Taurus pulled a new rabbit out of its increasingly American hat while at SHOT Show last week in the form of new optics-ready 3-inch defensive revolvers in .38 Special and .357 Magnum. 

The company, which has been shifting production from overseas to a new factory in Bainbridge, Georgia over the past few years, has been making its small framed stainless steel .357 Mag 5-shot Model 605, and its similarly-sized 6-shot .38 Model 856 for long enough to make them best-sellers on the revolver market. What is new for 2023 is an optics cut on the top strap that fits Holosun K-series (Shield RMSc) footprints for micro red dots. 

Caleb Giddings, "Mister Revolver" pointed out that the new TORO series revolvers are the "first ever mass-produced optics ready defensive revolvers." 


Taurus Defender 605 TORO
So fundamentally you are looking at a standard 605 or 856 Defender with the new ability to run an MRD-- and it fits most standard holsters already on the market unless you have some sort of pancake style that wraps around the top strap. Giddings also said that he is working with Phlster on a City Special designed around the optic mount, which will be available shortly. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
Taurus Defender 605 TORO
Rather than the aftermarket go-to that has been to install Pic rails or a similar solution, Taurus's cut is direct to the strap. "That gives you the lowest possible height over bore for the optic which means you are going to get faster follow-up shots and be able to find that optic quicker when it comes out of the holster," explained Giddings. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)


The Taurus Defender 856 TORO in .38 special has an MSRP of $445 while the 605 TORO in .357 runs just $470.

Video by Ben Philippi/Guns.com

revolver barrel loading graphic