Handgun Radio 208 - Running The Bull - A Brief History of Taurus

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world.

 

This week, Weerd and I are joined by Daniel Watters to discuss the history of Taurus!!!

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Week in Review:

 

Ryan: Bought a new splitting maul, chopped some wood, had some friends over last night and enjoyed a fine CAO Italia (Which was delicious; kind of a sweet flavor but with some darker notes on the finish. Paired with a glass of Makers Mark 46) and burned some of the old rotten fence which made for fantastic firestarting wood. Also installed small solar lights on the top of each new fencepost with pipe straps which give some nice accent lighting in the backyard. I need to do an episode live from the backyard sometime!

 

-Rewatched “Executive Decision”.....lots of cool guns in that one!


 

Weerd:  Podcasting,  Assorted Calibers Podcast is giving away a C-5 9mm AR lower from New Frontier Armory to one of our patrons.

https://www.newfrontierarmory.com/shop/c-9-billet-lower/




 

Daniel:  My car finally died.  Twenty mid-western winters’ worth of road salt ate her up.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_inspection_in_the_United_States



 

Drink Segment: Got a new bottle of Rye Old Overholt  

Also can we get some listener emails on Rum.  I think others know this stuff better than I do.

 

Main Topic: A Brief History of Taurus with Daniel Watters

 

1934:  On July 6th, Presidential Decree No. 24,602 effectively places the Brazilian military in control of domestic arms production.  For the most part, it prohibits the production of military weapons by private companies, permits the production of firearms and ammunition for hunting, and makes no mention of civilian defensive firearms.  
 

1937:  In June, João Kluwe Jr., Ademar Orlando Zanchi, Oscar Henrique Purper, Eugênio Ervin Hausen, Herbert Müller, and João Guilherme Wallig make plans in their small workshop to create a tool and die company. The time is ripe to start a new business in Brazil as President Getúlio Vargas' “Estado Novo” (New State) policies include heavy government investment to develop the country's domestic manufacturing industry.
 

1939: In November, Forjas Taurus Ltda. (Taurus Forge) is formally founded in Porto Alegre, Brazil with an initial capital of Rs$ 600 million.

 

Taurus had initially ordered industrial machinery from Germany. However, these purchases were canceled with the outbreak of the Second World War.  The expansion of the war limits the potential for ordering the necessary production equipment elsewhere. Worse yet, there are no domestic suppliers for the necessary machinery within Brazil.  Left with no alternative, Taurus' owners decide to build their own machines. These are original meant to be used solely in-house, but they soon realize that they could also market these machines to other Brazilian companies.  The war also limits Brazil's supply of crude oil. In response, Taurus builds its own gasification furnaces. As steel becomes equally scarce on the world market, Taurus develops its capabilities for recycling scrap metal.

 

1941: Forjas Taurus produces its first revolver, the Model 38101-SO. The revolver combines elements from several manufacturers, including Colt's, S&W, and certain Spanish brands.  However, small arms are not yet the company's prime focus. (If I had to hazard a guess, the model number translates to  .38 caliber with a 101mm-long barrel.)

 

1945:  With the end of WW2 followed by the forced resignation of President Vargas, new government policies make it easier for Brazilian firms to import industrial machinery.  The world market is filled with the release of wartime surplus and the resumption of commercial production. With their domestic market no longer captive, Forjas Taurus redirects its production focus from industrial machinery to revolvers and hand tools.

 

1949:   On June 27, Forjas Taurus SA is incorporated as a Joint Stock Company.  

 

1951:  With increased demand, Forjas Taurus' manufacture and sales of weapons accelerates.  

 

1956:  Forjas Taurus begins expansion of its existing industrial complex and the construction of a new factory.

 

1964:  Forjas Taurus completes construction of its new factory.

 

March 31 to April 1 – The Brazilian military launches a successful coup against the civilian government.

 

1965: In January, the Brazilian military replaces Decree 24,602 with Decree No. 55,649, which enacts  Regulation R-105 - Regulamento para o Serviço de Fiscalização da Importação, Depósito e Tráfego de Produtos Controlados pelo Ministério da Guerra (Inspection and Control Service Regulation for Importation, Storage, and Shipment of Controlled Products by the War Ministry.)   Any small arms and ammunition imports have to be approved by the Ministry of the Army. Procurement preferences are to be given to domestic arms manufacturers whenever possible. Should a foreign manufacturer wish to open a factory within Brazil, the military is to consider the impact on domestic firms and to lay the groundwork for the eventual nationalization of production.

 

Moreover, the military gains even more control over the production of civilian firearms and ammunition, as well as their distribution and ownership.  Controls are set on the number of firearms held, along with their caliber. While the military will focus upon controlling production and importation, the Civil Police are tasked with monitoring and licensing the transfer of firearms and ammunition among the civilian population.

 

1967:  Admar Orlando Zanchi develops a new hammer block safety for the Taurus revolvers.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US3482348A

 

Forjas Taurus partners with the US import firm Firearms International Corporation to enter the US market.

 

1968:  Exports to US begin in quantity.

  

1970: Jan Winter, the founder and president of Firearms International Corp., sells his company to the Garcia Corporation, another US importer of foreign firearms. Garcia Corp. takes over importation of the Taurus revolvers.

 

Bangor Punta buys a majority share (54%) in Forjas Taurus.  While Bangor Punta had previously purchased Smith & Wesson in 1965, the two firearms manufacturers remained independent companies under Bangor Punta's ownership. S&W itself never owned Taurus, nor did Taurus take over a S&W-built factory. However, during the next seven years, technology and methodology was transferred back and forth.

 

1971:  Taurus' primary US importer becomes International Distributors, Inc.  

 

Beretta establishes Indústria e Comércio Beretta S.A. in São Paulo, Brazil.  At first, their primary product is the PR71 revolver series, made for commercial sale in Italy.  The PR71 series includes the .22 LR Velox, .32 S&W Long Audax, and .38 Special Tenax.  In the years to follow, Beretta will win large contracts to produce the PM12S submachine gun (MtrM M972) and later the Model 92 pistol (M975), for Brazilian military and government agencies.  As part of the terms of the contract, Beretta was required to build these firearms in Brazil with Brazilian labor. Oddly enough, full production of the Beretta 92 actually began in Brazil before it occurred in Beretta's own Italian factory.

 

(While I cannot prove this conclusively, the PR71 revolver look suspiciously like Taurus revolvers of the same vintage.  Given legal requirement to favor domestic arms manufacturers, I'm guessing that Beretta set up its Brazilian affiliate ahead of time in hopes of winning a contract for the PM12S, or perhaps even the AR70 rifle. However, they needed a way to get their new workers up to speed and keep them busy until such a contract was signed. Thus, they partnered with an existing Brazilian firearm manufacturer to provide parts for the local Beretta employees to assemble and finish for export.)

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/435371488960639810/

 

https://www.facebook.com/pg/armeria.malentacchi/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1838846129714939

 

https://fahrzeuge.dorotheum.com/en/auctions/current-auctions/list-lots-detail/auktion/12580-sporting-and-vintage-guns/lotID/355/lot/2239335-revolver-taurus-beretta-kal-22-l-r.html?currentPage=14&img=0

 

1974:  International Distributors' Taurus line currently includes two adjustable-sight small-frame revolvers - the Model 74 Sport in .32 S&W Long and the Model 94 Sport in .22 LR; one adjustable-sight medium-frame revolver in .22 LR – the Model 96 Target Scout; and four medium-frame revolvers in .38 Special – the fixed-sight Model 80 Standard and the Model 82 Heavy Barrel, as well as the adjustable-sight Model 84 Sport and Model 86 Target Master.  (In other markets, Forjas Taurus offers fixed-sight variants of the Model 74 and Model 94 known as the Model 71 and Model 93, respectively.  Without the adjustable sights, these are probably unable to qualify for direct US importation under the import point system set in place after the Gun Control Act of 1968 - GCA68.)

 

The Brazilian government implements the National Policy for Export of Military Equipment (Política Nacional de Exportação de Material de Emprego Militar - PNEMEM), a series of incentives for private and state-owned producers to export arms.

 

1977:  Polimetal - Indústria e Comércio de Produtos Metálicos Ltda. buys out Bagnor Punta's entire stake in Forjas Taurus.  The new investor group is led by Dr. Carlos Alberto Peranhos Murgel, Luis Fernando Costa Estima, and Herbert Haupt. Murgel is a US-educated engineer and former S&W employee, and Estima has been with Taurus since 1971.

 

International Distributors begins importation of the .38 Special Model 83, a heavy barrel variant of the Model 84 Sport. These appear to be the first of Taurus' medium-frame revolvers to use a revamped hammer block safety and frame-mounted firing pin.  (In other markets, Model 83 variants included the .22 LR Model 90 and the  .32 S&W Long Model 70.)

 

International Distributors announces a recall of Taurus revolvers due to drop safety issues.  It includes earlier versions of all of the models except for the Model 83.

http://firearmsid.com/recalls/FA_Recalls%205.htm

 

Improved adjustable rear sights begin to appear on the medium-frame revolvers, starting with the Model 86.

 

The cylinder flute serrations are eliminated.

 

1978: International Distributors begins importation of Taurus' two new medium-frame revolver in .357 Magnum - the fixed-sight Model 65 and the adjustable-sight Model 66.  
 

1980:  On June 30th, Forjas Taurus buys the entire assets of Indústria e Comércio Beretta S.A., including the drawings, tooling, and machinery.  This ultimately leads to Taurus' introduction of the PT92, a direct copy of the first-generation Beretta 92.  Taurus also produces a version of the Beretta PM12S as the MT12.  Work begins on developing a straight-blowback variant of the PT92 in .32 ACP, then the largest Brazilian civilian-legal semiauto pistol cartridge.  (Why would Beretta agree to this? Beretta already had the second-generation Model 92S design underway back in Italy, so perhaps it wouldn't hurt to leave the first-generation Model 92 design behind in Brazilian hands. Moreover, it saves them the trouble of shipping all of it back home.)
 

International Distributors begins importation of two fixed-sight small-frame revolvers: the Model 73 in .32 S&W Long (a heavy-barrel Model 71?) and the Model 85 in .38 Special.  The Model 85 is meant to be a direct competitor to the S&W Model 36 Chiefs Special.  It is Taurus' first revolver to use a transfer bar safety. It is also dispenses with the S&W-style trigger rebound slide for a simple guide rod.  In addition, the cylinder is now retained on the yoke by a collet bushing. The bushing snaps into the yoke barrel and is retained by the shaft of the extractor.  This allows Taurus to eliminate the cylinder lug on the side of the frame. The frame redesign also repositions the cylinder stop spring to a plunger protruding from the end of the yoke stem.  This eliminates the spring's retaining screw at the front root of the triggerguard.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US4391056A

https://patents.google.com/patent/US4391057A

 

1981:  International Distributors introduces the PT92 to the US market.

 

In October, Taurus International Manufacturing files for incorporation in Miami, FL.

 

1982:  International Distributors introduces the PT99, an adjustable-sight variant of the PT92.

 

Forjas Taurus introduces the .25 ACP PT51 and .22 Short PT53 semi-auto pistols, which are based upon the Beretta M950B Jetfire and Minx formerly produced at the São Paulo factory.  (These are almost certainly too small to qualify for direct US importation under GCA68.) In addition, two full-size .32 ACP semi-auto pistols are introduced – the PT57S and the PT57TA, based upon the PT92 and PT99 respectively.

 

Forjas Taurus conducts its first IPO, and is listed on the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa.)

 

1983:  Taurus introduces changes in its medium-frame revolvers.  This includes the extractor, ejector rod, bolt, hammer, and mainspring strut.  (At some point, Taurus also drops the pinned barrel and implements an integral frame seat for the mainspring cap.)

 

Taurus International Manufacturing Inc. takes over importation for the North American market.  Carlos Murgel serves as President/CEO, with Bruce L. Savane serving as Executive Vice President/COO.

 

The US introduction of the PT51 semi-auto pistol is teased, as is its new double-action counterpart - the PT22.  The latter design evolved from the PT55, which itself was based upon the Beretta M20 Bobcat.  (Again, these cannot be imported as-is due to GCA68.)
 

1984: Taurus International introduces its unqualified Lifetime Repair Policy at SHOT Show. This is the brainchild of Bruce Savane.

 

Forjas Taurus introduces the new style reversible magazine release, ambidextrous thumb safety, and firing pin safety with the PT92AF, PT99AF, and PT57AF.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US4539770A

 

1987:  Forjas Taurus introduces the .32 ACP PT57SC, a compact variant of the PT57AF.

 

In December, the .380 ACP becomes an unrestricted caliber for Brazilian citizens due to Army Ordnance No. 1,237.

 

1988:  The PT58S pistol is introduced to the US market.  It is a .380 ACP variant of the .32 ACP PT57SC.  (The full-size version of the PT58S will ultimately become available in other markets as the PT59.)
 

On the revolver side, the Model 669 .357 Magnum is introduced.  It is essentially a Model 66 with a full-length underlug, akin to the S&W L-frame.

 

1989:  The Model 94 revolver is reintroduced with a 9-shot .22 LR cylinder.  It uses the same lockwork and cylinder retention bushing pattern as the Model 85.  A vent-rib variant of the M669 is introduced as the Model 669VR.  (At some point, Forjas Taurus has begun offering a ventilated rib barrel variant of the Model 66 - the Model 67.  Ventilated-rib .38 Special models are also available - the fixed-sight Model 87 and the adjustable sight Model 88.)

 

The PT91AF, a variant of the PT92AF chambered in .41 Action Express, is announced.  In addition, the PT92C Compact and PT91C Compact are teased, as well as conversion slides for their full size counterparts.  (I believe this is around the time that Forjas Taurus produces prototype 10mm and .357 Magnum variants of the PT92 family.)

 

The Model 85-style transfer bar safety, revised lockwork, cylinder retention bushing, and cylinder stop plunger begins its introduction in all legacy medium-frame models.  A new adjustable rear sight design is also introduced across the board for the medium-frame revolvers. The four-screw sideplate is dropped for a three-screw version.
 

1990: Taurus International's new US headquarters opens in Miami, FL with over 30,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and office space.

 

The PT91AF, a variant of the PT92AF chambered in .41 Action Express, is introduced.

 

Taurus also teams with Laser Aim to offer laser-mounted variants of the PT92 and M669VR.

 

1991: The tri-position safety/decocker system for the PT92 family of pistols is introduced.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5251394A

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5267407A

 

New products include the PT100 and PT101 - .40 S&W variants of the PT92 and PT99, and the spurless Model 85CH revolver.  The Model 669VR is redesignated as the Model 689.  (In other markets, a .38 Special variant of the Model 689 is available as the Model 889.)  New variants of the small-frame Model 73 and Model 74, as well as the medium-frame Model 76 are now chambered in .32 H&R Magnum, (Note that the Model 76 had been distributed for years in other markets in .32 S&W Long.)

 

The PT92C Compact is finally delivered.

 

Taurus International begins full US production of the PT22 and PT25 semi-auto pistols.  

 

1992: Taurus International introduces four new revolvers: a pair of small-frame revolvers - the 8-shot  Model 941 in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire and the 6-shot Model 741 in .32 H&R Magnum, as well as a pair of 5-shot medium-frame .44 Specials – the fixed-sight Model 431 and the adjustable-sight Model 441.  

 

In December, the design of the bolt catch and its plunger is revised for the legacy revolvers.

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=BR&NR=9105696A&KC=A&FT=D&ND=3&date=19930817&DB=&locale=en_EP

 

1993:  Taurus International introduces the 9x19mm single-stack PT908 semi-auto pistol.  Future variants in .40 S&W and .45 ACP are teased.  

https://patents.google.com/patent/USD363334S

 

The .32 H&R Magnum variants of the Model 73 and Model 76 revolvers are redesignated as the Model 731 and Model 761.  Also new are 'CP' ported variants of the Model 66 and Model 669.  

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=BR&NR=9601964A&KC=A&FT=D&ND=3&date=19990112&DB=&locale=en_EP

 

The Taurus Custom Shop is unveiled.  Former Springfield Custom shop director Jack Weigand is the  primary design consultant.

http://www.jackweigand.com/taurus44.html

 

A Trophy Model competition revolver is teased. Writers samples are made in both PPC and NRA Action Pistol (Bianchi Cup) configurations.  (You can see an example of the Bianchi Cup configuration in the April 2005 issue of Handloader magazine.)

 

The consolidation of Forjas Taurus' pistol and revolver factories in Brazil creates the world's second largest handgun manufacturing facility. Approximately $20 million is invested in new machinery.

 

CCI and Taurus develop and test two new experimental cartridges – the 7mm CCI Rimfire and the .40 Taurus.

https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t/7-mm-cci-rimfire/12977?u=danielwatters

https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t/40-taurus-variations/5394?u=danielwatters

 

1994: Taurus International introduces their first large-frame revolver – the Model 44 in .44 Magnum.

 

Taurus handgun sales represent approximately 10% of the US market.

 

INMETRO grants Forjas Taurus an ISO 9001 certification for manufacturing and marketing operations.  It becomes the second firearms manufacturer in the world to receive the certification.
 

1995: Taurus International introduces the single-stack PT945, their first .45 ACP semi-auto pistol.  

 

They also introduce two new .357 Magnum revolvers – the small-frame Model 605 and the large-frame, 7-shot Model 607.  (In other markets, there was a .38 Special variant of the Model 607 known as the Model 837.)

 

The .22 LR PT52 semi-auto pistol is teased for the US market.  It has been under development since at least 1988.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5195226A

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5666754A

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?CC=BR&NR=9100301A&KC=A&FT=D&ND=3&date=19920908&DB=&locale=en_EP

 

The Brazilian Institute for Nuclear Quality (IBQN) and the RWTÜV (Rheinisch-Westfälischer Technischer Überwachungsverein e.V.) individually grant Forjas Taurus with ISO 9000 certification.

 

1996:  Taurus International introduces the large-frame Model 608, the first factory production eight-shot .357 Magnum revolver.  (In other markets, there is a .38 Special variant of the Model 608 known as the Model 838.)  

 

They also introduce the single-stack PT940 in .40 S&W.

 

1997: Taurus International introduces the Model 454 Raging Bull revolver in .454 Casull.  

 

Two new fixed-sight revolvers are introduced – the 5-shot .44 Special Model 445 and the six-shot .357 Magnum Model 606.  

 

Spurless hammer “CH” variants of the Model 44, Model 445, Model 605, and Model 606 are now offered, as are ported barrel versions of the Model 85, Model 605 and Model 606.

 

The “Ultra-Light” aluminum frame revolver series is introduced with the Model 85UL, Model 94UL, and Model 941UL.

 

On the semi-pistol pistol side, the original single-stack version of the PT940 is dropped in favor of a new double-stack variant.  Related double-stack models include the 9x19mm PT911 (PT915 on global market?) and .380 ACP PT938.  A ported-barrel variant of the PT945 is introduced as the PT945C.  

 

The new polymer frame Millennium pistol series is introduced with the 9x19mm PT111.  

https://patents.google.com/patent/US6256915B1

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?CC=BR&NR=9700178A&KC=A&FT=D&ND=3&date=19981201&DB=&locale=en_EP

 

In September, Executive Vice President/COO Bruce L. Savane retires from Taurus International.  Taurus' West Coast sales representative Robert G. Morrison is selected as his successor.

 

Taurus International's MIM (Metal Injection Molding) Division is awarded a Grand Prize at the 1997 International Conference on Powder Metallurgy and Particulate Materials. The prize is related to seven  MIM parts designed for use in new Taurus revolvers.

http://www.modernapplicationsnews.com/articles/m003rop.htm

 

Forjas Taurus purchases the patents, designs, and production rights for Rossi small arms.  (The Taurus-Rossi agreement is never submitted to the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.)

 

Taurus debuts a new external key lock, the Taurus Security System, for their revolver product line.  

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5910003A

 

1998: Taurus International introduces two new fixed-sight 7-shot revolvers – the .38 Special Model 827 and the .357 Magnum Model 617.  Both are available in CH and CP variants.

 

Products announced or released at the end of year include the PT138 Millennium in .380 ACP, the 8-shot Model 22H Raging Hornet in .22 Hornet, the 6-shot Model 444 Raging Bull in .44 Magnum, the 6-shot Model 45 Raging Bull in .45 Colt, the fixed-sight 5-shot Model 415 in .41 Magnum, and the fixed-sight 5-shot Model 450 in .45 Colt.  The Model 415 and Model 450 are the first to wear the new Ribber Grips.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5857279A

 

The Model 66 is reintroduced with a 7-shot cylinder.

 

1999: The Total Titanium revolver series is introduced.  The frames, cylinders, and barrel shrouds are constructed completely from Titanium.  Included are the Model 85Ti, Model 415Ti, Model 445Ti, Model 455Ti, Model 617Ti, and Model 731Ti.  There is also the Model 85MULT combining a Aluminum frame with a Titanium barrel shroud and cylinder.

 

The Total Titanium series are the first to use the new yoke detent design to keep the cylinder closed in the frame.   The older system of using a barrel-mounted locking bolt to catch the front of the ejector rod has been dropped in favor a detent plunger in the yoke engaging the frame.  With this change, the front of the ejector rod is now solid (not hollow) with a shorter center pin remaining to lock into the frame at the rear of the cylinder. This has the side benefit of allowing a longer ejector rod within the same barrel length.  Ultimately, all of the legacy revolvers (other the Raging Bull-series) will use this system. (The Raging Bull uses its own twin latch design.)

 

Other introductions include the fixed-sight 7-shot .38 Special Model 817 revolver, a snubnose variant of the Model 827.

 

On the semi-auto side, Taurus introduces the PT140 Millennium in .40 S&W, the PT400 in .400 Cor-Bon (a PT945 variant), the PT957 in .357 SIG (a PT940 variant), and .22 LR conversion units for PT92 family.

 

In March, Taurus International offers to share its Taurus Security System design with Smith & Wesson.

 

Late in the year, the new Tracker revolver series is introduced with the 5-shot Model 425 in .41 Magnum and the 7-shot Model 627 in .357 Magnum.  Both are available in either stainless steel or Titanium models.

 

2000: Taurus International introduces the Model 85CHMULT revolver fitted with a spurless hammer.

 

New in the Millennium-series are the PT111Ti with a Titanium slide, the PT157  in .357 SIG, the PT145  in .45 ACP, and the PT145Ti with a Titanium slide.  

 

A revolver chambered in .40 S&W is teased.

 

The Taurus Security System introduced in the semi-automatic pistol line.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US6438886B1

https://patents.google.com/patent/US6513273B2

 

2001:  Taurus International introduces the 12” barrel, 7-shot Silhouette revolver series, which includes the .22 LR Model 980, the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Model 981, and the .357 Magnum Model 66.  

 

The fully concealed hammer 5-shot CIA revolver series is introduced with the .38 Special Model 850 CIA and Model 850Ti CIA, as well as the .357 Magnum Model 650 CIA.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US6862830B2

 

The Tracker revolver series is expanded to include the .22 LR Model 970, the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Model 971, and the .357 Magnum Model 627 and Model 627Ti.  

 

The Raging Bull revolver series is expanded to include the Model 480 Raging Bull in .480 Ruger.

 

In March, Taurus International renews its offer to share its Taurus Security System design with Smith & Wesson.

 

In May, Forjas Taurus announces the development of Smart Gun (user proprietary) technology.

 

Later in the year, Taurus International introduces the PT132 Millennium in .32 ACP and the 7-shot Model 617 MULTI  and Model 617 MULTI-C revolvers in .357 Magnum.

 

2002:  Taurus International introduces the Taurus Hex, a new line of .45 ACP ammunition featuring all-copper hollow-point bullets produced by Barnes Bullets.

 

The partially concealed hammer 5-shot Protector revolver series is introduced with the  .38 Special Model 851, Model 851UL, and Model 851ULT, as well as the .357 Magnum Model 651 and Model 651Ti.

 

The Ranging Bull-series is expanded to include the 8-shot .218 Bee Model 218 Raging Bee, the 8-shot .30 Carbine Model 30C Raging Thirty, and the six-shot .41 Magnum Model 416 Raging Bull.

 

The Silhouette revolver series is expanded to include the .17 HMR Model 17 and the .218 Bee Model 217.

 

The Tracker revolver series is expanded to include the .17 HMR Model 17, the .45 ACP Model 455, and the .45 Colt Model 460.  

 

A new style thumb latch is introduced across the entire revolver line.

 

On the semi-auto side, the new .22 LR PT922 is teased.  This is a 6” barrel variant of their existing rimfire conversion on a PT92C frame.

 

2003:  Taurus International introduces the Millennium Pro series of its existing Millennium line and the brand new PT24/7 series in 9x19mm and .40 S&W.  

https://patents.google.com/patent/US7690144B2

 

A completely new version of the .22 LR PT922 is teased.  It almost looks like a polymer frame variant of the earlier PT52.

 

The small-frame 8-shot Model 17C and Model 17UL in .17 HMR are introduced.  (The previous Tracker and Silhouette variants of the Model 17 are 7-shot revolvers built on larger frames.)

 

The 5-shot 9x19mm Model 905 snubnose revolver is introduced.  The 5-shot .40 S&W Model 405 snubnose revolver is teased.

 

Silhouette variants of the .30 Carbine Model 30C and the .454 Casull Model 454 are teased, as is a new forearm support bar.  By the end of the year, the Silhouette series is renamed the Hunter series. (The Silhouette-series was apparently offered for the United Kingdom as the LBR-series, in combination with the forearm support bar.  The extra length of the barrel and support bar allows them to be Section 1 legal.  There also appear to be models made only for the UK like the 6-shot Model 456 in .45 ACP.)

 

A 7-shot .218 Bee Model 218 Tracker is teased.

 

In December, a new Disarmament Statute (Law no. 10.826) is passed and signed into law by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.  Among its many provisions, Article 55 allows the Army to prevent importation of foreign small arms chambered for .40 S&W, giving Forjas Taurus an effective monopoly for police agency sales.  Article 55 is described as the "Taurus Amendment" due to lobbying by the company's representatives, including retired Brigadier-General Antônio Roberto Nogueira Terra. From 1995-2001, Terra was head of the Controlled Products Inspection Board (DFPC) of the Ministry of Defense, which approved the import and export of small arms.

 

2004:  Teased semi-automatic pistols include the PT38S in .38 Super, a PT24/7 in .45 ACP, and yet another revision of the .22 LR PT922 is teased.

 

Teased revolvers include a Colt SAA lookalike, the Gaucho, in .45 Colt, a .500 S&W Model 500 Raging Bull, a 6-shot .44 Magnum Model 444MULTI “Hip Carry,” and a .44 Magnum Model 44 Tracker.

 

2005:  New semi-automatic pistols include the PT1911 in .45 ACP, the single-stack PT745 Compact Millennium Pro in .45 ACP, and the PT909 in 9x19mm (basically a PT911 with a full-height frame.)

 

The traditional double-action PT24/7 Pro series is introduced, including Long Slide (PLS) variants.  

 

The Gaucho revolver is introduced in .357 Magnum and .44-40 Winchester.

 

The 6” long/1.75” barrel Instant Backup revolver series is introduced in the 9x19mm Model 905 and the Model 17 as an 8-shot .17 HMR and a 9-shot .17 Hornady Mach2.

 

The .410/2.5” shotshell/.45 Colt/.44-40 Winchester Model 4410 “44 Ten” is introduced in a Tracker variant and teased in a Raging Bull variant.

 

The TRIAD revolver series with a multi-caliber cylinder (9x19mm/.38 Super/.357 Magnum) is teased in Model 85 and Model 627 Tracker variants.

 

In May, the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) Board completes its 1998 investigation into the allegations of Forjas Taurus shareholders against Polimetal, Carlos Murgel, and Luis Estima.  The latter were accused of siphoning money from Taurus to Polimetal without providing any service in return. However, while Murgel and Estima are absolved of actual criminal violations due to insufficient evidence, the CVM states that they have abused their power of control over Forjas Taurus and are engaging in management irregularities. Both are fined R$ 320,018.62 apiece.

 

Forjas Taurus President/CEO Carlos Murgel dies in September.  Chairman of the Board Luis Estima takes over as company president.  Bob Morrison becomes President/CEO of Taurus International.

 

2006: The PT24/7 Pro is teased in .45 GAP.  Compact variants are made available in 9x19mm and .40 S&W.  Full-size and compact models with a Titanium slide are offered in 9x19mm.

 

The PT1911 is teased in 9x19mm, .38 Super, and .40 S&W, as well as a  CCO-sized PT1911 Compact in .45 ACP.

 

The PT58HC is introduced, which is basically a compact PT58 slide on a full-height PT59 frame.

 

New revolvers include the .460 S&W Magnum Model 465 Raging Bull.  

 

The Model 4410 Tracker renamed the “Forty-Five/.410.”

 

A 10mm revolver is teased in conventional and Tracker formats.

 

The Taurus Tactical division formed.

 

2007:  Modifications to existing pistols include the PT24/7 OSS variants with an ambidextrous safety/decocker and PT1911 with a Picatinny Rail frame.

 

The Model 4410 is officially redesignated the Model 4510 Judge.  Bob Morrison claims that the new name was derived from the interest shown by local judges in carrying the firearm in their courtroom.

 

A 7-shot .223 Remington Model 223 Raging Bull is teased.

 

2008: The hammer-fired, traditional double-action, polymer-frame PT800-series is introduced.  It includes the 9x19mm PT809, the .40 S&W PT840, and the .45 ACP PT845.  Bob Morrison teases the possibility of a 10mm Model 810.

 

The 9x19mm PT917 is introduced, which is roughly a PT92C slide on a finger-grooved, full-height PT92 frame.  (Eventually the finger grooved frame will be dropped.)

 

The PT1911 is now offered with Aluminum frames.

 

New revolvers include the 6-shot .38 Special Model 856 available in steel and “Hy-Lite” Magnesium frames, Judge Magnum models chambered for the .410/3” shotshell, and an UltraLite Judge.

 

Teased revolvers include the Model 590 Tracker for the recently revived 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum and the Model 327 for the newly introduced .327 Federal Magnum.

 

2009:  The PT700-series is expanded to include two new variant lines.  The “Slim” variants (9x19mm PT709 and PT709Ti) are striker-fired, traditional double-action, single-stack polymer-frame models.  The smaller “TCP” (Taurus Compact Pistol) variants are the .380 ACP PT738 and PT738Ti, which are hammer-fired, DAO, single-stack polymer-frame models.

 

The new .45 ACP PT2045 is introduced.

 

The PT24/7 Pro LS is offered in .38 Super, and the PT24/7 Pro Compact is available in .45 ACP.

 

The 9x19mm PT609Ti Pro is introduced to the US market.  (The PT600-series has been available on the world market since at least 2006, including 9x19mm PT609 and .40 S&W PT640.  The PT600-series are Millennium variants built off of the larger Picatinny Rail frames of the PT145.  The larger frame allows use of the higher capacity PT24/7C magazine tubes.)

 

Polymer-frame “Poly” versions of the PT22 and PT25 are introduced.

 

The PT1911 is reintroduced in 9x19mm and .38 Super, and the new widebody PT1911HC 12-shot .45 ACP is announced.

 

New Judge-series revolvers include ported, accessory rail variants of the Model 4510TKR and the reduced profile Model 4510PD and Model 4510PD-Ti “Public Defender.”

 

Nine-shot Tracker models are offered with the .22 LR Model 990, .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Model 991, and 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum Model 590.

 

Forjas Taurus introduces the PT100P and PT101P “Plus” variants equipped with a new frame offering a Picatinny Rail and finger-grooves.   The Plus-series somehow manage to squeeze another five rounds into the magazine. (It appears to use a slightly fatter frame and magazine.)  

 

The PT638 in .380 ACP is also introduced.

 

2010:  The PT24/7 G2-series is introduced with Full-size, Long Slide and Compact variants in either TDA, DAO, or SAO configurations.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US8925232B2

 

PT800-series Compact variants are introduced, including the 9x19mm PT809C, the .40 S&W PT840C, and the .357 SIG PT857C.  Rounding out the PT800-series are the .22 LR PT822 and PT822LS models, as well as conversion units for existing centerfire PT800-series pistols.

 

The PT700 Thin-series is expanded to include the .40 S&W PT740 and the .380 ACP PT708.

 

New Judge-series models include the Model 4510PD-UL Public Defender UltraLite and the Model 4510PLY Public Defender Polymer.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US8826578

https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2011085457A1

 

The Raging Judge models are finally introduced with the 6-shot .410/3” shotshell/.454 Casull Model 513 Raging Judge Magnum and the 7-shot .410/2.5” shotshell/.45 Colt Model 513UL Raging Judge UltraLite.

 

The Model 85PLY Protector Polymer is also introduced.

 

The sole surviving founder of Polimetal, Luis Estima, announces his intent to step down as Forjas Taurus' president/CEO within.  However, he intends to remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Estima's transition is part of the terms for Taurus' pending membership in Bovespa's “New Market.”  Estima currently holds 94.1% of Taurus' voting shares and 31.4% of the total capital. Bovespa's rules demand the conversion of all capital shares to common shares with voting rights. The company has also raised R$ 100 million via unsecured bonds.

 

2011:  The metal/polymer frame PT2011-series is introduced, including the PT2011H “DT Hybrid” (9x19mm and .40 S&W) and the PT2011 “DT Integral” (.380 ACP, 9x19mm, and .40 S&W.)

 

The PT700 G2 Slim-series is introduced with the 9x19mm PT709G2 and the .40 S&W PT740G2.

 

Other new semi-automatic pistol variants include the .380 ACP PT638 Pro Compact and the .32 ACP PT732 TCP.
 

New revolver variants include the .44 Special Model 445UL, the .40 S&W Model 405, and the .357 Magnum Model 605PLY Protector Polymer and Model 605PLY-DT (the latter has a reversed Colt-style cylinder rotation.)

 

The Instant Backup-series is revived with .380 ACP Model 380IB Mini Revolver.

 

The Model 992 Tracker is introduced featuring a pair of quick-change cylinders for the .22 LR and the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire.

 

The Model 528 Raging Judge XXVIII in 28 Gauge shotshell is teased.

 

Bob Morrison retires as Taurus International's President/CEO.  Morrison selects Mark Kresser as his successor.

 

Forjas Taurus takes on R$ 165 million in debt from its parent company Polimetal.  This raises Taurus's debt from R$ 183.3 million to R$ 348.3 million. Part of the debt is blamed upon the loans that Polimetal first took out in 1977 to buy out Bangor Puntas' interest in Taurus, followed subsequent loans Luis Estima took out in the early 1990s and in 2005 to buy out the shares formerly owned by his two late partners Herbert Haupt and Carlos Murgel.  In return, Estima is to step down as company president and will transfer more than half of the company's common shares to other shareholders, leaving him with only 43.8% remaining.

 

2012:  In January, Forjas Taurus purchases  Steelinject, another Brazilian MIM manufacturer.

 

In April, Taurus International buys Heritage Manufacturing, Inc. In September, the Heritage plant is relocated from Opa Locka, FL to the Taurus plant in Miami.

 

Brazilian laws regarding foreign investment in domestic factories is loosened.

 

2013:  The Millenium G2-series is introduced in 9x19mm and .40 S&W.  

 

In January, Taurus Holdings enters into an Agreement for Exclusive Global Distribution with Diamondback Firearms LLC.
 

The Steelinject plant in Caxias do Sul is relocated to Forjas Taurus' São Leopoldo plant.

 

The Rossi long arms production line is also relocated to the São Leopoldo plant.  Plans are prepared to eventually move all of Forjas Taurus' firearm production from the Porto Alegre plant to the São Leopoldo plant.

 

The São Paulo State Military Police (PMSP) recall all 98,000 Taurus PT24/7 DS pistols in their inventory.  It had been discovered that some of the pistols could be fired without the trigger being pulled, even with the manual safety engaged.

 

In December, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense certifies Forjas Taurus as a Strategic Defense Company.  This qualifies Taurus for future domestic military contracts.

 

2014:  The Model 85VTA View revolver is introduced.  It is later replaced by a “No View” variant, with the clear polymer sideplate replaced with a conventional metal substitute.

 

In July, the Brazilian ammunition manufacturer Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC) buys out Chairman Luis Estima's remaining Forjas Taurus stock.  Combined with earlier stock purchases, this makes CBC the majority owner of Forjas Taurus. (Estima was already in hot water over using Estimapar's (a family-owned holding company) voting rights to block a shareholder investigation into the questionable sale of Taurus's Máquinas Ferramenta  (machine tool) division in 2012/2013 to hide an equally questionable loan made in 2004 leading to the acquisition of Wotan Máquinas. In November, Estima resigns from the Board of Directors, and a month later, Taurus shareholders agree to file a lawsuit against Estima.)

 

The new owners purge Taurus International's leadership.  Anthony Acitelli replaces Mark Kresser as President/CEO.

 

A patent applied for a two-shot revolver design.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US9316452B2


 

2015:  The PT180CRVL Curve pistol in .380 ACP is introduced.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US8720094

https://patents.google.com/patent/US8733008

https://patents.google.com/patent/US8752322B2

https://patents.google.com/patent/US8966799

https://patents.google.com/patent/US9127903

https://patents.google.com/patent/USD687505S1

 

New variants of existing models include the Model 85ULCH revolver with a removable hammer spur.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20180010873A1

 

The PT738WGS is introduced with flip-out 'wings' to assist in racking the slide.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US9239207

https://patents.google.com/patent/US9546843

 

Forjas Taurus confirms its plans to move all of its firearm production from the Porto Alegre plant to the São Leopoldo plant by early 2016.

 

Forjas Taurus introduces the PT838 in .380 ACP in other markets.

 

In May, Taurus International agrees to a $39 million settlement in the Carter v. Taurus class action lawsuit.  Besides the attorney payments of $9 million, $30 million in cash will be set aside to cover payments to owners of the following models - PT111, PT132, PT138, PT140, PT145, PT609, PT640, PT745, and PT24/7 - including the Pro variants.  (The G2 variants are not involved.) The owners may return their pistols for repair or a refund. The refund is ridiculously low, starting at a maximum of $200, but potentially scaling as low as $150 depending upon the number of refunds demanded.  If the pistol cannot be repaired, it will be replaced with a new production equivalent model, such as a Millennium G2. The expectation was that most returned pistols would be replaced as Taurus had not yet developed a fix for the issue. It is estimated that if all of the affected pistols (nearly a million) are returned for replacement, the final cost might be as high as $239 million.

http://web.archive.org/web/20180422185324/http://www.tauruscartersettlement.com/


 

2016:   In July, the Sergipe State Federal Public Prosecutor's Office opens a Public Civil Inquiry to investigate the Brazilian Army's oversight of the quality of small arms and ammunition provided to Brazilian law enforcement agencies.  As mentioned earlier, Brazilian firms like Forjas Taurus and CBC have held a basic monopoly for decades due to the laws passed in the mid-1960s. The inquiry was launched in response to a request from the Sergipe Civil Police's Grupo Especial de Repressão e Busca (GERB) tactical unit to procure non-Brazilian pistols due to their lack of confidence in their issue Taurus PT24/7 PLS pistols.

 

In October, the Federal District Prosecutor's Office opens a Public Civil Inquiry to investigate the use and employment of Taurus' small arms by the Federal District Civil Police; whether it is necessary to replace the Taurus weapons; Taurus' responsibility for the accidents experienced by the DF Civil Police; the relationship of the high prices paid for the Taurus products and the company's monopoly position; and the injury to the public opinion of the DF caused by the acquisition of defective equipment.

 

The State of São Paulo suspends Forjas Taurus' ability to bid on state contracts for two years in response to sanctions issued by the São Paulo Military Police (PMESP.)

 

The Brazilian Army bans the commercial sale of the PT24/7.

 

2017:  The new T-series semi-auto pistols are teased in full-size and compact models in  .380 ACP, 9x19mm, and .40 S&W. These include the hammer-fired TH-series and the striker-fired TS-series. (The TS-series is based on Wilhelm Bubits' BB6 design.)

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20180031341A1

 

The .380 ACP Spectrum-series is teased.  The Spectrum is the first Taurus firearm to be completely designed within the US.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20180112945

 

Forjas Taurus introduces the PT838C in .380 ACP.

 

Work begins between the Brazilian Congress and the Ministry of Defense to amend R105 to loosen the rules on importation of foreign arms and ammunition.

 

In July, the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office in Sergipe issues its findings from its year long investigation.  It includes a extensive list of failures experienced nationwide with firearms from Taurus and IMBEL, as well as ammunition from CBC.  It also accuses the domestic firms of price gouging due to their monopoly position. (Note that the Taurus models listed even include the legacy metal-frame pistols as well as the newer PT800-series, not just the Millennium and 24/7-series  pistols previously recalled in the US.)

 

The prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Lívia Nascimento Tinôco, requests a judicial injunction to prevent domestic sales of the PT24/7 PLS, PT840, PT740, PT640, PT100P, and PT100 pistols (as well as the MT40 SMG and CT30 and CT40 carbines) until quality control is improved.   Taurus is to issue a national recall of these models for repair, replacement, or refund. Moreover, the Brazilian Army is to be restricted from using R105 to prevent the importation of foreign small arms and ammunition. Finally, Tinôco requests that Taurus and the Brazilian Army be fined R$ 45 million in damages.

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mpf.mp.br%2Fse%2Fsala-de-imprensa%2Fdocs%2Facp-taurus

 

In response, the 2nd Federal Court orders Taurus to come up with a plan to recall the 10 models within 90 days, but declines to order a stop of domestic sales.  Taurus appeals the ruling, and in November, another court strikes down the recall order.

 

Anthony Acitelli resigns as President/CEO of Taurus International to take a position with Remington Outdoor.  The company's Executive VP/CFO, David Blenker, is tapped as Acitelli's replacement. Blenker has served as company CFO for the last 20 years.

 

2018:  New semi-auto pistols include the 9x19mm G2c-series.

 

The TH9 and TH9c are introduced on the US market.

 

The PT1911 is offered in Commander and Officer ACP size variants.

 

New revolvers include the .44 Magnum Model 44H Raging Hunter and the 7-shot Model 692 with quick-change cylinders for .357 Magnum and 9x19mm.

 

Taurus reduces its Unlimited Lifetime Repair policy to one year for all new firearms models introduced after January 1, 2017.

 

In April, Taurus International announces its official intent to move its US headquarters from Miami, FL to Bainbridge, GA.

 

Something is brewing at Forjas Taurus, with shareholders being asked to voting on changing the company's charter, including renaming the company.  The Board of Directors wants to drop the word “Forjas” as the company stopped providing forgings to third parties in 2014.

 

Wrap-Up:

 

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