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Old 02-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
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Default Should I buy this gun?

I figured this forum with all of its knowledgable gun enthusiasts would be a good place to ask this question.

I have been looking to get my concealed permit for a while now and pick up a gun that would be ideal for this purpose. I will preface this whole discussion with my priorities for this weapon:

1. Reliability (It needs to go bang when I need it to)
2. Lightweight and compact
3. Affordable

With this is mind I ran across a member on a local forum who is selling a taurus model 85 with a 2" barrel that is also hammerless. I understand that taurus is a knockoff brand. However, for this particular model I have not been able to find a single bad review of the weapon and because of its simplicity it seems to be very reliable and as accurate as any snub noze self defense pistol should be.

Does anyone think this would be a bad buy and why? If your response is no only because it is made by taurus then I will disregard it. I do not need a big name pistol as long as it is reliable and does what I need it to. However, if this is really not a good weapon then I would rather wait and get something else as I am not in a hurry.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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I can only comment that I've put several hundred rounds through a Model 85 taurus and would do it again. My research has shown most of their wheel guns are worth buying, not so much the same for their autos. That's purely a personal opinion based on my research.

Is the price right? If so, I'd buy.

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Old 02-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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What would the right price be? He is asking $350 but I was thinking like $320. One more question would be what should I look for on a revolver to determine the condition of the weapon? I have no experience buying used guns so any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:54 PM   #4
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Big thing is to check the play in the cylinder.

The proper way to check is to dry-fire the revolver (you can **** the hammer and then ride it down with your thumb while you pull the trigger if the seller doesn't want you to dryfire). Keep the trigger pulled back -- do not let it reset. Then check how much the cylinder can rotate in either direction, and how much forward-backward play there is.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #5
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I was a buyer for a Model 85 Ultralite a few years ago at $300. Personally knew the seller and agreed to let him sell it to another party who offered him more than I was willing to pay, sadly I don't own that pistol. Honestly anything around $300 for a good pistol rings my bell in this market, so you're right on track at $320 far as I'm concerned.

Things to look for? I googled it and came up with some pretty good advice:

Quote:
Specific things to check on used revolvers

1. Note the condition of the forcing cone at the back of the barrel. Slight erosion in this area, particularly on magnum revolvers, is not cause for concern, but it should not be seriously eroded. The more erosion you see the more the gun has been fired with heavy loads.

2. Check for cutting of the top strap at the cylinder gap, particularly with magnum revolvers. A little erosion here will not hurt, but excessive cutting is undesirable and indicates a lot of shooting with heavy loads, or a wide cylinder gap, or both.

3. To test the safety notch of a traditional single action revolver, pull firmly (about 8-10 pounds--this is not intended to be a test to destruction) on the trigger with the hammer in the safety notch to see if it can be easily forced. Put the revolver on half **** (the loading position) and repeat the test, applying about 5 pounds of pressure on the trigger. The hammer should not drop. This test does not apply to New Model (two screw) Ruger SA revolvers, as they use a different lockwork than traditional SA revolvers.

4. The cylinder of Colt double action revolvers should be completely tight when the trigger is pulled all the way back (the hand forces the cylinder against the bolt). S&W revolvers are never as tight as a Colt, but at least they should not rattle. Slight cylinder play is permissible with S&W DA (and also Ruger SA) revolvers.

5. Check the cylinder gap. It should not exceed .010", and .006" is ideal. **** the gun to turn the cylinder so that every chamber, in turn, lines up with the barrel. The cylinder gap should remain constant.

Also, the cylinder should not slide back and forth appreciably on the cylinder pin. This is called endplay, and it generally increases with use.

6. The crane of a swing out cylinder DA revolver should fit tight to the frame (when closed) without any unsightly gaps. If it doesn't the crane may be sprung. When you wiggle the cylinder with your fingers the crane should barely move, if at all.

While you are at it, check to make sure that the ejector rod has not been bent. This is easy to see if you spin the cylinder, which should spin true.

7. Use you fingers or thumb to put a small amount of drag on the cylinder while you manually **** the revolver (single action mode). The cylinder bolt should click into the locking notches in the cylinder, locking the cylinder in place, at the end of each segment of cylinder rotation. If it does not, the gun is out of time and needs work. Then rapidly thumb **** the gun (don't "fan" a revolver)--the cylinder should not rotate past the proper locking notch. Also, the bolt should not be dragging on the cylinder as it turns. If it does it will leave a clearly visible wear line in the cylinder's finish.

8. Examine the sideplate of a DA revolver. If it has been improperly disassembled it may show pry marks at the edge or have been warped. The sideplate should fit flush and tight, without any gaps.

9. Check the tip of the firing pin, it should be smooth and rounded, not sharp or broken. The firing pin hole should not be chipped or burred.
Buying a Used Handgun
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #6
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I would not call a Taurus a "knockoff brand". They make some truly great affordable firearms, and I know plenty of people who EDC Taurus firearms of all types. However, I believe it's safe to say that there is a perception among gun-owners that Taurus doesn't have the quality control and manufacturing tolerances that some other manufactureres have... on the other hand, I hear just as much bitching and complaining about Kimber 1911's as I do about Taurus revolvers.

As a general rule, most people say that you should put 500rds through any firearm you intend to carry, and at least half of those should be the ammo you intend to carry. For revolvers, feeding isn't as much of an issue, so I'd say you could shoot less carry ammo through it and save money, but of course shoot the same bullet weight as you intend to carry.

I bought an M85 and carried it for 6 months... revolvers just weren't my thing, but it grouped find and I never had any issues.

However, snub-nose light-weight revolvers kick like freaking mules. Followup shots using defensive .38spl+P rounds are something you must practice a lot... and there's only 5 rounds in there. The theory that revolvers are more "realiable" than semi-auto's because of the simplicity of the action is something to take into account, but trusting your gun, knowing how to use it, and training to be able to quickly tackle a firearms malfunction should reset that variable. Generally, 99% of semi-automatic failures to feed/fire/eject are due to an improperly seated magazine, and the last 1% is a combination of limp-wrist, new gun, worn gun, dirty gun, broken gun, or bad round... in other words, (with the exception of simply getting a round that is defective from the factory) all directly within control of the shooter.

I think there's a time and a place for EDC revolvers, but only as a backup gun. After years of research and evaluation, I just can't justify a snub revolver over a modern single-stack pistol of similar size. The Ruger LC9 comes instantly to mind as a substantially better option to any snub-revolver as a primary EDC gun. This debate can rage for pages and pages... and I've got nuthin' but time.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:38 PM   #7
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I was hoping you would chime in at some point sam. I see what you are saying about it being a snub revolver. So your opinion is that the assumed reliability advantages of a revolver are of no real significance in comparison to modern single stack compacts? I do like the LC9 but the main reason this gun caught my attention was because it is a good price and checked all the other boxes. However, I am not in a hurry to purchase something and a weapon that I intend to carry for personal defense is something I want to make the right choice on.

Besides the LC9, what other concealed weapons would you recommend? I am also curious as to how you would suggest holstering a concealed for the best access when needed from a range of possible possitions. I was thinking for an inside the waist band holster at the 2:30-3 O'clock position but I have little experience and would like to know what your view on this.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:30 PM   #8
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My only beef with an LC9 is the thumb safety on the left side, otherwise is likely a very fine firearm. I don't feel a heavy triggered double-action only pistol for CCW needs such a thing, personally. Admittedly have never fired one but handled several and they're very comfortable in the hand. As you might have seen a time or two, I personally like the Keltec PF9 which is fairly similar to the LC9 with a lower price point and without Ruger's fit and finish. Currently owning 2 of them (one of which I've fired maybe 40 rounds through and the other approx 1000) the only issues I've ever had with mine were 100% my fault. Shooting light hand loads that wouldn't cycle properly, and recently firing around 300 rounds since the last time it was cleaned or lubricated the slide started dragging and failed to cycle my lighter than normal handloads. After discovering the slide was dragging I loaded up some Speer 125gr JHP's and fired a full magazine without failure, then returned to my standard light handloads and it continued to FTE.

My favorite thing about the PF9 is I can simply slip it into the pocket of my jeans and nobody is the wiser. YMMV.

I have a strong feeling Sam will tell you to buy a Glock 19 and call it a day, this I would not disagree with- Owning and sometimes carrying a Glock 22 myself.


Perhaps contact the seller and see if he's willing to let you test drive the Taurus? Once you've run a fair share of rounds through it I personally feel like the recoil isn't really all that heavy. In fact, I would consider the recoil of my PF9 and light handloads harder to manage than the last S&W J-frame I fired in .38spl.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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The list of considerations for choosing an EDC gun can be endless.

Type Revoler/Pistol
Hammer/Striker/Shrouded/Exposed
Gun size, particularly width
Caliber
Capacity
Features
Safety/Decocker
Carry style
Holster style
Carry location
Carry condition

In the end, the gun you choose should be the one you intend to trust your life to. You should wield it like Yoda with that mini-lightsaber. The gun should be as familiar to you as your ***** are to that old ragged pair of tighty-whities. You need to shoot it a lot, hundreds of rounds before you carry it, so you are intimate with it... then you need to put a couple mags through it often enough to keep up that relationship

To be blunt, the last gun I would purchase with the intent to EDC is one that was simply a good deal. You need to weigh all the variables and choose a gun that meets all your criteria. My first EDC was a Keltec PF9 that met all the criteria that I had at the time, but I revised my list after coming to the conclusion that my x-large hands would simply never be able to shoot that gun very well. I knew I needed a bigger gun. I experimented with a few but eventually had my LIST of requisited and went from there.

For me, the list went like this:
Semi-auto
Medium frame
9mm
Large capacity
Striker Fired
No manual safety
Polymer frame
Carbine or rifle available with compatible magazines
Reputation for absolute reliability and reputation for feeding everything

Of course there are dozens of guns that fit the profile, so I just kept narrowing it down. Part of my decision in going with a G19 was that I already had a G17 and loved it. I also considered several compact guns that would take full-size mags like the G26 SR9C, XD-C, M&P9C, etc...

Quote:
So your opinion is that the assumed reliability advantages of a revolver are of no real significance in comparison to modern single stack compacts?
This, in addition to your familiarity and training with a gun. A malfunction in a semi-auto must be something you instantly recognize and know how to clear... which means training and practicing. There is no "clearing" of a revolver, but if you have a misfire in a Taurus M85, you've just lost 20% of your ammo. Basically with a 5 shot revolver, if you need more than 1rd, or there is more than 1 bad guy, AND YOU HAVE A MISFIRE that is not your first shot, you are good and truly fucked. Anyways, no matter how I did the math, a 5-shot revolver never equal'd "good EDC" for me. OTOH... an M85 would be my absolute first choice for an ankle gun as a backup.

If you end up deciding on a single-stack 9mm, then LC9, PF9, Shield, Kahr PM9, Taurus PT709, Beretta NANO, and a few others. I'm pretty sure the Springfield XD-s 9mm isn't going to meet its Summer release date, but could be wrong.

But also consider stepping up to a double-stack gun if your waistline will support carrying something a few 1/10ths thicker. I'm 6'4" 250lbs and my G19 fits fine... no reason you can't try out a G26.

A good way to try a new gun is to get ahold of one from a buddy and carry it around the house for a week straight... take your trusted piece with you when you go out, but carry the "new" gun around the house to get used to it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:39 AM   #10
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^This. I love my Glock 27. However, at 5'9" and 185ish it is a bit hard to conceal. IWB holster prints slightly. Just fine for winter wearing a coat. Already looking at Kahr's for summer/forever. I'm sort of a small build + some fluff from getting out of shape a bit. Single stack may be a good way to go. A few friends love their Kahr guns and from holding a few they seem well made, still love my Glocks but they are thick. I will say that getting to hold/play with a few the difference in feel from new to used is huge. They really need a good break in as the feel really wound up new (tight). I like a lot about them, but the full release of the trigger gets me a bit. I don't put a budget to the gun I have to carry for my life short of insane prices. It has to work, period. Any gun you shoot will be different. As long as you are use to that gun you'll be fine. Many people bitch about Glock triggers and say 1911's or go die. I'm use to my Glock so 1911's feel odd to me. Take some peoples opinions with a grain of salt. Many gun people think they have "THE" answer.
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