Smith & Wesson is without a doubt one of the United States’ oldest and most experienced firearm manufacturers. And it’s not very difficult to see why — the company has been in the gunsmithing business for nearly 170 years. That’s plenty of time to perfect their firearm designs. And while the company does build a number of semi-automatic pistols and rifles, it is the company’s revolvers that stand out in particular as some of the best in existence.
The diminutive Model 327 is based on Smith & Wesson’s N-frame revolvers, a proprietary large-sized revolver frame that is robust enough to handle some of the stiffest magnum cartridges, including the .357 Magnum which the Model 327 is chambered in, as well as other hot cartridges like the .44 Magnum and the 10mm Auto.
Though the Model 327’s N-frame revolver is considered a large frame, the Model 327 is actually a quite compact revolver. Don’t let its small size fool you though — the Model 327 can chamber an astounding eight .357 Magnum cartridges despite its size.
Although the Model 327 chambers the powerful .357 Magnum cartridge, it is also able to safely chamber and fires the .38 Special cartridge, shorter rimmed pistol cartridges that shoots a bullet with the same diameter as the .357 but produces less recoil. For newer shooters that want a more comfortable shooting experience, or those that want a more affordable plinker cartridge, the .38 Special is a good choice.
The Model 327 is part of Smith & Wesson’s Performance Center collection, a lineup of accurized firearms that are a step above stock configuration. According to Smith & Wesson Performance Center models feature “hand-cutting and fitting to fine-tuning for precision, these firearms are top performers. Products from the Performance Center are the ultimate expression of old-world craftsmanship blended with modern technology.”
In the case of the Model 327, a number of components are improved. Both the cylinder and barrel are titanium alloys, and therefore lighter and stronger than stock steel components. The revolver’s frame is a scandium alloy, a decision that also reduces weight without sacrificing strength.
The Model 327 is indeed a high-quality revolver, though not exactly cheap. It retails on the Smith & Wesson website for over $1,300. The upside though is the revolver is backed by Smith & Wesson’s lifetime service policy, so you’ll never have to worry about buying a lemon.
Smith & Wesson has designed an excellent revolver that still packs a hefty punch. For those who are in the market for a compact and very light-weight, quality revolver, look no further than the Model 327.
Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer based in Europe. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.