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Taurus Expedition Rifle: Full Review

The Taurus Expedition is an adventure into the bolt-­action centerfire rifle market. Here's a full review.

Taurus Expedition Rifle: Full Review

(Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

You only get one chance to make a first impression. If the buzz circulating the Taurus Expedition is any indication, the brand’s first foray into the bolt-­action market is going to be a success, an introduction no one saw coming. The Expedition was one of the most talked-about new products unveiled at the 2024 SHOT Show, and the Taurus booth was constantly crowded by those who caught wind of the announcement and wanted a closer look. Taurus CEO Bret Vorhees is an avid hunter, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that he would eventually create specifications for a rifle designed in-house.

The Expedition is evidence that Taurus has its finger on the pulse of the shooting community. Handguns have always been Taurus’ wheelhouse, but its parent company — Taurus Holdings, Inc. — also owns Heritage Manufacturing and Braztech International, i.e., “Rossi.” You can safely assume that Taurus has access to some impressive riflemaking capabilities. The Expedition proves that this handgun brand can successfully crossover into the hunting rifle market.

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The hammer-forged, stainless-steel barrels are manufactured by Taurus in Brazil. The .308 test rifle featured a 1-in-10-inch twist rate complete with 5/8x24 threads and a knurled thread cap. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

“We’ve been strong in the self-­defense world for a long time,” Vorhees told Guns & Ammo. “But we wanted to speak more directly to hunters.”

The Raging Hunter revolver has maintained a loyal following among handgun hunters all the way back to the late-1990s introduction of its Raging Bull. But handgun hunting is a relatively niche market. In contrast, the new Expedition bolt-­action is designed to appeal to a broader audience. It’s a a sub-­$1,000 rifle with the most desirable features, in my opinion.

“We didn’t want to go in at the entry level,” Vorhees added. “Taurus has always stood for providing maximum value. I think what we’re offering is a feature-­packed rifle.”

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The short-action, .308 case-head bolt features an external extractor, plunger-type ejector, and three locking lugs for a quick-cycling 60-degree bolt lift. Abundant fluting saves weight. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

How to Spec a New Bolt Gun...

A great hunting rifle must be well-­built and reliable. Vorhees said that begins with materials selection. Hence, the Expedition uses premium stainless steel for the barrel, bolt, receiver and firing pin. The barrels are hammer forged by Taurus in Brazil, which is no surprise; that’s where the machines are. Interestingly, the spiral pattern on the exterior of the barrel is a natural result of the forging process. Taurus could have opted to finish the barrels to a round profile, but, instead, chose to leave the markings on the exterior of the barrel and bead-blasting a smooth finish before coating it in Taurus’ Diamond-Like Coating (DLC).

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The Model 700-style round short action includes M700 bases, recoil lug and barrel nut. The trigger and safety assembly are also interchangeable with M700-pattern components. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Barrel diameter was also a matter of debate during the design of the rifle. Instead of a pencil-­thin, ultra-­light profile or a bull barrel, Taurus decided to use what Vorhees called a “semi-­weight barrel profile.” At its widest point, just ahead of the barrel, it measures about 1.1 inches. Where the threads begin at the muzzle, that point measures .74 inches. Barrel length is 18 inches on the .308 Winchester rifle sent to G&A for testing, so the twist rate is 1-in-10 inches. The muzzle is threaded 5⁄8x24 and includes a thread protector.

The stainless-­steel, spiral-­fluted bolt has three locking lugs, reducing bolt lift to just 60 degrees. The lugs ride at nearly the 3-, 9-, and 12-o’clock positions, with the external extractor positioned between the top and right lugs. A plunger-­type, spring-­powered ejector extends through the recessed bolt face. Like other stainless-­steel components on this rifle, the Expedition’s bolt is also finished with DLC. The bolt handle is machined flat and slotted, while the bolt body is fluted. It’s easy to grasp the also-spiral-fluted conical bolt knob when working the action. If you ever want to change this tactile feature, the knob is removable using a quarter-­inch hex wrench. 

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Disassembly of the Expedition is familiar, following the removal of the bolt assembly and two action screws. The bottom metal is actually polymer, a one-piece design containing the triggerguard and mag well. The barrel has a tapered contour and threaded muzzle. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

At the rear of the bolt, a stainless-­steel cocking indicator extends through the bolt shroud. This offers the user a visual indicator of the rifle’s condition without having to get out of a shooting position.


A nut is used to secure the barrel to the receiver. The receiver has a wider opening than some competing rifles built using a solid-top receiver. It’s similar to a Remington Model 700’s. The purported advantage of the tubular receiver with reduced action opening is that it provides increased rigidity and improved accuracy. Testing demonstrated that the Expedition has no issues with accuracy. The advantage of the open-­top receiver design is that it is much simpler to single-­load the rifle; I attempted this several times at the range and didn’t experience an issue versus having to weave the cartridge into a narrow receiver opening. The bolt lugs run smoothly in channels cut into the left and right walls of the receiver, and there’s a bolt stop/release button located on the rear left portion of the receiver.

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Along the bottom of the forend are multiple sling and bipod attachment points, including two M-Lok slots, an integrated Spartan Precision attachment and a sling swivel stud. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Taurus injection molds the stock of its Expedition, and aluminum pillars are integral. The barrel is free floated above the stock, and the barrel channel is slightly oversized to prevent shape shifting due to heat. The stock design is one of the aspects that impresses me most about the Expedition. Hunting stocks have evolved from the sporter-­style common in my youth toward a target shooting-­oriented stock. Unlike stock aesthetics that are more concerned about beauty, the modern hunting rifle’s stock is more of a practical tool that helps to improve performance. Multiple attachment points for slings and bipods allow us to firm up unusual shooting positions in the field, and contours to better position our wrist so that we can manipulate the trigger more carefully, for example. Taurus has largely hit the nail on the head with its first design. The rear of the forearm is flattened on both sides for approximately 4 inches in front of the receiver. Vorhees confirmed my suspicion that this slab-­sided profile was intended for shooters who use tripods like the BOG DeathGrip. The stock allows the forend to ride securely in the clamp without rotating as you fine-tune your position. In front of the squared-­off portion of the forearm, there’s a more traditional finger groove.

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The pistol-grip contour is ideal for hand positioning when target shooting from the prone position. The back-turned bolt handle is within easy reach. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Attachment points to the underside of the forearm are a point of contention among rifle shooters. I’m not sure there is a right answer, but when asked which is best, Taurus answered, “All of them.” The Expedition provides several points to secure just about any accessory. There’s a sling stud up front and at the back of the stock; an adapter for a Spartan Precision-­style bipod adapter; and a metal strip with two M-Lok slots. Vorhees said this feature has become relatively common on European rifles, but it hasn’t become as widespread on American rifles yet. 

Recommended


Since Taurus was molding its own stocks, the addition of the Spartan mount was a relatively simple way to increase the versatility of the rifle without adding excessive cost.

The stock’s pistol grip features more of a target-style angle. It offers a wide palm swell for a relaxed hand surrounding the grip. Target grips are another feature that’s transitioned to hunting rifles. 

At introduction, the only stock available for the Expedition is not adjustable. However, the comb was molded with serious elevation to properly position one’s head behind a scope. The comb angles slightly down toward the front of the rifle, which helps the stock design be accommodating for shooters of different sizes.

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Mimicking a precision stock, the Expedition features an elevated comb that slopes down for eye positioning behind a scope. Underneath, the stock can be gripped or bagged for support. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Underneath the stock, an angled bag cutout exists, which is unusual for a composite sporter stock. Like the vertical grip, this feature enhances shooting from the prone position on bags. Given that the bag cutout is angled upward, shooters have some leverage when adjusting the rifle’s elevation by squeezing the bag. Small elevation corrections are much simpler. 

Contrary to the forearm, there’s just one attachment point on the underside of the buttstock, and it’s for a sling swivel stud. 

The single-stage trigger is curved and adjustable. This is a Taurus design, but it was engineered on a familiar pattern to be compatible with aftermarket Model 700 triggers. You can easily swap out the factory trigger assembly for another of your choice. The test trigger on G&A’s sample averaged 4 pounds for 10 pulls; it was a little heavy, but not too heavy.

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A stainless-steel cocking indicator protrudes from the rear of the bolt when cocked. The safety lever is to the right. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

The receiver is also drilled and tapped to accept Model 700 bases. Further, a two-­position rocker-­type safety is present — forward to fire — and the rifle can be cycled with the safety engaged to ease unloading.

Expedition rifles come with a five-­round detachable magazine. Only one magazine is included — Come on, Taurus! — but the Expedition also accepts popular AICS magazines. The large, flat, paddle magazine release is located at the front of the triggerguard. It’s easy to reach, too, and the mag goes in the rifle without drama.

Unloaded, and without an optic, the Expedition weighed 7 pounds. Overall length measured less than 38 inches. This rifle is suitable for hunting in a blind or tree stand, and the short overall length is great for suppressing the threaded barrel and carrying it afield.

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The bolt-release is a lever pinned to the left side of the receiver. With the action open, press it to remove the bolt. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

At the Range

I mounted a Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-­15x42mm scope using Vortex rings. I also shot it with a Silencer Central Banish Backcountry suppressor. Unloaded, the weight of the rifle with the optic and suppressor was 8 pounds, 14 ounces; that’s still manageable for hunting or shooting from a bench.

Accuracy was good, but the Expedition in .308 favored certain ammo. It performed best with Hornady’s Precision Hunter load with 178-­grain ELD-­X bullet. It produced three-­shot groups as small as .55 ­inch at 100 yards. This load averaged .68 inch. 

The Expedition also shot an average of less than an inch with Black Hills’ ammunition firing Lehigh’s Controlled Chaos 152-­grain bullet, which produced a single three-­shot group of .77 inch. Remington Core-­Lokt Copper also resulted in a single group under an inch, but it was a three-­shot .99-­inch cluster. The 1-in-10-inch twist rate stabilizes 150-grain bullets, but Vorhees told me that Taurus tested bullets as light as 130 grains without issue.

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The smooth-face trigger was tested at 4 pounds. The triggerguard is open and the magazine release lever is easy to reach. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

The Expedition is well laid out and comfortable to shoot. Taurus spent a lot of time perfecting the stock geometry, which is evident because the ergonomics are excellent. The pistol grip is properly angled, and there is ample room to rest the thumb in a forward-­facing position. 

The raised comb and bag cutout are worthwhile features, as is the squared-­off forearm. Of the Swiss Army Knife-­like options, I am only surprised that the rear of the stock only possesses a single sling stud. If I could go back in time and talk to those engineers, I would have asked for side-­mounted QD cups on both sides of the stock.

I believe that most hunters will find the factory trigger perfectly suitable. Even at 4 pounds, there was no creep. Of course, it’s adjustable and it can be easily swapped for a superior Timney Trigger for less than $200 or a Triggertech for a bit more. 

The safety is smooth, easy to find when in position, and operate. The option to lock the safety would be nice, though, especially for hunters who drag their rifles through brush and don’t want the action flopping open.

Mechanically, though, the gun worked well. The magazine fed properly, spent cases extracted and ejected without issue. The only hang-­up I experienced occurred on three occasions when the bolt handle required extra effort to retract after firing a shot. It didn’t feel like the “sticky” sensation of an overpressure cartridge, rather, it simply required extra effort to cycle. Unfortunately, I was never able to diagnose this issue because it was rare and sporadic.

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Capacity is five rounds when utilizing the one included magazine. However, the action and stock was designed to accept AICS-pattern magazines, which have an existing reputation for reliability. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

The fit and finish of the rifle are good. I like most of the aesthetics, especially the spiral fluting on the bolt and the spiral hammer forging marks on the barrel. I also like the stock color. What impressed me is that the Expedition is functional at a good price without looking cheap. There are no radical lines or strange angles that attempt to make it look avant-­garde.

Best Value?

Taurus set the suggested retail price at $985. Therefore, it’s competing against the similarly configured Browning’s X-­Bolt Max SPR ($940); Franchi Momentum ($799); and the Ruger American Rifle Generation 2 ($729). The Expedition features a hybrid hunting stock like the Browning, but the X-­Bolt features an adjustable stock. The Expedition presents the shortest overall length of these rifles in .308, but it’s a quarter-­pound heavier than the Franchi and Ruger, and 5 ounces lighter than the Browning.

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(Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick)

I’m a fan of the Taurus Expedition, and I think it’s a solid debut for the brand’s entry into the hunting rifle segment. The Expedition’s highlights are that it offers a short overall length and target-­centric stock design that many contemporary shooters want. Since it utilizes Model 700 components — stock, optic bases, and trigger — it’s versatile with aftermarket parts readily available, and the ability to use easy-to-find AICS magazines is a plus. G&A’s test rifle shot under an inch at 100 yards with factory .308 ammo; that’s the standard for hunting rifles today. Led by a team of sportsmen, Taurus set out to provide shooters with a rifle that they would use, one that offers everything they want at a fair price. That’s exactly what they’ve accomplished.

Taurus Expedition

  • Type: Bolt-Action, push feed
  • Chambering: .308 Win (tested)
  • Capacity: 5 rds.
  • Barrel: 18 in., hammer forged, 5⁄8x24 threaded, 1-in-10-inch twist
  • Overall Length: 38 inches
  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Stock: Composite, black
  • Sights: None
  • Length of Pull: 14in.
  • Finish: Black DLC (stainless steel)
  • Trigger: 4 lbs. (tested)
  • Safety: Two-position lever
  • Price: $985
  • Contact: Taurus, 229-515-­8464, taurususa.com
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