Sunday, June 22, 2014

Taurus Model 85 revolver

It's been years since I did a weapons post, and considering I recently inherited a number of firearms from my late father, I thought it time to write a little about weapons again. For those not familiar with me, no, I have no military or law enforcement background; I'm merely a civilian who enjoys studying weapons of all sorts, and I'm a fiction writer who wants to make sure I know what I'm writing about when it comes to weaponry, and this comes through first-hand knowledge.

The subject of this post is a 5-shot revolver in .38 special from Brazilian firearms company Taurus.

Right off I'll admit I'm normally not a big fan of .38 weapons, though I love the .38 round. Does this seem strange to you? It makes perfect sense to me. See, my personal favorite round is the .357 magnum, and I dutifully enjoy firearms which launch .357 magnum rounds. One of the great things about .357 magnum weapons is that they can also fire off .38 special rounds because the two rounds are pretty much the same width, though the magnums are quite a bit longer. So, you can fire .38 rounds from a .357 magnum weapon, but you can't fire .357 rounds from a .38 weapon. Make sense? Basically, .357 rounds are too long to fit into a .38 weapon, but .38 rounds will fit into a .357 magnum.

All that being said, this is a pretty nifty .38 special revolver. For one thing, it's got a 3-inch barrel, which is rare in the Taurus Model 85 which normally sports only a 2-inch barrel. Some might say the extra inch doesn't matter a lot, and maybe it doesn't since this is basically a short-range firearm, but it matters to me for not only aesthetic reasons, but because I prefer the extra heft and weight of the longer barrel.

It comes in double action with single action an option when you pull back the hammer, features which are common in many modern revolvers and which please me from a sheer familiarity factor.

This revolver comes in a small frame, but it still has a good feel in my large hands, reminding me somewhat of the look and feel of the larger Smith and Wesson revolvers, specifically the 586 and 686, some of my favorites. There is a downside with this small frame, however. That downside is this revolver actually kicks quite a bit, or at least more than I would like it to with .38 rounds. I'm more used to firing .38s from heavier .357 magnum revolvers and rifles which leave little to no kicking with the .38s, but here I'm having to adjust to a rising barrel and a bit of jump in my hands; none of this is specifically the fault of the firearm, but just my lack of familiarity with .38 specials. The small frame also makes this a pretty good gun for concealed carry, though I have no plans to do so, at least not with this weapon.

Another thing with which I'm unfamiliar when it comes to this firearm is the fact it only holds five founds in the cylinder. I'm a six-shooter man. Always have been. Every revolver I've ever owned until this one has held six rounds. Yes, I'm fully aware there are revolvers of various calibers which hold seven or eight or nine or 10 or more rounds, but I've never been tempted by them. They're called a six-shooter for a reason, is my way of thinking, so I've always stuck with the six. Not that only having five rounds is some heavy burden, but it'll take some getting used to.

All in all, this is a small revolver I can carry around when outside in the woods around my place, and I can do some target practice with it from time to time, but I won't be using it for carry and it wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to home defense. It's a nice little gun with no major faults of its own, and it feels as if it is made with quality, so I have no complaints there.


Charles Gramlich said...

Many of the same reasons why I've always preferrred the 357, although I shoot more 38s through my pistols than 357s

Ty Johnston said...

Oh, yeah, those magnums pack a punch in a revolver. In a rifle they're not so bad, though.