View Full Version : Budget Guns Review: Taurus model 605

6/23/2009 10:30am,
Budget Guns- The Taurus Model 605

Type: Single Action/Double Action revolver
Capacity: 5 rounds .357 Magnum/.38 special/.38+P
Weight (loaded): 25 oz (454g)
Length: 6.50" (165 mm)
Barrel: 2.00" (51 mm)
MSRP- $325 (blue)

The Taurus 605ÖI must point out that the first firearm I ever purchased was a Taurus 605. I still have it, and it is my summer gun. There may be some bias in this report, as I have a deep and abiding love for this pocket perforator.


Stopping POWAH!: This little monster chambers the king of self-defense rounds, .357 magnum. No automatic of this size and weight will deliver more kinetic energy. Period. Your little Kel-tec 380 may be small and light, but it wonít stop a bad guy quite like this thing. That tiny little 9mm? Very convenient, but for comparable weight this puppy brings a lot of peace of mind with it. It is the personal opinion of this author that it is always best to carry as much gun as your skill, and lifestyle can tolerate; and the 605 brings a lot of gun to a package that is very easy to tolerate.

Safety first: This is the quintessential modern revolver. Without a lengthy dissertation on revolver mechanics, the simplicity of the design lends it to safety. It does not have an external safety. Now before you gasp and hide the children, bear this in mind. It has an internal transfer bar safety. As an engineering technician, I love this design. During the operation of this weapon, the hammer never touches the firing pin. It strikes a ďtransfer barĒ witch transfers kinetic energy to the pin. When the hammer is cocked, the transfer bar moves into position between the firing pin and the hammer. The coupling that holds the transfer bar in position is tied to the back of the trigger cam. As a result, THE ONLY WAY THIS WEAPON WILL EVER DISCHARGE IS WITH THE TRIGGER IN THE 100% REARWARD POSTION. Even if the sear BREAKS, the hammer will fall against the frame block and not strike the firing pin. If you cock this weapon, and smack the hammer with aÖwellÖhammer until the damn thing breaks, the hammer will fall harmlessly onto the frame. Itís brilliant and simple.

Simplicity exemplified

Olí Reliable: I actually call my 605 ďOlí Reliable.Ē Itís a revolver. They are mechanically simple, have few moving parts, and are difficult to jam. Since subsequent rounds are moved into battery by the act of cocking the hammer ( or as part of the trigger pull in double-action), there is no need to worry about spring pressure, feed ramps, bad magazines, weak ammo not cycling the weapon properly, etc. This weapon is cycled by the shooter, not the cartridge. Which is much simpler and nearly 100% reliable. This gun WILL go bang when you pull the trigger (Unless your ammo sucks, at which point, just pull the trigger again!). Count on it. I have nearly 4000 failure-free rounds through my 605.

Cleaning requires no disassembly and takes 5 minutes. Gotta love that.

If you can't conceal a snubbie, you should probably just get a big dog or something.

This thing is super-easy to conceal. Even in summer clothes. Get a cheap IWB holster, and go. Shorts and a tank top? No problem! Stick it in the shorts at 1 Oíclock, and leave the tank top un-tucked. Itís even light enough that you can wear it without a belt, if the waistband is sturdy. Itís thin and tiny, perfect for concealed carry.

Ouch!: This gun weighs 16 oz. empty. When you shoot full-house .357 magnum loads through itÖit stings. I am a 220 pound manly man. I eat beef, drink beer, and lift weights. I do not enjoy shooting 158-grain magnum loads with this weapon. Iíll do it, but I ainít happy about it. Iíve even tried 180-grain beasts in it and it was like getting slapped in the hand with a piece of re-bar. The good news is, 125-grain hollow-points are rather manageable for me. As with all .357 revolvers, 38 special and .38+P are viable ammo options, at the cost of power. 38 special has almost no recoil at all in this frame.

No staying power: You only get five rounds with this thing. Just five. So practice your revolver reloads, because a lot of people have 13 to 20 in their double-stack 9mm spray cans. Pick your shots wisely, and get the hell out of dodge. This is not a piece for an extended firefight, but if you arenít a cop, why the hell would you stick around anyway?

Get a grip!: The grip on this thing is small, to facilitate convenient concealed carry. This makes getting a good grip on it something that requires a little practice. Controlling .357 magnum rounds adds a new level of difficulty. This has led to the misconception that snub-nosed revolvers are inaccurate. This is not true. Lots of people are inaccurate with snubbies, but the weapons themselves shoot perfectly straight. I have no problem shooting 4Ē groups at ten yards with mine. Thatís a dead bad guy every time. But it requires far more practice than other guns. This must be taken into consideration when appraising this weapon.

Oh yeah....you're a bad mo-fo now!

They say that guns are jewelry for men. While I consider that to be a little silly, there is nothing manly about a snub-nose, unless you REALLY enjoyed ďThe Rockford Files.Ē ( I did) This is an aesthetic consideration, and entirely superfluous; but itís not all that cool to look at. If your weapon is a personal expression of your style, then this one may not be for you. Nobody at the range is going to think you are cool for having this.

Few options: You can get a more substantial grip for this thing, at the cost of concealability. Crimson Trace makes laser grips for it, but they cost almost as much as the gun. Other than that, you can pick stainless or blue, spur or no spur, and thatís it for options!

Reputation: Some people just plain hate Taurus. For many years they were owned by the same giant multinational corporation that Smith and Wesson is. They were sort of the knock-off Smith and Wesson, and they suffered from poor quality control and second-hand equipment under that company. Now that they are no longer owned by that corporation, quality has improved significantly. As of the early nineties, Taurus had switched all of its machinery to modern CNC equipment, improving their products dramatically.


Custom ported barrel. Nice touch!

I love this weapon. It provides a lot of peace of mind in a small package. It is safe, reliable, and powerful. I use 125-grain JHP for self defense and plink all day with cheap .38 special. Itís accurate and light. The only downside is the piddling ammo capacity. Of all the budget guns Iíve owned and used, this is my favorite!

It should be noted that this weapon comes with a lifetime guarantee. Taurus' customer service has a somewhat spotty record, anecdotally, but my own personal experience has been very good. They will fix or replace any Taurus weapon provided you did not break it due to stupidity or negligence. Turnaround time in my case (different weapon) was about one month.

This item is very high on my list of quality concealed carry options. It has power, safety, concealability, and reliability in its favor, and suffers only from minor ergonomic issues and low ammo capacity. It is an excellent choice for someone with a little cash, and a lot of time to practice.

6/23/2009 12:31pm,
A few other points...

1. Although it does not have a "shrouded" hammer, it can still be fired from the jacket pocket with no problem. Years ago I did this with an old army field jacket (setting same on fire but that's another story). There was no jam or hang up. In winter this is huge.

2. If you break it, Taurus will fix it.

Now, I do wonder if we need to use .357 in it. With that short barrel and the mag na porting, I suspect much of the power is lost than what we would get from a 4 or 6 inch barrel. As such, perhaps a .38 load might be easier to control with very little difference in over all power.

6/23/2009 12:43pm,
Keep these up and we'll have to create a firearms review section. Thoughts?

6/23/2009 2:19pm,
The porting is not stock. It's something that particular guy had done.

You only lose about 175-200FPS through the shorter barrel, so many high-quality rounds will still deliver 1000-1200 fps. This is still a significant increase in impact energy over .38sp and even .38+P

(For instance, it will have 2X the impact energy of .38sp at 600fps. 38+P is closer, but the full-house loads are still the most powerful.)

Phrost, I am going to try to crank out one of these a month.

6/24/2009 3:24pm,
Impact energy? isn't 600fps much more than 1/2 times less energey than 1200fps? I mean isn't 1000fps ish much more than 2X the energy of a 600fps bullet?

Do these come with more concealed hammer? Or just take the part to a machinist?

6/24/2009 3:37pm,
it's a moving target. most 38 will come in around 600-650 fps. But different loads do different things...even if they look the same on paper. You gotta know your ammo manufacturer.

125 grain .357 at 1000 FPS delivers 278Ft-lbs of energy (That's a quality round right there. Cor-bon or speer can do this out of a 2" barrel...some as much as 1200FPS!)
125 grain 38 Special at 650 FPS delivers 117 ft-lbs

Or about twice the energy. (2.37 times to be exact)

If your .357 round can only generate 900 fps (Federal or remington regular stuff) than you drop to 225 Ft-lbs.

6/24/2009 3:38pm,
You can get it withtou a spur. taurus has a couple of models. Price will vary. this is the cheap one.

6/24/2009 5:22pm,
I enjoy my 605 (not ported). & you don't really have to worry about running .38+p through it and losing performance when you could be using .357
Everything I've ever read on it (& I've really researched it), you lose less than 100fps, really not much at all considering the ranges you'll be using this gun at. The control difference, however, is drastic between .357mag & .38+p.

I tried firing the .38sp in the 605 w/o ear protection: Not bad at all

.38+p: a bit of a snap, comfortable kick (though I did learn to shoot with snubs)

.357mag: even with the longer Hogue grips the kick felt at least 50% greater than the .38+p, and my first instinct was to turn around and pistol whip someone as the blast was so great I thought someone had punched me in the side of the head. I was outside so I can't even imagine what it would be like firing it down the hall of my house.

It's nice to be able to run .357 out of the 605, but considering what little you lose in performance compared to what you gain in control (less recoil = faster follow-up shots), you really can't compare .38+p to .357 out of a snub as far as "shootability" goes.

NOW.... if you're shooting a 3-4" barrel or better, THEN the .357 starts to shine & the issues above fade.



6/24/2009 5:34pm,
If we are going to do a guns review section then we should also mandate that we include a "Zombie Killing Potential" category? Just saying...

Big Dozer
6/25/2009 1:05pm,
Keep these up and we'll have to create a firearms review section. Thoughts?


There is a good chance this will be my next handgun. I have 2 Taurus revolvers and they have always been a great quality gun.