Convertible Taurus 85

Taurus was showing a new convertible revolver at the 2015 SHOT Show. The new version of the classic Model 85 has a thumb spur that (intentionally) twists on and off. The concept, as explained to me by a Taurus rep, is the revolver can be made “hammerless” for concealed carry but revert back to a standard spurred gun when at the range.

But does this really make sense from a self-defense perspective? Here’s my take…

The idea of a removable hammer spur is an interesting one and certainly the best new thing Taurus was showing at SHOT. Between a curved gun with extremely limited usefulness and a new TCP with wings, the convertible revolver looked like a bold injection of sanity into the Taurus version of Wonderland.

But, comparing an idea to insanity does not prove the idea itself really makes any sense.

From the perspective of self-defense, I would argue that consistency in practice is important. Training with¬†your carry gun at the range by cocking every shot and shooting it single action doesn’t really help when carrying the gun spurless – essentially double-action-only – in your pocket. To¬†maximize your chances of hitting an attacker in a violent encounter, I’d suggest that practicing shooting the gun in double-action mode only.

Since a revolver with a 2″ barrel isn’t generally a top choice for competitive or recreational shooting, I don’t know how many people would want to swap back and forth anyway.

Caliber.38 Special +P.38 Special +P.38 Special +P.38 Special +P
Barrel Length2″2″2″2″
Overall Length6.5″6.5″6.5″6.5″
Frame Materialsteelsteelaluminumaluminum
Weight21 oz21 oz17 oz17 oz
There are four versions of the Model 85 with a convertible hammer that are part of the initial introduction. Frame material (steel or aluminum) and finish (blued or stainless) are the options available. All of the guns have fixed sights: a ramp front and notch rear.

I guess my bottom line is I want to like the convertible feature of the new Taurus 85 revolvers. However, I don’t know if it is a particularly useful feature. If the spur is durable and the additional production cost doesn’t jack up the retail price by more than $5 or $10, I might opt for one if I was buying a Taurus revolver. I just don’t know that I would ever convert the gun back and forth much, if ever.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh on a good idea? What’s your thoughts on how you would use a gun with a removable hammer spur?

Cancelled Before It Started…

The Model 85 Convertible appears to be another of Taurus’s announcements that they failed to follow through on. The guns were shown in the company’s catalog, but they do not seem to have ever been released in the U.S.

If anyone ever saw (or owned) a Taurus 85 convertible, can you leave a comment in the section below? I’d love to hear your range report and review on it.

Last Update: October 17, 2022

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

3 replies on “Convertible Taurus 85”

For taking the gun into the woods as a kit gun the idea might have merit. But ideally you’d want adj. sights and maybe a 3″ bbl.

Still though, there are more uses for little revolvers than just concealed carry.

I personally like a revolver with a hammer (if you have the advantage of time- that first shot is a much lighter trigger pull than the others)- As far as CCW- it doesn’t show that much, it’s more of a hindrance thing where the hammer can get caught on something- a problem more inherent in a woman’s purse than in a holster on the waist.- I only have revolvers because they are simple, less to go wrong, easy to maintain- last thing I need is a hammer that comes off. Most enthusiasts will just buy separate pistols. Not a bad idea, just not one I embrace

I like idea but I’m not having any luck finding one.The one advantage I think you overlooked was if you want to get rid of it. The possible appeal to both folks that like hammerless and etc.

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