The newest Taurus revolver is among the most interesting and innovative the company has manufactured. The Taurus 692 is a double action revolver with a swing out cylinder. There is a single-action option, useful in a field and trail revolver. 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. There are longer barrel versions available suitable 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 the famous Taurus Ribber grips. These grips are ribbed rubber and give a bit during recoil. The grips also keep the hand separated from the steel frame. The result is plenty of adhesion and abrasion and great comfort.
While the 692 is a credible choice for personal defense and field use as a conventional revolver, a major advantage is a second cylinder chambered in 9mm Luger. This gives the use the option of using .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges in one cylinder and 9mm Luger in the other. (We could include the .38 Colt and .38 Long Colt, but we’ll leave it at that.)
Previously, most dual caliber revolvers have been single action .22 Magnum/.22 Long Rifle types. The 9mm cylinder may be fired with 9mm cartridges. However, 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 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. There is no denying the power advantage of the .357 Magnum, and 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 each cylinder change.
The revolver is quite attractive with its all black finish and unfluted 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. I began firing the revolver with a number of .38 Special loads. These included handloads with modest charges of WW 231 powder. I also fired a good quantity of Black Hills Ammunition 158-grain lead ‘cowboy load’—a pleasant, accurate, and affordable choice.
The revolver is easily controlled. 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 Black Hills Ammunition .38 Special 125-grain JHP +P loads. This revolver is easily controlled with .38 Special loads and more accurate than most.
Moving to the .357 Magnum, things became interesting. I had on hand two loads from Black Hills Ammunition. One is the fast stepping 125-grain JHP. The second load was a deeper penetrating 158-grain JHP. The 125-grain JHP retained 1,340 fps velocity in the short barrel 592, a good number for personal defense. Recoil was increased but the revolver was not unpleasant to fire. The grips have a lot to do with this.
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 offensive blast.
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. I began with the Black Hills Ammunition 115-grain FMJ. There was little recoil and mild report.
Accuracy was similar to the .38 Special. 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 7-shot moon clips, things were much more interesting.
During the test, I deployed the revolver in a Jeffrey Custom Leather belt holster. This is a well-made, attractive, and well-designed holster. Retention was good. This is a among a few holsters that rides high and offers good security, and will double as a concealed carry and field holster.
|Black Hills Ammunition .38 Special 158-grain||780 fps|
|Black Hills Ammunition .38 Special 125-grain JHP +P||970 fps|
|Black Hills Ammunition .357 Magnum 125-grain JHP||1,340 fps|
|Black Hills Ammunition .357 Magnum 158-grain JHP||1,160 fps|
|Black Hills Ammunition 115-grain FMJ||1,090 fps|
|Black Hills Ammunition 124-grain JHP +P||1,180 fps|
A conventional revolver must be tilted muzzle up for cartridge case extraction. Otherwise, spent cases may hang under the ejector start. 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 wasn’t straight up.
Loading was 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. I fired a number of the powerful Black Hills Ammunition 124-grain +P JHP with good results. While the loading clocked nearly 1,200 fps, recoil was modest.
- Taurus 692
- .38 Special +P/.357 Mag/9mm Double
- Two cylinders
- 3-inch Ported Barrel
- 7 Rounds
- Single Action/Double Action System
- Ribber Grip
- Fixed front sight
- Adjustable rear sight
- Medium frame
- Smooth trigger
- Transfer bar safety system
- Overall length 8.14 inches
- Overall Width 1.5 inches
- Overall Height 5.66 inches
- Overall Weight 35 ounces
- Matte Taurus Blue finish
Draws were sharp, getting on target quickly. I find the Taurus 692 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. This is the ultimate Tracker, and my favorite Taurus revolver. A price check shows the revolver generally retails for just shy of $500.
9mm, 38 Special, or .357 Magnum… Which caliber would your carry in the Taurus 692 revolver and why? Share your answers in the comment section.
Sign up for K-Var’s weekly newsletter and discounts here.