First Look:
Taurus 856 Executive Grade

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In this First Look, Nic Lenze takes his first shots with the all-new Taurus 856 Executive Grade .38 Special revolver and shares his initial thoughts.


Hey, everyone! Welcome back to our First Looks. We’re back here in windy Colorado and we’re looking at the Executive Grade 856 from Taurus. This is a six-shot revolver chambered in 38 Special +P. The whole gun with exception of the walnut grips is made of stainless steel and has a 3″ barrel. It uses fixed sights and a push-in cylinder release, which I tend to prefer.

Also, you’ll notice looks like it doesn’t have a hammer. It has a bobbed hammer to keep it from snagging on your clothes when drawing. It is obviously targeted towards concealed carry but in a nicer package.

So, let’s take some shots and see how it feels.

So obviously, I shanked those first two but once I got used to that pull and what the gun was doing, I got them all in the A.

Why don’t we take a look at the target?

So, we’re gonna ignore these. We’ll say it’s the wind. It’s a very windy day, but with a little more focus and control got them all here in the A. We’re about seven yards so nothing too impressive, but you know self-defense distances is what we’re looking at.


For whatever reason .38 Special has been impossible to find around me, so we’re at a limited round count today. We’re shooting Hornady Critical Defense .38 Special and I also brought some of those CCI shotshells just because it was literally the only .38 that I had at home.

All right, let’s take a look.

So obviously the shot is really small. This isn’t made for anything large. It’s, you know, protection against snakes and things like that, so you might notice all these little holes. So that’s from seven yards. It’s a pretty big spread, but you know, I was just curious. So, there you have it!

All right … 25 yards aiming a little bit high, but dinged it. In today’s rush to produce as many 9mm semi-automatic handguns as possible, a finely tuned revolver is a really nice change of pace.

I’m not really a collector. I like to shoot all my guns, so the idea of spending a lot of money on a custom revolver is kind of crazy to me. This fits a really happy medium. It’s something that I can shoot, something that looks really nice and I don’t have to worry about banging it up too much. This is under $700 MSRP.

One of the things that I noticed that I really like is that even though this is a double-action only, there’s a very clear positive pause in the trigger pull where you can stage the trigger for a lighter, almost single-action trigger pull. And it’s easy to do and it’s very repeatable. With enough training, I think you can have a lot of confidence in your ability to stage that trigger. I think that this is a really cool step for Taurus.

If you want to see our full review, which is coming in the next few weeks, be sure to like this video and subscribe to our channel. And also in the links below there are links to subscribe to our print magazine and our newsletters.

Thank you all for hanging out and doing this first look with us, and we’ll see you next time!

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