Monday, April 11, 2011

Feat of Memory.

In the stack of reading material in Roseholme Cottage's smallest room was a 2010 Taurus catalog. I had idly perused it before, but had never bothered to read the corporate blatherskite on the front page, which turned out to be from company president Bob Morrison. There in bold print, he (or his secretary) had written:
"I remember when Taurus wasn't synonymous with quality."
Me too, Bob. Like it was just yesterday. Yesterday evening, as a matter of fact, right before I went to bed.


jetfxr69 said...

My first mental image formed after I'd read the quote, but not the Tam-generated text around it. My first thought was about the Ford sedan of the same name. Thought was followed by "Cop cars get beat up a lot and survive, but they're still butt-ugly...."

Huh, the cop part doesn't fit the Taurus in question so well, but the other, prereading isn't so bad after all.

Anonymous said...

Such snark for breakfast is a harbinger of a very good day indeed :-)


Anonymous said...

Hey now! I have owned a couple and my currentl model 44 4" stainless works pretty well. It has never failed to go bang and put the hole where I wanted. Not as slick as an S&W, but I can buy a couple of these for the price of a Smith. The other 2 were a 38 and 357, I think models 85 and 66, possibly? Along with all her other stuff, they are living somewhere else now. About the only thing I regret from THAT transaction.


Brian J. said...

Taurus is, however, synonymous with 'bull.'

Tam said...


Joseph said...

What mass-market gunmaker IS synonymous with quality? Do any come to mind? I think S&W and Colt USED to be there, but I think the bean counters made sure that went by the wayside.

North said...

So then, Tam, what would be your top 5 manufacturers?

Bottom 5?

Curious mind (singular) wants to know.

James family outpost, Iowa. said...

"Synonymous with quality" happens when the _______ Highway Patrol selects your product as their duty gun, and then 5 years later they choose your product again. How's that going, Taurus? That said, my Taurus 22 revolver always went bang. Then I replaced it with a model 18-4 mmm, quality. Kim DuToit said Taurus makes nice copies of the old pump action rifle 22 gallery guns, in stainless yet, but I have never seen one "in person", or I would likely have bought it on the spot.

North said...

(Handguns, for this guy. Long guns would be a different list.)

Kevin said...

For BAG day, 2009 I purchased a Taurus 605 .357 snubbie.

I couldn't put an entire cylinder full of .38's through it before the mechanism locked up. ONE .357 Magnum would do it. It wasn't the internal lockwork, either, I don't think.

I took it back to the shop where I bought it and traded it in on a Kel-Tec PF-9, and then told the counterperson that they should send it back to Taurus to take advantage of that lifetime warranty. When he asked why, I explained about the locking-up problem. "You can't sell us a defective gun!" he proclaimed. "Why not? You sold it to me that way," I responded.

The trade went through.

I won't be buying another Taurus.

Anonymous said...



theirritablearchitect said...

Wish I could disagree with you on this, but my experience has been pretty much as described.

DaddyBear said...

I only own one Taurus, an older Model 85 .38 snubby, and it's been rock solid so far. Can't comment on their automatics or newer offerings, but I'm happy so far.

sobriant74 said...

The mere fact that so many folks have had no problems and so many have had severe problems goes to show that QC is not a Taurus strength. I buy mostly Ruger when I cant afford Sig. At least then I know that when (maybe if) a problem is found Ruger will fix it right away,

The Raving Prophet said...

The one Taurus I owned (PT1911) was a great gun when it actually fired. Controllable, accurate, and prone to light primer strikes. After one repair attempt, the problem still existed, and thanks to Taurus' generally low-rent way of doing things, replacing the internals would have meant a good sized bill.

So I took the extra money and traded the Taurus on a S&W 1911. It doesn't shoot quite as accurately, but it goes bang every single time- something the Taurus didn't.

There's very few gun manufacturers that live up to the "good old days," but there's also very few with the rep Taurus has acquired through repeated shipping of guns that weren't right.

When I buy a gun, if there's a lifetime warranty I want to think "good, if I need it, they'll back it" like I think with Springfield Armory and Smith & Wesson. I don't want to think "good, because this thing will likely head back several times before it works right... each time at a $70 shipping charge and a six month wait." I'd sooner spend the money for a better gun.

Methinks Taurus should spend their time and energy not on shotshell revolvers with questionable ballistic capabilities or a myriad of variants of a basic handgun, but on getting just a few models to work great.

The price for a Taurus gun is right. The guns themselves aren't.

jimbob86 said...



Certainly: I use my mental faculties to make value judgements based on what I observe....

Taurus has been weighed, and found wanting. YMMV.

jimbob86 said...

"Methinks Taurus should spend their time and energy not on shotshell revolvers with questionable ballistic capabilities or a myriad of variants of a basic handgun, but on getting just a few models to work great."

It's more cost effective to hire an ad agency with high speed cameras and some watermelons and keep the marketing campaign going.... they already have the money of the owners of the crappy guns they already sold: There's a sucker born everyminute, and they are after the fresh fish......

Sigivald said...

I never did have a problem with my PT-92, other than the fact that it was a PT-92 (grips didn't suit my hand).

Traded it straight across for a Tanfoglio CZ-75 clone, and happy as a clam.

Likewise my little PT-25 has been perfect, for what it is (a "toy", and a ridiculous one).

And my Rossi revolver, which is identical to a Taurus, has been rock solid - so solid that I'm far, far more likely to get a Taurus .44 than a Ruger or especially a Smith.

The Smif name doesn't mean much to me, and never has.

Ken said...

I have had good results so far from my Model 85 3", but I don't push it all that hard and I'm fairly persuaded I could do better by spending more. Don't have more, at the mo.

NotClauswitz said...

Oh jeeze, he's the face behind the Judge and Raging Judge, and all that judge-hooey.

An Ordinary American said...

That's distressing.

In 1989, I was wearing a badge with an eagle on it (federal) and I had just had my third Beretta 92 go mammary-glands up on me, during an arrest gone bad.

I took the POS back to the shop where I'd bought it, and asked, "What else ya got?"

I really liked the design, the way it fit my hand, the capacity, etc. I hated Glocks at the time, and haven't developed any more love for them since (love--not respect. I respect Glocks, but they're uglier than an empty glass of buttermilk).

He shows me a Taurus 92, and first thing I noticed was the frame mounted safety rather than the slide mounted safety. I was dubious and he assured me that it had a no-questions asked Lifetime Warranty. Then he told me of a few other badge-toters who were carrying them.

Our agency was issuing the old S&W 64, which every agent promptly cleaned, boxed back up and threw in the closet. As long as it was double-action and a caliber of .380 or larger, we could carry it if we could qualify with it.

I've had that Taurus 92 since 1989, put untold tens of thousands of rounds through it, and abused it in ways no gun should ever have to experience--and she's never failed me.

Got a little Taurus 85 from the same time era. As solid as they get.

Today's Taurus? No thanks. I've handled and fired the Judge and their PT-1911 and you couldn't give me either one and get me to admit I owned it.

Somewhere, the company sacrificed quality in exchange for quantity.

Sad day.


Andrew said...

I seriously thought you were talking about the car for a minute there. :)

I started out with a used Taurus Model 85, then a new PT-111 Millennium Pro, a barely-used 608, and a very-used Model 94.

All but the last have been perfect runners. The .22 was borked up from the day I got it; I sent it to Taurus, and had it back in perfect running order in a week.

I have had two friends who couldn't get their four-figure Kimbers to run right. I suggested they each trade them in on three Taurii. :)

Tam said...


"I have had two friends who couldn't get their four-figure Kimbers to run right. I suggested they each trade them in on three Taurii. :)"

That's like telling somebody whose Maserati is an expensive driveway ornament to trade it in on three Yugos.

If all it's gonna do is sit broken in your garage and leak oil, it may as well look pretty doing it.

Tam said...

(In other words, Andrew, one in three new products you bought from a company didn't work right out of the box. That's a 33% failure rate. From what other product or company would you find that acceptable? What do you think it would do for Toyota's reputation if every third one broke down on the dealership lot?)

Cybrludite said...

Of the assorted Taurii I've owned, I had issues with the lock on the Judge, an issue S&Ws aren't immune to, and what may have been either light primer strikes or bad ammo with an old seventies vintage pre Taurus-USA six-shot snubbie.

However most of my Taurii I bought used from friends, and I knew in advance that they worked.

Laughingdog said...

I bought a Taurus PT1911 because I wanted to learn how to work on a 1911 without having to keep my Springfield in pieces all of the time. The nicest thing I can say is that it's a good tinkering gun, because it's not much of a shooting gun. Misfeeds every 20 rounds or so, at least. Also sort of halfway stovepipes a lot. The brass gets about 45 degrees up before the slide moves back forward, jacking up the brass and locking up the gun. You need a cleaning rod to fix the issue.

Quality? Ha!

Chris said...

The only Taurus I have is a PT1911 which I traded up from a Rock Island M1911. Never had a problem with it.

I have had multiple ongoing issues with my FM Hi-Power, which is supposed to be a quality licensed product.

It just goes to show, individual results may vary.

Tam said...


"It just goes to show, individual results may vary."

Yes, which is why I don't base my opinions on individual results, but rather on the personal experience of thousands of guns and near two decades in the gun biz.

Based on what I've seen, I'd say you have about a 60% chance of any new Taurus working right, straight outta the box. If those are the kind of odds that make you want to rush out and buy a $500 lottery ticket, be my guest.

I'll just keep being a "hater" over here. ;)

Tam said...

PS: I wouldn't buy an Argie High Power and expect it to run without some work, either...

Steve Florman said...

I must have gotten lucky, because my PT145 Millennium Pro has had about 1000 rounds of .45 ACP through it and the only misfeeds were my own lame reloads. All of the factory stuff has fired fine.

That said, after all of this, when I go out and get the .38 or .357 snubby I think I owe myself, I'll be looking for a Charter Arms or, if money permits, a Smith.