The New Big Boy on the Block: Testing the Taurus Raging Hunter 44 Mag

For the purpose of testing the Raging Hunter, I used a variety of 44 Mag ammo from Buffalo Bore Ammunition. I installed a Leupold FX-2 Handgun 4×28 scope and saw good results at decent ranges.

Large guns have a special place in my heart, as they do for most people. The Taurus Raging Hunter in 44 Mag is a handgun that put a huge smile on my face the moment I held it in my hand. The Raging Hunter is well constructed. There is extremely little play in any of the moving parts, the cylinder locks positively in place with a dual latch system, and the porting on the end of the barrel is not only attractive but reduces recoil effectively; making for a great shooting experience.

Shooting the Raging Hunter was a pleasure. The stout recoil was much less than that of similarly sized handguns because of the porting near the muzzle. You definitely won’t want to forget hearing protection with this gun though! (For you internet safety officers, my finger is on the trigger because I was shooting at that moment.)

The Raging Hunter is available in 3 different calibers: the 357 Mag, 44 Mag, and 454 Casull. Each of these is also offered in 3 different barrel lengths; 8 3/8″, 6 3/4″ and 5 1/8″. These offerings allow the raging hunter to find its place in most anybody’s arsenal for a specific purpose. In this review, I will be focusing on the 8 3/8″ 44 mag offering that I have.

Interesting Features

The Raging Hunter’s construction was well thought out. The safety features such as the dual cylinder latch system and transfer bar safety are simple yet effective. The Aluminum barrel shroud keeps the barrel rigid, lightweight, helps dissipate heat and the integrated Picatinny rail allows the mounting of many different optic types. The barrel is ported toward the muzzle which helps keep the recoil to a minimum when shooting the hard-hitting cartridges that the Raging Hunter comes chambered in. The padded grip also makes his gun pleasant to shoot. This handgun is packed with many other features that make this firearm a steal at the MSRP of $910.27 for the matte black anodized model.

Here, you can see the rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation with a flat-head screwdriver.

Initial Impression

The Raging Hunter comes in a simple cardboard box, which I find appropriate because it is not about what is on the outside, it is what is on the inside that matters, right? The one that I received was the matte black single tone model. When I lifted it out of the box, I couldn’t help but notice the authoritative heft that it has. However, it is much much lighter than all-steel handguns of similar size coming in at 55 ounces. The Raging Hunter loses some weight because of the use of an aluminum barrel shroud which also functions as an optic attachment point because of it’s integrated Picatinny rail.

The barrel seems large, but what you see is an aluminum shroud. This helps keep the barrel rigid and aid in heat dissipation as well as serve for an attachment point for optics. I chose to mount a Leupold FX-II Handgun 4×28 optic on mine because of its small size and dependability of the Leupold name.

I was very eager to fire the Raging Hunter, but I could not yet so I threw some snap caps in the cylinder and proceeded to “shoot” much of the taxidermy around the house. When fired single action, the trigger had a little bit of creep but broke at a hard wall. Fired double action, the trigger is comparable to any other double-action pistols.

The dual latch cylinder lock system was different than I am used to, but it became natural after working it a few times. The cylinder on the Raging Hunter swings out with no play in the yoke and the extractor is both firm to operate against the spring pressure as well as easy to work. The classic cushioned insert that the Raging series handguns have, definitely feels nice in the hand and I have no doubt that it makes shooting the hard-hitting pistol more pleasant.

The dual latch system ensures that the cylinder is locked into place securely.

Range Results

Buffalo Bore Ammunition was kind enough to supply me with a variety pack of different 44 Mag ammunition that I planned on testing the Raging Hunter with. This ammunition is notoriously accurate and some of the most powerful that you can find for loaded factory ammo. In the past, I have run it through many of my handguns/rifles with great results.

I had many different types of 44 Mag ammunition from Buffalo bore and they all shot similar out of the Raging Hunter, but I could definitely feel a difference in-between each type’s power.

Once I got the Raging Hunter loaded up, I was using a leather bag to rest the barrel of this monster on while I shot at a target I set out 50 yards away with the help of a Leupold Optics FX-II 4×28 handgun scope. I started with the lightest loaded bullets; the “Low Recoil 44 Mag.” and worked my way up to the “Deer Grenade +P”. I will admit that I pulled a few shots here and there with the anticipation of the gun going off because… well, it hits hard on both ends. However, I could tell when I had done this and would re-shoot the groups with more concentration. The following groups below are representations of my most confident volleys and average to be about 2″ at 50 yards. This is definitely good enough for me to be comfortable hunting with, as the pistol is designed to do.

The trigger on the Raging Hunter is a bit stout in single action, but it broke very crisp. I would guess that mine is in the 5-pound range. If I were to keep this handgun, I would most likely install a reduced power spring kit in it in order to bring the trigger down to the 3-pound range in single action. This is an upgrade that can be bought for $10 and Wolff makes them for the Raging series, so this is more than likely going to be a popular thing to do.

One ammunition that Buffalo Bore supplied me with was some 340-grain +P+ ammo that I did not shoot through the Raging Hunter. Quite frankly, I was worried about the gun holding up with it because the box of ammo came with a warning and a list of guns that it COULD be used in, and this was not one of them. This gun handled some very stout loads like a champ, but I would not recommend using any of your uncle’s buddy’s son’s cylinder cracking handloads in this firearm. Your hands are worth more than a couple more FPS.

The aggressive porting near the muzzle of the barrel really help with reducing recoil, making this large handgun easier to shoot.

Specifications:

  • Fully Adjustable rear iron sight
  • large frame
  • 5-7 round capacity based on caliber
  • transfer bar safety
  • comes in 357, 44 Mag and 454 Casull
  • available with 8 3/8″, 6 3/4 and 5 1/8″ barrel lengths
  • weighs in at ~ 55, 52 and 48 ounces respectively
  • double-action / single action
  • 1.8″ wide
  • 6.4″ high
  • stainless steel frame, alloy steel frame, and an aluminum barrel shroud
  • MSRP $919.55 for two-tone and $910.27

In Review

The Taurus Raging Hunter series of pistols have proven themselves to me to be exactly what I had hoped: large, hard-hitting, accurate pistols that are capable of having magnified optics mounted on them for the purpose of hunting large game. The Raging Hunter proved itself to be more manageable under recoil because of the aggressive top porting near the muzzle, despite it’s lighter weight than most similarly sized handguns. The accuracy that I was able to milk out of the gun that I was sent is more than enough to take down large game within the effective range of the cartridges that these guns come chambered in. Overall, at the MSRP of $910.27 and a street price near $650, this is no doubt the best hunting revolver within this price range.

The Raging Hunter in 44 Mag is an amazing handgun for the price. I will definitely be putting it to use during hunting season this year.

For more information visit Taurus website.

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About the author: Riley Baxter is an avid and experienced hunter, shooter, outdoorsman, and he’s worked in the backcountry guiding for an outfitter. He also get’s a lot of enjoyment out of building or customizing his firearms and equipment. Check out Riley’s Instagram @Shooter300

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Gerald Robinson II July 23, 2020, 10:32 am

    I owed s&w duty Harry 44mag and raging bull 44mag I sold s&w because the raging bull shot better i could hold both one in each hand and the raging bull had conceterable less recoil than the s&w and to the person that said his 500mag will out perform the 44mag your right i owed one of those too but the difference is by the time I would have gotten the 500mag out and aimed the bear I was using it for as a back up plan would have eaten me and crapped me out . Where as the 44mag I could have easily gotten it out a ended any threat of being bear attacked. So even though its a nice piece to show of the user friendliness is not so user friendly unless you a linebacker for the NFL.. And on top of the the 500 mag is such a cannon on the second shot the confusion and recoil are so intense it knocked out every lens in my brand new Leopold scope. As well as ammo costing $80 for 20rnds that are not enjoyable to shoot and i am a big big gun consume like 458lup ,300 win mag , nittro express so i do have a fair opinion on big guns my fist rile at 15 was a 7mm mag and my first shotgun was a 10 gauge so I feel im giving it a fair opinion. To accurately draw aim and shoot at a oncoming pissed off bear ill take the 44 any day because I want to be sure that I can be accurate quickly and not be knocked off my ass if I have to fire out of balance even though I dont recommend doing so but to have that confidence to be able to if needed might be the difference between life of death everyone has there opinion but im 200lbs and 5’10” and all the friends that have shot the 500 mag refuse to shoot it again. After 3 shots it rattled your bones and youll feel it for a couple days. So my choice is the taurus not for cost because I owned all these guns cost had no influence on decision only user friendliness and reliability in a jam . And the cheapest out of all three was the very best in the user friendlyness and cost category hats off to taurus they have made in my opinion a very well put together and cost effective weapon . That I will be purchasing another of. And I can get any gun I choose it will be the taurus

  • Jim Parker January 6, 2020, 11:16 am

    These compare to the Ruger Redhawks, but the individual quality of the Taurus revolves demands that you try several of ’em side by side to find the one that feels the best, in regard to fit and trigger, hammer, cylinder, etc. I’ve owned both and the Rugers seem better made but Ruger’s out of the box trigger never impresses me. The Taurus triggers out of the box are all over the map but if you are patient and take your time to try a few you can get one that’s really sweet. This matters because today Smith and Colt prices are getting ridiculous and Ruger and Taurus are still in the realm of reality. Very enjoyable shooters. I keep a Taurus handy at all times.

  • Alexander Kubilis January 6, 2020, 10:30 am

    What’s the best price on the 44 mag?

  • steve January 6, 2020, 9:51 am

    The “big boy”? I’ll put my ported S&W 500 mag against it any day!

  • Kole January 6, 2020, 6:14 am

    I have one of the older raging bulls and the gun is one of my favorite things in the world. I wish it had the rail like the hunter, but other than that it’s awesome. I know some S&W guys won’t like it, but you can’t please everyone. If this was on the dumbass CA compliant roster I would have it too. Great fun gun to shoot.

  • Eric Billiter August 17, 2019, 6:41 pm

    Great info! It actually steered me to buy the raging hunter. 44 mag.

  • Kyng August 6, 2019, 11:03 am

    Basically they took my EDC and added built in furniture . I carry the model444 blued 6.5” with a big bore rail and a Bushnell elite handgun optic.

  • Randy K August 6, 2019, 10:32 am

    So is every round tested designated as safe to shoot in the Raging Hunter? With the steel barrel and aluminum shroud is the revolver considered all steel by Buffalo? Sending that ammo implies as much.

  • John Reilly August 6, 2019, 9:10 am

    Great gun

  • John Reilly August 6, 2019, 9:08 am

    I have S&as 44. And this sounds pretty goods

  • CARL August 6, 2019, 8:19 am

    Correction: The barrel is not aluminum… The steel barrel sleeve is inserted into the aluminum frame, to reduce weight of the massive frame.

  • John Tromler August 6, 2019, 8:00 am

    Taurus is a Taurus…..

  • William Bundy August 6, 2019, 12:05 am

    I do not know if the author realizes that this revolver frame and cylinder are based off of the raging bull frame and cylinder and will handle any load that the raging bull or ruger super red hawk or black hawk revolvers will handle. The weight of the revolver gives the impression that it will not handle the heavy loads, it will period.. Take it from a montana Elk hunter. P.S. I have used every commercially available heavy weight round i.e. uderwood, grizzly,Garrett,HSM and a handfull of others. My Raging Hunter is much more pleasant to shoot with these heavy loads than any ruger every will be, guaranteed. Thanks.

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