Handgun Reviews

Taurus 856 vs. Smith & Wesson 642: Compact Revolver Showdown

Compact revolvers chambered in .38 Special are popular choices for concealed carry and personal defense. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll examine two top contenders in this category: the Taurus 856 and the Smith & Wesson 642. Both revolvers offer unique features, but they also come with their respective pros and cons. By the end of this review, you’ll have a clear understanding of which one suits your needs best.

Product 1: Taurus 856

Taurus 856

The Taurus 856 is a compact .38 Special revolver designed for easy concealed carry. Let’s delve into its pros and cons:



  • Fixed sights may not be adjustable for precision shooting.
  • Some users may prefer a revolver with a hammer.

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Product 2: Smith & Wesson 642

Smith & Wesson 642

The Smith & Wesson 642 is another compact .38 Special revolver known for its reliability. Let’s explore its pros and cons:


  • Compact and lightweight for easy concealed carry.
  • 5-round capacity.
  • Double-action design for quick follow-up shots.
  • Matte silver finish for corrosion resistance.


  • Fixed sights may not be adjustable for precision shooting.
  • Some users may prefer a revolver with a hammer.
  • One-round less capacity compared to the Taurus 856.

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Both the Taurus 856 and Smith & Wesson 642 offer compact .38 Special revolvers suitable for concealed carry and personal defense. Let’s summarize their key features and compare their pros and cons:

Comparison of Key Features:

  • Taurus 856: 6-round capacity, budget-friendly, simple and reliable.
  • Smith & Wesson 642: 5-round capacity, matte silver finish, double-action design.

Your choice between these two revolvers should consider factors like magazine capacity, finish preference, and whether you prefer a double-action design. The Taurus 856 offers an extra round in the cylinder, which could be important in high-stress situations. On the other hand, the Smith & Wesson 642 boasts a corrosion-resistant matte silver finish and a double-action design for quicker follow-up shots.

Both options come from reputable manufacturers and are known for their reliability. Ultimately, your decision should align with your specific needs and preferences. If possible, try both revolvers at a shooting range to get a feel for their performance and choose the one that best suits your requirements.

One Comment

  1. Sunflower123 says:

    I really enjoyed this comparison! It’s great to see the pros and cons of both revolvers laid out so clearly. I’m leaning towards the Taurus 856 because of its higher round capacity and budget-friendly price. Thanks for the helpful information!

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