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What do you prefer in a small frame 38 sp revolver - 5 or 6 shots?

  • Taurus M85 5 shot

    Votes: 31 58.5%
  • Taurus M856 6 shot

    Votes: 22 41.5%
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey there folks! Inquiring minds at Taurus USA want to know what do we all prefer in small frame revolvers - the classic M85 5 shot or the nifty new M856 6 shot? Personally, we have two very nice M85's with 3 inch barrels that I hope to never get rid off because they are wonderful shooters; but they are older, as evidenced by the length of their barrels and I honestly don't know when the last time was that Taurus made an M85 with a 3" barrel (but I know it's been quite some time)! I would really like to get an M856; with an extra round to give me 6 shots, how can you not love that??? There are soooo many possibilities of frame colors! I am crushing on a pretty black and burnt orange M856!!!

There are LOTS more options to choose from, like distinguished and classic all black to bold and beautiful anodized azure... Unfortunately my picture Google-fu isn't working right now so I refer you to this page on the Taurus web sight with all the color combinations of the M856's!!


So what say you TA.net friends- what do you want in a small frame revolver - 5 or 6 shots? :) Take the poll and post it up!
 

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The old 85 was always tried and true. But the 856 does offer an increased firepower count of 20%. And it has often been said that more is better, But is it always?

I have both, but when I choose to carry one it is usually one of the 856. Not only because of the extra round in the wheel, but because the 856 are either the UL or magnesium pistols. Which does mean that more is better in round count, but less in carry weight.

If Taurus is thinking of dropping the model 85 I personally think it would be a big mistake. Personally I feel that Taurus should place it's focus on Customer Service and quality control, two important items required to maintain and grow a customer base.
 

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My non-View is good for pocket carry. The best .38 revolver for pocket carry.

Other than that mission, every time I want a .38 revolver I'm grabbing my Detective Special or my Cobra. Why pass up an extra shot? I forget how long I was on this forum before I heard about the 856. My immediate response was "why isn't everyone buying these!?" I've never heard reliability complaints about them. This is a good change, if you ask me.

Except for one thing; the new finishes. I've got nothing against the availability of colored frames. Sekol is right; the azure is good looking. But a good polished blue - polished - should be available. That's really my only issue with the new 856s.
 

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My 5 shot M-85 .38 special is small light and easy to carry and has more punch than a 6 shot .32. I'll stick with what works.
 
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I had to choose the new 856 because I have one and don't have the 85. I have several J types but love the all steel 6-round 38 snub. Just wish I could find a list of new model 856 leather holsters, although it does fit well in my SP101 El Paso "Summer Cruiser".
 

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Good question Sekol. For me it is the M85 at this point. Give the 856 a few more years of tried and true use, then may change my mind. But I am kinda biased , just bought my second 605 in stainless. One rides in a holster under my bed side computer table - loaded with 5 rounds of 357. I bought the new one to ride with me when mowing our 20 acres, 3 38 snake shots and two 38 hornady HP's, for snake and ground critter control. The price between new old stock 85's and new 605's is almost the same, so why not get the 357.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The 856 is available in steel at a whopping 22.1 oz or in an aluminum frame weighing in at 15.7 oz... :)
 

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I don't own a Taurus snubby ...yet, but the six rounds in the Rossi R-462-2 that I did buy was selected over a five round Taurus because of the extra round. Plus I would always choose a .357 over a 38 Special. More is better and I like options.
 

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The real metal 5-shot M85 has been around forever. It's one of the few Taurus firearms that has a reputation for reliability. A SMART company would realize that and not reinvent the wheel just because they can.
One of the few with a reputation for reliability? I bought a 605 because of their reliability reputation and a PT111 G2 for the same reason. They have both been 100% reliable. I bought a 856 because it is a variation of the 85 and I have been very pleased with it. I kinda like a 6 shot revolver as the 605 is the only one of the five I own that is not a six shooter.

I think a SMART company would want to offer something a little different from the majority of manufacturers and make a gun similar to the Colt Detective Special.
 

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One of the few with a reputation for reliability? I bought a 605 because of their reliability reputation and a PT111 G2 for the same reason. They have both been 100% reliable. I bought a 856 because it is a variation of the 85 and I have been very pleased with it. I kinda like a 6 shot revolver as the 605 is the only one of the five I own that is not a six shooter.

I think a SMART company would want to offer something a little different from the majority of manufacturers and make a gun similar to the Colt Detective Special.
I stated 'one of the few', not 'the only one'. And I base it upon my own experience, which is the one that matters to me. I've had some great Taurus products, I've had some I wouldn't give a nickel for a truckfull. Naw, this ain't my first rodeo.
Yes, the 605 has the rep for a good 'un. I want one, just haven't gotten around to it. I will, eventually.
But when it comes to 85 vs. 856, I'll dance with the one I brung.
 
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I would like to have the 6 shot. I own the 5 shot. Maybe one day I'll work a trade, but for now the 85UL is fine.
 

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I have two Mod 85's - an all steel concealed hammer in polished stainless, and an Ultra-Lite in shiny black. I don't have an 856 - mainly because their finish looks and feels cheap to me. If they came out with a 3" one in polished stainless I'd probably get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have two Mod 85's - an all steel concealed hammer in polished stainless, and an Ultra-Lite in shiny black. I don't have an 856 - mainly because their finish looks and feels cheap to me. If they came out with a 3" one in polished stainless I'd probably get it.
Ah yes...3" revolvers!! I LOVE 'em! So very versatile, but then again - some folks don't think so. Funny you should mention this because I did just recently write to the Taurus marketing folks asking them about the 3" M856 that Taurus produces, but currently doesn't sell in this country - like why don't they sell it in this county???? It would be a great value priced alternative to the new colt Cobra and the Kimber 3" revolver!! How many folks would be interested in a 3" M856?? besides me, that is...:)
 

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A 3" barrel is my favorite flavor of revolver and yes, I also wish Taurus would produce them or at least compromise with a 2.5" barrel. I didn't buy a 856 when they came out because I already have a 6 shot Colt, but the ultralite is calling me and with a 3" barrel, it would be a no brainer. I also don't understand why a 5 shot and 7 shot .357 snubbie, but no 6 shot. It's the Goldilocks and the three bears thing all over again because a 6 shot would be just right.
 
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Ah yes...3" revolvers!! I LOVE 'em! So very versatile, but then again - some folks don't think so. Funny you should mention this because I did just recently write to the Taurus marketing folks asking them about the 3" M856 that Taurus produces, but currently doesn't sell in this country - like why don't they sell it in this county???? It would be a great value priced alternative to the new colt Cobra and the Kimber 3" revolver!! How many folks would be interested in a 3" M856?? besides me, that is...:)
I think there are a lot of people like me that wouldn't buy a 3" barrel because it doesn't fit what we want. I bought a 2" barrel 856 and I have a 2" barrel 605 because of their size for concealability. For me, the 3" barrel is a tweener in that it is not as concealable as a 2" and it is not long enough for open carry or for target use. I think if there was a market for the 3", many manufacturers would serve that market other than high end manufacturers who can price them high enough to make a profit on a small volumn product.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I think there are a lot of people like me that wouldn't buy a 3" barrel because it doesn't fit what we want. I bought a 2" barrel 856 and I have a 2" barrel 605 because of their size for concealability. For me, the 3" barrel is a tweener in that it is not as concealable as a 2" and it is not long enough for open carry or for target use. I think if there was a market for the 3", many manufacturers would serve that market other than high end manufacturers who can price them high enough to make a profit on a small volumn product.
Osbornk- great input on your viewpoint, and of course you are right in that a 3" revolver is too long for many folks to cc! I am still new enough to the state in which I now live that has Constitutional Carry, that the ability to carry concealed is still the furthest thing on my mind when considering a firearm, and I need to correct that!

For me a 3" would be easier to carry when hiking through the forest ( open carry) than a 4" or longer revolver and would be fine for range work for me, too, out to say 10 yds or so.
 
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