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Old May 17, 2020, 13:00   #1
hueyville
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Rossi & Taurus Wheel Guns

Neither have ever had the respect of Colt, Smith, Ruger, Dan Wesson and others but with the Taurus Raging Bull 454 Casull and other big cartridges, Raging Hunter, Raging Hornet 22 Hornets, Tracker 22 mags and other nice and unique wheel guns began collecting them along with buying boat loads of used pawn shop and "behind on the rent" guns made by both over the years. As I have been organizing my vaults and spreadsheets by maker instead of date purchased in my book realize I have a lot of both Rossi and Taurus wheel guns. Also discovered there are a lot of spring kitsemester and they will take a good tuning. Also been finding information like posted below that helps explain why the varying quality at times.

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TAURUS HISTORY AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION
http://www.taurususa.com/company/history.cfm

From humble beginnings as a small tool manufacturer in Porto Alegre, Brazil over 60 years ago, Forjas Taurus (translation: Taurus Forge) has become a diversified, international company and one of the largest small arms manufacturers in the world. The company produced its first revolver in 1941. The gun combined elements from several Manufacturers of that day, including Colt, Smith & Wesson and certain Spanish brands. This first revolver was designated the Model 38101SO. Taurus soon became a major factor in the South American market and experienced continuous growth.*


In 1968, the company was ready to venture into the U.S. market. This was accomplished by employing the services of a succession of U.S. distributors over the next several years. Their efforts met with only marginal success.*

In the meantime, Smith & Wesson had been purchased by a conglomerate named Bangor Punta. In 1970, Bangor Punta also purchased 54% of Taurus. Thus, the two companies became "sisters". Smith & Wesson never owned Taurus. They were both independent companies. However, during the next seven years, a great deal of technology and methodology was passed between the two. What may come as a surprise to some is that more of what was "right" in Porto Alegre was sent to Springfield than was sent from Springfield to south of the equator.

1977 saw our present ownership buy 54% of Taurus outright from Bangor Punta. At once a quest to improve overall quality of Taurus product was initiated. Also, the company now began a dynamic expansion program.

Beretta had won a huge contract in 1974 to produce small arms for the army of Brazil. Part of the deal was that Beretta construct a Brazilian factory and use Brazilian labor. This they did, in the southwestern coastal city of Sao Paulo. When the contract ran out in 1980, Beretta sold the plant, literally "lock, stock and barrel," to Taurus. Taurus now owned everything that once belonged to Beretta, including drawings, tooling, machinery, and a very experienced work force. Taurus was in the pistol business, and immediately sought to improve on the Beretta design, resulting in the popular and acclaimed Taurus PT-92 and PT-99 9mm pistols.*

The next milestone for Taurus came in 1982. This is when the Brazil management decided to "take the bull by the horns" by opening an affiliated company, Taurus, in Miami, Florida. Sales that first year in America were limited as a solid distribution system had to be established. Taurus guns had not been advertised or written up in the shooting press. Taurus was truly an unknown commodity in the United States. This situation was to change dramatically in the next few years.

At the Dallas, Texas S.H.O.T. Show in 1984, Taurus was to make an announcement that was to have a tremendous impact on the entire industry. Taurus became the first company to offer its customers an unqualified LIFETIME REPAIR POLICY. This one brilliant piece of marketing changed the course of the company in this market. Only recently has this policy been matched. It has never been exceeded. In 1984, this daring innovative policy made everyone sit up and take notice of Taurus Firearms. The U. S. company has posted record years ever since...

In 1989, the company celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The celebration was capped off at the January 1990 S.H.O.T. Show, with Taurus giving away a brand new 1990 Ford Taurus to a lucky Dealer from New Mexico.*

There was cause for celebration in 1994 when Forjas Taurus received the prestigious ISO 9001 designation from the International Organization for Standardization for superior manufacturing and marketing practices. Only one other firearms company in the world has obtained this designation. Currently, Taurus U.S.A. is at work to share this honor with the parent company.
Recently tuned a Rossi 720 five shot 44 special into a formidable carry gun and have parts to do a second. Own three and looking for a fourth. Also tuned a Taurus M66 4" 357 six shot that runs as nicely as a Smith M19 or 686 now. Have discovered dozens of used, financially distressed, pawn shop Rossi and Taurus wheel guns just piled on shelves in vaults. Have been researching, buying kits, discovering many of my Smith, Ruger, Colt, etc tools will work for tuning so now working through some of my $200 and under wheel guns to discover they shoot with any wheel gun around. That does not even count the semi custom factory Raging Bulls, Hornets, etc.

Have found Houge, Cylinder & Slide upgrade parts, Wolff spring kits and more in hand plus more imbound as intend to tune a pile of these older "step child" wheel guns. Anyone else have some favorite Rossi or Taurus wheel guns aquired over the years? Anyone else tried tuning any of these wheel guns?
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Old May 17, 2020, 13:10   #2
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The only Taurus I have (or ever had) is a stainless 357 mag copy of a Smith model 66 that my "practice wife" gave me for a wedding gift when we got married in 1986.

I know Taurus has some QC issues later, but for a "cheap" gun built at that time period, it is actually a pretty dang nice piece of gear.
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Old May 17, 2020, 14:20   #3
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I don't own a Tarus or Rossi so I can't say how good or bad they are by experience. Over the years I know a really good gunsmith and before I buy anything I ask him how that companies service is. He has sent many new guns back to the manufacturer and can tell me first hand what goes wrong with the guns and how they are repaired.

He tells me some name brand guns and models are pure junk and the company won't stand behind them. It's nice to have him figure this out so I don't waste my money.
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Old May 17, 2020, 15:25   #4
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Originally Posted by Invictus77 View Post
The only Taurus I have (or ever had) is a stainless 357 mag copy of a Smith model 66 that my "practice wife" gave me for a wedding gift when we got married in 1986.

I know Taurus has some QC issues later, but for a "cheap" gun built at that time period, it is actually a pretty dang nice piece of gear.
I have one of those. In Stainless.

But it's my wifes gun now. While I have put some really hot 357 through it just to make sure it didn't choke or spontaneously combust, most of the time, when my wife shoots it, it's almost always really mild 38 special.
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Old May 17, 2020, 20:39   #5
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I owned a Taurus M85CH for about 20 years. It was entirely adequate for what I used it for, although it was beginning to develop some endshake by the time I sold it. I had been shooting standard .38 Special ammo (no +Ps) for all of that time. I doubt that I had more than 500 rounds through it, if even that. I would consider buying another Taurus, providing that I could carefully examine it before purchase.
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Old May 17, 2020, 21:03   #6
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I bought this Taurus Model 85 second-hand for my daughter, about 17 years ago. It was in like-new condition and is a really good shooting little revolver.



And I've bought three of these 9mm pistols, one for me and one each for my daughter and daughter-in-law.



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Old May 17, 2020, 21:03   #7
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There's a <$200 3" older Rossi ( Smith 36 knockoff) hanging from a nail by the front door. (Siince I'm staying home the "layabout" guns are out vs locked up.)
Older Rossi's are excellent, some are junk.

I've had a couple tauruses fail on me in ways they shouldn't, including NIB. Only Taurus I'd think about hanging into is a 92, or perhaps one of their older revolvers, but I have plenty of <$300 model 10's and M&P's to fill that nitch ($235 nickled Victory model by the toilet.)
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Old May 17, 2020, 21:18   #8
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I know lots of ppl like them, but Ive heard enough stories about QC and CS over the years regarding Taurus that I avoid them all together.
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Old May 18, 2020, 07:08   #9
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Had a little stainless Rossi .38 that was sweet, sold it to the ex-BIL. Currently have a 3 Rossi 720 I like, and Huey cant have it.. Had a couple of PT92 pistols that I liked a lot but they went down the road in a purge. I only have one Taurus currently, an ultra lightweight, ported .45 Colt snubby. I have seen other folks having too much trouble with Taurus revolvers and semi-autos so I doubt I will ever buy another.
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Old May 19, 2020, 12:52   #10
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Taurus are hit and miss but of know which models and correct serial number ranges for early models used to pick up nice shooters for cheap. The M66 Smith knock offs are fine pistols and have a few scattered about which have never let me down. My Rossi Raging Bulls, Raging Hornets, Raging Hunters, Trackers and similar are as nice of a wheel gun as a person could want if into odd calibers and big hand cannons.

Started in on customizing the second Rossi 720 today as my spring kit finally showed up along with shims to work on barrel/cylinder gap. Once I get all the internals slicked up just have to install the tritium in front sight and add a couple bolt on parts and will be done. Am considering having one of the two ported to see if makes enough difference to pursue doing to others. Whether a top line or budget wheel gun I like 3" barrel carries. Handle well and not too snappy. More I dig the more I think I need to be selling guns and not buying, building, improving but a man has to do something.
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Old May 26, 2020, 11:16   #11
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Don't know much about Taurus but I am fond of Interarms imported Rossis. Seems to be a high point for Rossi quality. Love the 720 and one of the nice things about the .38s is that three inch barrels are a common length,.....less common and premium priced on S&W revolvers.
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Old May 27, 2020, 18:49   #12
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Bought a stainless Taurus Model 85CH 2" .38 snubby with the bobbed hammer as my wife's CCW back in 1992. I put a S&W 36 spring kit in it and polished the hammer, sear and trigger and she is smooth as glass. Her CCW instructor asked if he could shoot it and she let him. He couldn't believe how light and smooth the trigger was on it and if she would sell it... she told him what I had done to it and told him it wasn't for sale. She still carries it to this day and after hundreds if not over a thousand rounds it has not failed us once... The best part about it is that I bought it for $218 and tuned it for less than $25. Couldn't even come close to $250 for a S&W pocket pistol even back in those days. Yes, Taurus has had it's quality issues in its days but their revolvers for the most part are pretty decent... at least some of their earlier offerings.
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Old May 27, 2020, 20:34   #13
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I own one Taurus, this little oddity, the View, because nobody makes anything else quite that small in that caliber. It works, but I don't "over-shoot" it, just enough to make sure it will put a deep dent in all five primers for five squeezes of the trigger. That it beats the crap out of you with every one self limits also...
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Old May 27, 2020, 20:38   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invictus77 View Post
The only Taurus I have (or ever had) is a stainless 357 mag copy of a Smith model 66 that my "practice wife" gave me for a wedding gift when we got married in 1986.

I know Taurus has some QC issues later, but for a "cheap" gun built at that time period, it is actually a pretty dang nice piece of gear.
Got the same gun still. Only thing I've ever had to do to it is round the bail pin the let the cylinder swing out. Somehow, prolly from shooting too damn much, it lost it's roundness, and wouldn't let the bail release. Easy fix with some emery cloth.
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Old May 28, 2020, 13:11   #15
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In general, nothing like mentioning Taurus or Rossi to bring out the hate...

I have very few revolvers. Shit, it's bad enough to have to clean one chamber, let alone five or six (or seven or more)...

I have a number of Taurus autos, including 24/7 and 24/7G2 in 9x19mmP and 24/7 in .45ACP, and PT111G2 (actually, three of them). I also have a TH9. I have been quite happy with all of them.

The only Taurus auto that I own that I think is junk is the American made TX22 (an exceptionally good design marred by shitty American manufacturing of the barrel, which has crap for bores).

The made in Brazil autos are all just fine...

A number of decades ago, I had a girl friend who had a S&W M60. I actually found that I liked the gun quite a bit. Being cheap, I picked up a Rossi M88 (their copy of the SS M60). It was an Interarms import. It's been a great little gun.

A number of years later, I picked up a Rossi M518 (a four inched barrel, 6-shot, SS .22LR. I have been very happy with it. Without pulling the box out of a safe, I think that it was also an Interarms import.

Those are the only two revolvers that I owned for many years. Then, about a year and a half ago, Taurus had a 'sale' (rebates) on their M85 in .38 Spcl. This is a cheapie 2 inch with a frosted SS finish. Since my final cost ended up being about $150 each, I picked up two. They are quite nice guns, but I did have a problem with one. The cylinder stop would sometimes not 'pop up,' which sucks hairy donkey dicks (well, I'm assuming that's bad since I've never tried it, but whatever).

Comparing the two, it seemed like the spring force was weak. I honed the burrs off the surfaces and that helped, but it still happened occasionally. I finally sent it back to Taurus. They fixed it very quickly (pretty clearly by putting the correct spring in the gun). It works very well now and I'm happy with it and this personal experience with Taurus warranty service.

Last year, we had a Taurus Tracker M971 (SS, 6.5in barrel) in .22WMR come into the shop on consignment. While like new, it sat around the shop for a number of months before I finally couldn't stand it and picked it up. It's beautifully made and a great shooter. I'm very happy with it (well, except that the wheels didn't come with it, of course, but I'm sure that goes without saying ).

I also picked up a Rossi M33 (2in blue 5-shot .38Spcl) that came into the shop on consignment. The gun was like new except that the finish on the cylinder was pretty scarfed up (not the metal, just the bluing). After it sat around not selling, I finally picked it up for $75. It's actually a great little handgun. The wooden grips suck (I have big hands), but whatever...

The Taurus TX22 is another story. I have received replacement barrels (Taurus has been pretty good with attempting to fix the problem), but I still haven't seen one worth having...

For what it's worth...

Forrest

PS I'm sure that others have had problems with Taurus guns. In fairness, however, I should point out that S&W has had it's fair share of crappy production over the years. For example, back in the early 1980s, I talked to a shop owner here in Colorado Springs who claimed that about 40% of the new Smiths he received required going back to S&W for 'correction.'

And, further, that doesn't mean that I haven't seen some junk Taurus guns...
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Old May 28, 2020, 15:06   #16
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Both are total junk .. !!
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Old May 28, 2020, 19:25   #17
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Both are total junk .. !!


Forrest
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Old May 28, 2020, 20:25   #18
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Damn, you sure called it Forest.
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Old May 28, 2020, 20:57   #19
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which sucks hairy donkey dicks (well, I'm assuming that's bad since I've never tried it, but whatever).
Me neither of course on the first part, but I have had donkeys, and I can tell you that like every other equine, they are not hairy.



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Old May 28, 2020, 21:10   #20
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I have had donkeys, and I can tell you that like every other equine, they are not hairy.



True. And, neither are these:




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Old May 29, 2020, 10:33   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftierson View Post
In general, nothing like mentioning Taurus or Rossi to bring out the hate...

(Trim)

The made in Brazil autos are all just fine...

Last year, we had a Taurus Tracker M971 (SS, 6.5in barrel) in .22WMR come into the shop on consignment. While like new, it sat around the shop for a number of months before I finally couldn't stand it and picked it up. It's beautifully made and a great shooter. I'm very happy with it (well, except that the wheels didn't come with it, of course, but I'm sure that goes without saying ).

I also picked up a Rossi M33 (2in blue 5-shot .38Spcl) that came into the shop on consignment. The gun was like new except that the finish on the cylinder was pretty scarfed up (not the metal, just the bluing). After it sat around not selling, I finally picked it up for $75. It's actually a great little handgun. The wooden grips suck (I have big hands), but whatever...

For what it's worth...

Forrest

PS I'm sure that others have had problems with Taurus guns. In fairness, however, I should point out that S&W has had it's fair share of crappy production over the years. For example, back in the early 1980s, I talked to a shop owner here in Colorado Springs who claimed that about 40% of the new Smiths he received required going back to S&W for 'correction.'

And, further, that doesn't mean that I haven't seen some junk Taurus guns...
I have only ever purchased Rossi and Taurus wheel guns. All are twenty plus year examples that have a good reputation if keep up with them. One way to figure out the models to own are the ones companies like Wolff sell spring kits and other accessory companies sell upgrade parts. You mentioned the Taurus Tracker, I have a Tracker in my bug out bag with two bricks of Hornady 22 mag ammo. It's a fine shooter and 1,000 rounds of 22 mag takes up little room and weight. Anyone that handles a Raging Bull in 454 Casull Mag, Raging Hunter in 44 Mag or Raging Hornet in 22 Hornet and calls them junk I would wonder about. I have multiples of each and they are fine firearms. On the small frame inexpensive guns try to buy the older Interarms imported from Brazil and should get a decent little gun.

Edit:
Have no idea where first sentence came from. I own dozens of Smith and Colt wheel guns along with a pile of Dan Wesson switch barrels, Charter Arms and others including one Korth which is the most expensive off the shelf wheel gun I have ever seen. Have over ten Colt Snake guns. My Rossi and Taurus wheel guns have never let me down. There are some models and serial number range guns I would not own but every manufacturer has a bad run or model on occasion.
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Old May 29, 2020, 11:26   #22
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Older Rossi's werent bad for cheaper utility revolvers.

Im glad to hear the newer Taurus revolvers are better..
Years ago Taurus was mostly thought of as junk,,,and they well earned that reputation...

Things do change,,sometimes even for the better,,,,
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Old May 29, 2020, 18:24   #23
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I have only ever purchased Rossi and Taurus wheel guns. All are twenty plus year examples that have a good reputation if keep up with them. One way to figure out the models to own are the ones companies like Wolff sell spring kits and other accessory companies sell upgrade parts. You mentioned the Taurus Tracker, I have a Tracker in my bug out bag with two bricks of Hornady 22 mag ammo. It's a fine shooter and 1,000 rounds of 22 mag takes up little room and weight. Anyone that handles a Raging Bull in 454 Casull Mag, Raging Hunter in 44 Mag or Raging Hornet in 22 Hornet and calls them junk I would wonder about. I have multiples of each and they are fine firearms. On the small frame inexpensive guns try to buy the older Interarms imported from Brazil and should get a decent little gun.
I have only seen one Raging Bull. Guy was shooting it next to me at the range a few years back. He had bought it new, and immediately had problems and had to send it back to Taurus for service. It locked up right out of the gate this second time too. So as far as I personally know these things have a 200% failure rate.
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Old May 29, 2020, 18:43   #24
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Like I said .. Both are total Junk .. !!
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Old May 30, 2020, 07:28   #25
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Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
I have only seen one Raging Bull. Guy was shooting it next to me at the range a few years back. He had bought it new, and immediately had problems and had to send it back to Taurus for service. It locked up right out of the gate this second time too. So as far as I personally know these things have a 200% failure rate.
I own two Raging Bulls in 454, one Raging Hunter in 44, two Raging Hornets in 22 Hornet and a Tracker in 22 Mag. Have not had an issue with any, all are tack drivers and only issue I have seen with 454 Raging Bull was a guy handloading his rounds down to low recoil and hit a node where brass would stretch but not spring back and thus not eject unless beat each shell out with a rod and hammer. I have heard the new Taurus guns have more issues than older s do Rossi. All of mine are old examples.

Edit:
Did he realize it has two locking mechanisims? ;-) I have seen some have issues shooting some brands of 45 Long Colt ammo. I would not hesitate to buy another even your buddies problem gun and fix whatever issue it has myself. My former next door neighbor bought a Raging Bull after shooting mine in the back yard. He constantly complained about issues and sent his back twice plus brought it to me to open a jammed cylinder twice. I fixed his once he finally let me in under ten minutes, his real issue was buying commercial reloads to save money and just took polishing the chambers so his ammo was not setting back just enough to lock up cylinder and not move forward just a few thousandths under hand pressure against side of cylinder while trying to manipulate both cylinder locks. Have seen other people with arthritis have issues opening the dual lock cyinders. I have run low power and over chart "elephant killing" loads through mine and twenty plus years later both work perfectly and are super accurate. That said except for Colt Snake guns and my Korth I open up almost every wheel gun I buy and work over the internals after first or second trip to the range. Almost never meet a revolver that doesn't need some improvements.
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Last edited by hueyville; May 30, 2020 at 07:50.
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Old May 30, 2020, 11:45   #26
yovinny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hueyville View Post
I own two Raging Bulls in 454, one Raging Hunter in 44, two Raging Hornets in 22 Hornet and a Tracker in 22 Mag. Have not had an issue with any, all are tack drivers and only issue I have seen with 454 Raging Bull was a guy handloading his rounds down to low recoil and hit a node where brass would stretch but not spring back and thus not eject unless beat each shell out with a rod and hammer. I have heard the new Taurus guns have more issues than older s do Rossi. All of mine are old examples.

Edit:
Did he realize it has two locking mechanisims? ;-) I have seen some have issues shooting some brands of 45 Long Colt ammo. I would not hesitate to buy another even your buddies problem gun and fix whatever issue it has myself. My former next door neighbor bought a Raging Bull after shooting mine in the back yard. He constantly complained about issues and sent his back twice plus brought it to me to open a jammed cylinder twice. I fixed his once he finally let me in under ten minutes, his real issue was buying commercial reloads to save money and just took polishing the chambers so his ammo was not setting back just enough to lock up cylinder and not move forward just a few thousandths under hand pressure against side of cylinder while trying to manipulate both cylinder locks. Have seen other people with arthritis have issues opening the dual lock cyinders. I have run low power and over chart "elephant killing" loads through mine and twenty plus years later both work perfectly and are super accurate. That said except for Colt Snake guns and my Korth I open up almost every wheel gun I buy and work over the internals after first or second trip to the range. Almost never meet a revolver that doesn't need some improvements.
What do you consider an 'older' Taurus ?
Because the ones from the 70-90's are mostly Junk with a capital J....
When they started producting in the usa, the limited models they produced there were also mostly junk for a good long while.
Our store had to send so many back,,, we just completely quit selling any in the early 90's...
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Old June 02, 2020, 18:01   #27
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I have a Taurus 38spcl with 2" barrel, in stainless made in the early '90's. The polished stainless, wood grips and overall are S&W quality, IMO. I also own a S&W 357mag model 66. Not sayin' Taurus doesn't put out shitty guns, this one was done right...

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