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Taurus Raging Hunter Review

We like the name of the new Taurus handgun-hunting revolver. It's called the Raging Hunter. We like the way the revolver handles and shoots, too.

Taurus Raging Hunter Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz

Taurus has produced  its line of “Raging” revolvers since 1999. Over the years, we’ve seen the Raging Bee, the Raging Bull, the Raging Hornet, the Raging Judge, the Raging Judge Magnum, and the Raging Thirty Hunter. All have been well received by handgunners. The company’s newest addition is the Raging Hunter, and it has several fine features. These new models are offered with various barrel lengths and finishes (more about that later), and they are chambered for .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .454 Casull. I chose the .357 Mag. Raging Hunter with a matte black finish and a 6.75-inch barrel to highlight in this report.

Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz. Taurus’s signature grip insert cushions the felt recoil of powerful handgun cartridges like the .454 Casull, .44 Magnum, and .357 Magnum.

Specifications

The Raging Hunter I’ve been shooting is 12.25 inches long, 6.5 inches high, and 1.8 inches wide. It weighs 53 ounces unloaded. It’s a big handgun and weighs enough to make shooting it very comfortable. The weight helps mitigate the felt recoil and muzzle jump of the .357 Mag. ammunition.

The rubber grips, which are attached to the grip frame by a screw that goes up through the bottom, feature Taurus’s signature recoil-absorbing grip insert, which also helps to cushion felt recoil. And the barrel ports up front at the muzzle help to control muzzle jump. My revolver has four ports on each side.

Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz. The two-piece barrel tube/barrel shroud setup has proven to enhance a revolver’s accuracy. The barrel porting helps reduce muzzle jump.

The barrel is a two-piece affair, in that there is an internal stainless-steel barrel tube and an outer aluminum barrel shroud. The inner barrel tube attaches to the frame at the rear, and the barrel shroud is held in place by a washer and a threaded nut at the front. This type of setup has proven to enhance a revolver’s accuracy. I don’t know for sure if Dan Wesson was the first to use this type of barrel attachment, but it began doing so in the 1970s. More recently, Smith & Wesson began using this type of setup on some of its revolvers, too. Clearly, it’s a design that works well.


The Raging Hunter’s barrel shroud has an integral Picatinny rail on top, and it makes mounting an optic really easy. The rail on my 6.75-inch-barreled Raging Hunter has nine cross-slots. The gun’s serial number is etched into the bottom of the barrel shroud; it’s also stamped into the frame on the right-hand side.


Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz. All Raging Hunter revolvers feature integral Picatinny top rails for easy installation of an optic. The rail on the 6.75-inch-barreled revolver has nine cross-slots.

The gun comes with a fully adjustable rear sight and a Patridge-type front sight post. Both sights are all black, and the rear sight’s face is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. The square notch in the rear sight measures 0.126 inch wide. The front sight blade is 0.118 inch thick and 0.15 inch tall.

The cylinder’s capacity is seven rounds, and it rotates counterclockwise. The cylinder has a double lockup, with latches at the rear and at the front. Opening the cylinder requires the thumbpiece at the rear to be pushed to the left with the thumb of one hand while the latch at the front of the cylinder is pulled down with the thumb of the other hand. The cylinder swings out to the left.

Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz. The .357 Mag. Raging Hunter has a cylinder capacity of seven rounds. Joel says that’s a bonus.

The hammerspur is 0.43 inch wide, and it’s checkered. The trigger is smooth and measures 0.43 inch wide. The revolver employs a transfer-bar firing mechanism.

As I mentioned earlier, my gun is matte black, but Taurus also offers it with a natural stainless finish on the frame and matte black on the barrel shroud for a two-tone effect. Other barrel lengths offered are 5.13 inches and 8.38 inches.


Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz. The .357 Mag. Raging Hunter has a cylinder capacity of seven rounds. Joel says that’s a bonus.

Taurus Raging Hunter Specs

  • Manufacturer: Taurus; taurususa.com
  • Type: Double-action/single-action revolver 
  • Caliber: .357 Magnum 
  • Cylinder Capacity: 7 rounds 
  • Barrel: 6.75 in. 
  • Overall Length: 12.25 in. 
  • Width: 1.80 in. 
  • Height: 6.50 in. 
  • Weight, Empty: 53 oz. 
  • Grips: Synthetic with recoil-absorbing insert 
  • Finish: Matte black oxide 
  • Sights: Adjustable rear; Patridge front 
  • Trigger: 16.5-lb. DA pull; 8.0-lb. SA pull; as tested 
  • Safety: Transfer-bar firing mechanism 
  • MSRP: $910.27
Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz. The Raging Hunter’s cylinder locks up at the front and at the rear. Both latches need to be activated in order to swing out the cylinder.

Accuracy

I was excited to shoot the Raging Hunter because the tightest single five-shot group at 25 yards with a handgun I have ever fired was with a tuned .44 Mag. Taurus Raging Bull revolver. That group measured 0.72 inch, and incredibly, I didn’t even use a scope; I used the factory iron sights! I didn’t expect the Raging Hunter to be that accurate, but it sure didn’t disappoint in terms of accuracy.

The details of my shooting are shown in the accompanying chart, but briefly, the revolver averaged 2.75 inches at 25 yards with six different .357 Mag. factory loads loaded with heavy-for-caliber bullets. The loads included Barnes’s VOR-TX 140-grain XPB, Federal’s Power-Shok 180-grain JHP, and HSM’s Bear Load 180-grain HLFPGC (Hard Lead Flat Point Gas Check), which are designed for hunting deer-size game. The two Winchester 158-grain loads as well as the Hornady 158-grain XTP are also well-suited to hunting. As you can see, with a figure of 2.61 inches, the best averaging load was the Power-Shok. However, all six loads were under 3.00 inches.

Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz. The rear sight is fully adjustable, and the face of the smooth blade is all black. The notch is 0.126 inch wide.

I was a bit disappointed with the revolver’s trigger pull. It was very heavy. The double-action pull averaged 16.5 pounds, according to seven measurements with my RCBS trigger pull scale. The single-action pull averaged exactly 8 pounds. Again, that was for seven measurements with the scale. As is my usual routine, I did the shooting for accuracy in single-action mode, and the trigger broke crisply every time, so I don’t believe the heavy pull affected my accuracy results. I like this gun a lot, and if I were going to keep it, I believe I would find a way to have the pull lightened.


Something else I’d like is for Taurus to provide a sling attachment point to the bottom of the grip frame so a single-point sling could be used. I find such a sling to be very useful when hunting with a heavy handgun.

Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
Photo by Michael Anschuetz. The Raging Hunter features a black 0.118-inch-thick Patridge-type front post that pairs well with the square notch in the rear sight.

The Raging Hunter, with its 6.75-inch barrel, is well balanced. The recoil-absorbing grips really work and help lessen the felt recoil of heavy .357 Mag. loads, and the barrel ports undoubtedly make controlling muzzle jump easier. The seven-round cylinder capacity is a bonus, as is the integral top rail that makes mounting an optic very easy.

All in all, the Raging Hunter is a great handgun for hunters. If you are a little shy about hunting deer with the .357 Mag., don’t let that stop you because as I said earlier, Taurus also offers the Raging Hunter in .44 Mag. and .454 Casull.

Taurus Raging Hunter Accuracy & Velocity

Taurus-Raging-Hunter-Review
NOTES: Accuracy is the average of five, five-shot groups fired from a sandbag benchrest. Velocity is the average of seven rounds measured 12 feet from the gun’s muzzle.

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