Taurus released the Defender 605 .357 Magnum revolver earlier this year and it looks like the resurgent Brazilian firearms company has a winner on its hands. Based on the Taurus 605, the Defender is specially designed for self-defense. In the video linked below, Boge Quinn of Gunblast.com gives us his initial impressions after handling and shooting the Defender 605.
Let’s start here with a look at Defender 605’s specs. There are four available versions. We’ll cover the one Boge has below, but these basic specs apply to all four:
- Caliber: .357 Magnum/.38 Special +P
- Capacity: 5 rounds
- Action: Double and Single
- Barrel: 3-inch stainless steel
- Cylinder: Stainless steel
- Frame: Small size, stainless steel
- Overall Length: 7.5 inches
- Height: 4.8 inches
- Width: 1.41 inches
- Weight: 23.52 ounces
- MSRP: $472.63
Features of Boge’s Defender 605
Boge begins with a discussion of the history of the .357 Magnum cartridge and its history. The Defender 605 continues the tradition of the Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special and the J- Frame .357 Magnum revolvers that followed it.
Advantages of the Three-Inch Barrel
Boge says the Taurus is “a neat little revolver.” It’s the same size as the Smith J-frame so J-frame holsters will work with it. He does note that it has some significant improvements over the J-frame, most notably the three-inch barrel, which helps ballistically, giving the powder in the .357 Magnum cartridge more time to burn, without really hindering concealability and handling. The extra inch also provides a longer sight radius for better accuracy. Boge thinks a two-inch barrel is fine for a .38 Special gun, but he prefers the three-inch for .357.
Boge says that the barrel is fully underlugged and has a full rib on top. The extra inch on the barrel also provides the capacity for a full ejector rod stroke, making it easier to eject spent casings than with the abbreviated two-inch rod.
The frame, barrel, cylinder, hammer, cylinder catch, and trigger are all stainless steel. The gun has a nice contrasting look with the frame, barrel, and cylinder sporting a matte finish, while the hammer, cylinder catch, and trigger are polished. Even though the gun is all steel, it’s surprisingly light, coming in right at a pound and a half thanks to its small size. “You can carry this thing all day and not know it’s there in a proper rig,” says Boge.
Action and Lockup
The cylinder, in addition to the familiar rear latch, also locks in the front, thanks to a pin on the crane that fits into a divot under the barrel, making it nice and tight. Boge notes that there is very little play or shake in the cylinder.
The hammer is checkered with a wide spur and the gun has the proven transfer bar safety. Another piece of good news is that the Defender 605 does not have the Taurus internal keylock safety, which Boge says he prefers because it’s one less thing that can go wrong at a bad time.
The trigger is wide and smooth-faced, which is nice for double-action fire. The DA pull is smooth with no grit or creep. It’s a nice trigger but not really lightweight. The DA pull is 10 pounds, 2 ounces. It’s not light, but neither is it excessively heavy because of its smoothness. “It seems lighter than it actually is.”
The single-action pull is a very crisp and clean 3 pounds, 3 ounces. “A very nicely designed trigger and it’s easy to use,” Boge says. Makes it easy to shoot accurately.
Boge’s version came with soft rubber Hogue grips, which he says are a nice improvement over the earlier versions. They have integral finger grooves and are big enough to comfortably place all three of the shooter’s support fingers. The grip frame is exposed on the back, allowing it to settle back just a little further in the hand, which Boge likes. The grip frame has a nice palm swell and the grips themselves are textured with a rounded butt.
Boge says it fits the hand well. “It’s just a very nicely designed grip, got just a little bit of give to it. And even when you’re shooting really hot .357 Magnum loads, these Hogues really do a great job of helping you accomplish what should be the only kind of gun control that should be in discussion in today’s world.”
Surprisingly Good Sights
Boge notes the quality of the gun’s sights. He says they “contribute quite a bit to the practical accuracy and the value of the 605.” The rear is a pinched groove in the top strap with a nice cut out that “crispens up the rear sight.”
But Boge notes that “the front sight is where this thing really shines.” The front is a pinned AmeriGlo blade night sight with an orange face and a tritium dot. “It pops out really nicely for you,” day or night.
“A Fine Little Old Fivegun”
Boge concludes that the $472.63 MSRP, which is likely lower in the stores, is “quite a bargain for what you get. A very nice, cost-effective package. A fine little old fivegun.” With the way everything else is rising, a quality revolver at an affordable price is always welcome.
What do you think? Are you interested in the Defender 605? Especially since Taurus seems to be rehabilitating its image? Let us know in the comments. Happy shooting, y’all.