Taurus has had a bit of a resurgence in the last year. Something clicked into place in 2022 that began with the introduction of the Executive Grade 856 at NRAAM. Behind the scenes, Taurus has hired some new higher-ups who seem to be guiding the Taurus brand toward greater success. That was on full display at SHOT 2023.
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In fact, I’m pretty confident in saying that of all the companies at SHOT, they had the biggest rollout of new products that were genuinely impressive. Not only did Taurus and its subsidiary Rossi roll out a ton of new products, but they also had them at Range Day and on the Show Floor. Let’s go over a few of the latest products from Taurus and Rossi.
The Taurus Optics Ready Revolvers
One of the biggest announcements was two new compact revolvers with the Taurus TORO configuration (Taurus Optics Ready Option): the 856 and 605 revolvers. Both guns are fairly similar in design, with three-inch barrels and designed for concealed carry.
The 856 is a six-shot .38 Special rated for +P rounds, and the 605 is a five-shot .357 Magnum. Both guns offer exposed hammers, and the optics footprint matches the Holosun K model optics and similar footprints. Both guns were easy to shoot, and although I suck with revolvers, I instantly benefitted from the addition of a red dot.
The surprisingly nice double-action triggers helped put easy rounds on target, and I was able to keep a hostage target spinning from side to side. Optics on revolvers make a lot of sense. It’s a good mesh of both old-school technology and new-school tech that gels just right. The lack of a moving slide helps prevent wear on the optic, and the dot doesn’t move, making it easy to track.
These were the highlight of the Taurus booth and Range Day, in my opinion.
Another brand new introduction to the Taurus lineup is the TX 22 Compact. They’ve trimmed the barrel length of the TX 22 series to 3.6 inches and the height to 4.9 inches making the gun quite a bit more compact at the cost of three rounds from the magazine. They also attached an optic directly to the slide, which is a change from the competition series, which implemented a fixed optic mount.
The TX22 Compact is designed to be a range gun, but it could also be a concealed carry option for those who simply can’t carry anything larger in caliber. It’s a neat little gun that’s a tack driver at the range.
The Taurus 905 Talo Edition Concealed Hammer
One that was seemingly forgotten or missed at the end of 2022 was the release of the 905 Concealed Hammer model. The 905 is nothing new, but the Concealed Hammer model introduced not just a concealed hammer but a three-inch barrel. This is a 9mm revolver, and I’ve always been a fan of 9mm revolvers.
This hidden gem wasn’t at range day, but after finding it on the floor, I decided I needed to have one. It’s everything I want in a concealed-carry revolver. A three-inch barrel, a caliber I already stock, and a big front sight. If it had the TORO system, I’d be scrambling to find one right now.
Executive Grade Judge
The Executive Grade lineup will be the Taurus Premium line of their classic revolvers. It aims to blend function with style. The 856 was the first in their lineup, and the Judge was the next, with the Judge being one of Taurus’ most popular weapons. It’s a silly gun, but Taurus objectively cleaned it up.
The trigger is refined to a T, and the big gold bead front sight is worthy of the .410 shotshells it fired. The big wood grips and beautiful satin finish make it really stand out. It almost seems like the gun a villain would use in a Bond flick.
Rossi has brought back revolvers! They stopped producing revolvers years ago, but this year they’ve made a big comeback. I spoke with Caleb Giddings, Taurus’ head of marketing, about the new Rossi revolvers and where they stood. According to Caleb, Rossi is aiming to be their premium brand of revolvers with higher price points than Taurus and more on par with S&W and Ruger.
Rossi has introduced the RM66 and RM63 at SHOT, and there will apparently be an RM64 as well. The guns are largely the same, with the second numerical digit that designates the barrel length of the weapon. The RM66 and RM64 have adjustable sights, and the RM63 uses a traditional rear trench sight.
These are smooth shooters with a fairly thin frame for a full-sized, six-shot .357 Magnum. The triggers were impressive, and the finish looks great. I get the use of Hogue grips, but I think my first step would be wood grips just for style points. I really enjoyed shooting the RM66. The big gun barely bucked. Plus, the good sights, great trigger, and long sight radius made it easy for me to hit whatever target I aimed at.
Rossi Gallery Gun — In Magnum
The Rossi Gallery Gun has been around for years. It’s a fun, easy-to-shoot rifle that harkens back to the days of shooting galleries. This pump action rifle was traditionally a rifle chambered in .22LR, .22 Long, and .22 Short.
This year Rossi upped it to Magnum power and introduced a .22 WMR variant of the rifle. This takes it from just a fun gun to something a bit more serious. You can hunt some larger game, like coyotes and similar predators, as well as the same small game that the .22LR version can take.
A New Day For the Bull
Taurus, and by extension Rossi and Heritage Manufacturing, are experiencing a bit of a rejuvenation. They are not only producing quality firearms but innovating as well. Technically it’s the year of the Rabbit, but maybe it’s the year of the bull. (I know there isn’t a year of the bull, but you know what I’m getting at.)