Taurus 617 .357 Magnum Packs Extra Punch
Whenever gun aficionados get together to shoot the breeze, one topic inevitably comes up: stopping power. After all, unless you’re a competitive shooter, it’s the reason to own a gun. In the concealed carry community, stopping power translates into handgun self-defense with the big league player in that ballpark being the .357 Magnum.
While the .357 Magnum can bring down just about anything that crosses its path, most revolvers are limited to six rounds.
The engineers at Taurus have designed a pistol that increases capacity by about 15 percent — the seven shot Model 617 SS 2-inch Magnum revolver.
For a large bore pistol, the Taurus 617 is a relative lightweight at 28.3 ounces. The similar Smith & Wesson 686 Plus is a about a half-pound heavier at 34.1 ounces, which is a noticeable difference after a few hours. The 617 is an all-stainless steel product with a matte finish aside from the polished hammer and trigger. The grips on the 617 are neoprene and work well with the average-sized hand.
The wide, smooth trigger provides ease of access and identification while shooting, particularly in low-light conditions. As author Scott W. Wagner describes in his article “Have Seven for Sure with the Taurus 617 .357 Magnum Revolver” at USConcealedCarry.com, the trigger pull on the 617 takes some getting used to:
“The double-action trigger pull is in the 12-pound range, which is standard for most modern double-action revolvers. The single-action pull is around 5 pounds. There is a bit of stacking near the end of the double-action trigger pull, but it is still quite manageable. “(Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The safety system on the 617 consists of a transfer bar, which keeps the hammer from hitting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled completely to the rear. The Taurus 617 also features the famous Taurus Security System, which allows you to make your pistol inoperable at the turn of a key.
At the range, the 617 .357 Magnum proved to be a versatile performer. A variety of .357 and .38 Special rounds were tested and there was a demonstrable difference in the speed ratings. Bringing up the rear with a velocity of 716 fps was Winchester 130 grain FMJ. This round produced virtually no recoil and would make an excellent practice round. At the other end of the spectrum, the Federal 125-grain Personal Defense Load topped out at 1252 feet per second.
Running an assortment of rounds through the Taurus 617 didn’t affect its accuracy. All rounds were true to aim using the fixed front and rear sights at 30 feet. Overall, the 617 is an effective combination of power and concealability that should garner considerable brownie points within the concealed carry community. The extra round is an added bonus. MSRP for the Taurus 617 is $560.