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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello & a very good morning to you all from a Welshman in South Africa

2 Months ago I came across & purchased a 2nd hand Model 85 .38 Spl, which I want to use as a backup gun.

I wanted this gun as it almost exactly the same as my first firearm purchased 28 years ago.
It was always my favorite, but sadly had to sell for licensing reasons around 10 years back.

I'm thinking it must be one of the early models around 30 years old, because it has no shroud around the extractor rod.
It's in mint condition & after inspecting it, I'm almost certain it has never been fired.

Hopefully license approval shouldn't be much longer & i will be able to bring it home (The wheels turns a little slow over here)

In the meantime I was hoping you could help me identify the year of manufacture & let me know if it will handle +P loads.

.38 Spl Right Side.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome. That's a great looking revolver. Taurus has a serial number lookup that may help you on that date. I can't help on the +P information though.
https://www.taurususa.com/support/serial-number-lookup/
Thanks but this serial # look up link does not seem to apply to any firearms shipped out to South Africa
It doesn't even pick up my new PT140 G2, nor any of the other 2 Taurus' I've previously owned.
 

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Your 85 is a fine looking revolver. You rarely see one that old in that kind of condition. I am not certain but, due to the gun’s age, I would doubt that it would be approved for +P ammunition. I suggest that you contact Taurus customer service. Perhaps they can provide the answer.
 

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Nice wheel gun. I wouldn't shoot a lot of +P through it. The older models ( non shrouded ejector ) are mainly for normal 38 special. Good luck on getting it home.
 

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Hey there, Welshman. I see you were able to get the "L" added to your forum name. Good job! Was that hard?
Unfortunately you left out the "R" in "Brand" for this message thread. Ha!

That's a good looking Model-85! I think you're right; that weapon is probably pretty old. You might be able to search Taurus with the serial number, and find out when it was made. Their records are incomplete though, so they may not have it.

I wouldn't fire any +P ammo through it if I were you.
I have a Model-85UL that I bought new 3 years ago. It's great, and is my wife's favorite gun.
The .38 Special has plenty of power on its own; I see no need to use +P.
If you want more power, get a .357 Magnum.
 

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Nice looking revolver. I wonder if it's even a bit older than you think. I wouldn't use +P cartridges.
 

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Taurus® did not rate any models of their 38 Special revolvers for +P until 1996. As your gun is older than that I would stick with just standard pressure ammunition.
 

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Thanks but this serial # look up link does not seem to apply to any firearms shipped out to South Africa
It doesn't even pick up my new PT140 G2, nor any of the other 2 Taurus' I've previously owned.
Oh well, I thought I'd take a shot. It's hit or miss with some serial numbers, even when shipped to the U.S. Some people end up having to contact Taurus directly.
 

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That's exactly like my first 85 - unshrouded, blued, walnut grips.
In retrospect, I have no clue why I sold it. Wish I had it back.
 

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Congrats on your new to you wheel gun.
 

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Nice gun. Welcome to the forum.

With a beauty like, that, I'd prob only shoot standard velocity. They do make some very effective bullets for 38's, nowadays that are standard pressure rated.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Many thanks to you all for the compliments on this classic firearm which I was fortunate enough to find & pick up for next to nothing.

Rest assured that it was never my intention to load +p , just wondered if it was strong enough / rated to do so given the design hasn't changed much over many years.
As this gun has never been fired (in my opinion) it should be as tight & as strong as the day it was made.

It will be a backup / secondary firearm to my PT140 G2, just so that I have something in event of the unexpected with the G2.
The 85 that I bought in 1992 had a shrouded ejector, and was probably made in late 80's, so I estimate this un-shrouded model to have possibly been made in mid 80s.
Looking good for 35 years old then.
 

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Don't know the answer to your question either, but that is a fine looking revolver, you got lucky. The model 85 is probably Taurus' most classic model. I have a stainless 85CH (concealed hammer), it is one of my favorite handguns. Hope you find your answer, enjoy your 85!
 

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You'll probably have to contact Brazil to get the info you're looking for. Even then you might not be able to get the info. Taurus of Brazil was implicated in some government corruption a few years back, and some records may have been "lost". I'd go to the Brazilian website, go to "contact us" and go from there.

https://www.taurusarmas.com.br/
 

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don't shoot a lot of +P.. The gun wasn't made for that.. practice with .38 Spl. then a few +P rounds..90% reg loads.. Unless it is just a tool and you don't care how long it lasts- if you want to shoot +P -- look for a Model 19 or 27- or 66
 

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1981-1996 is as close as I can nail it down, and that's by the logo on the side plate. Unfortunately Taurus has nobody in charge of historical information.
 

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Remington HTP

I have a 30+ year old Model 82. I've got it loaded with Remington HTP 110 grn SJHP. Easy to shoot, little bit more of a kick than, say, 130 grn FMJ Winchester loads. But non +P. You may want to see if you can purchase that somewhere in the RSA.
 
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