Taurus Model 405 .40 Caliber Revolver Review

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NOTE: This product review was made possible by GunsForSale.com.  To get up-to-date information on where to find Taurus revolvers for sale, please visit GunsForSale.com.

A short while ago Taurus released a new revolver in .40 S&W. The model 405 uses moon clips in order to accommodate this semi-auto round. This is Taurus’s first venture into this type of revolver. The 405’s are slightly smaller than a S&W K frame in size with a two inch barrel. It holds five rounds of 40 caliber ammunition.

Construction is stainless steel with a fully shrouded barrel. The version I received for review has a hammer but I understand a hammerless version is in the works. The 405 comes with five moon clips as well as two keys for the safety system. The grips are standard Taurus ribbed rubber grips. The sights are fixed plain sights. The trigger is wide and smooth which felt good when firing the revolver.

The cylinder locks up tight thanks to the standard rear lockup as well as an additional lock at the front of the cylinder. Both locks are freed when the rear release is activated. The cylinder to forcing cone is a very close fit as it should be.

The fit and finish is very good. The single action trigger pull is good but the double action pull is rather heavy at 13.5 pounds. I imagine after a good deal of use it will lessen somewhat. The Taurus also has the usual transfer bar safety should you release the hammer while manually cocking the gun.

Specifications

Model: 405SS2
Finish: Stainless
Status: Available
Caliber: .40
UPC: 7-25327-60964-3
Capacity: 5
Barrel Length: 2″
Weight 29 .oz
Frame: Small
Order #: 2-405029

I did have a problem with this revolver. I’m not sure if it’s a combination of the ammunition brand and type or the gap between the rear of the cylinder and the frame and or the thin moon clips. I used both Federal 180 grain flat nose and Blazer 165 grain round nose ammunition. I started with the Federal 180 grain ammunition which, on average, locked the cylinder once every two cylinders fired. When I used the 165 grain Blazer there were no problems at all.

There are several possible reasons for these malfunctions. I noticed the moon clips are very thin and easily bent. On older S&W revolvers the moon clips are thicker and pretty sturdy. In fact most need a tool to remove the brass from the clips. This is not the case with the Taurus moon clips. The brass was very easy to remove after the rounds were fired. After experiencing this failure several times I loaded one clip with empty brass from the Federal ammo and one with the Blazer ammo. I held the gun close enough to hear any binding between the brass and the rear of the frame. There was a scrapping sound when I rotated the cylinder with the Federal brass while there was no sound with the Blazer brass.

Something else I noted with the Federal ammo was the empty brass was rather hard to eject while the Blazer came right out when ejected. Now this would tend to make me believe the ammunition not agreeing with this revolver caused the problem. Another thought that crossed my mind was the thin moon clips. These thin clips could bend just enough to bind with the 180 grain ammunition.

This revolver is an early production model but I hesitate to blame the gun considering the above rather unscientific test I performed. By no means would I say stay away from this revolver rather I would advise a new owner not to use the Federal 180 grain ammunition without test firing it extensively.

The revolvers unique size makes it difficult to find a holster for it at this time. Some universal holsters for medium revolvers will fit. I have a couple of these, which worked fine. I also tried a leather belt slide holster for a S&W K frame. The Taurus fit but a bit loosely. If you have a K frame holster with a thumb snap you should be good to go. I’m sure several holster companies will have holsters for the 405 fairly soon.

Range Time

I’ve covered the ammunition I used for the range session so there’s no need to be redundant.

All of my shooting was done from the ten yard line in double and single action. As I mentioned earlier the double action pull was rather heavy which hurt accuracy. The double action groups were on average three inches. In single action the groups averaged just under two inches.

The recoil was stout considering the 29 oz. weight of the revolver. In fact when firing the 180 grain load it was a bit unpleasant after 50 or so rounds. With some of the current defense loads in lighter bullet weights recoil shouldn’t be a concern.

Conclusion

While I did have a problem with the Taurus I tend to lean more toward an ammunition cause rather than the gun itself. Overall with the right defensive ammunition this would be a viable option for home or personal protection. The price is also half what a S&W would cost for those on a budget.

The use of moon clips is the fastest way to load and re-load a revolver. Granted it’s an older system that pre-dates speed loaders however it is a superior way to load a revolver. I would like to see Taurus make the moon clips a bit sturdier even if the shooter has to use a tool to remove the brass.

This Taurus fires a very effective round so for those who prefer a revolver you might want to check this model out.




Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • hojo

    I like it because I like the .40S&W round, but I’m having a hard time finding an advantage over a similar revolver in .357 mag, which would negate the moon clips and presumably the problems mentioned, while still being highly effective.

    • Phil White

      hojo,

      True enough it is really hard to beat a .357 even with the increased recoil.

      • Samopal

        .40 S&W actually performs better out of a 2″ barrel than .357 Mag does, and with less recoil, flash and noise.

        http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html
        http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/40sw.html

        .357 Mag snubbies are popular but the cartridge is infamous for crappy performance out of short barrels, especially considering all the extra recoil and report.

        • Phil White

          Samopal,

          I’d have a hard time believing 357 performance from a snub like the model 19 to be sub par. I do agree it’s loud and kicks with some authority. I’ll check the links though thanks for posting them.

      • hojo

        Good info, I did not think of it that way.

        • Phil White

          hojo,

          Thank you sir. Exchanging information and ideas between us all is one of the better things about this community of shooters!

  • Lance

    Im with Hojo .40 SW is great for semi auto pistols but for a revolver and especially having to use moon clips for the ammo it make no sense over a .357 mag.

    • Phil White

      Lance,

      No doubt about a moon clip having a faster reload but my personal choice would be a .357. If for no other reason than the .357’s track record for stopping power.

      • hojo

        I guess moon clips are probably cheaper and smaller than speed loaders… so that’s a point in it’s favor.

        • Phil White

          hojo,

          They run about a $1.50 each. They are pretty easy to carry and don’t take as much space in a pocket or however you choose to carry extras.

    • Vhyrus

      For someone (Probably LEO) who uses a 40 as his primary weapon and needs a reliable back up, the promise of a double action revolver that takes the exact same ammo is pretty hard to turn down.

      • Phil White

        Vhyrus,

        Ammo sharing has always been a big consideration in the police community. Sharing ammo with a buddy who’s out is a big plus. It’s not a bad idea for a civilian either.If several members of the family have the same caliber it’s a pretty good stretch but it could be handy to have the same caliber.

      • Haskel Walker

        That is exactly why I carry the Glock 23 and the Taurus 405. same ammo for both guns.

  • Curzen

    Doesn’t Charter Arms offer an all American made .40 revolver?

    • DW

      Indeed, but the real advantage that Charter’s .40 has over Taurus is the ability to be used without a moonclip, not the country of manufacture.

    • Phil White

      Curzen,

      It’s no longer listed on the Charter website so I’m not sure of it’s status. They list all the guns by caliber and none are listed in 40 cal. There are soe online at various stores.

  • Cymond

    “This is Taurus’s first venture into this type of revolver.”

    Sorry, but the 9mm Taurus 905 has been around for a while now. I’d like a 9mm revolver because 9mm is cheaper and hotter than .38 spcl. Also, I’m already invested in several 9mm guns and ammo sharing is nice. However, the 905 is too darned heavy for CCW but the barrel is too short for anything but CCW.

    • Phil White

      Cymond,

      The 905 has been discontinued. There are still two models variations listed but my understanding is they are going through stock and they will be gone as well. This frame is a bit larger to my eye than the 905. I have an idea the next one in the 405 type will be a 45 acp.If the frame size allows it.
      Target shooting with one of those is an exercise in frustration:-)

  • Jeff

    They’re getting closer to what I really want to see from them…. going nuclear with a large frame .40/10mm revolver…. those SW610s are too damned expensive

    • Phil White

      Jeff,

      They are way over the top expensive for my budget! As I said in another response I hear rumors of a 45 acp version. A 10mm would be something special in the revolver world at least with a snub nose.

  • Jim

    Given my experience with a Taurus 22LR revolver, that trigger pull will not lessen with time. It’s one of their worst features.

    • Phil White

      Jim,

      I imagine in that case it’s gunsmith time.I imagine a spring change would help. It’s to heavy for me if anything but combat accuracy is a major concern.

  • David Mayernik

    So, wait, let me see if I’ve got this right. Are you telling me that a revolver…JAMMED? Another nail in the coffin of that old myth.

    • Phil White

      David,

      Yep, it surely did. That’s not the first time a revolver has locked up on me. I had a department issued model 64 that had a good number of rounds fired. The part of the crane that holds the cylinder opened up from use making the cylinder wobble and lock. On the range thank heavens. Our PD gunsmith had to peen it back into shape and all was well. They will jam and should be checked every few thousand rounds.

  • mosinman

    so when are they making my .50AE revolver? : D

    • Phil White

      mosinman,

      LOL–don’t hold your breath on that!

    • hojo

      There’s always 500 S&W if you really want to punish yourself…

      • Phil White

        hojo,

        Or the 454 I reviewed recently:-)

    • mosinman

      haha you guys make me laugh : ) and i think ill stick to the 357 lol

      • Phil White

        mosinman,

        Like I said the 357 is very hard to beat!!

  • abprosper

    This is a preproduction revolver using moon clips by a good not great company so some problems are not a surprise.

    I will say though that baring “use one kind of ammo” issues or concerns over loading speed (in which case a .40 compact auto is a better bet) a .44 special seems like a smarter play.

    Its more tested and reliable, has less noise and muzzle flash and is probably slightly more effective with a tad more diameter , softer bullets with deeper meplats than most autos can handle.

    • Phil White

      abprosper,

      I’ve shot a snub nose 44 special Charter Arms a far amount. The difference in recoil between it and the 40 isn’t a terribly huge difference. This was rather surprising. With the right ammunition the 44 special is a very very effective round. It’s really a matter of personal choice.

      The old FBI load with a lead hollowpoint is an excellent choice in 44 special considering the lower muzzle velocity.

      • abprosper

        Interesting.

        The recoil similarity is not a surprise, the Bulldog is half a pound lighter.

        • Phil White

          abprosper,

          The Bulldog is a bit smaller as well.

  • Matthew Carberry

    @Jeff

    10mm/.40?

    I want a mediumish-frame with cartridge-appropriate cylinder length, 5-shot .460 Rowland / .45 ACP / .45 Auto Rim. Preferably with a 3-4″ bbl.

    Note, not a re-purposed .44 Mag/.45 Colt frame with corresponding cylinder, or worse yet some Judge-like monstrosity. A frame and cylinder just long enough for the heaviest/longest Rowland loads. The existence of 5-shot .45 Colt revolvers capable of shooting Buffalo Bore loads suggest it can be done strength-wise.

    Use the less expensive .45 ACP for training and urban carry and throw a couple moonclips of .460 in your pocket when in predator country out in the sticks. AutoRim is there for folks into the classics or who distrust moonclips.

    Unlike .45 Colt it would handle the same ammo a lot of folks already carry and reload for. I believe the same dies will work for reloading both the Rowland and the ACP so the number of additional components needed is small.

  • Big Jay

    Let me translate what I got out of this review:

    Heavy gun (all steel, 29 oz.), hard to conceal (near K frame size), crappy trigger, stiff recoil, unreliable with a very popular brand of ammo, and weak moonclips.

    Still you suggest buying the gun? Why?

    • Phil White

      Big,

      Not really a statement to buy it. You have to figure in the problems I experienced and weigh whether you want to wait for some issues to be addressed or take your chances now. As I said I’m not certain if it’s the gun or the way the moon clips are made. I pretty much said I hesitate to blame the gun until someone can say the clips are the problem or the gun. I just can’t say either way.
      It felt heavier than 29 oz but the listed weight is not that heavy. I concealed a model 19 snub for three years working plain clothes with no problem.The trigger on double action is heavy no doubt about it.Three inch groups at 10 yards is still acceptable combat accuracy. If you like the gun change the spring to lower the pull or have a gunsmith work on it a bit. Again, a personal choice.

  • Mat

    Using moon clips is nothing new for Taurus so the moon clip issue must be down to cost cutting. The moon clips I have for my 455 Tracker .45acp snubbie, purchased in 2003, are quite robust and have never caused issues.

    • Phil White

      Mat,

      Were they fairly thin and easily bent? Just curious if they have changed.

      • Mat

        They are a little thinner then the moon clips for my S&W 625-5 but not easily bent.

        • Phil White

          Mat,

          They must have changed them since the 905. Like I told Jonathan if you look at that first picture on the review you can see how loose they are in the clip.

  • junyo

    The 905 had some notable issues with ejection, and the flimsiness of the moonclips. Seems like the 405 may have inherited them. I danced around the former for a good long while, but ultimately decided to wait on Charter to build the Pitbull in 9mm.

    • Phil White

      junyo,

      The more I think about it the more I lean toward these moon clips as a major cause of the problems I experienced.

  • Charlie

    The .357 mag was designed to go with a 4″ barrel at a minimum or at least according to Chuck Hawks. If I want to go bigger than my .38 spl Colt Detective, I’ll just use my Charter Bulldog in .44 special. If I feel like a .40 S&W, I’ll stick with my Glock 23.

    • Phil White

      Charlie,

      Reasonable choices that will get the job done.

  • Jonathan

    I have a Taurus 905. The moon clips from Taurus are not so great. I did not have the problem with the gun jamming, however, they would not hold my favorite ammo Remington 147 grain Golden Sabres, due to the slight size variations of the outer diameter of inside the groove of the cartridge.
    I also ran into some ejection problems.
    My friend has a S&W 940. The S&W Moon clips are much more sturdy and hold every 9 mm cartridge, however, they do not fit the Taurus out of the package. A little work with a small file and voila, they drop right in.
    Problem solved and I now have an awesome 9mm revolver.
    I bet the same can be accomplished with the S&W .40 moon clips.

    I don’t have an issue with the weight of the 905, but then again I carry three pistols at a time, A Glock 19 in a Galco shoulder rig, the 905 inside my belt and a Beretta model 21 in my front pocket.

    • Phil White

      Jonathan,

      There is a big difference between the S&W clips and the Taurus clips. What you did could be a fix for this revolver as well if S&W made a revolver in this caliber. if you look at the first picture in the review you can see how loose the rounds fit in the Taurus clips.

  • 101st

    No harm meant, but moon clips/speed loaders, etc. Just extra moves to me, could spend the time just thumbing off safety of semi-auto, and ejecting mag and reload with spare mag as needed. Time better spent. I like a revolver, just not one this labor intensive. Too used to flipping open cylinder, eject and reload out of pocket. If you loose the moon clip, or have to reload one from loose rounds, will you have time? Stick with a pistol the ammo is made for.

  • greg k

    I used circlips on 15 rounds so I can load each chamber individually… I love the gun, I got it in blue steel . I’m an old wheel gunner, no jams or failures out of a wheelgun. pure dependability.

  • KyJones

    LOVE this nice .40 revolver. I got mine on a trade, fired approx. 75 rounds through it and never had any problems with the ammo jamming. I don’t mind using the moon (Stellar) clips, they actually work like a speed loader. This little revolver is super accurate for a 2″ barrel. So glad Taurus has broke free from the same-old-same-old. The 405 is a lot of fun to shoot and so far it seems to be made very well

  • http://twitter.com/Route66Biker Ken ‘Route66′ Turmel

    Am I understanding correctly (from reading some older comments mentioned in this thread) that the Taurus 405 cannot be used “without” the moonclips (stellar clips)?

  • Charles

    I received this weapon as a gift from my police officer son and I love the gun. I am not a big time shooter but so far it has performed well and I was happy with the recoil, very little recoil for what I thought was going to be a lot of recoil from a 40 cal. with a 2 inch barrel. So far I would recommend this gun.

  • hawkeye1958

    Question, why don’t the various manufacturers make say the .40 so we don’t have to use moon clips. I have the Taurus .380 revolver. Couldn’t they machine the cylinder or wheel so we didn’t have to use moon clips?

  • Jj Adams

    i have 405 and this is my holster vid iposted and i have found it to be a good one…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py6ZoYxOe4E