Taurus 856 Defender

What experience has anyone had with Taurus - in particular, with the all-steel version of their 856 “Defender”? Also - Bersa’s “Comanche II” revolver? I’m particularly struck with the 856’s robust design, and the Python styling of the “Comanche II”. Out of pure frustration from trying to acquire a Walther “PP” years ago, I bought and owned an FEG PMK180 “Mark I " with a 3.9” barrel, distributed through Alexandria Arms. It had a brilliant blued finish, proved to be a real shooter, and I made the mistake of trading it in for a Glock 24 - everything I’ve read about FEG’s latest .380 - the PA-63 - urges the owner to replace its springs ASAP, citing in particular its main/recoil spring as being on the weak side. Are the costs here justified? Comments, anyone? Adios, muchachos - Kurt

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I recently purchased a Taurus 856CH revolver recently and so far I like it. It has a solid feel, easy to shoot, and I really enjoy the stock rubber grip. Although I haven’t had it for long, I have enjoyed every time I have taken it to the range.

Also, for the price point I find it an excellent value.


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What costs are you taking about? The springs for the FEG are very inexpensive (Wolff Springs). Or the cost of the Taurus?


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Up front, I have zero experience with the defender.

However, I have owned and shot many Taurus weapons in the past. MY OPINION is they are a well made gun at a very reasonable price. I would never hesitate to buy a Taurus. As mentioned I have owned a couple and shot many and never had an issue with any of them. Lots of high end features at an affordable price.

I dont know what other peoples experiences have been, but I put mine through hell and it performed flawlessly. I was shooting with several Law enforcement friends who were totally surprised at how well it performed.


I am in the same boat with @John512. I did own 1 Taurus firearm in 45 auto about 10 years ago. It worked well for me, every time I took it to the range it fired flawlessly. I believe it was a PT111 but not sure. I did test fire a lot of Taurus firearms back in the NYPD ballistic days but don’t believe I have personally fired the 856 Defender.

The 856 is fairly new - I think it debuted at this year’s SHOT show - it’s their .38 snubby with a heavy, full-lugged 3" barrel and fiberoptic front sight. This is about the limit in any .38 I’ll buy - I always tell everyone to shoot “enough gun”. I’ve grown so tired of these pipsqueak .380s touted for self-defense that I wrote Walther to urge them to bring out an improved, American-made “PP” with its 100mm/3.9" barrel - it’s not that difficult to conceal, and that small difference in barrel length adds to accuracy. I’m still shopping for a cordura iwb holster for my PK380 with no luck. Kurt

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I was musing over total costs - a gunsmith would have to install the springs - I only trust myself in cleaning it, having owned a PMK Mark I in the past. At 70 and now a diabetic, sometimes I wonder if it’s worth getting up to make coffee in the AM. Kurt

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I am not here to compare the nicks and bruises of getting older, I will say if you are alive and thinking you are ahead of the game. At almost 73 some of my parts are not in the best of shape.
Moving along the mainspring (recoil) on the FEG is easy to change if you are able to rack the slide and field strip the weapon. I am not aware of what is a PMK Mark 1 so no comment on that.
Best of luck you.

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Nice piece of hardware brother @RUGER9.