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Taurus Raging Judge Magnum Review

by Eric R. Poole   |  May 22nd, 2012 32


I’ve been after whitetails with hand-cannons since I shot my first “handgun buck” in Maine with a .454 Raging Bull. Since then, I’ve harvested more deer with one of these big revolvers than any other handgun.

Taurus has offered the Raging Bull in a number of variations including the .218 Bee (Raging Bee), .22 Hornet (Raging Hornet), .30 Carbine (Raging Thirty), .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .454 Casull (just to name a few). The .44 Magnum and .454 are all that remain in the catalog, which has given rise to a surprising demand in the collector market for discontinued models. Several few years ago, Taurus introduced the versatile Judge, which could handle .45 Colt and .410 shotshells.

Due to its rifled barrel, all Judge variants are not characterized as a short-barreled shotgun per the National Firearms Act of 1934 (however California has a broader definition of a short-barreled shotgun making them illegal to possess in that state). The development of the Judge’s unique rifling that works well with both the .45 and .410 was—and is—a real achievement.

The Judge was a derivative of the Tracker Series, but to harness the power of the .454 Casull, Taurus had to adapt the technology of the Judge to the Raging Series. In 2011, Taurus unveiled the Raging Judge Magnum. Choose between .410, .45 Colt, and .454 Casull—or all carry all three in the revolver’s six-shot cylinder.

The fact that the Raging Judge Magnum adds the .454 Casull to this mix is noteworthy. Even though rifling is more shallow than conventional .454s, accuracy hasn’t been compromised. I cut three-shot cloverleafs using the red fiber-optic front sight at 25 yards. With an Aimpoint Micro riding cowboy on the optional optic rail, I printed one-inch, three-shot groups while shooting offhand at the same distance.

The .454-caliber bullet travels at more than 1,800 fps, which carries 1,850 ft-lbs. of energy at the muzzle and nearly 1,200 ft-lbs. as it passes 100 yards. With this amount of power, Taurus keeps it all secure with the Raging Series’ signature dual-lockup cylinder.

Factory-tuned porting appears on many of these models, but weighing a bit more than five pounds, my Raging Judge Magnum has enough heft to help manage the effects of recoil.

The red-striped backstrap—exclusive to the Raging Series—highlights an ergonomic rubberized textured grip with finger grooves. When shooting, this grip provides additional protection against triggerguard impact with your middle finger while using a two-hand, high-grip technique.

These factory grips are truly a blessing. If you end up owning one of these revolvers, this is one item you’ll likely never seek out an aftermarket replacement for.

The Raging Judge Magnum is easy to operate in either double action or single action modes. Double action usually requires a trigger pull of about 10½ pounds that takes an easy seven of those pounds to take up all but the last half-inch of travel followed by about 3½ to drop the spurred hammer. The checkered hammer spur can easily be accessed with the thumb without having to break a firing grip and only requires to 3½ pounds of pressure applied to the trigger to send it forward in single action operation.

My best accuracy results were with Winchester’s potent .454  260-grain Platinum Tip Hollow Points, which averaged just over an inch at 25 yards. Hornady 240-grain XTPs grouped around two inches. I then tried some .45 Colt loads, specifically Hornady’s 255-grain Cowboy and Winchester Super-X 250-grain FN. Neither grouped as well as the hot .454s, but were plenty good enough for just having fun with what is—essentially—a seriously high-horsepower handgun. But the heft and rubberized grips of the Raging Judge tamed those .454s to a .44 Magnum level of recoil.

The .454 is certainly more than enough to bring down anything North America has to offer, and chambering .45 Colt provides a low recoil option. The story of Gene Brush, an Alaskan fishing guide who used a revolver chambered in .454 Casull to take down a charging bear had kick-started a resurgence in popularity for the .454 in 2009. Brush was ambushed by a bear without warning and survived to appear in national headlines. “There was no time to aim, barely time to squeeze the trigger,” reported the Anchorage Daily News. “He’s not sure whether he got off two shots or three, but one proved fatal.”

A matte stainless finish protects the Raging Judge Magnum from any weather you’ll likely encounter. This revolver isn’t a safe queen. It’s designed to work and work it does.


Big bore utility: The addition of an Aimpoint Micro only increases the utility of the Raging Judge Magnum.

Find out about the price and availability of the firearm covered in this article at, where you will gain instant access to the inventory of Davidson’s Inc., one of the nation’s largest factory authorized firearm wholesalers. customers know instantly if the firearm is available and can select from offers presented by dealers in their area. The selected dealer then immediately ships the firearm via Federal Express. Perhaps best of all, guns purchased at are covered by Davidson’s Guaranteed Lifetime Replacement Program Fast. Easy. Hassle-free.

  • Carlos Coty

    Good Lord! I'm guessing that you better not spend a lot of time on the range in one session practicing if you want to keep your hand attached to your arm. That gun looks so magnificent though! I wonder what the MSRP is on that beast. If I had a million dollars….or if I come into some money you can be sure I would like to add this to my collection!

    • Kimberly

      Per the Taurus website, the MSRP is $1030.00.

      • bill dorsey

        its not uncommon for manufacturers to list a higher msrp than what retailers will sell it for. ive seen that on many websites like savage, remington and dpms.

    • John

      I just purchased one for $739 new in box.

  • ron

    where i live in ky they run around $800

    • John

      I live in Nebraska. Look online Dons Hobby Guns. They ship guns to anywhere in the USA to a FFL permit holder or dealer. I picked mine up today. It is massive. Have not shot it yet. Just ordered 100 rounds of Hornady Custom 454 from cabelas.

  • ron

    by the way guys a common issue with these and the ultralite magnums is the cylinder pin tends to come loose every 100 rounds or so in my guns you can cure this with locktite if you never plan on disassembling the cylinder/crane but its easy to tighten it with a could of empty cases and a vise or pliers with a cloth or leather to keep from scratching the rod i have two ultralites in .44 and regular raging bull in .454 they all do the same thing if you shoot specials or .45 colt loads only you will not have this problem

  • ThatSameRick

    According to the California DOJ website for approved firearms, at least one variant of this gun is legal for sale in California. I checked on May 25, 2012. See:

  • Luke

    Anyone know where he got the rail from?

    • Eric

      The optic rail is an available factory-offered accessory from Taurus.

  • Luke

    Thanks, but I can't find a part number that says it works with the Raging Judge Magnum. Do you have the part number of the rail? Thanks!

    • Eric

      I used Part # 10-031 that fits the Raging Bull model 454SS6. This is the 6 1/2-inch barrel length stainless rail mount retail priced at $49. If you have a different barrel length or finish, check out

      Hope this helps!

      • Steven

        Did you put this same rail on your 6.5 raging judge magnum? I just bought one myself and I have a red dot I want to put on a my RJM


      • Steven

        me again sorry, did you have to do any milling to the rail to get it to fit the barrel?

        • Eric

          No sir, no milling was required. It was the same rail I put on my 6.5-inch Raging Judge Magnum.

          • Joe

            Nice to know taurus's tech reps on the phone don't know crap. They specifically told me that wouldn't work. Guess I know what to get for my birthday…

  • Anthony

    I got mine here in jersey for 750 out the door. I love this gun and aside from it being a great shooter it always turns heads

  • Ken

    Anyone hear if they will offer this in a carbine?

    • Jeepers Creepers

      Rossi Circut Judge has been out one year. Taurus bought Rossi two years ago.

      • Jeepers Creepers

        They have it in 28 gauge shotgun also.

  • clifford

    Does this mean I can shoot 454's in my taurus 44 magnum raging bull?

  • Reaver

    Quick Question. ( Just recently got my Raging Judge Magnum )
    I was looking at it and examining it. I noticed a small x on the inside of the cylinder. I have searched all about
    (, thefireingline, )

    Now, I noticed the same x on some others and on yours as well. What does it mean?


  • Jeepers Creepers

    I'm glad to hear in the article that no longer produced handguns by Taurus could be worth some money. I own four no longer produced.

    • Eric

      I wish I still had my old Raging Hornet! Damn, that was a nice gun.

  • Alan_T

    I've always thought that Taurus' Judge line of revolvers made a lot of sense , especially in poisonous snake areas . I have no personal experience with them but that said however , almost everything I've read and heard about the Judges indicates that longer distance accuracy just isn't there ( again , I have no personal knowledge , I'm just going by what I've read and been told ) . To my mind , that make one chambered in .454 kind of neither fish nor fowl . Still , I think it's worth while , especially if you enter brown bear country .

  • Derrick

    I think they are probably accurate at long ranges as the writer seems to indicate as do several commenters. At least with 454 and 45lc. I don't think many people expect this handgun to pattern shotshells out to 25 yds. It's made for short ranges with those loads.

  • Pocono Shooting Range

    When shooting the Raging Judge Magnum the cylinder will some times stick in double action mode. Pulling back the hammer, will usually help unstick it. Even when cleaned and oiled, I guess that big cylinder is just a lot of steel to be turning with each pull of the trigger.


    DAGNABBIT!! Why couldn’t they bring THIS one out in a carbine version before I bought my Cicuit Judge? If they do can we make a trade?

  • robert

    Just got a raging bull…beautiful

  • MN Hunting

    Got mine about a month ago. My favorite gun ever. The accuracy is truly remarkable. Another fun but expensive round to shoot is the Winchester PDXI .410 Defender round. This gun is great for self defense and I also plan on using it for deer hunting.

  • Jeremy

    I’ve looked into this gun weighing the pros and cons!!
    More pros then cons in my opinion!! I’m gonna make
    It my first ever purchis!!

  • david

    Getting ready to get rid of mine at a gun show today. Taurus quality is horrible. Returned it back to them two times in to years for a total of $160 of shipping. Shaving bullets first time, broken transfer plate second time. Love my judge magnum, hate my raging judge magnum

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