by Glenn Gilbert - Thursday, October 27, 2011
Taurus has made its name by producing revolvers that are both economical and innovative. Guns such as the Raging Bull and Judge opened up new potential in revolver design, power and performance. A new revolver shows that Taurus still travels that same path. The 405 is a snubnose chambered for .40 S&W.
Built on the same-size steel frame as the 992, the Taurus 405’s .40 S&W chambering and 2-inch snubnose barrel were chosen with another purpose in mind, namely, self-defense. Large-bore, snubnose revolvers have always had a small but passionate group of followers. Revolvers in that class are usually chambered for .41 Rem. Mag. or .44 Spl., but modern defensive loads in those calibers are hard to find. One could argue that greater bullet mass and increased bore diameter more than make up for outdated projectiles, but the 405 offers the big-bore enthusiast the opportunity to carry a snubnose revolver chambered for a round that’s available with the latest modern bullets.
Chambering a revolver for auto cartridges is not without precedent. Service revolvers in 9 mm Luger and .45 ACP have been around for a long time. Revolvers in 10 mm are also available, but the recoil and size of that cartridge limit its use in a revolver to hunting or target shooting, so a .40 S&W revolver closes a performance gap. It offers more power than a 9 mm Luger revolver, but it can be accommodated in a cylinder much smaller in diameter than that required for a .45 ACP. That said, given the 405’s admittedly large dimensions and relatively heavy 29-ounce weight, I would say that it is about as large and as heavy as a revolver can be and still be considered suitable for concealed carry.
The 405 has a double-action trigger with an external hammer so it can be thumb-cocked for single-action operation. Its front and rear sights are fixed. The ramped front post is built into the top of the barrel shroud while the rear U-notch and corresponding sighting channel are cut into the topstrap. The barrel shroud keeps the ejector rod from snagging on clothing or being bent during rough handling.
The fluted, stainless steel cylinder has five chambers. Since .40 S&W cartridges are rimless, moon clips are necessary to hold them in position. Appropriately, the 405 comes with five, five-round full-moon clips.
The 405’s .40 S&W chambering makes recoil a significant concern. The gun’s 29-ounce weight certainly helps in that regard and the cushioning provided by its one-piece Ribber grip is another factor. The grip protects the palm of the firer’s hand by completely surrounding the frontstrap and backstrap. Its contours fill the area behind the trigger guard, helping to protect the middle finger of the firing hand from being bitten by the rear of the trigger guard.
On the range the 405 exhibited no malfunctions with a variety of ammunition. Its weight helped make recoil tolerable, even when using stout defensive loads. The sights produced groups about 2 inches above point of aim at 25 yards and accuracy results were good with the best five-shot group from the bench measuring just more than 2 1/2 inches.
The trigger pull in the double-action mode was long and rather heavy at 13 pounds. It also tended to stack right at the beginning of the pull. I got the best results with an even and deliberate squeeze. Staging the trigger made things worse. In the single-action mode, the trigger pull was a more tolerable 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and exhibited no overtravel; however, there was still considerable stacking at the start of the pull.
The 405 from Taurus brings something new to the proven revolver platform. The big-bore snubnose revolver has a small but passionate following that should appreciate the defensive potential of the 405’s .40 S&W’s chambering. Modern, high-performance ammunition for self-defense ensures that you will wring out this big-bore wheelgun’s full potential.
Manufacturer: Taurus Forjas S.A.,
Importer: Taurus Int’l; (305) 624-1115; www.taurususa.com
Caliber: .40 S&W
Action Type: double-action, center-fire revolver
Frame: matte stainless steel
Barrel: 2" stainless steel
Rifling: six-groove, 1:16" RH twist
Cylinder Capacity: five
Sights: fixed rear U-notch and fixed ramped front post
Trigger: double-action 13 lbs., 11 ozs. pull; single-action 7 lbs., 4 ozs. pull
Overall Length: 6¼"
Weight: 29 ozs.
Accessories: stellar full-moon clips, two keys for action lock, manual
Suggested Retail Price: $498
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