Whether you call the Taurus 692 a multi-caliber revolver, a dual cylinder revolver, or just a neat trick, it’s an interesting innovation. Taurus has overcome the difficulty of producing a double action revolver with dual cylinders.
Single action revolvers use a base pin that makes lining up the cylinder fairly simple. Making .22 LR/.22 Magnum and .357/9mm single action revolvers isn’t a difficult engineering proposition. But the double action revolver with its swing out cylinder and crane is more difficult to work with.
In the Model 692, Taurus has designed a very workable dual cylinder DA/SA system. The test revolver is a three-inch barrel version with a matte blued finish. There are also stainless steel models available including a six inch barrel version.
The revolver tested is well-suited to personal defense, home defense, and field use for protection against dangerous animals.
The Taurus 692 is a double action revolver. There is also a single action option for more deliberate shots. The heavy double action trigger press is smoother than most at 16 pounds or so while the single action pull trips at a controllable 4.5 pounds.
The cylinder locks up tight with each chamber and the barrel to cylinder gap is tight as well. The finish is evenly applied.
Both the .38/.357 and 9mm cylinders are unfluted and both have seven-round capacity. Seven-shot revolvers aren’t an innovation but the 692 is lighter and narrower than most.
The three inch barrel features ports for directing powder gas upward, reducing muzzle flip. The ports are directed to the side and work well.
The 692 features fully adjustable rear sights and a ramp front sight with red insert.
The grips are Taurus’s familiar ribbed rubber design — they actually call it Ribber — and give a bit when the revolver is fired. The Ribber grip keeps the hand separated and cushioned from the steel frame and reduce felt recoil.
Each cylinder is marked for the caliber the chambers are bored for. The .357 Magnum cylinder accepts .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammunition. There are light loads, heavy loads, and shotshell available making the revolver a versatile combination.
The revolver will appeal to shooters with varied ideas concerning personal defense. A double action revolver in .38 Special is something of a baseline for home defense. This is a revolver that the occasional shooter will be able to handle reasonably well.
Those willing to master the recoil and muzzle blast of .357 Magnum will deploy a revolver with excellent wound ballistics. The .357 Magnum is a more than reasonable choice for defense against wild animals up to the largest feral dogs, some hogs, and small bears, with the proper loads.
Switch out to the 9mm cylinder and you’ll be able to use a cartridge that is, above all, economical.
Taurus supplies three seven-shot ‘moon clips’ with the 692. Snap the rimless 9mm in these clips and it’s simple enough to fire the revolver, eject the spent cases, and reload the revolver quickly. Unlike previous designs these lips are easy to load and unload.
The muzzle need not be pointed perfectly upward to eject the moon clips and loading is faster and smoother than using a revolver speedloader. In this regard the 9mm revolver is a baseline for personal defense.
I performed test firing with low recoil rounds as well as maximum effort loads that maximize the caliber. The revolver proved very docile with standard velocity .38 Special ammunition.
I drew the revolver, took aim and fired quickly, allowing the trigger to reset during recoil. The revolver handles quickly and offers excellent combat accuracy. The red insert sight, smooth trigger and Ribber grips are a good formula.
Among the heavy loads tested was Buffalo Bore 158 grain Outdoorsman. At over 1000 fps this .38 Special is a good choice for defense use in the wild.
I also tested SIG Sauer Elite 125 grain V Crown in .357 Magnum. This one is edging 1250 fps in the Taurus revolver’s three-inch barrel. Recoil is certainly there, but so is effect. The Taurus was never uncomfortable due the rubber grips separating the steel frame from the shooters hand.
After a cylinder change, 9mm Luger ammunition was tested. This combination proved a happy one. Among the loads tested was the Hornady 115 grain Critical Defense. At 1100 fps this is a reasonable choice for personal defense.
For the recoil shy and the occasional shooter, a 9mm revolver is a credible choice. As for absolute accuracy the Taurus was fired from a solid benchrest firing position.
Five-shot groups were fired with the SIG Sauer Elite .38 Special 125 grain V Crown and Fiocchi 158 grain XTP .357 Magnum. Each exhibited a five-shot group of less than two inches.
Ammunition performance, Load Velocity
Buffalo Bore 158 grain LSWCHP = 1040 fps
Buffalo Bore 158 grain SWC Outdoorsman = 1060 fps
Sig Sauer Elite 125 grain V Crown JHP = 1255 fps
Federal 180 grain JHP = 1050 fps
SIG Sauer Elite 147 grain V Crown = 931 fps
Hornady Critical Defense 115 grain FXT = 1103 fps
The Taurus 692 is nothing if not an interesting revolver. It’s well suited for personal defense in the home, forest or desert, and versatile enough to suit both seasoned and beginning shooters. Easily available at less than $500, it is well worth its price.
Specifications: Taurus Model 692 Revolver
Caliber: Two cylinders, .38 Special +P/.357 Mag and 9mm
Barrel: 3″ Ported
Capacity: 7 Rounds
Grip: Rubber Taurus ‘Ribber’ grip
Sights: Fixed Front, Adjustable Rear
Overall Length: 8.14″
Weight: 35 oz
MSRP: $639.45 (about $485 retail)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance: * * * *
This is a businesslike revolver with a modern look. The unfluted cylinder is a nice addition.
Reliability: * * * * *
What can I say? It is a revolver that always goes bang.
Ergonomics: * * * * *
The 692 fits my hand well. The main reason it gets five starts is the Ribber grips which separate the metal frame from the hand, reducing pain from recoil, while not being overlarge.
Accuracy: * * * *
The revolver is reasonably accurate for a short barrel handgun with a short sight radius. For hunting get the one of the two 6.5-inch barrel versions.
Overall: * * * * 1/2
I like it the 692 much. It’s rated down just a bit for absolute accuracy, but for the intended purpose there is little to quibble with.