Taurus model 85 .38

Taurus model 85 .38

This is a discussion on Taurus model 85 .38 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm looking to purchase a small framed revolver for a backup/ccw. Does anyone have any input on the Taurus .38 model 85. It seems to ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array 03grunt's Avatar
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    Oct 2008

    Taurus model 85 .38

    I'm looking to purchase a small framed revolver for a backup/ccw. Does anyone have any input on the Taurus .38 model 85. It seems to be a sturdy weapon, and decently priced.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by 03grunt View Post
    I'm looking to purchase a small framed revolver for a backup/ccw. Does anyone have any input on the Taurus .38 model 85. It seems to be a sturdy weapon, and decently priced.

    Thanks in advance.
    I have owned two M 85s. One was a blue with hammer, and the other a SS hammerless.

    I wanted to be able to IWB and sold the blue gun.
    I found the actions smooth and the triggers excellent.

    Unfortunately the one I kept misfired at times. The primer was not struck hard enough. That was with factory and handloads.
    The factory attempted to fix it at least 3 times, but was not successful. I sent it to a well known gunsmith that specialized in action jobs, but he did not fix the problem. He offered to do it over, but I was tired of the gun.

    I then contacted the "CEO" here in the US, and even then it took me months to get it replaced. Overall I fooled with it over a year.
    When it was replaced I sold it without firing it.

    Most like the gun, and I think I was a victim of tolerances between the gun and ammunition. Whatever the cause, the experience caused me to forget Taurus guns.
    I have three S&W J-frames and those are what I would recommend. The difference in price is not worth much trouble to me.

    My experience was the exception, but it was not satisfactory.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Array ASSA9's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    I have had two ultra lites with ported barrels
    both shot well and the ports helped with follow up shots
    but I had one problem with a stripped out screw
    on the side plate.
    the medal is very light,be carefull if you take it apart.
    if I had it to do again I would get a all steel 85
    I shot one of the all steel ones at a range one time and loved it
    Zoe: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?

    Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    SW Missouri
    I've got an 85 ultra-lite...it's okay but they don't like being dry-fired much. If you get one, make sure to get some snap-caps.

    If I had it to do over, I'd get a S&W. Especially now that they have no-lock j-frames in the lineup again.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Kansas City
    I have one and like it. I took down the hammer and replaced the springs with Wolff ones. I have never had any issues with mine.



  6. #6
    New Member Array plateshooter's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    N.E. Ohio
    I have the older all stainless steel version. I have put many rounds through it and it has always worked well.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Kendall, MI
    There is like an $80 difference between Taurus and Smith Wesson. To me, my life was worth that difference. I've had ZERO issues with my 642. It's guaranteed for life if anything should happen. Nuff said ;)
    Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Personal opinion, go with the .357 & shoot 38's if you want. But the gun is no different except the barrel, and it will hold up better, take +P's or .357's if you decide you want to.

  9. #9
    Member Array rmhz1979's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    I have a standard Taurus Model 85 Ultra Lite. Mine just happens to be a grey instead of blue color. I have had no issues with mine at all. I have fired Buffalo Bore ammo out of it without a single problem at all. I don't use it much though its my I'm taking a walk in the woods and going fishing gun.
    "No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
    VIP Member
    Array archer51's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    I own 2 Taurus model 85's one in blue steel the other in stainless. Haven't had a problem with either one, not that they get shot a lot. They do carry a lifetime guarantee on them.
    Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.

    USAF Retired
    NRA Life Member

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Kansas City
    I would have to agree with Eagleks. If I could do it again, I would also have gotten the .357 version. I made up for it and got myself a Ruger Sp101 in .357, and a Smitty 340 PD.

  12. #12
    Member Array RetiredMajor's Avatar
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    Feb 2008

    I own a Taurus model 85 stainless steel (brushed version) and love it. It is solid, well-built and I have never had a problem with it. The model 85 is considerd a classic design and there are many out there. I also own a S&W Model 642. Both are rated for +P ammo. I prefer to carry the hammerless Model 642 as it draws easier - less to snag.

    But, both are nice revolvers. Whatever you choose, you'll need to practice frequently. Shooting a snubby well takes practice.

    Best of luck with your decision.
    Every day's a holiday and every meal's a feast!

    NRA Certified Instructor

  13. #13
    Member Array reloadn's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    I've had one for four or five years with around 1000 rounds thru it. Great gun I would buy another if I had to.

  14. #14
    Member Array xrmeav8r's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    I recently bought my wife an 85 ultralite SS to replace the Glock 26 she carried in her purse. Glocks are our favorite but I always worried that if she shot through her purse the slide could hang up for a follow up shot, even with the purse designed for a center pocket. The hammerless version makes me feel better even though there are only five rounds but the book says you can fire +p.

  15. #15
    Member Array FHBrumb's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    USA, where else?
    I have one currently, and it is doing well. I had a problem with misfires the first time out, but I was able to get it corrected.

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