Taurus’ New ‘First 24’ Kit

Sometimes preppers simply have to accept a product for what it is, and get past what it is not!  I know of very few items out there Survival Kitin the marketplace today that are truly “end all” items.  If I bought a cast iron skillet for Bug Out campfire cooking, somebody would criticize it for being too big, not big enough, too heavy, don’t like black, or it stays hot too long.  Whew.  A garden hoe was not meant to jack up a car to change a flat tire.  Know what I mean?  Unfortunately, the survivalist/prepper movement is much too much this way it seems about every new “survival” product that comes on the market.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

And Lord bless us, there sure is no shortage of self-proclaimed expert critics about everything related to survival gear.  This is a bog we all have to wade through to arrive at our own logical conclusions about the value and necessity of one product over another.  That differs for all of us depending on our particular circumstances.  Take all web based evaluations off the world wide wonderment from the common core with a round box of table salt (save the salt for later prepper use).  I will say though and give our SHTFBlog/Survival Cache family a shout out that the replies and comments to our posts are among the most well thought out and helpful.   But I digress here.

A First 24 Kit?

The arms manufacturer Taurus has by some accounts jumped ahead of the curve by bringing out a new hard case packaged kit Survival Kitcalled the “First 24” Kit.  It is by my assessment intended to be a quick “grab and go” case with some essential items a survivor might could use in the initial 24 hours of a Bug Out scenario or other SHTF event.  Now, this packaging has sort-of been done before by Smith and Wesson, but without the direct target marketing to survivalists per se.  The general concept was the same by putting a powerful handgun in a hard case with some additional accessories for emergency use.  I just within the last couple of weeks read a marketplace review of the Kit in a firearms industry journal.  My initial thought was it would be at least six months or more before I might actually see one.  So you can imagine my surprise when working a gun show in early March, I see one of the Kits on a dealer’s table, which I was able to inspect and photograph.   I have not had the opportunity to shoot the handgun, so do your own live assessment of the Kit.

Taurus’ First 24 Kit contains the following items:
•    Taurus Judge with X-Coat in tan color, chambered for the .45 Colt & .410
•    Aim Pro Tactical Enhancement Package
•    I-Series SKB Hard Case
•    2-Bianchi Speed Loading Strips
•    CRKT Sting knife
•    Brite-Strike ® ELPI
•    Brite-Strike ® APALS, green-red-white; 1 each color
•    Hogue grip on the handgun
•    Zippo Fire Starter Kit
•    Suunto Compass
•    6-AA Energizer cell batteries
•    Slimline caddy for the batteries
•    20 feet of 550 para cord, tan
•    Box of Hornady Critical Defense .410 Triple Defense shotshells

This is what the factory kit contains, no more, no less.  It is what it is, so take the Taurus First 24 Kit at face value.  To beat a dead survival kithorse, I looked on line to get some other thoughts on this Kit before I passed on my own initial sight inspection from the gun show.  The reviewer gave it a pretty standard pan though he left out of the list of items in the box the excellent Hornady ammo, which I have used in my S&W Governor and my Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV with great success.  I think he simply copied the factory web site page which also does not list the ammo.

What amazed me the most was the 27 pages of reader comments, slams, and criticisms of the Taurus Kit for what it was not, nor was it ever intended to be.  People commented if it was to be used during the first 24-hours of an event why did it not include water, food, water purification tablets, shelter (really?), a water filter, wrong caliber handgun, no holster, duct tape, map (of where?), matches, cellphone (dah), signal mirror, and on and on and on.

Also Read: Bug Out Bullet Bottles

This Taurus Kit retails for $1499.  The one I saw at the gun show was priced at $1200 and another gun shop operator told me he had one on the shelf for $1195 and it was covered in dust.  Take that for what it’s worth.

Taurus Kit Utility

For an inexperienced prepper this self-contained box of survivalist items might be worth considering if the person practiced with SHTF Survival Kitthe handgun enough to become comfortable and proficient with it.  The .45 Colt (Long Colt) uses a standard 250 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 860 fps and a muzzle energy of 410 foot pounds.  There are many other loads more powerful.  The .45 Colt is no slacker, but it demands practice in a handgun like this Taurus Judge.   It can kill deer (or man) sized game, but it is not a 50-yard target gun.  There is no rear adjustable sight on this handgun, though it has a green illumination front sight insert.  The .410 shotshell in this handgun could dispatch a snake, rat or small vermin and maybe pop a grouse or rabbit for food at a close range.  Using ammo like the Hornady Critical Defense which loads a slug and two round balls can disrupt an attacker at close and personal ranges.

Also Read: Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle Review

The other gear in the kit certainly has some value, but keep in a healthy perspective the concept of the first 24 hours of an event.  Certainly it should go without saying that many other items like food and water, etc. needed to be added to supplement this kit.  As I said, this kit was not intended to feed or sustain a person at all, but to be used in initial escape and self-defense.  Those other items in the kit are well known named products of decent quality so again, they can be of some value to an initial strike out plan.  Preppers need to fully familiarize themselves with each item and understand their limited ranges of use.

Kit Value?

Without a doubt this is an expensive kit.  I highly suspect that most preppers could gear out a similar secure box with relatively Pre-made survival kitidentical items at a much more cost effective expense.  If you are interested in the exercise, then research pricing out each individual item to tally up a total to see if the kit price is really a value.  You may well decide it is for you. The bigger questions are for yourself, is this a handgun you would buy or use for a SHTF event?  Are the other items in the Taurus Kit something you would use, or perhaps already have packed and ready in another mode?  Frankly, I could do without some of the items in the kit, but might add others.  I sense here an opportunity for another article.

Also Read: How To Fly With A Firearm

For me and my preferences, this handgun option would not be my first choice.  As I said I have a similar weapon, but it is not my primary weapon of choice for an on-person Bug Out carry.  This is not to suggest that this rig might not should be for you.  That is your choice of course.  This kit could make the decision-making process easier for some.  In terms of the knife, I carry a good pocketknife in a leather belt sheath.  I have more and better flashlights.  I also have all the other gear items in this kit.  However, the idea of this sort of “all-in-one” kit in a single box, does inspire me to rig up a quick carry bag, sack, box or something with some immediate need specialty gear items all assembled together in one tote.  Might we call it the SHTF Box or bag as a sort of micro-BOB?  I’ll delve into this idea and report.

One mistake I make is to rely on my primary Maxpedition shoulder sling bag as my No.1 immediate need carry bag.  But what I find in practice is that I can never remember which pocket or sleeve or hidden compartment individual stuff is in.  In a crunch I would get caught digging through this bag to quickly find what I need.  The idea of flipping open a hard case top to be able to immediately see all the gear items at once has some merit.  One has to think about during a SHTF if there is a screaming need to put your hands on a knife or compass or something else in a matter of seconds.  The self-contained Taurus Kit concept solves that issue.  Think about it.

So, what do I think of the Taurus “First 24” Kit?  Without getting to shoot and use the handgun, I cannot evaluate it.  Ask around at dealers or the range if anybody has experience with Taurus guns.  I have not for my own reasons.  This kit approach may be just the ticket for some, so I say keep an open mind and check it out first hand.  Or do as I plan to do and assemble your own SHTF First Day kit.

Photos By:
John J. Woods
Daniel Martin

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17 comments… add one
  • Pineslayer July 3, 2015, 10:33 am

    I have one Taurus gun, a titanium revolver in 44spl. Good gun, 1.5 lbs loaded. Bought it as a pocket gun and back-up, shoots well, always goes bang.

    I like the idea of this kit, but I would put some different items in it.

    Reply
  • Codpiece July 3, 2015, 11:52 am

    John, the ammo is not on the list because the box is just a prop. It’s empty!

    Reply
  • irishdutchuncle July 3, 2015, 1:05 pm

    I have never proclaimed myself an “expert”, on any subject…

    my opinion is valid, or it isn’t.

    Reply
  • Johnny Holmes July 3, 2015, 1:29 pm

    Dr Woods / some people can’t read the box. “First 24” meaning – the first 24 hours after a disaster. You don’t need a fishing kit and 7 MRE’s in the first 24 hours, although with how fat America has become some people might need 6.

    Reply
  • TPSnodgrass July 3, 2015, 4:08 pm

    The marketing geeks at Taurus are excellent at coming up with interesting ways to “upscale” their products and increase their profit margins as well. This kit is a prime example. It “appeals” to a certain market demographic and has not been successful in any of their other “First 24” campaigns.
    While it IS better than nothing, My “24” bag has more efficient and far less expensive and more useful items for MY use then what Taurus has come up with. I am not a “fan” of Taurus products having had some rather bad experience with their revolvers in the past. I see no upside in my ever purchasing a Taurus product again. The lack of customer service and legal threats I had to make in writing and that my attorney had to make to get my firearms “fixed”(I bought them new) resulted in me losing all consumer confidence in anything Taurus ever produces. Others have been far more fortunate than I have. This is why we have so many choices to choose from and my choice will never be Taurus. I doubt that any manufacturer of firearms has more dissatisfied former customers than Taurus, however of late, some USA owned companies are trying very hard to have as bad customer service as I have personally experienced with Taurus. In both revolvers, the triggers broke, as in literally. The response was NOT something I cared for, liked nor will be forgiving about, there are far too many other reliable choices in the marketplace. For those that have had good success with Taurus, good glad your experience is far better than mine. Such is the case with every manufacturer out there in all likelihood.

    Reply
  • Doc Montana July 3, 2015, 6:10 pm

    You know, I could see this kit as something attractive to the MINO crowd. Buying one, two or three, heck even half a dozen of these kits and storing them around various properties.

    The kit simplifies some decisions that are often the most complex and personal for planning the first 24 hours of survival. I know that years of food, months of water and bugout vehicles are purchased on the word of a friend or salesman, or on a whim due to a breaking news story. So why not this kit when you got the dough?

    Maybe none of us would build the same inventory of supplies in this particular case. I know I wouldn’t. But there is a whole segment of folks whose prep philosophy would all but demand such a kit. The crowd of big fish I like to call MINOs, or Money Is No Object.

    Reply
  • Ray July 4, 2015, 12:28 am

    A useless knife with a near useless revolver ,complete with over priced zombie ammo ,a leaky cheep plastic case ,a fire stick, some cheep dead batteries , green string ,and plastic do nothings . And all for the low low price of 1500USD!!! Who runs this blog now –The DHS?

    Reply
  • Duder McGruder July 4, 2015, 2:11 am

    If I walked into a gun show with $1200.00 burning a hole in my pocket…this would be the LAST thing I would buy.

    Reply
    • Anonymous July 4, 2015, 8:43 am

      Well said

      Reply
  • sirlancelot July 5, 2015, 11:07 am

    Have to agree with the article.

    This kit is a marketing gimmick and would be next to useless for it’s intended design.

    Reply
  • Roger July 5, 2015, 11:54 pm

    While I really like the idea of a grab-and-go kit, I think my BOB covers that for 72 hours plus. I have a Taurus Raging Bull in .454 Causal, great gun but definately not my first (or second, etc.) choice for a ready kit, ammo too hard to find, etc.; a break-down rifle like 10/22 or AR-7 would be much better IMHO! This kit is obviously overpriced for what’s there. I am curious about the scenario that Taurus expects this kit to apply to. Perhaps if this kit were extended/enlarged to be a 72-hour one, covering all the basics of survival, then it might be worth considering, if the price was reasonable!

    Reply
  • Dr. John July 6, 2015, 10:36 am

    I rarely comment on the comments, but just wanted to shout out a big thanks for all the comments here. This is the kind of SC family input we need to help us all evaluate products on the market. Really none of us are really experts, but our opinions are valuable whether we like them or not. OH, as to the empty box of ammo? In the kit I inspected the box was full. Sometimes you run into dealers that will help themselves to some of the items that come in a box. I have run into that several times with extra magazines, tools, and cleaning supplies.

    Reply
  • Codpiece July 6, 2015, 12:24 pm

    Thanks for the reply John. You aughta hang out with us more often.

    My comment about the empty ammo box was because the pictures in the article clearly show the sticker on the box that states the box is for display purposes only and the ammo is not included.

    On the others side, buried in the foam under the paracord is a plastic sheath for the knife.

    Keep up the writing John. We love you.

    Reply
  • irishdutchuncle July 7, 2015, 2:12 am

    yeh, what Codpiece said. (see above)
    hang out with the commenters more often. which came first, the Judge or the Governor? .410 would do a better job on snakes etc, than the little CCI shot loads I have for my .357…

    I think the first day of the event isn’t about me, and my stuff at all.
    any of us might already be out of the action, or dead. TODAY is the first day. I might be stuck at work. it’s a twenty mile hike.
    the first day needs to be for the spouse, and offspring(s) . they will need shelter, clean water to drink, and a CLUE.
    the kit for the first day is the disaster book, which you prepared for them, well before it mattered.

    Reply
  • messenger July 9, 2015, 1:50 pm

    Hey folks, really, how do you hold your spot without updating more often. Not trying to be a jackass, just wish we could get new articles. Blessings.

    Reply
    • irishdutchuncle July 9, 2015, 2:37 pm

      that’s the $64,000 question.
      Daily updates seem to burn out most of the bloggers that try.

      as a newbie armchair survivalist, I was reading about 60 different blogs each week. all of them struggled to produce new content, eventually.

      if the readership gives the blogger fresh ideas, then more content is more likely to happen. most bloggers have a day job, and families. Those have to come, first.

      Reply
  • Minarchist_1776 August 13, 2015, 3:05 pm

    I do not have a Taurus Judge, but I do have a S&W Governor that I like. Hard economic times have reduced my firearms collection to a sad remnant of what it had been. So having a pistol that can potentially fill several different niche roles (even if it doesn’t really shine at any of them) strikes me as being a reasonable proposition.

    I like the idea of the Governor as a SHTF weapon. Granted that it does have its limitations. Relatively short range being the chief one. Also being large enough that while it can be carried concealed, it is sometimes awkward to do so. The main advantage as I see it is simply being able to keep the thing fed. The use of shotshells makes it reasonable for snakes and small game at close range. The versatility of being able to use .45 Colt and .45 ACP makes it a decent defense weapon at short ranges.

    However, if I had $1500 I wouldn’t get a kit like the one being examined here. For that much money one could get a decent semi-auto rifle chambered in .308 Winchester/7.62×51 mm NATO. I’m pretty sure some of the lower end Springfield Armory M1-As and some of the PTR HK-91 clones could potentially be had for that much money. Either that or I could get a bunch of work done to my vehicle that I need done, or lay in a good supply of food, or etc., etc., I’m sure people get the basic idea.

    One of the other posters mentioned getting the kits with the idea of being able to sell or barter them down the road after SHTF. While that’s not a terrible idea, the prices involved make me think that if one really wanted to do that they could do it more effectively by making up their own kits for sale when the time comes.

    Reply

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