New Addition: Taurus 85FS

Just before New Years I received an email alert for a sale on the Taurus 85FS revolver. I have steered clear of the Taurus revolvers because I have heard too many negatives about them and their reliability but for $200 and $7.99 shipping I decided to give it a try (Yes, I know I am not supposed to be spending money on guns right now).

To be perfectly honest, this little revolver may end up being a gift. Between some physical challenges associated with ageing and a general lack of familiarity with anything mechanical my Mom has trouble manipulating semi-automatics. Revolvers are much simpler and, for her, easier to understand. Because she is pretty small a J-Frame fits her hands very well and she likes the feel. My concern is that the recoil will be too much for her so I was thinking about a .22 LR but then I saw the 85FS.

The Taurus is an all steel .38 Special revolver that weighs in at 21 ounces. That much mass could tame the recoil enough for her to handle it more easily and .38 Special is definitely a more potent rounds than .22 LR although the .22 would give her an extra three rounds on tap. If it works for her, I’ll give it to her and if not…well I do love snub-nosed revolvers.

I will post again when I get this little guy out to the range but I thought I would share my initial thoughts.

Taurus 85FS

The 85FS came in a cardboard box and wrapped in a plastic bag. That’s probably a good thing because it was soaked with some sort of lubricant or corrosion inhibitor. To be honest it was kid of gross until I was able to give it a good cleaning but once all the goo was gone this is a pretty attractive revolver. I really like the look of the fully shrouded ejection rod. The finish is a matte black almost like a parkerized finish. While it is not for everyone I find that finish to be attractive and tend to buy black revolvers when they are available.

Like most snubbies it has a fixed front sight and integrated gutter rear sight. The front sight is particularly tough to pick up with the matte finish but this can be corrected with a bit of pain, nail polish or even a bit of Wite-Out. The grip is pretty comfortable and feels good in the hand. No idea how it will feel under recoil though and that’s what is most important.

What really surprised me was the trigger. I was expecting a horrible trigger but it seems really nice. It is smooth and feels pretty light for a stock trigger. I will be very interested to see how reliably it works. I worry that such a light trigger will lead to light primer strikes. I have seen that with some of the Apex trigger kits I have installed on my Smith & Wesson revolvers.

Although the spec sheet says the 85FS weighs in at 21 ounces my scale showed it to weigh in a little over that at 22.52 ounces. Maybe the new math they teach these days is different but back when I was in school this would round up to 22 not down to 21…

By comparison the Smith & Wesson Airweight weighs in at 14.46 ounces.

For me, the difference in weight felt good. It wasn’t too heavy and I could see this little revolver riding comfortably on a belt all day long. It might be a touch porky for pocket carry and it is a good bit lighter than the SP101 in .357 Magnum that I have which weighs in at 25.36 ounces.

As I may have mentioned, I can’t wait to take this little revolver to the range and see how it shoots. I am also looking forward to taking my mom out and seeing how she does with a revolver. My plan is to bring a .22 LR as well as a few others and let her start with the .22 and see if she can handle a .38 Special. If not, I’ll be looking for a good deal on a new rimfire revolver for her.

God bless

5 thoughts on “New Addition: Taurus 85FS

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    If the front sight ramp is black, take rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and clean the serrations of the ramp. Then take typewriter correction fluid and with care, paint the front sight ramp white. If you are sloppy, use some masking tape on the sides and all around the ramp. Then paint with the correction fluid. The fluid reflects light. If rain or regular cleaning of the revolver messes up the correction fluid, simply peel it off or wipe it down to remove it, and repaint the correction fluid onto the serrations of the front sight ramp. Snubnoses are fast pointing revolvers. Remember to RAISE the sights UP TO your line of vision, never lowering your head. The rear partridge and front sight, levels across the TOP, with front sight centered. You are on target from ten feet to fifty feet, and may need to raise the point of aim, keeping the same sight alignment, for distances beyond fifty feet. Different ammunition will perform differently. Standard Velocity 158 gr. LSWC, should perform very smoothly and flawlessly. The rubber grips are a hunk, but tames any recoil. If you do obtain wood service grips, all you need beyond that, would be a Tyler T-Grip, and you are set. Many holsters are available and many holsters work very nicely with .38 Special snubnose revolvers. In fact, if you place your thumbnail under the hammer, the gun can be drawn without a holster from a coat pocket. Odds and Ends, where some things are not optimum, you could have the action HONED, but leave the trigger weight at 8.0#, as Winchester primers require that weight to ignite. Federal requires 7.5# trigger weight. Honing makes the action smooth, especially around the rebound slide. You do not want a hair trigger, and I suggest Double Action firing.
    To Combat Reload, fire the weapon. Activate the thumb piece and open the cylinder with the left hand middle index finger and ring finger. Twist your torso at the hips, to the right, while pushing the ejector rod. The snubnose has a short ejector rod, and inertia will discharge empty shell casings. Then bring the gun to the ammunition, on you belt, and load the cylinder. Speed loader, Speed Strips, or manually 2x2x2. Flutes on the cylinder indexes your reloading, even in the dark. The with the left thumb, close, NOT SLAMMING, the cylinder shut. I detail stripped revolvers to clean, so get a manual and learn. Lightly lube and remove excess lube. Very cold weather, I used to clean with K-1 kerosene and a little powdered graphite and pencil graphite. A little goes a very long way. Train your hand and eye coordination for the revolver with empty hand, pointing your finger at objects but never photos of loved ones, because that “green lights” people as targets psychologically. Point to the door knob. Point to the clock on the wall. You get what I mean. Bring the hand up into your line of sight, line of vision. Then with a confirmed empty revolver, do the same, and you are instantly on target. With an unsharpened pencil, hold in your hand and depress the eraser like a trigger, stroking the eraser. Your hand is trained for revolver trigger operation. Not pulling. Not jerking. Smoothly stroking, always.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I hope it works out for your Mom. I just know that with my S&W 642 recoil can be mild to fierce depending on the ammo chosen. A couple of days at the range with a variety of ammo should enable you to nail down the combo that works best for her. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Joe. She consistently tells me that recoil doesn’t bother her the complexity of a semi auto and the dexterity and strength required does. She’s done a little tabletop practice with them and we’ll see how she does at the range.


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