All The Rage: Taurus Hits A Home Run with the Raging Hunter .357 Magnum

The buck stood broadside at 25 yards. I cocked back the hammer on my Taurus Raging Hunter .357 Magnum and lined up the sights on the buck’s heart-lung area, let out my breath and shot. Then I squeezed off four more shots, alternating between double and single-action trigger pull, confident the deer would hold still as he was, in fact, a Shooting Made Easy (SME) Deer Target.

Results? Shots 1, 2, 3, and 5 grouped at a very nice 1.22-inches. I pulled Shot 4 down and to the left. 

Very accurate, rugged and reliable, the Taurus Raging Hunter .357 Mag is a true hunting handgun.

But, clearly the Raging Hunter .357 Mag. would do the job at 25 yards and no doubt much further. And the shots on the SME deer target reaffirmed what the other 150 rounds I’d run through the revolver suggested all along: the Taurus Raging Hunter 357 Magnum is a very accurate revolver, perfect for handgun hunting, on the nightstand for home defense, at the range and just for plinking.

The Raging Hunter .357 features a great trigger and with the 8.37-inch barrel (which was the model tested) a very generous sight radius.

The Raging Hunter .357 features a great trigger and with the 8.37-inch barrel (which was the model I tested) a very generous sight radius. The porting near the front of the barrel plus the ergonomic grips do much to tame the .357 Magnum recoil, too.

Deer, hogs, coyotes, and similar-sized predators are all fair game for the Raging Hunter .357 Mag. The revolver certainly has self-defense uses, too, though I would opt for one of the shorter barreled versions if self-defense was my primary purpose for getting a Raging Hunter.

In both the .357 Mag and .44 Rem Mag versions, the Raging Hunter is available in barrel lengths of 8.375, 6.75, and 5.125 inches (shown).

Taurus debuted the Raging Hunter in .44 Rem Mag in 2019, and it received a great deal of acclaim. The NRA’s American Hunter magazine, for example, gave the big bore revolver its Golden Bullseye Award as the 2019 Handgun of the Year. Almost to a person, reviewers praised the Raging Hunter.

The original Raging Hunter in .44 Rem Mag won the Golden Bullseye Award as the 2019 Handgun of the Year .

As the revolver’s very name states, Taurus developed the Raging Hunter for big-game hunting. But it is safe to say the revolver’s appearance was the initial attention-getter, starting with the aluminum sleeve covering the barrel. That sleeve, as reviewers noted, was a looker and it gave the revolver a very balanced feel.

The Raging Hunter (then and now) featured a unique barrel configuration with factory-tuned porting and a gas expansion chamber to reduce muzzle rise. Finally, a Picatinny top rail combined with adjustable rear and fixed front sight system gives shooters the option of optic-assisted or open-sight shooting.

Available in two color schemes—matte black or matte black and stainless—these spurred hammer DA/SA big-bore revolvers offered a 6-round capacity in the .44 Magnum.

Having heard and read such good things about the 44 Mag version, I had to wonder if Taurus had hit another home run with the .357 model. I asked, and Taurus sent me a new .357 revolver.

I’m no wheel gun expert but in this reviewer’s opinion? Taurus has knocked it right out of the ballpark–again.

Taurus hits a home run with the Raging Hunter .357 Mag revolver.

For testing the Raging Hunter’s accuracy and general performance, I used three brands of .357 Magnum ammunition: Hornady Custom, loaded with a 158-grain XTP bullet, and an average velocity of 1,255 feet per second (fps); Remington’s Hog Hammer launching a 140-grain XPB HP bullet, an average of 1,275 fps; and Winchester.

Super X Personal Protection round, firing a 158-grain jacketed hollow point at an average of 1,260 fps.

(All velocities measured with ten rounds of ammunition and a PACT Professional XP Chronograph, from Brownell’s, positioned six feet from the revolver’s muzzle.)

I shot off two, seven-round cylinders of the Winchester ammunition to acquaint myself with the Raging Hunter and I immediately noticed the revolver’s recoil was truly manageable. And not just during the first shot. I was impressed that follow-up shots were fairly easy to manage, too. A good number of the .357’s I’ve shot bounced around in my hand considerably after the first shot, so much so I have had trouble getting back on target in a reasonable amount of time.

The Raging Hunter’s long barrel helps with recoil management, too, especially since it features eight gas ports at the front of the barrel, four to a side. They help to push the muzzle down as a round is fired, reducing flip.

The revolver’s barrel features eight gas ports, four to a side, that help reduce muzzle flip and smooth out recoil.

Also, the Raging Hunter’s rubber grips sport cushioned inserts, making the handgun more comfortable to shoot versus straight wood or man-made material grips. My hands molded to the grips.

Raging Hunter’s rubber grips with cushioned inserts provided a solid, comfortable grip.

Initially, the Raging Hunter was placing rounds low and left. This was a simple fix, as the adjustable rear sights required only a small flathead (slotted) screwdriver to operate both elevation and windage.

The rear sight on the Raging Hunter is easily adjustable with a small, flat head screwdriver.

I then shot several Birchwood Casey IPSC Practice Targets at ten yards, standing and offhand. My best grouping had six shots into the Upper “A” rectangle (approximating a headshot) at 1.36-inches, with five of those actually in the “A” box and measuring 1.21-inches. This shooting was done in single action.

Bad guys beware! The Raging Hunter isn’t just for hunting.

For double-action, I used the larger “A” rectangle in the target’s center mass. That group stretched out, no doubt because of me and the added length of the revolver’s double-action trigger pull. Yet, those six shots measured 2.19-inches, with five of the shots coming in a very nice 1.21-inches.

In other words, for self-defense? Single or double action, the Raging Hunter can and will thoroughly destroy the day for any bad guy.

I then moved on to shooting at 25 yards from a rest. The afore-mentioned deer target with the Hornady Custom .357 ammunition scored the best accuracy, with that four-shot group at just 1.22-inches. But the Hog Hammer and the Winchester rounds also punched five-shot groups at under two inches, consistently.

Using Remington’s Hog Hammer .357 Mag ammunition, the Raging Hunter scored this 1.69-inch group at 25 yards from a rest.

If I was going to hunt with this revolver, I would likely add an optic, and the Raging Hunter has a Picatinny rail built right onto the barrel shroud for easy mounting.

The Raging Hunter’s seven-round cylinder swung out easily. The revolver also features two-cylinder releases. These two releases, versus the standard one release, create a better alignment of cylinder to barrel than a single lock-up point, and no doubt are one reason for the Raging Hunter’s first-rate accuracy.

The Raging Hunter features two-cylinder releases for precise cylinder alignment.

For safe operation, a transfer bar safety prevents the Raging Hunter’s hammer from striking the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled fully to the rear.

Trigger pull for the Raging Hunter measured at 3 pounds, 10 ounces, and 9 pounds, 10 ounces in double action, according to my Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. In single action, the trigger snaps off very cleanly. The double-action does, of course, require a longer pulling of the trigger, and while that pull is actually quite smooth, for me that means reduced accuracy.

Negatives? At nearly 60 ounces unloaded, the Raging Hunter .357 is a heavyweight. Of course, no one purchases a handgun with an eight-plus-inch barrel and expects it to be dainty. Still, for the hunter, this means you will likely want/need a sturdy holster, especially if you are a mobile hunter. Galco Gunleather, for example, makes the Kodiak Chest Holster that fits large-framed Taurus revolvers.

The hunter will want a quality holster for their Raging Hunter .357, like the Kodiak Chest Holster from Galco, shown with optional bandolier.

Put an optic on it, and the Raging Hunter would require a more custom-built rig like the Scoped Revolver Holster made by Rob Leahy of Simply Rugged Holsters out of Arizona.  

With an optic, the Raging Hunter may need a more custom rig, like this, the Scoped Revolver Holster from Simply Rugged Holsters.

For home and self-defense, I would recommend the Raging Hunter with the 5.12-inch barrel. The 8.3-inch barrel on the model I tested is just too unwieldy in a tight space.

The Raging Hunter is a fine revolver. I hope to use it afield this year to find out just how efficient a hunter it can be, at what ranges and with which ammunition brands. Reports to follow!

The Raging Hunter .357 Mag is a multi-purpose handgun–but it is definitely a hunter!

SPECS:  Taurus Raging Hunter .357

Frame Size: Large
Capacity: 7 rds.
Action Type: DA/SA
Caliber: 357 MAG/38 SPECIAL +P
Height: 6.50″
Width: 1.80″
Weight: 59.20 oz.
Barrel Length: 8.37″ (as tested)
Overall Length: 15.00″
Front Sight: Fixed
Rear Sight: Adjustable
Safety: Transfer Bar
MSRP: $910.27

For more information visit Taurus USA website.

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About the author: Brian McCombie writes about hunting and firearms, people and places, for a variety of publications including American Hunter, Shooting Illustrated, and SHOT Business. He loves hog hunting, 1911’s chambered in 10MM and .45 ACP, and the Chicago Bears.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Robert Edward Dratwa July 15, 2020, 2:18 pm

    The only real “made in the USA” products I can honestly think of are hamburgers and Chevrolet vehicles…

  • Rick Gonzales April 12, 2020, 4:50 pm

    I own a bunch of “pretty” guns that I never look at.. I use a very well shot Colt N.M. and a verrry well shot S&W mod. 28 4″ that has been back to the factory for the last time (I’m 83) for a final tune up, the barrel is about gone and all that but I would not trade it in for any of those pretty ones , I have taken at least 5 deer with the .357 and that many with the .45 , and every one has been a one shot kill, (during the War 2 ) I lived on a ranch and took down deer as needed to feed many folks in San Fran… you can have all those pretty guns, my shotgun is a win.mod.42, 410 that has shot more pheasants than enough, and quail, and dove and rabbits and I still have my 1rst win mod 63 .22 that makes head shots on quail if needed…and I don’t have a need for imports . Buy American, drive Ford and stand when the National Anthem and the flag goes by…Semper Fi America! Rick Gonzales

  • Jimmy Belue April 10, 2020, 8:14 am

    I could never endorse a 357 mag. for deer-hunting. Not enough punch. But I wouldn’t hunt with a .243 for deer either.
    Like using 00 buck, one day you will regret it when that big one gets away with no blood trail.

  • Irish-7 April 8, 2020, 11:00 am

    I have a few Taurus weapons: Judge Public Defender and Rossi Circuit Judge. I have not experienced any problems with them, as in failure to fire. I will say they foul up quickly! After a few .410 GA rounds, it becomes hard to eject the spent shells. I also own a Smith & Wesson Governor. Much better made weapon. However, it is not as concealable. Hence, it has become a “Home Defender” instead of Every Day Carry. I have several .357 MAG revolvers: S&W 19, Ruger GP-100 and Security-6.

  • Norm Fishler April 8, 2020, 10:27 am

    I see a wide disparity of opinions expressed concerning Taurus firearms in the column today. Some seem to love them, others . . . meh, not so much. My own personal opinion notwithstanding, it appears as though guns manufactured by Taurus have got a real problem with consistency.

  • Tim April 7, 2020, 8:22 pm

    I’ve got 3 semi-auto’s the 709 slim that I’ve run 600 + rounds thru without a problem. A PT 1911 45 acp with about a 1000 rnds thru without a problem all fired and ejected and about half were reloads. A Mill,Pro 40 cal about 500 rnds thru with 2 malfunctions so i think they are good guns for the money.

  • Joseph H. Glasser April 7, 2020, 2:12 pm

    Very nice weapon. have been a big fan and a once owner of a Taurus 357 mag security special in the late ’70s.
    Would love more information and a list of retailers in or around southern Illinois. or southeast, Missouri.

  • Stan d. Upnow April 7, 2020, 1:33 pm

    martianone, Taurus makes their guns in Miami, FL, USA.

    • martianone April 7, 2020, 4:14 pm

      Photo above- Pretty clearly imprinted on side of revolver “made in Brazil”

      • leon May 16, 2020, 2:39 pm

        i know they were made in Mia. I worked a block from there i don’t know what model they were making i heard they ‘re moving to Georgia

  • RRedneck April 7, 2020, 1:30 pm

    I have the 4″ barrel .357 Taurus Tracker 7 shot. This is a good looking gun, shoots nice, gets all the glances at the gun range. Easy to clean, has been reliable as a plinker. Handles the hotter .357 rounds just fine. Love the grip that came factory. I even found a leather IWB holster for i and can carry it if I want. A little heavy but its very re-assuring.

    The only down side is the sticker on the front sight. It is blaze orange and although it helps with aiming, the first time I did a serious deep clean of the gun the sticker came off. I had to re-apply it with some super glue. Boy was I surprised. However it turned out to be really a non-issue. Down the road I might upgrade the front sight.

    Why buy Brazilian gun instead of USA? Lots of reasons. First of all in America we are NOT a socialist society or a fascist one. This means we have freedom to choose what and where we want to buy things from. People from the government and others can’t tell us where to buy our stuff unless you live in CA or NY which I don’t. In a capitalist society the laws of supply and demand apply if you don’t know what that is look it up.

    Secondly, why buy a foreign car when you can buy a “made in the USA” car? Well truth be told they are NOT made in the USA. Parts are purchased in foreign countries, workers are not US citizens, and the raw material is not made in the USA. People buy foreign cars to save money and get reliability or features you don’t see on USA cars. Same with guns.

    I can get a “made in USA” Ruger .357, but good luck finding a 7 shot magna ported version for $450 dollars US! An equivalent model is 2 or 3 times the cost. Remember Capitalism is on purpose. I can still be a patriotic American, which I am, and buy stuff from overseas…… until….. UNTIL…. a US company starts offering something in the same price range to be …. you got it…..COMPETITIVE.

    If I had the choice to buy a Ruger over a Taurus and get the same product at the same price I would have in a heart beat. Competition breeds innovations. Without competition USA companies get stale and you have things like Detroit happen where Union workers keep demanding higher and higher wages so that US citizens can’t afford USA made cars. Without competition we would all be driving boring Fords and GM’s that have not changed in 40 years but keep getting more expensive. Add Kia Hyundai into the picture and you get variety and competition which ends up improving the USA mad products and lowering their prices.

    I understand it is important to have products manufactured here, especially for emergencies and defense considerations. But I live on a budget as does about 80 percent of the USA. I will buy what does the job if I can afford it. My family needs a roof, health insurance, food etc before I need another expensive gun. My family does need security and protection, and when its affordable, I’ll get the best I can afford.

    I don’t have all the answers but when folks post one sentence flames and act like trolls just to look important, I like to post a opposing opinion WITH an explanation so that the internet trolls and flamers don’t get all the say in the matter.

    Anyway, its a fun gun to shoot and accurate. I won’t be selling this gun!

  • Donald Hoyle April 7, 2020, 1:24 pm

    I don’t understand why Taurus revolvers are pretty good guns, but I have never seen an simi auto shoot an whole magazine with out a problem? 2 tip barrel .22s, early model 709 slim 9mm, 2 45acp millenniums, the newone that replaced the millennium. None worth a damn! Al l bought new none worked, I mean none, the reason that I had an millennium to trade for the millennium replacement was because it was so bad that I wouldn’t trade it away, just left it on coffee table hoping that if I a burglar he would steal it and my insurance would buy it!

  • Vlad Tepes April 7, 2020, 11:31 am

    I dislike two piece barrels as they are not as consistently accurate as a solid and much heavier one piece barrel. The two latch release is a nightmare to operate. Magnaporting is not necessary in a .357 and it results in ear splitting damaging noise every time you shoot it and no you cannot wear ear plugs while out hunting you would never see or hear most of the wild game. I have never been found of ugly rubber grips either. I prefer the old fashioned long gone Smith & Wesson beautiful goncalo alves grips. And last but not least this is about the ugliest revolver being sold today.

  • Michael April 7, 2020, 10:23 am

    We are now seeing in real time the dangers of purchasing (or having to purchase) products from foreign countries. Keep our manufacturing here. Americans need to suck it up and buy American. The extra expense for some US-made products is money that goes to each and everyone of our neighbors here. Why would I buy a Taurus at this suggested list price when I can get a S&W 686 Plus Deluxe for the same price? (or one of five or six other S&W Performance Center .357 revolvers!)

  • John Smith April 7, 2020, 7:34 am

    I bought a Taurus .357 mag, 8-shot with 8 3/8″ barrel back in 2000. Ive hunted with for two decades, hogs, deer, ground hogs, turkeys in fall season, coyotes, etc…i took my largest whitetail with it, 8 point, 300lb whitetail, one shot. I own several Taurus firearms as well as Smiths, Rugers, Rossi’s, etc…i know many of the complaints about Taurus, but have personally never had problems with any of their firearms or service. Unless it is a niche firearm, caliber setup, which Taurus oftenly makes, im not sure I would chose one today over a Smith or Ruger when price point is only slighly lower. But, this is a niche revolver and if you enjoy pistol hunting, mine has been a blast. I will say, i got much higher velocities with mine. Hornady 125jhp’s were running in the mid 1,700’s fps, and 158 Jhp Buffalo Bore were running in high 1,500s. Ive used 4x scopes and red dots, prefer the red dot, Taurus sights are sloppy. With 4x scope and hornady 140 FTX i can get 3″ group or slightly better at 100yards. The comp is great for extended time at the range, not too bad in the field as far as muzzle blat, the longer barrel helps not blow out your ear drums. To the contrary, i owned a 4″ version with comp, in the field Hunting it will make you deaf for a day if shot without ear pro.

  • martianone April 7, 2020, 4:44 am

    Taurus, bull made in Brazil ?
    Why not buy a made in USA product?
    I

    • Hondo April 25, 2020, 4:00 pm

      I’m pro American as they come but I’m not going to get hung up on where a firearm is manufactured at , why limit your choices ?

      If it’s well made and designed I’ll buy it .

    • tim May 24, 2020, 6:53 am

      because its my money and can buy whatever i want with it including a taurus……. if i want

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