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Taurus Raging Hunter: .44 Magnum Hunting Revolver

Taurus Raging Hunter

Taurus announced its latest addition to its hunting revolver line: the Raging Hunter. It will be officially unveiled at the 2018 SHOT Show.

This massive .44 Magnum is a 6-shot wheelgun with a traditional double action/single action trigger. However, the gun has a distinctly non-traditional look about it.

To start with, the 8.375″ barrel is a two piece design with a steel sleeve inside of an aluminum housing. The housing has an octagonal shape with a large slab sides. “TAURUS” is spelled out along the side. The barrel housing also has a deep black finish that contrasts the matte stainless frame. An all blued version of the gun is also available.

barrel of the Taurus Raging Hunter

Lest you think the barrel assembly is purely for show, it does have some features that may appeal to you. For example, the aluminum housing helps to lighten the load to provide a better balance to the gun. Also, the top of the barrel housing has a Picatinny rail for the addition of a scope or red dot optic.

Taurus also elected to port the barrel of the Raging Hunter. This should help tame the power of the .44 Magnum so that us older shooters who have begun to develop arthritis don’t feel quite as much of the recoil impulse. The porting should help keep muzzle rise down and improve the ability to get on target.

Also helping to tame recoil is the “red stripe” grip that Taurus uses on its heavy recoiling guns. This grip is made of a soft rubber with a red cushioned insert along the back. I’ve found these grips to be fairly good at lessening the impact into the hand when shooting.

grips on the Raging Hunter

Using an aluminum barrel housing may help reduce weight as compared to an all steel system, but this gun is not a featherweight. Unloaded it weighs 55 ounces. That’s about 3.5 pounds.

Taurus set the suggested retail price at $919 for the handgun. Your dealer may be willing to sell it for less.

caliber.44 Magnum
capacity6 rounds
actiondouble action/single action
barrel length8.375"
overall length15.75"
weight55 ounces
height7.1"
width1.8"
sightspinned front, adjustable rear, Picatinny rail for optic
griprubber with cushioned insert
finishblued and matte stainless or all blued
MSRP$919

The “Raging” moniker is not new for Taurus. Several of the company’s more powerful revolvers have had Raging as part of the name. For example, the Raging Judge Magnum was a wheelgun that expanded the .45 Colt/.410 bore Judge revolver line to include the .454 Casull cartridge.

Probably my favorite Raging revolver was the ill-fated Raging Judge XXVIII. It was a revolver chambered for the 28 gauge shotshell. Alas, it appeared Taurus could not make the design work under the legal constraints of the US government and had to shelf the project. At least I got to see one before it was pulled from public view. I imagine it is stored in the same warehouse where the Ark of the Covenant is kept after Indian Jones rescued it from Nazi Germany.

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Rumors of New Taurus Revolvers for 2018

If rumors are to be believed, Taurus has a number of new revolvers coming out in 2018. These have not yet been announced by the company, but I have had a number of sources provide details that make them appear credible. So, with a sizable grain of salt, here is what I am hearing:

Raging Hunter

(Update: This rumor has been confirmed, though with a few detail changes. See the details on the Taurus Raging Hunter here.)

Taurus has never been afraid to build a large framed revolver. The Raging Hunter appears to be designed in the same spirit as the Raging Judge Magnum (in .454 Casull, .45 Colt and .410 bore) and the ill-fated Raging Judge XXVIII (a 28-gauge revolver.) Only the Taurus Raging Hunter is a milder cartridge: the .44 Magnum.

From what I am hearing, the new revolver will have a Picatinny rail on the top of the barrel for adding a scope.The barrel is 6.5″ long with an octagonal shape. It is ported. The gun will ship with sights including an adjustable rear.

I am also hearing that the Raging Hunter will be available in both two-tone and black finishes. It will have the company’s recoil reducing grips with the red stripe down the back.

The Taurus Raging Hunter sounds like a revamped version of the older Model 444 Raging Bull. This was a .44 Magnum revolver that was offered about seven years ago. With the exception of the barrel, the gun was nearly identical to what has been described to me as the Raging Hunter. The older revolver’s barrel did not have a Picatinny rail but was vented instead.

Model 856

Taurus 856 Revolver

(Update: This rumor has been confirmed, though with a few detail changes. See the details on the Taurus 856 revolver here.)

The new 856 revolver is a six-shot, .38 Special handgun with a steel frame. It has a 2″ barrel and a weight of about 22 ounces. This makes it a direct competitor to the recently reintroduced Colt Cobra – another 2″ wheelgun that holds 6 rounds in the cylinder.

This gun appears to be a reintroduction of the prior steel framed model 856 revolvers. Those were also 2″ steel framed guns that held 6 rounds and weighed 22.2 ounces. The original 856 revolvers appear to have been discontinued in later 2012. The guns appeared in the Taurus 2012 catalog, but not in the 2013.

The above photo is of the original Taurus 856 from 2012.

Older 856 revolvers also had an option for a magnesium frame that dropped the weight to less than a pound. The new guns do not appear to have this option.

Model 692

(Update: This rumor has been confirmed, though with a few detail changes. See the details on the Taurus 692 here.)

While the two rumored revolvers previously mentioned have older versions of them, this is one that may be a new entity entirely.

The Taurus 692 is supposed to be a .357 Magnum revolver that comes with a 9mm conversion cylinder. This means that you could shoot .38 Special, 9mm and .357 Magnum from the same gun. I know that Taurus offers a 9mm revolver and convertible rimfire revolvers, but I don’t recall ever seeing a centerfire convertible revolver from them previously. (Feel free to comment below and let me know what I’m forgetting.)

The gun is said to be available with a 3″ or 6″ barrel and have a steel frame.

Final Thoughts

While these new guns are just rumors at this point, all of them make sense to me. Taurus has not had a lot of new product introductions in the recent years and could do with an injection of some fresh models. As some of these seem to be reboots of older guns that were popular in their time, I see them as quick wins. With a new CEO dealing with legacy quality control issues and a class action lawsuit, grabbing some of the low hanging fruit is a smart – and safe – move.