Taurus Model 85 Review: The Snubby Concealed Carry .38 Special +P Revolver

Summary


Taurus Model 85
Reliability

Reliability

Revolvers are the most reliable revolvers out there.

Accuracy

Accuracy

This revolver shoots pretty accurately. I was able to get some pretty tight groupings with it.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics

The rubber grips are excellent on this revolver.

looks

Looks

I like the way revolvers look. This one is pretty basic.

Customization

Customization

There really isn’t much you can add to this revolver.

Bang for your Buck

Bang for your Buck

These are very affordably priced, and they are good quality overall.

We Like

  • Safe. Revolvers are extremely safe to begin with, but Taurus added in a few other safety features to the Model 85 as well.
  • Fun to shoot. Revolvers are fun to shoot. The Model 85 is a good time, and it shoots accurately.
  • Reliable. This revolver will always shoot. You should clean it when you shoot it, but you can get away with not.

We Don't Like

  • Limited magazine capacity. For a defense revolver, 5 rounds is pretty limited. Carrying extra cylinders can be pretty annoying.

The Model 85 is a great option for a revolver. It shoots pretty well, is very affordable, and is a great size for concealed carry. It’s all around just a fun revolver to shoot, and the safety features will give you some peace of mind.

Looking to spice up your concealed carry game a little bit? Add a revolver into the mix! I really enjoy carrying a revolver, for a couple of different reasons. That’s a whole different story, but for today, we will focus on the first concealed carry revolver I ever had. While I eventually moved on to something different, the Taurus Model 85 still holds a place in my heart.

If you’d like to know more about this excellent little wheel gun, continue reading for a full review.

What is the Taurus Model 85 for?

The revolver is definitely meant for concealed carry, but there are a couple other uses for it as well. You could certainly use it for range shooting. Revolvers are just plain fun to shoot.

However, this is also an excellent nightstand gun for home defense. Revolvers are very versatile revolvers, and the Model 85 is a great choice.

Taurus Model 85 Review: Breakdown

Taurus doesn’t always have the best reputation when it comes to semiautomatic revolvers. However, with their revolvers, it’s a different story. They make some excellent quality revolvers. I’ve owned five different Taurus revolvers, and never had an issue with any of them.

Taurus Model 85 - 1

The Model 85 is a relatively small revolver, at only 4.28 inches tall. It shoots .38 Special, but is also rated for +P ammunition. It has a five round capacity, and weighs in around 20 ounces, dependent on the exact revolver chosen.

There are six different versions, with the primary differences being whether the revolver is made of polymer or stainless steel. I would always recommend stainless steel over polymer, especially when the weights are so similar between the two. Steel will be more reliable and durable.

There’s a lot to love about this revolver. The fact that it accepts +P ammunition is a huge positive, as it will allow you to shoot more deadly ammunition. For defense purposes, this is a huge positive.

If you do decide to go with the polymer frame version, it comes with a fiber optic front sight. This will save you from having to buy one aftermarket, and will increase your target acquisition speed.

The durability of this revolver is excellent. Polymer is very resistant to the elements, but I wouldn’t recommend a polymer revolver, personally. However, the stainless revolvers have a matte finish, and they’re extremely resistant to the elements as well.

Other pros of this revolver will be talked about later in this article, but they include the excellent grip and safety features.

Safety and Reliability

One of my favorite things about revolvers is that they are extremely safe. The Model 85 has an external hammer, so you must cock it before each shot. For the novice, this eliminates any potential of not knowing whether or not the revolver is ready to fire. You must do all of the work to fire the revolver.

Taurus Model 85 - 4

However, Taurus added in a few other safety features as well. First, they put in their Taurus Security System. This essentially uses a hex key to lock the gun. When the lock is engaged, you can’t cock the revolver, pull the trigger, or turn off the safety. Essentially, if you have kids, this makes it a very safe way to store the revolver. On the other hand, it’ll be harder to fire the revolver if need be, because you’ll have to unlock it first.

The revolver also incorporates a transfer bar, so that it’s impossible for it to fire without the trigger being pulled all the way. It really makes an already safe revolver even safer.

Another huge pro of revolvers is that they are incredibly reliable. Revolvers almost never jam. It’s nearly impossible. The long story short is that the Model 85 will always shoot, no matter what.

Taurus Model 85 Review: Comfort and Shootability

Like we mentioned before, this revolver offers some great comfort. It has molded rubber grips, which are extremely comfortable in the hand. The gun feels completely natural to raise, aim and fire.

The shootability is great. As with most revolvers, the trigger has a pretty long pull. However, this is to be expected, and will probably break in over time.

Taurus Model 85 - 3

The hammer is extremely smooth to cock, and it functions extremely well. Loading and unloading the cylinder is very easy, and the revolver is just all around easy to use and fun to shoot.

It performs well too. The accuracy is on par with what you’d expect, and the .38 Special +P ammunition is a great choice for self defense. There’s a reason that the FBI used it for so many years.

Accessories and Upgrades

If you’re going to be carrying this revolver, you’re going to need a holster. A simple inside the waistband holster like this one will work just fine.

Blackhawk - Tecgrip IWB Holster Small Revolver 2 Coyote Tan

Blackhawk - Tecgrip IWB Holster Small Revolver 2 Coyote Tan

Next up, you may want a fiber optic front sight. If you didn’t buy the polymer frame revolver, you’ll have to add it yourself. Here’s one option, but it may require some modification.

Marble Arms - Ruger Revolver Fiber Optic Front Sight

Marble Arms - Ruger Revolver Fiber Optic Front Sight

Buying a speedloader is always a good idea for a revolver. It’ll save you some time at the range.

HKS - Speedloader

HKS - Speedloader

Conclusion

The Model 85 is a great option for a revolver. It shoots pretty well, is very affordable, and is a great size for concealed carry. It’s all around just a fun revolver to shoot, and the safety features will give you some peace of mind.

1 thought on “Taurus Model 85 Review: The Snubby Concealed Carry .38 Special +P Revolver”

  1. I have an 85 UL, I sold my S&W 642 because I like the Taurus better. I am selling my SP101 in 38spcl too, I just like the Taurus better. I hope to get a Taurus 82 in the future.

Leave a Comment