U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Have you ever wanted to own a gun powerful enough to slay bears in a single shot, yet still capable of firing soft-shooting (relatively) inexpensive rounds? The Taurus Raging Hunter is exactly that, and more.
My fascination with the big-bore Taurus began back in the late 90s; I saw it grace the pages of several gun rags in airports and bookstores, and it just looked so different from Smith & Wesson’s .44 Magnum. And while that gun looks pretty cool, it was the recent introduction of the Raging Hunter variant of the revolver that really piqued my interest – especially in the absurdly powerful .454 Casull. But make no mistake, this Taurus wheel-gun is more than just a hand-cannon, it has some very interesting features and design choices that make it a potent hunting handgun.
Taurus Raging Hunter
The Raging Hunter is a double/single-action revolver chambered in the punishingly potent .454 Casull. Due to the round’s massive size, the Raging Hunter’s huge cylinder can only hold five rounds of ammo. The good news is that nothing on planet Earth should be able to survive a single round, let alone all five.
The massive 8.37-inch barrel on the Raging Hunter is covered by the Raging series’ iconic barrel shroud, which itself features a small fixed front sight blade. At the rear of the gun is a deceptively sturdy notch rear sight that is adjustable for windage and elevation.
The Hunter’s frame is positively massive and features dual cylinder releases for a more secure lockup and safer operation. Despite this, I would highly advise shooter’s keep their support hands away from the cylinder gap, as the amount of pressure being generated is sufficient to potentially severely injure a supporting hand if placed incorrectly.
Behind this beefy action, the Raging Hunter sports large oversized rubberized grips featuring the iconic red stripe down the backstrap. The grips are very spongey, and this is an absolute God-send. The recoil impulse generated from the .454 Casull round is incredible – and the more designers add to curb this, the better.
Thankfully, this isn’t the only recoil-reducing feature on the gun. The Raging Hunter also sports an eight-port integral compensator beneath the front sight.
Hope My Body Can Take it!
Here’s the part in the article where I tell you that the combination of these two features made shooting the gun pleasant – but I’m 100% not going to do that. Literally, everyone I had shoot this gun with full-power hunting loads wanted to put the gun down for good after a single cylinder. This is understandable too – the .454 Casull round is 70% more powerful than .44 Magnum!
That said, I did find a few ways to mitigate the damage this gun does to the shooter, making more experienced shooters capable of handling the recoil of full-powered rounds – but thus far, not beyond 15 rounds.
For starters, you have to make sure that your elbows are in no way locked. While this won’t have a ton of effect on shooters running 9mm handguns or AR-pistols, when the recoil impulse is dialed to 11, you have to utilize muscle over bone to mitigate the recoil’s effect on the shooter. I actually recommend a slight bend in both elbows and squaring off against your target almost like an umpire – but without crouching at all.
Shooters also need to grip this thing like it’s a venomous snake trying to bite their crouch. AKA, stranglehold the ever-living-hell out of the gun like your life depends on it. Yes, this is terrible form for normal shooting, but this is a massively powerful firearm.
Raging Hunter Performance
Although difficult to shoot with repeatable accuracy with full-powered loads, the Raging Hunter was capable of easily hitting a 2-inch target at 75 yards with my Trijicon RMR attached. And unlike most handguns, the massive, lightning-fast .454 Casull round reached that target almost instantly. To the point where it felt like I was shooting a rifle round.
As far as reliability, the gun never encountered any issues with the lockup or any failures to detonate – but this isn’t really surprising, it’s a revolver. That said, it is possible to cause the trigger to bind if a shooter pulls the trigger partially back and then stops. I encountered this issue a few times but was never able to reliability recreate it, so it would very well just be shooter error due to the massive recoil impulse.
Overall, is the Taurus Raging Hunter worth its $1,021 MSRP?
Depending on the needs of the shooter, yes.
If you’re looking for a fun gun to plink at the range, this probably isn’t the gun for you, unless you love stout recoil and big guns. It’s also arguably a fairly terrible first gun because the recoil is so stout it will make establishing good shooting habits and techniques very tough.
But if you want the ultimate hunting handgun that can deliver one-shot-kills on dangerous game, yet is still capable of firing milder .45 LC rounds, the Taurus Raging Hunter in .454 Casull is a fantastic deal.
About Jim Grant
Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.
When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.