Wheelgun Wednesday: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

.357 Magnum revolvers are kind of like 1911 pistols – despite being obviously outdated and outclassed in many cases by modern concealed carry options, they’re still loved and carried by many. Taurus’ 605 Defender is one such .357 Magnum option that fits in this category and also comes in at a bargain street price of just $400 for the matte stainless version. Released in 2022, the Taurus 605 Defender has had a bit of time in the market to earn a reputation for being reliable, lightweight, and accurate, with a bit of an excessively heavy double-action trigger pull. The Taurus 605 Defender already comes standard with trench-style sights built into the frame with an orange faceted night front sight. XS Sights wanted me to give the revolver a go with their revolver front sight. Seeing as I haven’t shot any .357 Magnum in a while I figured this would be a fun dive back into defensive revolvers for me so here we go!

More from XS Sights @ TFB:

A Taurus Glow Up: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

Wheelgun Wednesday: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

The XS Standard Dot Night Sights are designed to enhance your defensive revolver. The sights use a tritium lamp coupled with a proprietary photoluminescent orange or green Glow Dot that absorbs ambient light and glows in low light. The convex dot’s additional surface area increases light absorption, intensifying the charge of the Glow Dot. Designed to be large and highly visible, these sights help solve many issues, from aging eyes to deteriorating vision.  XS Tritium Night sights are big, bright, and easy to see day or night!

The XS Sights Standard Dot for the Taurus 856 and 605 revolvers fits guns with a factory pinned in front sight.  The replacement sight is pre-drilled for the retention pin, making installation an easy at home DIY task.

Upgrade the performance of your Taurus 856 or 605 with the new XS Sights Standard Dot Night Sights!

Standard Dot Sights Features:

  • Tritium powered front sight
  • Photoluminescent Glow Dot absorbs ambient light and glows in low light
  • High-contrast colored front sight
  • Factory drilled for roll pin
  • 12 year warranty on tritium
  • Durable CNC machined steel
  • Easy installation
  • Price: $73

A Taurus Glow Up: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

At Home Impressions

How things look indoors at home and how they look on the range are two completely different things. I didn’t get a chance to try and install these sights but from the looks of it, pretty much anyone could do this – it’s just a roll pin. If you happen to pick up a front sight for your Taurus 605 or 856 revolver, all you’ll need is a roll pin punch and a small hammer. If you’re really trepidatious about the process, XS Sights has a complete installation guide here for you to follow. Be warned that it appears that in some cases permanent modification might be necessary. For that, I would recommend going to see a certified gunsmith instead of trying to do it at home unless you’re really confident in your own abilities.

A Taurus Glow Up: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

Indoors the XS Sights Glow Dot is quite bright, much brighter than other factory night sights which simply feature a solid orange shroud rather than the photoluminescent glow dot that comes on the XS Sights option. You’ll notice that XS Sights sent a pre-fitted 605 Defender featuring their green Glow Dot front sight. While XS Sights does offer their front sight in an orange Glow Dot variant, I almost always prefer green simply because it’s far more visible during the daylight hours which should logically lead to faster sight acquisition.

At the Range

The sights are probably more impressive at the range where contrast isn’t as easy to come by during the most intense hours of the sun. As with red dots, iron sights can suffer from washout when you’re aiming at a brightly lit target. While the green glow dot does great in the bright sun (the photoluminescent portion of the sights gather and display a lot of light), in situations where there is not a ton of light (say the shade or the waning hours of the day), it seems that the orange glow dot fares a bit better – at least to my eye.

A Taurus Glow Up: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

From what I can tell, there is no discernable difference between the factory front sights and the XS Sight option – meaning your point of aim/point of impact shouldn’t change simply because you’ve opted to upgrade your sights. If you’re insistent on carrying a revolver for self-defense, it’d be worthwhile to double-check that your practice ammo and your defense ammo either match closely for point of impact or that you at least know the difference in point of impact between the two cartridges – sometimes even loads of the same grain weight can have vastly different points of impact even at short distances.

A Taurus Glow Up: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

A Taurus Glow Up: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

Is it worth it to upgrade?

I don’t know exactly if the $80 spent on the front sight alone is worth the upgrade over the standard night sight that is offered up with the Stainless variant of the Taurus 605 Defender. Glow Dots offer you a wildly better-aiming solution, even at close range for defensive purposes because they give your eyes something very bright and visible to latch onto that generally will contrast your target – you might not even take the time to form a proper sight picture in a defensive situation but your peripheral vision will still give you indicators that your revolver is at least pointed in the direction of the bad guy. So if you find that you’re having an easier time seeing a bright green dot over an orange one, or even plain front sights, maybe it’s time to upgrade if your revolver is your EDC.

A Taurus Glow Up: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

Of course, I don’t carry a revolver as my EDC and I don’t really ever plan on it. If you guys do, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the merits or disadvantages of night sights like the XS Sights Glow Dot over standard sights for this type of revolver. Soon we’ll be checking out a slightly more capable (and much nicer) defensive revolver paired with some more XS night sights, as well as putting their Lever Rail to the test on a Henry Big Boy Carbine!

A Taurus Glow Up: Putting XS Sights on the Taurus 605 Defender

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