When it comes to wheelguns bigger is better, right? Well, if Dirty Harry was in the conversation I am more than sure he would agree. This is why we love to handle and shoot big-bore revolvers every opportunity we get at TFB. Whether you are looking to do hunting, do some long-range handgun shooting at 100+ yards, or simply love the WOOF and flame they toss every time you shoot them, there is something special about a .44 Magnum. So, in this week’s Wheelgun Wednesday we take a look at the Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum which has been one of their most popular revolvers as of late. It has also been garnering a lot of attention in the firearms industry as a whole since its introduction. Let’s dive in and take a look!
SPECIFICATIONS: Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum
The Taurus Raging Hunter is a family of revolvers that Taurus now offers in several barrel lengths (from 5.12″ to 8.37″) and multiple cartridges as well (.357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .454 Casull). The revolver we specifically were given from Taurus to test-drive was the Raging Hunter .44 Magnum with an 8.37″ barrel. These are all of the specifications for our Raging Hunter as presented by Taurus:
- 8.37″ Ported Full Lug Barrel w/ Integral Picatinny Rail for Optics
- Fixed Black Blade Front Sight w/ Adjustable Black Outline Rear Sight
- Hammer-Fire Action Type (Single-Action/Double-Action)
- 6 Round Cylinder for .44 Magnum/.44 Special
- Transfer Bar Safety and Covered by the Taurus “Limited Lifetime Warranty”
- Overall Length: 15.00″
- Overall Height: 6.50″
- Overall Width: 1.80″
- Overall Weight: 55.00 Oz.
The current MSRP is $919.95 for the Taurus Raging Hunter chambered for .44 Magnum that we are reviewing here today. Depending on the cartridge you choose and the barrel length you decide on, the MSRP floats around that general number for expected pricing. As mentioned above, all Raging Hunter revolvers are covered by the Taurus “Limited Lifetime Warranty” in the rare event that you should ever need service work. For anyone who may have been eyeing this revolver already, here are a few more words from Taurus in hopes to get you off the fence and add one to your collection.
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.
FIRST LOOK: Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum
The Raging Hunter family of revolvers has been out for a little over a year now, and in my travels to trade shows I had not seen one in person yet. I had checked them out on the internet like many of us, but I did not get to make my one and only first impression until now. While unboxing this revolver I had quite a few thoughts before ever lobbing some lead down range.
All of the black and stainless components and finishes on various parts mix well together for an attractive appearance. There is even a red stripe that goes down the rear of the rubber grip and with this many colors melded together it still looks good; not too busy, in my opinion.
On most all double-action wheelguns with a swing-out cylinder, you can expect to see only one cylinder locking tab because bluntly that is more than enough. With the Raging Hunter, it actually utilizes two cylinder locking tabs which was a bit of a surprise to me. When you begin to think though that this revolver is just shy of 5 Lbs unloaded, the double cylinder locking tabs makes complete sense. This is a hefty revolver in not only weight, but its sheer, overall footprint.
Another dominant feature on this .44 Magnum is the Picatinny rail that runs nearly the full length of the barrel. While many people can shoot pretty accurately over considerable distances with iron sights, having the option to add an RMR, handgun scope or other optic is a great option to have available to you as a shooter and/or hunter.
The final element that struck my eye before shooting this revolver was the pretty substantial rubber grip. For a reference, I believe myself to have average-sized hands, and this grip is definitely thick. Shooting the revolver will be the ultimate test as to whether the grip is too big or not, so let’s jump into how my range session went with the Raging Hunter .44 Magnum wheelgun.
RANGE TIME: Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum
For my trip to the range, I shot 2 different (yet similar) boxes of ammunition through the Taurus Raging Hunter. I had one dusty box of Federal American Eagle .44 Magnum 240 Grain Jacketed Hollow-Point (JHP) that by the artwork depicted on the box I have no clue how old it was (20 years? 30 years? your guess is better than mine). The 2nd box of ammunition I brought to the range was the same flavor from Federal, but brand new and was purchased hours before my range trip. So, I was shooting both old and new, aged and fresh, likely weak and stout.
With old ammunition that I sometimes buy really cheap at area gun shows, the ammunition always ‘works,’ it is just that old ammunition is like medicine: it does not expire, but it simply loses its potency over time. This was exactly the case with the old ammunition I brought with for testing. The old ammunition was noticeably lighter recoiling than the modern stuff, but at the distances I was shooting (15 – 25 yards), it was still the same point-of-impact (POI).
The long barrel length and the additional porting at the end made this revolver very mild recoiling. Between the 8.37″ ported barrel and the 55 ounces of weight (unloaded) this did not surprise me, but it was very enjoyable to shoot. The mild recoil allowed me to really focus in on the trigger and shoot this wheelgun as accurately as possible.
In single-action, there is a bit of a stiff wall before the trigger breaks, but it does break very cleanly. I did not have a trigger pull gauge with me at the range, but if I had to anecdotally guess (take it as a grain of salt) it was likely in the neighborhood of 4 – 5 Lbs in pull weight. The double-action trigger pull is a lot lighter than I expected and the travel before it breaks is a little shorter as well. With an anecdotal guess again, I would place the double-action trigger pull around 10 – 11 Lbs in pull weight. As a primary or secondary firearm for hunting, I could see this being an easy shooter when drawn from a holster and used in double-action.
My first groups shooting the revolver were nothing to write home about, but the longer I was able to work and practice with the trigger (roughly around 20 shots or so) I started to tighten up my groups really fast. Those initial groups were reminiscent of buckshot at 20 yards (totallllllllllly not the shooter, I hope, and only the copious amounts of coffee). The longer I shot and became comfortable with the grip, my trigger press, and bearing down on the black-on-black iron sights my groups were between 1″ – 2″ off hand at 20 yards. Could this revolver shoot even better off of bags? Probably… but being a hunter by trade I prefer to shoot as I would in the field. So, I was tremendously pleased with these results.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum
So, after fondling this revolver, pumping old and new ammunition through it, and having some time to reflect… what are my final thoughts? I have a lot of positive things to say and only a couple negative. Overall, I was very impressed with the performance, handling, and styling of this double-action wheelgun. Its appearance is classy between the black, silver, and red accents. It shoots better than my ability could ever display on paper which is wonderful. I would rather have it that my limitations as a shooter hold back my group size than a lemon gun (which this is definitely not a lemon).
The long barrel, porting, and overall weight make this one of the easiest shooting .44 Magnums I have ever played with. And although I did not throw any optic on this revolver, if I were to commit to hunting with it, I absolutely would and appreciate that this has an integral rail from the factory; no gunsmithing or shadetree mechanic work required.
Some minor shortcomings with the Raging Hunter is its sheer size. Do I think its overall footprint is too large for me to carry? Definitely not. Would some people disagree? More than likely, yes. If you are backpacking on a hunt there are definitely lighter revolvers chambered in .44 Magnum you could carry, but the trade-off for a lighter wheelgun is substantially increased recoil. So, that is a tight-rope walk that everyone would need to personally decide. The long barrel, porting, and weight likely helped my accuracy a lot as well. So, going to a more diminutive frame may not be the answer for everyone.
The other element of the Raging Hunter that could be improved I believe is the grip. For me personally, I could shoot it accurately as evident by my targets, but it was a large grip to control. This could easily be remedied with an aftermarket grip like a Hogue or similar style replacement grip. So once again, that is up to every individual shooter whether the factory grip is a perfect match for them or not.
All in all, I believe the Raging Hunter is a fantastic revolver. With a name like “Raging Hunter,” it definitely lives up to the hype. I routinely go on black bear hunts in Minnesota and an occasional boar hunt in Iowa, and I would have all the confidence in the world carrying this as a primary hunting firearm. Heavy? Yes. Accurate? Yes. Barks like a howitzer? You bet. At the full MSRP price of $919.95 this is a fun and reliable tool for the range or woods.
In closing, I want to say thank you to Taurus for allowing TFB and myself the opportunity to try out their Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum! That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that the Taurus Raging Hunter is something worth spending your money on? Would you carry it? Shoot a league with it? Hunt with it? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.
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