The Ultimate Tactical Training Revolver
Umarex S&W Model 327 TRR8 .177 Caliber
By Dennis Adler
Shooting air pistols for sport is a big part of the Airgun Experience, but there is another side that I often stress, and that is using authentic 1.77 caliber airguns for real world training. By authentic I mean airguns that are nearly exact in design, operation and handing to their cartridge-firing counterparts. These airguns have to be good enough to use for firearms training purposes such as reloading drills, target acquisition exercises, holster carry and drawing, and all the various regimens used for basic firearms training, whether for civilian carry or law enforcement. Learning the basics with zero-recoil airguns allows initial firearms familiarization at a cost that is just a fraction of training with “real” guns, and make no mistake, high quality BB cartridge-loading revolvers like the Umarex S&W licensed Model 327 TRR8, look and feel just as “real” right up to the point where you pull the trigger!
The Best S&W Airgun Revolver
There are certain expectations with air pistols and most of them are not great expectations. A good modern air gun based on a cartridge firing model generally has the “look” of the original but also all of the usual compromises that separate airguns from cartridge guns. When Umarex began offering all-metal construction revolvers with six round cylinders that loaded actual BB cartridges, a new level of authenticity had been achieved. The S&W 327 TRR8 version is the proverbial frosting on the cake. It has the size, the exact weight (35 oz), the look, and handling of the actual S&W Performance Center TRR8. What it doesn’t have is an 8-shot cylinder, but considering the rest of the gun’s features, two rounds is a small price to pay for what is arguably the best looking tactical BB revolver in existence. The Umarex version has a 6-inch barrel vs. the Performance Center .357 magnum’s 5.5 inch barrel, the same integral under barrel accessory rail and an added top rail for optics. The SA/DA air pistol also has green fiber optic front and rear sights, the rear adjustable for windage and elevation. The grip profile and texture is virtually identical to the cartridge model, as is the cylinder thumb latch. Push it forward to release the cylinder, pull the thumb latch back and it acts as a manual safety (not a feature on the .357 Magnum models). Everything on the Umarex works smoothly, and feels like the actual TRR8, making this gun perfect for low-cost training purposes.
Considered the premier tactical (SWAT) revolver for the 21st Century , the S&W Model 327 TRR8 is used for both competitive shooting as well as law enforcement. And while revolvers are low on the list of handguns used by uniformed patrol officers these days, large caliber tactical models suited for optics, like .357 Magnum S&W 327 TRR8, are still in the SRT (Special Response Team) and SWAT arsenal. The air pistol version developed by Umarex delivers the same operating features; cylinder thumb release, hammer size, triggerguard configuration and trigger shape.
Loading the BB cartridges for the S&W 327 TRR8 is equally fast; you simply place them in the speed loader, pour BBs into a jar lid (or an old pellet tin) and push the cartridges nose down into it. The hollow point plastic bullet tips easily find a BB to seat into the opening. Release the cylinder latch, swing the cylinder out and load all six rounds at once. The TRR8 comes with one speed loader and six BB cartridges; extra speed loaders and BB cartridges are available, which allows practicing reloading skills with the S&W 327 TRR8 airgun.
Running on air
Average velocity for the S&W 327 TRR8 airgun is 400 fps. With a CO2 cartridge loaded into the grip frame (the grips slide back to allow inserting the CO2) and six rounds loaded into the cylinder I shot my tests using Umarex .177 caliber steel BBs fired from 21 feet at a cardboard IPSC target. Double action trigger pull is extremely smooth with an average of 6 lbs. 12 oz. Firing single action, trigger pull averaged 5 lbs. 3.5 oz.
My best 5-shot group with the S&W 327 TRR8, sighting with a Walther MRS multi-reticle red dot sight, was an impressive 1.2 inches. Interestingly, I found the revolver a bit more accurate when fired double action. One reason is that trigger pull cleanly stages the hammer as you pull trough, thus the final stage of the trigger pull is extremely smooth and light; actually equal to, if not slightly better than the real .357 Magnum’s.
In my opinion, the S&W 327 TRR8 is the ultimate cartridge-loading tactical revolver in both the real world and the world of airguns.
 Police Magazine May, 2008.