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CO2 S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver: Part 2

S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

S&W 327 TRR8 is an exciting new BB revolver.

The 327 TRR8 BB revolver is distributed by Umarex, which claims the muzzle velocity is 400 f.p.s. In fact, they print it right on the box!

To appreciate what I’m about to tell you, there are two things you must bear in mind. First, the manufacturer of an airgun has to publish the top velocity that gun could achieve. If they don’t, and if there’s ever a lawsuit, it would be bad if the gun was more powerful than advertised. A plaintiff could argue that they bought the gun, thinking it was capable of shooting at a certain velocity, when in fact it was actually capable of higher velocity. They could then argue that they would never have allowed their children to shoot (they may say “play with”) that gun, if they had known its true power.

This argument sounds bogus to a shooter, who would know that any gun is potentially dangerous, regardless of its velocity, but jury selection teams work hard to keep people with such knowledge off the jury, if they can. And to the uninformed, hearing that the gun is more powerful than advertised somehow makes it more evil, if the facts are presented in the right way.

Second, if a manufacturer advertises a certain gun to have a certain velocity and it clearly does not, they have just scored a black eye in marketing and public relations. They are called liars who just want to skew the facts in favor of their product.

This is the dilemma every manufacturer and distributor faces when they advertise their airguns. So what I am going to tell you today must be considered in this light.

Loading the CO2
I showed you the CO2 compartment in Part 1. The cartridge goes in easily, and the piercing screw is turned until a hiss of gas it heard. I then turn the screw just a little farther to make certain the hole in the cartridge is large enough. The pressure of the gas will prevent you from screwing the piercing screw too far.

I should add that, as always, I put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the cartridge before installing it. The oil gets blown through the gun’s valve and gets onto all the seals. It’s the best thing you can do for your CO2 gun.

The 327 TRR8 BB revolver has both a single-action and a double-action trigger-pull, and each must be tested for velocity. Sometimes, they’re fairly close, but there have been guns where the way the trigger was pulled made a 100 f.p.s. difference.

I used Daisy zinc-plated BBs for all shooting in this test.

Fresh CO2 cartridge — single-action pull
The first 10 shots on a fresh CO2 cartridge averaged 447 f.p.s., which is well about the advertised velocity. The string ranged from a low of 431 to a high of 462 f.p.s. That’s considerably above the advertised velocity and produces an average of 2.26 foot-pounds.

Then, double-action
Next, I fired 10 shots double-action and got an average 441 f.p.s. The low was 428 and the high was 445 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 2.2 foot-pounds. So, there’s not too much difference between single-action and double-action in this revolver.

The trigger-pull seemed heavier than I remembered from the first report. It averaged 6 lbs., 4 oz. in the single-action mode, which is on the high side. However I must report that the trigger-pull is very crisp. It’s a single-stage trigger in this mode, which means there’s no travel before the trigger stops at the break point.

In the double-action mode, the trigger is easier to pull than on many other revolvers. It breaks at an average 9 lbs., 5 oz. on the test gun. When it’s pulled, there’s a definite stop point where the pull force increases before the release. It feels very much like a Colt double-action trigger from the 1920s rather than a Smith & Wesson trigger — because the Colts always stacked at the end of the pull, while the Smiths did not.

Loading BBs
The 327 TRR8 comes with a speedloader, and Paul Capello showed us in his video of the Dan Wesson BB revolver how to quickly load the BBs. The 6 cartridges are loaded into the speedloader, which is then pressed down onto a layer of BBs held in the lid of a pellet tin. All 6 cartridges will be loaded this way, and it works perfectly every time.

To load the cartridges, lock them in the speedloader, then push them into a single layer of BBs held in a pellet tin lid like this. They load perfectly every time.

Shot count
As powerful as this revolver is, I was concerned about how many shots a single CO2 cartridge would give. And I wanted to stretch the number to as many as I could get, so I paused a minute between shots. Doing it that way, the first 25 shots were all in the 430+ f.p.s.range, regardless of whether they were fired single- or double-action.

After 46 shots had been fired, the velocity remained in the 412-425 f.p.s. range, again with a minute’s pause between shots. After 62 shots, the velocity was definitely falling and ranged from a high of 397 f.p.s. to a low of 286 f.p.s. at shot 85. In other words, there are plenty of shots in this revolver for the average backyard plinker. The high number of shots surprised me a bit, given the high velocities we saw at the beginning, but I did nurse the gas by pausing so long between shots. If you fire faster, and most shooters will, you can expect at least 10 percent fewer shots and all at a lower velocity. You’ll be able to hear when the velocity trails off and can stop shooting before you jam a BB in the barrel.

Observation thus far
So far, the 327 TRR8 seems to be holding up well. It’s powerful, reliable and gets a good number of shots from a cartridge. The trigger seems good, if not very light. The sights are fiberoptic, but have the brightest green tubes I’ve ever seen, so they’ll be used for the accuracy test, which comes next.

23 thoughts on “S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver: Part 2”

  1. BB, I enjoyed reading your blog Friday on the Nelson Lewis combination rifle. You do your very best writing when it is about something that truly excites you. Keep searching and hopefully you will find the accuracy you are looking for. Are you using close to max power loads for this gun or reduced down a bit? I might try the same balls at some different power loads and see how that effects accuracy.

    David Enoch

    • David,

      In black powder, while there are such things as over-power and reduced loads, very few people look for them. We look for the optimum load, which means that all the powder has been burned with the shot. There are several ways of testing for that, but I have not even given it a try yet.

      I did increase the powder charge once already and it didn’t seem top have an affect. But there is much more experimenting to come.


      • I was thinking from an airgun perspective where barrel harmonics can play a part in accuracy. The double barrel probably stiffen things up to the point where that is not something to worry about anyway. When my brother was into muzzle loading I remember guys using what they called Moose Milk to lube patches and to clean the barrel between shots. I just did a search for it and it seems there are a lot of different recipe for it. I saw that one included balistisol.

        David Enoch

        • David,

          I am aware of Moose Milk, but haven’t made any yet. I’ve tried saliva, because several authors from the early 20th century recommended it above everything — even bear’s oil, which was the accepted best lubricant at the time.There are so many things yet to test. And you appear to be correct that uneven heating of the barrel(s) doesn’t seem to be an issue.


      • You will probably find an optimum powder charge. My .36 flinter wants 35 grs. of FFFG. Other charges up or down open the group. I have been using TC bore butter as a patch lube.


        • Mike,

          That’s good information. I’ll weigh my charge and see what I’m using. It’s been 2Fg to this point.

          I have used Bore Butter, which I like a lot and Young Countrys 103, which is a bit on the vintage side. But saliva does seem best at this point.


          • BB,
            I’m starting to think patch lube is overrated. My .50 shoots well with just water on the patch (I run out of spit :)!) and it loads quite easily, even with a .495 ball and a ~0.025″ denim patch (12 oz. I think), although that requires a short starter (and I often use a rubber mallet for convenience). Also, I’m not a big fan of wiping between shots if the load is correct and the lube is suitable for target use; it can push fouling in the way of the fire channel and cause failures to fire; if the load is tight, the bore stays clean.

            One thing with moose milk and bore butter and other types of greases, waxes, and oils for target shooting is that they can build up to some degree in the bore; actually, the baked on grease varnish, like the bottom of a meatloaf pan can stick in the grooves through multiple washings of water only (or even more aggressive cleanings) and become a real issue that requires tough solvents. After thinking about it, I’d recommend you stick with spit or maybe some water (with a tiny bit of oil/Ballistol if needed).

            When using spit or (mostly) plain water, a cold water wash will clean everything out, as BP residue is almost 100% water soluble, with the rest being swept out by the patches, and you don’t risk flash rust that boiling water gives in some barrels — I know you didn’t get it (and I don’t either in my flint barrel, but sometimes happened in my caplock), but I feel compelled to warn you of the possibility. If you don’t think thicker patches will work for you, one other thing that occurred to me the other day is that you could try either some type of powder (e.g. cornmeal, cream of wheat, grits) or other wad over the powder charge — might keep it from burning.

            Finally, be careful, as it is an antique! If it doesn’t shoot with reasonable measures, at least you will still have it in one piece. A lot can happen to a barrel in 150 years.

            • BG F

              I got into using #9+ for patch lube . Works good when the patches have the right amount. Too wet or dry does not work so well. For hunting, usually Crisco.

              In my earlier days of experimintation, I tried wheel bearing grease one time. It’s one thing you do not want to try.
              Had to clean the gun with gasoline to get the stuff out of the barrel.

              Also, don’t try to pour babbit metal to make your balls. They are real pretty, but extremely hard.


              • TwoTalon,
                That sound’s reasonable — just be sure you tell people the “+” part, not regular #9, right? That #9+ seems to be a good lube for target practice. Crisco is hard to beat for a hunting rifle cheap and works without rusting bore; wiping between shots or when loading is difficult only occur when you are tuning it up at the range. One or at most a handful of shots in the field is more than adequate.

                I got curious about the water and I tried it — works well for my matches in this barrel (almost too slick, in my opinion) and leaves absolutely no insoluble residues of its own. If we shoot any matches cold enough to flash freeze the water, I’ll add some alcohol or use wiper fluid.

                I’m torn between rooting on BB to make that thing shoot like he wants (which is what I like to do with rifles) and urging caution because of its antique status. Some of the things I don’t mind doing with my own rifles might endanger its condition.

                You might be interested in this, also (forgot to mention it to BB). On a rare trip into city, I found that Joann’s (fabric store) has some nice 100% linen, looks perfect for patches, but I didn’t have any way to measure. The thin one looked about 0.010″ and ran ~$10/yard, while the thicker one appeared ~0.015″ at $17/yard. I’ve still got a bunch of scraps that I’m using up on woodswalks and backyard type shooting, but I’d be tempted to try both of those as patching, esp. if I were more limited in patching thickness.

                • BG-F

                  I used to walk into the fabric section of ChinaMart with a micrometer, and start checking fabric. Got strange looks for that.
                  Our new Super ChinaMart has no fabric section at all. Next nearest ChinaMart is in Findlay, but they don’t have crap for a selection (been there and looked). There’s a Joanns there, but have not checked what they have.


                  • You’ve got to try Joann’s for the linen alone! They had 12, 10 and 7 oz. 100% cotton denim also. The 10 and 12 should shoot pretty well. I forgot to check the ticking, as I’ve not had consistent results with what I’d been getting at Wallyworld, but I should have. And I need to try pocket drill, which I’ve been hearing good things about also… So many fabrics to try!

                    I had my wife and son with me, but still got some odd looks, as my wife was looking uninterested except when I told her what to help me look for, and I was rummaging through the racks :).

                    At Wallyworld, most now know me and what I’m looking for — occasionally they’ll even have a remnant stuck back for my type of customer, such as cotton duck, denim or flannel (their “Super Flannel” can’t be beat for cleaning patches). They’ve been changing stuff around lately and making me fear they would discontinue the ones I’ve been using, though, so I went to Joann’s to scout when we went to a nearby restaurant (good excuse if you want your wife along on the first trip :)).

  2. This pistol got my attention because it looks cool but mostly because of the way the bb’s are loaded into cartridges giving that realistic revolver loading/action along with the need to have to reload after six shots like a real revolver. I don’t know how speedy that speed loader looking device is but at least it will give the shooter a taste of how a revolver works and affects a defensive position.

    I have used a 5 shot revolver in a timed, six pin, bowling pin shoot competition and, as obvious to those of you who can count, speed and manual dexterity is paramount. I was busier than a one-armed paper hanger and fumbling was my worst enemy. This would be a great training tool for something like that and where reloading speed is the difference between life and not feeling so good.


  3. For those who don’t get all the messages posted on the BLOG the winner of Fridays shot of the week was nice enough to stop by and tell us what rifle his daughter had on the picture.
    He answered our questions on Firday BLOG.


    • J-F,
      Thanks for soliciting that response! That’s a sweet little rifle. After thinking about this, I realized that probably the best available rifle for smaller kids is the Edge. I’ve held an Edge at the Shot Show and found it to be a nice fit for smaller ones. I’m partial to the Challenger because of it’s size, but that’s just me. If I were bringing up a little one to shoot competitively I’d consider the Edge.

      • It’s not a target rifle but nothing is stoping you from “making” your own small rifle using any of the 22XX series from Crosman. The father and winner of the shot of the week sold the Diana his daughter was using for a P-Rod and I made a sweet super accurate little carbine out of a Crosman 1701P. It’s smaller than a RedRyder so anyone could shoot it. And I made it for me but you just made me realised that I could let my daughter shoot with it since the RedRyder is still a bit awkward to handle for her (she’s 8).
        We’ll give it a try this week-end I think.


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