Precision instruments have nothing to hide.

The new Taurus five-shot View is quite possibly the lightest .38 Special available. I’ve found that most of these pocket revolvers developed as lightweight carry pieces weigh between 10 and 13 ounces. The View is barely nine ounces, and it carries with ease.

There are a number of handguns I own that I wouldn’t consider carrying every day. Unless you have a profession that requires bulky or tactical clothing that can conceal a semiauto with higher capacity or a larger-frame revolver, it’s more likely that when you grab your keys and head out the door you’ll need a carry gun that’s unobtrusive, yet quickly deployable.

Based on the popular Taurus Model 85, the View is a different approach to revolvers. It gets its name from the Lexan sideplate attached to the right side of the frame, which is the first noticeable difference when comparing the View with any other small-frame revolver.

“I think people are interested in how a firearm works,” said Mark Kresser, president and CEO of Taurus Holdings. “This sideplate gives them a better understanding of what they’re carrying.”

It also forces Taurus to manufacture the best-quality product, because any flaw in the intricate organization of small parts is now visible.

Though the concept may appear straightforward, it was quite an accomplishment for Taurus to engineer a sideplate design that wouldn’t eventually display spiderweb cracking during the course of its use. Various polymer formulas were developed and tested until a reliable solution was found.

New to the View is the contoured grip and grip frame that won’t print inside of performance clothing like most traditional carry guns will. If you look closely, you’ll find that Taurus has incorporated a unique curvature and subtle cant to the grip’s shape while keeping the thickness of the revolver minimal.

“If a watch were flat and square,” said Kresser, “you wouldn’t wear it. We put a little bit of bend in the frame where we could to give it a more practical contour for carry.”

The cylinder and barrel are manufactured from titanium, which is known for its lightweight strength. The short, stainless steel ejector rod is long enough to dump spent cases and sturdy enough to be struck against a solid object to eject a stubborn spent case.

You might be surprised at how accurate the View really is. Using standard loads from Hornady and Winchester, I enjoy printing two- to three-inch groups out to 10 yards while standing and slowly drawing the 10-pound trigger. Though 
appropriately heavy for defensive purposes, the smooth stacking of weight during each trigger pull lets off crisply when the hammer drops. The nonadjustable sights are perfectly aligned for point-of-aim/point-of-impact shooting at close range and aid in consistent results, though the View only utilizes a snubnose barrel.

Because the grip is reduced in size, most will feel this .38 has some bite. However, its shape sets back into your palm, preventing the revolver’s muzzle from kicking too high for you to recover, and the triggerguard is nicely arched in such a manner that it doesn’t wear a sore on your middle-finger’s joint. It’s as comfortable and manageable to shoot as any lightweight, snubnose .38 revolver could be.

The View is built to carry every day. Contoured, reliable and light, it will serve to overcome the urge one may have to make an excuse to walk out the door unprotected.

Enhanced for the needs of practical carry, the View didn’t need to be designed with a heavy frame to absorb recoil or thick grips to fill the hand. As much as these features contribute to controllability while shooting at the range, they don’t necessarily appeal on an everyday-carry gun chambered for a cartridge like the .38 Special. Being what this gun is, Taurus advises against using +P or +P+ defensive ammunition in the View. And even though a standard .38 Special load will produce less felt recoil than other hot loads, don’t expect to endure long hours at the range target shooting with the View. For a handgun of this caliber that I can discreetly carry for hours every day, I’d give up some comfort at the range and work on skill development with a larger model.

Mark Kresser is largely responsible for bringing the View to market. When he assumed his role at Taurus Holdings, developing more practical features for everyday use was a priority.

“I carry a gun every single day,” said Kresser. “I don’t carry spare magazines, and I don’t carry a pocketful of ammunition. I wear a suit or shorts. I don’t need a longer barrel when my concern is a short-distance threat. Many of us won’t be thinking of a tactical reload in a desperate situation, so the View didn’t need a long ejector rod. I just needed it long enough to extract cases to reload in a training environment.”

When you consider the Taurus Model 85 revolver platform, there are multiple options, sideplates, triggers and hammers that could be easily incorporated to personalize the View for everyone’s unique style. Taurus is exploring jeweled hammers and other accessories as future options. Though it effectively serves as a visual aid when studying how a revolver works, Taurus is aware of the fact that a gold hammer isn’t for everyone. Regardless of how you choose to configure a View, I can bet that you will carry it.

Be sure to check out our exclusive video of the Taurus View from the 2014 SHOT Show:


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