It was about eight and one-half decades ago
that Smith & Wesson, along with Winchester Ammunition,
introduced the first of our magnum handgun cartridges, the 357
Magnum. The 357, as introduced to shooters in the mid-1930s, was
a big deal. The cartridge was basically a lengthened 38 Special
cartridge, loaded hot, and chambered in a Smith & Wesson
44-sized frame, now commonly called the “N-Frame”, which was
the company’s largest frame at the time. It was a large
double-action revolver, and served as S&W’s
only 357 Magnum revolver until the introduction of the
smaller K-frame Combat Magnum in 1955, which was later
designated the Model 19. Since, S&W
has introduced a slightly beefed-up and larger 357 Magnum
revolver, called the L-Frame, which lies in size between the
N and K frames, and they have also chambered the 357 Magnum
cartridge in their small five-shot
J-Frame compact revolver.
The Model 327 shown here is a
lightweight-frame version of their original N-Frame. While
large, the 327 uses a Scandium lightweight frame, indicated by
the Model number beginning with a 3, making the revolver easier
to pack on the hip all day. The cylinder, barrel, and barrel
shroud are made of stainless steel. The revolver wears overall a
matte black finish. Being that the 327 TRR8 is a Performance
Center revolver, it has the Performance Center trigger with
stop, and Performance Center action job, which results in a very
smooth double-action trigger pull, and a crisp single-action
detailed specifications of the new 327 TRR8 revolver are listed
in the chart below. All linear measurements are in inches, and
the weight is listed in ounces. The trigger pulls are listed in
pounds of resistance. SA is the single-action trigger pull. DA
is the double-action trigger pull. Height includes the sights.
|Trigger Pull SA
|Trigger Pull DA
|Barrel / Cylinder Gap
||357 Magnum / 38 Special
/ 38 Special +P
||Hard Case, 3 Moon Clips,
Lock, Instruction Manual, Accessory Rails, Keys for
|MSRP as of March 2019
I fired the 327 TRR8 using several types of
full-power 357 Magnum ammunition, as well as standard-pressure
and +P 38 Special ammunition. I fired this revolver offhand
standing mostly in double-action mode, but also fired it
single-action from the bench to test for accuracy at twenty-five
yards. The TRR8 exhibited excellent, match-grade accuracy, and
one hundred percent reliability. I was expecting hard extraction
with a cylinder full of eight heavy 357 Magnum cartridges, but
even the hot Buffalo Bore 180 Grain Outdoorsman cartridges
extracted easily. The double-action pull is butter-smooth, and
the single-action crisp and precise. Perfect.
testing was done at a distance of ten feet from the muzzle.
Velocities were recorded at an elevation of 541 feet above sea
level, and are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Velocity testing
was done at a temperature of seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit,
with fifty-seven percent humidity. I also tested the Model 327
for accuracy at a distance of twenty-five yards, with the weapon
hand-held atop my Target
Shooting, Inc rest. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet.
XPB is a homogenous copper hollow point bullet. LFN is a cast
lead flatnose bullet. LHP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Bullet
weights are listed in grains.
|Double Tap Wadcutter
|Atomic +P LHP
|Super Vel JHP +P
|Buffalo Bore LFN
|Buffalo Bore XPB
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Double Tap JHP
Note that all of the 357 Magnum ammo I tried
was full-power Magnum ammunition. 357 Magnum ammo from most
manufacturers has been neutered from what original 357 Magnum
ammunition used to be. Still, Buffalo Bore and Double Tap make
357 Magnum ammo that is as it should be. Good stuff. While the
five-inch barrel produced good velocities, I think they would
have gained more velocity had the barrel/cylinder gap been
tighter. Seven one-thousandths (.007) is within industry specs,
but I still prefer a gap of about half that. Accuracy was
superb, with the TRR8 producing five-shot groups all under two
inches at twenty-five yards. A couple of examples are shown in
the pictures. I had no N-Frame round butt insert for my Ransom
Rest, so had to shoot groups relying upon my eyes and
trigger control, but still the accuracy was excellent. This
would make an ideal hunting revolver for game such as whitetail
The lightweight frame makes the TRR8 easy to
carry all day, in the field or in the city. A proper holster,
like the Barranti Leather unit shown here, is an excellent
choice for carrying while hunting or while carrying concealed.
The TRR8 is only about 4 ounces heaver than the S&W
Performance Center lightweight 1911 that I carry daily, and
the Barranti holster is a fine way to carry it.
The S&W Performance center 327 TRR8 is a
very good all-around 357 Magnum revolver. It loads quickly using
the supplied moon clips, and it’s eight-shot capacity puts it
on par with many modern semi-automatic pistols, while packing
357 Magnum power and penetration. The revolver can be fired with
or without using the moon clips. The moon clips main advantage
is a faster reload. The Performance Center action job and
trigger make the TRR8 a delight to shoot. It is easy to shoot
and easy to shoot well.
Check out this and other firearms and
accessories at www.smith-wesson.com/pc.
For a closer look at quality Barranti Leather
holsters, belts, and the like, go to www.barrantileather.com.
To order quality 357 Magnum ammunition, go to
www.buffalobore.com, www.doubletapammo.com, www.luckygunner.com, and www.midsouthshooterssupply.com.
For the location of a Smith & Wesson
dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
order the TRR8 online, click on the GUN GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
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