It took me years, but I finally got my Raging Judge, Stainless, 6 1/2 barrel. I figured this would be a great around-home carry, the .410 for those rattlers and copperheads that attack me every now and then. If they do not attack I leave them alone of course, since Tennessee State Law forbids killing ANY snake unless it attacks.
I figured the .45 Colt would be good for practice and normal use, and the .454 would be there for the occasional raging Rhinoceros, hippopotamus, elephant, polar bear, or just for an Adrenalin rush.
After I wrestled it away from the crowd that surrounded me at the LGS, most of who had never seen this model, I got it home and opened the box. The pistol was in a plastic sock, and had a rubber cup enclosing the front fiber-optic sight to protect it.
I was surprised to not find the typical cable lock in the box to put in the drawer with the other dozen or so I have collected. Then I settled down to read the manual. I soon discovered that this gun has a lock, but it is built into the pistol itself; the plastic bag on the bottom right of the above picture contained two keys with key-rings for this lock, which is located on the back of the hammer. Here is one of the keys, inserted into the lock. Turn right until it clicks and it is locked, left until it clicks and it is open. When locked, the hammer mechanism is frozen in place.
You will also notice in that picture a card telling of the lifetime free repair which Taurus gives - I thought that was a VERY nice touch!
Opening the cylinder requires operating two separate latches, one in front of the cylinder and one behind it.
The Raging Judge is BIG. I weighed it at 72.25 oz empty, and 78.5 ounces loaded with 6 .454's. Yeah, these rounds weigh over one ounce each. Here is a couple shots to show it's size - I am 6 foot, 250 lbs, and it looks BIG in my hands -
Now a full right side and left side view -
A close up of the engraving, which also details the front fiber optic sight:
And a couple shots attempting to show how great this front site shows up -
OK - enough in the living room - time to SHOOT IT!!
I bought a box of Hornady Critical Defense in .45 Colt and another in .454 Casull, and used shotshells I already had for my Savage 24B
I started out with the .45 colt. Very nice, the sights required no adjustment at all, and the sight picture was beautiful. Although certainly possible, this is not a gun that is easily shot with one hand due to its weight. I have essential tremor, so tend to always use both hands anyway. The trigger, in both single and double action, was crisp and clean, right where I like them.
I now progressed to the .410 ammo. I had some OLD Remington Long Range 3" high base shells in 7 1/2 shot, and I fired at a 2' by 4' silhouette target from 25 feet. It was very pleasant to shoot, recoil was easy to handle. The pattern covered the board I had the target on, which is three feet wide and four feet tall. This tells me that in home defense use, with larger shot of course, you are NOT likely to miss the target at any indoor distance. What about power? My target board is wall paneling - about 3/16 thick, and the ground brace is the same material. The tiny 7 1/2 shot went clear through both from 25 feet.
Still looking at the spread, I shortened the distance to 10 feet - across the average room - and the pattern was now limited to about 18 inches. Calculating that out indicates that a 4 foot spread at 25 feet is about right.
Ok - enough time on snake shot and fun shot - I broke out the BIG stuff. I have fired my sons S&W .500 magnum, but it was with moderate handloads - and the smith is ported as well, something the Taurus does not have - probably something to do with the shot shell capability. That was very moderate. I have put MANY rounds through the .44 magnum Super Blackhawk which I purchased when we lived in Alaska and have used continually since that time. I love it, and one hand shots are no big deal with it. But I am quite aware that, while the .44 is a formidable round, it is 900 foot pounds of energy, while this baby is over double that; 1900 foot pounds.
So I loaded it, got a good two handed grip, leaned into it and squeezed one off.
As I said, I am a big guy.
This thing sent me back two steps.
Anticipating this, I leaned even more into it the second shot.
It STILL forced me to take one step back to keep from falling on my butt.
Two rounds, and my right palm felt like I had caught a line drive without benefit of a ball glove.
One hand shots?
Not in this lifetime.
I quit at that. I knew what I had, and I will NOT be plinking around with the .454. But if I ever need to stop any animal on the continent, or put a round through someones engine, I know I have it available.
In the house, I scrubbed it down and noticed something unusual.
Two of the chambers were more fouled than the others. The front of the cylinder clearly indicated which two chambers I had fired the cannon rounds in. SCRUB HARD with hoppe's on a toothbrush to get them clean. Then I looked at the empty casings. The .45 colts were clean and shiny, while the .454 casings were scuffed from the extraction.
I love it, I will NEVER part with it, but I give a caution; this is a real handful to fire in the monster .454, and NOT for the faint of heart.