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Taurus 856 Defender TORO 3"

Introduced in 2023, the Taurus 856 Defender TORO revolver is a modern take on the classic Taurus 856, designed to accommodate a reflex sighting system. The TORO acronym stands for Taurus Optic Ready Option.

Barrel Length: 3 inches Weight: 23.5 ounces (unloaded)
Overall Length: 7.5 inches Caliber: .38 Special (+P capable)
Height: 4.8 inches Capacity: 6 rounds
Width: 1.4 inches  

While the standard Taurus 856 revolvers are available with a 2” or 3” barrel, the TORO models are currently only available with a 3” barrel.

The Taurus 856 TORO is notable for its ability to mount mini red dot sights using the popular Shield RMSc mounting footprint. This allows users to attach a variety of small red dots from brands like SIG SAUER, Holosun, Shield, and Riton. Taurus is the first revolver manufacturer to offer a commercially produced revolver that is red dot ready from the factory.

The Defender model of the 856 features a 3-inch barrel and holds six rounds of .38 Special (+P capable) ammunition, an evolution from the classic Taurus 85, which held five rounds. If you prefer a Taurus revolver in .357 Magnum that is red dot ready, you would be better suited to look at the Taurus Model 605 TORO.

While some Model 856 revolvers come in a double action-only configuration, the current 856 TORO Defender models are double action/single action (DA/SA). Currently, Taurus offers this wheel gun in a stainless steel or matte black finish.

Holsters for the Taurus 856 Defender TORO Revolver

While this revolver series is classified as a “compact” size, it seems larger than a comparable S&W J frame in 3”. Most of the staff here at Gunner’s Alley feel that the size makes it too large for pocket carry and right on the edge of being too large for ankle carry.

However, it is a good size for concealed carry using an inside the waistband or high-riding belt holster. Our top-selling leather holsters for the 856 TORO 3” are the MTR Custom Adversary IWB style and the MTR Custom Dual Carry holster. The MTR paddle holster is also a good seller for general carry and range use. A slot is built into the holster during the manufacturing process to accommodate the red dot optic.

Any of the MTR Custom leather holsters displayed below are available in a configuration to fit a Taurus 856 Defender TORO revolver with a red dot optic mounted to the top of the frame.