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Old February 29, 2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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Taurus Model 85 Quality?

Does anyone own or have opinions on the quality of the Taurus Model 85 Snubbie? I may buy one. They seem solid and are +P rated in .38 Caliber.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old February 29, 2008, 06:08 PM   #2
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I bought a used 85 ultra lite a long time ago and I really liked it alot.
For some reason I sold it but always regretted it.
It took alot of hot .38's with no problems
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Old February 29, 2008, 06:11 PM   #3
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Read the sticky on checking out revolvers. It would have saved me alot of time and heartache.

I didn't have a good experience with mine, but again, I know there are much better ones than I had.
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Old February 29, 2008, 06:25 PM   #4
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I own a DAO .38 in polished nickel.

Had a spring job done at the factory,then it would fail to fire three out of five rounds.

I just put the old harder springs back in and expect it to be fine.

I owned another model 85 about ten years ago and it was a fine revolver.

I've read of more problems with the none standard revolvers ( eight round types) then the standard ones.

Taurus is swamped with warranty repairs right now so if you have a problem expect a long wait before it is fixed.

But there are many thousands of satisfied buyers of Taurus handguns that have no problems with their guns.

If you are only going to fire standard pressure rounds you should check out Rossi's snubs as well.

Taurus makes those too and for some strange reason,one that I checked out had a better trigger pull than the Taurus ultralight I checked out at the same time.
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Old February 29, 2008, 06:27 PM   #5
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Buying a Taurus is certainly a hit or miss as they make a fair share of lemons. My 24/7 Pro went back to the factory within a week of buying it. It came back 2 months later and has functioned flawlessly so far. My 94 .22 has performed perfectly and the round count is about 750-800 so far. The action has smoothed up dramatically since buying and shooting it. I'd advise checking one out carefully before buying. When I bought my 94 I checked all 5 they had in stock and picked the smoothest one. Actually only one of the 5 felt a bit "gritty" and it was the display model...
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Old February 29, 2008, 06:29 PM   #6
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It's a Taurus --Buyer beware!! Enough said . :barf:

Find a S&W, Ruger, Charter Arms etc....
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Old February 29, 2008, 06:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by woodsltc
It's a Taurus --Buyer beware!! Enough said .

Find a S&W, Ruger, Charter Arms etc....
Please tell me that you are speaking from personal experience, because if you aren't, keeping your opinions to yourself will make for a far less cluttered internet.
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Old February 29, 2008, 06:57 PM   #8
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I have one of these:

Excellent gun. Action is smooth as silk and the stock grips make it a natural pointer for me. Handles +Ps fine, but the recoil is worse than a full sized 357 mag with hot loads. It also will jump the crimp on some types of ammo, so if you get one, make sure you test your ammo in it for crimp jumping.
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Old February 29, 2008, 07:07 PM   #9
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I recently purchased a Taurus 651ss(.357 mag with "hunchback") I am VERY impressed with the fit, finish, handling, and overall quality. I think it is a step or two above my old 637.

I added the grips, and find that they really help tame the recoil from fullhouse loads.

I am one who has had a previous LOUSY experience with Taurus. I will not elaborate, as to keep from bashing. But If I can get my hands on an 85 that checks out good, I would snatch it up in a Flash

I will say this for all fairness. With Taurus it is a crapshoot. You need to inspect each gun individually. Do not give them a once over. Any respectable shop-owner will allow you to do this. If you do not know how to do a revolver "checkout" it is stickied at the top. I highly recommend learning this, as it can save you many headaches with all revolvers.
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Old February 29, 2008, 07:16 PM   #10
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In my opinion, stay far away from Taurus. I had a NIB Model 85 that seized up after about 250 rounds. The cylinder refused to rotate at all. If you do a search, at either this site or any other, you'll find that it's a pretty common issue with Taurus. The solution is to send it back to Taurus and have the forcing cone ground. Taurus, at best, has questionable customer service.

Lots of guys will tell you that they have put 1000s of round through their Taurus without issue one and I take them at their word. Lots of other guys will tell you that their Taurus was junk and I take them at their word too. As an ex-Taurus owner, mine was junk. It was my first and last Taurus. You might get a good one and you might get a bad one. I'd say it is really a 50/50 deal.

The Taurus price point seems like a bargain. I can assure you that if you get a bad Taurus, you will certainly wish you would have spent a little more on a quality gun.
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Old February 29, 2008, 10:54 PM   #11
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Mr Tuff Paws said:
Please tell me that you are speaking from personal experience, because if you aren't, keeping your opinions to yourself will make for a far less cluttered internet.

Well, Tuff Paws, I do speak from experience and I will voice my opinions whenever I want.

In my experience the only good quality about a Taurus is they are inexpensive.
You get what you pay for!!!!!!! And the low price of a Taurus compared to S&W & Ruger is at the expense of quality. If you don't believe me buy all the Taurus's you want and have fun sending them back to be repaired.
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Old February 29, 2008, 11:37 PM   #12
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My M85 is about 12 years old. I had to send it back after a few boxes as the cylinder was seizing up. It was returned to me 10 days after that, and it's been a peach ever since. Very reliable and very smooth shooting. I understand though, that Taurus made changes in their manufacturing since then, and I get the sense that their sales volumes have risen. The former should have positively effected quality control; and the latter may account for the increase in turn-around time should you have a warranty issue. I have a soft spot for my 85 (just take a look at my handle). Not counting my old Crossman air pistol, It was my first handgun.
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Old February 29, 2008, 11:38 PM   #13
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My preference is STEEL revolvers.

The two 85s that I own are stainless. They date from the mid 90s.
Each has fired 500 to 600 rounds(reloads) with about 200 factory +P. That is not a great amount, but
No failures.
Double action accuracy is good(for me) at 25 feet. Minute of 1/2 gallon milk jug all the time(well, most of the time).
The 2" model is 85CH, and hides in my blue jeans front pocket very nicely. That is the reason I have it.
When either the 2 and 3 inch ride on my belt, I forget they are there.

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Old February 29, 2008, 11:49 PM   #14
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In five years, I have never had a problem out of my mod. 85.
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Old March 2, 2008, 12:22 AM   #15
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I own a model 85SS. Have had it for 10+ years. Shoots and handles well. Accurate enough for a 2" snubbie. Just recently discovered it would not handle the R-P brass which are in my available brass for reloaded ammo. Started locking up until I figured out that the thicker rimmed brass was forcing the cylinder forward and locking it up against the forcing cone. rather than declare it to be "junk" and condeming an entire like of pistols, I posted my problem on here and THR in the gunsmithing sections. Within minutes had the answer to the problem. Simple enough--either stop using R-P brass, or shave the forcing cone slightly to relieve the pressure.

Shaved the forcing cone and the problem went away. You can either accept that some individual guns have minor problems, and fix them, or you can condemn the entire line because yours doesn't suit you. I have fixed a lot of cars and trucks over the years. Guns are the same. Fix em or bi**h at em. Your choice.
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Old March 2, 2008, 02:32 AM   #16
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Model 85, huh? Have one of those that is a 20 year old 85CH model and is still going strong. Dureability and longevity have been the bywords for this revolver.
Links that have to do with the 85. Gotta go to the source.

This is just a small sample of the 85 info available.

It is amazing that through the last few decades that in police/tactical journals and gun instructors who write for the magazines (Mas Ayoob,Chuck Taylor,Dave Spaulding and Chuck Karwan among others) have written that Taurus 85s and their brethren are what are recommended for those having to buy their own personal protection, backup gun, or main armament. Yet there are detractors that say otherwise. Don't think Taurus would be recommended as highly as it is by the police and shooting instructors if one could not depend on 85s.

If a revolver were having light strike problems then cleaning out the firing pin channel or replacing the firing pin or pin spring would be in order before doing anything else. Other springs may need to changed out as well.

That can be a do it yourself or have a local certified gunsmith take a look at it if need be. Staff and members at have done spring changes when needed.

Never have had a relibility issue in the 20+ years that I've had my 85CH.
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Old March 2, 2008, 01:03 PM   #17
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I have a 12-year-old 85 in blue steel, has never given me a day's difficulties and is now the gun I keep in my glovebox when I'm going someplace I can't carry ... On the other hand ... just bought a 617 which is in the hands of a gunsmith now, getting the trigger to function properly and fixing the gap between the cylinder and barrel, which was so tight the gun jammed on power residue after just a few dozen shots ... it's going to be a good carry gun, after I fix the problems Taurus built into it ...
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Old March 3, 2008, 11:11 AM   #18
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I used to pack a Smith and Wesson Chief in .357...
Now I pack a Taurus CIA in .357...
Quite frankly, its the better gun....

The Taurus not only had a better trigger pull and a tighter cylinder lock up, it also had a locking lug on the YOKE of the gun ,to keep the cylinder from getting battered out of alignment....
A nice touch for a carry gun, which gets more abuse than a range gun, I might add....
It also had a more rust resistant finish than the smith....

Sometimes you get more than you paid for...

Taurus K frame size guns are impressive as well...Especially now that Smith hardly makes K frames.
I still prefer Smith N frames to the big frame Taurus though, albiet its a big, rugged peice.
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Old March 3, 2008, 11:50 AM   #19
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I have an older model (Pre- +P) 85 that shoots just fine. I also had a problem with the cylinder binding, but it was most likely Operator Error - it's my first revolver, and the ejector rod was slightly bent, binding the action. This was probably due to the way I as opening and closing the cylinder.

Sent it back, came back 2-3 weeks later good as new, no questions asked. I've heard some nightmare stories about Taurus' customer service, but I have no complaints. You just have to be patient - they are a little slow, but no big deal.

I plan to trade it in on a concealed hammer Taurus or S&W for better pocket carry (and to get a +P rated gun) eventually. Will likely stick with Taurus, since I have the CT grips for that one.

/my $0.02
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Old March 3, 2008, 09:02 PM   #20
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85UL with hogue grips. no problems, about 500 rounds through her.. not that much fun to shoot +p with but only 18oz.
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Old March 5, 2008, 02:36 PM   #21
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I had one and sold it to a buddy simply because I wanted the .357 version. Gun was well built and has been problem free. It is one of buddies favorite guns. I ended up with a 605 and also love it, looks essentially the same save for steel frame. I find the new taurus models to be well built and a good value.
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Old March 5, 2008, 04:47 PM   #22
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From memory, I've had at least 7 Taurus guns (all revolvers, but one). 3 of the revolvers, and the semi-auto had to go back to the factory, at least once. It took at least a month, usually closer to two, before I'd get it back, with no explanation of repair. I've since pretty much given up on Taurus. I wanted to like them, but over a 50% return rate, doesn't breed confidence.

As much as I've enjoyed reading the gun rags over the years, I've come to realize that most are nothing more than glorified advertisements, composed by authors who rarely to almost never, give a negative review. I bought a Taurus because I read that they were a "best buy" in the CCW market. Some were okay, none were great, and more than a few were quite bad. Unfortunately, most people buying based on the price (which I can certainly understand), will find this out the hard way.
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Old March 5, 2008, 10:13 PM   #23
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I think the Taurus's are OK, but for a about a $100 more, you could get a S&W 637 or 638, and that gun will hold value much better than the Taurus.

Although I sold my Taurus 608 to my brother, I love it, and knowing it's staying in the family make me happy.
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Old March 5, 2008, 11:36 PM   #24
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I bought a new SS Taurus 85 about 18 yrs ago, I have put many +P loads threw it and the gun is looser for it but it still shoots well.
Unlocked 004.jpg Here is a pic of it along side of the smaller lighter S&W M-36. My Taurus 85 has never skipped a beat' it has been 100% reliable with over a 1000 rnds fired.
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Old March 6, 2008, 07:20 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Qwiks Draw
Links that have to do with the 85. Gotta go to the source.
...and then you should go to to find out which is better, Mustang or Camaro?
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