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Please compare: Armscor M206 vs. Taurus Model 85

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by WVGunman, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. WVGunman

    WVGunman Member

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    I'm looking for a snubbie .38 to use as a testbed for various reloads. I want a snubbie for ease of use/maneuver, not carry. Weight and looks aren't factors, but reliability and durability ARE. (I don't plan on using +P in it.) Has anyone shot both of these guns extensively and can give an opinion on both?
     
  2. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    I don't see how you could go wrong with a ss Taurus 85. I know you said that looks are not a factor , but the crudeness of the Armscor is a no-deal for me. My 85 is over 20 years old and is good and tight ; I guess the durability must be good.

    Can't comment on the performance of the Armscor. (ugh)
     
    CoalTrain49 likes this.
  3. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Haven't shot the Armscor but have sevreal small frame Taurus. An 85 from 1988, a 327 mag a couple of years old, and an Ultra Lite a couple of years old. The 85 has been shot quite a bit including some +P. After 30 years and maybe 6-10k rounds it is still tight and reliable.

    You shan't be disappointed with a Taurus 85 or any of their revolvers IMO.
     
  4. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Get the 85 their is no comparison, I have a newer one that has had over 8k rounds through it and locks up tight. Holster selection will be easier since they practically fit all j frame sizes which the RIA may not . Also the taurus is specifically rated for plus p whereas the RIA has been noted by their company to use plus p sparingly.
     
  5. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    I'd say neither are worth comparing. But if I had to pick one, I'd say the Taurus 85 has the edge. Just died a little inside.. They are fitted much better.

    I don't mean to come off as rude, I just have had and heard too many god awful stories of various Taurus models (85 included)- of course you'll get the guy who says "my Taurus has been excellent for 20 years" but I, like many guys are all done with them.

    As far as RIA, they make the best bang for the buck 1911 on the market imo. But have you held their m206? Really crude. It's like a 6th grader made it from clay.

    Smith or Ruger for a snub. (Used Colt too).
     
    Scrambler and Venom007 like this.
  6. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    I have watched a few YouTube vids on both the m206 and the 4" m200...They seem to be pretty positive.
     
  7. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Taurus has made great strides in the past decade that are making their QC improve greatly, while you may be done with them they've been good to me as you pointed out there are "some guys" but some guys are growing into more guys. RIA cannot make a revolver to save their life, I shot two 206's loose under 300 rounds. Their 1911s are obviously their bread and butter but now you can get Auto Ordnance made in America for around the same price and better quality id say. The one thing RIA wins at is variety of their 1911s but this is a revolver thread so there ya go.
     
  8. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    "Great strides in the last decade". Strides from unacceptable to lemon here and there. 2 of my brand new Taurus products, one 4 years back and one 5 or 6 years back(not 85's) were sent back to the factory. Then to me. Then back. And so forth. I'd need to start a whole thread on the issues. The stories I've heard on the 85 were identical, along with other models.

    My Taurus's were two for two for lemons. My Rugers and Smith's? No problems ever with Ruger, one problem with a heavily used Smith (that was fixed free of charge). Even though having to "bet" on qc of a company is part of consumerism I guess, Smith and Ruger are a safer "bet" by far, for not much more $ imo.

    Btw, totally agree with you on RIA not being able to make a six shooter. Awful.

    Either way, good luck op.
     
    Venom007 likes this.
  9. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    Go for the taurus. Ive had 6 taurus revolvers, gave two to a friend. All six are issue free so far, and honestly my ruger is less accurate than my taurus, sorry america.
     
  10. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I am definitely okay with the Model 85. I've owned three Model 85 variants and three Model 66 variants. All have gone bang every time. The triggers have varied from excellent to mediocre. IMHO, these are two of their classic platforms that are generally going to be reliable.

    I've never owned or fired the RIA. The examples I've handled have seemed acceptable.

    Personally, I would look for a deal on a steel Model 85 from the late 80's or early 90's. They made some really nice ones back then, and getting a nice used one in very good condition is pretty easy. The ones with nice triggers are jewels.
     
    Nathanael_Greene likes this.
  11. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    I have to ask the question, why a snubbie? If you are not going to carry and want it to test reloads why not a medium size revolver like a Smith 10 or 64. Look at used ones. If you want a Taurus look at the model 82, their model 10 equivalent. Fine revolver in my experience.
     
  12. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Another vote for Taurus. My 605 has been reliable for over 10 years. Great trigger out of the box. The Rock Island 206 leaves me cold.
     
  13. Livin_Cincy

    Livin_Cincy Member

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    I have looked at the Armscor & Taurus. Both seem fine. I actually like the dull parkerized finish of the Armscor.

    I am looking at the EAA Windicator 2" 357. Every review lists this gun at Heavy. (because they all repeat each other) It weighs 26oz. This is in line with 5&6 shot all steel snub nose revolvers. It is not an air weight ! You can shoot this at the range and become proficient in its use. In my view, a 15oz revolver is not fun to shoot all day.

    With all three of these brands, consider Davidson's Gallery of Guns.
    Their prices are competitive when you add up the ATF transfer cost ,local sales tax, and shipping. So look at the total cost out the door. I am fine with spending a little more for the peace of mind. I also think they hand inspect each gun before shipping to reduce paying for returns & warranty send backs. I have seen new S&W with canted barrels in gun shops that never should be on display.

    I like 357 do to its ability to shoot hot 38+P's. So hand loading lets you enjoy a powerful 38 with out the devastation of a 357 mule. The 38 has been watered down from its past. Elmer Keith loaded his hot "back in the day":

    ".38 SPECIAL: For use in heavy-framed guns which today exist only as .357 Magnums, the Keith Lyman 173 grain bullet #358429 over 13.5 grains of #2400 with .38 Special brass. This load goes over 1400 fps. from my 8 3/8" Model 27 and is the most accurate load I have found for it. It will still go 1200+ fps. from a 3 1/2" Model 27 and makes an excellent small game load and defensive load."

    http://www.sixguns.com/range/elmersloads.htm
     
  14. WVGunman

    WVGunman Member

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    Mostly for convenience. I live in an apartment, and every time I go shooting I have to haul everything down a flight of stairs and across the street. This may not seem like a huge deal, but I have realized over time I tend to buy shorter/lighter guns, shoot more .22s, etc just to save time and hassle. If I use smaller guns/lighter ammo I can pack more in my shooting bag per trip. Now I just do so consciously. :) There's also a possibillity I will use this as a glove-box gun eventually.

    Looks like Taurus is reaping the benefit of being on the market a lot longer than RIA.
     
  15. Zendude
    • Contributing Member

    Zendude Member

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    One consideration is that Rock Island has good warranty customer service. If you want to test +P loads, then you will probably need to get the Taurus.
     
  16. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    For a time, the Armscor was cheaper than the Taurus 85, but occasionally the 85 will go on sale and you can pick one up for $190.00 shipped.
     
  17. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Taurus reaps the benefit of being well made and not like a chimp with a hammer made it like the RIA
     
  18. Styx

    Styx Member

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    I own and carry a Taurus 85. It's well built, and reliable. If S&W secretly contracted with Taurus to make the M85, but released it under the S&W name, all the nsysaynay would be singing it's praises IMHO...

    I paid around $250 for a brand new one that was 100% stainless frame, barrel, and cylinder. That's less than S&W Airweights, and less than half of the price of a comparable stainless S&W while being able to preform the exact same task....

    Like others have stated, the only issue with the Taurus is it's warranty, BUT you're getting a lot of gun for your money and you could buy two S&W's and a couple boxes of ammo for the price of one M85.
     
  19. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I would pick the 85 over the 206, but before I did I would look to see if I couldn't find a good used S&W J or K frame first.
     
  20. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The M206 is a rough (in more ways than one) copy of a gun that needs to be tuned in a very particular manner. I'd choose the Taurus.
     
  21. WVGunman

    WVGunman Member

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    Has anyone actually owned or shot BOTH of them?
     
  22. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I'm sorry but the above posts don't reflect my experience with Taurus. I bought a 905B2 (9mm). I had to return it 2x. They then sent a refurb. I again had to return it. Then they offered a brand new 905. But they had none in stock. I WAITED 6 MONTHS. They claimed they still didn't have any in stock. I finally settled for a 380 to pair with an LCP. I'm not putting it in rotation for my EDC. I just don't trust it.

    Just my 2c worth. YMMV
     
  23. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    WVGunman

    Some years back I was looking for a relatively inexpensive .38 Special snubby for the wife of a friend of mine as her CCW. I went to gun shops and gun shows every chance I got and checked out a lot of new Taurus, Rossi, Charter Arms, Ruger, and S&W revolvers (can't say I ever came across any Armscor revolvers), and found a lot of them to be lacking in terms of their overall quality, fit and finish, or with their ability to function properly right out of the box. The only ones that seemed to be consistently decent were the Ruger LCRs and the S&W J frames. Ended up getting her a S&W Model 638 with a 2.5" barrel for a very good price.

    It's you choice and your money so all I can suggest to you is for you to spend it wisely.
     
  24. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    I did, in my post I talked about my experience shooting loose two of the RIA.
     
  25. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I have shot both, not extensively though. The handsdown best option is the Taurus. The armscor is gritty, rough, and not very accurate due to inconsistent trigger break. The Taurus is actually a pretty fair gun all around.

    I would also very seriously consider anything that says Rossi on it. Those guns are variations of the Taurus guns and are built just as well by Taurus. And then there is the cheaper line of S&W revolvers. Shop around and you can find some incredible deals on the pocket guns.
     
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