Critique: Taurus Defender 856UL Revolver | American Rifleman

In 2018, Taurus United states of america made a decision to shake matters up in…

In 2018, Taurus United states of america made a decision to shake matters up in the hid-have revolver current market with the launch of the metal-body Model 856.  Based mostly on the company’s little-body 2” barreled Model 85 chambered in .38 Spl., the cylinder of the 856 was widened by just .054″ to accommodate 6 cartridges alternatively of five. In 2019, the 856 lineup was expanded to consist of blended-metallic, reduced-pounds, Extremely-Lite snub-nose versions with a assortment of aluminum frame coloration options. For 2020, it has taken the 856 and expanded on the thought, practically, with the new Defender collection.

The 2″ barreled Taurus 856UL with coloured framed on the remaining in contrast with the new 3″ barreled Defender 856UL.

With six models to pick out from, the Defenders activity more time 3” barrels, prolonged 3-finger grips and an upgraded front sight. For this evaluation, I opted to work with an Ultra-Lite variation to see how these most up-to-date modifications would have an affect on the handling and functionality of these hid carry wheel guns. The new, 6-shot Taurus Defender 856 Ultra-Lite (let’s get in touch with it the Defender for brevity) is developed close to a lightweight, really hard-anodized aluminum frame with a standard rounded induce guard.

A view of the left side of the Taurus Defender 856UL revolver.

A perspective of the left side of the Taurus Defender 856UL revolver.

The other significant components, like the barrel, cylinder, hammer, cylinder launch and result in are manufactured from carbon metal and handled with a matte-black end that matches the body. Like other Taurus double-motion revolvers, the Defender’s general design borrows greatly from the Smith & Wesson fashionable double-motion with a cylinder that swings out to the left side when the wedge-formed launch is pressed ahead in the direction of the muzzle.

The AmeriGlo H3 FJ tritium front sight post that comes with the Defender 856UL.

The AmeriGlo H3 FJ tritium entrance sight publish that comes with the Defender 856UL.

The 3″ lengthy one-piece barrel has a full size beneath lug which shrouds the ejector rod. The best of the receiver is grooved with a fastened sq. notch that forms the rear sight. The common ramped and serrated front sight blade has been replaced with an AmeriGlo H3 FJ tritium evening sight. The squared off facial area of the sight is crammed with a vivid orange enamel which offers a useful distinction to the matte-black complete of the rear sight notch. The shortened spur of the exposed hammer is deeply checked for constructive buy when cocking the hammer for one-motion fireplace.

A view of the six-shot cylinder of the Defender 856UL opened.

A perspective of the six-shot cylinder of the Defender 856UL opened.

The two-finger-duration factory typical rubber grip has been changed with a .5” extended, 3-finger Hogue Monogrip. This smooth artificial grip is finger grooved together the front edge with an helpful pebbled texture and thumb relaxation indentation specifically guiding the cylinder release. This revolver’s caliber stamp, .38 Spl., is located on the barrel’s underlug. Though the gun is not stamped +P, Taurus obviously states in the owner’s handbook that this revolver can properly fireplace .38 Spl. +P ammunition that meets SAAMI criteria. Based on this facts, conventional stress and +P hundreds have been involved in the ammunition take a look at set.

Like the previous 856UL I labored with, the total healthy and complete of the Defender was adequately executed with crisp strains, clean command operations and a properly utilized finish. In the past, the company’s excellent command has been uneven, resulting in some revolvers with rough and significant triggers. The Defender’s cause did not undergo from these difficulties. As a substitute, it has a sleek, reliable, double-action cause pull of 11 lbs., 15 oz. with a one-motion cause pull which breaks cleanly with 5 lbs. 14 oz. of strain.

A view of the right side of the Taurus Defender 856UL.

A look at of the correct aspect of the Taurus Defender 856UL.

Tiny lightweight revolvers with abbreviated two-finger grips can be a handful to take care of in the felt-recoil office, specially when loaded with hotter +P ammunition. A hand-filling grip with aid for all a few fingers can make a real variation. The Hogue grip installed on this variation of the Defender was snug with a textured floor that is easy to keep onto. Also, as envisioned, the vivid-orange front sight contributed to a crisp sight photo that was brief to receive. 

In past critiques, I’ve expressed a fondness for the 3″ barrel revolvers which occasionally get disregarded in favor of the 2″ snub guns or 4″ barrel obligation-sizing products. The 3” barrel is short enough to be comfortable to carry hid. Shown right here is Galco Gunleather’s Scout 3. open best leather-based IWB holster. Thanks to the open up-base layout, it can be used with 2″ or 3″ barrel 856 designs with the same comfort and ease and draw.

The Defender 856UL in a Galco Gunleather 3.0 Scout IWB holster.

The Defender 856UL in a Galco Gunleather 3. Scout IWB holster.

A 3” barrel delivers a extended sight radius than a snubby barrel, which is a additionally for additional precise shot placement. The added 1” of rifled bore works to stabilize the bullet. The 3″ barrel duration supplies a for a longer time burn off time for the powder, which in switch, generally boosts the velocity of the bullet, resulting in improved impression electrical power degrees. But in this scenario, the a little lengthier barrel also stretched the platform’s defensive accuracy vary.

The Defender 856UL with .38 Spl. ammunition used in testing.

The Defender 856UL with .38 Spl. ammunition applied in testing.

When testing the 2″ 856UL, it developed 5-shot teams all around 2.5″ to 3″ at 7 yds., but the groups opened up to 4″ or far more at 15 yds. As a rule of thumb, I am looking for 3″ to 3.5″ groups at a presented length as an acceptable amount of defensive accuracy. When fired at 7 yds, the 3″ Defender generated groups that hovered all over 2.25″ in dimension. So, I pushed the targets out to 15 yds where by the defender retained the team averages in the 3″ to 3.5″ zone I was wanting for.

Formal accuracy testing incorporated a apply-quality round from Fiocchi United states, standard stress semi-jacketed hollow factors from Double Tap Ammunition and a +P jacketed hollow stage load from Black Hills Ammunition. Below are the results:

The Taurus 856 series of smaller-body, 6-shot, .38 Spl. revolvers are strong possibilities for hid carry that keep one particular more round of ammunition than competing styles from other companies. The Extremely-Lite models have established to be properly-designed and dependable with sleek triggers and quick-to-function controls. If you need to have a a lot more compact profile for ankle or pocket have, then the 2″ barrel types are the way to go.

However, if the revolver is likely to be carried in a belt holster, shoulder rig or off the human body in a bag or purse, then the 3″ barrel Defender Extremely-Lite gives some distinctive advantages that are perfectly truly worth considering for close to $25 additional than the 2” Ultra-Lite designs. The Taurus Defender 856UL has a recommended selling price of $425. For far more facts on the Taurus Defender 856UL revolver, take a look at

Technical specs:
Maker: Taurus Usa
Design: Defender 856 (2-85631ULNS)
Motion: Double- and Single-Action Revolver
Caliber: .38 Specific +P
Frame Size: Tiny
Frame End: Challenging Anodized Aluminum, Matte Black
Barrel, Cylinder & Appointments: Carbon Metal, Matte Black
Grip: Hogue Finger Grooved Pebbled Black Rubber
Entrance Sight: AmeriGlo H3 FJ Tritium Evening Sight, Orange Outline
Rear Sight: Fixed Square Notch
Basic safety: Transfer Bar
Double-Motion Set off Pull: 11 lbs. 15 oz. (as examined)
Single-Action Set off Pull: 5 lbs. 14 oz. (as tested)
Barrel Size: 3.00″
Over-all Duration: 7.50″
Height: 5.30″
Cylinder Width: 1.40″
Weight: 17.3 oz. unloaded
Capability: 6 Rounds
Rifle Grooves: 6
Add-ons: Cable Lock, Owner’s Handbook
MSRP: $425
Holster: Galco Gunleather Scout 3. IWB $89