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(This is a reader-submitted review as part of our gun review contest. See details here.)

By Matt M.

Back when I was looking for my first carry gun, a friend told me to look into Taurus for good quality at a reasonable price. I wanted something foolproof for pocket carry, something which would defy my best attempts to snag the draw, but could also be shot empty in-pocket just in case.

I wanted a round powerful enough to stop fights quickly, improving everyone’s chance of survival. Being a big guy, a little weight was nothing to write home about. So, when I saw a stainless steel Taurus 650 on Gunbroker for $312 out the door, I bought it.

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The 650 is essentially the J-frame as concieved by Jersey dockworkers. It’s chunky and angular with a beefy underlug, a Brazilian pitbull to Smith’s rat terriers. Mine came used with scars on its bead-blasted jaw and back, nothing a little Blue Magic polishing cream couldn’t turn into an elegant patina of character. True to my expectations, she was smooth and svelte in all the right ways, streamlined like a predatory fish too slick for a trawler’s net.

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Two things amazed me from the start. First, my stainless 650 has a silky-smooth action. You can say what you want about Taurus’ lousy quality control (true), variable quality (true), and tortuous customer service (yes and no), but their steel revolvers can be hot stuff. An 851 I sold a while back had the best trigger I have ever felt on a wheelgun. Ever. While the 650 has a…substantial trigger pull, you’ll hardly notice the weight behind the clockwork.

Second, the sights. Look, I love modern notch-and-groove revolvers and can actually outshoot the laser with ‘em if you’ll give me some time, but they aren’t for everyone. While a little red paint really makes the front sight pop, older eyes may struggle to reach out and touch someone. Any way you cut it, this particular action was so slick I was making accidental double-taps DAO; she needed new sights to go full-throttle.

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My solution was Crimson Trace Lasergrips (LG-85), the small, smooth-plastic ones for concealment. Costing me an outrageous $200, I was crushed when they broke easily on installation. However, CT customer service is awesome and I haven’t had an issue now that Loctite, not torque, is holding the gun together.

As you probably know, this setup emits a laser when you get a firm grasp on the gun, holds its point of aim well, and is the ultimate dry-fire training aid. Mall ninjas will breathe easy knowing that the laser is hidden when your finger rides the frame, the only place it should be until you are ready to shoot.

Unfortunately, they will hate the absence of front-cocking serration for press-checks, but you can’t have it all.

Speaking of foolproof news, snubbies are great pieces to maintain. Contrary to popular belief, revolvers are not more reliable than autos per se, but more tolerant of neglect (vs. abuse). They are also not easier to clean than (some) automatics, but they are simpler. Open cylinder. Clean everything in sight. Close cylinder.

Advanced armorers like you and I might remove the cylinder entirely by loosening the front sideplate screw, but Taurus gave us the collective finger by permenantly fusing cylinder and crane with a proprietary tool. While I can completely clean a polygonally-rifled Glock with a Bic pen, napkin, some oil, and sixty-seconds, there is a wonderful rhythm to cleaning revolvers cylinder by cylinder.

And now, the warts come out…

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THE GUN IN ACTION: CARRY

Unfortunately, the 650 is too heavy for pocket carry unless you’re a large-framed or super-committed individual fond of tight pants. The issue isn’t the hangy-weight — she’s not far from a single-stack nine — but the dangling in pleated pants loved by urban-professional. Unlike your carrier-deck pocket-auto that prints so nicely, revolvers roll around unless put into a self-defeating square holster. However, if slipped into a Safariland #25 in a jeans pocket made to fit, no one will ever ask you about the strange tumor on your upper thigh.

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Fortunately, pocket carry rewards those who can bear the weight. Centennial-style DAO revolvers lack the hammer- and slide-related constipation universal to the roughage that passes for “pocket pistols” these days. Come the moment of truth, you can count on your pocket suppository erupting forcefully with its stout tonic when your assailant least expects it. Should you be caught unawares and forced to “keep it in”, your little secret will leave a permanent brown spot on your clothing as five golden nuggets spew forth into the fray.

If you’ve never handled a “hammerless” revolver, seriously, go find a patient gun-store clerk who will let you try one on for size.

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If pants-pocket carry isn’t for you, the 650 pairs nicely with ankle holsters, deep concealment rigs, and anything else ever thought up for a snub-nosed revolver. Unlike the eccentric plastic fantastic LCR shown here, the 650 should fit perfectly in almost any holster made for a Smith & Wesson J-frame, i.e., you have a century of cheap, quality gunleather to choose from.

There are better guns to carry on a belt. However, because revolver cylinders leverage the grip into one’s side and this snubby is both small and light, the 650 is an absolute dream to pack on the hip.

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You may object, o millennial, that a gentleman’s revolver has no place in a world of autoloading death-machines. Since we are talking about instruments of grave bodily harm, let’s get something straight on the subject of firepower.

You know your needs. If you say that autos are more efficient (no cylinder gap), more powerful (capacity and ease of reloading), and easier on the hand (reciprocating slide) making for faster, more accurate shots caliber-for-caliber, you would be right. However, if you insist that the average American needs maximum firepower 24/7 and that a semi-auto is just as easy to whip out of your pocket as an edge-free DAO snubby, I will eventually change my opinion. Not of “Chiraq” and pocket rockets, but of you.

Seriously folks, if all your heroic fantasies play end in IDPA matches, you need to rethink the legal consequences of your thought life. Get real, and remember: few things communicate “GET AWAY FROM MY CHILDREN” more effectively than a mother’s desperation, a laser, and five hollowpoints so large they must be rotated into place.

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THE GUN IN ACTION: RANGE

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For your reading pleasure, I packed up two snubbies and 350 rounds of ammo before heading to the range. I was met there by two friends, an old salt of a city cop with an attitude and an insecure but eager new shooter. No innocents were harmed in the production of this review, although ten minutes of my AGH-BANG-OOOH-BANG-AAGHing around during accuracy testing traumatized two newbies one lane over. Also, the 125gr magnums had enough blast to regularly knock spent brass from the ceiling and rip sound insulation from the wall. Ah, what an afternoon. Forgive me Rog.

Everyone agreed that the gun was a dream to shoot as a twenty-five ounce paperweight should be with target loads. Everyone broke into a smile putting the wadcutters downrange, while the .38 +P and milder .357s felt like our pet’s preferred diet. Unfortunately, we had some problems with the grip, laser, trigger, cartridge ejection, timing, and overall reliability once she had swollen with heat. Everything else was fine, though.

Most of our problems came from the grip. Look at it. It’s too small to hold on to effectively, too smooth to keep from moving around, and the blasted button for the laser is recessed, forcing an un-natural hold. Seriously: el coppo snarko’s medium hands couldn’t get the laser to work 95% of the time the gun was in hand, and it moved around so much with magnum loads he refused to even try a string rapid-fire.

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Newbie and I did not have quite as much trouble keeping the laser on (until our hands got tired of bending in ways contrary to nature) because we gripped higher on the backstrap. Unfortunately, a raising palm lifts all digits, leaving our trigger fingers at the top of the go-pedal with the absolute-worst-possible leverage. So much for that silken action. Without consciously contorting adjusting our grips, Newbie pulled so hard that almost all of the first 10 shots missed paper while I gradually succumbed to fatigue.

All parties had further trouble with the grip circumference being so small that the trigger finger ran into the hand.

Finally, as the shooting wore on, the gun became a hot, angry mess. Things expand with heat, and those rough-hewn Brazilian chambers took a sporadic choke-hold on spent brass from warmer fare. Furthermore, while we couldn’t tell how much of this was due to heat, the cylinder sporadically dragged on one chamber, grinding to a halt four or five times spread over an hour; we couldn’t get this to repeat off the range. Finally, the revolver is just a hair out of time; we had one failure to fire due to a light primer strike, although this was easily remedied by the wheelgunner’s tap-rack-bang: five more trigger pulls.

So, we hated the revolver, right? Wrong. It exceeded our wildest expectations.

Combat accuracy, as fast as you wanted, with a pocket magnum. What more could you ask?

It’s amazing what you can do with a good laser. While revolvers tend to point well in all hands thanks to their curved handle, pointing is irrelevant with a bright red dot waiting on the other end. While I am more accurate with iron-sights only, all shooters were able to shoot very accurately very fast, transitioning from target to target with ease. This gun was easy enough to shoot well that the range’s sweltering heat didn’t prevent our achieving sub 1” groups at twenty-five feet; note that Speer’s 135gr Short Barrel .38+P, 357, and my 158gr Magnum loads (left top, center, left bottom) printed left of lighter fair. Huh.

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Actually, this gun was so easy to shoot that we could drill a bull’s eye rapid fire equally well (better, actually) with 125gr Magnums and .38+Ps. Below is the evidence of what 120 rounds per minute at twenty-five feet looks like in a revolver with a 3.8” sight radius and B(r)azillion-pound-trigger.

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Honestly, this gun was so easy to shoot well that we got bored. So bored that I put up this 5.5”x8.5” bullseye at fifty feet and shot twenty rounds weak-hand only and got all but three on paper. So very bored that I put this big target out at seventy-five feet and shot strong-hand only, scoring 134/200. Keep in mind that by this time I was drenched in sweat, the inside of my nostrils black with terrible stuff contributing to my eventual demise, and my firing had was visibly trembling. 134/200. The things we do to bring you the truth about guns.

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THE END OF THE MATTER

My hand hurts. It’s been three days now, and I still feel like I’ve been catching collapsible baton strikes. It was all a joy, however, to take my baby out for a spin (or forty) and share my fun with you.

But that’s just it. I shot remarkably well with this gun, very much enjoyed shooting full-power 125gr lighting-bolt Magnums, and could have pushed it much harder. I’m also a big guy with big, meaty hands prepared for days like this by decades of Sunday morning services. Someone with petite hands would probably love this gun as much as I but find themselves limited to lighter fare. Remember, this is a revolver with plastic grips: 100% of that recoil goes into the wrist. If this is you, it’s time to ask whether you’d be better suited carrying a larger .380 or adapting to a service-grade subcompact.

This is a great gun for people who know what they’re getting into. I love the smooth double-action, the laser, and the caliber paired with heft. It’s a revolver. It’s got class. I hate the grip and am mad about the gun being slightly out of time… just not mad enough to send ‘er in. I worry how much looser the gun will get with time and where I’ll send it for service given that my family’s last Taurus customer-care foray ended with a fixed revolver returned without sights (still waiting on those replacements, not to mention the grip screws I ordered last year…), questions I would not have with a Smith and Wesson. She cost me $312, but it also took two bills more to make her the hotrod she is.

So here’s the Truth about the Taurus 650. Don’t have a pocket revolver? Get one, you un-patriotic, IPSC-shooting, trigger-happy suburban daffodil (in spirit if not in truth!). Find a Stainless Taurus 650 for $350ish in great shape? Check the timing, but know that you’ve got a fabulous value on your hands put out by a solid company. However, if you’re picky, impatient, or want something really special to hand off to your grandkids, I would forgive you for looking into a police trade-in from more famous manufacturers for roughly $100 more.

Regardless, if you want to balance a high regard for life and the law with the need for an effective defensive tool, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat a setup like this.

 

SPECIFICATIONS: Taurus Model 650 Revolver

MODEL: Taurus Model 650
CALIBER: .357 Mag/ .38+P
CAPACITY: 5 rounds
MATERIALS: Matte stainless
WEIGHT, UNLOADED: 22.8oz
WEIGHT, LOADED: 25.3oz (Speer .357 135gr. GDSB)
OA LENGTH: 6.7”
OA HEIGHT: 4.2”
OA WIDTH: 1.4”
FRAME WIDTH: .7”
BARREL LENGTH: 2”
SIGHTS: Fixed, serrated front ramp
SIGHT RADIUS: 3.8”
GRIPS: CrimsonTrace LG-85
ACTION: DAO
PRICE: $312+$196

 

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Aesthetics: * * * *
A little chunky, but an otherwise timeless all-stainless design.

Accuracy: * * * * *
This may not have drilled one hole at 25’, but the ease of shooting well was unbelievable. The equivalent would be shooting effortlessly at 100 yards given a 1911 with no sights and a broken trigger.

Ergonomics-Handling: * * *
The grips are a love-hate thing. They aren’t fun for target shooting, but that didn’t exactly slow us down. Concealability also has to count for something.

Ergonomics-Firing: * * *
.38s were a pleasure, the magnums a pain. Did I mention the ease of accuracy?

Reliability: * * *
Revolvers with problems don’t get high marks. The failures to eject, cylinder binding, and sole failure to fire are forgivable only given the extreme heat we ran the gun to and a hard primer.

Customization: * * * *
Fantastic options for customization including grips, springs, sights, finishes, and a whole host of gunsmithing services. Not a five because it’s still easier to work on a GLOCK.

Overall: * * * *
For all its faults, this was the little Taurus that could. So long as she’s fed the right ammo for the task, my 650 makes shooters happy wherever she goes.

36 Responses to Gun Review: Taurus Model 650 .357 Revolver

  1. Glad to read another revolver review. I love the snub-nosed guns. Personally, I like the weight/firepower combo of the Airweight in .38 special. I know .357 is more powerful, but I think .38 is generally good enough, and 15 oz is light enough for comfortable pocket carry.

    Regarding the steel frame snubby .357, I’ve got a Rossi 461 (6 shot). My Rossi is a hair too fat and heavy for me to pocket carry on a regular basis. I kind of wondered how this 5 shot Taurus compares. It weighs about the same, but is a little thinner with the 5 shot cylinder. There is something comforting about a .357 in the pocket.

    Also, I think the title “pitbull” of snub nosed revolvers probably belongs to the SP101.

  2. I had the taurus 85, 65 and one that looked like a S&W model 15. Can’t remember the model number of that last. But that 15 look alike was as smooth, accurate and fun to shoot as any S&W I’ve ever used.

    The 65 worked and worked well. .357 is really meant for guns like the 65. Service sized, not pocket sized.

    My only real issue with the 85 was the hammer spur. At the time I owned these guns I lived in a very bad neighberhood. When I moved there I didn’t own a gun. After a few days I started buying. I carried that 85 everywhere with me from the moment I woke up til the time I went to bed. Just having it saved my bacon more than once.

    These 3 were my only Taurus experience. They were all good to go. I can’t speak for their semi’s. Never used one.

  3. “Back when I was looking for my first carry gun, a friend told me to look into Taurus for good quality at a reasonable price.”

    Well, he is half right…

    First hater – yes!

  4. So wait a sec…. if I’m reading correctly, you had problems with literally every functional aspect of this gun and yet you still recommended it? What does it take to get a bad review? Lost fingers? An eye, perhaps?

    • Well brother, God gave you two eyes and five senses for a reason, so each gets a star and I didn’t lose one. Toughen up, lads. 😉

      But really: I’ve had lockup problems with my LCR357 after I’ve put less than two boxes of 38 down range, albeit very quickly. I am 100% confident that the Taurus will fire every time for the first two cylinders before things heat up, and given what snubbies are made for, what more do you need.

      Let’s put it this way: things average out to three-and-a-half. If you want a nice piece and can spend the money, the Taurus gets three stars. If you’re on a budget, inspect the piece beforehand, and treat it well, it’s more like four stars.

      Keep in mind, everything is relative in reviews: is this four stars relative to a new Rossi or a new-in-box Colt Python? As I said: If we’re putting this side by side with Smith’s 640 Pro with CT lasergrips, then yes, we’re talking three stars.

  5. I’ll keep my p320. It doesn’t fit in my pocket nor does it shoot 357, but I have 3 rounds for every 1 of yours and my hand doesn’t feel like I played bare handed catch with Nolan Ryan after range day.

    • Yeah, but after one misses an assailant five times with full-power 110-gr magnums at three yards, a load so powerful it will sear your chest hair clean off, they’ll know how crazy you really are. Feelin’ lucky?

      A little respect goes a long way on the street…

  6. Nice to see a workingman’s revolver on here. I have the 6 shot polished cannon. 461?(Rossi/Taurus) I forget. (300 OTD, gunshow)Winter carry- EVERYTHING is too bulky in 92 deg heat. For that I carry the P3At.(like a revolver, sort of, loaded with interceptors) I agree 100% with the idea that you do not need a 15 shot semi-auto death machine that is more prone to ND’s. Let’s get real *most* people could not open a can of coke under stress, let alone operate a multiple moving part semi-auto. The laser? cool but not needed, they don’t need me for Taken 8. Unlike the “police” we arn’t required to shout “Stop” “freeze” or any of that crap. We as private citizens are pitbulls with no voicebox. I like the “in pocket” shooting idea, try that with a semi-auto…whoops kinda got off point on that one. Anyway, nice review on a firearm if desired dosn’t cost $1000. Keep it real folks.

  7. I’m beginning to think you are bizzaro me or maybe I’m bizzaro you… I’m also Matt M and I carry a Smith 649 and bought it for pocket carry and EDC a fountain pen… I also carry it with the same gold dots and enjoy shooting 125gr magnums out of it.

    I’d look into the Pachmayr compact professional grips. I have those with the pinky relief on my j frame, they are a bit fatter circumference wise which helps get a better a better grip even being shorter. They also tame 357 recoil nicely.

    I also suggest visiting your local goodwill or thrift shop and getting a couple of jackets and purses to shoot the revolver from inside of. It’s fun and educational! Plus it’ll burn the hair off your knuckles…

      • Generally speaking I wouldn’t carry anything else in the same pocket you are using to carry your gun even if its in a holster. Shooting through really only works with a bag or jacket, I can’t think of a way to shoot through a pants pocket without kneecapping myself. I imagine though, it would shoot the coin or whatever else you hit out just from the gas pressure, and maybe go through it. I suspect your hand may be a little worse for wear but I doubt a serious injury would occur.

        Shooting inside of a pocket or bag was a neat experiment. If you have an exposed hammer it’ll snag guaranteed; I got one shot off with an exposed hammer revolver on a couple of tries before it was bound up. Auto loader was also one shot.

        I recommend wearing gloves, the gas is very hot especially with multiple shots, and will burn the hair off of your knuckles with multiple shots. Aiming is extremely difficult but at 3ft or less you should have at least 80% success of hitting what you intend to.

      • If you hit a coin, you’ll have a cool souvenir to remind you to never carry anything else in the same pocket as a gun.

  8. Thanks for the review. I have only owned a 638 snub before because .357 (or any magnum) in a snub bothers me. It is probably somewhat irrational, but it just drives me crazy thinking of all potential lost through so much unburnt powder flying out the barrel and just making a pyrotechnic show. I am not criticizing anyone for choosing a magnum snub, just trying for the catharsis of getting blurting this opinion out.

    • Amen brother! You do get a significant performance boost, but it is wildly inefficient and comes at a cost.

      That said, the Speer short barrel magnums were AMAZING: very pleasant to shoot, clearly powerful, but manageable and accurate. Also pricey. It’s unfortunate that more companies don’t under-load their magnums with fast-burning powders for those who need just a hair more than .38s can offer.

      Also, Speer’s .38 SB was a dream, and about a third of the price if you go through LE dealers.

  9. Good grouping at 25, I have a J-frame and can attest to these not being the easiest guns to shoot. Heaven help us if we ever need one at that distance. Spending bucks on grips was a wise investment in my opinion, perhaps some grip tape wouldn’t be a terrible addon by the sound of it.

  10. In the context of talking about snub-nose revolvers, I’ll probably get grief for this, but I love my Kahr CW9 for everyday carry. Got it brand new for $312. 7+1 capacity, light (a pound), thin (less than an inch wide), actually has a frame size and a sliiight pinky extension so that despite its small size, its very comfortable to shoot because you can get your pinky on the grip. IWB holster…hardly know its there. Very reliable gun in my experience. What I maybe like most is its simple. No safety. Its chambered, or its not, like a Glock, except it doesn’t even have the trigger safety like the Glock either, which is fine with me.

    As an aside, I read a good article on gun rights the other day about why progressives SHOULD love the 2A…that is, if they were actually liberal, in the classical sense of the word. Good quick read: https://mattsamerica.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/why-progressives-should-love-the-2nd-amendment/

  11. “The issue isn’t the hangy-weight — she’s not far from a single-stack nine — but the dangling in pleated pants loved by urban-professional. Unlike your carrier-deck pocket-auto that prints so nicely, revolvers roll around unless put into a self-defeating square holster. However, if slipped into a Safariland #25 in a jeans pocket made to fit, no one will ever ask you about the strange tumor on your upper thigh.”

    Huh?

    • Ugh, Kids these days. Get a dictionary.

      “Hangy-Weight” The vertical effect of a firearm’s weight on the carrier when standing.

      “Dangling” or “Bangy-Weight”: The horizontal effect of a firearm’s weight when walking, the surest sign that you have more than a thirty-ounce wallet in your khakis.

      At least I didn’t say booger-hook. Or sinus squeegee.

  12. Nice review. But LONG. Had an 85 which ran fine. Sold it a few years ago and now thewife wants a snubby. I don’t get why you spent $200 more on a belly gun. Or didn’t buy a Ruger/S &W in the 1st place…

    • I took it that that $200 was for the CT lasergrips. Personally, I wouldn’t have dropped the cash for the CT, especially on a Taurus snubby, but who am I to judge? I am a cheapskate. I agree that the review was a bit long. I skimmed a couple parts.

    • Yeah, sorry about that. He who edits his own has a fool for an editor…

      On the Crimson Trace: this would be a three star gun at best without the lasergrips. The $200 makes this competitive with the finest Smith snubbie when it comes to the gravest extreme, but it will hurt a lot less sending this puppy off to the professional engravers at first precinct. If all you care about is life-saving potential, you will have a hard time finding a better value on the market.

  13. Wow. The Harper Lee of gun reviews. Taurus is always on want list. But, they have the attention span of a 5 yr old. They make interesting models then “poof” gone. From the titanium guns, 45acp tracker, the long guns, the 900 series, the carbines. The discontinued list is endless. Still a better bargin over Ruger & S&W products.

  14. “you un-patriotic, IPSC-shooting, trigger-happy suburban daffodil”

    Hilarious! Always love hearing a fellow steel snubby enthusiast. Personally like the SP101 but I’ve been curious about the SS Taurus’s. Great review!

  15. Since you had both there at the time to compare, how much ‘sharper’ (read, unpleasant) would you rate the recoil impulse of the ‘plastic fantastic’ LCR compared to the heavier Taurus 650?

    • Hey Geoff: I’ve got mixed feelings on the LCR.

      On the one hand, it’s a very well-made piece with solid machining, tight tolerances, and an ingenious trigger system. It has the best recoil abatement of ANY small revolver I’ve shot, but ONLY with the original Hogue grips. Any benefit of the flexible frame is outweighed by its weight. The genius with Ruger LCRs, GPs, and SPs is a very narrow grip tang that puts a thick layer of soft or hollow rubber between you and the gun.

      On the other hand, the machining is so tight on my LCR 357 that she froze solid for two minutes after 80 rounds of powderpuff .38s: the Taurus bound a few times, we’re talking two minutes of total lockdown and fits after every additional cylinder. Granted, no one shoots more than a few rounds through a belly gun.

      The recoil is killer once you swap out the grips, at least on the one LCR 38 with Lasergrips I hope to never see again. So, you have a choice: do you want a comfortable gun or a laser? Of course, no one puts more than a few rounds through a belly gun.

      What puts me over the edge on the LCR are the worst sights I’ve ever seen on a top-notch snub. Look at my three-amigo pics above: it’s very hard and painful, but I can slowly shoot out a bull’s eye at fifty feet with that 2.5″ aluminum Taurus: the serrated front-notch and flat/recessed rear-grove sights are tiny but superb. My favorite revolver sights of all time are the same simple setup on Smith 64/65 service revolvers.

      Am I easy to please or what?

      The LCR pairs a shallow, curved, poorly defined rear notch with a strangely regulated front post: black post, white post, fiber optic… it’s not the gun’s fault, but I just can’t get the thing to shoot tight groups. I could put an XS big dot on the gun, but that’s just giving up: XSBDs aren’t easy to shoot with accurately at distance in the first place and that’s assuming you have the purpose-built v-notch and lollipop setup on a service weapon. If your revolver is nothing more than a belly gun, you need to pick one that points well, not bless it with a $60 decal.

      But we all know… no one puts rounds through a belly gun. 😉

      Yeah, well, I do, and I like a challenge that rewards practice. If the LCR had better fixed sights and a longer barrel, I’d sell my collection for it and be a happy man.

      • I’ve shot as many as 150 rounds of standard pressure stuff thru my j frame and never experienced the binding problem you describe.

        I’ve shot at least a 100 rounds at a time thru a model 85 and did not experience that.

        In my experience the only handguns that have gotten too dirty and hot to function proper have all been semi’s.

        • It’s an odd testament to Ruger’s quality that my particular LCR was so tight. I can’t bear to send it back to the factory to degrade the tolerances. Unfortunately, while I’d keep everyone posted on whether she loosens up a thousand rounds down the road, she just won’t see the use.

          In full disclosure, I have yet to hear anyone else have the same problem. Then again, people don’t put their J-frames through the ringer these days. Just know that the gun was clean, my shooting was fast, and the piece was scalding hot. When she froze up, it was like the cylinder was welded to the crane.

          YMMV on Taurus revolvers. However, of the dozen or so small framed Tauri I’ve handled, all were at least on the razor’s edge of being out of time, certainly compared to a Ruger or S&W. Perhaps it’s because I only handle models from the time Taurus was producing their full snub line. Still, they work pretty well and are great guns.

  16. I really enjoyed your review. I have been tempted to give Taurus revolvers a try. I think you may have convinced me.

    • Whatever you do man, go steel. While I’m very impressed with the quality of their aluminum snubs, at the end of the day, only the steel ones have a silky-smooth trigger. I’d go for a 650 or 850 in stainless. A used 850 (.38+P) will have held up to abuse better and be an absolute dream to shoot, a safe bet if a bargain comes up on Gunbroker. I’ve had great experiences with the 651/851, but Mas Ayoob convinced me to ditch the exposed hammer- you’ll never need it on a defensive piece; it can only hurt you.

  17. I have some kind of mental affliction that has caused me to buy and sell J-frames repeatedly over the years. I’ve owned at least two, and probably three 442s, the most recent of which was a pro model (no lock and cut for moon clips) and a 637. I’ve bought and sold many guns over the years, but the j-frame is the only type I have owned multiple times and can’t seem to make up my damn mind about. I had to mentally drag myself out of the store not too long ago to keep from doing it again, this time with a 640 pro. It was only the price tag that snapped me out of that J-frame spell that seems to take hold of me from time to time. Now that I own an LCR and have seen the light about the advantages of Ruger’s trigger, I like to pretend it is less likely I’ll buy another J-frame. I’m pretty sure the LCR 3-inch is going to get traded for a snubby though, and maybe this time a .327 magnum, for that 6th round and all the ammo choices, and because the damned adjustable sights on mine have to go.

    What is it about j-frames though? They are sure as hell not easy for me to shoot well with, except for slow fire, which I fully understood after the first one. Maybe it is just pedigree and old school style that pulls me back every few years after I sell them. Or maybe I just have some misfiring neurons in my brain.

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