A 21ST CENTURY HI CAPACITY TACTICAL REVOLVER
FOR PERSONAL PROTECTION, HOME DEFENSE AND RUGGED OUTDOOR FIELD USE
Review by: NICK JACOBELLIS
The Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 with a 5 inch barrel is a fairly lightweight and very well
balanced 8 shot N frame revolver chambered in .38 Special/.357 Magnum calibers. The 327 TRR8 is
designated a “tactical revolver” because this particular wheel gun has excellent adjustable sights and
can be fitted with rails that accommodate a tactical light and or an optic. The fact that this revolver can
be quickly loaded using 8 round “full moon” metal clips, makes the S&W 327 TRR8 ideally suited for
use in a Close Quarters Battle situation, when you may be compelled to execute a reload as quickly as
possible. The Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 can also be operated (loaded and unloaded) without the use
of full moon metal clips.
It has often been said that the S&W 327 TRR8 was initially designed for use by the SWAT
operator, who carried a ballistic shield during different types of tactical operations. This request was
reportedly made, to address problems encountered when the slide on a SWAT cop’s pistol impacted
their ballistic shield and caused a stoppage. The proposed solution was to carry a rugged well made
high capacity (eight shot) revolver chambered in .38 Special and .357 Magnum calibers. Regardless of
the motivation behind the development of the S&W 327 TRR8, the end result provided revolver
enthusiasts with a true 21st Century tactical revolver, that could be used for a variety of applications.
Surprisingly, for an 8 shot .357 Magnum revolver with a five inch barrel, that is built on the
famous Smith & Wesson N Frame, the S&W 327 TRR8 is incredibly well balanced and relatively
lightweight at 34.7 ounces unloaded. This is made possible because the TRR8 is manufactured using a
Scandium N frame with a stainless steel cylinder and a two piece stainless steel barrel. In contrast, an
unloaded all steel six shot S&W Model 10 .38 Special K frame revolver with a four inch barrel weights
34.4 and an unloaded six shot S&W Model 27 .38 Special/.357 Magnum N frame revolver with a four
inch barrel weights 42.1 ounces.
In addition to being equipped with an easy to adjust rear sight and a gold beaded front sight,
the TRR8 is also fitted with a set of over-sized rubber grips that provide excellent ergonomics. It’s the
use of these rubber grips, in conjunction with the fact that this revolver is built on the large S&W N
frame, that makes it possible to comfortably fire Plus P .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammunition
from the TRR8. You can also tell that the 327 TRR8 is product of the famous S&W Performance Center,
by the excellent fit and finish of this revolver, as well as the way it operates. In addition to being fitted
with a crisp Single Action trigger and a super smooth DA or Double Action trigger, the 8 shot cylinder
on the TRR8 opens and closes like the doors on a super expensive Sports Utility Vehicle.
On a very sunny day that produced temperatures in the 70s, I ventured out into the desert
with my best friend and retired patrol sergeant Rick Batory, to start field testing the S&W 327 TRR8.
We began this T&E by firing full cylinder loads of 148 grain FMJ 38 Special ammo, 125 grain Speer
Gold Dot standard velocity .38 Special hollow-point ammo, 135 grain Plus P Speer Gold Dot hollow-
point ammo, standard velocity (brass cased) 125 grain Hornady .38 Special ammo and 125 grain (brass
cased) Hornady XTP .357 Magnum hollow-point ammunition at various CQB distances out to 25
While all of the ammunition tested accurately delivered head and chest area shots on a TQ19 LE
Qualification Target, the absolute best results were produced when the S&W 327 TRR8 was used to
fire 125 grain Hornady .357 Magnum Hollow-Point ammo. In fact, the S&W TRR8 delivered surgical
level precision performance with the Hornady .357 Magnum ammo. The TRR8 also proved to be
comfortable to shoot while using .357 Magnum ammunition.
On the second day of testing I once again loaded the S&W 327 TRR8 with 125 grain
Hornady .357 Magnum ammo and engaged a metal plate the size of the scoring area on a TQ19 LE
Qualification Target at a CQB distance of 15 feet. While using a Double Action trigger pull I shot
the TRR8 as fast as I could fire a round and get back on target. Once again, the TRR8 proved to be
incredibly accurate, easy to operate and comfortable to shoot.
When loading the eight round metal clips that are supplied with the TRR8 I noticed that the
brass cased Hornady .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammunition was easier to load, as opposed to the
nickel cased Speer Gold Dot hollow-point ammo. I assume this is the case because brass is a bit softer
than nickel. In order to facilitate the loading of an 8 round full moon metal clip, you press the case
portion of each bullet into the curved cutout on the clip. I also highly recommend that you purchase a
Wilson Combat 69EX Full Moon Clip Case Extractor. This simple metal tool can be used to remove
empty cases from the full moon metal clips, that are used to aid in loading revolvers like the S&W
TRR8. At a cost of under $5.00, it pays to buy two or three of these tools and keep them in your
backpack, pocket, vehicle, or in your bailout/go bag.
While testing the S&W 327 TRR8 we also trained with various 9mm pistols, that will be
featured in future articles. Rick and I are used to training in this fashion, because during our law
enforcement careers it was quite common for law enforcement officers to train with and carry handguns
with different trigger systems while on and off duty. This included using a variety of pistols and
DA/SA revolvers. In fact, to this day I still qualify on an annual basis on a LE qualification course with
a .38 Special caliber S&W revolver and a 9mm pistol fitted with either a striker fired trigger, a HK
LEM trigger, or with a Classic DA/SA SIG pistol.
The 327 TRR8 is a full size 21st Century tactical revolver, that has been fine tuned for all kinds
of hardcore applications by the Smith & Wesson Performance Center. This includes using the S&W
327 TRR8 for personal protection, home defense and rugged outdoor field use. Whether I’m at home or
in the field, my S&W 327 TRR8 is loaded with eight rounds of Hornady 125 grain .357 Magnum
hollow-point ammunition. In order to insure my ability to quickly reload my TRR8, I maintain a supply
of loaded 8 round S&W brand full metal clips accessible at all times. In summation let me say, that
buying a Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 was one of the best firearm’s purchases that I made in recent
About the author: Nick Jacobellis is a Medically Retired U.S. Customs Agent and a former NY police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent. To date, the author has published over 205 magazine articles and nine action-packed nonfiction, historical fiction, and fiction books: Controlled Delivery Books One and Two, The Frontline Fugitives Books I, II, III, and IV, Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Books One and Two and A Special Kind of Hero. These books have received 5 Star reviews and are available on Amazon.com (US), and (UK). He was born and raised in Flatbush section of Brooklyn NY and has an BS Degree in Police Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.