Taurus Raging Hunter .460 S&W Magnum:
A Brawny Beast — For Besting the Biggest Game!

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The Taurus Raging Hunter in .460 delivers what the old adage describes as: “The rich man’s demand for quality and economy — and the poor man’s need of economy and quality.” This beefy magnum sums that up nicely. At about $1,081, depending upon the exact model, you get a well-designed hunting revolver chock full of compelling features often only available on custom guns. Cue the grin, please.

The Raging Hunter allows you to take the biggest game the world has to offer. Let me say that again — The .460 S&W Magnum Raging Hunter can take the largest game in the world. If medium-sized dinosaurs still strolled the earth, you’d be ready. Yet it can still do double duty taking “smaller” game like elk, moose, bear and pigs. It can even do a sort of “triple duty” targeting, plinking or just having fun at the range as a .45 Colt or a range of other cartridges, including the .454 Casull. Versatile? Uh … yeah.

You get all that, my friends, for what’s essentially the price of a basic 1911.

Yet, this isn’t an amateur’s gun, not at any level, even though it’s affordable. It’s on the opposite end of the revolver spectrum from a pocket Model 856 .38 from the same company. It’s a sort of really big versus really little situation. Yet they’re the same in the sense they’re both expert’s guns.

As occurs with small frame revolvers, I think too many shooters tend to just believe, “Oh, that’s cool, I could shoot one of those.” But exactly like a 2″ .38, the Raging Hunter has its challenges. The small guns can recoil fairly heavily for what they are, can be tough to handle due to their size and they all take a high degree of skill to manipulate the trigger effectively and accurately.

The funny thing is, the 54 oz. Raging Hunter also recoils fairly heavily, can be tough to manage due to their bulk and weight, and the SA and DA action takes real practice and skill to manage well enough to take advantage of the accuracy potential of the cartridge and gun. They’re the same — only different.

The key here is, if you’re set on starting your handgun hunting adventure with a big bore Raging Hunter, take the time to get some help from people who’ve been there. Learn about recoil management, reloading, putting sub-calibers (like the .45 Colt, which the gun also handles) to work helping you to train, and get the manual of arms down pat on how to manipulate the Raging Hunter — well before you go into the field.

Time spent on the range learning will make you competent, and just makes plain good sense when it comes to owning a very special revolver like this. It’s also more responsible if you’re gearing up to hunt. You owe the animal your proficiency, don’t you?

History

Taurus introduced a .357 Magnum Tracker revolver some 20-odd years ago and it rocked the industry. I actually took one prairie dog hunting, but that’s another story. As soon as Taurus saw it had a good idea, it expanded the line-up with new calibers and designs. Hunters loved the fact they could enjoy time spent handgun hunting with effectively designed handguns specifically made for handgun hunting — shooting cartridges like the .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum.

When the .500 S&W Magnum was introduced in 2003, everyone soon found out an all-steel, heavy-duty design was needed to handle this monster. In 2005 S&W introduced the .460 for the same platform, advertising it as the “fastest factory production handgun round in existence” — and they were right. A 230-grain bullet can be tossed out at nearly 2,400 fps due to the rifle-like pressure of 65,000 psi generated by the cartridge. That’s in the same range as a .308 folks. This really ramped up the game for handgun hunters after really big game. I was on a Bison hunt with the .460 and it, well … worked.

Taurus introduced the Raging Hunter line in 2019 to take advantage of the .460 round, the .454 Casull, .45 Colt and others, proceeding to steal market share across the board. Seeming limitless design elements, calibers and options — not to mention the affordable price and lifetime warranty to the original owner — soon made this new line-up a go-to for handgun hunters across the board.

In just the past couple of years or so, the .460 S&W Magnum Raging Hunter concept has stolen the spotlight, and for good reason. Our own Mark Hampton — without argue the most experienced handgun hunter in the world — said this about the gun recently:

“With a spring black bear hunt in Alaska scheduled, I plan on taking the .460 up north. I’ll be hunting in a two-bear area and will try two different loads if things work out. In my home state of Missouri, we’re scheduled to experience our first black bear season late in the fall, so the .460 may possibly get another opportunity at a bruin. Later in the year a trip to Africa is on-tap for some plains game. The .460 will also get a workout on the Dark Continent for kudu, nyala, warthog and more.”

Mark could — and has — taken some pretty exotic handguns on his world hunts. Yet, he’s taking the Taurus Raging Hunter in .460 and relying on it for these very special opportunities — opportunities where failure is simply not an option. That’s a vote of confidence from a professional and at least to me, suddenly puts my own whitetail deer hunting in perspective. I’m betting a Raging Hunter could handle my modest needs — and yours — just fine.

Specific Strengths

A core platform on the Raging Hunter of an all-steel frame, cylinder and barrel (with aluminum shroud) only starts the process. Add to this a ported barrel, dual lock-up cylinder (front and rear, with two latches to release the cylinder), Picatinny rail, scope mount, cushioned rubber grips, DA/SA operation, transfer bar safety feature and several finish options and barrel lengths help to round things out neatly. I’ve had two test guns in-hand, an 8.37″ and a 6.75″ (with a 5.12″ also available) and both guns showed similar excellent fit, finish and overall function. Taurus offers consistent quality — and a lifetime guarantee to the original owner.

That five-round cylinder is huge, believe me, especially if you’re used to shooting .38 and .357 style revolvers. And slipping those big Hornady rounds home seemed almost surreal at first. “How can this be a handgun round,” I kept thinking? But it is, and the gun handles the fuss just fine and you walk away without the hair on your arms being singed off. Mostly.

The iron sights are excellent, and fully adjustable. The front is fixed and pinned in but between us, I’m betting it’d be easy to fit an after-market fluorescent dot type sight or something else to fit your fancy. I know, I know, this gun begs for a red dot or scope to really take advantage of the 200+ yard capability if you do your part. But for we mere mortals, unlike Mark Hampton, these good irons are just fine out to the 50 to 150 yards we all seem to honestly take our deer at.

Having said that, the Picatinny rail is well-extended and offers plenty of room and versatility for whatever optic floats your boat. I didn’t mount one because the 1.25″ groups at 25 yards and 3″ 50-yard groups with the irons told me all I needed to know about accuracy. This gun shoots.

The grips really help to make this package shooter friendly too. They’re synthetic, really help with gripping the big gun, and absorb enough recoil to keep it fun to shoot. I shot a few rounds DA using the full-power .460 loads and the gun just sort of rolls in your hand and balances right back on-target (check out the video link at the end to see it in action). With the .45 Colt loads, you can wang away at a bank of steel plates pretty much as fast as you can press the trigger well. No issues, no fuss and no muss.

There’s a transfer bar for safety, a frame-mounted firing pin set-up, a smooth trigger face for good DA shooting and some aggressive texturing on the hammer spur for SA cocking. I actually found the DA action staged well, allowing me very smooth and consistent DA trigger pulls. The SA pull was right at about 6 lbs. and a bit gritty so I’d likely dry-fire the heck out of it or touch up that action just a tad to smooth the SA out some if I were to keep this gun.

Shooting

I put a total of about 40 full power Hornady loads through my test sample, and another 200 or so .45 Colt and .454 Casull loads. I confess though, even the fire-breathing Hornady loads (a 200-grain FTX at about 2,200 fps) were manageable, even firing double action off-hand. A Black Hills “Cowboy” .45 Colt load at about 750 fps felt like I was shooting a .22 plinker.

Anyone who has any experience shooting big bores like heavy .44 Magnum loads or even .357 loads in medium-frame guns will handle this beast just fine. The recoil with the full-power .460 is stout, certainly, but there’s no pain involved, I assure you. I find shooting the alloy frame .44 Magnums to be punishing, painful and just plain silly to do. The Raging Hunter felt almost like shooting a black powder pistol to me — more thump and a heavy push than a sharp rap. Don’t be askeered of it.

There are lots of factory loads for the .460, and when you add in the various .45 Colt loads, .454 Casull, .45 Schofield and others, you’ll never run out of ideas for loads to shoot. And those big straight wall cases are a joy to reload!

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