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The Taurus 85 5-shot .38 special +P rated small-frame revolver that’s Made in Brazil. Early Taurus 85s had either 2” or 3” length barrels. The gun’s overall length were 6.25” and 7.25” respectively and weighted about 21 ounces. They could also be had with a titanium frame Taurus 85 TI, which dropped the weight to 16 ounces. The diminutive size made them very comfortable to carry.

This lineup owns a nice, sweet spot that’s so sought out. Taurus says this little pantheon of revolvers is its most popular lineup. The gun had several different versions, but all 85s had a serrated ramp front sight and a fixed rear sight. And at the bottom were texturized rubber grips screwed to the frame. The Taurus 85 UL was about 17 ounces, and then the Taurus 85 UL/TI came in at a light 14.5 ounces. Note: UL stands for ultra-light, and Taurus wasn’t kidding about this designation. And the aforementioned Taurus 85 TI largely made of aluminum and titanium.

Starting in 1997, the 85 received Taurus Security System, which locks the gun via a special key. The 85s also featured a transfer bar safety designed to prevent the gun from firing when dropped or accidentally discharge in some other way. Naturally, no safety is absolutely safe, but this vastly reduces accidents.

Over the years, there have been various options. For instance, by 2014, there were six offerings, all with 2” barrels, and all are .38 Special +P rated. All versions had the DA/SA trigger, fixed ramp sights and a wrap-around rubber grip. Each model is 6.5” in overall length.

Of these, one model had the matte blued finish on the steel frame and cylinder. It had an extended rubber grip with three finger recesses instead of two and a vented rib. It weighed 21 ounces. The second model was the same except in stainless steel.

The next set had polymer frames, no vented rib and shorter two-finger recess rubber grips. One of these had the blued frame and blued cylinder while the other had a stainless frame and stainless cylinder. This pair weighs 18.2 ounces.

Finally, there was the matte stainless finish cylinder and matte stainless ultra-light frame with no vented rib but with the shorter two-finger grip. You also had the all blued or all stainless gun choices.

There were other variants from different years. For instance, the 85 Ultra Lights were just 17 ounces. The Taurus 856 was like the Model 85 but with a 6-round cylinder instead of the 85’s 5-round cylinders.

As if 14.5 ounces wasn’t light enough, Taurus developed the 85 VTA (aka the View) around a 1.0” barrel, a 9-ounce weight and an overall length of 5.0”. It was double-action only (DAO) and could handle .38 Special but not .38 Special +P ammo. You could get it in stainless with black rubber grips or the same but with pink grips!

But the coolest thing about 85 VTA View was the namesake transparent Lexan side plate (covering more or less the diagonal flank of the gun between the back of the cylinder and the top of the grip as well as between the bottom of the cylinder and the top of the trigger). This see-through Lexan transparent part reveals the mechanisms normally hidden out of sight. The View remained in production through the end of 2014, but wasn’t successful enough to continue into 2015.

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