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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello! I just picked up an older Taurus .357 magnum 3" revolver. According to Taurus website, it is a model 2-650031, manufactured in 1992. I am guessing it is a model 65? The blueing is excellent and shiney(no wear, scratches, etc). Cylinder locks tight, timing is right on, bore is fantastic. The trigger pull in both DA and SA is absolutely incredible. When I first looked at this gun I noticed that the front sight had been ground down, but I did not fret about that too much. So I do not know much about revolvers and when I got it home I realized that the grip had been ground down as well. When I had first looked it over at the gun shop I thought it was just a cool looking old gun with a round butt that had been worn with "character". I later realized that a previous owner had actually took a grinder to both the wood AND the steel, shaping it into a round butted gun. I am kind of bummed out that I did not catch it when I first looked at it. I am going to call it a learning experience, as I did not pay too much for it, but more than I would have paid had I realized the "customization". I feel confident that there is enough steel remaining on the small portion of the back strap that was ground down to shoot it. So look at the frame on the right side of the picture. Does that look safe? That is probably more steel than what a small frame snubbie has?
 

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A gun made in 1992 isn't 'old'- especially a revolver. A revolver made in 1962 or even 1932 wouldn't be very different except for cosmetic details. I own and have shot revolvers made in the 1880's. Chances are, that gun's had less than 1000 rounds through it since 1992. That means it's barely broken in, not that it's worn out.

The question of 'is it safe to shoot' in this case is more about mechanical condition than metallurgical safety. The best way to find that out is to carry it to a gun smith and have him inspect it. My bet is that the gun's fine, but I haven't handled it to really say either way.

As for the round butt conversions, there used to be a pretty big cottage industry converting Smith and Wesson revolvers from Square butts to round butts. You can buy the jig for the conversion at Brownell's. It's a personal preference kind of thing. With it being a 3 inch, a round butt conversion makes sense if it's being used as a concealed carry piece. The lower back corner of a gun butt is always the hardest part of the gun to conceal, so rounding the contour makes it easier and the rounded contour also changes the way the gun sits in the hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, jtg452. Since you mention the jig, I am going to guess that was the case. Whoever did the work did a mighty fine job. The dealer I bought the gun from is a well respected dealer in the community and has an equally respected on site gun smith. Also with what you said about concealability, I am guessing that to be part of the reason for the front sight being ground down. At any rate, I can't wait to go shoot it!
 

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Filing down the front sight is about the only way you can adjust the sights on a fixed sight revolver. Grinding it down just to keep the gun snag free is a great idea- if you don't plan on ever using the sights again. I'm hoping that the previous owner filed the sight down to match his POA (point of aim- where he was aiming) to the POI (point of impact- where the bullet was actually hitting the target at a given range) of his preferred ammunition.
 
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One thing I'll chime in on: POA on a .357 can vary quite a lot by what ammo you are using. Typically, a .357 is sighted in at the factory to shoot 157gr .357 magnum ammo. If you then shoot a lighter grain, say, a 125 gr magnum, POA changes. And then, compare that to a .38 sp in 157gr or 125gr, and your POA can vary by an easy three inches or so over 20 yrds. I always worked on finding a factory self defense ammo to shoot POA, and then worked my reloads to do the same. POA can change simply by using different primers. Makes me cringe to think of someone doing a permanent change on a gun with fixed sights... unless they really liked a particular type of ammo and made it work.
 

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Filing the front sight was a common occurrence on older revolvers with fixed sights. Unlike today, the owner found his-her self-defense load, and adjusted the elevation by either building up the front sight, to lower it, or filing the gun's front sight to raise it. Most factories installed a higher front sight to be filed to fit.

Many an older revolver also has the barrel canted slightly, as well. That was to adjust windage slightly. In those days, when you might actually NEED the gun, cosmetic perfection was left to the owners who had money to collect pristine guns. Guns were tools.

Rounding the butt doesn't weaken a revolver's frame particularly. Look at where the metal was removed, and ask your self what stresses are located there. The frame exists in that location as a courtesy to those requiring a handle on the gun. I had a Model 66, in stainless, from that year. It never gave me an issue in thousands of rounds.
 

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Interesting thread! Thanks-and that's a handsome revolver! I know a good number of folks that really like 3" barrels!
 

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Danno59,

First of all, Congratulations on purchasing this Revolver. The M65 is a solid functioning hand-cannon. It is a good looking piece!

I second the suggestion of having a qualified gunsmith look it over. If only for your piece of mind. Perhaps you could go back to the dealer where you purchased and ask them if they noticed the modifications? I am sure they would be more than happy to keep a good customer!

Oh, if it hasn't ben done already. Welcome to the forum from Kansas!
 

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Personally, given everything you've told us, I wouldn't do anything beyond take it back and ask their smith to inspect it. At most. Congratulations on a fine, interesting revolver!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The primary purpose of this gun for me is home protection, and for taking out on the 4-wheeler. It’s smaller and lighter to pack than my GP100. And of course, for a little fun at the range. For self defense purposes, I typically practice from approx 15’-25’, so I can adjust my hold if needed. With that said, I will probably start slinging some lead out to 25 yards to practice with the POA against 4-legged critters. I am going to show my dealer the modification of the frame that was done, just for peace of mind. I know he will make it right if it is deemed unsafe. After thinking it over, and considering the small frame thickness on other much smaller snubbies, I think it is just fine. I simply had a small wave of concern sweep over me is all. My 19 year old son has a small collection of hunting rifles & shotguns, but he has never showed much interest in handguns. When I brought this Taurus home, he started drooling and made it perfectly clear that he wants it for his next birthday. I am sure that I will let him have it…that will of course give me reason to replace it with something else! The Model 82 4” .38 and the Model 66 6” .357 are next on my radar.

 

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If the lock up and timing are good to go I would shoot it without any hesitation.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update: So I got myself suited up for the 10 degree temperature this morning and headed to the range with the new to me Taurus 65. Plugged in a cylinder of .38 specials and fired away. I shot 6 cylinders, and thoroughly enjoyed every trigger pull. Gun shoots very smoothly in both DA and SA. I had to adjust my aim quite a bit due to the filed down front sight, but once I got it figured out, it was a blast to shoot! I forgot to grab my .357 magnum ammo, so I didn’t get to test that out, but if the .38’s are any indication, I am going to love this gun.
 

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Congrats on the nice find and glad she is shooting. Do not hesitate to get a model 66 to go along with it. Have one that is less than a year old and 1000 rounds through it already, and I have several other guns that I shoot regularly!
 

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That is a nice find! Good looking revolver. It looks to me like whom ever rounded the butt knew what they were doing. Congrats on a very nice gun!
 

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Got a Smith years back that had front sight filed down. Dove tailed barrel and put new front sight on. Cost of gun was very cheap without a front sight. Used it as a woods gun until a friend borrowed it. When he died it disappeared. Figure one of his family has it. Replacing a front sight is usually not hard for a good smith.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dove tailed barrel and put new front sight on. Cost of gun was very cheap without a front sight.
Good idea, thanks for tip! I just may look into that.
 
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