Taurus M431 44 Special


H. Faversham
February 15, 2007, 08:28 PM
At a recent gun show, a dealer wanted almost $400 (including tax) for a like new, blue, model 431, 3 inch, no box. Granted, it was a really beautiful, well balanced, pre-lock, first-year-of-production example of a .44 revolver. And, yes, it was a discontinued, 3 inch .44 Special, which is all the rage now.
But almost $400!? For a Taurus!? What am I missing here?

H. Faversham

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February 15, 2007, 08:38 PM
All .44 specials, with possible exception of the Charter Arms, are starting to command a premium. If I didn't already have one, and if it was in good condition, I would go as high as $325 for a 441 or 431. Smith and Wesson 296 and 696's are commanding extremely high prices as well. I picked up this 696 for $465 but they are selling on the auction sites for $800+.

February 15, 2007, 08:54 PM
That gun manufacturers would realize the gap in the market and throw out a few more models to capitalize on the demand.
Sigh, I doubt it!

February 15, 2007, 09:18 PM
I had one when they first came out. It had a lot of problems and Taurus couldn't (or wouldn't) even fix it. It was $290.00 brand new in those days. I sure wouldn't give $400.00 for one today.

H. Faversham
February 15, 2007, 10:09 PM
What were the problems?

February 15, 2007, 11:58 PM
Rare as hen's teeth in California.

February 16, 2007, 02:30 AM
Had a 441 with a 4 inch barrel.Shot well and had no problems. Sold it to get another revolver and have been doing this:banghead: ever since. We do have several .44 Special owners who have either the 431 or 441 models. Ask them or search the archives for the threads at www.taurusaremed.net. Both the Taurus and Rossi owners have a good model and enjoy them. There are past threads by these owners here at this forum.Price seems steep, but as the others have posted, it is a rare commodity.

February 16, 2007, 05:23 AM
I bought a Rossi 720 for $180 and a Taurus 441 for $275 within the last couple of months at gun shows. Saw a 441 with a 4" barrel at a recent show for $300 asking price. They are out there.

February 16, 2007, 08:18 PM
My problem was the trigger, when new it wouldn't reset about half the time. At the time Taurus had just set up their "Custom Shop" so I figured instead of sending it in for warranty repair I'd simply send it to the "Custom Shop" for a full action tuning and trigger job. You can't tune an action and trigger and come out with a trigger that won't reset. Right? Wrong!

Gun comes back after a reasonable month and now not only will the trigger still not reset, it won't ignite any primers as the hammer strike is too light. Great trigger though, very light and smooth, pity the gun won't fire. Back to Taurus after a quite heated discussion with a "Gunsmith".

Gun comes back after another reasonable month. Trigger resets every time with no issues whatsoever. Still won't ignite primers though! I went out and bought a pack of every primer on the market and proceeded to give it the benefit of the doubt even though I already used Federals which are known to take a light strike. Nope! Had another heated discussion with the shop director and told him I wanted a replacement weapon and it better have a full action tune and it better pop every primer I put under that hammer. Was told I could send the gunback for repair but a replacement was not an option.

I sold the gun after disclosing that it had a problem with light hammer strikes to a fellow that was going to put some new springs in it and solve the problem. I could've done the same thing and it probably would have worked but I'd lost all confidence in the company and the revolver so I just wanted it gone. I've never owned another Taurus product with the exception of one I got as part of a trade that I promptly sold.

February 16, 2007, 08:32 PM
I am no fan of Taurus firearms due to the lack of customer support I experienced with a PT 111. With this said, I owned a 4" M441 and it was a great revolver after I had a trigger job done to it. I sold it to a friend that really wanted it. Regards, Richard:D

Old Fuff
February 16, 2007, 09:22 PM
I have a Taurus model 445 (blue steel / 5 shot / 44 Special / 2" that's given me no problems, and is one of my pet pocket guns. While a lot of pre 2000 guns left a lot to be desired, the later ones have been good as far as I'm concerned unless they were made out of Titanium or had Titanium cylinders. I have absolutely no interest in an .44 Special revolver that isn't made out of steel, preferably high carbon and blued. ;)

February 16, 2007, 09:31 PM
Still looking for a 445 and 296 to add to the collection.


October 18, 2008, 01:00 PM
Never owned a Charco weapon, but from what I've read, they can be either very good, or junk -- depending entirely on when they were made during that company's volitile history

From my experience in owning several Taurus snubbies, the first generation of them (The S&W clones) were OK for the prices they charged at the time, but were not a top line product. Same with the Rossi models of about that time.

Since then, and I'm not sure when the change was made, the quality of Taurus has increased to where they are a good quality handgun for the money.

Of course, every gun maker occaisionally has a bad one that got out the door.
I can only surmise, but from what I have heard form other sources, the poster that had the problem with ignition failures could almost certainly have fixed them with a new set of springs. However, having myself experienced unreliable handguns in the past, (Colt's 1911) I fully understand the desire not to place his trust in that particular gun.

I have owned several Taurus revolvers in the past, and never had a problem with any of them. Current examples include:

An M431 blue steel .44 (2nd generation). This is a great revolver, and is a comfort to me at times. My only real beef with it as a carry gun, is that it is a tad heavy for a small revolver, but it can be lived with. It's functioning is flawless, and it is as accurate as anyone could wish in a snubbie.

No, it is not as "nice" in fit and finish as a Smith & Wesson, or Colt of comparable type, and is not IMO as robust as a Ruger, nevertheless, the polish and bluing is very nice for a handgun in it's price range, the barrel cylinder gap is close, and the lockup is tight.

The only real differences in quality that I can tell visually from a smith is in the area around the extracor star, and some of the internal finish work is not as good, but since that is not often seen, and has no effect on the function, it is not an issue for me.

I also own a Tarus M415 Total Titanium of similar size (3Rd Gen and unfortunatly no longer in production) which is much lighter, and also a flawless performer. It is a fantastic piece, and at the time I bought it -- was sitting next to an identical model in .44 -- I only wish I could have bought one of each.

Every one has a different view of these things of course, but my experience is that Taurus (Snubbie revolvers at least) are a good buy if you can get one at a reasonable price, and if it is a good one. I wouldn't trade one of my S&W's for one, but I wouldn't keep my Smith if it didn't work right either.

(Sorry it was such a long post. What can I say, just another windbag....should have gone into politics, apparently we can't do much worse....) :barf:

October 19, 2008, 06:47 AM
Looks like Vax pulled this one out of the graveyard, but I do have a Rossi 720.

October 19, 2008, 11:41 AM
My 441, 6" great gun. I purchased a new 4" barrel from Gun parts and now I can change barrels at will, only takes minutes and greatly enhances the utility of the revolver.

October 19, 2008, 12:03 PM
I would buy a Rossi or Taurus in the blink of an eye, if the price was right. Love .44 Spl.

May 5, 2009, 12:38 AM
Is this thread still active? I have a Taurus 431 stainless with 2.5" bbl. Looking for a IWB holster . . . will a k frame holster work or do I need to get a L frame one? been to countless holster makers' sites and of course no one lists this model. I have an old Bianchi pancake, but want the deeper concealment of an IWB.


May 5, 2009, 11:24 AM
I have a Taurus 431 stainless 4" that I have had for most of 23 years. I had to buy it twice, because the ex-wife claimed it in the divorce, and by then they weren't available new any more. It was my primary carry gun and favorite DA revolver until I got a Taurus 605 last year. The 431 is still my favorite, but the 605 is handier.
I have owned Smiths, Colts, Rugers, Rossis, High Standards, and even Llamas, and have shot several other brands, and the only other DA gun I ever had I liked as well as the 431 was a Smith 65, that was the most accurate center fire revolver of any type I have ever shot. I sold that in a moment of stupidity. :banghead: I have never personally had a problem with a Taurus or a Colt. I did have a big problem with a Smith, but they fixed it fine. Of course, I take most any new revolver apart and clean up any machining residue and flashing or marks that might drag on any internal surfaces. Not really a full internal polish, but a real good clean up, and I think it benefits them all. I also install Wolff springs at that time. The 431 was the only revolver it ever took me two tries to get the lightest 100% reliable hammer ignition with, but it has been fine for over 20 years now. I actually prefer the simplicity of the internal lockwork on a Taurus to a Smith, and I am not going to buy a gun with a hole in the side for a "key" cylinder.

May 5, 2009, 01:55 PM
I have a Simply Rugged holster for my Charter .44 spec. They are both similar in length and width, and it should fit.

May 5, 2009, 03:22 PM
A holster for a K 2 1/2 fits a 2 1/2" 431 fine. Taurus cylinder is only 0.061" larger in dia. and about the same length.

May 5, 2009, 04:00 PM
People may be starting to recognize that Elmer Keith wasn't talking out his ass...

May 6, 2009, 12:38 AM
This thread was pulled out of the graveyard again! But now I can add that I still have my Rossi 720 and have a Smith 296 that was picked up for the high price of $380.:what:

May 6, 2009, 02:03 AM
Third time's a charm, smee781! Here's another 720 (mine) for you:


May 6, 2009, 06:54 AM
I've shot the SS and all-Ti version of the Taurus as well as a few Charter Arms/C.A. 2000 models. They all had miserable triggers, but I would have more faith in the Charter Arms models as a CCW. The all-Ti Taurus was definitely lite weight - but got stiffer as you shot it, finally all but locking up by 25-30 rounds. Allowed to cool, it was shootable again. This was a period from fall '02 to spring '05 when I worked as a part-time public range RO. The ammo was PMC 180gr JHP, Blazer 200gr GDJHPs, and MagTech lead.

I bought a 296 ($349) and a 696 ($439), both new, on the same day over six years ago. Yeah, the 696 is way too big for a pocket gun - the 296, in a Mika pocket holster, is pocketable. To put them in proper perspective, look below. Along side the 296 & 696 are my 4" & 6" 629 - .44 Magnums.


Carefully compare the 4" 629 to the 696. It weighs just six ounces more, but includes another round capacity, inch of barrel, larger hammer & trigger, and is really Keith-level capable. You can probably buy a new one for less than a 'good' 696, too. Just a thought.

Interesting side note - the CA, Tauri, and 296/396/696 all use the same HKS #CA44 speedloader. My 296, in a pocket holster, fits nearly 3/4 of my britches front pocket - and says 'Howdy!' quite well when shooting those 200gr Gold Dots (I have used GA Arms version for years - you gain Starline brass that way.).


March 8, 2010, 03:55 PM
I had a titanium .44 special and that was really nice. Wish I didn't trade it away, but I got a 4" smith 19-3 for it, so all was not lost. A 3" titanium in .44 special is a dream gun of mine.

Dave T
March 9, 2010, 02:23 PM

The HKS #CA44 speedloader I had would not feed in the 696 I owned at the same time. The Smith cylinder was enough bigger than the Charter that the rounds splayed out and bound. By the time I fiddled and jiggled them enough to finally release I could have hand loaded 5 rounds from my pocket. YMMV!


March 9, 2010, 10:47 PM
I dont own a single revolver and think that its time to get one. A dealer that I buy from appears to have decent prices on Taurus models. How do Taurus revolvers compare to Smith & Wesson in terms of overall quality/reliability?

Baba Louie
March 9, 2010, 10:59 PM
How do Taurus revolvers compare to Smith & Wesson in terms of overall quality/reliability? A notch or two beneath S&W typically, but still and all, if you get a good Taurus that goes bang every time and hits the target, who cares?
Now, customer service... that might be another story altogether w/ S&W CS being several tiers above Taurus CS... or so I read on the net. None of my Taurii or S&Ws have needed CS to date. Always remember...
The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is gone.Not that I'm saying one or the other is poor quality, just buy the best you can afford, even if it means saving a little bit more for an older pre-lock Model 10/19/64/65 or whathaveyou. But that's just my take on things. None of my Taurus products have ever given me pause to worry (but then again I shoot my smiths a whole lot more often than my few brazilian bulls)

March 9, 2010, 11:08 PM
notch or two beneath S&W typically\

What about Ruger revolvers? how do they rank, second to S & W or on par?

March 10, 2010, 05:17 AM
I have to admit, the HKS CA-44s I bought right after my 296 & 696 purchase have only carried the Speer 200gr GDJHP bullet, either in Blazer Al-cased form (then) or GA Arms Starline brass (now). The nicely rounded forms slip into the chambers as if on a tractor beam. The 696 did get 240gr LSWC bullets in short .44 Russian cases on several occasions with no problems. I am sorry for your trouble with them, Dave T. I guess I'll just have to 'try' them again with my 696... have to take it to the range... how horrible will that be?

Oddly, in my ongoing attempts at besting my pitiful performances in SPC, I practiced with my 696 years ago. It was fine - I never missed - five for five plates. At my only competition, they introduced the sixth stop plate for shoot-offs - I was sunk - had to reload! I hadn't prepared for that - and recall fumbling. I now use a moonclip fed 627 Pro... still not besting the times of that 696. BTW, those spindly rounds are slow to reload, especially if you are accustomed to .45 ACP ball ammo in 'clips and a 625.

I'll try the CA-44s again with my 696 - a range mission!


March 10, 2010, 06:32 AM
The .44 Spl has a cult following but I don't think it's getting any more popular. If you believe it is go to the store and look for ammo one time. I have a few specials and like them but I'd never pay a premium for any of them.

March 10, 2010, 09:16 AM
That's a poor indicator of popularity!

For example, check the availability now of .380 Auto ammo... by your standards, no one has a .380! Oops!

In reality, you are correct. S&W let the centinnial come and go several years ago without a commemorative model - and it was their caliber (.44 S&W Special!). Of course, it never sold well. I still like it...


March 10, 2010, 09:56 AM
A Taurus 441 is on my want list. I will get one one of these days.

March 10, 2010, 07:58 PM
I've had three of the Taurus 5 hole 44 specials on the medium sized frame.

1st was a titanium snubbie. Had issues with chamber to barrel alignment. (I've had the same problem with two Rugers as well. Also a S&W, but in the case of the S&W the misalignment was minor.)

The 2nd is a six inch with adjustable sights and traditional square butt wooden grips.

The third is the snubbie above, but this time in blued steel.

The latter two seem to have no problems.

496 polara
March 11, 2010, 08:56 PM
Here is mine in 6".I have the matching partner in .357 as well.

March 11, 2010, 09:07 PM
I have a 4" 431 Taurus. Great gun, adjustable sights. I just need to get some speedloaders and a good holster for carry.
44 special has always had a place for me. I used to own a smith 29 that only got fed 44 special because it was so darned accurate with my reloads.
Now, I just need to find a good load for this one...

March 11, 2010, 09:18 PM
Wow, a thread resuscitated three separate times from the dead.

That has to be some kind of record. :rolleyes:

March 12, 2010, 02:54 PM
Wow, a thread resuscitated three separate times from the dead.

Giving life to the past, continuity to the future, why not?

The wooden grips that came on my 431 were uncomfortable. So I was able to find a Pachmayr gripper set. Life is much better.

Early on I found that my 431 shoots to point of aim at 25 yards with 200 grain bullets. Obviously Taurus meant this to be used with the advanced 200 grain self defense loads on the market. My normal 44 Special loads with 240 grain bullets shot quite high. I was able to purchase 200 grain LSWC bullets, at an advertized brinell hardness of 13.

I used Unique as that is an exceptionally flexible powder, a powder I normally use in 44 Spl, and Unique did not let me down.

I got light leading at 6.0 grs Unique.That load shot to point of aim with excellent accuracy, and it is the lightest recoiling of the test sequence, this is now what I use in practice. I suspect I was pushing the pistol with the heavier loads.

Taurus M431 3" Barrel

240 LSWC 5.0 grs Red Dot thrown, Midway Brass CCI 500

Ave Vel = 684.1
Std Dev = 17.11
ES = 57.84
Low = 654.1
High = 712
N = 16
Shoots way high

205 LSWC 6.0 grs Unique thrown, Midway Brass WLP
T = 54 F 11-Dec-04
Ave Vel = 789.6
Std Dev = 27.18
ES = 96.54
Low = 724.1
High = 820.6
N = 30
Accurate, shoots point of aim, light leading.

205 LSWC 6.5 Unique thrown, Midway Brass WLP
T = 54 F 25-Nov-04
Ave Vel = 866
Std Dev = 16
ES = 52
Low = 839
High = 891
N = 11
Elevation good, but left; more leading

205 LSWC 7.0 grs Unique thrown, Midway Brass WLP
T = 57 F 25-Nov-04
Ave Vel = 906
Std Dev = 16
ES = 56
Low = 876
High = 932
N = 15
elevation good but left: worst leading

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