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Thread: Taurus® Defender 856 38 SPECIAL +P

  1. #471
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    After something like 47 pages of this I finally stopped by a local gun shop and wouldn't you know they had one of the frosted stainless 3" versions of the 856 with the Americal (sp?) front sight, and it was used so the price was pretty reasonable.

    I asked the guy behind the counter if I could look at it and he said sure. When he handed it to me (cylinder closed - grumble, snarl) I checked that it was clear, then asked if I could dry fire it. Again he said sure. First try aimed at the floor went click. Second try went click. Third try went...well there's the rub. It didn't click until multiple tries. The hammer was stucking about half way back. It finally snapped so I tried again (#4) and it went click. Fifth try was another lock up. After multiple attempts at pulling then releasing the trigger it finally went snap. The final chamber did in fact go snap on the first attempt.

    I set the gun back on the counter and asked if the failures to function might have something to do with it being in the used case. The talkative young man with the name tag just shrugged his shoulders. I thanked him for his time, thinking the 856 wasn't going to solve any problems for me. Besides the trigger was way too skinny and close for my hand size, even with the rubber stocks that covered the back strap.

    Guess if I want a D-frame sized 38+P I'd have to buy the Colt at three times the asking price of that 856. The Cobra doesn't come with a 3" barrel (my preference) but the two I looked at before went "click" with every pull of the trigger. Such is life!

    Dave

  2. #472
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    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
    After something like 47 pages of this I finally stopped by a local gun shop and wouldn't you know they had one of the frosted stainless 3" versions of the 856 with the Americal (sp?) front sight, and it was used so the price was pretty reasonable.

    I asked the guy behind the counter if I could look at it and he said sure. When he handed it to me (cylinder closed - grumble, snarl) I checked that it was clear, then asked if I could dry fire it. Again he said sure. First try aimed at the floor went click. Second try went click. Third try went...well there's the rub. It didn't click until multiple tries. The hammer was stucking about half way back. It finally snapped so I tried again (#4) and it went click. Fifth try was another lock up. After multiple attempts at pulling then releasing the trigger it finally went snap. The final chamber did in fact go snap on the first attempt.

    I set the gun back on the counter and asked if the failures to function might have something to do with it being in the used case. The talkative young man with the name tag just shrugged his shoulders. I thanked him for his time, thinking the 856 wasn't going to solve any problems for me. Besides the trigger was way too skinny and close for my hand size, even with the rubber stocks that covered the back strap.

    Guess if I want a D-frame sized 38+P I'd have to buy the Colt at three times the asking price of that 856. The Cobra doesn't come with a 3" barrel (my preference) but the two I looked at before went "click" with every pull of the trigger. Such is life!

    Dave
    The hand may have been slipping over(by moving backwards)one of the ratchets, and this hand position then caused the problem you discovered. My guess is that the dealer was unaware of the issue. Another guess is that it was an out of the box issue.

  3. #473
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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by willie View Post
    The hand may have been slipping over(by moving backwards)one of the ratchets, and this hand position then caused the problem you discovered. My guess is that the dealer was unaware of the issue. Another guess is that it was an out of the box issue.
    As a used gun I would have thought they would have been aware before they took it in. The talkative (snark) young man behind the counter provided no further information, which made me suspect they knew about it and hoped some prospective buyer wouldn't notice.

    Anyway, any interest I might have had in the 856 is dead and my chances of being a customer in that store again are about as bad.

    Dave

  4. #474
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
    As a used gun I would have thought they would have been aware before they took it in. The talkative (snark) young man behind the counter provided no further information, which made me suspect they knew about it and hoped some prospective buyer wouldn't notice.

    Anyway, any interest I might have had in the 856 is dead and my chances of being a customer in that store again are about as bad.

    Dave
    The range I used to work at did this for used guns - fire 2 rounds, put a tag on it, put it in the log book, put it up for sale. No cleaning, lubrication, or inspection. I asked about a Smith 43c a year or two before working there, and it went something like
    "You mean a Glock 43?"
    No, a Smith 43c, 22LR J Frame.
    "Well, I only shoot and like Glocks"
    You won't go far with that attitude, you might want to expand your horizons.



    That said, I mess with one a year ago in the case, and was surprised compared to what my expectations were. I grabbed one of the executive grade models for the 3" barrel and the (hopeful) improved quality control from their dedicated build area.

    I shot 250 rounds in the first session, straight from the box (no checking of screws, lubrication, etc.). One high primer that I caught before loading, would have dead-lined the gun if it was forced (same with any revolver).
    All side plate screws were loose when I got home, the front was barely in the frame (got lucky it didn’t fall out at the range).
    Trigger has smoothed surprisingly well after a basic lubrication (modern MIM components). The whole gun is extremely tight, and all cylinders/forcing cone fits a 0.005” feeler gauge but not a 0.006”.
    Impressive carrying case (Pelican vault)
    The grips are garbage to shoot with, and the gun rocks back and slips deeper into my hand every shot. I put Pachy wood grips on it wrapped in hockey tape to address that concern.
    A Galloway spring kit brough the DAO pull from a smooth 10lb 14oz pull to 8lb 8oz pull, 6 shot average for both.
    The front sight could stand to be a little thinner, which I'm probably going to address with a file. I did nail polish (yellow) on the top 1/2 or so of the ramp for high-vis instead of buying a new front sight.


    The price of the gun could be dropped a fair amount if the usual Taurus box would be used, and grips meant for shooting vs presentation were used as well. That said, I still don't regret buying the gun.

  5. #475
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    I have a hard time seeing the ramp sights on most compact revolvers, so I replaced the front sight on my 2" 856 with a patridge sight for a S&W. The Taurus sight is .117" wide and the S&W sight is .125" wide, so I filed the tenon down a little so it would fit. I had to drill the new sight, but that wasn't hard. I cut serrations on the face of the new sight to make it more visible. I ordered the new sight the same height as the original Taurus sight.

  6. #476
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Texas
    I examined a new stainless Taurus with a 3 inch barrel. Sitting in my chair at the lgs, I spent 20 minutes trying to find something wrong with this damned Taurus. I failed. It was perfect in every respect including a beautiful bore. I would buy this one.

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