The Umarex Smith & Wesson M&P TRR8 revolver doesn’t seem to be particularly well known compared to the more popular Umarex replicas. It’s an all-metal, 4.5mm BB shooter which internally looks to be very similar to the Umarex Ruger Superhawk and the Dan Wesson/WinGun series of revolvers. Like them, it features removable shell casings into which BBs are loaded. Unlike these other revolver replicas, this one shoots like a laser. It’s one of the most accurate air pistols I have ever used, and that includes a number of pellet shooters with rifled barrels. How can a BB shooter be so accurate? Honestly, I have no idea but this is a pistol worthy of attention from anyone who values precision shooting.
Real steel background
A detailed look at the background to Smith & Wesson and the development of the .327 cartridge is provided in the Umarex S&W 586/686 review. Link at the bottom of this article.
The Smith and Wesson M&P 327 TRR8 (Tactical Rail Revolver, eight-shot capacity) is an eight-shot revolver intended for military and law enforcement use (thus M&P). To keep weight down, the N series frame is made of a scandium alloy while the cylinder and five inch barrel are stainless steel (though the barrel is enclosed within an alloy shroud). The pistol is chambered for .327 Magnum and .38 special rounds and features adjustable V-notch rear sights and a replaceable foresight. Unusually for a revolver, the TRR8 features an under-barrel accessory rail and can be fitted with an upper rail. It’s a reliable, rugged and accurate handgun which has proved very popular since its introduction in 2006.
The Umarex Smith & Wesson M&P 327 TRR8
The Umarex Smith & Wesson M&P 327 TRR8 (Snappy title, eh? To save my typing finger, I’ll just call it the TRR8 from now on) is a six shot, CO2 powered revolver with removable shell casings. CO2 is stored in the grip, the rear part of which hinges backward to give access. This is a licensed replica which features S&W markings and an S&W logo on the grips. The rear sight features windage and elevation adjustment and both front and rear sights have fibre-optic inserts in place of dots. The TRR8 is available in black or polished steel finish. In some markets this pistol is sold as the “Umarex S&W Dominant Trait“.
The pistol features removable shell casings into which BBs are loaded and which shoot through a light alloy inner barrel which is sprung to provide sealing with the cylinder face. The replica is mostly metal other than for the grips. As far as I’m aware, no 6mm version of this pistol is available.
I purchased my TRR8 in as-new second-hand condition. However (and I didn’t notice this until it was pointed out to me later) the base of the shell casings are marked “Dan Wesson”. Other TRR8s seem to come with shell casings which are marked “S&W”. So, I presume the seller of my pistol got the shell casings mixed up, though I suppose it’s possible that some TRR8s come with Dan Wesson casings? Whatever the reason, it shoots very well using these shell casings.
Capacity: 6 round cylinder
Barrel length: 5.4″
Weight: 2.0 pounds
Sights: Fully adjustable rear, front and rear feature fibre-optic inserts.
Packaging and presentation 2.5/5
The Umarex TRR8 comes in a serviceable cardboard box which features the S&W logo. It is provided with a brief user manual, six shell casings, a speedloader, an upper picatinny rail (in addition to the fixed lower rail) and an allen key for rail fixing/removal. Overall, packaging and presentation are adequate but nothing special.
Visual accuracy 5/10
The original TRR8 has a 5″ barrel. Umarex claim that the replica comes with a slightly longer 5.4″ inner barrel, but for some reason the replica is 1½” longer overall than the original and visually the difference looks even greater. Just look at the pictures below – even allowing that the inner barrel is recessed from the muzzle, the replica really doesn’t look as if it has a barrel that’s just 0.4″ longer. The TRR8 is actually longer than an Umarex 586/686 with a 6″ barrel.
S&W TRR8 (left) and Umarex S&W TRR8 (right)
The cylinder is longer, smaller diameter and mounted about ½” further forward on the replica. The overall effect is slightly odd, as if a TRR8 has been stretched horizontally. Unless the Umarex TRR8 is based on some variant of the original that I’m unaware of, the profile here isn’t particularly close to the original.
The hammer, trigger guard and cylinder all look different on the replica though the grips and safety/cylinder release do closely match the original.
Overall, this seems a slightly disappointing visual replica (though I’m open to input on this – does anyone know if the Umarex replica based on some other variant of the TRR8?).
Functional accuracy 13/15
Given that this replica features removable shell casings, the Umarex TRR8 very closely replicates the function of shooting with a real revolver. The hammer, trigger, safety and cylinder release all work on the replica as per the original. The weight of this replica is also good, being within a few ounces of the weight of the original.
Loading CO2 is done by hinging back the rear part of the grip and inserting the cartridge. Piercing is done by twisting the plastic piercing tab. Loading happens cleanly with no major loss of gas. The rear part of the grip is then rotated forward, which also hides the piercing tab. The rear part of the grip has slight movement when it’s closed, and the plastic piercing tab looks and feels a bit flimsy though I didn’t have any problems with it.
BBs are loaded by operating the cylinder release, which allows the cylinder to swing out on a crane on the left side of the frame. Shell casings are then removed and BBs are pressed firmly into the nose of each casing. Shells are then reloaded into the cylinder either individually or using the supplied speedloader. The cylinder is then swung closed, and you’re good to shoot in single or double action.
One disappointment functionally is that this doesn’t replicate the eight-shot cylinder on the original. You would imagine that if S&W can fit eight of the mighty .327 cartridges in this cylinder, Umarex might have found room for eight replica shells! I’m guessing that this is for reason of parts commonality – the cylinder here looks very similar to that used on the Umarex Ruger Superhawk and is smaller diameter compared to the distinctive short, squat cylinder on the original weapon.
The sights on the Umarex TRR8 are particularly fine. The rear and foresights incorporate small fibre-optic rods which provide bright dots at front and rear. I was sceptical at first, but these really do improve target acquisition. Perhaps they’re just well suited to my ageing eyesight, but I found them bright, clear and very easy to use. Even better, the rear sight incorporates windage and elevation adjustment, so it’s possible to align the point of aim and point of impact precisely.
Six shots, 6yds, Blaster steel BBs.
Accuracy is where the TRR8 really stands out. This pistol will place BBs precisely where you want them. The light weight and decent sights help, but the TRR8 seems to have inherent accuracy that’s way ahead of most comparable pistols. This is one of the few air pistols which could benefit from a laser or red-dot sight. Or, if you want the “big game” look, what about a telescopic sight mounted on the upper rail?
Real TRR8 fitted with telescopic sight
Even though it’s a fairly long pistol, the TRR8 feels well balanced and light. The double action trigger pull is fairly long and slightly clunky but with a consistent and clean break point. The single action pull is light and crisp. The pistol fires with a satisfying bang though of course there is next to no recoil. I had no misfires or failures to fire with my TRR8 and I got around 60 full-power shots from one CO2 cartridge.
The claimed fps for the TRR8 is 400, which sounds about right. On a chilly autumn day and using fresh CO2 and Blaster steel BBs I saw an average velocity across the chrono of 388fps (with a high of 403 and a low of 380).
Six shots, 6yds, Blaster steel BBs, cowboy shooting target downloaded from UBC site (see link at the end of this review). Note the head shot. The head on this target is just over 1″ across. I can not only hit it at 6yds, I can place a BB precisely within the area. I can’t do this with any other replica air pistol I own.
I admit that I’m at a loss trying to explain the accuracy of my Umarex TRR8. The easy-to-see sights certainly help, but the BB comes from the shell casing into a light alloy, movable, smoothbore barrel which is held in place only by a light spring. Allowing for inevitable machining tolerances in the shell casing, cylinder, barrel shroud, barrel and indexing system, this just can’t be particularly accurate. And yet somehow it is. It’s the same system seen on the Dan Wesson/WinGun revolvers and on the Umarex Ruger SuperHawk, none of which (in my experience) are especially accurate (though I notice that the inner barrel on the TRR8 seems to be made from heavier gauge material than seen on these other pistols). But this isn’t just the most consistently accurate BB shooter I have ever tried, it’s also more precise than most of my pellet shooters which have rifled barrels. With the TRR8 I can place a BB precisely where I want, shot after shot. Doesn’t make any kind of sense, but that’s how it is. Have I just been lucky that a particular conjunction of assembled parts have made my TRR8 especially accurate? Is it something to do with using the Dan Wesson shell casings? Does the heavier inner barrel help? I can’t say for certain – I can only report honestly on the performance of my TRR8.
The only downside to shooting the TRR8 is the need to re-load every six shots. I suppose you just have to accept that this is part of the revolver experience, though I can’t help wishing that Umarex had replicated the eight shots of the original. Spare shell casings are easily obtainable (and Dan Wesson shells obviously fit) so at least it’s possible to have pre-loaded shells standing by.
Quality and reliability 13/15
The finish on the black TRR8 looks durable and well applied. My pistol suffered from no chipping or rubbing problems. The grip fit isn’t fantastic and the CO2 piercing tab is flimsy, but apart from this, the TRR8 looks and feels well made and put together. I am not aware of any particular problems with this model.
Overall Impression 13/15
When you pick up the Umarex TRR8, it feels like a nice replica. Good weight and balance, durable looking finish and a general feeling of quality are all notable. Then you start shooting. And you realise it’s something quite exceptional. This a better shooter than any BB gun has a right to be, and it’s better than many pellet shooting replicas. If you have any interest in air pistol target shooting, you really need to try one of these.
The Umarex TRR8 is well made and finished, a fair functional replica and it’s relatively cheap. Shame it doesn’t look more like the original and doesn’t hold eight shots. However, it is the best shooting replica airgun I own. And I own (or have owned) a lot of replica pistols. It’s well balanced, has a reasonable trigger action and very clear sights but most of all, it’s just phenomenally accurate. In fact, my TRR8 was so uncannily accurate that I hesitate to suggest that all TRR8s will be the same. But I do recommend that you urgently get hold of one of these and give it a try. If it’s anything like mine, you won’t be disappointed!
Total score: 85.5/100
Cowboy target downloaded from Umarex Boys Club forum