In this Article:
What do I mean by two guns in one?
The idea that a gun can shoot more than one type of ammo is not new. Any of you familiar with a .357 or .44 Magnum revolver will know what I mean. Well, as far as the .38/.357 and the .44 Special / Magnum calibers go.
What’s different about the Taurus 692 is that it shoots three types of ammo, .38, .357 and also 9mm. This is because this revolver includes two different cylinders which can be interchanged quickly and easily. I got my hands on one of these to figure out if it’s worth your time (and money).
The Taurus 692 model we have in our hands is the stainless steel 2.5 inch barrel model.
- Shoots .38, .357 and 9mm ammo – effectively two revolvers in one!
- 35 ounces – mid-level weight, making it easy and enjoyable to shoot.
- Includes two cylinders (one for .38 and .357, the other for 9mm).
- Button-activated cylinder release enables quick and efficient interchange.
- Additional cylinder makes this revolver a good conceal carry option (depending on your choice of barrel length).
- Adjustable rear sight (assists with accuracy when shooting different ammo).
- Effective recoil-reducing grip.
- Like all revolvers, limited capacity (7 per cylinder) compared to semiautos.
The Taurus 692 enables you to shoot both rimmed and rimless ammo with its 10 second, no-tools-needed cylinder swap. You pull out the 7-shot .38/.357 cylinder and stick in the included 7-shot 9mm one. That’s it.
Better have some moon clips (Taurus calls then Stellar clips) handy, or at least have a stick to poke the empty 9mm cases out of the cylinder, but that’s a small price to pay for the versatility offered.
The change is accomplished by pressing in a button (more below) on the gun’s frame and swapping out the cylinders/yokes.
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The Tracker Series
This revolver is a member of the Tracker family. What’s that, you ask? Taurus Trackers are revolvers are meant to go with you as you trek the hills & dales of our great land. Fairly small and compact, these guns are available in black or stainless finishes. (To my mind, if you’re out and about in rough terrain and questionable weather, stainless is the only way to go).
Options include the above-mentioned finishes and extend to barrel lengths (2.5, 3 and 6.5 inches). At present, there are six 692 models available in a combination of the barrel lengths and finishes.
All six of the 692s use an adjustable rear sight. At last Taurus gets it. Being an unrelenting handloader, I know the wide variety of points-of-impact that different loads display among the several handloads I can come up with for each of the three calibers discussed here. An adjustable sight is all but necessary for precise shooting.
This gun not being self-defense oriented (not necessarily, at least – it would work fine as a carry gun) but more of a “kit gun”, a fixed sight is not called for. (I know that a lot of concealed carriers opt for guns with fixed, or drift-adjustable, rear sights so things can’t get knocked out of whack. I prefer a good adjustable one on my carry guns but that isn’t always possible).
In fact, all the Taurus Tracker series guns feature adjustable sights.
Taurus 692 hands on
The caliber of the Taurus 692 I am reviewing is the .357 Magnum / 38 Special with the addition 9mm cylinder.
The Trackers also come in the following calibers:
- 17 HMR
- .22 LR / 22WMR
- .44 Special / .44 Magnum
|CALIBER:||357 MAG / 38 SPECIAL +P / 9MM|
|WEIGHT:||31.8 oz., weighed on my digital scale with .357 cylinder inserted|
|BARREL LENGTH:||3" (2.5” and 6.5” available)|
|TRIGGER PULL (measured):||DA, 9 lbs, 4 oz; SA, 5 lbs, 14 oz|
|FRONT SIGHT:||Fixed, orange insert|
|REAR SIGHT:||Adjustable, windage and elevation|
|MSRP:||$691.95 (stainless; matte black is $639.45)|
What draws our eye on our test sample, this particular 692? Well, to start off with, you notice the short barrel.
This gun’s 3-inch barrel is not as short as the available 2.5-inch version, but I would take the 3-incher over the shorter one. It’s a good compromise between a 4-inch and a 2-inch barrel. It just balances better.
Other stand-out features would include the rear adjustable sight and the barrel ports, four on each side.
Now we get to pick it up. What else do we see or feel? Probably, the “Ribber” grip makes itself known to our hand. The “ribs”, or fins, help hold felt recoil down by flexing a bit when you pull the trigger. Some Taurus owners swear by them while others swear at them. Only you could tell if they’d work for you – you’d have to see what they feel like as you shoot the gun.
Another thing I will mention is the weight. When you pick this gun up, you know you’ve gotten hold of something with some heft to it. 35 ounces is a good mid-level weight for a gun but remember, this little guy only has a three-inch barrel unlike some of its 6.5- or 8-inch cousins. The weight is right in your hand, with a little bit of barrel heft – it is not barrel-heavy, but the full-length barrel shroud helps it to “hang” pretty well on target. It balances very well, you might think as you put it down.
The final feature that you’d notice is on the right side of the frame. There’s a button down there, in front of the trigger guard and below the cylinder. You open the cylinder, press the button in and hold it down. Slide the cylinder yoke out of its frame mounting hole. Stick the other cylinder in its place, release the button and close the cylinder and you just performed the equivalent of buying a second gun – you just changed your .357 into a 9mm revolver.
It takes longer to write about it than it does to swap cylinders. 9mm wheelguns are all the rage right now. When you could actually buy ammo in a store, you could get 9mm fairly cheaply – a condition hopefully we will return to soon.
This shortage is making reloading a more attractive option – you might think about doing that. I cast bullets from wheel weights, powder coat them and then load them. At any rate, it is SO easy to swap cylinders with this gun that you will probably be shooting all three of its native calibers a lot, not just the .38/.357 variety.
Taurus 692 Uses
Oh boy – one of my favorite parts of a review. I love to read what other reviewers consider what constitutes proper usage for a particular gun. In the same vein, I like to include what I see as some good uses in my own reviews. Let’s check out four ways in which our 692 might be used.
- 1. Trail Gun
- 2. Home Defense
- 3. Target & Informal Shooting
- 4. Self-Defense
Its most obvious use is that of a trail gun, or as some call them, kit guns. Whatever you call it, this gun would be right at home on your hip as you retrace Lewis and Clark’s arduous trek, or at least explore the back forty on your uncle’s farm. In my case, I would carry it as I ventured forth over our homestead and the surrounding areas of woods and fields. Its 35-ounce weight is a good balance between too-heavy and reassuring. Any heavier, and you might be better off with a chest holster. The reassuring part is self-explanatory.
OK, so it’s a 7-shooter, not a 17-shooter like a Glock 17. At any rate, it’s very quick into action and easy to use. You don’t have to wonder if its chamber is loaded, or if the magazine’s seated properly, or if… I have absolutely nothing against the venerable 17 or autoloaders in general – I just like wheelguns, too. Keeping this gun handy with an extra speedloader nearby might make for a bit of reassurance, as I mentioned above.
These are uses that I need not elaborate on, as these are two areas that are covered by most guns in use today. I thought I would mention it, though, because with the additional 9mm cylinder, your plinking sessions just got ramped up in the “fun” and “interesting” categories.
This would be one fun gun to take out plinking. Plus, this is one more reason to get into reloading as I mentioned above – I have ammo to shoot in these lean times because I make my own bullets and load them myself into cartridge cases. It’s not rocket science – maybe you might consider getting into it after reading my brief guide to the world of reloading – check it out. It extends your shooting hobby into other areas.
Huh? Carry this thing? You’re kidding, right? Well, in a word – no. Many folks carry five- or six-shot revolvers as their main carry gun…why not carry a seven-shooter? With a reload (speedloader or strip) handy, you would be well-armed.
Seven rounds of .357, .38 Spl.+P or hot 9mm would do much to discourage a bad guy and cause him to re-think his course of action against you. I know of many semi-autos that are around 1.3 inches wide – what’s another .2 of an inch? And, at 35 ounces plus ammo, it shouldn’t pull your pants down if you wear a good belt.
There are IWB holsters that should work for this gun. The 3-inch barrel wouldn’t dig furrows into your leg as some longer-barreled guns are inclined to do. Plus, the orange insert in the front sight ramp catches your eye quickly. I could see this revolver making its way onto my belt, especially in the winter when longer coats, jackets etc. are the norm. You could do worse.
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Shooting the Taurus 692
I shot all three types of ammo in the test revolver. As you all are most likely aware of, ammo is practically non-existent on dealer’s shelves at the present time, so I dropped back to my default ammo supply – my handloads. I load for all three calibers that this gun handles, a fact that comes in handy when I need to shoot a gun for which I have no ammo. I do understand that my loads are not on the same plane with factory ammo – I am most aware of that – but they do a decent job for most uses.
At any rate, here are some targets…
I was not happy with any of these targets – I can usually do better – but, given the time and rain constraints, they’ll have to do. I am really sure that another shooter, with factory ammo, would do better but that wasn’t in the cards. I was just happy to have something, anything, to shoot and also pleased to have one gun that shot all three calibers. As you can see, the groups are all low – the rear sight was all the way down. I didn’t have the time to adjust it and re-shoot, so I just left it where it was.
Taurus 692 Recoil
I approached the .357 load with a bit of trepidation. This is a loading that moves that 160-grain bullet at over 1200 f.p.s. out of a 4- or 6-inch barreled revolver, and over 1100 f.p.s. out of a 2- or 3-inch tube. It speaks with authority.
Imagine the smile on my face after sending the first of several .357 Magnum bullets downrange and not having to rub the palm of my shooting hand to get the blood going again. The recoil was no worse than a lot of .38 Special. +P loads I‘ve shot. I could see shooting this load for a couple of hours and not having to put my hand in traction – it was downright pleasant.
That is definitely not my experience with most short-barreled .357s. What saves this gun in terms of recoil are three things.
First, the ports. The barrel porting works to keep the muzzle down and the recoil more straight back, but that wasn’t bad. Secondly, the grip is such that recoil is tamed – it works. And last, the weight of the gun helps.
This is no 20-ounce lightweight. When you get much over 30 ounces with a .357, you tend to start soaking up some of the felt recoil. So, the gun was pleasant to shoot. After shooting the Raging Hunter .44 Magnum with its ported barrel and then this gun with its ports, I’ve come to be a believer in barrel porting to help mitigate recoil. It just works, as does this little gun. I like it.
So, you’ve always wanted a short-barreled .357?
A friend of yours just bought a Ruger SP101 in 9mm and you shot it and liked it?
You were just given an ammo box half full of .38 Special cartridges?
Well, here you go. Buy one gun to shoot all three types of ammo. You will save money over buying two different guns to shoot those three calibers and have fun doing it.
What if you wanted an even shorter barrel, or (going the other way) wanted a gun that would work in the deer woods? The 692 also comes, as I mentioned above, in 2.5- and 6.5-inch barrel lengths. Short barrel or long, Taurus has you covered. The adjustable rear sight is a big plus, as is the barrel porting. Additionally, the grip tends to help with recoil.