Taurus knows exactly who they are. “We’re not out to make Rolexes, we’re making Timexes.” That’s what Taurus’s No. 1, Mark Kresser, told us. You remember that Timex tag line — takes a licking and keeps on ticking? Maybe not the fanciest or most glamorous watches, but they work when you need them to. We talked to Mark at the NRA show and he told us he wanted to change the way gunnies look at Taurus. And he knew what he was getting into when he started pushing that rock up a very steep hill. Before he got there, Taurus had worked long and hard to earn the poor to mediocre rep the company carried around. So what’s changed? . . .
A lot, actually. And as he predicted back in April, fixing things — something as complex as a multinational company — takes some time. While it never happens fast enough, all good things come to those who wait (and work their asses off.) And now their customers are seeing the difference.
Taurus has mostly focused on three things. Well, one to begin with: they want to be the most approachable gun maker out there. Meaning customers can call and, you know, talk to someone who knows guns. Their guns.
Meaning the woman who carries one needs to know that the TCP or Model 605 in her purse will go bang every time she needs it to. Meaning if she needs it fixed, she won’t be without it for months on end. And meaning the company takes carrying a gun as seriously as the people who buy their heaters do.
‘Cause the people who work there carry guns themselves. Taurus guns. And they preach concealed carry to anyone who will listen. Not just to boost sales, but because they see it as a right and a duty. How great is that?
And while re-making the company, they’ve figured a few things out along the way. Like exactly how much it costs – down to the penny – to fix a gun that comes back because it wasn’t right to begin with. And that’s why anyone on the assembly line can (in fact, is told to) hold a gun back that’s not right. Knowingly sending out a POS is a firing offense.
Have you ever called the IRS? Then you have a pretty good idea what it used to be like trying to get a hold of someone at Taurus. If, God forbid, you had to call Miami HQ, hold time averaged 90 minutes. Dial the phone, run out and do the weekly shopping, then come back and tell them your troubles.
Not any more. After upping their staff to 21 from 8 and spending a quarter million on a phone system that works, the average wait time is now three minutes. And the people on the other end of the line actually know guns, too.
But no one’s perfect, right? Guns break sometimes. Say your 24/7 needs fixing. Ouch…that used to be pucker time. In the bad old days, that meant launching your heater into a Floridian black hole. If you were lucky, it reemerged in 3 months. And if they didn’t have a part your gun needed (yikes!), it could have taken up to a year for it to reenter the atmosphere.
No longer. Now it takes about eight days to fix your firearm. Including shipping, door-to-door turn around time is under two weeks. And if, for some reason, they can’t get your gun fixed in 45 days, they send you a new one. Simple as that.
As for new models, those are on the way, too. Their new product development team has some guns in the pipeline that they think will be really well received when they’re announced. I saw one and they’re cagey about the rest, but they promise it won’t be more of the me-too stuff you may have seen before.
So will you run out now and buy a Taurus, a Rossi or a Heritage six shooter? Maybe not. Not yet, at least. But so far, they appear to be doing exactly what the top man said they’d do back in April. And if you’re in the market for an affordable home defense or carry gun, you just might put them on your list now. Mark Kresser sure hopes you will.