I have owned several with good results. The latest version is also a double-action revolver with a swing-out cylinder.
There is a single-action option that is useful for a field and trail revolver in taking deliberate shots.
This handgun features a seven-shot cylinder, giving the relatively compact Taurus .357 Magnum an advantage over traditional six-shot revolvers.
While there are other seven-shot revolvers, the Taurus Tracker is among the most compact. Long barrel versions are available for hunting and competition.
My example is a matte blue finished revolver with a three-inch barrel, non-fluted cylinder and ported barrel. The grips are ribbed rubber and give a bit during recoil.
Rubber grips keep the hand separated from the steel frame. The result is plenty of adhesion and abrasion, as well as great comfort.
While the revolver has interesting features, the grips are the stand-out feature when firing the handgun.
What Makes the Taurus 692 Unique
Tracker revolvers are a solid choice for outdoor use, target use or personal defense. The new handgun has a major advantage. The 692 features a second cylinder chambered in 9mm Luger.
This gives the user the option of using .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges in one cylinder and 9mm Luger in the other.
Since the 9mm doesn’t have a cartridge case rim that extends to the ejector star, spent cases must be picked out one at a time. Taurus also supplies moon clips for easy loading and unloading.
Many shooters will prefer to use the revolver as a 9mm as this is the most popular handgun caliber in America. However, there is no denying the power advantage of the .357 Magnum.
For those willing to master the caliber, it offers decisive wound potential. In the past, dual cylinder, double-action revolvers were not feasible for many reasons.
Fitting each crane and cylinder to the revolver and preserving the barrel-cylinder gap and timing seemed unworkable. Taurus got it right in a unique manner.
Previously, a revolver cylinder was removed by removing a screw in the frame. The Taurus features a plunger on the right side of the frame that is pressed to release the cylinder, allowing an easy change.
Remarkably, each cylinder is properly timed and the barrel-cylinder gap remains tight after changing out the cylinder. Each cylinder is marked for the caliber, no mix-ups there.
The revolver features good-quality, fully-adjustable rear sights and a bold post front. The trigger action is smooth in the double-action mode. The single-action trigger press is clean and crisp.
Testing the .357 Cylinder
I began firing the revolver with a number of .38 Special loads. These included handloads with modest charges of WW 231 powder topped with a hard-cast bullet.
This is a strong load that offers real power for those that may not be willing, or able, to learn to handle .357 Magnum recoil. Accuracy is excellent and the 692 isn’t difficult to handle in double-action pairs.
Firing double action, I fired at man-sized targets at 7, 10 and 15 yards. The grips, trigger-action and sights provided good results. Moving up the scale, I also fired a number of Buffalo Bore .357 Magnum Tactical loads.
The 140-grain JHP is loaded sensibly lighter than full-power Magnum loads in order to provide good control in personal-defense situations. This is an accurate and clean-burning load.
Recoil was increased, but not unpleasant. Concentration on handling recoil and the trigger action is demanded.
The .357 Magnum generates enough muzzle blast to startle shooters and this is what causes flinch, more so than recoil, in most shooters.
The Taurus 692 Tracker is as controllable a revolver as I have fired in .357 Magnum. Results were good, giving a trained shooter a high degree of confidence in this handgun.
Notably, the muzzle ports seemed to reduce recoil but did not add an offensive blast.
Testing the 9mm Cylinder
At this point, the revolver gets a clean bill of health as a handy, fast handling, reliable and accurate .357 Magnum. But what about the 9mm cylinder?
I depressed the plunger in the receiver and quickly snapped in the 9mm cylinder to explore the possibilities.
A handload using the Hornady 124 grain XTP and WW231 powder provided accuracy comparable to .38 Special loads. There is little recoil and mild report.
Accuracy was similar to the .38 Special. The Hornady 9mm 115 grain Critical Defense breaks 1100 fps in the Taurus 692. Since it burns less powder than the .38 Special, there is less recoil energy.
This makes a viable choice for personal defense for the recoil shy, without compromising a great deal of power. I can see the 9mm cylinder as a good option for economy.
Picking the cartridge cases out one at a time isn’t that time consuming for the casual shooter. Moving to clipping the cartridge cases in seven-shot moon clips, things were much more interesting.
A conventional revolver must be tilted muzzle up for cartridge case extraction. Otherwise, spent cases may hang under the ejector star. Likewise, in loading, the muzzle must be as straight down as possible to facilitate loading.
With the moon clips, all cartridge cases are ejected smartly, even if the muzzle isn’t straight up.
Loading is less fumble-prone than loading one at a time and with practice is sharper than loading with a speedloader — the clips are loaded with the cartridges in the cylinder, rather than the cartridges inserted and the speedloader dropped.
This system has much merit in a revolver intended for personal defense.
During the test, I deployed the revolver in a Lobo Gunleather inside the waistband holster. The balance of speed and retention is good, and the design allows for concealment of a formidable revolver.
Draws were sharp, getting on target quickly. I find the Taurus 692 to be an exceptional revolver.
The combination of loads makes for great versatility, from powder-puff practice and small-game loads, to +P loads suitable for personal defense, and finally, full-power Magnum loads for field use and defense against larger animals.
The best part, you get all of this for less than five hundred dollars.
What do you think of the Taurus 692 Revolver? Do you own a multi-caliber firearm? Let us know in the comments section below!