Taurus Model 85
|Place of origin||Brazil|
|Used by||See "Usage"|
|Width||1.346 in (34.2 mm)|
|Height||4.28 in (109 mm)|
|Action||Double action / single action|
|Feed system||5 shot cylinder|
|Sights||fixed front sight|
The Taurus Model 85 is a small-frame revolver manufactured by the Brazilian firearm company Taurus International. In the United States, the guns are marketed for concealed carry and personal protection.
The Model 85 is available in several configurations. These include blued steel, stainless steel, polymer frame, and "Ultralite" variants constructed of aluminum and titanium, with steel lockwork components.
Much like Smith & Wesson revolvers, Model 85s can come equipped with exposed, "bobbed" (850), or shrouded (851) hammers. However, there are a number of significant internal differences between the Taurus 85 and similar Smith & Wesson revolvers. Because of these differences, Taurus has been able to keep costs relatively low. However, those same differences can make customization of the Model 85 more expensive.
There are numerous cosmetic options, including gold-plated hardware and grips of wood or pearl. The Model 85 is available with either 2" or 3" barrels, is capable of firing +P rated .38 Special rounds, and utilizes a transfer bar safety.
Models manufactured after 1997 feature the Taurus Security System, which consists of a keyed, quarter-turn style socket-head screw which can be set to prevent the hammer from pivoting back into the frame, thus rendering the weapon inoperative.
The Model 85 line has been enlarged to include the Model 856. This model is similar to the Model 85, but adds an additional round in the cylinder to bring the Model 856's capacity to 6 rounds.
The View, also known as the model 85VTA, was introduced in 2014. It has a 1.41 inch barrel, an aluminum frame and titanium cylinder, and a clear polycarbonate side plate for an unloaded weight of 9.5 ounces. Unlike other models, the View is only rated for standard pressure .38 Special ammunition.
Reviews on the 85VTA were mixed. Noted author Massad Ayoob found the View he shot had accuracy problems and bullets tended to prairie dog and bind the cylinder. Another reviewer did not have those problems when testing the gun. Ultimately, the View was not a commercial success, and was pulled from production in December 2014. A revised model, the "No View" with an aluminum side plate replacing the clear one was introduced in 2015.
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One primary international user of the Taurus Model 85 revolver is Singapore.
Along with these listed Singapore Home Team agencies, the revolver is also used by several auxiliary police forces in the country, such as Certis Cisco, AETOS and SATS Security, together with older Smith & Wesson .38-calibre revolvers.
- 2014 Taurus USA Product Catalog, p. 7
- "Taurus Model 85". www.snubnose.info.
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- "Taurus 85VTA Revolver - .38 Special 5 Rounds Silver Finish". www.taurususa.com.
- Taurus USA Product Catalog, p. 9
- Kentucky Gun Co (11 January 2014). "Taurus 85 View SHOT Show 2014 Preview" – via YouTube.
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- F, Bruce (7 August 2014). "Pocket Guns and Gear: Taurus Model 85 View Review - A Clearly Different Revolver".
- "End of the Road for Taurus View". 26 December 2014.
- "Taurus 85 "No View" Snubnose, Revolver, .38 Special+P, 1" Barrel, 5 Rounds - 644753, Revolver at Sportsman's Guide". www.sportsmansguide.com.