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Return of the Taurus 942

Taurus 942 Revolver

Taurus is expected to bring the 942 line of revolvers back at the 2020 SHOT Show.

The new versions of the classic wheelguns will be offered in models for both .22 LR and .22 WMR cartridges, but no convertible revolvers are expected at this time.

In addition to the caliber choices, shooters will be able to select from a wide range of finishes, frames and barrel lengths.

Here are the options that will be available:

 

942 2" barrel

942 3" barrel

942UL 2" barrel

942UL 3" barrel

942M 2" barrel

942M 3" barrel

942M UL 2" barrel

942M UL 3" barrel

caliber

.22 LR

.22 LR

.22 LR

.22 LR

.22 WMR

.22 WMR

.22 WMR

.22 WMR

capacity

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

action

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

barrel length

2"

3"

2"

3"

2"

3"

2"

3"

overall length

6.6"

7.6"

6.6"

7.6"

6.6"

7.6"

6.6"

7.6"

height

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

weight

23.6 oz

25.0 oz

17.8 oz

18.8 oz

23.6 oz

25.0 oz

17.8 oz

18.8 oz

frame

alloy or stainless steel

alloy or stainless steel

aluminum

aluminum

alloy or stainless steel

alloy or stainless steel

aluminum

aluminum

finish

matte black or stainless

matte black or stainless

matte black, stainless or anodized colors

matte black, stainless or anodized colors

matte black or stainless

matte black or stainless

matte black, stainless or anodized colors

matte black, stainless or anodized colors

grip

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

MSRP

not available

not available

not available

not available

not available

not available

not available

not available

As you can see in the above table, the company will offer these guns with both steel and aluminum frames. The aluminum has the obvious benefit of decreased weight while the steel frame can offer a longer life for frequent shooters.

As with other guns that have been introduced by Taurus in recent years, the new 942 revolvers will be available in a variety of finishes. On the steel frames, shooters can select either a matte black or stainless finish. Aluminum guns have these choices and expand the palate to include a number of anodized colors.

Exact anodized colors have not been announced, but the company’s 856 line of revolvers is suggestive of the possibilities. That line includes vibrant colors like azure, rouge, bronze and burned orange. Likewise, the Taurus Spectrum .380 ACP pistols have a significant number of color options.

There are many common features in this gun line. For example, all guns have spurred hammers and can be shot in either double-action or single-action modes.

Another common feature is that the front sight is a pinned, black ramp while the rear sight is a plain black, drift adjustable notch.

All of the guns have an 8-shot capacity. The guns are also fitted with the standard Taurus rubber grip with the bull logo at the rounded bottom.

I believe these may be the first new guns to feature the company’s new location on them. In 2019, Taurus began a move from Miami, FL to Bainbridge, GA. I’m sure there are a range of reasons for the move, but I know that labor costs, property costs and local taxes are substantially less in the new location.

I’m hoping the company experiences a significant reduction in overhead costs and can reinvest the money back into its quality control processes. The company offers a lot of interesting designs at very affordable prices. However, it has been my experience that the quality of the guns has been very hit-or-miss. If the company can get its QC issues – be they real or just perceived – it can see huge success in the coming years.

I do not have an official word on the pricing of the new 942 revolvers. However, my sources believe the MSRP will be around $350 or less.

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news

Taurus 856: Return of a Classic Revolver

Taurus 856 revolver

[Editor’s note: Taurus announced the new Defender 856 at the 2020 SHOT Show. The new guns are +P rated with a 3″ barrel and a front night sight.]

Taurus USA announced the return of the Model 856 revolver.

While the gun is interesting on its own, I find that it is an even more compelling introduction when it is put head-to-head with the Colt Cobra. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s first take a look at what the gun is.

Just the Facts

At its most basic, the Taurus 856 is a 6-shot, compact revolver with a steel frame. It comes in at less than 1.5 pounds unloaded and is chambered for the venerable .38 Special cartridge.

The gun has sights typical to concealed carry revolvers of this size: a fixed front ramp with a trench-style rear that is integral to the frame and top strap.

Taurus uses a set of its own rubber stocks on the gun. I’ve not had a chance to shoot a gun with these grips yet, but they look to be an improvement over some of the grips the company used in the past. The profile looks similar to Pachmayr Compac grips I’ve used occasionally on my Smith & Wesson J-frames.

(Update: Taurus will introduce new frame colors for the 856 at the 2019 SHOT Show.)

Six Shots or Only Five?

When Dirty Harry asked that question, he was talking about the rounds in his 6-shot .44 Magnum. But a lot of cops were asking themselves the same question when that movie was released. Should their backup gun hold six shots, or only five?

While many compact wheel guns use a 5-shot cylinder to decrease the gun’s width, there are a lot of people who are hesitant to give up that extra round of ammunition in their defensive handgun.

Guns like the Colt Cobra battled the 5-shot J-frames from Smith & Wesson for position in the ankle holsters of cops in the 60s and 70s. That single extra round of ammo made the decision easy for a lot of lawmen. A little extra width and weight were a cheap price for 20% more firepower.

With the renewed interest in the compact revolver, companies have expanded their wheelgun offerings in recent years. This includes Colt, that rolled out its updated Cobra in 2017.

Bull vs. Snake

The new Taurus 856 is a direct competitor to the new Cobra. Both are compact, steel-frame revolvers with 6-shot cylinders.

There are differences, of course. Here’s a look at some of their specs:

Taurus 856Colt Cobra
caliber.38 Special.38 Special
capacity6 rounds6 rounds
actiondouble action/single actiondouble action/single action
barrel length2"2"
overall length6.55"7.2"
unloaded weight22.1 oz25.0 oz
frame materialcarbon steel or stainless steelstainless steel
height4.8"4.9"
width1.41"1.40"
sightsserrated front ramp, fixed trench style rearfiber optic front, fixed trench style rear
gripTaurus branded rubberHogue Overmolded
finishmatte blue or matte stainlessmatte finish
MSRP$329$699

While I would prefer the Colt’s fiber optic sight to the Taurus’s serrated ramp, the specs seem to heavily favor the Model 856 when you factor in the final comparison: the price.

The Colt Cobra is more than twice the price of the Taurus 856.

I would never buy a self-defense handgun on price alone. However, the huge price difference is likely to sway many people standing at a gun counter.

For me, the key differences are the ones not listed in the spec chart above. What kind of reliability can I expect out of each gun? How smooth is the trigger? Does the gun feel good in my hand?

Those are things that I can only determine through testing of the guns.

Final Thoughts

Taurus USA and its parent company have been through some rough years. I don’t know if the bad times are truly behind them, but I do like the guns I’ve seen announced at the SHOT Show this year. The guns expand on the company’s best lines and are interesting enough to bring in new buyers.

The Model 856 seems to be introduced with the same reasoning. It is a known winner and is competing in a popular niche with relatively little direct competition: compact, 6-shot revolvers. With such an inexpensive MSRP, I suspect these guns will be good sellers.

If Taurus quality control can keep these guns in the hands of its customers and out of the repair center, I think this gun can go a long way in restoring trust to the Taurus brand.

Categories
news

Taurus Raging Hunter: .44 Magnum Hunting Revolver

Taurus Raging Hunter

Taurus announced its latest addition to its hunting revolver line: the Raging Hunter. It will be officially unveiled at the 2018 SHOT Show.

This massive .44 Magnum is a 6-shot wheelgun with a traditional double action/single action trigger. However, the gun has a distinctly non-traditional look about it.

To start with, the 8.375″ barrel is a two piece design with a steel sleeve inside of an aluminum housing. The housing has an octagonal shape with a large slab sides. “TAURUS” is spelled out along the side. The barrel housing also has a deep black finish that contrasts the matte stainless frame. An all blued version of the gun is also available.

barrel of the Taurus Raging Hunter

Lest you think the barrel assembly is purely for show, it does have some features that may appeal to you. For example, the aluminum housing helps to lighten the load to provide a better balance to the gun. Also, the top of the barrel housing has a Picatinny rail for the addition of a scope or red dot optic.

Taurus also elected to port the barrel of the Raging Hunter. This should help tame the power of the .44 Magnum so that us older shooters who have begun to develop arthritis don’t feel quite as much of the recoil impulse. The porting should help keep muzzle rise down and improve the ability to get on target.

Also helping to tame recoil is the “red stripe” grip that Taurus uses on its heavy recoiling guns. This grip is made of a soft rubber with a red cushioned insert along the back. I’ve found these grips to be fairly good at lessening the impact into the hand when shooting.

grips on the Raging Hunter

Using an aluminum barrel housing may help reduce weight as compared to an all steel system, but this gun is not a featherweight. Unloaded it weighs 55 ounces. That’s about 3.5 pounds.

Taurus set the suggested retail price at $919 for the handgun. Your dealer may be willing to sell it for less.

caliber.44 Magnum
capacity6 rounds
actiondouble action/single action
barrel length8.375"
overall length15.75"
weight55 ounces
height7.1"
width1.8"
sightspinned front, adjustable rear, Picatinny rail for optic
griprubber with cushioned insert
finishblued and matte stainless or all blued
MSRP$919

The “Raging” moniker is not new for Taurus. Several of the company’s more powerful revolvers have had Raging as part of the name. For example, the Raging Judge Magnum was a wheelgun that expanded the .45 Colt/.410 bore Judge revolver line to include the .454 Casull cartridge.

Probably my favorite Raging revolver was the ill-fated Raging Judge XXVIII. It was a revolver chambered for the 28 gauge shotshell. Alas, it appeared Taurus could not make the design work under the legal constraints of the US government and had to shelf the project. At least I got to see one before it was pulled from public view. I imagine it is stored in the same warehouse where the Ark of the Covenant is kept after Indian Jones rescued it from Nazi Germany.

Categories
news

Taurus 692 Multi-Caliber Revolver: .38, .357 and 9mm

Taurus 692

Rumors of a multi-caliber revolver being introduced at the SHOT Show are true. Say hello to the Taurus 692.

The Model 692 is a revolver that is chambered in .357 Magnum. As most shooters know, you can shoot .38 Special loads from a .357 Magnum wheelgun. The twist, however, is that you can also shoot common 9mm rounds through this gun with the use of a conversion cylinder.

Quick Note

Some readers have contacted me saying they cannot find these locally. At the time of this update, here is the best priced selection of in-stock M692 revolvers:

Taurus already offers a 9mm revolver, though it cannot shoot other cartridges from the gun. (Read more on the Taurus 905.) The 692 is designed to give your greater cartridge flexibility with a single gun purchase.

Swapping a revolver’s cylinder is easy and takes just a minute with a screwdriver. One of the things I like about the cylinders on this gun is that they are unfluted. Generally, I like a fluted cylinder, but the unfluted version looks good on this gun.

Taurus 692 revolver

Taurus offers the 692 in two different barrel lengths: a 3″ model for concealed carry and a longer 6.5″ model for target shooting and fun at the range. Interestingly, Taurus elected to port the barrels on this model. The porting should help reduce muzzle rise and felt recoil, though it is possible this could increase the visible flash in low light.

Both versions of the revolver are available in either a matte black or matte stainless finish.

Although many people still refer to revolvers as six shooters, the Taurus 692 is not. It is a seven shooter. In both the 9mm and the .38/.357 cylinders, you have seven rounds. For the 9mm shooter, Taurus includes its stellar clips so the rounds are easily loaded and the empty cases can be extracted without any problems.

Taurus model 692

Up front, Taurus uses a pinned ramp sight. An adjustable rear sight is standard.

The Taurus 692 is a double-action gun that can be cocked for single-action shooting. The spurred hammer is fully exposed.

The suggested retail price on this gun is $659. Your dealer sets the final price, so I imagine you could get out the door with a Model 692 for less than $600.

caliber.38 Special/.357 Magnum, 9mm
capacity7 rounds
actiondouble action/single action
barrel length3", 6.5"
weight35 ounces (3" barrel), 46 ounces (6.5" barrel)
sightspinned ramp front, adjustable rear
gripTaurus Ribber Grip
finishmatte black or matte stainless
MSRP$659

Update from the SHOT Show

Taurus 692 at SHOT Show

The 692 was on display at the 2018 SHOT Show. The gun was pretty much as described, porting and all. The one thing I didn’t like was the huger “TRACKER” logo down the left side of the barrel assembly. Otherwise, the gun looked good. Early indications show a lot of interest in this revolver, so I am expecting to see Taurus sell a good number of them.

2019 Update

Yes, the Model 692 made it into production and can be purchased now. I know that the company has failed to deliver some announced guns in the past (28 gauge Judge cough, cough,) but this one is real.

Disclosure

GunsHolstersAndGear.com is a for-profit website. I do not charge readers a dime to access the information I provide.

Some of the links on this page and site are affiliate links to companies like Amazon and Palmetto State Armory. These links take you to the products mentioned in the article. Should you decide to purchase something from one of those companies, I make a small commission.

The links do not change your purchase price. I do not get to see what any individual purchases.

Categories
Handguns

Good News – Taurus Now Shipping the Spectrum

Taurus Spectrum Shipping

Taurus USA announced on its Facebook page that the company is now shipping the Spectrum pistol. (Update: You can read my Taurus Spectrum review here. At the 2019 SHOT Show, I will try to track down someone at Taurus who will be willing to comment on the problems I’ve experienced with the gun.)

Taurus made the announcement on December 22, narrowly beating an “end of the year” deadline that I was told the company was working toward.

The Spectrum was officially announced at the 2017 SHOT Show, though I previously broke the news about the gun last December. The gun was slated for a first quarter release, but was delayed. I spoke with a company representative about the delays and was told that Taurus decided to make some improvements to the pistol prior to shipping. These improvements required additional testing to ensure customers would be happy with the end result.

It was at that time I was told the company was hoping to have them out by year’s end.

It is a .380 ACP pistol that has a number of design elements that may appeal to shooters. This includes a shape based on extensive ergonomic testing and research, the use of soft overmolds and the use of a magazine extension that works with the size of a pinky.

However, the most eye catching feature of these new guns is the wide variety of color options available. When announced the basic colors would cost only $289.

I have been critical of Taurus in the past, but I also judge every gun based on its own merits. I look forward to testing these and hope Taurus has a winner on its hands. Regardless, you will get an honest gun review from me on it.

Update: My local gun shop was able to order me an all black version of the Spectrum. I have it in my safe now, and will be testing it in the coming weeks.