Guns and Gear

The Taurus 327 Defender TORO Debuts at SHOT Show

Is it possible to produce a firearm that has subtle refinements only appreciated by enthusiasts while also having broad appeal across the gun-owning population? After several range visits and a copious amount of dry fire, I think the Taurus 327 Defender TORO fills this role nicely.

Introducing the Taurus 327 Defender TORO

The 327 Defender TORO answers the question, “What features would actual shooters want in a compact revolver that is at home on the range or being carried?”

I suspect this is due, in no small part, to the Taurus staff making design decisions while being serious shooters.

There are many shooters, even revolver enthusiasts, with little to no exposure to 327 Federal. Many would consider it a niche or even dying caliber. I am excited to see Taurus expanding its 327 lines, as it is incredibly versatile. Likewise, it can safely shoot 32 short, 32 long, 32 H&R magnum, and the full-house of 327 Federal magnum loads.

(Photo by Taurus)

This means that out of one gun with factory ammo, you can shoot 32 short and long that are both inherently accurate and “near 22” levels of recoil for practice. Similarly, for recoil-sensitive shooters, it’s a “Goldilocks” 32 magnum load akin to 38 recoil with some extra muzzle blast. Or a true magnum 327 load approaching 1,400 FPS that brings the terminal performance of a magnum caliber.

Not to mention, you will also appreciate the 6th round you get over the Taurus 605 chambered in .357 Magnum.

A Culmination of Refinements by Taurus

The 327 TORO feels like a culmination of many small refinements Taurus has been integrating into its production guns. The spurless hammer improves both comfort and concealment when carrying. In addition, it is perfect for covering with your thumb as an extra safety precaution. Specifically, by preventing rearward movement of the hammer should clothing or other foreign objects impinge on the trigger during holstering.

Note the spurless hammer that’s contoured to the frame. The TORO plate sits over the rear sight of the Taurus 327 Defender.

The Hogue grips provide just enough length to fit your whole hand on the gun. This is a welcome addition when shooting the 327 magnum ammo. However, they still remain svelte enough for concealed carry.

With a proper grip, the rubber texture helps keep the gun in place during live fire. But it isn’t so tacky as to grab onto your clothes while carrying.

The Hogue grips have a very useful palm swell, but aren't so large as to feel out of place on a carry gun.

One of my favorite enhancements on the 327 (and also on many other small-frame Taurus revolvers) is the addition of a replaceable front sight. The myth that these guns are only good for close range is just that—a myth.

The ability to easily exchange the front sight with a different height (with inexpensive options already available directly from Taurus!) is an excellent feature for people like me who are sticklers for accuracy. Other manufacturers who sell snub revolvers ought to follow suit and offer replaceable front sights on their guns. And not just the models that cost $700!

The TORO Optic Mounting System

Finally, the TORO optic mounting system is simple and effective. No cover plates are needed on a TORO revolver should you choose to shoot iron sights only. In fact, besides the two unobtrusive holes on the top of the frame, there is no real difference between a TORO revolver and a stock model.

The Taurus 327 Defender TORO.
(Photo by Taurus)

The fact that you can get a true concealment revolver that is red dot-ready without a large increase in price is a breath of fresh air! Each of these individual refinements don’t seem like much. However, together, they make up a true carry revolver that, out of the box, has many features that come with significant aftermarket cost on other guns.

Shooting the 327 Defender

The 327 TORO came with a better trigger than other small-frame Taurus revolvers I have shot in the past. While I did not get a quantitative measurement of trigger weight, it is similar to other compact revolvers. And it certainly did not hinder accuracy.

I would describe the improvement as smoothness rather than reduced weight. Aftermarket mainsprings are already available to reduce trigger weight. However, a smoother, heavier trigger is much better than a rough, but slightly lighter, one.

Yes, this gun is double-action only, and that is perfect! An armed citizen with a double action revolver should be comfortable and competent firing their carry gun double action. Great accuracy is possible with a DA trigger. Likewise, the ease of dry fire with a double-action revolver makes practice easy.

Early sight-in groups up close at 5 yards consistently printed around 1 inch, assuming I did my part. This was while shooting 32 long all the way up to 327 magnums. The new 3-inch gun is likely no more mechanically accurate than the original 2-inch model. But the longer sight radius helped tighten my groups a bit, and adding a red dot did the same again.

After the first range session, I installed the TORO plate and a red dot to the Taurus 327 Defender. Neither came loose during the rest of the testing, even with magnum ammunition.

All in all, I fired over 250 rounds through the 327 in the course of my review. While this doesn’t seem like much (and it really isn’t), over half of that was 100-grain Federal 327 ammo. This includes firing 60 rounds as quickly as I could eject cases and load up.

I got the gun hot enough that I didn’t want to touch the barrel. Both the gun and the optic mounting system worked as expected.

Initial groups with iron sights at 5 yards just getting used to the gun.

Carrying the Revolver

The question “Does it take Glock mags?” has become almost a cliche of firearm product releases. However, it represents a customer’s desire for readily available, inexpensive, and reliable aftermarket support for firearms. Despite the new release, after purchasing a 327 TORO, there’s already a slew of high-quality products in stock and available.

If you plan to carry your 327, the Taurus website already stocks the excellent ambidextrous Dark Star Gear Apollo holster. Also, to take advantage of the red dot capability of the 3-inch 327, there are many compatible red dots available. Not to mention, Phlster has you covered with a red dot-compatible holster. I used both of these holsters myself during testing.

Besides simply dropping loose ammo into the cylinder, there are two primary ways to load this revolver. Specifically speed strips and speed loaders.

I used the excellent Tuff Products tuff strips (with either 6- or 8-round capacity), as well as HKS speed loaders. Both of which are readily available online.

In the middle of a reload using the Tuff Products Tuff Strips. Inexpensive and easy to carry, these are good to have around for any revolver.

Additionally, most parts for the 856 and 605 Taurus revolvers are available to get your 327 Defender TORO properly equipped. This includes grips, mainsprings, front sights, and other spare parts.

Final Thoughts

Nothing is perfect, and even with the refinements on this model, I have some criticisms. For me, the front sight’s tritium dot sits much too low to be very useful. If I could choose, I would pick a high-viz front sight only and save the money on the tritium.

The front sight is easy to pick up, but you can see how low the tritium dot sits on the sight, making it difficult to see when aligned on target.

I also experienced some slight dragging of the ejector rod after punching out spent brass. I have personally never had that issue on any of the 2-inch Taurus guns. But I also felt something similar on a 3-inch 856 TORO that I own. While I would prefer to have no issues, I was able to take the cylinder out and clean the spring-loaded components easily. This seemed to solve the problem.

In conclusion, the Taurus 327 Defender TORO brings a lot to the table. It’s compact enough to be a viable carry gun, while features like the spurless hammer offer enhanced comfort and concealment.

In addition, it offers a variety of sighting options and calibers. This means it’s ready for the most recoil-sensitive shooters all the way up to shooters wanting a true magnum load. Finally, it hits the ground running with ancillary gear and spare parts in stock and ready to order.

The Taurus 327 Defender TORO is at home inside the waistband, in a safe next to the bed, as a companion in the woods, or as a range gun.

For more information, please visit TaurusUSA.com.

Taurus 327 Defender TORO Revolver Specs

Caliber 327 Federal
Capacity 6 RDS
Action Type DAO
Firing System Hammer
Front Sight Removable Front Sight
Rear Sight Fixed
Grip Hogue
Frame Size Small
Barrel Length 3.00 in.
Overall Length 7.50 in.
Overall Height 4.80 in.
Overall Width 1.40 in.
Revolver Weight 23.52 oz.
Frame Material Stainless Steel
Barrel Material Stainless Steel
Cylinder Material Stainless Steel
Frame Finish Matte Black
Barrel Finish Matte Black
Cylinder Finish Matte Black
MSRP $462.99

Disclaimer: Taurus provided the 327 Defender TORO for testing and evaluation. However, the company had no input or impact on the author’s findings or reporting.

In the middle of range session, one with a variety of ammo and using the iron sights.

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