The Taurus Model 445 Ultra-Lite — shown here in the silver/stainless steel finish option—is designed to maximize the proven potential of the .44 Special without the intense recoil of its sibling, the .44 Magnum.

Autopistols have long been heavy favorites for police duty and self-defense. They’re available in a wide variety of calibers and sizes. For maximum concealment and “carryability,” ultra-compact .25, .32 and .380 handguns often get the nod. If you want more “oomph,” there are 9mm and .40 S&W pistols that aren’t much larger or heavier.

The Ultra-Lite’s cylinder rotates smoothly, with no discernible drag, and the DA/SA trigger is smooth, breaking cleanly and consistently with no overtravel.

Many of today’s autopistols are sans manual safeties—simply point and shoot. From a tactical point of view, revolvers are yesterday’s news. Often regarded as hopelessly old-fashioned, revolvers are carried mostly by die-hard aficionados who prefer Model 60 Smiths (and their several imitators) to the mechanical vagaries of self-loaders. They like the “go bang every time” reliability for which revolvers are noted.

The Model 445 Ultra-Lite is more compact than other .44 revolvers on the market. Its cylinder—the widest part of any revolver—is 1.54 inches in diameter.

While compact .357 Magnum revolvers deliver plenty of punch, ultra-light titanium versions are almost equally hard on the shooter. Fire full-house .357 Magnum loads in one of these compact featherweights and you’ll definitely know it! Their exceptionally hard recoil makes them tough to control on follow-up shots. Unless you put in a lot of painful practice, I guarantee you’ll flinch. Flinching doesn’t do much for accuracy, so I typically shoot .38 Special loads in my lightweight, titanium .357 revolvers.

The cylinder rotates smoothly, with no discernable drag. There’s very little gap between barrel and cylinder, all indicative of a quality revolver.

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March 2012

The Taurus Model 445 Ultra-Lite — shown here in the silver/stainless steel finish option—is…