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I like revolvers, but I’m not a revolver guy. I still appreciate a six-gun, but they have never really been my main go-to for self-defense. Believe it or not, Taurus has me yearning for two of three new revolvers. The new Taurus 856 and 605 have both caught my attention. The main reason is the red dot mounted on top. Taurus is making revolvers that are red dot-ready from the factory, and I’m here for it.

There are real benefits. There is no slide that moves, which does two things. First, that makes it really easy to track the dot between shots. Second, fewer Gs means greater longevity of the dot.

You can use less expensive, less robust dots without worrying about them falling apart. It’s a neat idea, and honestly, I’m glad someone is finally putting red dots on wheel guns. We got a little range time with the Taurus 856 and 605 on the range day, and I walked away impressed.

A New Taurus

I grew up a poor kid who decided the salary of an enlisted Marine was pretty appealing. For most of my life as a shooter, I’ve done it on a shoestring budget and have plenty of experience with Taurus revolvers. I’ve owned a number of them and some had their issues. I didn’t have a huge appreciation for Taurus guns, but some of their staff choices have gotten me excited about what Taurus is doing now.

Caleb Giddings is now running their marketing department. He’s a hardcore revolver aficionado, a Top Shot alumnus, and the only person to earn a Gabe White Lightning Pin with a revolver. In other words, he knows his stuff and the Taurus 856 and 605 TORO seem to be his babies.

The Taurus 856 is a six-shot.38 Special, and the 605 is a five-shot .357 Magnum. Both are outfitted with an optic cut for the Holosun K series micro-sized red dots. Of course, if dots aren’t for you, you can use the standard fixed sights. Both guns are affordable, with the 856 series having an MSRP starting at $446 and the 605 at $451. They come in black and stainless.

At the Range 

After a brief wait, I got hands-on with both guns. Caleb walked us through them and their features and seemed proud of these two new revolvers. They are his first launch at his job with Taurus. With dots in place, I started throwing a mix of .38 Special and .357 Magnum downrange.

The dots did their job and allowed me to shoot further, faster, and easier. The lack of a moving slide made keeping my eye on the dot easier. I was instantly impressed with the triggers and surprised by how nice they were. At 15 yards, I hit a hostage popper back and forth with ease…in double action. Keep in mind, me shooting double-action revolvers is like Forest Gump running with leg braces.

I’m not good at it.

Still, I was impressed, and both guns were fun and easy to shoot, especially for a guy who doesn’t shoot revolvers much.

The Other Gun

Taurus also released a new Executive Grade revolver on the Judge pattern. I don’t care for .410 revolvers, but Caleb explained that the Judge is a .45 Colt revolver that does a party trick of shooting .410 as well. I may not like .410 revolvers, but I have to say they are fun. The Executive Grade Judge was lots o’ fun to shoot.

The trigger was fantastic, and the gun offered the kind of recoil that was fun but not painful. I love the big wood grips and beautiful finish. I might not be the target audience for this gun, but I’ll admit it’s very well done for a .410 revolver. Still, I’m very much more excited to get a long-term test and review of the Taurus 856 or 605. Stay tuned.

 

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35 COMMENTS

  1. I like revolvers, and I own both Ruger and Smith and Wesson, and I own more revolvers than semi-automatic pistols. When at home or driving around the area, I carry one. But they are getting damn expensive. I’ve read good and bad about Taurus revolvers, and the after sales service, and have been reluctant to purchase one, but the Raging Hunter series are intriguing, and the 8.5″ Taurus 44 draws my eye.

    • I paid near a grand for my Ruger gp100-7. If you just want a self defense firearm any of the plastic nines will work at half the price. I have a g19 for that purpose.

      But for boonie walking and range fun the revolvers are my favorites.

      • Been looking at the 4inch 7 shot and 5 inch 6 shot for that model. May end up going with a 3 inch sp101 first but have time to budget those out unless we go full bantarded.

        • I’d like that 3 inch sp myself. I would have to replace those factory grips. I would still like to have a 3 inch model 10, also.

        • I’d like to give you 3 inch Jethro but I know you’d want a lot more than that, ballz deep

    • I own Taurus Raging Hunter Revolvers in 357 Magnum and 44 Magnum. I shoot them a lot alongside my Rugers and S&Ws. The TRHs more than hold their own in accuracy, reliability, and durability.

      When shooting full power magnum loads, especially hunting loads, my experience has been I consistently find my TRHs to be more comfortable and controllable than my Rugers and S&Ws.

      • Neat I will have to try finding one to rent and check out and see how it works in my hand (Ruger tends to fit better than S&W and no idea re colt)

  2. Buy a used anything else, before you buy a new Taurus or Rossi. They aren’t worth the trouble. You will regret it. This is from personal experience.

    • “Buy a used anything else, before you buy a new Taurus or Rossi.”

      The Rossi and Taurus of old are *nothing* like the Taurus of today in build quality.

      Source, someone who has owned both early Rossi and new Taurus over the years.

      Oh, by the way : A nameless troll has near-zero credibility in TTAG. Have the nads to stand by what you write, with a built reputation…

    • F. Taurus,

      Close family/friends and I own a combined total of multiple Taurus revolvers manufactured in the last 10 years. All of them are decent revolvers which feel and function just fine. We have not experienced a single defect.

      The Model 44 and Raging Bull (both in .44 Magnum) that I have shot have outstanding single-action and double-action triggers. Using nothing more than the factory iron sights on the Raging Bull, I was able to hit a 6-inch steel gong at 50 yards every time. Keep in mind that I have minimal practice/experience shooting revolvers with iron sights at that distance.

      Their Model 85/856 series .38 Special and Model 66/67 series .357 Magnum revolvers have decent factory triggers and just plain work.

      Would any of the Taurus revolvers be a great choice for competition or other demanding applications? I have no idea. Are they a good choice and excellent value for someone on a limited budget who simply wants a working firearm for casual plinking or “just in case” (self-defense)? Yes, yes they are.

  3. The only Taurus I had problems with was my circuit judge, and that was probably the ammunition I was using. My r 92s work great, as well as my judge, and model66. I also have had great luck with rp.45 , and sr-9 , I think sometimes it’s cockpit trouble. I’m not particularly easy on my guns, and I hand load most of my ammunition!

  4. I’m quite happy with my judge revolver for my nightstand gun. But it does amaze me all the people who complain about the quality of the Taurus revolvers. When I always heard the same people talking up Remington, while they still had a terrible quality control problem. They produced terrible guns of low quality and their guns got people killed.

    But to the very end people were still sticking up for Remington. And Sig Sauer tried to deny there was no drop problem,with their latest handgun that the Army had purchased. They’re just lucky that no one was killed when that gun dropped. Unfortunately the Remington gun owners were not so lucky.

    The Smith & Wesson R8 revolver had a pick rail on the top and a pick rail on the bottom under the barrel. Unfortunately Smith & Wesson stopped making them. Smith & Wesson might be an old company like Remington. But Remington is no longer around because they got stupid. And Smith and Wesson got in bed with the Clinton administration years ago.

    It seems that Taurus is the only revolver maker that wants to bring the revolver into the 21st century. It’s past time revolvers had a pick rail on top and a pick rail on the bottom under the barrel. I should be able to have the option of an optic on top and a light or laser on the bottom.

    • I hear you, but I don’t WANT my revolvers in the 21st century. I own several semis, they make perfect sense for carry and self defense, but it’s just practicality. The LOVE is for revolvers, Colts and Smiths and Rugers and ’70s-and-older form and function. To me, optics look stupid on a revolver, I was taught how to aim and how to shoot.
      Rifles, similar deal, I enjoy my semi-autos and ARs and AKs, but when it’s time to hit the woods, give me wood furniture and beautiful blueing (except for my Browning X-Bolt Speed w/ the cerakote, Leupy and deadly accuracy).
      No Tauruses yet, but that Executive .38 looks strong. And to each his own.

      • RidgeRunner:
        Regarding revolvers: I could not have said it better.
        I’ve always been partial to Ruger double action GPs and SPs, and I do have an S&W 642 pocket rocket.

  5. Back in the day I can remember hearing “so-called experts” say that revolvers were more accurate than semi-auto guns.
    Because the sites on a semi-auto were on the slide that constantly moved. Technology advancements I think have fixed that problem. But an optic mounted to a moving slide will eventually work itself loose. And that is a problem that the gun industry doesn’t really want to talk about. Because they are trying to sell very expensive Optics to people.

    • My 2 Taurus revolver’s were perfect. As are 5 semiautomatics. They ain’t GLOCK©. You can’t be inept🙄😎

      • I’ve rented glocks and shot them. They’re ok. But I’m not interested in buying one.
        And there are aftermarket accessories you can buy, that will allow you to mount an optic to your semi-auto gun. But it will be attached to the rail under the barrel. Instead of the moving slide. Where it would eventually work itself loose and fall off.

    • “…say that revolvers were more accurate than semi-auto guns.”

      They have improved it over the years, but not eliminated it.

      A fixed barrel is still King…

      • I agree with you. I think revolvers are still king when it comes to accuracy. But accuracy now is not important to most people. Ammunition capacity is.
        And 9mm, isn’t as good as 45acp. But you can get more 9mm in a hand gun.

        But I still think a 6, 7 or 8 shot center fire revolver, is just fine to force a criminal to beak contact. And never come back.

        • In a way it’s more market share/saturation of products (firearms, accessories, ammo etc) that is being fought over than actual function. I like variety and experimenting so not too attached to any one product or idea as there is always more to learn. Would someone who has consistently shot the same revolver for decades outshoot me regardless of what I use……. probably(very probably). But I find it wonderful that we have hundreds of effective options and can cheaply (relatively) supply them and very much want to see that continue.

  6. I want to know more about that .460
    Has to be my all-time favorite caliber after getting some time with a Smith 460V. Like shooting a guided missile so flat and far.

    Smiths at $1500+ is hard to justify but a Taurus at less than $1K I could live with. As long as it works. I have a Raging Bull snubbie in .454 that hasn’t blown up yet.

  7. You would think that Taurus could hire someone a bit better then Caleb Giddings.
    They finally got their act together and started building decent guns.
    Then they hire that dishonest drunk stroke Caleb Giddings.
    He’s a train wreck and it’s a lot more then his beef with Paul Harrell.
    He ripped off a lot of people. He slandered a lot of people and hasn’t been relevant in years.
    They have Jessie Harrison, Giddings should be kicked to the curb.

  8. Newsflash – we’ve been putting red dots on revolvers since the 1990s.
    I have a 929 with a fricking C-More from the early 2000s on it.

  9. HAVE THE 3″ JUDGE REVOLVER , OK FOR HOME PROTECTION SHOOTS 410 ABOUT 4″ TO THE LEFT , SENT IN SAID WAS OK , SO IT’S A TAURUS .. LATER GOT S&W GOVERNOR 2.5″ , WHAT A DIFF , IT’S A KEEPER , ALSO SHOOTS 45ACP 50 YRDS ON THE DOT OF 6″ TARGET BEST I CAN DO ..
    SAW WHERE TAURUS MAKES 380 REVOLVER , WISH S&W , RUGER MAKE 380 ONE WITH STEEL CYLINDER AND HAMMER .. MAYBE SOME DAY ..

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