus replaced several parts but the trigger force was still erratic after the gun came back from Miami.
Action and result: Still suspecting a weak sear spring (a restricted part that Taurus will not sell) I disassembled the sear bracket and un-bent the sear spring to increase the upward force on the sear. So far so good! The single-action trigger force is now a very repeatable 6-6.5 lb. This is just about right for a self-defense weapon, IMO. Time will tell but I'm a happy camper so far.
Analysis: The "weak" sear spring failed to reliably hold the sear in the full-up position to catch the striker foot as the slide came forward. So when I racked the slide (or fired the gun) the striker foot wouldn't catch and seat the sear consistently in the forward notch. So the sear landed in different parts of the "notch" depending on the dynamics (speed, vibrations, etc.) of slide movement. In fact the sear completely failed to catch the striker on some occasions. Also, the stronger sear spring reduces the down force on the sear ears (from the striker spring) and this should help reduce trigger friction also.
Cautions: In case anyone decides to disassemble the sear bracket assembly on their PT709 I have two cautions. First, there is a small 2-2.5 mm ball bearing under the safety lever to provide a detent for the safety lever. This ball bearing is under spring pressure and it is VERY easy to lose. Second, the sear spring is a pig to get back in during reassembly but there is a trick. Run a loop of thin dental floss through the coil of the sear spring and up through the slot in the top of the sear. Then you can use the floss loop to pull the spring into place as you slide the pivot pin into place (through the bracket, through the sear side slot, and through the loop of the spring). But DON'T lose the sear spring or you'll have to send the whole gun to Miami to get it replaced.
Since you returned it to Taurus for survey and repair, and they didn't eliminate the problem for which you'd returned it, you have just reinforced my dim view of Taurus's quality control and customer service. Boo! Hiss!
About 50% of the reliable reports I've read, Taurus came off badly.
I have no personal experience with any Taurus gun; but, after reading these reports, neither am I ever likely to.
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