Taurus sent their Model 445 Ultra-Lite for T&E review. This five-shot DA/SA revolver is chambered for the .44 Special cartridge.
Included in the box: Instruction manual, Allen wrench, and two internal lock keys.
Manufacturer: Taurus Int.
Caliber: .44 Special
Capacity: 5 rounds
Weight: 21.0 oz.
Length: 7.0625 in.
Height: 5.25 in.
Width: 1.527 in.
Barrel: 2.105 in.
Trigger pull: DA-9 lbs. 9.5 oz. / SA-3 lbs. 8.9 oz.
Coupled with the snub-nose, the .44 caliber bore presents an intimidating prospect. The ultralite alloy frame of this medium-sized revolver helps keep the weight to a minimum while the sponge-like ‘Ribber’ grip provides cushioning and fills the hand. I’m interested to see how this combination fares on the range.
Temperature was 70° F. 15-20 mph variable south wind. Speer, Hornady and CCI/Blazer ammunition was acquired for the test.
Speer Gold Dot 44spl 200 gr. GDHP……………661 fps
Hornady Critical Defense 44spl 165 gr. FTX…..881 fps
CCI Blazer 44spl 200 gr. JHP……………………..758 fps
5-round groups were fired from a bench at 50 feet.
Note: Targets’ Bullseye – 2″ dia.; outer – 6″ dia.
At the range, groupings were low at 50 feet from the bench. This was with the top of the front and rear sights level with a dead center hold. While the groups were acceptable for a defensive handgun the ammo tested hit consistently low; Speer Gold Dot averaged five inches below POA, Hornady was four inches below POA, and CCI Blazer 3 inches below POA. Moving to offhand at practical defensive ranges and a B-27 target, I compensated by adding approximately 1/8th inch of front sight to adjust point of impact with favorable results.
Going into this review I was concerned about the felt recoil of a lightweight short-barreled revolver in a big-bore chambering. However, after my range time I found this was not an issue. The manageable recoil could be attributed to the grip design or the relatively mild .44 Special. Through 120 rounds there were no malfunctions and the handgun performed flawlessly. The single-action trigger pull broke cleanly with no takeup while the double-action was smooth without stacking. A flat metallic gray finish and satin nickel accents gives it an attractive yet subdued appearance befitting a practical carry gun.
Overall my impression of the Taurus 445 Ultra-Lite was favorable. Furthermore, concealable wheelguns in .44 Special are few and far between, and I am glad to see that Taurus has taken notice of this underrepresented cartridge. I would not feel ill-equipped with 1000 grains of .44 caliber firepower.