My relationship with the Taurus Raging Hunter has gotten progressively more violent over the years. My first introduction to the platform was via its .44 Magnum chambering. The next year I was introduced to it in .454 Casull. And in 2021, it was available in the .460 Smith & Wesson.
The Taurus Raging Hunter in .460 S&W
For those not familiar with the round, it has roughly the energy equivalent of the first two combined. Another accurate comparison would be an entire cylinder of Hornady’s .45 Colt Critical Defense going off at once. Yeah, this thing is going to rock whatever is in front of it.
Designed in 2005, this cartridge is intended for long-range handgun hunting as well as for dangerous game. Having five of these at the ready is more than just “loaded for bear,” it’s loaded for the whole friggin’ zoo! This would be the biggest revolver that I was to review to date, and I was excited to see how it did.
The .460 S&W Raging Hunter comes in three barrel lengths, depending on what you want to do with it.
If you plan on making it your primary hunting firearm, I’d recommend the full-length barrel that measures 8.375 inches. If you are looking for a “guide gun,” the 5.25-inch-barreled offering is probably your best fit. And, of course, if you’re confused, there is always the 6.75-inch model, which is what I wound up with for this test.
Typically, I like my long-range pistols as big as possible because you get your most velocity and your least recoil this way, and sometimes better accuracy, too. However, with 2021 being a “get what you get” type of year, I was happy to test out the laughable “mid-sized” pistol.
Hey, at least I got the slick-looking two-toned version. So, if nothing else, I’ll be prettier than the other girls at the range.
Raging Hunter Rundown
The Raging Hunter concept was a simple idea, and I’m surprised that it took Taurus that long to put it on the market. Hunters are getting older (this includes me), and with that, our backs and eyes are going. So what do we want? Less gun and more optic.
To this day I’ve never taken a shot beyond 100 yards when hunting in the deep woods. Not that I have some ridiculous code of ethics, I’ve just never had a clear path of that length. Each year I look at my rifle and say, “Why am I dragging 7 pounds into the woods for this?”
And the answer is always, “Oh yeah, the scope.”
Having glass on your gun lets you take lower-light shots and lets you count points before pulling the trigger. Possibly saving you a huge fine.
So, the Raging Hunter series was built to be powerful, lightweight, and, thanks to the Picatinny rail, optics-ready. The .460 S&W chambering stretches things out a bit, making 100- and even 200-yard shots more than doable for even a mediocre pistolero.
A Touch of Glass
While the pistol comes with fully-adjustable sights, it wouldn’t do justice to test it without taking advantage of the rail. To mount a scope on it, I needed it to be high enough to clear the sights. So, I went with a pair of Warne MSR Ideal height rings.
I didn’t want to cheap out on the hardware department because they were going to take a lot of punishment. Keeping a scope put under .460 recoil is going to take the best (to say the least).
For glass, I went with a Weaver Classic 2-6x optic, simply because I wanted to see how well these things are built and if I could break one. The last hurdle was ammunition. But since there aren’t any AR-15s or Glocks that shoot .460 S&W, I was actually able to gather up three different types. Hey, sometimes it’s nice to have something chambered in an oddball cartridge.
At The Range
My range day started with some light rain and an ambient temperature that was just a hair above freezing. As the Raging Hunter is designed to be weather resistant, I wasn’t too nervous about the gun. But my joints weren’t particularly happy with the conditions.
My goal was to sight in at 50 yards and gather an accuracy average of the two Federal loads, as well as Hornady’s new .460 Handgun Hunter load. After finding which one shot the tightest, I planned on taking it out to 100 yards. This would let me see what type of drop I could expect from it.
I used an MTM quick rest for my accuracy testing. Since this is a monstrous revolver with a gigantic cylinder gap and a ported barrel, there are a lot of ways to damage anything that you plan on supporting your gun with. MTM Quick Rests are simplistic and, best of all, inexpensive should I have made an error and blown it apart.
Sighting in the Raging Hunter
The first shot of the day was with the Federal 275 Barnes Expander ammunition. This bullet features an all-copper construction and better resembles a rifle bullet than a revolver bullet.
Although the Ranging Hunter series is built on a DA/SA mechanism, I opted to cock the hammer so that I could enjoy a short 7-pound break instead of a long 12-pound break. After I pressed the trigger, I was taken aback by what just happened… this thing was legit.
The recoil was no joke, and the crater that it left in the snow was comical. I used the impact to dial in my sight and was on paper in just one cylinder—thankfully.
After finishing off a box and some change, I was thoroughly impressed by how consistent this round was. My smallest group hovered right around 1.5 inches, and the others not too far behind.
I figured now that I sighted in with the mid-weight ammo, I’d go heavier and throw some of the 300-grain Swift fodder downrange. After my first shot, I realized that I had a little more in my hands than I anticipated. These rounds made me work to keep both hands on the gun and punished the backstop for sure.
I ended the formal accuracy test with the 200-grain Hornady Handgun Hunter. This felt like a Swedish massage compared to the other two. Of the three, Federal’s 275-grain load proved to shoot the best in this particular gun.
It wouldn’t surprise me if things would be different if I had the longer- or shorter-barreled version. Factory ammunition is typically built to cater to a specific barrel length.
Reaching Out at Distance
With my last 10 rounds, I turned my attention to the 100-yard target that I had placed earlier in the day. On it sat two 6-inch Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C pasters. My goal was to see how well the accuracy held up this far out. Likewise, I wanted to see what kind of elevation loss the 275-grainers would have between 50 and 100 yards.
After sending five at each target, I took a walk and gazed at two groups that were just north of 2.25 inches in diameter. Many rifles can’t keep groups this size, especially with hunting ammunition.
Furthermore, they were only about 2.5 inches off of my 50-yard zero. This means that there wouldn’t be any holdover required on medium-sized game. Just put the crosshairs in the vitals and press the trigger. This, folks, is the return on all of that extra recoil, flat trajectory.
Final Thoughts on the Raging Hunter
I would love to take the new Raging Hunter out through the woods this year. So much so that I plan on “forgetting” to send it back to Taurus until reminded—twice, possibly.
Shooting this thing was certainly an experience. If you’re a recoil junkie, consider this to be your crystal methamphetamine. I will admit, though, Taurus did a great job reducing muzzle flip on this hand cannon. Although it kicked like a mule, it was mostly straight back. Even when firing it off of the bench, I was able to keep both hands on it.
Shooting .460 S&W is not designed for plinking tin cans, know that getting into it. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy low-recoil practice. Specifically, because the same gun can chamber .45 Colt or .45 Schofield. And they would feel like .22 LR after shooting a box or two of the beast loads.
Even though it’ll go bang, Taurus advises not to use .45 Schofield, in the rare event you ever find some anyway. On the other hand, the .460 Raging Hunter can also fire .454 Casull if you need hunting ammo in a pinch and can’t get your hands on any .460.
Overall, the baddest addition to the Raging Hunter line from Taurus makes a great alternative to carrying a rifle through the brush. And, since it chambers four different cartridges, it’s a handy gun to have when we find ourselves scavenging for ammo.
For more information, please visit TaurusUSA.com.
Taurus Raging Hunter 460 Specs
Caliber: .460 S&W Magnum
Barrel Length: 5.25, 6.75 and 8.375 inches
Overall Length: 11.6, 13.2 and 14.9 inches
Weight: 60.7, 64.9 and 69.1 ounces (empty)
Sights: Fixed front, adjustable rear
Action: DA/SA revolver
|Hornady Handgun Hunter 200 gr. MonoFlex||2.75|
|Federal Premium 275 Barnes Expander||1.55|
|Federal Premium 300 Swift A-Frame||2.24|
Bullet weight measured in grains and accuracy in inches for best five-shot groups shot from a rest at 50 yards.
This article was originally published in the Combat Handguns November/December 2021 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email email@example.com.