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Thread: Taurus Public Defender problem (and questions!)

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    Taurus Public Defender problem (and questions!)

    Let me start off as saying that I have never owned a Taurus firearm, nor have I ever owned a revolver. I have handled and inspected a few Taurus' and handled and shot many revolvers, but have never purchased nor owned one. Recently I sold off a handgun to fund a Taurus Judge because I felt that it would be a more practical firearm for my application. I have wanted a Judge since their inception but its massive size limited me from making a serious purchase until the Public Defender model came out. As someone who is used to carrying a sub-compact semi-auto, I love how the PD handles, feels and carries compared to the larger full-sized models, and think this is a great step forward in making the Judge a more practical choice for SD.

    There is a used steel Public Defender in my local gunshop for $420. It appears to have very little use with only a little cosmetic damage. However, the cylinder is horribly sloppy, even in full lock-up. When in full lockup, in addition to being rather loose, each cylinder chamber is misaligned with the barrel by default when you inspect it with a flashlight down the barrel. This misalignment can be corrected by adjusting the considerable amount of slop in the cylinder but, when you click the cylinder to the next chamber it is again out of line by default. I don't see how this gun could possibly fire a solid .45 LC without shaving. That said, I've heard a lot about Taurus' customer service and it seems to be a hit-and-miss thing. One of the guys in the gun shop I was looking at said that he'd heard it was hit and miss, and the fellow who owns the gunshop was quick to say that the service was excellent and that he'd never had a problem. I've found both situations to be the case in my research. The fellow at the gunshop said that if I purchased the firearm on consignment from him, he would send the firearm in for me to be repaired if Taurus chose to repair it.  That being said, I guess what I am wondering is whether Taurus would repair this firearm to spec and how long the turnaround time would be. I guess my other question as a (prospective) new revolver owner is, if this firearm has had many rounds put through it with the cylinder being in this state, could it have sustained other damage that might be a problem down the road?

    That being aside, I have a few other not-as-important questions. Has anyone compared the Taurus Public Defender Poly to the steel model? If you have, how do they compare to each other in size/bulk? My other question is, I'd like to put a set of laser grips on this thing. I know the grip is smaller on the PD, would I be able to put a set of standard Judge laser grips on one or would it have to be a set of grips specifically made for the PD?

    Either way I'm planning on picking up one of these. Please don't take anything I've said the wrong way, I've seen some pretty contentious debates concerning Taurus firearms and I in no way intend to start something like that. I do not believe in brand allegiance. Just looking for some honest answers to some honest questions.

    Thanks!

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    Welcome from N Carolina!!!

    There currently aren't any lasers that fit the Poly. The Poly is the only Judge that I can actually shoot w/ my small hands. It has the flat, grooved trigger the others don't have.
    Last edited by whodog; 08-04-2012 at 04:59 PM.

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    Thanks for the welcome! I live in southern PA, have considered moving to NC many times. Beautiful area, and the people are decent.

    I agree, my hands are not particularly large nor are they small... my palms are rather large-ish but my fingers are long and thin. I guess you could say they are medium-sized. They have always favored sub-sized grips, and fit semi-automatics like the XD and 1911s particularly well.

    Drat on the Poly. Is there any word out on whether there are any grips availably for the steel Public Defender?

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    Doing my research, and it seems that I can't find grips even for the steel model Defender. Still curious as to whether anyone has compared the Poly and steel versions to each other. I like the idea of a poly pistol but I really like the size of the steel version, so if it's much bulkier to correct for material strength I'll probably stick with steel.

    Planning on calling Taurus tomorrow.

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    I think I'd pass up purchasing an obviously defective firearm from a LGS that admits it has a problem and was going to sell it that way. The LGS should have it fixed before even attempting to sell it JMHO.

    I would keep looking and pass on that one. Also, if you decide to purchase a new one, consider doing it from Davidson's (gallery of guns dot com) as they also have a lifetime warranty and will simply replace your firearm if there are any issues. Win win situation and it takes away any fears of Taurus CS if that's what your concerned about.

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    MissKitty; you are right. If I were the gunshop owner, even if the gun were not mine and it came in on consignment I would at the very least put a tag on the firearm saying that the cylinder was out of time. Perhaps I should just continue to look around for one that is in time, but it might be a while. The more I think about it the more I believe that I should probably just skip the fuss and muss of trying to find something used and just getting a brand new one.

    There is a gun shop near me who orders through Davidsons. I have not been to that gun shop yet but have been wanting to go check it out for years. I may have to stop out there this week. Thanks!

    Still curious as to whether anyone has compared the poly to the steel, so if anyone has done it yet please let me know!

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    Actually, the owner, whether a shop or individual, should send it back to Taurus for repair. It looks like you are already on the right track with knowing how to inspect a revolver.

    $420 for a used PD seems a little high to be. The Judges have been coming down in price ever since S&W brought out their Governor. New Poly PD's are running about $390 around here, but I would guess the steel versions are slightly higher. I paid $419 for my 4" barreled, 2.5" chamber, SS full size Judge about 3 years ago on sale. Taurus is running a sale now and they have the Poly PD with a nice Pelican/Storm case with a revolver cutout and survival kit included for $399.
    4 Dead in Benghazi while Cowards watched. 4 Dead in Benghazi while the Media hid. 4 Dead Heroes who died for those who do not care. 4 Dead in Benghazi and who will pay. 4 Dead in Benghazi and Hilliary screams, "What does it matter?" while the cowards rule.

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I would see if the gun shop owner would send it off before you bought it. That way you are under no obligation to purchase it if things don't work out. If he won't do that, then I think I would pass too - it isn't like there is a shortage of PD's out there and you should be able to find one that isn't so sloppy.
    You all may go to hell, and I will go to Texas - Davy Crockett


    "Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden

    When Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the huge Persian army and demanded that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas told Xerxes "MOLON LABE", or "Come And Get Them."

    NRA member and proud Texas CHL holder

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    Thanks for the responses, guys! As it looks now I can have a brand new stainless Taurus Ultralite PD for $482 OTD. The one I was looking at in the gun shop is not an Ultralite model and the weight difference between the Ultra-Lite and standard models is pretty astounding. I don't mind felt recoil at all so the extra weight does absolutely nothing for me other than make the firearm heavier to carry around. The stainless is definitely a nice touch because I live in a moisture-prone environment and spend a lot of time on the water during the summer and even more time in the snow during winter. Misskitty, the Gallery of Guns turned out to be a valuable resource for tracking down a decent price in my area. Thanks for pointing me to that! I found a few gun shops in my area that I never knew existed.

    Greenwolf70; I guess it's because I'm poor, but I tend to inspect everything I purchase to a high degree. My parents prefer revolvers for carry so when they started looking around I looked up some how-to's on revolver inspection and passed the know-how on to them. I've saved myself from some pretty bad deals that looked good on the outside by being so persnickety, this situation included. I was ready to buy it until I took a flashlight along to inspect it more carefully before laying out the cash. I'm still glad he had one in the shop though, at least I got to handle it and decide on what I wanted. You guys are right though, if I were an FFL I wouldn't have a firearm like that in my shop. I'd have the customer send it back in or send it back myself before I'd put it out for sale. I'd hate to take a firearm home and have it shaving lead all over the place.

    You wouldn't think there would be a shortage of PD's but this is the first one I've been able to find since considering making a purchase.

    Thanks again for the responses! I'll let you guys know what happens.

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    Congrats on the new PD ! Range report is in order.
    You all may go to hell, and I will go to Texas - Davy Crockett


    "Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden

    When Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the huge Persian army and demanded that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas told Xerxes "MOLON LABE", or "Come And Get Them."

    NRA member and proud Texas CHL holder

 

 
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