Taurus .45 ACP Tracker
by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

August 19th, 2002




Taurus USA is one of the most progressive and innovative  gun companies in existence. At the 2002 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Taurus displayed a great variety of new and interesting firearms. One that really piqued my interest was their stainless Tracker revolver chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. There have been other .45 ACP revolvers on the market for years, but they are built on large frames, while Taurus builds theirs on a compact frame, resulting in a handier, more packable package. As these new Trackers were not in production at the time of the SHOT Show, I had to wait a few months to get a production gun for testing.

A few weeks ago the new Taurus finally arrived, and I have been shooting and fondling the revolver as often as possible since ripping it from its packaging.

The .45 Tracker is available with a choice of a two, four, or six and one-half inch barrel, the one sent to me being the latter. The satin finished stainless steel and black grips result in a good looking, business-like revolver. The barrel is heavy and ported, with horizontal vents machined above the bore on either side of the front sight.  The heavy barrel, combined with the compact frame size, results in a muzzle heavy feel that points naturally. The ports are there to help tame the recoil from heavy loads. The ejector rod is well protected within a recess in the barrel’s underlug.

The black rubber grips have raised horizontal ribs to help cushion felt recoil. Taurus calls these their "Ribber" grips.

The sights are fully adjustable and well defined, with a bright orange insert on the rear face of the front sight, and a white outline on the rear face of the rear sight.

The hammer incorporates the Taurus locking system. This action locking device is there if needed, but otherwise unobtrusive for those who choose not to disable their firearm.

The heart of the .45 ACP Tracker is the five shot full moon clips used to hold the cartridges in place for ejection. The ACP cartridges can be loaded and fired without the moon clips, but will not be ejected by the ejector rod. With the moon clips, all cartridges are ejected at once, and reloading only requires the insertion of another loaded clip. This is about the fastest way to reload and fire a double action revolver. It is like a speed loader that you leave in the gun. What differs the Taurus moon clips from previous designs is the small slot that is cut between the cartridges on the clip. This slot makes loading and unloading the cartridges and empty cases from the clip much easier than with other moon clips. It allows the clip to flex just enough between cases to allow easy insertion and removal. It is a good feature, and should be adopted by other moon clip manufacturers. The single action and double action trigger pulls measured just under four pounds, and eight and one-half pounds, respectively.  The single action pull was nice and crisp, and the double action was smooth and steady, as they should be.

For testing the .45 Tracker, I gathered a variety of factory and hand loaded ammunition ranging from target wadcutters to heavy cast bullets and high performance hollow points. All group testing was done at a range of 25 yards, using a wrist-supported position. While all ammo performed admirably in the Tracker, the best groups were fired using Cor-Bon Pow-R-Ball high performance loads. These Pow-R-Balls consistently grouped into a one inch cluster for five shots.  While Cor-Bon designed these to work in an autoloader and give great terminal performance, they performed as target grade ammo in this Taurus revolver. The excellent sights, combined with the crisp trigger pull, made shooting for accuracy a pleasure. Double action offhand plinking was equally rewarding, due to the smoothness of the action and the muzzle-heavy feel of the six and one-half inch heavy barrel. The gun as tested weighed just over 40 ounces. Felt recoil was very manageable even with the heaviest loads tested. There were no failures to fire, and ejection was smooth and positive. The gun came supplied with five of the moon clips, and all held up well during many loading and unloading cycles. Again, I really came to appreciate that little slot cut between  cartridges when loading and unloading the clips.

The .45 ACP Tracker is a fun gun to shoot, and properly loaded would make a good hunting revolver for  medium sized game such as whitetail deer. It is well balanced, relatively compact and very accurate. As a defense revolver for the home,  it is close to ideal. It is powerful, controllable, and with preloaded moon clips, quickly reloaded. I like it.

Check out the entire line of Trackers and other Taurus firearms online at   www.taurususa.com

Jeff Quinn

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Taurus' .45 ACP Tracker DA revolver, shown with some of the ammunition used for testing. The Tracker performed admirably using a wide variety of ammunition.



The Tracker .45 ACP uses Taurus' proprietary moon clip design, resulting in very quick reloads. The Taurus moon clip design is unique in using small slots between cartridges; these slots are a very effective aid in loading the clips.



Taurus' moon clip system allows the rimless .45 ACP cases to be unloaded using the gun's ejector system. .45 ACP ammunition can be loaded and fired in the Tracker without using the clips, but the cases are not ejected with the ejector rod.



The Tracker .45 features Taurus' porting system for recoil reduction and quick target reacquisition. Coupled with the full-underlug barrel, Taurus' barrel porting system makes for a very soft-shooting revolver with even the heaviest .45 ACP loads.



Recoil of the .45 ACP is further managed by Taurus' "Ribber" grips. These soft rubber grips feature deep horizontal grooves that give nicely soft and controllable purchase for the hand. The grips also feature a superb ergonomic shape that very effectively reduces shooter fatigue.



For those who have need of such a device, the hammer incorporates Taurus' locking system. Taurus' locking system is one of the most effective and unobtrusive yet developed.



The Tracker .45 features a very nice rear sight that is fully-adjustable for windage and elevation. This well-designed rear sight, coupled with a ramp front sight with orange insert as shown above, is an effective aid to accuracy.



Speaking of accuracy, the Author is a true believer in the philosophy that only accurate guns are interesting, and the Taurus Tracker .45 is certainly interesting. The Tracker shot very well with a wide variety of ammunition, but really liked Cor-Bon's superb Pow-R-Ball high-performance loads, consistently turning out 1" five-shot groups at 25 yards. The Pow-R-Ball's excellent ballistic performance in such an accurate gun would result in a formidable self-defense package!



Taurus has become one of the most innovative makers in today's market, offering fine products and solid craftsmanship at a reasonable price. Their product line reflects a dynamic company that reaches out to the past while embracing the future, and we are great admirers of what they are doing. Taurus has another winner in their Tracker .45!