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Meet the Taurus 856 .38 Special Gun: The Pros and Cons Review

Taurus 856
Taurus 856. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

This review examines the Taurus 856 .38 Special Revolver. This firearm is standard with many individuals as a concealed carry item and as a self-defense weapon.

If you’re looking for a revolver, just a quick search reveals dozens of options to choose from, which can be overwhelming. That’s why I put together this comprehensive review of the Taurus 856 so you know exactly what to expect with this model.

There is a lot to like about the Taurus 856 model. It is a terrific choice for anyone new to seeking a lightweight, affordable revolver. In addition, this .38 Special model matches competitors’ options from Smith & Wesson and Ruger.

Below, I will dive into more detail on the features and specifications of this compact handgun. It’s simple to see how the Taurus Model 856 quickly becomes a favorite model for many individuals looking for a self-defense revolver.

Keep reading to see if the Taurus 856 will suit your needs.

The Taurus 856: Product Overview

The Taurus 856 model is a lightweight, easy-to-conceal handgun. It carries a 6-round capacity within its 2-inch barrel and has single and double-action.

The entire piece is 6.5 inches long and weighs a mere pound when unloaded.

It uses an ambidextrous design, suitable for left and right-handed shooters, and comes in various attractive finishes. I am not alone in saying that the Taurus 856 is a comfortable piece as a concealed carry item in many situations. However, that doesn’t mean it’s without faults.

If you are short on time, here’s a quick rundown of the Taurus 856 pros and cons.


  • Small frame for easier handling and concealed carrying
  • Accurate and reliable
  • Offers a six-shot cylinder
  • Lightweight but heavy enough for optimal use
  • Well-proportioned and suitable for left and right-handed use
  • Various finishes available


  • Iron sights are shallow, making it challenging to line up during use
  • Lighter snub-nosed models may not be as accurate as the heavier options from Taurus

Standout Features of the Taurus 856

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the Taurus 856 .38 Special to see if this piece is right for you.


The Taurus 856 trigger is available in both single and double-action options. Its weight is on-par with the overall composition and is smooth to operate. Upon examination, the single-action trigger measured at 3-4 pounds, while the double-action trigger came in at an average of 9-9.5 pounds.

Although this model does exhibit some grit and stacking during operation, these elements are not considerable enough to work against it.


One of my favorite features of the Taurus 856 is it’s six-round capacity. Most other revolvers this lightweight only have the capacity for five rounds, so the fact that this is a compact model with an extra round is fairly impressive.


The sights on the 856 may feel inadequate. However, this sight is comparable to similar styles you will see on competitors’ models when it comes to compact revolvers.

Its front sight is milled into the gun, while the rear one is narrow and may not be suitable for some avid gun enthusiasts.

Again, the sights on standard revolvers generally have the same problem, so this may be something you can overlook if you specifically want a revolver.

What Is the Internet Saying About the Taurus 856?

While reading other opinions on 856, I found some concerns with short-barreled revolvers in the market. However, I’ve scoured the web and found numerous positive reviews for this snub-nosed six-shot as well.

Overall, the .38 Special pistol has a strong following thanks to its exceptional capabilities.

Alternatives to the Taurus 856

While exploring the market for popular compact, concealable alternatives to the Taurus 856, you will find SIG and Smith & Wesson models are terrific options.

SIG Sauer P320

A gun that is perfect for anything from competitive shooting to conceal-carry is the SIG Sauer P320. It’s primed for customization, reliability, and accuracy while exceptionally dependable.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0

The S&W M&P is as good a conceal-carry weapon as it gets. It is available with four interchangeable grip inserts to help with comfort, reliability, and accuracy.

A Self-Defense Snub-Nosed Revolver with an Extra .38 Special Round

All in all, the Taurus 856 .38 Special is a terrific handgun for anyone looking for concealed carry. This snub-nosed revolver uses a six-shot cylinder that breaks away from the traditional five-shot and helps tame recoil well.

It is a lightweight model that is highly versatile and fits nicely into your hand with its slightly oversized grip for better control.

If you’re looking for a lightweight self-defense revolver, I’d definitely consider the 856. You can’t go wrong, especially for the price.

Brady Kirkpatrick is the Editor of Gun Made. Brady is a passionate firearm owner from Omaha, Nebraska. Gun Made has been featured in various publications such as Forbes,, American Police Beat, and countless others.

Written By

Brady Kirkpatrick is the Editor of Gun Made. Brady is a passionate firearm owner from Omaha, Nebraska. Gun Made has been featured in various publications such as Forbes,, American Police Beat, and countless others.