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Taurus model 992: We take a double-action.22 LR/.22 WMR convertible out for a spin.

THE.22 REVOLVER HAS BEEN THE MAINSTAY OF THE OUTDOORSMAN for decades, but while immensely popular, the.22 Long Rifle is no powerhouse. In 1959 Winchester introduced the.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire. Doubling the muzzle energy of the.22 LR, it was a smash hit. Soon, dual-cylinder convertible revolvers (mainly single actions) chambered for both rounds were offered.

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The latest is the Taurus Tracker M992--a nine-shot double action. Mine sported a 6.5-inch barrel (see Richard Venola's sidebar on his adventures with the 4-inch version).

The M992 comes with two interchangeable cylinders, one in.22 LR, the other in.22 WMR. To remove a cylinder, open it about three-fourths of the way, press the release button at the lower right front of the frame and slide the entire cylinder/crane assembly out into your hand. That's it. Installing the other cylinder is the exact reverse. Both cylinders are steel and are unfluted.

The M992 has a frame and a full-lug barrel and is offered in both blue and matte stainless. The adjustable, whiteoutlined rear sight is robust, big enough to see. The ramp front is serrated and holds a bright red insert. The front sight is pinned in placed, implying that different styles and heights of sights might be available.

The 6.5-inch version sports a vent rib, and Taurus already makes a scope base that clamps to the barrel via the slots in the rib. The top of the base has "Weaver-type" slots, so adding about any type of scope or dot sight is a simple matter. The proprietary Ribber grip literally molds to your hand and provides an excellent purchase. The wide, smooth trigger on mine broke cleanly in single action at a delightful 3 pounds, 4.4 ounces.

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Removing a cylinder is easy since there's no crane screw to remove. Second, the cylinder stop plunger and its tiny spring that are so easy to misplace are captive in the frame, so there're two less small parts to keep track of.

My only complaint is that the ejector rod doesn't reliably expel the longer magnum hulls. There is plenty of room under the barrel for a longer rod., and we suggest that Taurus lengthen this part.

We rounded up a representative assortment of ammo for both calibers and headed to the range. A total of 12.22 LR and 14.22 WMR loads were shot from a padded rest at 20 yards, and all the results are shown in the Load Table. A new Tru-Glo "Open Red Dot Series" sight was attached and proved a perfect setup.

Naturally, the M992 liked some loads better than others. But overall it was quite accurate, averaging 1.23 inches in.22 LR and 1.24 inches for the WMR.

Quite a few folks carry a.22 WMR for personal protection, and there are at least two new loads for them. The Speer "Short Barrel Personal Protection" load propelled a 40-grain Gold Dot at 1,481 fps, producing 195 foot-pounds of muzzle energy--the most of any ammo tested.

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The Taurus M992 offers a huge range of ammo selection--from CB caps to maxed-out magnums. I like it.

See photos and specifications of the guns mentioned in this article and order from an inventory of thousands--all online through Gun Locator. Visit Galleryof Guns.com.

Taurus Tracker Model 992

TYPE: Doubfe-action revolver

CALIBER: 22 Long Rifle, 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire

CAPACITY: 9 rounds, two interchangeable cylinders provide

BARREL LENGTH: 4, 6.5 in.

OVERALL LENGTH: 11.4 in. (6.5 in. bbl.)

WEIGHT: 44 oz.

TRIGGER PULL: 3lbs., 4.4 oz. (single action)

SIGHTS: Fully adjustable rear, red ramp front

FINISH: Blue or matte stainless

STOCKS: Taurus "Ribber" grips

MSRP: $499

MAKER: Taurus Intl., www.taurususa.com
CHRONOGRAPH/ACCURACY RESULTS

LOAD          BULLET      AVG     STD.      MUZZLE           AVG
              WEIGHT   VEL.(FPS)  OEV.  ENERGY(ft-lb)  GROUP(IN.)
               (CR.)

              .22 LONG RIFLE

REMINGTON          40        899    28             72        0.91
TARGET SOLID
LEAD RN

REMINGTON          36        925    41             68        1.94
HIGH
VELOCITY HP

CCI MINI-MAG       40        996    22             88        0.98
COPPER
PLATED RN

WINCHESTER         40      1,038    28             96        1.06
SUPER-X
COPPER
PLATED HP

CCI                40        994    37             88        1.10
VELOCITOR
SPEER GOLD
DOT HP

WINCHESTER         40        935    24             78        1.12
SUPER-X
POWER-POINT
HP

WINCHESTER         40        877    29             68        1.03
SUPER-X HIGH
VELOCITY RN

REMINGTON          40        925    41             76        1.49
HIGH
VELOCITY
LRN

FEDERAL            40      1,021    17             93        1.75
CHAMPION RN
SOLID

FEDERAL GOLD       40      1,004    37             90        1.09
MEDAL TARGET
RN SOLID

FIOCCHI            40        895    27             71        1.18
SUPER MATCH
PISTOL

CCI CB LONG        29        503    37             16        1.61
LEAD RN
(ZIMMER
PATRONE)

Accuracy is the average of three, five-shot groups at 20 yards from a
padded rest. Abrevlations: RN, round nose; HP, hollow point; FMJ, Full
metal jacket; SP, soft point; PD. Personal Defense; LRN, lead round
nose; LRN, lead round nose; JHP, jacketed hollow point; FTX, Flex Tip
eXpanding.

CHRONOGRAPH/ACCURACY RESULTS
LOAD           BULLET       AVG.     STD.      MUZZLE     AVG.GROUP(IN.)
             WEIGHT(CR.)  VEL.(FPS)  DEV.  ENERGY(FT-LB)

                .22 WINCHESTER MAGNUM RIMFIRE

CCI                   40      1,373     8            167            1.28
MAXI-MAG
HP

WINCHESTER            30      1,691    36            191            1.10
VARMINT HV
POLYMER
TIP

WINCHESTER            45      1,226    39            150            1.60
DYNAPOINT
MAGNUM HP

FEDERAL               30      1,557    25            162            0.94
PREMIUM
SPEER TNT
HP

FEDERAL               40      1,458    38            189            1.89
CHAMPION
FMJ

WINCHESTER            40      1.300    17            150            0.89
MAGNUM HP

WINCHESTER            40      1,338    34            159            0.73
MAGNUM FMJ

WINCHESTER            34      1,528     1            176            1.08
SUPREME
JHP

REMINGTON             33      1,441    79            152            1.46
PREMIER
V-MAX

REMINGTON             40      1,310    29            152            0.78
POINTED SP

FEDERAL               50      1,064    13            126            1,04
JHP

HORNADY               30      1,611    36            173            1.53
V-MAX

HORNADY               45      1,301    45            169            1.30
CRITICAL
DEFENSE
FTX

SPEER SHORT           40      1,481    45            195            1.73
BARREL PD
GOLD DOT
HP

Accuracy is the average of three, five-shot groups at 20 yards from a
padded rest. Abrevlations: RN, round nose; HP, hollow point; FMJ, Full
metal jacket; SP, soft point; PD. Personal Defense; LRN, lead round
nose; LRN, lead round nose; JHP, jacketed hollow point; FTX, Flex Tip
eXpanding.


RELATED ARTICLE: The short version BY RICHARD VENOLA

In four-inch trim, the M992 Tracker has the look, weight and feel of a late 20th century LE revolver, but it's a.22-great for target shooting and great for anyone who lives in the boonies. The switch-cylinder system is so simple, the first thing you'll say to yourself is, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?" The design is the work of Taurus' engineering department, headed up by heavyhitter Marco Cappelozza.

The big story here is how easy it is. Crip the Tracker in your right hand. Using your right thumb, press the cylinder catch. Using the middle two fingers of your left hand, push the cylinder out to about 10 o'clock. Push the small detent with your right index finger. Holding the cylinder pull forward. Done.

The axle of the cylinder crane inserts half an inch into the frame and features a detent groove. The detent catch passes under this axle to push the detent itself out the left side of the frame, removing it from the groove. When you examine the M992 at your local gun-store, it will take about five seconds to completely understand the system.

Simply put, you can practice and plink with bulk-pack LongRifies, then switch to magnums for vamints and/or small game. The M992 Tracker is cozy in the hand, like an old shoe, and points instinctively. Big, square, white-outlined sights are instantly accessed. The deep blued finish reminds me of a classic Python, with a high luster.

Time constraints forced me to buy (oh, the horror) retail.22 WMR for the test, and I felt readers' pain as the register finally clicked to a halt-reminiscent of a diamondback tiring. On Target Enterprise is Kingman's top gun store largely due to fair pricing, but magnum ammo just isn't cheap.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

At home, my giant MTM box of.22 Long Rifle yielded some interesting selections. I headed to the Mohave Sportsman Club range at Seven-Mile Hill. After 50 cents' worth of coffee and ritual verbal abuse at the range office, I was exiled to Range 10 ("You're making a living. No one will bother you there.").

The single-action trigger was crisp but a tad heavy. A hair over six pounds. OK, but "lawyer heavy." Nothing your neighborhood's hobby gunsmith couldn't cure for a 12-pack. The double-action soaked up a lot of M-Pro 7 lube before becoming agreeable.

This new addition to Taurus' Tracker Series is excellent for target training. With bulk r22LR, your finger will wear out before your wallet does. The rear sight is easily adjustable for windage and elevation, and the plastic protector snaps on and off with ease. The wide hammer spur makes single action work easy, and the heavy integral ejector shroud helps steady the piece when firing unsupported,

My M992's 4-inch, six-groove barrel has a 1:16.5 RH twist. For more veloclity, you can get one with a 6.5-inch barrel (like the one Steve Cash got). Everything but the crane assembly is completely convention. Those of you in the tactical crowd will be shocked and saddened that the M992 is not available with a 1913 rail.

I usually shoot off my Shooter's Ridge Gorilla Bag, but having seen what revolvers have done to Payton Miller's shooting bag, I used the ragtag range bags laying about, Muzzleblast and gas escaping the cylinder gap, no matter how slight, will eventually take a toll (Peyton's bag is now about 80 percent duct tape).

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I set up my Oehler 35P and checked to see how some of my.22 Mags fared from the 4-inch barrel. Top honors went to CCl's 30-grain V-Max (1.754 fps). The heavier 45-grain Winchester Dynapoints took accuracy honors, though; nine-shot 10-yard groups averaged one inch.

Seeing as how I have 53-year-old eyes, there's one issue I have: The roll marks on the cylinders, indicating caliber, are almost impossible to read without a I magnifying glass. Yes, you can use cartridges as go/no-go gauges, but a bigger roll mark would be more convenient.

Test-firing was without incident until I used an ancient box of Russian Junior.22 LR ammo. This stuff was very popular in the early '90s, and my box had been on the shelf since then. The enameled steel cases were impossible to eject without ramming the rod against the bench.

Arizona's Golden Valley, where live, is snake country. Thirteen species of rattler inhabit the state, and five of them live here in Mohave County. My two neighbors have Killed half a dozen this year, and the range staff has disposed of over a score, so snake shot is a popular commodity, i fired some CCI.22LR shotshells into a handy rain puddle, and found it to produce an evenly-distributed paper-plate wide pattern at a range of he I eight feet (about as close as you want to get to a diamondback).

Later, I went to the other end of the range and spotted a young couple taking snaps of a shooter. It was instantly apparent that they were curious Europeans who had wandered onto the range, I invited these charming French tourists to shoot the tracker. Neither had handled a firearm before, out they were quick learners and both got on paper with the first cylinder. It occurred to me that this was a brandnew pistol teaching brand-new shooters. Kind of cool. ...
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Title Annotation:PROOFHOUSE; Taurus Tracker M992
Author:Gash, Steve
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Article Type:Product/service evaluation
Date:Feb 1, 2012
Words:1951
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