It seems the end of the road has come for the Taurus View. According to the Taurus USA website, the Model 85VTA – or the View – is no longer in production.
Farewell or Good Riddance?
This should not much of a surprise to many observers of the gun industry. The View was an interesting exercise in “how small can we make it” thinking, but suffered from an inherent lack of shootability.
It was therefore seen by many as just another gimmick coming from a company that has struggled with quality control issues for many years. The addition of the clear plastic side plate only served to further the opinion that the gun was little more than a marketing ploy.
What Was the Taurus View
If you are not familiar with the View, it was a clearly different revolver first introduced in December of 2013. It was shown to large audiences the following month at the SHOT Show 2014. At its core, the gun is a chopped version of the already small Model 85 revolver.
The standard-pressure-only .38 Special gun had an exceptionally short barrel: 1.41″. I questioned what effect that would have on stabilizing the bullets in addition to the obvious reduction in velocity. I had seen bullets keyhole at 15 yards from “full size” Model 85 revolvers.
At only 9 ounces, the gun would be light to carry, but I likewise feared that the recoil could pull bullets that were not heavily crimped and cause the cylinder to hang. Plus, the tiny grip would be difficult to hold even without the monstrous recoil generated by the light-frame, short-barrel gun.
Reviews of the revolver from Massad Ayoob and others tended to confirm my fears.
Said to be the brainchild of former Taurus USA president Mark Kresser, it was one of only a few new guns introduced during his tenure as the head of the company. However, the fact that Kresser and Taurus parted ways only a few months after the introduction of the View probably had more to do with Taurus (Brazil) being purchased by CBC than it does with this gun.
Prior to Kresser’s management, the company seemingly would introduce a dozen or more new products at every SHOT Show in a “let’s see what works” approach. From this, we saw some winners like the Taurus Judge and some losers like the Raging Judge in 28 gauge. However, there were complaints among some of the Taurus customer base that quality control was substandard.
When Kresser took over Taurus in 2011, there were hopes within the gun community that Taurus would be come a top-tier organization. According to all accounts, Kresser did make improved customer service and quality control top priorities. With a lack of new product offerings during the past few years, I presumed that Taurus was focusing on these areas rather than R&D.
When the View was announced, I did not see it as a genuine attempt to bring a good gun to the market. It looked like pure marketing to me. Since the gun has been discontinued, I can only assume that consumers didn’t want it and the new company owners were all-too-happy to cut it from the line.
With only about a year of production, I would guess that this could become a minor collector’s piece should you come across a deal on one. Since the revolver was on the cover of the 2014 Taurus catalog, you might want to find one of those to go with it.
Taurus View Specifications
|Sights||fixed: front ramp, rear notch|
Fare-the-well, Taurus View. We’ll see you in articles about retro guns in 10-20 years from now.
Last Update: June 26, 2022