From humble beginnings as a small tool manufacturer in Porto Alegre, Brazil over 60 years ago, Forjas Taurus (translation: Taurus Forge) has become a diversified, international company and one of the largest small arms manufacturers in the world. The company produced its first revolver in 1941. The gun combined elements from several Manufacturers of that day, including Colt, Smith & Wesson and certain Spanish brands. This first revolver was designated the Model 38101SO. Taurus soon became a major factor in the South American market and experienced continuous growth.
In 1968, the company was ready to venture into the U.S. market. This was accomplished by employing the services of a succession of U.S. distributors over the next several years. Their efforts met with only marginal success.
In the meantime, Smith & Wesson had been purchased by a conglomerate named Bangor Punta. In 1970, Bangor Punta also purchased 54% of Taurus. Thus, the two companies became "sisters". Smith & Wesson never owned Taurus. They were both independent companies. However, during the next seven years, a great deal of technology and methodology was passed between the two. What may come as a surprise to some is that more of what was "right" in Porto Alegre was sent to Springfield than was sent from Springfield to south of the equator.
1977 saw our present ownership buy 54% of Taurus outright from Bangor Punta. At once a quest to improve overall quality of Taurus product was initiated. Also, the company now began a dynamic expansion program.
Beretta had won a huge contract in 1974 to produce small arms for the army of Brazil. Part of the deal was that Beretta construct a Brazilian factory and use Brazilian labor. This they did, in the southwestern coastal city of Sao Paulo. When the contract ran out in 1980, Beretta sold the plant, literally "lock, stock and barrel," to Taurus. Taurus now owned everything that once belonged to Beretta, including drawings, tooling, machinery, and a very experienced work force. Taurus was in the pistol business, and immediately sought to improve on the Beretta design, resulting in the popular and acclaimed Taurus PT-92 and PT-99 9mm pistols.
The next milestone for Taurus came in 1982. This is when the Brazil management decided to "take the bull by the horns" by opening an affiliated company, Taurus, in Miami, Florida. Sales that first year in America were limited as a solid distribution system had to be established. Taurus guns had not been advertised or written up in the shooting press. Taurus was truly an unknown commodity in the United States. This situation was to change dramatically in the next few years.
At the Dallas, Texas S.H.O.T. Show in 1984, Taurus was to make an announcement that was to have a tremendous impact on the entire industry. Taurus became the first company to offer its customers an unqualified LIFETIME REPAIR POLICY. This one brilliant piece of marketing changed the course of the company in this market. Only recently has this policy been matched. It has never been exceeded. In 1984, this daring innovative policy made everyone sit up and take notice of Taurus Firearms. The U. S. company has posted record years ever since...
In 1989, the company celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The celebration was capped off at the January 1990 S.H.O.T. Show, with Taurus giving away a brand new 1990 Ford Taurus to a lucky Dealer from New Mexico.
There was cause for celebration in 1994 when Forjas Taurus received the prestigious ISO 9001 designation from the International Organization for Standardization for superior manufacturing and marketing practices. Only one other firearms company in the world has obtained this designation.