Wheelgun Wednesday: Attempting to Chronograph the Raging Hunter

    chronograph

    Over the past couple of weeks, we have taken a look at one of Taurus’ newest firearm introductions for 2021 in the Taurus Raging Hunter chambered for .460 S&W Magnum. Their entire series of Raging Hunter revolvers in their various barrel lengths, cartridges, and finishes have been tremendously popular since their inception, but the .460 S&W Magnum especially caught my eye. Maybe it is a guy thing or I have masochistic tendencies when it comes to recoil, but the Taurus Raging Hunter 460 sounded incredibly fun! One thing you criticized myself for was not getting any chronograph readings on the Taurus Raging Hunter 460 while reviewing it.

    As to not disappoint, we listened to your feedback and have circled around to take another look at the Taurus Raging Hunter 460 and see what kind of velocities it puts out with factory ammunition through a chronograph. Will it be faster than advertised? Will it be slower? What other anomalies might we encounter?

    Taurus raging hunter 460 – chronograph setup

    When it comes to setting up your chronograph to do velocity testing there are a few things I have learned through “trial and error” over the years (primarily error). If you would read the owner’s manual of the chronograph you purchase that would likely alleviate a lot of your headaches, but I chose the more difficult path of diving right in.

    Firstly, make sure your chronograph is properly assembled. Some require metal rods and diffusers (a white plastic bar above the apparatus to register readings) and sometimes diffusers are not necessary depending on the ambient lighting you are working with. Also, make sure your chronograph is properly distanced from the muzzle of your firearm. Most chronographs need to be 5 – 10 feet away from the muzzle, but this varies from one chrono to another.

    chronograph

    Finally – and I cannot stress this enough – ensure the bore of your firearm that is being tested is aimed through your chronograph. You don’t want to become the butt of everyone’s jokes at the gun range because you shot your chronograph. That is something you surely will never live down.

    The brand of chronograph that I used is a Shooting Chrony and it is their Beta model. It has a decent sized display to read velocities from and can record 10 shots before you need to clear out that data to begin another string of data. I’ve successfully used it in the past to develop sub-sonic reloads for .223 Rem and Hodgdon’s TiteGroup from scratch so I was authentically excited to see what type of speeds the Taurus Raging Hunter was pushing the .460 S&W Magnum.

    Taurus raging hunter – trouble at the firing line

    Part of the allure to the Taurus Raging Hunter 460 is that it can fire .45 Long Colt, .454 Casull, and .460 S&W Magnum if you want, but because ammunition is more difficult to find than gold in Alaska, all I had was some .460 S&W Magnum ammo to test. I was specifically shooting some Winchester Partition Gold 260 Grain (this ammunition is discontinued by Winchester). Its advertised muzzle velocity is 2,000 FPS. Once I began shooting I could not get a single round to register. I genuinely felt like I was “taking crazy pills” like Will Ferrell.

    • 1st Shot | Error Code | Turn Chronograph On and Off again
    • 2nd Shot | Error Code | Ensure Diffusers are Soundly attached
    • 3rd Shot | Error Code | Turn Chronograph On and Off again
    • 4th Shot | Error Code | Move Chrono from ~8 feet to ~12 feet away
    • 5th Shot | Error Code | Empty Cylinder and Begin to Question Sanity

    chronograph

    Assess that I did not shoot the chronograph during that thunderous volley of .460 S&W Magnum rounds going downrange. Reload cylinder and continue exercise in futility.

    • 6th Shot | Error Code | Searching Owner’s Manual for Section Titled “Chronos for Dummies”
    • 7th Shot | Error Code | Move Chrono from ~12 feet to ~20 feet away
    • 8th Shot | Error Code | Remove Diffuser Panel (Maybe too cloudy out and not necessary?)
    • 9th Shot | Error Code | Move Chrono from ~20 feet to ~2 feet away
    • 10th Shot | Error Code | Frustration Mounting and Sanity Completely Gone

    cautionary tale – know your backstop and shoot from safe distances

    By this point, I am ready to throw my chronograph in the nearest body of water because I am at a loss as to why I cannot get a single read-out or velocity to register. I ended up shooting 4 more times before finally calling it a day because I got slapped – metaphorically and literally – with a dose of reality. This entire time I was shooting into a 15-yard sand bunker at my local gun club. On the 14th shot, it felt like I got punched in the face. What I realized had happened is I had bullet shavings bounce back and hit me that cut me in 5 different spots on my face. I can only hope the phrase chicks dig scars is true because I might end up with at least 1 tiny one. I was wearing proper eye and ear protection at the time, but apparently, in my sand bunker, there was one rock that I hit. At this point, both physically and mentally defeated, I decided to call it a day.

    chronogaph

    where did I go wrong?

    I don’t look at my foibles so much as embarrassing as I see them as a teaching moment hopefully for others. After having a glass of whiskey once I got home to maybe bring some spirited clarity to this whole debacle, this is what I believe went wrong for me.

    • Monster Cartridges and Barrel Porting – I have watched videos I took shooting the Taurus Raging Hunter 460 and it is a fireball thrower! Whether it is the porting on the Taurus barrel or the nature of the cartridge itself, it lobs one hell of a fireball. For chronographs to work properly they need a singular projectile to pass through its observable area. My fireball, at least at closer distances, likely did not help.
    • Backstop and Swirling Debris – If it was not evident in the fact that I had a small bounce-back come at me I could see lots of swirling dust, dirt, and debris every shot I took come from the sand bunker at 15 yards. This was likely too close to my chronograph and messed with getting a velocity to register. Again, it comes back to the need for a “singular projectile to pass through its observable area.”
    • Complete Powder Burn – I do not want to throw anyone under a bus of any kind, but I may have not been getting a complete powder burn. When this doesn’t occur you are expelling unburnt powder out the front of the barrel which impedes your chronograph’s ability to read a “singular projectile passing through its observable area.” This could be true in my case because of the fireball you often see. Is that a result of the Winchester ammunition since it is a discontinued offering? Is it because of the short barrel length with a handgun like this Raging Hunter? I am not sure what would be the biggest contributing factor, but it is something to consider.

    All in all, you – our readers – requested we get you some velocities or chronograph data and I resoundingly fell flat on my face (or got slapped in the face). I won’t be attempting this again with this revolver, but I will take what I learned and apply it in the future. Overall, everybody be safe out there, know your backstop (like, really know your backstop), and continue to enjoy shooting! As always, let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

    chronograph

    chronograph



    We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

    Editor | AllOutdoor.com
    Writer | OutdoorHub.com
    Writer | TheArmoryLife.com
    Writer | Tyrant Designs CNC Blog
    Guest Writer | Boyds Gunstocks Blog
    Guest Writer | NRA “Shooting Sports USA”
    Guest Writer | Sierra Bullets Blog
    Smith & Wesson Certified Armorer
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Firefighter/EMS
    Instagram: strength_in_arms


    Advertisement