Well, after building the 1892 Winchester in 357, I guess I got horned into 357 and just had to finally spring for a nice wheel gun. My taste is in S&W but I want a nice handling range gun and the K frame is just right as not being too heavy. Besides I carried a M10 S&W as a duty gun for 18 years and became fond of my qualifying scores with that action. Problem is, I think S&W has been giving the shooting public the screws on their K frame magnums for a very long time. Frame cutting, and burned throats aside, That I can understand but I draw the line at poor barrel shank design. Iv seen a few K's with bore bulges just forward the barrel shank threads inside the frame mouth. Its ugly and should not happen. Reason being, they stop the barrel treads into a "root diameter" opening cut of the shank rather than stopping the threads into thread OD. Taurus correctly decided long ago that they would correct this deficiency and that is one main reason why I bought a 669 rather than a 66 S&W aside from the $$$ difference. The barrel cylinder gap on the Taurus is perfect at .004. It needs a trigger job and a forcing cone hone that I figured would be needed but all in all, this particular Taurus 357 is going to be a very sweet shooter. Its a bit beefier in the frame than a S&W 66 and the finish is exceptional for the 5 bones even OTD on a GB purchase.
The Taurus shank
Well, kind of a review, bearing in mind I've only owned the thing for (checks calendar...) 5hrs & 5 minutes.
First impressions: It's a mini Vaquero! Fit & finish is far better than I expected actually. Joint to joint finish is very tight, although there are a few rounded corners, making it look more 'gappy' than it really is. The grips are perfect fit for the frame & are significantly nicer than those on the Blackhawk or vaquero. Yes, they're plastic, but the checkering is crisp & sharp. It feels very familiar to my hand. Like my 1860 Army. It points just as well too. The sights line up instinctively as soon as it's brought to bear. The MIM hammer has a little patch of very grippy checkering (Like the Blackhawk) making strong or support hand, thumb cocking a breeze. The trigger is rough. It has a pretty long, gritty take up & as it comes heavy break weight. I'd estimate pull weight at around 7-8lb. For a single action, that's just horrible. That said, there is a super simple mod that can be done with no permanent alterations to all Ruger single actions. Pop off a grip plate & drop one leg of the trigger spring of it's post. Instantly reduces weight by 50%. I worked the hammer & trigger a couple hundred times before shooting it & the grittiness went away, although the pre travel remains. It's 1000 times better than it was though & The break itself is very clean with minimal over travel. I also gave all the twiddly expensive bits a drop of oil & greased up the hammer strut. This reduces the cocking effort significantly. The hammer strut rides through a thin steel plate at the bottom of the grip & THAT'S the part that Ruger decided needed minimal tolerance. They bind on occasion. The best solution is to open up the hole a wee bit, but that's not really a fair thing to do before a test/review. Let's be honest, 99.9% of folks won't do it, so I slapped on some lithium grease instead.
To the shooty bit.....
I'm working on the theory here that since this is a really cheap pistol, 99% of buyers are going to use it purely for plinking & occasional target use, but certainly not competition (CAS/SASS stuff aside) bullseye shooting. This being my train of thought, I didn't bother even trying any quality ammunition. No Eley, no Lapua. Only cheap, readily available bulk.....crap to be fair.
I shot indoors, at Templar Shooting Sports range here in Tullahoma ($20+tax per lane) so wind & atmospheric variables could be avoided. Ruger state in their blurb that the sight is regulated at 15yds, so that's the distance I shot at. Shooting was done from a rested, seated position from a Caldwell sand bag. 2 full cylinders (12 shot groups) were fired at each target & the groups measured at the end of testing. The target wasn't moved during grouping.
Aguila Super Extra 40gn solid
Federal Target Grade 40gn solid
Remington Golden bullet 38gn HP
Federal Black Pack 36gn HP
*Winchester Super X 37gn HP
I had no ammunition failures, nothing shot or sounded 'weak' (common with bulk) or 'hot'. Not one single mechanical issue with the pistol at all in 125 rounds fired. I fired 3 full cylinders of blind-loaded mixed bag ammo to ensure hitting paper at 15yds & to ensure the cylinder & barrel were good & dirty before I began the accuracy portion.