I had a model 82, 3" barrel, satin nickel finish about 10 years ago and sold it. I currently have a model 80, 3" barrel, blue finish. My comments apply to both, the guns are identical except for barrel thickness. The gun is basically a bargain alternative to S&W, Colt, or Ruger.
Cosmetically, the fit and finish are not up to the standards of the other manufacturers. The blue finish on the model 80 has imperfections in depth and color. Some unpolished grind marks can be seen if you look closely, and the contoured edges at the front of the yoke and frame do not line up when the cylinder is closed. The fit of the factory wood stocks is not great, the edge of the grips in certain spots are not fitted to the edge of the grip frame.
Operationally, the guns shoot when you pull the trigger. The gun is all steel and feels solid. Action timing, cylinder open and close, and ejecting cases all workes as they should. The triggers are on the heavy side, the hammer on my Model 80 drags slightly on the frame, which doesn't help. Accuracy is inconsistent, the cylinder throats are closer to .358/.359 than .357. Apparently this is more common on the older models than the new ones. The fixed sights typically are set up for 158 gr ammo, 148 gr wadcutters and 125 gr hollow points, both shoot low, expecially the 125's.
From my experience, these guns are OK from a value perspective if you can find them cheap and the cosmetics don't bother you. Be aware that common Taurus guns like the 80 and 82 tyically don't seem to hold their resale value very well, so an investment they're not.
All this having been said, the Model 80 is my house gun, loaded with 158 gr +P lead hollowpoints. If I am forced to use it, even legally, the gun will be taken away as evidence (confimed this with a local PD detective) and it can be a long fight to get it back. I have $175 in the gun, which would not represent a major loss.
I have a more recent Model 82, blued, 4-inch barrel, with factory rubber grips - in other words, the current production model.
I only have about 100 rounds thru mine, but it has worked flawlessly so far and is very accurate. I bought it used, I've only had it a few months, but so far I am happy with it. It looked brand new when I purchased it, the previous owner obviously didn't shoot it too much. I paid $200 for it, and at that price I am happy with it.
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