Whether or not you’re a fan of revolvers, it’s hard not to love magnums, at least in concept. Of course, not all magnums are created equally, so if you’re going to send time running a big bore gun you’d be smart to get one made for dedicated use. The Taurus Raging Hunter is one such revolver. This model is offered in a variety of chamberings including 44 Magnum, so of course, we chose that one to review.
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What is the Taurus Raging Hunter?
The Taurus Raging Hunter is a big bore revolver made by Taurus with hunting in mind. But just because it was originally made for hunters doesn’t mean that’s its only purpose. The team at Taurus took the time to design the gun to be comfortable to shoot while delivering reliable performance and solid accuracy, meaning it can be used by anyone interested in big bores. In fact, it’s offered in multiple calibers, including:
- 357 Magnum
- 44 Magnum
- 454 Casull
- 460 Smith and Wesson
Barrel lengths vary between 5.12 inches and 8.37 inches, depending on the model. Taurus produces the gun in solid black or as a two-tone with a silver frame and black barrel and cylinder. Basically, there’s something for everyone.
Taurus’ website description of the Raging Hunter:
Winner of the 2019 American Hunter Handgun of the Year Golden Bullseye Award, the Taurus Raging Hunter is a next-generation, big-bore revolver that’s first in innovation-and built to last. A fun and effective alternative for short- to medium-range hunting scenarios, this 44 Magnum, six-shot revolver is available in Matte Black or Two Tone finish. Its revolutionary angular barrel design cuts down on overall weight, while its factory tuned porting and gas expansion chamber reduces muzzle lift for quicker target acquisition. Cushioned insert grips ensure a comfortable, controllable shooting experience.
The Raging Hunter chambered in 44 Magnum is available with a barrel length of either 5.12 inches, 6.75 inches, or 8.37 inches. For the purpose of this review, we ran the longest barreled version in matte black.
Raging Hunter Features
This particular model is a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) with a 6-round capacity. With an overall length of 15.0 inches, an overall height of 6.50 inches, and a width of 1.80 inches, it’s a rather large gun, especially for a handgun. It has an empty weight of 55.00 ounces which is, yes, around 3.5 pounds, give or take. Of course, it isn’t meant for concealed carry or even daily carry. This is a gun designed for the purpose of hunting or target shooting.
The barrel of the gun is stainless steel. It has a 1 in 18.75 right-hand twist. This gives the revolver a heavy, durable barrel capable of producing accurate shots at a variety of distances.
For customization purposes, the Raging Hunter has a Picatinny rail ahead of the cylinder. That makes it simple to mount red dots or other accessories if the shooter chooses to do so. Other features include a ported barrel for slightly softer, flatter shooting and a matte black oxide finish.
The gun ships from the factory with an adjustable rear sight and fixed front sight.
How does it shoot?
For the purposes of range time I ran a variety of ammunition through the gun. Loads used included:
- Hornady Custom 44 Magnum 240 grain XTP (eXtreme Terminal Performance)
- Federal American Eagle 44 Magnum 240 grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point)
- Winchester 44 Magnum 240 grain JSP (Jacketed Soft Point)
- Underwood 44 Magnum 245 grain FMJ FN (Full Metal Jacket Flat Nose)
I took shots from the bench, while shooting offhand, and seated on the ground using shooting sticks. Distances ranged from 10 yards to 50 yards.
The Raging Hunter is surprisingly comfortable to shoot. Part of that is due to the soft rubber grip sleeve Taurus incorporated into its design, but it’s largely due to its overall specifications. The heavier weight does its part to mitigate felt recoil and lessen muzzle rise, which, in turn, improves accuracy. Barrel length is also useful for those reasons and with a longer barrel you have the opportunity to squeeze every bit of velocity and energy out of the 44 Magnum round.
When you first consider firing the Raging Hunter, you might hesitate due to its magnum chambering and overall size, but in reality, it’s a pleasure to shoot. The same cannot be said for all magnum revolvers.
This is a DA/SA gun, but even when running double-action, it’s fun to shoot. The trigger is good out of the box and has a clean break and brief re-set. In fact, it might be the best Taurus trigger I’ve ever used.
Shooting from the bench at 10 yards it’s exceptionally easy to nail a single-hole, five-shot group. Those groups do spread out a bit with distance, but right out to 50 yards the gun is precise enough that you can be confident of an ethical shot if you’re hunting. Hornady’s ammunition produced the tightest, most reliable groups.
There were no failures of any kind through hundreds of rounds. Overall, the Raging Hunter delivers across the board as a great revolver for whatever application you prefer.
Is the Raging Hunter good for hunting?
As its name suggests, the revolver was made for hunting purposes. The longer barrel is good for stability and accuracy and also makes it possible to take longer shots. That’s great whether you’re chasing deer, predators, or pests like feral hogs. It’s a bit of a challenge to run precisely offhand, so I suggest either taking shots from a rest or shooting sticks, or bracing against something such as a tree.
The 44 Magnum itself is fantastic for hunting all manner of animals. Take care to use ammunition made for hunting; just because it’s a magnum gun doesn’t mean you should ignore ethics and use target rounds. Yes, this is a gun that can punch big holes in things, but you still need to use ammunition suited to the purpose.
Is the Raging Hunter good for target shooting?
With its long barrel and overall bulk, the Raging Hunter is best for bench shooting. It’s not impossible to run offhand, but it’s definitely a bigger challenge. Shooting from either a sandbag or Ransom Rest will give you the best groups while also sparing your hands and arms from exhaustion.
This gun is a great option for anyone interested in using a magnum revolver for putting holes in paper or making steel sing at longer ranges.
Should you get one?
Guns are purpose-driven, meaning each exists for a specific use. Sometimes, that use is fun. There’s something enjoyable about the tremendous boom of a 44 Magnum, and it’s all the more rewarding when it’s such a fantastically accurate gun.
If you’re a hunter, this gun is well worth a closer look and serious consideration. In order to tote the gun on a hunt, you’ll need to find a holster of some sort for it. If you choose to carry it in your pack, it should still be holstered to protect the trigger from inadvertent interference by outside objects.
So, should you get a Taurus Raging Hunter in 44 Magnum (or any caliber)? If it’s something you’ll put to good use, the answer to getting guns is always a resounding yes. After all, you can never have too many guns, and everyone should own at least one magnum revolver. Big bores do make the best booms.
Features of the Taurus Raging Hunter include:
- Dual lockup cylinder
- Rubber grips
- Ported barrel
- Picatinny rail for accessories
- Manufacturer: Taurus
- Model: Raging Hunter
- Caliber: 44 Magnum
- Capacity: 6
- Front Sight: Fixed
- Rear Sight: Adjustable
- Action Type: Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA)
- Frame Size: Large
- Overall Length: 15.0 inches
- Overall Height: 6.5 inches
- Overall Width: 1.80 inches
- Barrel Length: 8.37 inches (reviewed)
- Overall Weight: 55 ounces, empty
- Twist Rate: 1 in 18.75, RH
- Grooves: 5
- Frame Material: Alloy steel
- Cylinder Material: Alloy steel
- Barrel Material: Stainless steel
- Frame Finish: Matte black oxide
- Cylinder Finish: Matte black oxide
- Barrel Finish: Matte Stainless
- Barrel Shroud: Black anodized