Taurus has made its name by producing revolvers that are both economical and innovative. Guns such as the Raging Bull and Judge opened up new potential in revolver design, power and performance. The 992 shows that Taurus still travels that same path. The 992 is a rimfire double-action that shoots both .22 Long Rifle and .22 WMR.
As the name implies, Tracker series revolvers were envisioned as pack guns for woodsmen and hunters. Magnum chamberings meant for repelling predators or delivering a coup de grâce to large game were the first to be introduced. A number of rimfire models with seven-shot cylinders for hunting small game, short-range varminting or informal target shooting have been available for some time now as well, including the 970 in .22 Long Rifle, the 971 in .22 WMR and the 17 in .17 HMR. With its introduction of the 992 series, Taurus has expanded this popular line of double-action revolvers. The 992s come with two nine-shot cylinders, one chambered in .22 Long Rifle and a second chambered in .22 WMR. The 992s are available in blued or stainless steel and a choice of 4- or 6-inch barrels. I received a blued 992 with a 4-inch barrel for examination.
The rimfire Trackers share the same frame size and double-action trigger system as their center-fire counterparts. Although some of the center-fire Tracker models feature titanium frames and cylinders, all of the frames for the rimfire Trackers are steel. The unfluted cylinders of the 992s have a nine-shot capacity and, like the frames, are forged from steel. On the left-hand side of the frame is a cylinder latch that is dished and knurled for better purchase by the firer’s thumb. Pushing forward on the latch allows the cylinder to swing out to the left into the weak hand for reloading. Although the ejector extends only a little more than an inch past the crane, the shroud for the ejector rod runs the full length of the 4-inch barrel, resulting in the same thick profile as the center-fire models. Considering the mild recoil of rimfire loads, however, Taurus has sensibly dispensed with the ports seen on its center-fire magnum Trackers. The weight of the Tracker’s thick barrel is more than enough to mitigate muzzle rise of .22 Long Rifle and .22 WMR to keep the gun on target.
A cylinder-release button located on the right side of the frame just above the front of the trigger guard engages a groove cut in the axle for the crane. To change chamberings, push the cylinder latch forward, swing out the cylinder, depress the button and pull forward on the cylinder. When the cylinder is removed, the crane and ejector rod stay with it. Each cylinder has its own crane and ejector rod.
Sights include a broad rear blade with a fixed front post. The rear sight is screw-adjustable for windage and elevation. The front and rear sights are finished in black to minimize glare. Additionally, the deep U-notch of the rear blade is outlined in white and the stepped front blade has an orange insert for rapid sight alignment. The rear sight assembly is pinned in a recess in the topstrap, which helps reduce the impact of its height and bulk. In addition to the supplied metallic sights, Taurus offers a base for optics that clamps to the vent rib of the 6 1/2-inch Tracker barrel shroud and accepts most Weaver-style rings. The shroud for the 4-inch barrel lacks vents, so it is incompatible with the base.
The black rubber “Ribber” grip is a one-piece unit with narrowly spaced soft horizontal ribs on the exterior that yield to the pressure of the firer’s grasp and thus conform to the contour of the hand.
The 992’s double-action trigger has a curved blade with a broad, smooth face. In keeping with its intended outdoor use, there is enough room between the blade and the trigger guard for shooting with a gloved finger. Additionally, the wide spur of the hammer is knurled for better purchase by the firer’s thumb for those who choose to shoot the revolver in the single-action mode.
Given the Tracker’s double-action system of operation and the transfer bar safety mechanism under the hammer, it is safe to carry the gun afield fully loaded to the cylinder’s nine-shot capacity.
Additional safety features include the Taurus Security System that allows the user to block the movement of the hammer, trigger and cylinder with a hex key supplied with the gun.
I tested the 992 for accuracy and functioning with a variety of .22 Long Rifle and .22 WMR loads appropriate for hunting and plinking from Hornady, Winchester and Remington. Results compare well with other double-action rimfire revolvers I have tested. The sights of the test gun were well-regulated. At 25 yards, my groups were only about 2-inches high with the .22 WMR loads, well within the sights’ range of adjustment. There were no failures to fire when using the trigger in either the double- or single-action mode. Both cylinders turned smoothly and indexed positively without binding or overtravel.
The Taurus 992 Trackers tip the scales at just more than 45 ounces, which is a little heavy for a back-up gun. One would definitely feel the weight on one’s hip or in the backpack. However, the weight and bulk would not be a hindrance if the Tracker were used in the role of a primary gun for small game hunting, varminting or target shooting. The 992’s two nine-shot cylinders add a great deal of versatility to the gun and open up a variety of choices in rimfire loads. Shooters can choose .22 WMR loads for power or .22 Long Rifle loads for accuracy or low cost. For hunters and shooters looking for a double-action revolver to fill those roles, the Taurus 992 Tracker would certainly be worth consideration.
Manufacturer: Taurus Forjas S.A.,
Importer: Taurus Int’l; (305) 624-1115; www.taurususa.com
Caliber: .22 WMR and .22 Long Rifle (tested)
Action Type: double-action, rimfire revolver
Frame: forged steel
Barrel: 4" (tested) or 61⁄2"
Rifling: six-groove, 1:16" RH twist
Cylinder Capacity: nine
Sights: white outline rear U-notch screw adjustable for windage and elevation, fixed front post with orange insert
Trigger: double-action 12-lbs., 9-ozs. pull; single-action 6-lbs., 14-ozs. pull
Overall Length: 83⁄4"
Weight: 47 ozs.
Accessories: optional optics base, two keys for action lock, manual
Suggested Retail Price: $442