Alien Gear Holsters Reviews The Taurus Raging Hunter 44 Mag
The Taurus Raging Hunter is a large frame .44 Magnum that promises a lot of bells and whistles. However, because the gun has "Taurus" stamped on it instead of "Smith and Wesson" gets you those bells and whistles at a relative bargain.
It definitely has a lot going for it, and it's definitely a solid value for money. It's definitely true that you'd have to part with double the price tag to get a comparable gun from S&W.
The Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum 5.12
Before we get to the rest of this Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum review, let's talk about the specs.
The model we received is the Taurus Raging Hunter Matte Black Oxide model, which differs from the Raging Bull models. The Raging Hunter line is designed with the handgun hunter in mind, with certain features, additions and so on for that purpose including a ported barrel and a Picatinny rail machined into the barrel shroud for mounting an optic.
The Raging Hunter is available in three calibers (.44 Magnum, .454 Casull and .357 Magnum) and a variety of barrel lengths, as well as your choice of two-tone (stainless frame + black oxide cylinder and barrel shroud) or matte black oxide. We received the .44 Magnum model in black oxide, with a 5.12-inch two-piece (barrel inside a shroud) barrel.
For those unaware, revolvers are made by setting the barrel into the frame. Some are a single piece, and others are two-piece with a barrel covered by a shroud. This Taurus is the latter, other Taurus revolvers are the former; it depends on which model you get. How much of a difference that makes is a discussion for another time.
The gun stands 6.5 inches tall, 11.5 inches long with the 5.12-inch barrel, and 1.8 inches wide. It weighs 49 oz unloaded and holds 6 rounds of Elmer Keith's favorite cartridge. The cylinder is triple-locking, with dual latches - one at the rear of the frame and one at the crane - for a lockup that's tighter than Dick's hatband.
MSRP is $910.
Sights are an adjustable black steel rear sight and a black steel front blade, which is dovetailed and pinned into a front sight shroud at the end of the barrel shroud.
The grips are Taurus' Raging grip, which is molded rubber with a red rib on the back of the grip, with modest finger grooves on the front.
Obviously, it's a double-action revolver, which means you can squeeze the trigger long and hard for DA shooting or cock the hammer for single-action shooting if so desired. The trigger pull is in the neighborhood of 12 to 14 lbs in double-action and about 5 to 6 lbs for single action; you might get a bit more or less if you buy one and put a trigger pull gauge on it, so YMMV. In our experience, it's about in line with most large-frame double-action revolvers.
So...what were our impressions?
The Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum Review
Okay, so let's get into this Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Mag review.
The Raging Hunter definitely comes with some great features, but since Taurus does offer revolvers that are budget-friendlier than big maggies from Smith and Wesson and Ruger, some folks may wonder how it compares. We'll get to that, too.
The Raging Hunter is very manageable under recoil. Moderate loads of .44 Magnum are very tolerable, full-house loads won't beat you up and .44 Special will be almost unnoticeable. The grips are comfortable and help absorb the shove. Granted, grips are subjective; some people will like them and others won't. We appreciated the modest finger grooves and the red backstrap of the grips, but others might not. Your mileage and all that.
The gun is more than accurate enough for government work. Unfortunately, we didn't have a scope on hand to test long-range accuracy for handgun hunting, but we suspect it would be more than sufficient.
Taurus bills the barrel shroud as being contoured for weight savings, which seems hilarious at face value (it weighs 49 oz) but bear in mind that this gun has a Picatinny rail and weighs only about an ounce more than a 6-inch S&W Model 29 (the "Dirty Harry" gun) that's literally just blue steel and walnut, so it's no bull.
See what we did there?
We didn't notice any problems during range testing, so there's every indication that it's a reliable, accurate handgun and decent value for money, especially given since street prices are typically under $850 and features like an optic rail and ported barrel that normally command much more in sticker price.
And now we come to the question of whether or not the quality is there compared to a Smith and Wesson or a Ruger.
Smith and Wesson revolvers with similar features are almost 1.5 times the price tag ($1300+) and are all made by S&W's Performance Center. The Ruger Super Redhawk will still run you at least $200 more on the street than the Taurus, and doesn't have anywhere near the same features list.
Entry level .44 maggies such as the S&W Model 629 and the Ruger Redhawk are comparable in price to the Raging Hunter, but have fewer features. That said, they do have a nicer finish and smoother triggers out of the box, though any DA revolver trigger will smooth out with time.
But the thing is that it isn't really a fair comparison. Taurus makes working-class guns for people who want something that works, not necessarily the utmost in refinement or even that high-minded blend of ruggedness and luxury. It's a little like comparing a Range Rover to a Jeep Wrangler. Both are made to go off-road, sure, but a Range Rover is not really made for the same crowd as a Wrangler, and isn't really designed with the same priorities in mind, so it's pointless to compare them.
Okay, so the Taurus lacks some refinement compared to the bigger brand name guns, but the features you get for the asking price are just not available at more reasonable price points from S&W or Ruger. On that basis, the Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Magnum is a slam-dunk. If that's what you're after, it's a great gun.