past couple of years, Taurus International has introduced several
innovative and useful handguns, and there is no sign that they
are letting up. The year 2002 industry awards for manufacturer
of the year have been bestowed upon Taurus for their willingness
to listen to what shooters want, and then filling that need
quickly with quality products. One of their latest products is
the new Tracker revolver chambered for the newest rimfire
cartridge on the market, the .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire.
The .17 HMR
has taken the rifle market by storm, and was reviewed here on
Gunblast.com a few months ago in the excellent Ruger
model 77/17 bolt action rifle. Since then, many rifle
manufacturers have introduced their own rifles in .17 HMR, and
Ruger is bringing out their handy little model 96 lever action
chambered for the fast-stepping little rimfire.
At the 2002
SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Taurus unveiled their compact
but hefty little Tracker in caliber .17 HMR, and it immediately
drew a crowd. About a month ago, we received a production gun
here at Gunblast.com for testing, and since then, I have sent
many rounds of Hornady’s ammo through the bore of the test
The new .17
HMR Tracker looks, handles, and feels much like the .45
ACP Tracker reviewed here a couple of months ago. I was
impressed with the accuracy of the .45, and was expecting the
same good accuracy from the .17HMR. The barrel of the .17 is not
ported, as on the .45 Tracker, as there is no need. The recoil
of the .17 HMR is minimal. The .17 wears the same excellent open
sights as the .45, and also wears the Taurus Ribber synthetic
The sample .17
Tracker has a seven shot cylinder with offset bolt notches, a
heavy full-underlug barrel with a ventilated rib, and is
constructed primarily of stainless steel. Taurus uses the vents
in the barrel top rib for attaching their excellent scope mount.
The .17 Tracker weighs in at 41 ounces as shipped, without the
scope mount. The revolver also has the Taurus Security System
which locks the action, if one chooses to do so, but is
otherwise unobtrusive and easily ignored, and comes supplied
with two keys for the locking system. Another nice touch is the
smoothly sculpted cylinder release latch, which is a great
improvement upon the ones supplied on most double action
revolvers on the market. The double action pull measured a
smooth ten pounds and two ounces, and the single action pull
measured a crisp five and one-half pounds. I prefer a bit
lighter single action pull on a hunting revolver, but this is
easily remedied by a competent gunsmith.
examining, photographing, and fondling of the little Tracker, I
gathered a supply of Hornady .17 ammunition and proceeded with
the task of shooting at rocks, cans, fruit, and other targets of
opportunity. Hey, somebody has to do it. After the fun stuff, I
mounted a Charles Daly two power scope on the Taurus base
and commenced with the accuracy testing.
I test fired
the .17 Tracker at ranges out to 100 yards for accuracy and over
the sky screens of my PACT chronograph at twelve feet.
Out of the six and one-half inch barrel, the Hornady seventeen
grain V-Max bullet averaged 2168 feet-per-second. Sighted
in at a range of 125 yards, the flight path is very flat for a
rimfire. The bullet is only 1.43 inches high at 75 yards, and
drops only 2.06 inches below the line of sight at 150 yards.
This allows a varmint hunter to hold dead on a crow or other
small varmint out to about 165 yards, a range at which the
bullet is still traveling faster than a .22 Magnum is at the
muzzle of a revolver. That is very flat-shooting performance
from a rimfire varmint gun!
As I had
expected, the .17 HMR Tracker displayed excellent accuracy. At a
range of 25 yards, the worst group fired measured only
five-eighths of an inch for six shots. The best group sent six
shots into a tiny three-eighths of an inch group. The best that
I could manage at 100 yards was one and one-eighth inch groups.
In fact, every group fired at 100 yards measured the same one
and one-eighth inches, which is outstanding accuracy from a
revolver. There were no failures of any kind with the Tracker or
the Hornady ammunition, and extraction was easy and positive.
The Taurus .17
HMR Tracker is an accurate, reliable, and fun little revolver
that is just about perfect for small vermin and pests out to
about 175 yards. Check out the .17 HMR Tracker online at: www.taurususa.com
.17 HMR ammunition and other fine Hornady products can be seen
the fine folks at Taurus International have shown their willingness and
ability to give shooters innovative firearms that are
accurate, practical, and just plain fun! Taurus also offers a
free one-year NRA membership with the purchase of the handgun,
and backs it with a Lifetime Repair Policy.
Gunblast.com for upcoming articles on other fine guns from
Taurus International. Just a couple of days ago, I received a fine looking
.218 Bee Silhouette model, and other guns are on the way. Unlike
some magazines, we won’t review a gun until we shoot it, but
you will most likely see it here first.
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