Taurus Tracker .44 Magnum Revolver


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

November 15th, 2004




The Taurus Tracker series of double action revolvers are built on a compact frame that allows for easy portability. I have tested the Tracker chambered for the .17 HMR and .45 ACP cartridges, and found them to be both accurate and reliable. Now, Taurus has introduced the Tracker chambered for the .44 Magnum cartridge. By using a five-shot cylinder, The Tracker can handle the high pressure of the magnum, yet still have plenty of cylinder wall strength. Weighing in at just 34.8 ounces with a four inch heavy barrel, the .44 Tracker carries very well in a belt holster, weighing not much more than a good twenty-two caliber revolver, but packing a much more authoritative punch.  In fact, the .44 Tracker weighs just six ounces more than my Taurus 941 .22 magnum revolver. The .44 Tracker is made for hunters, backpackers, and fishermen who need a good powerful handgun while in the great outdoors to defend against predators, of both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. While not designed as a primary hunting weapon, the Tracker does very well on deer sized game at close to medium handgun range.

The Tracker wears excellent adjustable sights that are easy to see, with a white outline rear and a bright orange insert in the front ramp. The rear sight is easily adjusted for windage and elevation, and the sight picture provided by the flat rear face of the sight blade is near perfect.

The overall length is just under nine inches and the cylinder diameter measures 1.554 inches, making for a compact trail gun that can do double duty as a concealed carry weapon in a good holster. The barrel length measures just over four inches, with the last .935 inch not being rifled, but machined into an expansion chamber with four ports on each side of the front sight. In addition to the ported barrel, recoil is tamed somewhat by the synthetic rubber grips, which Taurus calls "Ribber", due to the effective ribbed design.

The Tracker is of the dual mode double action/single action design, and the trigger pull measured a smooth eight and three-quarters pounds in double action mode, and a crisp three pounds in single action mode. The gun is made of stainless steel, and finished in a pleasing satin that showed no flaws. The interior finish looked good as well. The springs are of a coil design, and the Tracker uses a frame-mounted firing pin with a transfer bar safety. In addition to the transfer bar, the Tracker employs the Taurus Security key lock in the hammer, effectively locking the action of the weapon.  The barrel/cylinder gap measured an even .002 of an inch, and cylinder lockup was tight.

Testing several varieties of factory and hand loaded ammunition, the Tracker handled all loads well, but the cartridge overall length could not exceed 1.626 inches. Bullets weighing in excess of 300 grains would prove to be too long for the Tracker cylinder. Even 250 grain Keith bullets with their long nose loaded into magnum cases were too long for the cylinder. All hollowpoint ammo tested and the Grizzly 300 grain Cast Performance lead bullet load fit the cylinder perfectly, with room to spare. Recoil was brisk with the heavier bullets, but the ported barrel kept muzzle jump to a minimum. Accuracy was good, with the best five-shot groups measuring one and three-quarters inches at twenty-five yards. Chronograph results are as follows:


Ammunition Velocity (FPS)
Grizzly 250 grain Hawk Soft Point 1295
Grizzly 275 grain Hawk Soft Point   1213
Grizzly 300 grain Cast Performance Wide Lead Flat Nose 1121
Cor-Bon 260 grain Jacketed Hollowpoint  1380
Speer .44 Special 200 grain Gold Dot Hollowpoint  846
Handload 250 grain Keith .44 Special  812
Handload 200 grain Lead Flat Point  1122


As expected, all ammo functioned perfectly. Slightly sticky extraction was experienced with the Cor-Bon load. The Speer .44 Special load was very easy to control, and would make an excellent social work load for concealed carry or home defense. It should even work quite well on medium sized whitetail deer at close range. 

The Taurus .44 Magnum Tracker is a good, solid revolver that would make a great trail gun where power and compact size are important. It has the power to defend one’s life from harm, to collect game for the stew pot, and is a fun plinker or informal target gun. It is also small enough and reasonably light enough to ride comfortably in a belt holster or on a pack frame.

Check out the Tracker and other Taurus firearms online at: www.taurususa.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.


The Taurus Tracker .44 Magnum revolver.



Adjustable sights are very easy to see in a variety of light conditions.



The Tracker .44's ported barrel greatly reduces muzzle flip, and makes quick follow-up shots easy even with heavy hunting loads.



For those desiring such a feature, the Tracker .44 has the Taurus Security System key-locking mechanism, which effectively locks the action.



Overall cartridge length, especially with heavier bullets, should be monitored for the Tracker's slightly shorter cylinder.



Even with the Tracker's shorter cylinder, a wide variety of self-defense and hunting loads are available. Shown here are some of the loads Jeff tested (left to right): Speer 200 grain Gold Dot Hollowpoint .44 Special, Cor-Bon 260 grain Hollowpoint, Grizzly 300 grain Cast Performance Lead Flat Point, Grizzly 250 grain Hawk Soft Point, and Grizzly 275 grain Hawk Soft Point.



The Taurus Tracker .44's compact size allows it to be easily and effectively carried in a properly-designed holster.