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Taurus Model 617 .357 Mag good gun or not?

This is a discussion on Taurus Model 617 .357 Mag good gun or not? within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Hello out there & yes I know this is the Ruger Forum. I posted a question about the possibilities of getting another revolver for CCW. ...

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Old February 28th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #1
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Question Taurus Model 617 .357 Mag good gun or not?

Hello out there & yes I know this is the Ruger Forum. I posted a question about the possibilities of getting another revolver for CCW. My choices in that thread were either the Ruger SP101 or a S&W Model 19/66 in a 2-1/2 inch barrel. Well yesterday I dropped the wife off at one of her favorite stores while I took a trip a few doors down to the local Sportsmans Warehouse. Well my thoughts were to take a look at some small 5 shot revolvers the Ruger SP101 & I also looked at a light weight S&W 5 shot 38 special. There was another gun hanging on the peg board a Taurus .357 mag. 7 shot with a 2 inch barrel. This gun was the Taurus Model 617 Stainless Steel with a rubber grip. I must say after looking at these 3 guns I came away liking the Taurus Model 617 the best. I found that this guns grip frame seemed smaller then a S&W L frame and K frame and even closer in size when compared to the SP101. Yet this gun will take the H&K speed loaders for a S&W 686 Plus 7 shot. My 2nd choice was the Ruger SP101 but this guns double action pull was way too heavy for my likeing! Not to bash the SP101 because they are a great gun. But has anyone out there had any expercience with the Taurus Model 617 7 shot revolver with the 2 inch barrel? I would greatly appreciate any information offered and thanks in advance!!!

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Old February 28th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #2
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In my experience the Taurus are good guns till you shoot them. I'm sure there are many that are good . The transfer bars have a habit of failing and I have heard of and had a revolver that the cyl-crane Fell out. Soured me on tore-***'s and went for Rugers and Smiths. Just my .02 sence worth... Hope it works for you.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input I am still looking not certain yet what I want. This was a nice gun I did some research on the web and actually found alot of very positive feedback on this particular gun. You know its typical there can be good guns and then the same model in a newer version will not be as nice......what am I getting at well I wish I still had my Ruger SP101 3 inch barrelled gun!!! That particular gun had a trip to a gunsmith it had such a nice smooth action and light trigger pull in double action especially. These newer SP101's still nice but man what a heavy trigger pull in double action mode!! I really did not care for the S&W guns I think the older S&W's are far far superior to the newer S&W's. I have heard the newer SP101's have had design changes I could tell the top strap on the one in the store was narrower and more streamlined but still looks like its much more robust then the S&W. But the Taurus 617 I looked at was smoother especially in double action. So right now unless something in a good deal comes by in a older SP101 the Taurus 617 is on the top of my choices for now! But that 7 shots in reality not much larger package is really a nice option.

Last edited by gqucool; February 28th, 2010 at 12:39 PM.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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I told a story on the forum recently in another thread about being at a gunrange with a few other people. The very nice gentleman in another lane was shooting a 7 shot Taurus .357 with factory ammo. All was fine with that revolver till halfway through the session. He fired 4 shots, then the gun blew up in his hand. It turned out that on the 5th trigger pull something evidently went very wrong with the cylinder rotation, and the cylinder wasn't perfectly lined up with the barrel... The cylinder and backstrap literally exploded in the man's hand. I have never seen such a thing ever in my life. It was horrific to say the least.

On the other hand, I have never seen anything like that happen with a Ruger. Now, I'm not telling you this because I'm on a Ruger board. Yes, I love Ruger. But, in my honest opinion, you would be better served by owning a S&W or Ruger. Either gun would be far better than a Taurus. And safer too.

Just my honest opinion.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 03:25 PM   #5
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I used to have one... it was a decent gun, but it was no Ruger, that's for sure!!

I sold it and bought a Vaquero .45.

look around and find a Speed Six in good shape. better gun than any of the ones you listed, even the SP101...

here's mine:

should run you between $350 - $450. best stock wheelgun trigger I've felt (except for my LCR).

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Old March 8th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #6
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The price point advantage of Taurus isn't that much of an advantage anymore, I mean the best I have found a Taurus 66 for was $370, is it worth the $150 savings over an SP101 or GP100? No, IMO, you get MUCH more gun with the Ruger. I'm not just saying that because this is a Ruger forum either, like the above poster.

I was at a gun show this past Saturday and saw both a GP100 3" and a Security Six 2 3/4" for $350 used, and this was a small show, so they are out there. If I didn't already have many Ruger wheelguns, plus I don't care for sub 4" barrels I would have bought the Security Six.

I have heard of TOO many problems with Taurus wheelguns. If you already have one or two solid wheelguns, and have some cash to burn and want a Taurus to play with, by all means, but as a primary gun I cannot recommend a Taurus.

I have read too many Taurus "blow up" stories for my taste......timing problems that have caused bullets to hit frames, etc. NO thanks!

And whatever you do don't buy an Armscor revolver!!! I bought one, the 4" M200 just to see if they were a "hidden gem" for $230, and yes, I got burned bad.......after less then 100 rounds my Armscor has late carryup in SA unless you heave the hammer back, and has developed a "gag" in the action on one chamber, and also the hammer struck a sharp point on the left side of the frame where the sideplate made an uneven seam and broke a chunk off the alloy frame..........buy cheap, you get cheap
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Old March 8th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #7
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I have no problems what so ever with the Taurus firearms I have. My Taurus 605 .357 snubnose is my usual CCW. I have an auto and a revolver, both with thousands of rounds thru them. I've heard all the horror stories but mostly from people who have never owned one. Especially on the internet. Several of my friends have had good luck with theirs as well. I have Smith's and Rugers also and they have been just as reliable. Guess I just have good luck with guns!

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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #8
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I have one Taurus right now, an old Model 83 4" .38, looks like a security trade in, no evidence of real shooting but lots of holster wear. I have only fired a box or so of .38 through it, and for a $175 used revolver it impressed me. Lockup is a little looser than I would like, and the rear sight was mangled from being dropped in it's past, but I fixed the sight enough to where if I shot one target with it, and another with a Ruger or S&W, they couldn't be told apart. My concern with buying more "Tauri" is most of the revolvers shoot well when they are new, but I would like to know if I buy one, where will it be after 5,000 or even 10,000 rounds? I don't mean to bash Taurus or start a debate, but I am pretty certain a Six or GP100 would easily outlast anything to come out of Taurus. The Speed Six in the pic that I bought used seems like it has already digested tens of thousands of .357's given the flame cutting and other signs, and it's still tight and a great shooter, and it was an old police gun and shows evidence that it was treated pretty roughly in it's life. I just don't know if any Taurus can match that kind of use and abuse and keep on ticking.

Being an eclectic "accumulator" and decided to focus on revolver shooting and collecting, I am curious about "new" Taurus and I am willing to gamble with my $320 and pick up a new 4" stainless fixed sight .357 Model 65. Partly because I want to see what Taurus's "duty" revolvers are all about, I have no interest in any Raging Bull or Tracker, but as a collector and shooter of revolvers that are used or made for police and security forces, I have fought off the urge to buy an 82 or 65 for a while now. And Taurus makes a medium-frame 4" fixed sight .357, which is VERY tempting to me. I have quite a few Speed and Service Sixes but being as curious as I am, I can't help but to try Taurus's "version" of a K-frame fixed sight .357. Apparently they are used by a lot of homeland security contract guards, probably due to the price point,but they must be decent or maybe they put more QC into their "duty" line to avoid losing security customers........ but it's too tempting to pass up. I have a dealer near me who can get me a SS 4" model 65, so I will have to give it a shot. I was gonna go for a blued 82 .38 Special, but for $50 more I would rather have the .357 version of the same gun. Even if I don't shoot much .357 in it, it adds to the "cool" factor for me if I can. Since Smith dropped the Model 13 and 65 from their line, and obviously as we know Ruger did the same with the Six, no one else except Taurus-Rossi makes a medium "K frame" size .357. I still want a S&W M13, but I also want to see if Taurus can earn a place in my "stable" of shooters, if only for range shooting.

Here's my old Taurus 83, with my 1974 production Speed Six.

Last edited by stantheman86; March 8th, 2010 at 05:34 PM.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #9
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I have both a SP101 357 and a 7 shot Taurus Tracker in 357.

My SP101 is DAO and I know how you feel about the trigger pull. The Taurus is a 6 1/2 inch barrel for hunting and has a great trigger in SA.

Now you said you want it for CCW and are looking for a 2 or 2.25 inch belly gun. Neither the Ruger or Taurus are target guns, and a short 357 is going to wake up each time you fire it. The best use for a short barrel revolver is for 38 spl loads regardless of the manufacturer of the revolver. I use a PT140 semi-auto for SD but will some times use my SP101 but only with 38 spl loads. One advantage of having a heavy trigger pull is that in a self defense situation one you are not going to notice how heavy the pull is and with a heavier pull it will give you an extra 1/2 second to decide if this is what you really want to do. Once the trigger is pulled there is no taking that bullet back if you made a mistake.

Based on your criteria I would say get the SP101, Taurus makes some great semi-autos but Ruger makes some great revolvers.

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Old March 9th, 2010, 02:24 PM   #10
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Right on!

I used to carry this Speed Six, but after adding lighter Bullseye springs I no longer do. I got myself a 3" GP100 and so I retired this old Speed Six to range "fun gun" status. For one I only use heavy stock springs in my carry guns, and for another if God forbid I do ever shoot an attacker the prosecutor will pick me apart for carrying a gun this slick with such a light SA trigger and a DA pull that isn't as safe, since under stress it would be easier to "reflexively" yank the trigger on this.

When the adrenaline is pumping you won't know a 4 lb. pull from a 20 lb., everything will be moving in "stop motion" and afterwards you will have trouble remembering exactly what happened. As a combat vet I know what it's like to go from "0 to 100" so to speak, from seeing that guy pull out a weapon, grenade, etc. and in a split second your body is in fight or flight, fine motor skills break down and muscle memory takes over. This is also why I carry a revolver for CCW, it's what I'm comfortable with, and I know that all but what's ingrained in mind and muscle goes out the window when life or death situations happen. I tell people who carry auto pistols "cocked and locked" or otherwise they had better get good with it, practice a lot if they have to dis-engage a safety or cock a hammer before they use it. I remember hearing stories of police officers killed in shootings, found dead with a Beretta 92f with the safety still engaged.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #11
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Taurus use to be a decent revolver............what I mean by that was in the early 90's! That is almost two decades gone by. I hear some horror stories about fit and finish as well as mechanical issues of these guns too often. Yes, you send the gun back to the mothership and get it repaired and it may be better than ever. But who wants to do that.

For the extra few "c" notes give me a Ruger.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:12 PM   #12
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Fit and finish on Taurus is subpar IMO. Had a Taurus Gaucho 45lc a few years back which developed timing problems after shooting about 400 rounds. Have looked at some of their recent production revolvers and was not impressed in their machining. Taurus; no thanks.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #13
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Buy the Ruger, pay now or pay later!
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Old March 9th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #14
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I have a couple of taurus revolvers and have had no problems with them. I have the 17HMR and a model 669c in 357 mag. both shoot great. I Love my Rugers. Dam hard to beat a RUGER for anything.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #15
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As my grandfather used to tell me, "buy the best now, and it's one less thing in the world you have to worry about."
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