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Forjas Taurus S.A.
Type Sociedade Anônima
Traded as BM&F Bovespa: FJTA3, FJTA4
Industry Defense
Founded 1939
Headquarters Porto Alegre, Brazil
Key people Dennis Braz Gonçalves, (CEO)
Luis Fernando Costa Estima, (Chairman)
Products Firearms, weapons
Revenue Increase US$342.1 million (2012)[1]
Net income Decrease US$20.4 million (2012)[1]
Employees 3,150
Website www.taurususa.com

Forjas Taurus is a manufacturing conglomerate based in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Beginning as a tool and die manufacturer, the company now consists of divisions focusing on firearms, metals manufacturing, plastics, body armor, helmets, and civil construction.

History[edit | edit source]

Taurus PT 24/7 (polymer-frame)

Taurus .357 Magnum Model 605

Taurus Tracker

Taurus PT 145 with a Blued finish

Taurus produced its first revolver, the Model 38101SO, in 1941 and began exporting its revolvers to the U.S. market in 1968 through a series of importers.

In 1971, the Bangor Punta Corporation, then the parent company of Smith & Wesson, purchased 54 percent of Forjas Taurus, allowing the two firearms manufacturers to easily share information regarding design and manufacturing. In 1977, Taurus was purchased from Bangor Punta by its current owners, and its ties to Smith & Wesson were severed.

In 1980, after Italian arms manufacturer Beretta had completed its contracts to produce firearms for Brazil's military, Taurus purchased Beretta's São Paulo manufacturing plant along with the tooling, technical drawings, and work force necessary to produce several different pistol designs.

In order to more effectively tap the U.S. market, the company created a subsidiary, Taurus International Manufacturing Incorporated, also known as Taurus USA, in 1984.

In 1997 Forjas Taurus purchased the rights & equipment to manufacture Rossi brand revolvers. They currently manufacture three .38 special models & four .357 magnum models under the Rossi name, manufactured in São Leopoldo, Brazil.

Products[edit | edit source]

Current product line includes steel-frame pistols, polymer-frame pistols (including the popular Millennium line), revolvers, and law enforcement weapons (submachine guns and rifles), the latter intended for the domestic Brazilian market. The company has a major advantage in that it can manufacture and sell its firearms for generally less than other notable brands due to low labor costs, as well as having the facilities available to build virtually every part themselves. The company also offers a few unique features not found elsewhere, for example while some polymer-frame firearms such as the Glock have no exterior safety features, the Taurus equivalents have a manual safety. Taurus also offers its Security System lockable safety on many models which blocks the gun from firing.

One Taurus claim to fame is the Lifetime Warranty included with every weapon, the owner merely has to return the firearm to the factory or repair center, and any defect will be corrected at no charge. However, Taurus USA will not apply this warranty to Taurus firearms imported by other importers prior to 1984, so owners of older Taurus models should contact the company before shipping their guns in for repairs. Even though guns imported into the US before 1984 were manufactured by Taurus, the company will not honor the warranty on them.

Until sometime in the 1980s, Taurus (early US-imported guns were branded "Taurus Brazil") did not enjoy a favorable reputation among US gun owners. Many saw them as cheap, unreliable, unsafe, and unlikely to last very long. Whether the poor reputation was deserved or was merely the result of American chauvinism in the 1960s and 1970s, is unknown. However, the few Taurus guns actually seen in those days were, indeed, of poor quality, qualifying for the derogatory label "Saturday Night Special". The fact that the company changed the branding on the guns to just "Taurus", along with using a different font and overall markings design, does suggest that they were tying to distance the newer products from the reputation of the earlier ones. An even stronger indication that earlier Taurus guns were of poor quality is the fact that the company does not honor warranties on those earlier guns.

Whether the result of marketing strategies such as changing the markings, and the production of novel guns such as the .410/.45 Judge, or of better manufacturing and quality control procedures, Taurus has managed to distance itself from the "Saturday Night Special" reputation, and their guns are now generally seen as well-made[citation needed] alternatives to more costly brands. Currently, their "Millenium" model, based on their "PT" line, enjoys a particularly good reputation among US gun owners.

Firearm model overview[edit | edit source]

One of Taurus' most successful handguns has been its PT92, a model similar to Beretta's model 92 line, but with the addition of an ambidextrous frame safety, rather than the Beretta's slide-mounted safety. Taurus also manufactures the famous Raging Bull revolver. The most recent addition to the Taurus pistol lineup is a copy of the Colt 1911 .45ACP pistol, the PT1911. This slightly redesigned and updated design offers many features, as well as the aforementioned near ubiquitous Taurus Security System safety key lock. Initial sales of the PT1911 have been very successful, with many dealers being unable to keep the item in stock.[citation needed] Taurus has also introduced its Tracker and The Judge 5-shot revolvers, which have a cylinder designed to take both .410 bore shotgun shells and .45 Colt cartridges. Taurus also manufactures small frame revolvers such as the Model 85 which are similar in size and appearance to the Smith & Wesson J-Frame models.

Semi-Automatic Pistols[edit | edit source]

Revolvers[edit | edit source]

Small Frame[edit | edit source]

Compact Frame[edit | edit source]

Medium Frame[edit | edit source]

Large Frame[edit | edit source]

Families[edit | edit source]

Rossi models[edit | edit source]

  • Rossi Model 971 .357 Magnum
  • Rossi R46102 .357 Magnum
  • Rossi R35102 .38 Special
  • Rossi R97104 .357 Magnum
  • Rossi R85104 .38 Special
  • Rossi R46202 .357 Magnum
  • Rossi R35202 .38 Special
  • Rossi R97206 .357 Magnum
  • Rossi Circuit Judge .410ga/45lc (carbine)

Submachine Guns[edit | edit source]

Rifles[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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