Overall, the Taurus 856 is known as a dependable compact revolver, garnering attention for its solid performance and user-friendly features. But how does it truly fare? In this Taurus 856 review, I'll scrutinize its attributes, functionality, and overall shooting experience to determine if this budget-friendly revolver is a smart buy or if it falls short compared to higher-end options. For both experienced firearm enthusiasts and new gun owners, I always aim to provide valuable insights to aid in your decision-making process. Is the Taurus 856 the .38 Special you've been dreaming of, or will it leave you wanting more? Discover in this detailed Taurus 856 .38 Special review.
INITIAL THOUGHTS ON THE TAURUS 856
The Taurus 856, at first glance, strikes a balance between a classic revolver aesthetic and modern functionality. Known for its compact design and .38 Special caliber, this revolver immediately presents itself as a potential candidate for personal defense and everyday carry.
THE DESIGN AND FEATURES OF THE TAURUS 856
Main specs of Taurus 856
Because we all love graphs (really, who doesn’t?), here’s a breakdown of the specs of the Taurus 856:
- Model Name: Taurus 856
- Caliber: .38 Spl +P
- Action: revolving chamber
- Weight (uloaded): 22-oz
- Capacity: 6-round
- Overall Width: 1.41"
- Overall Length: 6.55"
- Overall Height: 4.8''
- Barrel Length: 2''
- Frame Material: Stainless steel
- Safety: Transfer bar
- Sights: Fixed Blade and notch
- MSRP: $400
TAURUS 856: KEY SPECIFICATIONS AND DESIGN ELEMENTS
FRAME AND SIZE
The Taurus 856's frame is crafted with a focus on concealability and ease of carry. The small frame, typically a hallmark of Taurus's design philosophy, makes it an ideal choice for concealed carry without compromising grip comfort or control.
BARREL AND CYLINDER
The 856 boasts a 2-inch barrel, which is standard for snub-nose revolvers, offering a good balance between accuracy and concealability. The cylinder holds six rounds, a step up from the typical five-round capacity of many small-frame revolvers, providing an extra measure of security.
TAURUS 856 REVIEW: HANDLING AND ERGONOMICS
2GRIP DESIGN AND COMFORT
The revolver's grip is ergonomically designed, providing a comfortable and secure hold. This is crucial for a small-frame revolver, as the grip plays a significant role in managing recoil and ensuring accurate shot placement.
WEIGHT AND BALANCE
Weighing in at around 23.5 ounces, the Taurus 856 is light enough for comfortable daily carry yet heavy enough to ensure stability and balance when shooting, an important consideration for a revolver of this size.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF THE TAURUS 856
ACCURACY AND SHOOTING DYNAMICS
Taurus 856 Range Performance: On the range, I found the Taurus 856 performs admirably for a revolver of its size. Its accuracy is commendable, particularly at close-range distances typical of personal defense scenarios.
Taurus 856 Accuracy: Not surprisingly, the 856 is not designed as a long-range firearm, but it maintains respectable accuracy at distances up to 15 yards. Beyond this, the inherent limitations of a snub-nose revolver and the .38 Special caliber become more apparent.
RECOIL AND TRIGGER RESPONSE
Taurus 856 Recoil Management: The recoil of the Taurus 856 is manageable, even with more powerful .38 Special loads. This is partly due to the revolver's weight and grip design, which help absorb and distribute the recoil force effectively.
Taurus 856 Trigger Mechanism and Response: The trigger of the 856 is smooth in double-action mode, with a consistent pull that aids in maintaining accuracy. In single-action mode, the trigger is crisp and light, allowing for precise shot placement.
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS: TAURUS 856 VS COMPETITORS
SIMILAR MODELS IN THE MARKET
When compared to similar models from Smith & Wesson and Ruger, the Taurus 856 holds its own, especially considering its price point. The Smith & Wesson Model 642, for example, is a direct competitor, but I found little difference in the overall performance. Taking into account that the 856 often comes in at a lower price, it definitely makes it worth considering. The Ruger L.C.R., another competitor, offers a different take on the small-frame revolver, but the 856's traditional design may appeal more to some shooters.
TAURUS 856 REVIEW: STRENGTHS AND SHORTCOMINGS
WHERE THE TAURUS 856 EXCELS
The Taurus 856 excels in providing a budget-friendly option for a reliable and well-performing concealed carry revolver. Its six-round capacity and comfortable ergonomics are significant strengths, particularly for those prioritizing a balance between concealability and firepower.
The revolver's limitations are primarily related to its size and caliber. The 2-inch barrel limits long-range accuracy, and while the .38 Special is a proven cartridge for self-defense, it doesn't offer the same stopping power as some larger calibers. Additionally, for some shooters, the standard sights may leave room for improvement. This is one of the main reasons we included the specs for the T.O.R.O. version above.
TAURUS 856: AMMUNITION AND CALIBER CONSIDERATIONS
For range use, standard .38 Special F.M.J. (Full Metal Jacket) rounds are ideal due to their affordability and reduced recoil. For self-defense, I recommend J.H.P. (Jacketed Hollow Point) rounds for their superior stopping power and expansion capabilities. Notably, the 856 also handles +P ammunition, offering more power for self-defense, albeit with increased recoil. T.A.U.R.U.S. .38
SPECIAL FEATURES AND BENEFITS
The .38 Special is a time-tested caliber known for its balance between recoil and stopping power. It's particularly suitable for new shooters or those sensitive to recoil. The caliber's wide range of available ammunition types makes the 856 versatile for various shooting needs.
TAURUS 856: CONCEALED CARRY AND DAILY USE
For concealed carry, the 856's compact size is a significant advantage. I've found that Taurus 856 IWB holsters (Inside-the-Waistband) offer excellent concealment and comfort. An ankle holster can be a good secondary option, especially for those in professions requiring discreet carry.
DAILY USE / EVERYDAY CARRY PRACTICALITY
The Taurus 856’s size and weight make it an excellent choice for everyday carry. Its reliability and ease of use ensure that it's a dependable option for self-defense, suitable for various users, from experienced shooters to those new to concealed carry.
MAINTENANCE AND LONGEVITY OF THE TAURUS 856
Regular cleaning and proper lubrication are essential for maintaining the 856’s performance. After each use, clean the barrel and cylinder to remove residue. Periodic checks of the screws and springs are also recommended to ensure everything is functioning correctly.
DURABILITY AND RELIABILITY OVER TIME
The Taurus 856 is built to last. With proper maintenance, many users report years of reliable performance. The revolver's robust design contributes to its durability, capable of withstanding the demands of regular use and carry.
In my experience, the 856 has been a reliable companion for concealed carry. Its accuracy and ease of handling have been consistent, even in high-stress situations. The ability to use different types of ammunition makes it adaptable for various scenarios. I have no problem using the Taurus 856 .38 special as my backup or everyday carry.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE TAURUS 856 .38 SPECIAL REVIEW
The Taurus 856 is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable, compact, and versatile revolver. It's well-suited for new shooters, those looking for an affordable self-defense option, and experienced gun owners seeking a dependable secondary firearm.
SUMMARIZING THE TAURUS 856’S PLACE IN THE REVOLVER MARKET
The Taurus 856 has carved out a niche as a budget-friendly yet reliable revolver. Its balance of features, performance, and cost make it a standout option in a crowded market.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOLSTER FOR YOUR TAURUS 856
When selecting the perfect Taurus 856 holster, consider comfort, concealability, and accessibility. A quality holster should secure the firearm snugly, protect the trigger, and allow for a smooth draw.
WHY A DEDICATED HOLSTER MATTERS
A dedicated Taurus 856 holster not only secures your revolver, but also enhances your overall carrying experience. It ensures that the revolver is always readily accessible while maintaining discretion and comfort. For the best selection of holsters tailored to the Taurus 856, visit our website and find the perfect match for your concealed carry needs.