Colt may have produced the two most iconic revolvers of all time – the 1873 Single Action Army and Python introduced in 1955. Both of these revolvers have escalated beyond belief in price. To my eye and my way of thinking Taurus has produced a very acceptable Python look-alike with the model 627 Tracker.

Perhaps it’s the ventilated rib atop both these revolvers that gives them a similar appearance – again – at least to my eye. Of course, both are produced in the man-stopping .357 Magnum. However, for those who are not aware, the much milder recoiling .38 Special can also be fired in .357 Magnum revolvers.

The Taurus 627 Tracker is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel. The finish is a semi-matte with good looks. Its swing-out cylinder holds seven cartridges. The rear sight has a square notch and is adjustable. The front sight is bright orange, so it stands out when sighting in on a target with a black bullseye or any game as well. The grips are relatively soft black rubber. The horizontal serrations on this grip result in considerably less felt recoil. Also helping with reducing felt recoil are four port holes on both sides of the barrel just below the front sight. Further, such porting also reduces muzzle flip (the front of the gun going up) – which helps get the Tracker back on target for a second shot – very important when shooting .357 Magnum loads.

I purchased my .357 Tracker after first buying a Tracker .22 rimfire, but that’s another story. It should be noted that I liked that .22 rimfire Tracker so much that the first time I saw the .357 (same model type) I had to pull out my wallet. Neither revolver, however, resulted in a melted plastic credit card, as you will find the Trackers are priced fairly.

The single-action trigger pull was certainly OK at about 5 pounds, but I had gunsmith slick it up. Of all the handguns I own this .357 Tracker now has the best trigger of any.  Testament to what can be done by a gunsmith who knows what he’s doing  and working with top-grade internal parts.

Not only is this gun’s trigger great – it is also one of the most accurate handguns I own. I have shot .357 Magnum factory and handloads through the gun, but its steady diet is .38 Special reloads with Moyer’s cast lead bullets – his 148-grain Beveled Base Wadcutters. It’s a wonder how a flat-fronted bullet can be so accurate, but at paper-punching distances the wadcutter is the way to go – especially in .38 caliber.

I shot this Tracker for a couple of years with good results, but then I put a small, compact relief-type sight on top. Until then I didn’t realize how much easier it was to shoot even tighter groups with red dot in the center. My 5 and 6-shot group sizes shrunk by at least 20 percent. That relief sight went on top of a Taurus rail-type base, and I didn’t even have to remove the rear sight. With the Taurus rail I had the option of four different positions for the relief sight – forward and rearward.

Mike Crevar, my local and talented gunsmith, worked the single action trigger so it goes off at 2 pounds 2 ounces. The double action trigger pull is very good at 9 pounds, the latter right from the Taurus factory. Most of my fun with this Tracker is paper punching with those .38 148-grain wadcutters – shooting single action and off hand. At 35-feet, off hand, a good group for me is 12 shots in the 8, 9 and 10 rings of the bullseye. With the targets I have printed that’s a group of under 3-inches. The point is this .38/.357 Tracker is capable of excellent accuracy. Of course, anyone wanting to hunt with this revolver should practice with .357 Magnum loads –  at distances of considerably more than 35-feet.

Open the cylinder for loading and unloading by sliding the release forward. That release is well serrated for a good grip/feel. The hammer is also well serrated – for positive thumb grip when cocking for single-action shooting. Even with the hammer down the cylinder is very tight. Bring the hammer back – feel the cylinder tightness – very tight – despite my shooting of thousands of rounds through this revolver. Ejection of fired empties is very positive – just push the ejection rod in front of the cylinder when it’s open.

The barrel is 6.5-inches, but Taurus also offers this model with 4-inch barrel – that gun without the vented rib on top. This latter model would be perfect for carrying in a backpack, tackle box or on the hip. A handy friend in bear country. Weight of my 6.5-incher is 2 pounds 14.5 ounces – with the Taurus rail mount and the relief sight.

If there’s maybe one word to describe the Tracker series – to me it would be “rugged.” At this writing suggested retail is $709 for the Tracker being described here. I think you’ll look a long time to find a better revolver – no matter the price.

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