Polymer Revolvers,
Greg Ritchie

I will admit that I like steel handguns. My first polymer handgun was a Taurus 709 slim. Designed for concealed carry, it's greatest attribute to me was it's light weight. It was a tremendous difference between the Taurus and the 1911 officers model weight wise, which made the Taurus much easier to carry.

A few years back Ruger came out with a polymer revolver. I handled one, thought it was ugly. Kind of like a love child sired from a cross between a GLOCK 19 and a Ruger SP101. But it was very light weight. It did not really interest me though because I like my revolvers to have a hammer.

Not long afterwards, Taurus came out with the M85 Polymer Protector. I handled one, decided that I sort of liked it. It was much lighter than my standard M85. And it had a hammer!. But I still thought it was ugly. I passed.

Not long afterwards at a local gun and pawn, I found another Taurus polymer protector. This one was white, with a stainless cylinder and zombie green grips. I had to have it!

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For the longest time, my everyday concealed carry handgun was the Taurus model 85. I would not call it a heavy gun but it was much heavier than the Taurus Polymer Protector. The Polymer Protector became my every day carry. But it didn't last too very long. Ruger came out with the LCRX, the Ruger now had a hammer. And it was even lighter in weight than the Taurus!! I traded the Taurus for the new Ruger.

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to compare the Ruger LCRX side by side with a Taurus Polymer Protector. I ran into an individual who used one as his every day carry.

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First a bit about the two. The Ruger is made of plastic, aluminum, and steel. It has a gutter rear sight and a black front blade painted white. I can get two fingers on the grip. The trigger is smooth. The Taurus is made of plastic and steel, thus it's a bit heaver. It has the gutter rear sight and a fiber optic front sight. The grip gives you a full three finger hold. The trigger is grooved. The ammunition fired in both was my reloads consisting of 158 grain cast lead bullets pushed by a maximum charge of Trail Boss powder.

The fit and finish on both revolvers was good. The Ruger clearly had a better trigger. The Taurus had better sights. Both revolvers were equally accurate producing palm sized groups at 21 feet. The Taurus was easier to shoot though. The three finger grip and the fiber optic front sight made the difference. The trigger on the Taurus was a bit tougher on the finger however.

So, am I going to run out and trade my Ruger for the Taurus? Absolutely not. But I will replace the front sight with a fiber optic sight. I put the grip from my LCRX3 on the LCRX just to see how I liked It. I didn't. It gave the full three finger grip, but made it bulky. I did like the rubber grip on the Taurus, and if I owned the Taurus I believe I would smooth the face of the trigger.

Is the Ruger worth the extra $150 over the Taurus? To me it is. But the Taurus is a good solid gun. I have been overly critical of Taurus lately. Shooting the Taurus Polymer Protector alongside the Ruger LCRX has softened my views somewhat. Might even consider buying one again. A second revolver can not be a bad thing!

Overall I still think the polymer revolvers are ugly. But their worth is not in looks, but in ease of carry. The lightweight polymer revolver on your side is more useful than the pretty, heavy, steel revolver in your safe.