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Review: Taurus Raging Hunter 10-Inch .460 S&W Magnum

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Everybody wants to shoot a magnum revolver until, well, they shoot a magnum revolver. Cartridges like the .460 S&W Magnum gain their appeal from proven performance on game, even beyond conventional handgun distances. However, many of these platforms are geared toward wilderness self-defense and, as such, are short in nature, making them only desirable to fire if your life depends on it. Although the .460 is a monster, it doesn’t reach its full velocity potential without a sufficient runway. With these shortcomings in mind, Taurus USA decided to build a gun that can sling this behemoth to new distances, possibly leaving you questioning if owning a “brush carbine” is even worth it anymore. The new pistol is an unorthodox extension to the company’s award-winning hunting wheelgun line and is aptly named the 10″ .460 S&W Raging Hunter.

Taurus Raging Hunter 10-Inch .460 S&W Magnum full length facing left on white background.

If you’re preparing yourself to read two pages about how a few extra inches of barrel makes this a new gun, relax, there is far more to it. Sure, it’s longer, but it’s done in a way that deviates from its brethren. As all of the other Raging Hunters carry a full-length Picatinny shroud, the latest terminates about halfway up the barrel, where it connects with the typical bushing system. This is done to allow for a beefier, extended compensator than other models in this family. This also reduces weight and helps balance the gun, because as you might have guessed it’s already got a bit of heft to it. There is still plenty of room to mount the optic of your choosing, and this abbreviated shroud ensures that you don’t mount it in a way where it’ll be concussed by the muzzle device. While the device in question is listed as a compensator, there are a fair number of braking features across its design as well. It is both threaded and clamped to the barrel to ensure it stays attached and properly timed without the need for maintenance. Lastly, a section of Picatinny rail is added to the underside of the 10-inch version to allow for the addition of a bipod or any other stabilizing devices that bear this connectivity.

Popular legacy features are carried over to the frame of the 10-inch .460, including the stylish two-tone appearance. Taurus pulls this off by simply dulling the stainless steel to a brilliant matte finish and anodizing anything aluminum, yielding a weatherproof, non-reflective surface. This combination of light and dark helps to break up the outline of the gun, which adds a bit of functionality to its flair.

You’ll notice that the .460 is a five-shot revolver instead of the traditional six (or seven in the case of the .357 Magnum). This is to leave enough cylinder wall in between each chamber to accommodate the raw force of the cartridge. I thought this was smart thinking, as I figure I’ll need my fingers more often than a sixth shot on a deer hunt. Further solidifying the action are the dual cylinder locks that every Raging Hunter is built with. Doubling up on this critical component not only doubles the strength of the lockup, but because the locks counterbalance each other it helps to better align the bullet with the forcing cone. Some might balk that it slows down a reload, but one needs to ask himself when the last time he needed to reload in the woods was, particularly in a hurry.

Taurus Raging Hunter 10-Inch .460 S&W Magnum revolver cylinder with Federal premium ammunition.

Working our way back, we’ll find an extra-soft rubber grip that is relieved with a trio of finger grooves. Taurus fits this rather snugly to the frame, so nothing more than a solemn screw is needed to keep it attached. This has more value than first meets the eye because it eliminates up to four pieces of metal than can be driven into your palms under heavy recoil. Lastly, as this pistol is designed to keep pace with many rifles, Taurus adds a refined set of fully adjustable sights to the package that feature fiber-optic rods. This low-light option will go a long way to ensure you have a sight picture at dusk and dawn, when our quarry is most active.

Although the 10-inch .460 is perfectly capable right out of the box, I had a Burris 3-12x pistol optic sitting on my workbench, and mounting anything to a Picatinny rail is a snap, so I figured why not. Besides, if the interwebs say, “It can go 200 yards, no problem,” I was all about finding out. With a few twists of a torque driver, I was mounted up and off to select ammo. For an obscure cartridge, there seem to be dozens of different loads out there for .460 S&W Mag. I decided on Federal’s 275-grain Barnes Expander, which features a sharply conical hollow-point bullet intended for extended range, along with the company’s 260-grain Fusion load built with a classic bonded soft-point projectile. For my “light” load, I went with Underwood’s 220-grain Xtreme Hunter round, which contains a monolithic copper projectile that is akin to a Phillips-head screwdriver.

I was blessed with a relatively mild day on the range that was essentially absent of any wind. My goal was to zero the handgun at 50 yards and then walk it out to the 100- and 200-yard targets that we have at my local hunting club. Like the other Raging Hunters out there, this one is a double-action; however, for best accuracy, I fired my groups entirely in single. In this mode, I measured a stiff break at right around 8 pounds, which is tough but manageable. Although I would have liked a softer single-action trigger, I was still able to punch 50-yard groups that were inside 2 inches, with the Underwood load breaking the 1-inch mark. Even more manageable was the recoil, which was on par with a slightly smaller handgun chambered in .44 Rem. Mag. Impressed with what I was seeing, I set my sights to the top of the 10-inch gong placed at 100 yards, cracked off a shot and was greeted with a satisfying ping and a new mark nearly exactly where I was aiming. I followed it up with another four rounds and confirmed that this was indeed no fluke. Pushing out to 200, I loaded up with more of the Underwood ammo, as it had the best results at 50. This time I increased my hold by another few inches and was able to put four out of five shots onto another one of those same 10-inch gongs. This was incredible, as not only are these some of the longest handgun shots that I have ever made, but the trajectory is remarkably instinctual.

It is my belief that the 10-inch .460 makes for a capable, compact field tool with a healthy side of “Bar-B-Q” gun for when you want to show something unique to your friends. It’s built with a durable finish that works well with most camo patterns, easily accepts an optic and delivers heavy-hitting rounds with outstanding precision. The trigger was smooth enough for our purposes, but you’ll need to eat your Wheaties if you plan to fire it in double-action. However, stiff triggers provide a certain level of protection against negligent discharges, so feelings toward them are divided into two camps. At the end of the day, having one of these in your safe offers you another option for deep woods hunting that just might end the days of slinging a heavy rifle across your back.

Taurus Raging Hunter 10-Inch .460 S&W Magnum accuracy results chart with three factory ammunition loads.

Technical Specifications
• Type: double-action revolver
• Caliber: .460 S&W Mag.
• Cylinder Capacity: 5 rnds.
• Barrel: 10″; stainless steel; fluted; 1:20″ RH twist; w/compensator
• Trigger: 8 lbs. (SA), 12 lbs. (DA) pull weight
• Sights: adjustable fiber-optic rear; fixed fiber-optic front; Picatinny rail
• Grip/Stocks: rubber
• Metal Finish: matte stainless/black anodized
• Overall Length: 16.2″
• Weight: 4 lbs., 7 ozs.
• MSRP: $1,269.99; taurususa.com

Article by FRANK MELLONI

 

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