This Deputy Ready
For Danger And Fun

The Taurus Deputy Single Action Revolver
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The Deputy is available in .357 Magnum or 45 Colt.

“Crank And Yank”

I tested the Taurus Deputy, a single action revolver with modern upgrades. The Deputy has all of the features of a gun designed for fun afternoons at the range, combined with real world capabilities for a working gun.

I have mentioned this before. For some reason, I go into a meditative state when I am shooting a 45 Colt Single Action gun. I find shooting a “crank and yank” to be more calming than any of the relaxation things I do, like yoga or breathing exercises. This is a good thing. If I’m carrying this kind of gun and an emergency arrives, I could easily practice Mushin, the martial arts concept of emptying one’s mind, and fight completely devoid of emotion.

The Deputy is available in .357 Magnum or 45 Colt (or Long Colt, as Lindsey calls it). It comes in 4.75″ and 5.5″ lengths. I prefer the 45 Colt 4.75″ model, which weighs 36.40 oz. It has a steel frame and an alloy steel cylinder. The barrel has a 1:16.5 RH twist. The grips are plastic-like material, reminiscent of the rubber ones popular in the 1900’s.

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Compared to similar guns, the Deputy is 3-4 oz lighter.

A Working Gun

If you have been paying attention to the news in the firearms world, you probably already know that Taurus Holdings Inc, the Georgia based headquarters for Taurus products made in the US, is having a mini-renaissance. They have dozens of well-built micro-compact and compact 9mm guns, and even some traditionally built 1911 platform guns.

I’m pretty good about reading the manuals before I take anything out for a spin, but the Deputy looked like any other SAA clone. I did a quick safety check and put some cartridges in.

Compared to similar guns, the Deputy is 3-4 oz lighter. This is good for the user who considers the single action revolver a working gun, exposed to days of saddle or ATV use. I like having a few extra ounces on the range, but lighter on the belt is better.

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Simple Is Better

Why do people still carry a single action revolver, given the availability of more “modern” revolvers and autos? Simple is better. We like the simple lockwork of the original design, and the crisp consistent trigger. If given the choice between effectiveness and capacity, I would pick the caliber of confidence every time.

The Deputy is finished in polished black, which is more of a satin color. Taurus has experience in this finish for their steel framed firearms, and they do it better than case hardened. The color is consistent, and it resisted fouling rather well.

I loaded up some 250 grain rounds and started shooting. I stepped back 7 yards and shot a cylinder full of rounds. From there I made several observations. First observation: I could not keep all the rounds in a 10″ circle at 7 yards. Uh oh.

The holes got closer the more Lindsey shot it.

The Gun Can Shoot

The Deputy has a front leaf sight and a rear sight machined into the frame, which is also faithful to the original design. These sights are fixed, and guns built like this are generally sighted in before they leave the factory. I was a bit worried. You know, was it my reloads, my shooting technique, or the gun?

I loaded up another 6 rounds and put them down range. The holes were closer, but still not nearly up to expectations. I was starting to get worried.

The next 6 rounds were right where I put them, with almost all of them touching. All of a sudden, this gun started shooting-or maybe it was me all the time. In any case, I recommend a short break-in time before casting any judgement on accuracy. The gun can shoot.

"Burying Money"

I always liked a single action revolver for the inherently crisp trigger. The Deputy trigger has all of the good qualities: no discernable creep, with a clean break. The Deputy has the three hammer positions typical of this style of revolver: Safety, Half-Cock, and Firing Position. When I started playing with the hammer, I started thinking, “I shoulda’ read the manual.” I discovered that this gun has a transfer bar safety.

Actually, I noticed this before I started running rounds down range, but I didn’t really consider all of the implications until I spent a little time with this gun.

Back in the time when the SAA revolver was typical dry gulch defense, the revolver was carried with the hammer resting on an empty chamber. The 6th chamber was only loaded when its use was imminent. Otherwise, the user ran the risk of having the gun go off when it was not pointed at an intended target. The original design had a firing pin affixed to the hammer, with nothing that would prevent the firing pin from banging on the primer.

Some gun-toters kept some money rolled up in the empty chamber, which was known as “burying money”.

If you are carrying the Deputy as a working gun, carry it with the hammer down.

The Taurus Deputy Is A Keeper

The Deputy has a transfer bar safety, which is an intermediate spacer that fits between the hammer and firing pin. The firing pin is in the frame, not on the end of the hammer. The gun will not fire if the hammer strikes something, or the gun is dropped. In SAA guns, the transfer bar actually drops when a person is dropping the hammer from its firing to safety position by holding the hammer and lowering it slowly. However, the transfer bar design really only allows the gun to be carried with all chambers filled.

Is this an important feature-besides giving the user another round? Yes it is. If you want to use authentic-looking equipment with your 6-shooter, those 1800’s style scabbards with the hammer loops on them were designed for carrying a gun with the hammer all the way down. If you are carrying the Deputy as a working gun, dispatching things that need dispatching, and shooting things dangerous to you, it adds another layer of safety. Carry it with the hammer down.

I spent another box of rounds in a meditative state, until I had a bag full of empty brass and targets with ragged centers. I’m not done testing this gun, but I have enough time behind it to testify about its quality. The Taurus Deputy is a keeper.

Visit Taurus for more information.

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