Taurus Snubbies


January 24, 2011, 04:28 PM
I am looking to buy one in .38 This weekend. Is there really THAT big of a difference when compared to a S&W or, lets say, a Ruger LCR?

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January 24, 2011, 04:51 PM
Ruger and Smith both have more consistent quality control. I've only had two Taurus revolvers, one of theirs from the late 80s and one from the mid 90s. The first was fine, the second had some issues with light primer strikes and cylinder binding.

So, I chose the third option. Get it, but run some ammo through it to make sure everything is up to par. If the Taurus fits your budget, then there's no point in suggesting more expensive guns. However, the LCR seems pretty reasonably priced and has a very smooth trigger from all reports. If it's not a large price difference, I'd consider it.

January 24, 2011, 05:08 PM
I bought a 905 and it's treated me very well.
The only reason I clicked it might have to go to service is because all guns eventually have to. If you shoot them, that is.
Guns you post about generally function flawlessly.

January 24, 2011, 05:14 PM
Ive had good luck wiuth the 4 Taurus snubs Ive owned.

January 24, 2011, 05:35 PM
I have a Taurus M85, a little lightweight .38. Good gun. It is shot little and carried a lot-by my wife. She loves the thing.

January 24, 2011, 06:24 PM
I have not shot a Taurus for many years, A buddy of mine loves them.
Every one I ever shot, And I fired like 2 dozen of them. The timing was off. spit lead bad. And I will say this was many years ago.
They worked OK in SA fire. but not good in DA fire.
My buddy tells me that they are much better now.
But I will stick to my S&W's
If I found one real cheap I might think about buying it.

January 24, 2011, 09:51 PM
My only experience with a Taurus snubby has been with this little steel frame model 85. It's been a darn good gun. The action is very smooth and it shoots where I point it. :)


January 24, 2011, 10:06 PM
From my investigation, it seems as though quality on the older models was hit or miss. I have shot a couple of newer models and both were nice guns. I would put them a step below S&W and Ruger (but onlyt a small step). The fit and finish isn't quite as good (although I had problems with my 442. Their quality seems to be improving and their price point is good. I am considering a 94.

A suggestion would be to buy one from a shop that has a range. Go shoot it after you buy it and if there are any problems, you can take it right back to the sales counter and rectify the situation. If you buy from a broker at a gun show, you'll be stuck with Taurus customer service and I haven't heard a lot of positives in that regard.

Old Fuff
January 24, 2011, 10:43 PM
I've owned several in calibers .38 Special and .44 Special (no Magnums). With one exception they have been all-steel construction. None gave me any problems so I can't comment on their customer service because I haven't used it. However to say the least it has a checkered reputation. I don't believe the quality difference between Taurus and Smith & Wesson’s similar products is substantially different, but with S&W holding a small edge. If one must have an internal lock the one used by Taurus is less prone to controversy, simpler, and works if you use it (I don't). Street price between the two favors Taurus.

I would pick either, and have.

January 24, 2011, 11:53 PM
I voted yes, but I'd add a P.S. of "after thorough inspection"
Not that I wouldn't advise the same of any firearm purchase.
I bought an 85B3 this weekend myself actually, and am glad I did. Fit, finish, rifling, timing, lockup... all topnotch. Shoots tight groups to point of aim. For the pricetag, can't ask for much more than that!

January 25, 2011, 12:07 AM
I think there is a huge difference between a S&W and a Taurus. Personally, I would never buy a Taurus. They are slightly cheaper, but remember--the difference in quality lasts a lifetime.

Go with the Smith, and never be more happy with any decision you've EVER made.:D

I joke, but seriously, I would go with the S&W.

January 25, 2011, 12:29 AM
I've only owned one Taurus snub, still do, and it's an M450 .45 Colt. What a great gun! Based on my experience with this model I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. Of course, when it comes to reliability, a Ruger or Smith will put the odds in your favor more than Taurus.

January 25, 2011, 01:07 AM
I have this model 85 and it has never had any issue through about 6 years and lots of shooting and carry.http://www.taurususa.com/images/imagesMain/85TBC.jpg

I also had a .17hmr from Taurus and it worked great too, I just couldn't stand spending so much on ammo that I couldn't see going through the paper even with a scope.

Deus Machina
January 25, 2011, 01:14 AM
My 85UL is a little loose in the cylinder, spits a little lead, and has a heavy trigger.

On the other hand, it's small despite it's odd 2.5" barrel, drops in my pocket, the trigger is smooth despite the weight, it shoots where I point it, and it's never failed to fire despite bobbing the hammer.

Well worth the money.

evan price
January 25, 2011, 01:41 AM
My 605 seems to so far be a good one, after a couple years of carry and shooting.

January 25, 2011, 01:50 AM
Handled and fired a couple - one 605, and one 85. Friends still have the 605, and like it a lot. They seem to work. Another friend has a Judge. Can't bring myself to shoot the silly thing.

But I don't own a Tuarus, and I'm not likely to. I prefer S&W, Colt, and Ruger revolvers.

January 25, 2011, 01:59 AM
I have a Taurus SS 85 made in the early 90's it has been flawless with well over a 1K rounds through it and a few hundred were +p. I had a Taurus 431 of the same vintage and I was quite pleased with it. This pretty much sums up my Taurus experience.
I do think pre 2000 S&W's are of better quality than the Taurus revolvers that I have had, as for the Ruger revolvers I have owned they have been sturdy and robust.
It's been awhile since I've bought a "New" revolver.

January 25, 2011, 02:31 AM
I will never again buy a Taurus after three catastrophic failures, I have learned my lesson. Buy quality! And you can forget about that customer service, its non-existent!

Mr. Bojangles
January 25, 2011, 07:31 AM
I have only owned one, and it's been rock solid. Taurus semi-autos, on the other hand...

January 25, 2011, 08:17 AM
I am looking to buy one in .38 .

It sounds like you are going to look for guns in person. This is good. Investigate closely any gun you are intending to buy, no matter the brand. Not just the display model either, really inspect the one that you are signing papers on.

I've run across guns from several brands that something was not up to par right there at the gun shop. A thorough checkout will probably save you any factory warranty trips later.

Also, if you are looking at Taurus .38s, see if they have any of the 6 shot model 856 snubbys. I think they come in steel only, but having a sixth shot would be nice. Steel is a little heavy in the pocket though. :o

January 25, 2011, 09:08 AM
I have not shot a Taurus 38 snub, but have shot their small frame .22. The Trigger was awful. I bought a S&W 442 lightly used for less than a new Taurus and I am very happy.

Beach Nut
January 25, 2011, 09:28 AM
I own a Taurus snubbie, the seven shot 617. It is a .357 Magnum and it
is heavy (about 28 ounces) but it makes a fine carry/truck gun. I use it
as a concealed carry gun in the cooler months. I've never had a problem
with it and the extra weight makes .38+P rounds feel like caps being fired
through it. I may purchase another Taurus snubbie for my wife who will
be getting her concealed carry permit this year. I am looking at the 851
Titanium for her. I bought a Ruger LCP last year but she didn't like the
recoil too much. It worked out well for me, I've been carrying it as a
pocket gun when I feel like the 617 is too bulky. I own four Taurus
revolvers and I have had no trouble with them. I am careful to look over
guns that I am interested in purchasing throughly before I buy them.

January 25, 2011, 09:36 AM
Owned many Taurus in 32/38/357/44 over the years without any problems and still have a couple. I prefer S&W and Ruger myself, but wouldn't pass up a Taurus if it passed inspection and the price was right. But that's pretty much true of any handgun... :)

January 25, 2011, 10:42 AM
As long as I can get what I want from the used market, I will buy old Smiths and Colts.

If I am forced to go to the new market (EGADS :what:) I will look very seriously at Taurus.

There does not seem to be any QC difference between Taurus and Smith...both spotty. The Taurus lock was engineered by a fully functioning, non impaired human, something that you cannot say for Smith. The price difference is significant.

(hopefully this post allowed MrBoreland to make his money back :D)

January 25, 2011, 11:08 AM
(hopefully this post allowed MrBoreland to make his money back :D)

Thanks, Guillermo! A little cha-ching comin' my way :p

January 25, 2011, 11:21 AM
I owed you one MrBoreland.

And you have to give me credit...at least I didn't turn something unrelated, like a discussion of college basketball, into an IL rant. :D

January 25, 2011, 11:51 AM
There is a bigger difference in quality than in price, IMO.

January 25, 2011, 12:18 PM
Taurus is fantastic. I've got a 14 year old 85UL that's better in function than any J frame I've ever fired. I have a couple of 66s I like a lot, too, but the little 85 has the best trigger out of the box that I've ever felt on a revolver, very impressive, and it's as accurate as any snub, about 3" at 25 yards off bags, about as good as I can shoot such a gun.

I'll not waste my money on a new Smith. Old ones, maybe, depends on the gun and the price.

January 25, 2011, 12:39 PM
I have not shot a Taurus 38 snub, but have shot their small frame .22. The Trigger was awful. I bought a S&W 442 lightly used for less than a new Taurus and I am very happy.

The small frame .22LR/.22mag model 94 has a reputation for a stout double action trigger. Something to do with a heavy hammer spring for reliable rimfire ignition.

The centerfire Taurus revolvers do not have as heavy of a double action pull. The single action pull can be fantastic, once the trigger has been pulled through enough times to smooth it out. My Taurus 85UL has one of those really good triggers, with no gunsmithing required. :cool:

January 25, 2011, 01:33 PM
Go for it, but inspect it closely. I purchased a brand new 444 Ultralight 2 1/4" snubby last Thurs, went away for the weekend, so I really didn't play with it until Sunday. The barrel was installed rotated out of position (to the right). I hadn't noticed it at the shop but didn't think I had to. Never fired it, either. Cust service was great and it's on it's way back for repair. Everybody has a bad day, I guess.
I also have a 445 in 44spc that I love and a very accurate 45 ACP tracker that's also problem free.
Inspect, inspect, inspect...

January 25, 2011, 05:50 PM
My Taurus 617 2" has worked just fine and I've been happy with it. It is my understanding that with Taurus you will either get a very solid and workable revolver or one that may never be correct, no matter how many times it is sent to Taurus.

January 25, 2011, 10:04 PM
I've got a 605 that I like, and is in my carry rotation.

I like my J frame much better, but it's my barbeque gun.

Yo Mama
January 25, 2011, 10:08 PM
I had a 85, the main horse in their snubby line. I sent back 2 times with problems with the forcing cone jamming the cycling when pulling the trigger.

I sold it. Discussed it here.

I have a full size Taurus revolver, and an auto. I love both, and wouldn't sell either. I'd stay away from the snubby.

January 25, 2011, 10:14 PM
I have owned: 650, 606, 941, 450, 445, 455, 905

I had issues with ALL of them. The only revolver brand I will ever own again will be S&W and Ruger (I own a 642 and an SP101).

January 26, 2011, 06:59 PM
I voted yes, but I'd add a P.S. of "after thorough inspection"
Not that I wouldn't advise the same of any firearm purchase.
I bought an 85B3 this weekend myself actually, and am glad I did. Fit, finish, rifling, timing, lockup... all topnotch. Shoots tight groups to point of aim. For the pricetag, can't ask for much more than that!

All boils down to is how you inspect the gun.

Taurii tend to be tight at the cone, so bring a feeler gauge.

January 26, 2011, 08:20 PM
OK, this is interesting at how close the results are. I am leaning towards to many negatives and will not buy it right now....

January 26, 2011, 10:33 PM
Your loss, I assure you.

January 27, 2011, 02:44 PM
My wifes blued one is great. Shoots .38 and .357 nicely. Even found a nice wood grip to go with the bluing. Bought a stainless one for myself because hers was so nice. Mine took two florida vacations to Taurus CS in the five month period after purchase. Now it works pretty good and I tested it pretty heavily with .357s. But it will be gone when Charter brings out their CARR in .45. Thus somes up my experience with Taurus snubs. I voted the last option. Mine really are 50/50.

January 28, 2011, 10:53 PM
I would say if you know something about guns, you're pretty safe getting a Taurus gun cuz you can spot a ringer from almost the get go, or you won't let a problem go unresolved by the company. The best way to prevent issues is to be extra familiar with guns and check it over well before it leaves the store. Every company has duds, which is very unfortunate and particularly painful for a newbie, so take along an old saw and let them inspect your Taurus, Rossi, whatever carefully before plunking down your credit card. You should be right then.

January 29, 2011, 01:37 AM
If you are scared of the taurus, buy a ruger.

January 29, 2011, 09:42 AM
Or, you can pay twice the price for a new Smith and Wesson and take the same risks.

I agree, read the stuff on revolver check out and CHECK it out, Ruger, Taurus, Smith, whatever. Put the odds on your side.

January 29, 2011, 10:59 AM
I have only 1 Taurus its a 605M SS 2 3/4 in BBL. I bought it about five yrs ago for $279 n tax. I've shot the crap out of it and its still tight. Its shoots POA very well. Its handled some heavy loads through it w/o any signs of wear.

Its one of my main carry revolvers. That said I've no issues with at all.

Although I like my 605, I'll probably never own another Taurus. My niche is S&W, which btw I just rescued a pre 10 2" in snub @ 95% + cond. Although I haven't fired it yet, I'm patiently awaiting for a warm day.

But like I said, I only have one Taurus (605) and its been a good'n, as I have not experienced any other models.

Hondo 60
January 29, 2011, 05:22 PM
Brand new??? I wouldn't buy anything but a Ruger.
S&W, Taurus, Rossi, Charter etc - not worth the time or money.

January 29, 2011, 05:27 PM
I would save my money for a Smith or Ruger. You could probably find a used Ruger SP101 in the $350-$400 range and it would most likely be far more reliable. That's my opinion. I haven't shot any NEW Taurus pistols, but we've owned several in the family. They ALL had problems, I think we had 3 total. We're not likely to buy another.

With Taurus, you're gambling with the money you save. I've gambled, and I've lost. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

January 29, 2011, 09:19 PM
Picked up a Rossi (owned by Taurus) .357 yesterday with a 3" barrel from Academy. Cleaned it up and went to shoot today. No issues hitting a coke can on a stick at 20 yards with .38+P, so I'm very happy with it. (My dad laughed beforehand just cause he can't hit a 10" circle at 10 yards with his S&W 642, he wasn't laughing as the coke can spun around.)

From some people's reviews online, I thought this gun might explode in my hand on the first shot. It didn't...not on the first, or the second, or the hundredth. Planning to run it as back-up to my back-up at home, or in my pocket if I don't feel like open carrying. Planning on 5 rounds of .38 gold dots, and the final round as a .357 should I need it.

January 30, 2011, 09:10 AM
From some people's reviews online, I thought this gun might explode in my hand on the first shot. It didn't...not on the first, or the second, or the hundredth.
Yeah my Rossi 357 revolver shot great for 300-400 rounds...then it didn't. I hope you don't have the same troubles as I had with mine. Also I bought mine used, so who knows about round count.

January 30, 2011, 10:12 AM
I've had a M85 for about 14 years. I have had no trouble out of it and put hundreds of rounds through it. Trigger is smooth, might actually be smoother than my S&W 649 (my other snub).

Shanghai McCoy
January 30, 2011, 10:21 AM
We have had two since the early 90's and like them both. My wife likes them better than the Smith and Wesson snubbies that she tried...

January 30, 2011, 10:59 AM
I've carried a 7 shot 357 titanium for a bunch of years now and spent lots of time at the range with it never had problem one.

January 30, 2011, 03:13 PM
I thought about picking up a Taurus snubbie today at the gun show, but found a new S&W 638 with a 2.5" barrel and decided to go with it instead. Compared to the Taurus revolvers that I looked at, the 638 had no cylinder play, had a nice tight lock-up, and a really great DA/SA trigger pull. What really sold me though was the longer barrel. Balance was just about perfect, the front sight was easy to pick-up, and the full length ejector rod was like icing on the cake. The best part of all was that it was priced a little less than what a comparable Taurus would have cost me.

January 30, 2011, 08:54 PM
I bought a used 85UL about three years ago, only because it was so cheap-$150, looked almost like new. No problems whatsoever, in fact I have been impressed with how good a gun it actually is. I would have no hesitation in using it for a carry gun. I'm more of a Colt guy, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Taurus if the price was right.

February 8, 2011, 09:52 PM
Cougfan has a nice set of grips on his 85. What grips give you a reduced felt recoil. Any suggestions greatly appreciated

February 9, 2011, 09:23 PM
I have the Model 85 with 2" Barrel 38 spcl, and I have never had a problem with it.
My Son had a Taurus 357 Magnum and it was nothing but trouble.

February 9, 2011, 10:21 PM
I have seven Taurus® revolvers.............
• Mdl 85B2CH 38 Special - 1994
• Mdl 669SS4CP 357 Magnum - 1996
• Mdl 85B2 38 Special - 1997
• Mdl 617SS2 357 Magnum - 2003
• Mdl 605SS3 357 Magnum - 2006
• Mdl 85SS2UL 38 Special - 2007
• Mdl 605SS2 357 Magnum - 2010

All have performed superbly and I continue to shoot them all almost every week. I have only encountered two problems.........
• Mdl 85B2CH broke a firing pin after 11,000+ rounds. I replaced the firing pin & it's still going strong.
• Mdl 617 developed excessive cylinder to forcing cone gap (.011") after almost 6,000 rounds. I sent it to Taurus® and they replaced the cylinder and adjusted the crane and yoke. I've since put 2,000+ rounds through it and it's still going strong.

I will not hesitate to buy additional Taurus® revolvers. They are an outstanding value.

February 10, 2011, 11:28 AM
I would recomend the Taurus revolvers. I have owned one and liked it. After over 500 rounds there was no issues.

I would recomend handling the gun and dry firing it first. I was looking at snubbies recently and handled a couple of Taurus 85 and 856s. There was definitely some difference between trigger pull and trigger feel between different guns of the same model.

One of the 856s was like hot butter on pancakes it was so smooth. Another one felt like it had gravel in the action and took two fingers to dry fire in double action. Even the clerk had trouble getting it to dry fire.

February 10, 2011, 11:36 AM
I too have several Taurus revolvers -- .22s, .38s, & a .44 and they have all given superb service.

February 10, 2011, 11:47 AM
Based on my experience with them, I would not buy another one. I've had several revolvers and had trouble with all of them (mostly timing and build quality).

A few friends and family have also had trouble with both revolvers and auto's and none now own them.

While working at a local pawn and gun part-time, I saw a Taurus auto (Millennium?) lock up and we were never able to get it unlocked again. Somehow the slide locked in the open position and the take-down pin snapped!

So no, I would not buy or recommend anyone buy one. Just my opinion.

February 10, 2011, 02:06 PM
Sulaco, did it lock up on a customer or as part of the shop's property? Whatever happened to it?

February 11, 2011, 04:35 AM
I own a number of Taurus snub revolvers.

The 85CH is 20+ years old, durable, and accurate for a snub gun.

The two 856's in .38 Special are 6 shot and on a 85 frame, but smaller than a Colt Detective Special. One can use +P ammo and the Lyte model cannot.

There is also a 2.5 inch barreled model 65 in nickel that has a light crisp trigger pull. That is also over 20 years old.

The stainless steel 431, 3 inch barreled revolver, is in .44 Special.

All these guns are giving sterling service.

Oh,yes. The Rossi 462 makes a neat carry piece and I do have one.

February 11, 2011, 08:08 AM
.357 magnum, 26 oz. 2" revolver. It reminds me of a 2" Model 13 Smith but stainless and with a better grip.
It is my 3rd Rossi over the last 45 years, and I have never had any problems with any of them. I replaced the hammer spring with one from Wolff springs-the same one they recommend for S&W J frames-and the trigger is as good as a well worn in Ruger. It is EXTREMELY accurate and very comfortable to shoot.
I have owned revolvers by ALL the major makers-still own several Smiths, including a Highway Patrolman and a Brazilian Contract 1917.

But I carry the Rossi, and may get a second one identical to it.
I bought is slightly used, with the box and papers, for $265.


February 11, 2011, 10:32 PM
It all depends on what you want in a gun. I picked up a Taurus 856 Magnesium Hy-Lite recently. The gun is not refined like a Smith, but if you want it to go BANG, it will. Its something you don't mind scratching the finish on by stuffing it in a holster or the glove box of the truck.
If you think the Smith, Ruger, or Colt is worth the extra money, go for it but just think of all the practice ammo / holsters / speedloaders that you can buy with that extra money you saved.

Just my $0.02

February 26, 2011, 01:15 AM
Someone I used to work with sold me a Taurus 650 357 mag stainless snubbie for $200

It has the original box and paperwork (including warranty), a Hogue Monogrip, the original grips included. Originally paid $359.95 at Adventure Sports. Asking $200.00, spread the word.

I own a lot of 38 specials that I have reamed out to 357 mag, and shoot over maximum 357 mag loads in them.

I have one 357 mag revolver, and I have to shoot less than 357 mag loads in it, because Taurus did such a lousy job of cutting the chambers... all of them. The brass will stick.

The wimp loads for the Taurus:
6 gr W231 1.444" 158 gr Nos JHP 38 sp brass, Quick Load 32,500 psi 1012 fps

February 26, 2011, 04:38 PM
I have been toting a Taurus 85b3 around for a little while. It shoots fine. When kept clean the action is as smooth as an S&W or Ruger I've ever shot.

With Federal LE 158gr+p SWC-HPs it will get the job done. I had to take down a fox that was pestering my father in laws chickens. I placed one shot just under the neck on the right side. The bullet exited on the back left side about 2/3 of the way down. The exit hole was over 0.5" and the animal didn't make it more than 30 or 40 feet.

I would say a Taurus revolver can do the job.

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