Although no longer the primary firearm found in either law enforcement or civilian holsters, the revolver is far from dead. Revolvers still possess many qualities to recommend them, including safety and simplicity. The Taurus 942 has those basic qualities with the added advantage of being chambered in the almost zero recoil .22 LR cartridge. And it has an eight-shot cylinder capacity to boot. Having eight rounds of high-velocity .22 LR hollow-points on tap is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to self-defense.
Taurus 942 Description
Unlike most snubbies, the 942 is entirely constructed of solid steel alloy, which gives it a weight of 23.6 ounces. The weight, although not a burdensome amount, certainly does tame any recoil the .22 LR generates. This makes the 942 appealing for those who may be recoil-sensitive or who are just beginning defensive or sport shooting. The fully shrouded barrel is 2 inches long. All steel surfaces are finished in an unspecified matte black finish, which is certainly more durable and rust-resistant than a traditional blued finish.
The Taurus 942 is a traditional DA/SA, with a checkered hammer spur that permits single-action fire. I used a Wheeler Engineering Professional Digital Trigger Gauge to measure trigger pulls. It measured the double-action pull at 11 pounds, 7.7 ounces, and the single-action pull at a much lighter 3 pounds, 8.9 ounces. While the double-action revolver trigger pull is a bit heavier than those found on .38 Special snubs, it takes a harder hammer strike to ensure proper detonation of rimfire cartridges than it does to detonate centerfire cartridges. The single-action pull is much lighter. Your trigger finger is only releasing the trigger sear of a pre-cocked hammer instead of cocking the hammer and releasing the sear as part of the firing sequence.
Capacity: 8 rounds
Front Sight: Serrated ramp
Rear Sight: Drift-adjustable
Barrel Length: 2 inches
Overall Length: 6.6 inches
Height: 4.64 inches
Width: 1.34 inches
Weight: 23.6 ounces
The Taurus 942 comes equipped with a fine set of hand-filling polymer grips that have fine checkering on the side panels and a raised textured surface on the rear strap. The front strap has three smooth finger grooves. There is a mirror image ridge on both panels on which to rest a right or left thumb.
The 942’s sight system is basic but a bit unique. While the front sight is a conventional black, serrated ramp, the rear sight is a windage-adjustable, plain black affair mounted in a slot on the topstrap. It is held in place by a tiny flathead screw on the right side of the frame. When I test-fired the 942, I found that the rear sight screw was a bit loose. The rear sight had drifted to the right, thus sending my shots in that direction. There was no screwdriver included with the Taurus 942, so I had to wait until I got home to reset the sight with the appropriately sized screwdriver. It only took a few moments to fix the problem. If purchasing a 942, make sure to check the sight screw before firing.
How the Taurus 942 Shoots
I took the 942 out with a box of American Eagle High Velocity .22 LR 38-grain Copper-Plated HP ammo. It is always a good day when you test a .22. No recoil, low noise and a trip down memory lane to the first .22 you shot are all hallmarks of the experience.
The Taurus 942 functioned flawlessly out of the box. The sight picture was basic but adequate. I managed groups in the 2½- to 4-inch range at 25 feet, firing double-action. While one may get away with firing a .22 rifle without ear pro, that’s a no-go when firing .22 handguns, especially those with a short 2-inch barrel.
The Taurus 942 is built like a tank. A lifetime of shooting shouldn’t put a dent in it. But if it does, Taurus has the limited lifetime warranty to take care of things. On top of that, the MSRP is only $369.52. Don’t own a .22 firearm yet, or need one for trail, defense or cheap practice? The Taurus 942 would be a good one to have … if only for the fun of it.
About Scott W. Wagner
Scott W. Wagner is a criminal justice professor and police academy commander from Columbus, Ohio. He has been a police officer since 1980, working as an undercover liquor investigator, undercover narcotics investigator, patrol officer, SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader. Scott is currently a patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. He has been a police firearms instructor since 1986 and is certified to instruct revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun.