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Taurus' new 856 Hy-lite 6-shot revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Bob79, Sep 10, 2008.

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  1. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    I get free Guns & Ammo mags from courtesy of Natchez for buying ammo, and today I read it. On the cover is the new Taurus 856HL, and HL=Hy-lite. The author says its made with magnesium instead of alumunium alloy, and that it weighs only 13.2 ozs. They also say it fits in his Taurus M85 holsters, and S&W J-frame holsters as well.

    The big thing is that it holds 6 rounds, and is supposed to be virtually the same size as a S&W J-frame 38spl 2". It also has a decent rear sight on it, but the kicker is that it's only rated for standard pressure 38spl ammo. They do make stainless and blued models, that are rated for +P. I do imagine however that if you shot all .38 standard pressure at the range, and only a few cylinders of +P a year you'd probably be fine.

    I have a S&W 442, and a 37 that I like a lot. I've never been impressed with Taurus, but most people seem to like them. I am intrigued though about having that sixth shot, the very low weight, and the rear sight. The question marks are the magnesium frame, and it only being rated for standard pressure .38 ammo. Although I must say I'm not too concerned with the non +P ammo rating, because I shoot 130 grain FMJ standard pressure through my Airweight, and that has plenty of recoil. I don't think you'd hurt it by shooting 2-3 cylinders a year of +P ammo.

    I would really like to check one out, by getting my hands on it. MSRP is $467, so actual price might be $350-400? Below is a link to it on the Taurus website.

    http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=616&category=Revolver
     
  2. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Member

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    Haven't handled one yet, but my opinion of Taurus really couldn't go much lower by now. I've yet to see a product of theirs that doesn't inevitably have one issue or another...no thanks.
     
  3. Schmidlin

    Schmidlin Member

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    so if you have nothing smart to say about Taurus or have never owned one why post? You really only make yourself look ignorant.

    I have yet to see any gun manufacturer that can build a flawless gun. But yet people still buy them
     
  4. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Member

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    I read the article last night. My initial reaction was a big yawn. Now that I've thought about it for awhile, the addition of the extra shot is definitely a big plus. Their solution to do this was to deepen the cylinder a tiny bit so it would accept a larger cylinder. Such an obvious solution, wonder why no one else has done it yet? Ruger and Federal went so far as to design the 327 Mag to fit an extra round in the SP. The rear sight is neat. What's up with the integral stainless front sight? Would have been nice to put a dovetail up front, to at least get a blackened blade up front.
     
  5. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    So when are they coming out with the 7 shot .327mag version?
     
  6. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Member

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    I'm wondering that myself! If anything, I think we'll see a 357 prior to the 327, assuming the steel frame 856's can handle the pressure. I'm thinking they can't and that the top end for this design is the 38 +P.
     
  7. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

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    I'd like one in stainless. If they put a three inch barrel on it, I'll take two!

    I already carry a Taurus 85SSUL as my second primary gun loaded with +P ammo.

    ECS

    http://theturkeyfootbrand.blogspot.com/

    ECS
     
  8. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    I like Taurus guns, but for one reason or another, I have drifted away from them and back to my first and true love, Ruger.

    Still, I have a Taurus 605 that I am most fond of and would be loathe to part with... It was my main CCW gun until I let my CCW lapse, and it is now my dedicated truck gun.
     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm not really impressed either. If it were +P rated I might think about it but not as it is right now. Also, Taurus prices are slowly creeping up to that of S&W and are already equal in price to Ruger revolvers. Unfortunately the quality of Taurus hasn't gone up as fast as their prices. I can't agree a Taurus is equal to a Ruger or S&W.
     
  10. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    Like Arch Angel I have always been a little skeptical of Taurus quality. I did own a 7-shot revolver once, and it was OK.

    Like Chuck Perry points out above, I thought it was pretty interesting how they came up with a way to get 6 shots in there, without really increasing the size of the gun. When Ruger comes up with the 327 mag to fit in six.

    I don't know yet. I'd like to check one out personally, and if its a decent price, I might buy one. The +P thing isn't a deal breaker for me. At the range, 99% of us would use standard pressure anyways. I just can't see a couple cylinders of +P ammo a year hurting the gun. Unless its Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, or similar.

    I'm going to keep an open mind on this one, and this is coming from a guy who owns 9 S&W wheel guns.
     
  11. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    I have had good luck with Taurus, and I shoot a LOT.........I am NOT a gun snob though, so I will try one.
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Not everyone who doesn't like Taurus revolvers is a gun snob just like everyone who isn't going to vote for Obama isn't a bigot. ;)
     
  13. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    I like the idea of making a 5 shot revolver a 6 shot one. However, Colt has had that since the Detective Special.
     
  14. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    Yes you are correct, but the Colt is a little larger. I don't believe a Colt DS will fit in the holster of a S&W J-frame. Also, the Colt Agent lightweight weighs about 16 ozs unloaded, and the Taurus is 13.2 ozs. I think Taurus has a real unique and well thought out product here. Now whether it holds up, and functions correctly...we'll have to see.
     
  15. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    Bob79,

    Huh, I didn't realize the difference in weight was that small. You also summed up my thoughts on Taurus pretty well: Neat ideas, neat concepts. Execution leaves much to be desired.
     
  16. denfoote

    denfoote Member

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    I too read the article.
    I was asking myself if the addition of one more round, but reducing the ultimate strength of the frame so that it was unable to withstand the added pressure of standard +P rounds in an era where every revolver maker and his dog makes +P rated .38spl revolvers was "crazy like a fox" or stupid.

    I decided that stupidity should be painful!!

    I'll keep my first generation aluminum alloy framed M85UL that will handle the pressure, so to speak, thank you very much!!
     
  17. jparham

    jparham Member

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    I think we can all agree that +P ammunition is not what you generally use for plinking or practicing. You might fire off. say, a cylinder a month, but otherwise, due to recoil and price, you'd probably stick to standard pressure. +P loadings, do, however, have their place because of self-defense.
    Now, this Taurus isn't rated for + P, so some might discount it's value as a defensive option.
    That's a moot point. For a while, old Model 12s, Cobras, and M37s have had very good self defense options.

    The above is taken from Buffalo Bore's website. Standard pressure .38s, but with all the power of most +P.
    I posted a thread on this revolver a few weeks back. I'm impressed. True, it is a Taurus, and I've heard mixed things about their quality and horrible things about their customer service. But a lot of people seem satisfied with their Tauri, and they do experiment a lot more than S&W or Ruger does.
    (I do wish S&W would just copy Taurus and release an Airweight six-shot J-frame.)
    Does anybody know if someone's making speedloaders for the 85-6 yet?
     
  18. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    Both my S&W 442, and 37 are not officially rated for +P use because they are not built on the J-magnum frame. I have however shot Speer's 135gr SB +P ammo, Cor Bon's 110gr DPX +P, and Remington 158gr +P. I have maybe shot 40-50 rounds of +P ammo though the 442 in about 5 years, and the gun is fine. It locks up tight, and has never had a malfunction.

    I think it would be great if S&W made a 6 shot .38 J-frame similar to the Taurus. I think they would sell very well, as long as the gun was reliable, and sturdy.
     
  19. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    As one that has owed super light revolvers and several Taurus (Tauruses, Taurus'...or is that Tauri?) I can offer you two things.

    1- Shoot before you buy. Too light of a revolver is NOT fun to shoot

    2- Taurus is a crap shoot. Some are good, some are not. Many will tell you how great they are, others how crappy.
    I have not been fortunate with the brand.

    Your mileage may vary

    Best of luck
     
  20. denfoote

    denfoote Member

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    CZ.22,

    While you are indeed right, I already have the M85UL and cannot see rushing out and plopping down plastic for this latest whiz bang incarnation!!
     
  21. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

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    While the Hi-Lite is the subject of the article, I would, as I said above, be interested in the stainless version of the 856, especially with a 3 inch barrel.

    Complaining about the Hi-Lite being a non +P .38 is ludicrous considering that many people depend on lesser calibers for personal defense. My BUG is a .32 ACP KelTec P32. It's not my first choice for defense, but it beats a pocket knife when I can't go bigger. With new bullets designed to expand at standard pressure velocities, I think it will find a market, especially at 13+ ounces.

    ECS
     
  22. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    I agree with you Elm Creek, I think it will find a market. 6-shots in virtually the same size gun as before is very nice. I hope Taurus has good quality control on these things, and makes sure they are top notch. Again, I also don't think the non +P rating is a big deal.
     
  23. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Well, I'm no metallurgist and I'm sure the Taurus engineers know what they're doing but, wow, isn't magnesium flammable? It just sounds weird shooting cartridges in a flammable gun. I'm sure the cylinder isn't magnesium, LOL. It would be funny if Taurus said the service life of the revolver is six rounds, he he he. Maybe it's a flare gun.
     
  24. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

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    Volkswagen makes engine blocks from magnesium. BMW makes engine heads from magnesium. I don't think that the frame of the 856 Hy-Lite is in any danger of igniting.

    ECS
     
  25. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Well, I was being facetious, although I really don't know much about Magnesium beyond its flammable nature. I'm sure they wouldn't create a firearm that would ingnite upon firing :).
     
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