The Smith & Wesson Model 327 TRR8 eight-shot revolver may very well be the best.357 Magnum/.38 Special revolver on the market for survival, hunting or combat use. It’s loaded with features that allow it to be personally tailored to the individual user.

About the Smith & Wesson TRR8 Revolver

S&W built the TRR8 on their largest conventional revolver frame: the “N” frame. Normally N-frame guns are the heaviest traditionally sized handguns S&W makes. However, in this case, the TRR8’s frame is manufactured from weight-saving scandium alloy. Despite having a stainless-steel 5-inch barrel and eight-shot stainless steel cylinder on the large frame, the TRR8 only weighs 34 ounces! By way of comparison, the original six-shot all-steel S&W Model 27 with a 5-inch barrel weighs 48 ounces.

The eight-shot cylinder gives the TRR8 the same capacity as a standard .45 ACP 1911. And it has even greater stopping power when used with .357 loads. The TRR8 is also less likely to suffer from operator-induced malfunction than the 1911.

The TRR8’s overall design has some other interesting features, starting with the 5-inch barrel length. Once very popular on S&W revolvers, the 5-inch barrel has been eclipsed over the years by the 4- and 6-inch barrels. However, the 5-inch length seems to be a perfect fit for the TRR8.

TRR8 Specifications

Capacity           8
10.5 inches
Barrel length   
5 inches
34.7 ounces
Front sight       
Rear sight        
Adjustable V-notch

As on most S&W revolvers produced these days, the barrel on the TRR8 is a tube secured to the frame and covered with a shroud that encloses the ejector rod for protection. Atop the barrel shroud is a replaceable front sight system, on which was mounted a superb gold bead front sight dot. Gold bead front sights are not only highly visible in all but the darkest conditions, they add a classic touch to the firearms on which they are mounted.

The rear sight is a traditional square notch S&W Micrometer rear target sight. Grips are comfortable non-slip Hogue Finger Groove Monogrips that can easily be exchanged for various aftermarket options.

Revolver Features

Atop the barrel shroud are four threaded holes, and on the bottom of the barrel shroud are three additional holes. These holes are for attaching the two included Picatinny rail segments for mounting optics or weapon lights, depending on how you intend to use the TRR8.

The TRR8 is capable of both double-action and single-action fire. The hammer spur is the rounded type found on Performance Center revolvers. The action is Performance Center tuned, and the special Performance Center trigger includes an adjustable stop. Double-action trigger pull weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces. And single-action pull weighed in at 2 pounds, 4 ounces.

The cylinder opens smoothly and can accept full-moon clips loaded with either .357 Magnum or .38 Special cartridges. (Note: .38 Special cartridges can always be fired from .357 Magnum revolvers but not vice-versa.) The moon clips theoretically allow more rapid reloading, and S&W included four. The TRR8 can be fired without the use of moon clips as well. If you prefer to use standard speedloaders rather than moon clips as I do, I recommend the machined aluminum speedloaders from 5-Star Firearms. The N8 speedloader fits all eight-shot Model 327 revolvers.

Shooting the Model 327 Revolver

I tested the TRR8 with some of the older ammo I had on hand. Using a two-handed standing position, I test fired from 30 feet, shooting both double-action and single-action.

Ammunition Description Muzzle Velocity Group Description Group Size
Magtech 158-grain RNL .38 Special 755 feet per second 8 shots; double-action shooting 3 ¼ inches
Winchester 110 JHP +P+ .38 Special 1,155 feet per second 8 shots; double-action shooting 2 ¼ inches
Winchester 110 JHP +P+ .38 Special 1,155 feet per second 8 shots; single-action shooting 2 ¾ inches
HPR 125-grain .357 Magnum JHP 8 shots; double-action shooting 3 ½ inches
Wilson Combat 125-grain .357 Mag JHP 1,300 feet per second 6 shots; double-action, rapid-fire shooting from 20 feet 2 ¾ inches

I expected more recoil from a .357 Magnum in this weight range but was pleasantly surprised that recoil was easy to tolerate. Admittedly, part of the reason was I was using .357 Magnum ammo that was in the 9mm power band.

Smith & Wesson Model 327 TRR8 Worth a Purchase?

The Performance Center TRR8 is a fantastic revolver with a lot of potential uses. Its flexibility makes it suitable for hunting, as a backup to a long gun, as a home-defense gun or as a survival/bugout gun. With the right ammo, it should be deadly accurate at extended ranges. MSRP is $1,400.


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