Project Gun: Taurus Model 85

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Tallball, May 8, 2021.

  1. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I won this for a $251 bid. The pictures looked so bad that I assumed it would at least need springs or something... probably more work than that. I guess that's why no one else was willing to pay more than $250.

    I picked it up at my FFL/LGS the other day. It was dirty and had some surface rust. I spent about an hour giving it a very thorough cleaning. I have never seen oil-soaked cobwebs inside of a gun before.

    It locks up tight, the bore is nice, and the trigger is pretty okay for a Model 85. Apparently it was badly neglected, but doesn't seem to have been shot much or abused. When I get a chance to take it to the range next weekend, I expect that it'll shoot just fine.

    If it shoots a couple of hundred rounds of various ammo reliably, I'll probably adopt it into my carry "rotation". I like to have a small-frame snub 38 for the back pocket of my jeans when I'm walking the dog or something and know I won't be sitting down. This one happens to have the perfect grips for that.

    This is my fourth Model 85. The other three all went bang every time. I replaced the last one with a S&W 642 that has turned out to be too unreliable to carry. Oh, the irony. :)

    I will spend more time rubbing the spots of surface rust off of it while I watch TV, but I don't think it'll need more than a few spots of cold blue here and there when I'm done.

     
  2. shoebox1.1

    shoebox1.1 Member

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    Very nice. Congrats
     
  3. unclenunzie
    • Contributing Member

    unclenunzie Contributing Member

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    Nice catch. Looks like it spent a lot of time sleeping in a leather holster. Enjoy it in good health.
     
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  4. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    Coolness.

    That's an older gun. Old style front sight, old style ejector rod. Won't, I don't think, have the Taurus lock (in the hammer). That also has the Uncle Mike's boot grips, much prized by some. Price them out, see what I mean.

    Prices in this crazy time. 85s were going for around that, new, a year or four back when Taurus was blowing them out prior to the (re-)release of the 856.
     
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  5. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    It's from 1996, if I read the serial # correctly.

    The frame is steel. There's no lock.

    I'm taking the rust off slowly with 1500 grit sandpaper and an oily rag.

    If I decide to carry it, I'll grind off the hammer spur (slowly and carefully).

    I should have snagged one NiB before they finished shoving them out the door. :)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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  6. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Great pickup. I’ve always liked the 85. I’ve given several as gifts. They were so inexpensive for a while they were practical to give as a wedding present, gave a couple to new moms as baby gifts. I think the last one I bought used was about ten years back and I paid less than a hundred. That one took more work than yours but it cleaned up real pretty.
    Good luck and have fun with it. They’re little gems.
     
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  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice pick up.
     
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  8. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    Looks like its been stored under a truck seat ..
    use a old penny .. real copper Pre -82 ???
    It will remove rust but not bluing .. I picked up a Marlin 336 a couple of years ago in a trade .. the fellow wasn’t accurate in distributing it condition.. but we adjusted or deal ... I worked on alot of rust with a old copper penny... it worked ... My neighbor took a nice buck with it last season..
    nice find
     
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  9. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I'll dig through my pennies. I have some wheat ones somewhere.

    Yeah, under a truck seat was my thought, too.
     
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  10. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    6AFD2AD6-C402-47B2-AAC5-9C10D38B9C84.jpeg
     
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  11. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    A piece of brass works, too. I took a .303 case with a split neck, flattened it out up to the shoulder, and use it as a scraper to take off rust. Works like a penny but a little more abrasive so go slow.

    Rifle brass is about 70% copper.
     
  12. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    Seems like the Model 85 is the most well liked Taurus model. They have a good reputation . Good find at that price in todays market.
     
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  13. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    My wife has had a Model 85 with the 3" ported barrel for about 20-25 years now. I ended up picking up a new Model 942 for her to practice with a year ago since he has MS. We both prefer the Model 85 wooden grips so I found a set for the 942 to match.
     
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  14. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    I have a 856UL now ..I have owned several M85s over the years .... My favorites..
    A 85ul with a shiny black finish and a 2.5 inch barrel with a crazy great trigger I bobbed the hammer myself .. just a great revolver..
    And a older polished SS 85 older style with wooden grips ...
    and a 85ul with a titanium cylinder and barrel shroud...
    Somehow all left me ..
    I’d like to have them back
     
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  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    One of my very first handguns was a brand-new steel-framed Model 85. It had a blued finish and a normal hammer. The trigger was excellent. It was stolen in a burglary about ten years later.

    I replaced it with a stainless NIB Model 85UL within a couple of months. I removed the hammer spur and carried it often, for over ten years. MY FiL has it now.

    There was a DAO steel-framed one that I owned briefly. The trigger was so stiff that I traded it towards something else.

    And now the circle is complete, I'm back to another steel-framed one with blued finish and a DA/SA hammer.

    My experience with the Taurus models 66 and 85 has been good. I've owned three of the 66's and they've been as good or better than the 85's.

    I've also had good experiences with their Beretta copies. I've had my Model 92 since '89 or '90, and my little tip-up barrel 22 also functioned well.

    So far I'm not as enthusiastic about their other models.
     
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  16. jstert

    jstert Member

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    ive had excellent luck with old and newer models of the taurus 85. i prefer the older, all steel 85; built like a brick outhouse it’s a bit too heavy to comfortably deep conceal but is a great outdoors/at home/vehicle piece, and perfect for a one and done or gun newbie’s centerfire handgun selection. the taurus 38sp revolvers are the best of the second tier (taurus, charter, rock island, windicator) choices.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  17. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    Congrats! Finding a good functioning revolver that's powerful enough for defense at a price that low isn't common in today's market. I don't believe I've had a Taurus model 85, but I do currently have a couple of their new model 856's, as well as a couple of Taurus full sized .38 Specials in the vein of the Smith and Wesson K frame (such as the Model 10 or 15.)

    In fact, it just so happens that I have one of my full sized Taurus .38's by the computer as I read this thread, so I thought I'd take a pic of it and post it just for fun. It's a very old one, at least in the Taurus world. The dealer told me it might be from the 1960's, but I'm thinking it could also possibly be 1970's. The importer mark is on it - Firearms International, and I think that was about 1960's for Rossi, but I don't know about Taurus. It is an original nickel finish, and I know they haven't done that for a long while. He also said that he thought it was a model 82, but I see no number on it. It works fine and is a solid shooter.
     

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  18. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    That's a nice one, Jim! :)
     
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  19. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Same story as a few here, loved my 1987 purchase model 85 with wood grips $189 at the time. Nice bluing, good trigger, just a solid gun. Sights better than a j frame and under lug added heft. Should have kept it.
     
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  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    It's yet another interesting statement on time in general and these times in particular that we can celebrate getting an ignored, used, blued Taurus at over $250.

    No judgement or animosity here. Just an observation on the changing of times, expectations and in-hand realities. I think it's a great gun to clean up and I'd have counseled to buy it for sure.

    Besides, as evidenced below; I'm a lover not a hater.:evil:

    fullsizeoutput_d5.jpeg

    Todd.
     
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