Throwback Thursday: Review — Taurus 627 Tracker .357 Magnum

When the .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in 1935, it was a sensation. The truth is, it should be today as well! The .357 Magnum offers a great deal of versatility. The revolvers that chamber the .357 Magnum cartridge may also chamber the slightly shorter .38 Special.

The .38 Special is a pleasant low-recoil cartridge. Excellent accuracy may be had with the .38 Special. With economical lead bullet handloads, the .38 Special is a pleasant target round. Jack up the velocity a bit and you have a load well-suited for taking small game at maximum handgun range. For those not able to master .357 Magnum recoil and muzzle blast, the .38 offers a good defensive loading.

The .38/.357 combination is among the most attractive chamberings in the handgun world. The ability to pick and choose ammunition for specific chores is an interesting concept and one best maximized by handloading. Here are some of my favorite loads.

Taurus 627 Tracker Revolver
The Taurus Tracker 627 .357 Magnum is a robust, reliable, and powerful revolver.

Load Selection

.38 Special

Load Velocity Use
Winchester 158-Grain SWC 790 fps Target, Small Game
Buffalo Bore 158-Grain Outdoorsman 1,050 fps Protection Against Dangerous Animals
Hornady 110-Grain Critical Defense 1,010 fps Personal Defense

.357 Magnum

Load Velocity Use
Winchester 145-Grain Silvertip 1,322 fps Outdoors Use
Federal 180-Grain JHP 1,111 fps Hunting
Hornady Critical Defense 1,388 fps Personal Defense


Load Velocity Use
178-Grain SWC 798 fps Target, Small Game
180-Grain JHP 1,100 fps Hunting
125-Grain XTP 1,540 fps Personal Defense

Ammunition Variety  

As you can see, the .38 Special and .357 Magnum combination offers a nice range of power. Powder-puff loads may be used for practice and small game, while the heavier loads are useful for defense against dangerous animals and hunting, as well as personal defense.

There are a number of good choices in .357 Magnum revolvers. The Taurus Tracker 627 is among the best choices in a magnum revolver. The Tracker isn’t a light-frame or a heavy-frame revolver, but fits nicely into the medium-frame category. This means at less than 40 ounces with a four-inch barrel, the Tracker is light enough for constant carry.

The revolver is heavy enough to absorb .357 Magnum recoil. The heavy barrel dampens recoil. Among the best features of the Taurus Tracker are the modern rubber grips. These grips insulate the shooter from the frame. The steel frame doesn’t touch the hand. This means a lot in controlling powerful magnum loads. As the revolver is jolted in recoil, the rubber grip gives a bit crushing the ribs built into the grip. This cushions recoil. Ounce for ounce, the Taurus Tracker is among the lightest-recoiling .357 Magnum revolvers.

The Tracker also features a set of barrel ports that lessen recoil by directing recoil energy straight up. This doesn’t rob a measurable amount of velocity, the ports are well-designed, but makes for excellent control.

Taurus 627 Tracker Sights
The Taurus adjustable rear sight is a good feature, one of the best features of the handgun overall.

Taurus 627 Features

The revolver is all stainless steel. This is an important feature for a handgun carried in the field or carried concealed close to the body. The stainless steel is nicely finished. It isn’t a high polish, but an even matte-style finish.

The revolver features a fully-adjustable rear sight and a post front sight. The rear adjustments allow sighting the revolver in perfectly for the chosen loading over a wide range of bullet weights and velocities. I have experimented with .38 Special and .357 Magnum loads from 600 to 1,600 fps and bullet weights from 110 to 200 grains. It isn’t difficult to get any of these properly sighted in.

A bonus with the Tracker, is that the cylinder holds an extra shot compared to most revolvers. The Taurus Tracker 627 is a seven-shot revolver. HKS offers seven-shot speedloaders and Galco offers a speedloader pouch. With practice, you may reload this revolver quickly. The goal, of course, is to get a hit with the first and second shots, but this doesn’t always happen. The Tracker offers a good reserve of ammunition.

Man Firing Revovler
The Taurus Tracker 627 .357 Magnum handles well and offers modest recoil for the revolver’s size.

Accuracy and Performance

The trigger action of the Tracker is smooth but tight. There is little excess play involved. Press the trigger to the rear in a smooth motion. After the revolver fires, ride the recoil as you let the trigger reset, then get back on target for another shot. The trigger is smooth enough to allow rapid follow-up hits on targets.

The Taurus offers a single-action firing mode. Cock the hammer to the rear and press the trigger for a slow deliberate shot. This is useful in firing at targets at longer range.

When fired from a solid benchrest firing position, the Taurus 627 Tracker .357 Magnum is quite accurate. Groups of two inches or a little less are easily achieved at 25 yards. This is absolute accuracy. Practical accuracy, firing off-hand, is also good. The handgun’s easy accuracy and stainless construction lend itself well to carrying while hunting or hiking.

It is also useful for personal defense. Quite a few folks carry a four-inch barrel .357 for defense, especially in areas where the big cats or bears are a concern. The Taurus Tracker is a great all-around revolver, a workhorse well worth a hard look.  

What do you think of the Taurus 627 Tracker revolver? What’s your favorite .357/.38 wheel gun? Let us know in the Comment section!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June of 2021. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and clarity.

Source link: by Bob Campbell at