Thoughts on Taurus 85-6


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CZ.22
September 2, 2008, 07:40 PM
Many of us can agree that the J-frame revolver is a very good self defense handgun. Lightweight and compact, they are easily concealable, are reliable, and pack enough punch to take down most bad guys.

Their only shortcoming is the fact that they can only chamber five rounds, at least in the more popular .38versions. You can get six-shot .32s, but .32 ammo is much harder to find than .38 ammo, and it isn't quite as powerful. Yes, most of the time, five shots will be more than enough, but occasionally, it won't. And honestly, if you can get six shots in the same size package as five, why wouldn't you?

Colt always had the six-shot share of the market, but Colt has stopped making double action revolvers and Detective Specials are commanding premium prices.

Rossi and Charter both make a six-shot .38 snub, but they are still the same size as a K-frame, and may have spotty quality control issues. Several other companies, such as EAA and Armscor, make the six-shot snubs, but again, there is the issue of quality control to be reckoned with.

Taurus seems to have solved this problem.

The line of Taurus Model 85 revolvers are affordably priced, and good quality J-frame type handguns. Now, Taurus has taken that line one step, or more precisely, one round further.

The Taurus 85-6 is a six shot snubnose. It is avaliable in blue, stainless, or magnesium. The two former are chambered in .38+P, the latter is only rated for standard pressure rounds. However, this is a moot point. Buffalo Bore makes very powerful standard-pressure ammunition, as powerful as some +P loads. The rounds are safe in guns like the Smith & Wesson Model 12, and they would also help cut down on recoil.

Cutting down on recoil might be important in a gun like the magnesiun Taurus- it ways a scant 13.2oz. That's less than many aluminum five-shooters. Yet it chambers six shots, and, unique to the magnesium model, it has an adjustable rear sight.
http://taurususa.com/images/imagesMain/856HL2MG.jpg
The standard blue and stainless 85-6 models weigh in a 22oz, still no heavyweight. Comparably, Smith & Wesson's 315 Night Guard is 24oz. The Night Guard, the most directly comparable to this revolver, also is thicker, the same size as a K-frame, making pocket carry more difficult.
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/163425_large.jpg
http://taurususa.com/images/imagesMain/856%20B%20left.jpg

In a recent Guns and Ammo review on this gun, the author stated that the 85-6 fit comfortably in any J-frame holster. I assume the grip frame is the same as the standard Model 85. Speedloaders might be a problem, but if HKS and Safariland haven't already made one, they proably will, and Detective Special speedloaders might work.

There are a few cons for this gun. They all have to with the fact that it is made by Taurus. Now, Taurus is a very large international gun maker, but if I understand correctly, they have had a fai amount of lemons. Also, I've heard their customer service consistenly sucks. The guns also have the Taurus Security System, which is either a positive or negative thing, depending on your opinion of internal locking devices.

All in all though, I'd say these are probably pretty good little guns. If you're looking for a defensive sidearm that holds six shots, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg for an aging Colt, this might be the gun for you.

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DMZ
September 2, 2008, 08:41 PM
My dealer sells a good deal of Taurus 85's. They are a fine firearm for people who want a compact CCW or a HD weapon but do not care to pay or can not afford to pay $600+ for one. They are not made to take to the range every week. Most will probably see < 200 rounds.

My dealer does not stock many S&W's as he has a hard time moving them due to price. He does stock a good selection of Taurus models and he move them fairly briskly. After all he is in the business to show profit each month.

I have a 3" S&W M29 and a 3" Taurus M605. Guess which one I tend to favor for CCW, hiking, camping, fishing, etc. Guess which one my wife prefers. Guess which one I don't fret if it goes uncleaned, behind the seat of my truck for a week or three.

Taurus fills empty niches in the market with affordable fire arms. I have a Taurus 94B coming this week, as I wanted NIB a 8-9 shot DA .22LR revolver and did not care to pay $700 for one.

ziggy222
September 2, 2008, 08:57 PM
my friend shot idk maybe a thousand rounds out of his taurus 85 and even once shot a 357 magnum load out of it.it was a 357 load in a 38 special case.i don't recommend doing that but it goes to show that it will take a bit of abuse.by the way you can still get detective specials well under $400 if you look

Hawk
September 2, 2008, 09:00 PM
The thing that's kept me away from Taurus more than any other issue has been my inability to track down a local example that didn't have porting.

Do my eyes deceive me or are the above blessedly free of extraneous holes?

Hmmmm.

WAID
September 2, 2008, 09:13 PM
I haven't seen very many Taurus's(Tauri?) locally with porting. I picked up a 605B2(no porting) this summer and put about 400 rds about 50/50 .38spl and .357 mag. got a little dirty after 300ish rds and had to do a little extra cleaning as it was get a little stiff but otherwise no problems, it has taken it's place as my CCW.

rollback88
September 2, 2008, 09:16 PM
Not that it makes a lot of difference to the oP, but the Rossi 461 and 462 or six shot .357 magnum, not just .38+p

--jcd

lee n. field
September 2, 2008, 10:53 PM
The thing that's kept me away from Taurus more than any other issue has been my inability to track down a local example that didn't have porting.


Interesting. I don't think I've ever seen one that had porting.

had to do a little extra cleaning

GAAH! Wheelguns are a horrid PITA to clean as it is. Just my humble opinion, of course.

CZ.22
September 3, 2008, 03:52 PM
Not that it makes a lot of difference to the oP, but the Rossi 461 and 462 or six shot .357 magnum, not just .38+p
I realized this about five minutes after I posted.

WAID
September 3, 2008, 07:00 PM
Lee, I think it was more of me learning to clean more than I had been, I'm pretty good about cleaning barrels, chambers, and large obvious buildups but not quite what the revolver needed. This being my first revolver I didn't really know how much and how thoroughly it needed cleaning, but I think I know now. I went through similar trials with all my other firearms(although the rifles and shotguns have never gotten dirty enough to malfunction). Either way that just made me want another revolver so I picked up a single-six for a cheap plinker(even if it did cost as much as the 605).

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