Welcome back to The Rimfire Report! In this ongoing series, we review, discuss, and explore the various aspects, firearms, and practices of the rimfire world. This week we’ll be reviewing the Taurus 942 small frame revolver in 22LR. This pocket-sized pistol can do just about anything from concealed carry duty to recreational plinking.
The Rimfire Report: Taurus 942 22LR 8-Shot Revolver Review
Wheelguns are a time-tested and proven method for delivering lead downrange. Although generally revolvers are heavier, have a lower capacity, and aren’t as efficient on space, there is still something to be said for the rugged simplicity of a double-action/single-action revolver like the Taurus 942. Since this revolver is marketed by Taurus as being useful for just about anything, we’ll stack it up in each of those categories and I’ll give you my personal pros and cons for the 942 in each discipline. But first, what are the base features and specs?
Taurus 942 Specifications:
- FRAME SIZE: Small
- CAPACITY: 8 rds
- ACTION TYPE: DA/SA
- CALIBER: 22 LR
- HEIGHT: 4.64″
- WIDTH: 1.34″
- WEIGHT: 23.60 oz.
- BARREL LENGTH: 2.00″
- OVERALL LENGTH: 6.60″
- FRONT SIGHT: Serrated Ramp
- REAR SIGHT: Drift Adjustable
- SAFETY: Transfer Bar
Concealed Carry and Home Defense Piece
We’ve previously discussed on The Rimfire Report how 22LR should not be dismissed out of hand or discounted as a viable 22LR option. I myself had a change of heart on this after seeing just how reliable the cartridge has come to be as well as the positives it has for those with recoil sensitivity. The 22LR Taurus 942 right off the bat has a big negative for me – its weight.
When stacked up against its main competition – the S&W 43C, the Taurus 942 is double the weight at a hefty 23.6 oz. With the exact same capacity, sight style, relative frame style, and barrel length the S&W Model 43C comes out on top in this category but after that, I feel as if the pistols are mostly the same aside from the $200 extra you’ll pay for the 43C.
The 942’s stainless steel construction is rock solid and lasted being taken in and out of an airconditioned environment to a blistering 90-degree sweltering summer environment many times over the last month. Each time I went outside with it I’d have to wipe the condensation off but what little remained was mitigated by the nice rubberized grips which offered great purchase on the gun.
Aside from the weight, I feel like the 942 would operate admirably as a carry gun – maybe most effectively in a dedicated carry purse or fanny pack where the hammer would be less likely to get snagged on other objects on the way out. While I’d much rather a hammerless revolver for a concealed carry option, I think it would then take away from the versatility of the 942.
So while you can carry the 942 as a carry piece, I’d recommend something else if you could afford it as there are more optimal selections in the 22LR category including semi-auto offerings which give the extra advantage of increased capacity.
Trigger and Sights
I think this is really where the 942 starts to shine. With the economic pricing of the revolver, you’re getting a lot of functionality out of the gun. Having it by the nightstand is good enough but being able to take this thing to the range and practice with it is affordable as well and won’t scare off new shooters. With ammo prices continuing to rise and ammo supplies getting low the economic benefits of a 22LR gun cannot be ignored.
The rear drift-adjustable sight in tandem with the serrated ramp front sight makes for a winning combination when trying to make accurate shots. I found from a distance of about 10 yards on a well-lit 3″ steel target I could put all 8 shots on the plate pretty consistently using a hold-over sight picture.
On paper, however, the groups are fairly spread out. At 10 yards they were about the size of the palm of my hand or maybe slightly larger, I think much beyond 10 yards the accuracy would suffer greatly. A good look at the forcing cone will show that there is a generous tolerance inside. This is most likely intentional to allow for small variations in the timing/lockup when the cylinder is being advanced. I don’t know for certain if this affects accuracy although I know from experience that my other revolvers don’t have such an oversized forcing cone. Maybe someone with more experience in revolvers can tell me how this might affect or not affect accuracy.
The DA/SA trigger works well in the versatility role too. Carrying the revolver with the hammer down is hands-down the safest way to carry the revolver. The pistol offers a slightly heavy 7lb 11oz trigger pull in double-action (8 shot pull average). Meanwhile, if accuracy is the game you can pull the hammer back to get a crisp, clean, and light 3lb 9.5 oz single-action pull (same 8 shot pull average). By no means is it a hair-trigger in a single action but it is light enough to make some great groupings even with the short sight radius.
With a good trigger, decent sights, and a low operating cost, the Taurus 942 is fun to shoot. The mild or next to non-existent recoil of the 22LR cartridge makes for fun shooting all day. It’s especially fun to put some small targets like empty shotgun hulls of old ammo boxes out at 15 yards and attempt to hit them – it’s doable but challenging!
In my testing, I shot a cylinder of some CCI 22LR pest control shot to see what the spread would be like at a short distance. I think it will come as no surprise that this type of cartridge is absolutely abysmal out of the short rifled 2″ barrel. At most I’d say you could be about 5 feet from the intended target and still land enough pellets on it to kill something like a snake or small rodent.
Another great thing about the 942 is that it is also available in a .22 WMR configuration. Having an identical construction, barrel length, and price but with a much more stout round coming out of the barrel. This I think would add to its abilities mostly in the concealed carry or home defense scenario.
The Taurus 942 is an excellent budget gun to have around. I wouldn’t say it’s a necessity for your armory but it does scratch that itch of wanting to shoot a revolver without having to expend your .38 Special or .357 Magnum ammo. I think its highest quality is its price: The MSRP for the revolver is $408.33 but I’ve found them online already for as little as $320 for the black trim and about $360 for the matte stainless steel version which I got.
So what are your thought on the Taurus 942? If you bought one, what reason would you buy it? Concealed carry, target shooting, or just for fun? Let us know down in the comments and as always thanks for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report!