Taurus Raging Bull .454 Casull Review

454SS2M

NOTE: This product review was made possible by GunsForSale.com.  To get up-to-date information on where to find cheap revolvers for sale, please visit GunsForSale.com.

I’ve always been fond of large caliber revolvers. So when Steve suggested I review the Taurus Raging Bull in .454 Casull I was all for it. Now this is not your usual .454 but a snub nose with a 2 ¼ inch barrel!

Granted this is not a daily carry revolver by any means but this type does have it’s place. The primary use for a revolver such as this is protection from predatory animals in Alaska as well as parts of the lower 48 states.

Many hunters carry a large caliber handgun as backup to the primary rifle. Of course there are campers and fisherman in areas with large bear populations that have revolvers such as this for protection. Certainly the uses for a very large revolver are limited but this gun will take care of most any predators that cross your path.

Ballistics chart for the .454 Casull— Link

Anyone who chooses to carry a revolver in this caliber may not want to shoot it enough to be proficient with it, which is a big mistake. It won’t do the shooter any good to carry a potent revolver if you don’t hit your target.Practice is mandatory regardless of the recoil if you intend to seriously use this revolver for protection. One alternative is practice some with full house rounds with most practice using 45 Colt ammunition. Any 45 Colt ammunition will work fine in this revolver.

Speaking of hitting your target I put together a video for those who have requested this addition to some of our reviews. I hope you enjoy it.

Taurus Raging Bull .454

Just to add some narrative for the video after I shot the first round I thought I might find the spent round in one of the bottles. That was not to be. As I mentioned in the video the bullet must have yawed left or right after exploding that last bottle. As you can see it had plenty of energy left when it hit the last bottle. Now you may say the Taurus didn’t seem to recoil that much but then again I’ve never been recoil sensitive having shot so many large caliber revolvers. Believe me it did push back hard with that 2 1/4 inch barrel even if it is ported.
The rounds I fired were Magtech 260 grain jacketed flat nose. The stats of this round are 1800 FPS with 1800 foot pounds of energy! Now that’s impressive. One other note is the lack of a big boom on the audio.These cameras just don’t convey the deep and very loud report.

Something happened right after I left the range. I stopped in our local meat market to pickup a few things.The market is about 1/4 mile away from the range. When I walked in the owner said “Phil what kind of big ol rifle were you shooting!” Of course I grinned and told him it was a snub nose revolver. Of course he looked at me with the I don’t believe you look. I said well come out to the car. I showed him the Taurus Raging Bull to which his response was you have to be kidding! Nope, wanna shoot it? No way after the racket that thing made! I got a real kick out of it and I hope you can appreciate the circumstances as well.

Stats

Model: 454SS2M
Caliber: .454 CASULL
Capacity: 5
Barrel Length: 2-1/4″
Frame: Large
Finish: Matte Stainless Steel
Weight: 48 oz
Front Sight: Fixed/interchangeable fiber optic tubes
Rear Sight: Fixed
Safety: Transfer Bar
MSRP: $974.00

This Taurus is built like a tank! Overall it’s larger than say a S&W model 29. The cylinder holds five rounds of either .454 or .45 Colt depending on the shooters intended use of the revolver. It has two cylinder locking devices to strengthen the revolvers lockup under the 60,000 psi pressure of the .454 Casull.

The Raging Bull has the usual rear lockup as well as the front latch pictured above. Besides the standard cylinder star pin there are two small pins under the star to add greater stability for the cylinder star itself. Lockup is very snug with no play in the cylinder. The action is of the transfer bar type with a coil spring inside the grip.The only downside I can see is the front latch appears to be a MIM part. This is not a piece I would want in anything other than stainless steel.

Using both thumbs at once it’s very easy to release both latches for reloading. The rear sight is a large deep notch that provides plenty of width to view the front fiber optic sight and make adjustments to the sight picture. As mentioned earlier it also has three ports on either side of the front sight.These ports are effective in reducing recoil.

Range Time

I didn’t take the usual several hundred rounds of ammunition I normally would for a gun review, which I’m sure you can all understand. I’m not recoil sensitive but I’m not a glutton for punishment either!

My ammunition for this session included 20 rounds of Magtech .454 Casull 260 grain flat nose jacketed bullets. I also had 20 rounds of Federal 225 grain lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoints. These are identical to the old FBI load of the late 1980’s in 38 special. I also took along some handloads using a 250 grain lead semi-wadcutter. All together I fired 60 rounds during this session.

With the exception of the rounds fired in the video from 7 yards all shooting was done from 10 and 15 yards. Having shot the S&W 500 making a comparison between these two rounds I have to say the recoil is sharper with the .454. The .500 tends to have a big push instead. In other words the .454 has more felt recoil for me than the .500 does. With the Raging Bull if you have a decent grip and don’t lock your elbows the recoil is not terribly punishing. One design feature that helps is the red material in the rear of the grip which is much softer than the rest of the grip providing a cushion which is very helpful when shooting full house loads.

The groups I fired varied depending on the ammunition used. When firing the .454 Casull rounds the groups at 15 yards were right at 4 inches. Firing the milder Federal 45 Colt loads the groups shrank to an average of two inches. My handloads gave the best group at just under 2 inches at 15 yards. All rounds were fired single action with the exception of those in the last part of the video.

Conclusion

The day following my range session I thought my hand would be sore but it really wasn’t. I think this was a result of using a grip which allowed some recoil to push back into my arms rather than holding a deathgrip with locked elbows and wrist. The grip material helped as well. I believe this is also the reason you see videos of people shooting the .454 Casull and the gun seems to climb 4 or more inches. Relax a bit; it will save you from being miserable shooting this combination of .454 in a snub nose revolver such as this.

I found the double action trigger pull to be a bit heavy while the single action was very good with a crisp release. The hammer has the usual lock at the rear if you choose to use it.

The sportsmen who travel in areas where large predatory animals are fairly numerous will have to decide for themselves which gun would suit them best. This revolver will always be on your hip and very fast to get into action whereas a carbine, while fairly fast, will require the owner to reach for it and take up valuable time.

I have to say I would feel comfortable carrying this revolver for protection from four legged or two legged predators whether in the hunting woods, camping or along a stream while fishing.

One last note on a good holster for this and other guns used in the field for hunting, fishing etc. It has an open top but having been fitted for each gun it holds the weapon snuggly in place. I’ve been using it for over a year now when hunting or general range use. Check this link to view this holster from Erik Little who owns Combat Gunleather.

Related

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • furtium

    “As far as I know Taurus is the only company that makes a snub nose in a caliber this powerful.” What about Ruger’s Super Redhawk Alaskan .454? I have one and it has a 2.5 inch barrel.

    • Other Steve

      As far as he knew.

    • Phil White

      furtium,

      Yep your right the Super Redhawk does have a 2 1/2 inch barrel. Perhaps I should have said the Taurus has the shortest barrel of the .454 revolvers at 2 1/4 inches.The Taurus is 4 ounces heavier at 48 ounces.

  • Sarah

    Look, I’m not a gun guru, nor am I an Alaskan native. But exactly how often do “large predatory animals” purposely put themselves in contact with humans? I assume in Alaska, you’re referring to grizzlies, wolves, lynx, and maybe wolverines? Well, three out of four of those animals are pretty elusive, and I’m pretty sure when bears hear you coming, they get out of the way. This makes it sound like people need something like this “or else.” Sorry if this sounds like I’m an anti-gun liberal with no business jumping in. I guess I am – just asking.

    • vyse.04

      But exactly how often do “large predatory animals” purposely put themselves in contact with humans?

      If you’re out in bear country for example, I would hate to rely on hopes and dreams to keep the “bad” ones away. All it would take is one encouter without a means to protect yourself to show the error in not being prepared. I feel that handguns like these are primarily marketed towards those who could face danger in the woods/nature (i.e. guides, law enforcement, rangers, etc.), and they are not likely to leave things to chance. Like all firearms, it is not a matter of carrying 24/7 or die a horrible death, but rather a choice of it being better to be safe than sorry.

      • charles222

        FWIW, bear attacks are honestly pretty rare. That said, they are potentially extremely dangerous animals…but I’d suggest bear mace instead of a firearm. Besides not killing the animal (which strikes me as pretty irrelevant when you’re defending yourself, but is important to some people :p) it’s also much easier to employ effectively. Bears are EXTREMELY fast, strong, and large; landing a lethal shot is not easy if one is charging you at the short ranges that could be expected in a bear attack. Making the bear literally run through a cloud of what is effectively tear gas strikes me as a much better option, especially as bears have ‘wet’ noses that bear mace is expressly designed to aggravate. No need to attempt to target vital organs with time for one or two shots in a potentially +1,000 pound animal, there.

      • Phil White

        vyse.04,

        Well said and I would certainly rather be safe than sorry. I also figure if bush pilots, guides etc. carry them with the gear they keep in case they go down in the wilderness they have more experience with dangerous game than we do.

      • Alaskan

        I live in a small town in Alaska,the world famous Kenai River runs through town. GREAT fishing.
        Last summer I was fishing and it was about 9:30ish (doesn’t get dark until about 10-11pm depending on the month) I had been fishing for a couple of hours and decided to pack it in.

        Bear in mind (laughing) that i was fishing almost right under the main bridge into town. There is traffic going over this bridge almost ALL the time,so there’s always some kind of noise. The Visitors Center is not more than 75 feet away from the river (down to the water on nice metal stairs and a good sized metal boardwalk)
        I was about to head up and two Alaskan Native guys were telling me “watch out,there’s a bear up there”
        I called it into the State Troopers (someone had already notified them) and their detachment isn’t more than a 1/8th mile away.

        I had to go into the local Safeway to get some more fishing weights. When I was leaving town,there was a city cop parked at the end of the bridge (actually on the pathway) with his lights on. Next day in the local paper “Grizzly sighted at Visitor’s Center”
        So I can see why a gun company would come out with this kind of revolver. Your hands might be full with a tackle box and a rod and getting to a shotgun in a sling,could take too much time,and time is of the essence when a bear is charging you.

        You might have to retreat backwards while you empty 5 shots,and then find some cover.. (hopefully it’s bear proof)

        • Phil White

          Alaskan,

          It’s a good thing you got out of the area before the bear showed up! I have a friend who’s a retired Alaska State Trooper and he has told me some pretty scary stories about bear encounters. He carried a Springfield M1A1 national match to cover people and bears.He worked the conservation side of the Troopers. Now they issue AR’s and well good luck with that on a bear!
          There’s just no guarantee any gun is going to drop a bear quickly. Better to have a handgun in .454 or .500 than a shotgun or whatever you can’t get your hands on because you have tackle etc. in your hands as you mentioned.
          I live in north central Missouri and we have Mountain Lions here so very few people walk the woods without some protection. One that was shot had been tagged and it came here all the way from Colorado I believe it was! My barber is a big dear hunter and has a picture of one his motion camera caught.

      • W

        AR15′s in bear country? JC, say it aint so Phil…

        That is baffling considering the wide variety of AR10′s available right now for a reasonable price. I would rather carry a M1 garand than a AR15 in alaska. This is probably a moot point for a rifle sitting in a patrol car, but any soldier that has served in Alaska or any other place with arctic climate knows the limitations of the AR15 design. When kept dry, the M1 or M1A is adequately reliable.

        Alaska, that is a excellent point with the tackle box or slinged long rifle/shotgun. I don’t know about you guys, but i would rather place my life in the hands of a gun than bear mace. I can certainly see the practical application of a snub nosed large caliber revolver.

        • Phil White

          W,

          An AR in .223 was what I had trouble with using. The .458 SOCOM or 7.62 AR10 would work fine caliber wise. I agree an M1A1 would be more reliable in those harsh conditions. In fact while rare I did have a “Tanker” version of the Garand which was very handy.
          It’s just my opinion but I can’t imagine a mother bear with cubs being deterred with mace/pepper spray. Now I know people won’t react like a bear but I’ve hosed down suspects with an entire large can of 10% pepper spray and in the mental state they were in they just kept coming. At that point it went hand to hand. That may not be a valid comparison but it’s one I’m very familiar with at least on the human side. Here is a link to a short article on using pepper spray on different bears and the reactions. http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF12/1245.html
          Between the two I’ll choose the Taurus with that 260 grain bullet!

      • W

        yeah phil, im with you there. At least i have a fighting chance with a firearm. Ill place my life in the hands of something that is capable of taking the life from an assailant…

        • Phil White

          W,

          Absolutely true— I want something that gives me the best chance and that’s a weapon like the Taurus or other large caliber gun. Any other method has to many what if’s to trust with my life or those I’m with.

    • Jeff

      I think the idea is a carry sidearm to shoot YOURSELF before the bear can rip your guts out. :-)

      • Phil White

        Jeff,

        That’s like the old joke of carrying a .22 short to shoot the person you’re with in the knee so you can get away.

    • H.L. Fahnestock

      Outside of the “fun” factor of guns like this for those of us who like the challenge of mastering a firearm with substantial recoil. The “intended market” is for those whose treks to the back country may put them in proximity to “large predatory animals”. While it is true that most animals are afraid of humans, some man have either lost their fear of humans as we encroach on their habitat or they may put themselves in contact with humans while seeking an easy meal from a dump or garbage can. However it might happen, guns like this are like insurance. You don’t know you need it… till you need it. Although you could always go with “I don’t have to be fast, just faster than the guy I went fishing with”. ;-)

      • Phil White

        H.L.,

        There are certainly a good number of documented cases of Mountain Lions attacking humans as we encroach on their territory. I would imagine the same goes for bears during the Salmon run.

    • ThomasD

      Close encounters with grizzlies are a commonplace in Glacier National Park – I know I spent two years there, bumped into a few and had a couple friends mauled once. Other areas nearby (Bob Marshall wilderness) also host a fair number, but they tend to be a bit more shy.

      North Idaho has a few grizzlies, and in recent years a significant increase in the wolf population. Cougar attacks are rare, but still a real possibility. Trail runners have been killed by cougars in Colorado, and even coyotes in Canada (northern coyotes can easily exceed 40 pounds and they work in packs.)

      Fishing in Alaska often means being side by side with brown bears. They like to be where the fish are too – and sometimes don’t appreciate you taking their prime spots. In other places in Alaska the black bears are considered more dangerous/erratic than the brown bears (eg. Wrangell-St. Elias park and preserve.)

      As far as the Raging Bull having a sharper kick, that might have something to do with the lower overall weight as compared to the S&W 500.

    • Corsair8X

      Even in my suburbia we have Coyotes which are getting quite large and unafraid of humans as they once were. And they work in packs.

      • Phil White

        Corsair8X,

        There have been a good number of stories of Coyotes mating with Wolves creating a large and rather aggressive animal.I understand from articles I’ve read these hybrids do travel in packs. On the midnight shift I use to run into Coyotes all the time and that’s in the midwest! I’ve even had a few calls of Coyotes in residential areas. I have had to put a couple of them down. Some have been skittish while others—- well not so much since they were in shotgun range and not running away.

    • Phil White

      Sarah,

      I’d say bears are the primary purpose of guns like this. There was a news story a couple of years ago of a Moose attack on a college campus. It killed one person I believe before it was put down.
      Anyway, the gun companies purpose for these types of guns are survival. Bush pilots keep them in the survival packs they carry just in case. Fisherman do as well in Alaska where bears and humans have closer contact than other areas of the country.
      There are other problem areas where humans are encroaching on some of these predators territory.

    • Kent J

      I live in Montana in black bear country. I’ve never seen one out in the woods while hiking or mountain bike riding, but I have seen several in town. In fact, a month or so ago two students here got in trouble for killing one with a bow near the university. So, they do come near people quite regularly. Our garbage is a good source of food for them and people are building houses in the middle of the bears’ homes all the time.

      For what it’s worth, bear spray is a better alternative than a handgun if bears are a concern for you. Statistically people with bear spray are more likely to survive an attack from a bear than people with guns. I do like guns, but when out in bear country I’ll take the spray.

      • Phil White

        Kent,

        I’ve never come up against a bear and have no desire to but I’m leery of bear spray. If it doesn’t work you are in big trouble since they can charge at what near 30 MPH? Heck I’d probably have both spray and a gun :-)
        The reason I’m somewhat leery of the spray is bears with cubs. I don’t know if anything but a large caliber gun would stop one.Someone with more experience can probably chime in with some answers to that scenario.

    • Duray

      I grew up in rural Alaska, and I’ve seen bears all over. Usually they leave you alone, and usually they run away, but once in a great while one decides to chew on somebody. I prefer a longer barrel so it’s good for more than just bears, but this is ok for a niche gun.

      • Phil White

        Duray,

        It’s always good to hear from those who live up there and have first hand experience with the guns and the bears:-)

  • Mu

    Do you have any idea how much energy is left from the “nominal” 1800 ft-lb when fired from a ported snub-nose?

    • Phil White

      Mu,

      The ballistics tables I found don’t list a barrel length for some reason. Here is a link to a ballistics table for various .454 loads. The 7.5 inch barrel can go up to 1900 fps. As far as fps from this 2 1/4 I really can’t answer that one with certainty. I would be guessing at best.

      http://www.ballistics101.com/454_casull.php

  • Alexander_Degtyarev

    What barrel length on that .500 you compared it with? The pushy versus snappy recoil may have a lot more to do with that than with the caliber, if the lengths are significantly different.

    • Phil White

      Alexander_Degtyarev,

      One was a Taurus with a 5 inch barrel while the second was a 7 1/2. I’ve talked with a couple of other shooters who noted the same thing however. I certainly can’t say you’re wrong with the idea of a significant barrel difference having an effect. Whether a 5 or 7.5 would make that much difference is pretty subjective.

  • SpudGun

    While I have no opinion whatsover about lugging around 3lbs of Taurus handgun in the off chance I’m attacked by a bear, I can offer you some constructive advice on your shooting video -

    1. Get a friend to help you with the camera work, they can look through the view finder and tell you where to stand for the best shot.

    2. Look at other videos on You Tube and see how they’re done in terms of the information conveyed and framing of the subject. The first shot of just your head popping up from underneath the frame with a rather dull brick wall behind you was extremely poor. Hickok45 has some decent vids on You Tube, check them out.

    3. Throw in some close ups of the firearm you are reviewing. Just put it down on the bench and film it close up from several angles, then edit it together.

    4. You speak clearly and succintly, however, your presenting style lacks a bit of ‘pizzazz’ – don’t be afraid to use a bit of humor or express an opinion. However, don’t sweat it too much, your personality will seep through the more videos you do.

    5. The more you do, the more you learn and the better you get – so keep practising with your video camera whenever you go to the range – especially if you can get a buddy to come along – then you can film each other.

    Hope this helps and thanks for the review.

    • Phil White

      SpudGun,

      Thanks for the feedback! I was hoping someone would give me an objective evaluation. You have some good ideas and I will take them to heart. This is the first video I’ve done which wasn’t just for my use.I was alone on filming this one. I’ll get better at it because an “ok” video is not good enough for me!
      Glad you liked the review:-)

      • JT

        One other piece of advice I could offer is to use a clip-on mic, also known as a lavalier or “lav” mic (wired or wireless, although the wireless allows for more unrestricted movement). The mic on the camera picks up ALL other sounds in addition to your narration, so your voice is competing with wind noise (evident on the video). This is obvious when you’re turning away from the camera while sighting the paper shots; a lav mic would present your voice the same regardless of whether you’re facing the camera.

        I also second the suggestion that you take a friend to act as a camera op – there’s a reason most news crews have reporter AND shooter.

        Second the “glamor shots” of the firearm; in this video, you’d also benefit from some after-shot closeups of the water bottles’ destruction.

        Overall, though, I think you did a really good job for the first time. As SpudGun said, the more you do, the better you’ll get – so don’t let the lens intimidate you!

        • Phil White

          JT,

          I know what you mean about wind noise. There were several days I couldn’t even try to video at the range because of the screaming wind noise. The camera I have is a pretty cheap point and shoot type that happens to do video so the lapel mic probably won’t work.
          In order to move up to an HD with the external mic capability I’ll have to do some saving on that one:-) I couple of months ago I bought a good Nikon DSLR and it’s certainly made a big difference in my pics. No doubt a good video camera will do the same.
          I started with this video after some of you requested it. It will just take a little time to get a camera appropriate for this work.It sounds like you have some experience with them any ideas on brand or type? Thanks for the idea on the mic.

      • JT

        I’ve been out of the industry for a while now (when I left, our crews were using BetaPro and tape edit suites, now using HD Sony with digital video memory packs and desktop editing – yeah, I got out before the digital revolution).

        Most decent comsumer-level HD cams that are equipped with an external mic connection and auto/manual-focus capability would probably fit your bill and it would be nice if it had a “manual-iris” adjustability (sometimes called “backlight compensation”). I don’t know which HD consumer cameras have these features, so I can’t make any make/model recommendations, however these are features that can help in many circumstances where real-world conditions can hobble a shoot.

        Many’s the time an auto-focus will “search” for focus during the shot; better to lock it down once set. Also, depending on background and lighting conditions caused by dark treeline or bright sky, the lighting may change during a shot in an undesirable way.

        Wish I could help you more on the make/model info, but I’d venture to say that a camera with these features and built by a major manufacturer like Canon, Sony, or Nikon would be a good bet.

        You’ve got a good start, though, Phil. Keep making those videos and each one will be better than the one before!

        • Phil White

          JT,

          Thanks very much JT. This information is very helpful. I have had some difficulty with changing light conditions which drown out the person being filmed while enhancing the background. Locking the focus down sounds like an important consideration. This is also the first time I’ve edited video so that took a bit of time to figure out.
          I’ll keep working on them and as with guns practice more:-)

      • fw226

        Phil: one option is to buy a lapel mic and a small digital recorder, and then dub it over the video in editing – even the plain windows movie maker should let you do that and get it synced up.

        • Phil White

          fw226,

          I may just try that. I use a Mac so I’ve been using IMovie which has more features than the basic Windows movie maker program.

  • Davey

    Here in western Wyoming, in genuine grizzly country, Taurus Trackers sell pretty well for the budget conscious. Yeah, Freedom Arms is nearby, but Trackers appeal to folks. Unfortunately, they’re pretty notorious for having cylinder timing issues out of the box. I asked about them at one gun shop and they admitted that they were having to return about 30% of the purchases. Cylinder timing is such an easy thing to QA check before they leave the factory. You’d think that they’d check it, but you’d apparently be wrong.

  • Davey

    For Phil White:
    Sorry, but coyotes and wolves do NOT mate. (Both are local to me). Wolves and coyotes are deadly enemies and a wolves kill ‘yotes on sight. The population of coyotes in the Yellowstone area has dropped substantially since the introduction of wolves. So – stories of wolf-yote hybrids are sheer fantasy.

    On the subject of dangerous wildlife, there is currently a female mountain lion and her cubs hunting in one of the outer subdivisions of Jackson, WY. Cats aren’t afraid to consider people as prey. They’re track record for killing people is pretty well established. Wolves, not so much. I think there are two recorded cases of wolves killing people in the entire lower 48.

    • Phil White

      Davey,

      I didn’t think they did either. They had a special on National Geographic a few months ago. The show dealt with various animals and the reduced habitat from people moving into the areas these animals normally frequent. One part of the show dealt with Coyotes and Wolves starting to mate in areas of the northeast. From what they reported this is the only area this has happened so far.
      Oh yea the big cats aren’t afraid of us at all. I think that’s especially true if they have cubs. There have been a lot of documentaries about mountain lions hunting people on bike and walking trails in California and other places around the southwest.

    • Ben

      NYS DEC has genetic data showing mating between wolves and coyotes.

      • Phil White

        Ben,

        The information you refer to is also talked about in the National Geographic show I watched about this new mating behavior. Northern NY state was one area referred to. Another area was Maine. They are supposed to be more aggressive and naturally larger. If memory serves the size was around 60/70 pounds for the males.

    • W
  • jpcmt

    Thanks for the video. I was hoping you’d demonstrate it’s intended use by ripping it from your holster under stress and getting those 5 shots off as fast and as accurate as possible while retreating. lol I know that’s a tall order but thats what I”m shopping for. I’m looking at a heavy 44 mag like the Taurus offers and wouldn’t mind the 454 if I could handle it. I have arthritis in my hands so the gun has to be heavy so I don’t eat all the recoil. My guess is I need to stick with the 44 raging bull. I’m in the Bitterroot valley of Montana and we have wolves, cats, bears, and anti-gov’t militant refugees in our mountains. We’ve had a large black bear poking around our tent one afternoon camping last summer and my wife and 4 little ones were getting in the minivan to hide while I shot my inadequate glock 21 at the ground and yelled to get it to go. It reluctantly wandered off slowly, stopping and looking back now and then. I realized I needed to pack my 12 gauge with slugs….or get a proper handgun in an appropriate caliber. Grizzlies are possible here but so far not seen much. Cats have been in town as have wolves. WOlves just get shot on site regardless of them threatening us. THey need to go.

    ALso, to some of the comments above, bears DO attack people plenty..read my local paper during summer and you’ll see plenty of attacks. And yes, wolves do attack or just harass humans. I’ve been stalked. A neighbor was lucky enough to shoot one killing a young lamb of his. Cats are to fear the most IMHO..you usually find out after your jugular has been ripped from you that a cat is near by! lol Bears get surprised, especially by streams. If a momma bear has cubs and hears you, she’ll not be running away so you need to dance with her.

    • Phil White

      jpcmt,

      I was more than glad to do the video. I need to work on doing them a bit more but I’ll get there:-) Now as far as ripping off five rounds while walking backwards:-) I could have done that but I wouldn’t advise it if you have arthritis. I think you’re on the right track by stepping down to the .44 mag.Honestly the .454 is a lot of revolver especially if you have significant issues with arthritis. Maybe a five or six inch barrel 44 would serve you better. This Taurus in 44 Mag has a 6 1/2 inch barrel. http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=208&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=RB2
      I’d use it as a backup to a 12 gauge with slugs. I know a shotgun is not always available or practical so practice with the .44 is very important.

  • Tim

    I bet the recoil on this snub nose S&W .500 has sharper recoil.

    • Phil White

      Tim,

      No porting–hum that’s gonna hurt! Push or snappy recoil these are the most pleasant to shoot but then they aren’t supposed to be. They are life savers pure and simple. One other thing with the Taurus you can shoot 45 Colt rounds for fun:-) I doubt the 500 would be fun no matter what.

  • Tim

    Apparently I can’t write a coherent sentence. Anyway, anyone know if they still make these 500′s?

    • Phil White

      Tim,

      The link came through ok the first time—–

  • http://twitter.com/bakerator Baker

    I think you’d definitely want to practice with this thing before you go romping about in the back country; the only thing worse than facing a bear is breaking a wrist while facing said bear.

    • Phil White

      Baker,

      Very true! Any gun you intend to use for protection whether from the four legged or two legged variety you must practice! Now that practice with these guns serves two purposes. One is to become accustomed to the recoil and second is adapt to that recoil and still hit your target.

  • Some Guy

    I don’t trust a Taurus snubnose to hold up to any caliber bigger than .38. I’ve owned a couple Taurus snubbies (650 and a 444), and they both had problems with center pins being too weak or Taurus not even bothering to finish the cylinder channel smooth enough to keep the pins from getting caught and preventing cylinder lockup. I’d give the .454 maybe 100 rounds before the center pin bends or starts catching.

    In my personal experience, Taurus revolvers are pretty and seem to have lots of great features for the money, but when you take them apart, you can easily see where the savings come from.

    • Phil White

      Some,

      The cylinder star could have been a bit smoother on the edges but there was nothing on this one that should cause any problems. I’m still shooting it with 45 Colt hand loads with no difficulties. I have to send it back pretty soon so I doubt I’ll break the 500 round mark.Right now it has 365 rounds of 45 Colt fired through it. It’s a pretty warm load at close to 950 fps with a 250 grain lead semi wadcutter.

    • Someone

      I have a raging bull .454 and have shot over a hundred rounds through it. Aside from some small burrs that I removed after I bought it, it has performed flawless. I shot a 300lb hog with it, and I plan on hunting other big game with it. I would recommend this gun to anyone

      • Phil White

        Someone,

        Thanks for your comment:-)

  • Will

    The two pins in the star are to ensure it keeps it’s timing, especially if the cylinder is disassembled. Common for revolvers.

    The only practical way to judge how well the porting works is to thread them and plug with setscrews. Probably not a good idea if it’s a loaner!

    Could be losing up to 100fps for each inch under the test barrel length.

    I live on the edge of Silicon Valley (San Jose), end of a street. Got coyotes hunting across the road, and one that keeps turning up in my fenced back yard. It climbs a 6-7ft fence. Bizarre to see it standing on top of the fence, looking for me. Guess it fits in with the squirrels, possums, raccoons, hawks, and turkeys that hang out on there. It comes in the yard to eat figs that have fallen to the ground. It has shown up day and night. Fairly small.
    Had a BIG one in the front yard one night, about the size of a German Sheppard. Wouldn’t want to meet him by himself, let alone with his buddies!

    • Phil White

      Will,

      Of course this one does have those pins. LOL–yea I think I’ll skip the set screw idea. I doubt they would ever send another test gun to me when they got that back! I would imagine that’s correct as far as loss of speed per inch of barrel. That should be close anyway.
      I have a friend who lives just outside San Diego and he’s related encounters with Coyotes. On particular troubling encounter was a few weeks ago. He’s a range master for a combined PD/Sheriffs department range. He got there just after daylight and saw a rather large Coyote standing on the range about 25 yards away and he made no effort to move away from my friend. At that point the Coyote moved toward him so he shot it. Later test showed it had rabies. This is something we haven’t discussed but a problem that he relates as being more prevalent in recent years.
      Even a large caliber like this Taurus wouldn’t be overkill for a crazed animal!

      • fw226

        That coyote seriously picked the wrong place.

        • Phil White

          fw226,

          Yep, I would say so!

      • mosinman

        dont fire untill you can see the whites of its eyes!! lol but in all seriousness id agree, no caliber is too big for a crazed animal. if i encounted a rabid animal and i was armed, id fire till it dropped lol because you can never take chances

        • Phil White

          mosinman,

          The only caliber to large is the one you can’t handle and miss! Otherwise use the biggest you can handle:-)

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/02/02/taurus-raging-bull-454-casull-review/ LC

    Great review. Thank you! I noticed you used Magtech ammo in your review. I have read some Internet posts mentioning ejection issues with this ammo. Did you have any ejection issues during your testing. The performance stats and the reasonable price for the ammo are motivating factors for buying this brand, but would like to get your feedback.

  • Wooden Grips

    Another great Review by thefirearmblog. Discovered after viewing there review on the Public Defender. I make wood grips for Both the Raging Bull and the Public Defender at http://www.woodengrips.com. Taurus really is making some nice stuff. The Raging Bull especially is a quality firearm. Of course every firearm has areas it could improve but this gun is overall very sound. Check out the photo I attached! Shows a customers Raging Bull with Wood grips and engraving!

  • Chance

    Who invented it and how much did it cost at frist

    • Chance

      By the way I mean raging bull

  • JaredLeland1986

    Does anyone know where to find Fiber Optic Sights for the older Raging Bull chambered in .454 Casull? I saw that the newest models are now including Fiber Optic Sights but I want some for mine!

  • Red

    Should have chronographed it so we could see how much energy loss comes with only having a 2 1/4″ barrel.

  • Every man a Tiger

    Not being a wheel gun fan in general I must say that I don’t go into the bush fishing or hunting without out my .454 snubby or older 4 5/8″ Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Mag.. In Alaska, Northern Canada, and some of the NorthernTier states it is simply the right tool for the job at hand. I have also seen more than a few of the Judges in .45 LC/.410 in recent years carried as fishing sidearms. I would be comfortable with this choice as well if I didn’t have the two I have. Although, I have never had to use either of these tools in a confrontation with a Costal Brownie or Kodiak. I’m quite comfortable with the knowlage that they will do the job. To date, the three times over the years that they have be drawn when such an argument was shaping up to take place just the sound of the first shot fired in their direction was enough to make them choose to be somewhere else. However, one can not rely on this reaction at every encounter and so must be prepaired with more than just a noise maker. The .454 , 41Mag, 45LC/.410 fit the requirments of the tool needed.

  • Every man a Tiger

    JaredLealand1986,
    You might take a look at the HiViz web site for fiber optic sights for the Bull and others. Its a good place to start looking anyway! Best of luck.

  • Every man a Tiger

    I would like to add that I like the Barns 250gr HP for the .454. And Federal 300gr A Frame. For the .41 Mag. I like the HSM Bear Ammunition 230 Grain Semi-Wadcutter gas block. None of theses cartridges are … fun …. to shoot but after all, that’s not their reason for existing is it?