If there is ever a prime quarry to test a new hunting handgun, it may just be feral hogs. Wild boar, pigs, whatever you call them, these pests are fast becoming one of the most popular target animals for hunters of all methods. When Taurus introduced their Raging hunter at this past year’s SHOT show, I knew I had to get my hands on one and give it a test by take it hunting.
Having taken up handgun hunting many years ago, I find a lot of satisfaction when hunting with revolvers. The tactics are very similar to bow hunting. You have to get relatively close, you have to concentrate and execute the shot action to make a clean ethical kill. The biggest difference between handgun hunting and bow hunting is one is significantly louder than the other at the shot. I have been fortunate enough to have taken both whitetail and feral hogs with my handguns. And I find that a good test for any handgun are feral hogs. They are plentiful, tough to stalk and difficult to bring down without excellent bullet placement. So, when the invitation arrived to head to Osceola Outfitters and test the new Raging Hunter from Taurus, I jumped at the chance to get this handgun in the field.
Before we hit the field with the gun, a lot of time was spent at the range getting used to the gun. Safety is always paramount with Taurus, and their representatives were adamant that we understand this particular gun, how it functioned, and the trigger pull before taking it in the field. The Raging Hunter has an 8.375” barrel and comes in at 55 ounces – heavy, but considerably lighter than the Raging Bull of the same caliber. The six-shot cylinder houses the ammunition and uses two release levers to open. This safety feature is one I personally like about this revolver. With a double-action/single-action revolver, initial shots are usually fired in single action with the ability for fast follow-up shots in double action, should the need arise.
I must admit, shooting dozens and dozens of rounds at the range is fun, especially when there is some friendly competition ensuing from the different shooters. All of this time at the range built confidence and a comfort level with the Raging Hunter. The trigger pull, the feel of the grips, loading and unloading all became natural the more we shot them. This allowed me to enter the field with confidence. Topping the Raging Hunter was a TruGlo red dot sight mounted onto the integrated Picatinny rail. The Raging Hunter is available in either a matte black version or a two-tone stainless steel and blue version that really grabs the eye.
This six-shot revolver is chambered in the popular .44 Remington Magnum and is designed for big game hunting at close to moderate ranges. With practice, shots out to one hundred yards are obtainable with the right optics and rest. However, most handgun hunters who would use this will keep shots inside that distance, with about 80 yards being the maximum range. The unique barrel system involves a steel sleeve shrouded in an aluminum housing that cuts down on overall weight and balances this gun in the hand exceptionally well. Adding to the functionality and beauty is the cushioned inserted grips and factory porting to help reduce felt recoil and allow for faster follow-up shots. The Raging hunter adds to the already stellar Raging Bull lineup with a gun of beauty and functionality. The most noticeable feature of this gun is the integrated Picatinny rail that is designed to accept virtually any and all optics. On our hunt we used TruGlo® Tru-Tec™ 20MM red dot sight, a true gem to compliment this fine handgun.
When the test came to take the gun afield, we did so by several methods – spot and stalk, running with dogs and treestand hunting. I opted for the treestand for two reasons: 1) I had never hunted from a palm tree before and wanted to do that and 2) I felt with the treestand, I could get a good rest and make a good ethical shot.
Easing into my stand placement, I noticed a nice-sized hog lying in the shaded sand near the feeder that is used to attract the hogs into strategic locations. The hog bounded off, seemingly alarmed at my intrusion. Moving slowly to the stand, I silently climbed and settled into my seat. Within five minutes, the hog was back but ever alert. He moved around very slowly. When he reached about fifteen yards, I slowly cocked the hammer on the Raging hunter and waited for my shot. After a few minutes, the hog presented me with a good clean shot and the .44 Remington Magnum anchored him in his tracks. The Raging Hunter performed flawlessly.
If you are a dedicated handgun hunter or new to the sport, you cannot go wrong with the Raging Hunter line from Taurus. With a price point below $900, it is one of the most affordable, beautiful and powerful hunting handguns available today.