Taurus 85 Revolver

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Taurus Model 85

Description

The Taurus Model 85 is a small-frame revolver chambered in .38 Special and .38 Special +P.

The Model 85 is a family of concealable revolvers with the sub-models mostly varying in aesthetic features like grip, material and finish.

They all feature a double/single-action trigger except for the 85CHULT, which is only double-action because it has a concealed hammer. The Model 85 can fire .38 Special +P rounds, which discharge at a higher pressure than standard .38-caliber cartridges. Typically .38 Special +P, typically used by law enforcement, should be used with a weapon that fires .357-caliber cartridges, but the Model 85 is the exception. It has two innovative safety features: the transfer bar and the Taurus Security System (TSS). The transfer bar is a mechanism that prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin unless the trigger is fully pulled to the rear. And, TSS is a lock and key device. A user can lock the revolver so the trigger, safety and hammer cannot be moved.

Taurus recommends the Model 85 for law enforcement and concealed carry.


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Specifications

85B2UL
Caliber: <br />.38 Special<br />.38 Special +P
Grip: Rubber
Capacity: 5
Sights: Fixed
Action: Revolver
Material/Finish: Ultralite alloy/blue
Size: Small
Trigger: Double-action/single-action
Website: http://www.taurususa…
Weight: 1.0625 pounds
Barrel Length: 2″
Twist: 1 in 16.5″
Length: 6.5″
Height: 4.28″
85B2ULPRL
Caliber: <br />.38 Special<br />.38 Special +P
Grip: Pearl
Capacity: 5
Sights: Fixed
Action: Revolver
Material/Finish: Ultralite alloy/blue
Size: Small
Trigger: Double-action/single-action
Website: http://www.taurususa…
Weight: 1.0625 pounds
Barrel Length: 2″
Twist: 1 in 16.5″
Length: 6.5″
Height: 4.28″
85CHULT
Caliber: <br />.38 Special<br />.38 Special +P
Grip: Rubber
Capacity: 5
Sights: Fixed
Features: Concealed hammer
Action: Revolver
Material/Finish: Ultralite alloy, titanium
Size: Small
Trigger: Double-action
Website: http://www.taurususa…
Weight: 0.85 pounds
Barrel Length: 2″
Twist: 1 in 16.5″
Length: 6.5″
Height: 4.28″
85MULTI
Caliber: <br />.38 Special<br />.38 Special +P
Grip: Rubber
Capacity: 5
Sights: Fixed
Action: Revolver
Material/Finish: Ultralite alloy, titanium
Size: Small
Trigger: Double-action/single-action
Website: http://www.taurususa…
Weight: 0.85 pounds
Barrel Length: 2″
Twist: 1 in 16.5″
Length: 6.5″
Height: 4.28″
85SS2UL
Caliber: <br />.38 Special<br />.38 Special +P
Grip: Rubber
Capacity: 5
Sights: Fixed
Action: Revolver
Material/Finish: Forged aluminum alloy/matte stainless steel
Size: Small
Trigger: Double-action/single-action
Website: http://www.taurususa…
Weight: 1.0625 pounds
Barrel Length: 2″
Twist: 1 in 16.5″
Length: 6.5″
Height: 4.28″
MSRP $430.00

Editor Review

Another Snubby? … Maybe Not

As a shooting instructor in Ohio, it is easy to take note of the guns students choose for concealed carry. Few, if any, are as common as the lightweight short-barreled revolver, which is known far and wide as the “snubby.”

In this case, the gun being reviewed is the Taurus model 85 Ultra-Lite, which is an excellent example of the breed.  All of the Taurus 85 variations are nearly identical mechanically and have the same basic handling characteristics as the Ultra-Lite. So, if the lightweight choice isn’t for you, finding another option among the various model 85 offerings is easy.

The sample gun has a nice deep blued finish and is rated for + P .38 special ammunition. While the gun itself might easily handle a diet of hot ammunition, the lightweight makes shooting any of the hotter offerings a true test of shooting skills. That means most owners carry the gun a lot, but only shoot it a little.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

Based on the Smith and Wesson standard, the levers, sights and manual of arms for the little Taurus are familiar to anyone that has handled a revolver in the last 50 years.  From the factory, Taurus fits the Ultra-Lite with a medium sized set of rubber grips, a great option that will save many owners the cost of buying replacement grips.

The cylinder release and hammer spur have checkering that is rough enough to offer a good gripping surface but not so rough as to wear on fingers and clothing.

Despite the relatively low price, the Taurus offers excellent fit and finish.  But, fit and finish isn’t what makes a good concealed carry gun.

But is it reliable?

Unless the gun goes bang each time the trigger is pulled, it is useless as a self-defense tool because your life may truly depend on it. Reliability is an area where the Taurus truly excels due to the mechanical simplicity of its revolvers. They are also simple to operate for the first five or six shots depending on the specific gun’s capacity.

In every range session with the Taurus over a month-long period it was reliable to the point of being boring.

Since the rear sight is little more than a groove in the revolver’s top strap, accurate shooting at distances beyond 15 feet can be challenging. Adding to the difficulty is substantial recoil with all but the tamest .38 special loads. Still, the gun performs up to the standard of other snubby revolvers, which are designed as up close and personal defense tools.

Options for how to carry a lightweight snubby are nearly unlimited. Pocket carry is one of the more popular options, but it should be noted that a holster with a trigger guard is still recommended to keep the gun from firing inadvertently.

The Verdict

Simply stated, the combination of size, weight and stopping power make the Taurus Model 85 snubby a great concealed carry option for civilians and off-duty law enforcement officers.

If you are looking for a carry revolver, make sure to try one out – you won’t be disappointed.

Source: http://www.guns.com/reviews/taurus-model-85/

33 thoughts on “Taurus 85 Revolver

  1. I have this same one but it has rosewood handle with the gold hammer & trigger it is one beautiful 38 special and back in those days it even came with a nice case with red velvet inside . I know a lot of people do not like the TAURUS brand but for the money you cant go wrong . Plus if you need to use it you better make sure that the person is within the 5 to 10 yard range or you will be in trouble with the law.

  2. Mine is a 6-shot 32 H&R magnum. With the right factory loads, it matches the best of the 38+p loads and there are 6 shots.

  3. I have a model 85 that I will use for concealed carry
    Shoots nice and my wife even likes it.
    Question. Do they make a lazer sight for the model 85,
    any help or suggestions.

  4. I don’t own one, but I do have the Taurus PT99 and it’s a good looking, well made pistol. Many people who are ignorant to it’s history think it’s simply a knock-off of the Beretta PT92, but they are selling the gun and the brand short.

  5. I purchased my Model 85 Taurus several years ago, and it came with six ported holes at the top of the barrel. It does reduce recoil, and makes it much easier for my wife to handle. Magna-Port can do a similar job. Wish Taurus still made the M85 ported.

  6. I have two of the five-shot Taurus revolvers, and I have shot them extensively with a variety of loads—I have never had a failure to fire or a stuck case. Depending on what I am wearing, I have them in am urban carry g-2 holster, a versacarry IWB holster or a pocket holster (it covers the trigger guard but leaves the handle exposed in the pocket.) They are great self-defense guns without the high sticker price. (I also have a S&W with a four inch barrel, but that I keep in the house.) The S&W is much smoother (But I’ve also had it over 20 years) but the Taurus works just fine.

  7. My wife picked one of these many years ago – and carried it the rest of her life. It was always reliable. Lead semi wad cutters for the range, CorBon +P JHPs for carry. The Crimson Trace lasergrips are a fine addition. That Taurus 85UL is now my granddaughter’s carry gun – still 100% reliable.

    1. Quilty firearm, dependable always ready to do the things it was designed to do, my backup. I like the stainless model.

  8. My only complaint with this review is that (other than the pretty pictures) almost the entire piece is a generic review of snub nose revolvers with very little about what (if anything) distinguishes the Taurus 85UL from the rest of the pack.

  9. I have an RG 40 which is a .38 special. This gun lives in my bug out bag and is cheap enough that I don’t have to worry about it. As you stated as long as it goes bang every time you pull the trigger and the bullet lands where you point it you are in good shape. I carry a variety of different loads for it from shot loads to defensive hollowpoints and hardball. That way I change my loads for the specific game or threat

  10. I have a Taurus 65 (.38/=p/.357 Mag). Almost the same as the 85. Given the barrel length, the gun’s accuracy beyond 15′, and the gun’s primary purpose (close range self defense) I fail to see a reason for a front sight. It is something that can snag when drawing the weapon from’ concealment. (I use a IWB Versacarry.) The 65 is “heavy,” but even with the additional weight, standard .357 mags are rough on the hands; perhaps the reason the light weight 85 is not rated for .357s. Standard range .38s are a breeze.

  11. I have the Taurus 605 SS, an identical looking 2″ snub nosed revolver with a stainless steel frame capable of shooting .357 rounds (as well as .38 Special and .38 Special +P). It’s a bit heavier with the stainless frame but necessary with the potent .357 round.
    I wasn’t sure what to expect with this little snub nose, but it’s amazing accurate for a 2″ barrel (I have no trouble putting all 5 shots in the bullseye at 7 yds), and 100% reliable. Shooting the .357 can be a bit punishing, but .38 Special is pretty comfortable.
    It’s not exactly the type of handgun that you shoot for pleasure, but I’m sure the .357 will definitely do it’s job if ever needed.

  12. I purchased this little booger last month at Gun Broker auction. I was lucky enough to get it for $245.00.
    I also own a 1994 Rossi M88 all steel 2 inch 38 speacial. Its good for concealment, but it is very heavy, and it doesn’t take plus P.
    Thought i would take a chance with the auction.
    Since owning this weapon, I’ve put through about 600 rounds, she shoots outstanding!
    Great little piece …fires the Plus P’s well.

    MelB
    USMC/RET

  13. I love this revolver, out of the box I was shooting 2” groups at 15’ , I shot better than I did with my EDC , it’s a great pistol for the price fit and finish we’re great .

  14. It is a nice looking pistol. It looks alot like the Judge,i’m a 45 cal I.man myself.I first got hooked on the 45 cal.in the Army and loved knock down power and range,especially with a 250 grain load.I used to deer hunt with a Taurus 357 magnum with 7 inch barrell,very accurate with glow sights. Revolvers are the best hand gun there is,if you can’t take care of a problem in 5-6 shots,you don’t deserve a gun. I was raised and tought 1 bullet,one kill.

  15. My 85, matte stainless version not the light weight, was defective. 9 rounds fired, furst time at rhe range the trigger failed to reset. Took Taurus 3 months to replace everything with “trigger” in the name.. It seems to work now but it is nit fun to shoot with standard ammo, too much recoil, I cannot imagine using + p.

  16. I have two taurus 85, both early 80’s. 2 inch, and a special 3 inch. Both Stainless and I carry and ride with both.

  17. It has been my experience Taurus guns are Garbage! Had a Judge supposed to be Stainless. Frame RUSTED .obviously not %100 Stainless. Had a problem with a 7 shot magnum .rebound. spring went bad fairly new gun .

  18. I’ve own a Taurus 85 variation not listed in the article or comments; yet still in production: the 856. Yes, it’s best feature cannot be found in any same size S/W (which is the main reason. I ordered one) & that’s the 6 shot capacity. A nice finish, great factory trigger, and practiced with enough to know its dependable. I’ve got other handguns, but my 856 is always loaded & ready when needed.

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