My new lc9 versus my old taurus model 85

This is a discussion on My new lc9 versus my old taurus model 85 within the LC9 Discussion forums, part of the LC9 category; "It just so happens that your friend here is just mostly dead. There is a big difference between mostly dead and all dead." Miracle Max ...

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Thread: My new lc9 versus my old taurus model 85

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  1. #1 My new lc9 versus my old taurus model 85 
    Jr. Member Roy Odhner's Avatar
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    "It just so happens that your friend here is just mostly dead. There is a big difference between mostly dead and all dead."

    Miracle Max
    The Princess Bride


    My preferred concealed carry gun for many years was my Taurus Model 85 snub nosed revolver. It carried very well in my front pocket or an IWB holster, it packed an acceptable punch, and it is accurate enough for its intended purpose. I was happy with it for a long time, but the reality is that my accuracy with it has fallen off over the years - my eyes ain't what they used to be. I can still deploy and use it safely at up to five yards, but beyond that, well, just hope that none of you are down range at the local convenience store if I need to use it cuz I can't guarantee that the bad guy is all I'm gonna hit. So, I started looking for a replacement.

    Requirements? Usable sights, accurate enough that I could use it to qualify at 25 yards if my probation department ever approves carry for its officers, five to seven round capability, chambered for at least .380ACP, double action with a long trigger pull, not striker fired, and small enough to drop down a pocket or carry very discreetly in an IWB. I have a Bersa Thunder .380 that meets all of these requirements, but saying that it meets the pocket carry requirement of the equation is pushing the parameters. The LCP and P3AT meet all the requirements except for the 25 yard part. (OK, even 10 yards is pushing it). Accurate at a specific distance, however, is immaterial because I had a P3AT once and the gun worked just fine but I didn't really trust it. Besides, it was a terrible fit for my hand, and it pinched the crap out of my finger every time I took it to the range.

    So, I began researching the "pocket nines." To be honest, I had serious doubts about a pocket-sized 9mm. I questioned whether a frame that small could handle a 9x19 round (standard pressure or not). I questioned whether such a gun could be accurate or reliable, or if it would kick like a mule or create an unpleasant sensation in the hand. I questioned whether the 9x19 would lose velocity or terminal performance when fired from a three inch barrel. I questioned whether there were 9x19 rounds that would compensate for the short barrel, like how Speer has its short barrel .38 special load (aka, the NYC Load).

    Personally, I think that a 9x19 round is a pretty good self-defense round. I think that .380ACP or .38 Special are also good self-defense rounds. The "Starts with .4 Crowd" might deride these rounds, but I've got to ask just how dead or incapacitated I really need an aggressor to be. If he's mostly dead and has stopped doing the aggression for which I shot him, then in my book that is as effective as being all dead. That may mean that it gives me just enough time to advance rapidly to the rear, but my mission has still be accomplished since I still get to come home at the end of the day. Still, of those three rounds I think that the 9x19 is the most effective - and it's certainly easier to find a 9x19 self-defense load that will meet the FBI's 12 inch protocol than it is to find a .380ACP or short barreled .38 special load that will meet the protocol. And with a bit of Googling, I found several standard pressure rounds that consistently met the FBI protocol when fired from a Keltec P11. Among them was the Federal Hydra Shok, a round that I'm familiar with and that is fairly easy to find.

    So, it was with careful forethought that I went on my hunt for a good "Pocket Nine." Reliability and accuracy were the main considerations, but cost also factored in there. Several guns made the short list, but in the end I settled on the LC9 because of the reputed quality, fair price, and the fact that it is made in the United States. Aside from having to get a new slide from Ruger cuz the rear sight came off after 220 rounds, the gun has been a very good performer. Some might have wrote it off after the slide issue, but the Lc9 is a machine and sometimes **** happens. Ruger stood by their product, their customer service is excellent, and I received a new slide within a week of mentioning the problem to them. I took it to the range the same week that I got the slide back, and it had a magazine issue within 100 rounds - but this problem appeared to be unique to 136 grain Federal Hydra Shoks. So, I gave the magazines a thorough cleaning and went down to 124 grain self defense ammo - problem solved.

    I took my snubby and LC9 out to the range day before yesterday, and finally shot them side-by-side. I ran 50 rounds through the snubby, and 150 rounds through the LC9. Verdict? The LC9 seriously outclasses my beloved snubby. It discreetly carries as well as my snubby, it is just as reliable as my snubby, there are a crap more effective self-defense loads (115 or 124 grain) available for my LC9 than there are for my snubby, and it is a lot more comfortable to shoot than my snubby. I am also considerably more accurate with my LC9 than I am with my snubby - and based on the 10 rounds I fired at 25 yards, the LC9 would easily allow me to qualify on a TCLEOS range qualification (i.e. I could use it to qualify for a duty pistol if my department allowed me to carry). I ain't gonna BS anybody and claim that this is a competition-grade gun, but it is certainly a combat-grade gun and I am quite accurate with it.

    I'll miss my snubby a little, but when it comes to EDC my LC9 loaded-up with 124 grain Federal Hydra-Shoks is now my preferred gun of choice. It took a while for me to come around, but I'm glad I did.
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  2. #2 Re: My new lc9 versus my old taurus model 85 
    Super Member RogueLCP's Avatar
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    Great report, enjoyed the read. Glad to hear the LC9 made a good replacement for you Taurus 85 revolver.
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  3. #3 Re: My new lc9 versus my old taurus model 85 
    Super Member Kudzu's Avatar
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    Good report. Thanks, Roy.
    Roy Odhner likes this.
    Ruger Security Six, Ruger Mark III, Ruger SR9, Ruger LCP, Ruger SP101, Ruger LC9
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  4. #4 Re: My new lc9 versus my old taurus model 85 
    Super Member Nomad's Avatar
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    After reading your report there is no question you made the right choice. I don't own a LC9 but I do have a LCP that I thick is great, had to laugh at myself a little, I just sat my LCP I have been carrying for over a year aside for a while to carry a Taurus Model 605 .357 snubby so I can relate to your passion for the snubby. I really enjoyed your report. Thanks for sharing.
    Keep Calm, Carry on
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