In today’s review, I take a look at the Taurus 905: a small frame 9mm revolver. The term “9mm revolver” may seem like an oxymoron because wheel guns don’t chamber rimless cartridges, right? Well, the 905 does.
Believe it or not, there have been a number of revolvers designed for rimless cartridges. Some famous competition shooters, like Jerry Miculek, like to use them because of the incredibly fast reloads they can achieve using the full moon clips. See more on those below.
There have been a number of wheel guns chambered in 9×19, though not as many as you might think. At the time of this review, there are only two others on the market that I know of: the competition styled 929 from Smith & Wesson and the Pitbull from Charter Arms. Let’s take a look at the Taurus 905 and see how it stacks up.
The 905 is a steel-frame revolver with fixed sights and a 2” barrel, making it a competitor to other small concealed carry guns like the J-frame revolvers from Smith & Wesson.
Like the Smith & Wesson revolvers, the cylinder rotates counter-clockwise. The cylinder release operates by being pushed forward, toward the cylinder.
The 905 has a fully shrouded extractor rod with a full under-barrel lug. The additional weight at the end of the barrel helps with recoil and it also protects the rod from being bent while carrying.
The rear sight on the 905 is a notch in the frame, while the front sight is a fixed ramp. The front sight is black with serrations to help prevent glare.
The standard grips are hard rubber, and they cover the backstrap of the gun. For a compact revolver, the fill the hand as well as any other small grips do, and slightly better than some.
The 905 has an exposed hammer, allowing for single action shooting. The top of the hammer spur is aggressively textured, removing almost all chance of your thumb slipping off.
Full Moon & Real Clips
The 905 chambers the 9mm cartridge. What makes this unusual is the fact that the 9mm is a rimless cartridge. Most revolvers are designed for rimmed cartridges.
The rim is what catches onto the edge of the cylinder and ejector star allowing the cartridge to seat properly. The same rim is what is used by the ejector star to extract the fired brass from the cylinder.
A rimless cartridge does not have the needed rim for proper seating into the cylinder or extraction after firing. While there are a few alternatives, the most popular method of using rimless cartridges in a revolver is by the use of full-moon clips.
These clips are thin pieces of metal that the rimless cartridges snap into. Then the entire clip with five rounds drops into the cylinder. The clips allow the cartridges to seat properly and the brass to be ejected after firing.
While rimless cartridge revolvers have never been mainstream, various manufacturers have made revolvers chambering the 9mm, .45 ACP and the .40 S&W. One of the most visible examples of this is the Smith & Wesson 625 revolver used by shooting champion Jerry Miculik.
The Taurus 905 revolver comes with five full-moon clips. The clips worked flawlessly with dummy rounds in dry firing exercises and with real cartridges on the range.
Reloads with the full-moon clips are much faster than with traditional rimed cartridges. However, loading and unloading the clips with the cartridges does take time. It is not a difficult process, however.
- Model – 905B2
- Caliber – 9mm
- Capacity – 5 rounds
- Barrel Length – 2”
- Overall Length – 6.5”
- Width – 1.38”
- Overall Height – 4.37”
- Weight (unloaded) – 22.2 oz
- MSRP – $433.00 (at the time of writing)
The Taurus 9mm revolver performed well on the range. Accuracy with the 2” gun was very good. All shots from all brands of ammo easily hit an 8” target at 15 yards. I did find that different brands of ammunition would group high or low, left or right depending on the load. If you pick up a 905 for self-defense, get a load you like, find where it groups and learn to compensate for any movement off center it may make.
The 905 offered a heavy but smooth double action trigger pull and a very clean single action pull. The DA trigger pull was heavier than my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge could measure. The gauge can measure up to 12 pounds.
Reliability of the 905 was very good. I only had one misfire, which happened in the first cylinder of ammunition I shot. On the fourth shot, the cartridge did not fire. Looking at the cartridge, I could tell the primer was dented, though it did not appear to be a deep strike.
The cartridge was from a new box of Remington 115 grain JHP (standard pressure) that I purchased at Walmart. I shot about 60 more rounds of ammo from that box (it was a 100 round box) through the Taurus without any problems. Additionally, I put several hundred more rounds of other brands/loads through the Taurus without any hiccups.
I cannot say for certain why the round failed to fire. I can say that the Taurus proved reliable through the hundreds of rounds that I shot after that one.
I enjoyed shooting the 905. Recoil is definitely sharper than a .38 Special (even +P), but not nearly as harsh as a .357 Magnum. I ran a variety of ammo through the gun, and none of it crated recoil that was unpleasant.
Recoil was felt most distinctly through the web of the hand where the upper part of the 905’s grip was. The recoil felt as if it was narrowly focused, which became uncomfortable after shooting many rounds.
The hard rubber grips cover that area (unlike a similar Smith & Wesson revolver), but they do not seem to be very effective at dampening the recoil. If Taurus modified the grips so that the upper backstop area was slightly wider and softer, I think that would improve extended shooting comfort greatly.
- Remington 115 gr JHP
- Winchester White Box 115 gr FMJ
- Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P
- Speer Gold Dot 147 gr
- Federal HST 124 gr +P
- Federal HST 147 gr +P
- Federal PBLE 115 gr +P+
The 9mm offers offers a significant power step-up as compared to the .38 Special, the typical round found in small frame revolvers. While short barreled handguns tend to bleed off velocity pretty quickly, the 9mm tends to turn in velocities several hundred feet per second faster than the .38 Special.
The Taurus 905 revolver was a fine shooting handgun, offering a nice balance of size and power.
For a concealed carry gun or a back up gun for a police officer, I think this Taurus would serve well. The weight is slightly more than an aluminum framed revolver of a similar size. However, the additional weight is not so much as to make it uncomfortable to carry all day.
If you are interested in carrying a 9mm revolver, I definitely suggest checking this gun out.
Surviving the Street: Guide to Concealed Carry of a Firearm
Essential information on concealed carry. This book has just the basics - not a lot of fluff to get bogged down in. Easy to read, Surviving the Street introduces the reader to the important information you need as an armed citizen.
The author presents frank information about self defense in a way that is easy to understand and use.