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.
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, white-outlined 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.
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.
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 GalleryofGuns.com.