Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 327 TRR8 Eight-Shot 357 Magnum Revolver

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

March 30th, 2019

YouTube Video Link

Click pictures for a larger version.







Sights consist of S&W's excellent adjustable rear sight and gold-bead post front sight.



Barrel is drilled and tapped on top and bottom for included sections of Picatinny rail.







Hogue grip is comfortable and well-fit to the shooter's hand.



It was about eight and one-half decades ago that Smith & Wesson, along with Winchester Ammunition, introduced the first of our magnum handgun cartridges, the 357 Magnum. The 357, as introduced to shooters in the mid-1930s, was a big deal. The cartridge was basically a lengthened 38 Special cartridge, loaded hot, and chambered in a Smith & Wesson 44-sized frame, now commonly called the “N-Frame”, which was the company’s largest frame at the time. It was a large double-action revolver, and served as S&W’s only 357 Magnum revolver until the introduction of the smaller K-frame Combat Magnum in 1955, which was later designated the Model 19. Since, S&W has introduced a slightly beefed-up and larger 357 Magnum revolver, called the L-Frame, which lies in size between the N and K frames, and they have also chambered the 357 Magnum cartridge in their small five-shot J-Frame compact revolver.

The Model 327 shown here is a lightweight-frame version of their original N-Frame. While large, the 327 uses a Scandium lightweight frame, indicated by the Model number beginning with a 3, making the revolver easier to pack on the hip all day. The cylinder, barrel, and barrel shroud are made of stainless steel. The revolver wears overall a matte black finish. Being that the 327 TRR8 is a Performance Center revolver, it has the Performance Center trigger with stop, and Performance Center action job, which results in a very smooth double-action trigger pull, and a crisp single-action trigger pull.

The detailed specifications of the new 327 TRR8 revolver are listed in the chart below. All linear measurements are in inches, and the weight is listed in ounces. The trigger pulls are listed in pounds of resistance. SA is the single-action trigger pull. DA is the double-action trigger pull. Height includes the sights.

Weight 35.2 ounces
Barrel Length 5.01 inches
Trigger Pull SA 3.5 pounds
Trigger Pull DA 8.1 pounds
Cylinder Length 1.576 inches
Cylinder Diameter 1.7 inches
Chambers 8
Overall Length 10.375 inches
Overall Height 6.03 inches
Barrel / Cylinder Gap 0.007 inch
Ammunition 357 Magnum / 38 Special / 38 Special +P
Accessories Included Hard Case, 3 Moon Clips, Lock, Instruction Manual, Accessory Rails, Keys for Internal Lock
MSRP as of March 2019 $1,329.00 US

I fired the 327 TRR8 using several types of full-power 357 Magnum ammunition, as well as standard-pressure and +P 38 Special ammunition. I fired this revolver offhand standing mostly in double-action mode, but also fired it single-action from the bench to test for accuracy at twenty-five yards. The TRR8 exhibited excellent, match-grade accuracy, and one hundred percent reliability. I was expecting hard extraction with a cylinder full of eight heavy 357 Magnum cartridges, but even the hot Buffalo Bore 180 Grain Outdoorsman cartridges extracted easily. The double-action pull is butter-smooth, and the single-action crisp and precise. Perfect.

Velocity testing was done at a distance of ten feet from the muzzle. Velocities were recorded at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, and are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Velocity testing was done at a temperature of seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit, with fifty-seven percent humidity. I also tested the Model 327 for accuracy at a distance of twenty-five yards, with the weapon hand-held atop my Target Shooting, Inc rest. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. XPB is a homogenous copper hollow point bullet. LFN is a cast lead flatnose bullet. LHP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity

38 Special



Double Tap Wadcutter 148 789
Atomic +P LHP 148 951
Super Vel JHP +P 90 1403

357 Magnum



Buffalo Bore LFN 180 1222
Buffalo Bore XPB 140 1323
Buffalo Bore JHP 158 1265
Double Tap JHP 125 1395

Note that all of the 357 Magnum ammo I tried was full-power Magnum ammunition. 357 Magnum ammo from most manufacturers has been neutered from what original 357 Magnum ammunition used to be. Still, Buffalo Bore and Double Tap make 357 Magnum ammo that is as it should be. Good stuff. While the five-inch barrel produced good velocities, I think they would have gained more velocity had the barrel/cylinder gap been tighter. Seven one-thousandths (.007) is within industry specs, but I still prefer a gap of about half that. Accuracy was superb, with the TRR8 producing five-shot groups all under two inches at twenty-five yards. A couple of examples are shown in the pictures. I had no N-Frame round butt insert for my Ransom Rest, so had to shoot groups relying upon my eyes and trigger control, but still the accuracy was excellent. This would make an ideal hunting revolver for game such as whitetail and hogs.

The lightweight frame makes the TRR8 easy to carry all day, in the field or in the city. A proper holster, like the Barranti Leather unit shown here, is an excellent choice for carrying while hunting or while carrying concealed. The TRR8 is only about 4 ounces heaver than the S&W Performance Center lightweight 1911 that I carry daily, and the Barranti holster is a fine way to carry it.

The S&W Performance center 327 TRR8 is a very good all-around 357 Magnum revolver. It loads quickly using the supplied moon clips, and it’s eight-shot capacity puts it on par with many modern semi-automatic pistols, while packing 357 Magnum power and penetration. The revolver can be fired with or without using the moon clips. The moon clips main advantage is a faster reload. The Performance Center action job and trigger make the TRR8 a delight to shoot. It is easy to shoot and easy to shoot well.

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Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.





The TRR8 features Smith & Wesson's internal key-lock system.



Ammo can be loaded with or without included moon clips.



A variety of ammo Jeff tested in the TRR8.



Double Tap's 357 Magnum 125-grain Controlled Expansion JHP is an excellent load for field and social work.



The TRR8 is capable of match-grade accuracy right out of the box.



Beautiful tooled leather holster from Barranti Leather.