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Taurus Model 431 .44 Special, range report (pic warning)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by jad0110, Dec 6, 2010.

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  1. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    It's been a few years since I've owned a Taurus. Had a model 94 that was a lemon, and a model 66 that was very nice. I own a couple of .44 Mags, but this is my first .44 Special. I've always been intrigued by the L Frame S&W 696, but the prices I've seen lately have been a turnoff.

    So I came upon a nice model 431 last month at a gun show and thought, why not? It passed the revolver checkout with flying colors, except for a tad of side-to-side play in the cylinder which did not effect barrel to cylinder alignment. The single action trigger is pretty good, but the double action was gritty. But I sensed that the problem was very likely lack of lubrication in the internals, a theory I later confirmed by cleaning out and relubing the inside of the gun. Double action is now as smooth as my S&Ws, and the release is nearly as good. Trigger return is quite good as well. Finish wise, I'd say the gun is in 99% condition.

    This particular gun is a 3", fixed sight .44 Special with the factory wood stocks made in 1993. The stocks are quite comfortable, and the gun points naturally so I won't be switching them out. I was having a bit of an off day in my double action trigger control (may have been the gritty, pre cleaned up internals), but managed a sub 1" group at 7 yards (2 handed off hand) shooting Georgia Arms 200 grain RNL cowboy loads in single action. The sight picture is reasonably good, in spite of the shallow fixed sights. Spent case ejection was easy with no case sticking, and the gun proved to be 100% reliable over 2 separate shooting sessions. Everyone who tried it loved the gun. Plus, it looks positively menacing with 200 grain Gold Dot hollowpoints loaded up :evil: (see pics below).

    I am very pleased with this gun, and am seriously considering a leather IWB from either FIST or Lobo to start carrying it. I've already got 2 CA-44 HKS speedloaders on order.

    The price tag of $268 was the icing on the cake! :cool: Good luck finding a 696 for that.


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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  2. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    I like it.. hell of a deal on it too.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Very nice. I need a 431 or 441 one of these days. It's a matter of time. Great pick up.
     
  4. chicharrones
    • Contributing Member

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Good lookin' revolver. :cool:
     
  5. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    Wow, nice looking gun and a great price.

    I too have had a bad experience with Taurus (also a model 94!) and have gone to S&W. I have only bought one S&W new though, as most of their models seem waaaay overpriced and inferor to products of earlier years.

    Taurus might get a second chance from me if I could find a deal like that. While they may have QC issues, I appreciate the fact that they actually listen to customers and make innovative products to suit consumer's needs.
     
  6. Clifford

    Clifford Member

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    Dayum!!! That's one nice Taurus! I'd saw off my leg to find one that nice and at that price.
     
  7. 1/7GRUNT

    1/7GRUNT Member

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    Great looking gun!
    I have actually never seen a 431 with blued finish, its incredible. Almost looks like a S&W model 13!
     
  8. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    jad0110 nice 431! One of my biggest regrets is that I passed on a 2 1/2" Round Butt SS 431 that a local gunsmith/dealer was selling a few years ago. The revolver was his personal CCW and he had worked the trigger to a point that it (almost) felt like the one on my pre-WWII M&P long actions:what: Par for the course, I was low on cash at that time so I had to walk away empty handed. A few days later I went back to the shop...it was gone.
     
  9. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I had one just like it for a while. Worked just fine, but at the time I was not a handloader and .44 Spl was on of the calibers that got "downsized" in 06/07.
    A friend of mine in a neighboring state owns it now. I have been known to borrow it when I visit him.
     
  10. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Thank you for all the compliments.

    Yeah, though I do have a beef with the 94 line, overall I've got nothing against Taurus revolvers, even though I only own 1 to around a dozen Smiths. I'd really like to find a nice used blue Taurus 66 for the right price one day. If it passes the checkout procedure, why not?

    Agreed. Unless you have a good disposable income or reload, .44 Special isn't the best option around, sadly.

    This was the 1st I've seen in person that was blued. Most seem to be stainless.

    Speaking of 3" S&W Model 13s ...


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    This Taurus is my 2nd 3" barrel revolver. I love 'em!
     
  11. FMJMIKE

    FMJMIKE Member

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    Very nice revolver !!!
     
  12. rdrancher

    rdrancher Member

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    How do the 431 and the Model 13 compare in size and weight?
     
  13. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Weight wise, they feel about the same. The 431 feels like perhaps 1 to 3 oz heavier. Overall lengths are about the same. Cylinder widths for a few different models are as follows:

    K Frame: 1.445”
    Ruger Six: 1.497”
    Taurus 431: 1.513”
    L Frame: 1.562”
    N Frame: 1.708”

    I've had people tell me that S&W K Frame holsters will fit Taurus 5 shot 44 Specials, assuming the same barrel length. Given the cylinder width though, I wonder if holsters for a Ruger Six series would work better.

    Maybe someone can chime in on that.

    If I have time this weekend, I'll try to take some pics of the 431 and 13 together.
     
  14. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Yeah, well, Aimsurplus had some nice FN (Belgium) MK 3 Hi Powers for $425. They sold out quickly, but I didn't have the cash for one anway. Oh well.
     
  15. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    In case any other 5 shot 44 Special Taurus owners are wondering, I have found 2 makers of leather IWB holsters for these guns:

    - Simply Rugged Sourdough Pancake (with optional IWB loops) - just ordered one tonight
    - FIST #20 IWB
     
  16. vanguard7

    vanguard7 Member

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    nice guns guys.
     
  17. Dan-O

    Dan-O Member

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    I'm a big fan of the Simply Rugged products. I have a 431 too, but it is stainless. I put an 11 lb Wolff Hammer Spring in mine and it smoothed things up even more.

    Nice looking gun too by the way.
     
  18. jglcolosprgs

    jglcolosprgs Member

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    Well the only thing you have done wrong so far is buying just one...

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    You will find it shoots better if it has a friend! They are great guns and I love both of mine. If the little one could tell stories we would be here all night. The 3" fixed sights are relatively rare. I don't think I've ever seen one before and I do watch for them.
     
  19. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    That was a good period of build for the Taurus revolvers. I bought a Model 85, blue with wood stocks around the same time. Fit and finish were superb, sorry I sold it. Congrats on the great deal. .44 Special is my favorite caliber. Bill
     
  20. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    This one was the first I've seen in person as well. Like another poster said, as I was approaching the table where it sat I 1st thought it was a S&W Model 13 3". But from a few feet away I noted the barrel underlug (not present on the 13s) and I thought, hmmm, what do we have here. I had been looking for an affordable 44 Special for carry for several years and was delighted to find this one.

    I got to the table not a moment to soon, as I noted a gent out of my peripheral vision turn away just as I picked it up muttering something to the effect of "too late"! As I handled it, the gun was getting quite a bit of interest. I sped through the revolver checkout as quickly as I could without missing anything, as I truly feared someone plunking down cash before me. Looking back I'm surprised I negotiated the price at all given the interest in it. But I've purchased 2 other guns from this particular dealer so he dropped the price from $290 to $268.

    That is a very nice 4" BTW. Gorgeous! Did Taurus apply a different model #, being that it has adjustable sights?

    I've heard the same thing. I'd love to find a blued Taurus 66 from that period for a deal. I've seen them, but the prices have been in S&W Model 19 territory.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  21. jglcolosprgs

    jglcolosprgs Member

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    The 4" is marked 441 and the snubby is a 445.

    I want one of the S&W 696s so bad I can taste it. But, I can't justify the price they are going for. (I used to say that about Pythons. But I finally found a snake for a good price.) I'm, a 44 special dog. It is my favorite pistol caliber.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  22. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Is there a trick to identify that period besides carrying around a copy of Taurus: The Good Years as a reference? I'm always on the lookout for a good quality used revolver. That Taurus, above, looks as good as any Smith I've seen lately.

    Q
     
  23. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I have a 4in. fixed sight SS one. I like it!
     
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