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Thread: Taurus Raging Judge Magnum for birds and bears?

  1. #1
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    Default Taurus Raging Judge Magnum for birds and bears?

    I have been thinking about buying a Taurus Raging Judge Magnum when I get back. I like to walk some of the KP trails in the fall with my labs. I have been carrying a shotgun for bird hunting/bear defense. I saw the new Judge Magnum is chambered in 3inch 410/ .454. That sounds like the perfect light weight gun for shooting grouse on the trails and being powerful enough for bear defense. It would be a lot easier to be able to carry a pistol instead of a shotgun. (I am not trying to start a adequate stopping power for bear defense debate. I personally prefer a rifle for bears but I am talking about a pistol that can take grouse/ptarmigan at close to medium range (15 yards max) and stop bears if need be. Please don't start that debate.)

    Does anyone on this forum own one or better yet have used one to shoot birds? I am looking at what kind of range I can expect to be able to shoot a 3inch #6 load and kill a grouse or ptarmigan. What do you guys think? Thanks for any help.
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  2. #2

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    Good question. You have an effective range of about 10-15 yards. Maybe a bit more if your ground pounding. I would not recommend it for a serious hunting tool, but if you just wanna shoot a couple birds while hiking in bear country, it's just about perfect because you need not carry 2 guns. Use a 3"shell with #4 shot for best results.
    Down sides are basically the shot spreads quickly, and the .454 will lose accuracy due to cylinder jump. I found the .45/454 accuracy to be adequate(read minute of bear at 50 yards) to be used as a defense gun for big bear confidently. It's less accurate than a normal revolver, but not by so much that it becomes an issue, for me.
    FWIW, I would carry a model 29 or Redhawk with a shotshell in the cylinder. I traded my Judge for a SBH.



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    Thanks Tail Wind, you have been very helpful. Unfortunatley I sold my redhawk last year or I would not have to buy a pistol. By minute of bear at 50 do you mean accuratley placed kill shot at 50 or literally that big of a group? Thanks again on your help.
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  4. #4

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    I personally don't think your gonna get an accurate guranteed kill shot on a charging bear at any distance. I could keep 5 shots in a 2'x2' area at 50 yards, and could keep them on a pie plate at 10 yards. Hope that helps.
    Stay safe over there bud...

  5. #5
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    Thanks again for your advise. I think it is the perfect gun for what I am looking for. All I need is something capable of taking the random grouse that we run into on our hikes and stopping the random bear we sometimes run into should it decide to attack.
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARKY View Post
    Thanks again for your advise. I think it is the perfect gun for what I am looking for. All I need is something capable of taking the random grouse that we run into on our hikes and stopping the random bear we sometimes run into should it decide to attack.
    Perfect. You got it. Some like combo guns, some think they are too much compromise.
    Sounds perfect for what you need.
    BTW, I do think S&W is offering a .410 handgun now also, might be worth checking out before you make a purchase.
    My Judge was a great pistol, and I have a couple other small frame Tauri, and they are great. But, I have come across 3 Trackers that had major issues, YMMV.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tailwind View Post
    Good question. You have an effective range of about 10-15 yards. Maybe a bit more if your ground pounding. I would not recommend it for a serious hunting tool, but if you just wanna shoot a couple birds while hiking in bear country, it's just about perfect because you need not carry 2 guns. Use a 3"shell with #4 shot for best results.
    Down sides are basically the shot spreads quickly, and the .454 will lose accuracy due to cylinder jump. I found the .45/454 accuracy to be adequate(read minute of bear at 50 yards) to be used as a defense gun for big bear confidently. It's less accurate than a normal revolver, but not by so much that it becomes an issue, for me.
    FWIW, I would carry a model 29 or Redhawk with a shotshell in the cylinder. I traded my Judge for a SBH.


    Is that the raging Judge?? Looks like the standard 3" 45 colt/.3" .410 judge. The ragining judges I have seen have the Taurus red strip on the backstrap of the grip like they do on all of their "Raging" pistol line. Just curious.

  8. #8

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    Lanche, you are one smart fella.

    That is the standard 2.5" cylinder Judge. The Raging Judge will have 3" chambers, allowing for the use of 3" shells, and a bit more .410 oomph, and a bit less .45/.454 accuracy.
    (there is a 3" standard, which makes the only real difference between the Rager and std. Judge, the use of .454 bullets.)

    I loaded a .45 colt load that consisted of a 300gr bullet traveling about 900fps out of the 3" barrel. Decent bear load, but you will be able to go much hotter in .454.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tailwind View Post
    Lanche, you are one smart fella.

    That is the standard 2.5" cylinder Judge. The Raging Judge will have 3" chambers, allowing for the use of 3" shells, and a bit more .410 oomph, and a bit less .45/.454 accuracy.
    (there is a 3" standard, which makes the only real difference between the Rager and std. Judge, the use of .454 bullets.)

    I loaded a .45 colt load that consisted of a 300gr bullet traveling about 900fps out of the 3" barrel. Decent bear load, but you will be able to go much hotter in .454.
    Actually there is a difference between the 3" judge and the Raging Judge. These are too separate models. I had the 2.5" judge and the standard judge 2.5" or 3" will never be able to shoot 454 rounds. Only .410 and 45 LC rounds.

    The new Taurus Raging Judge that that OP is referring to is actually able to shoot the 454 Casull rounds and has been on the market for less than a year while the 2.5" judge has been around for 4+ years or more and the 3" judge has been on the market for 2+ years I believe..

    The Raging Judge physically larger and heavier than the current judges as it needs to be to handle the 454 Casull pressures. Please never attempt to shoot 454 Casull in your model of judge 2.5" or 3" as it could end very badly indeed.

  10. #10

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    Great thread. I just bought a Judge back in Sept and I am looking forward to taking it up in the alpine this year for birds. I got the 3"chamber and 4" barrel (limited edition). It is a very fun gun, I haven't shot any large loads out of it just practiced with light loads and figure I will carry some heavy ones with me in bear country. I have been thinking about upgrading at some point to the Raging Judge, but I kind of wanted to wait and see what people thought about it first.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Actually there is a difference between the 3" judge and the Raging Judge. These are too separate models. I had the 2.5" judge and the standard judge 2.5" or 3" will never be able to shoot 454 rounds. Only .410 and 45 LC rounds.

    The new Taurus Raging Judge that that OP is referring to is actually able to shoot the 454 Casull rounds and has been on the market for less than a year while the 2.5" judge has been around for 4+ years or more and the 3" judge has been on the market for 2+ years I believe..

    The Raging Judge physically larger and heavier than the current judges as it needs to be to handle the 454 Casull pressures. Please never attempt to shoot 454 Casull in your model of judge 2.5" or 3" as it could end very badly indeed.
    Sorry for the confusion Lanche, I was aware that the Raging Judge was completely different gun/frame, maybe it didn't come across in the post. btw, it is impossible to load a .454 in a regular Judge due to the cylinder throats.

    The Judge is on a Tracker frame, the Raging Judge is on a Raging Bull frame.

    Mallard, personaly, I would just stick with the normal Judge. Not much difference besides price and weight. I would rather have less weight on my hip, and shoot my 300gr bullets a couple hundred fps slower. I cant imagine a Rager is worth $300+ more dollars for a few more fps in the .45. Just load a moderately hot .45, and your good to go. JMHO. I guess it just comes down to personal preference.

  12. #12
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    Is the judge built to handle the pressure created by hot .45 Long Colt handloads?
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  13. #13

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    The Judge is a medium frame and they same that continuous firing of +p ammo is not recommended and will decrease the life of your firearm.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARKY View Post
    Is the judge built to handle the pressure created by hot .45 Long Colt handloads?
    Absolutlely not, and if you don't reload, you will not be able to find a suitable "medium" cartridge to carry. Only cowboy and Ruger loads.
    If you do reload, I would not shoot anything over 19k cup. That's about 275gr @1000fps from your 3" Judge barrel. This advice was for a gun I carried, and shot this load sparingly. Like 5 in it's entire life. Only you are responsible for what you put in your gun.
    Best advice, if you wanna hot rod, get the Rager. You could load it up to 60,000 cup, IIRC.

    Here are the numbers:
    45 Colt 14000 cup
    45 Colt (Ruger) 25000 cup

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    Thanks again Tailwind. I do hand load and do not like the numbers. 275 at 1000 is not what I had in mind for bears.
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARKY View Post
    Thanks again Tailwind. I do hand load and do not like the numbers. 275 at 1000 is not what I had in mind for bears.
    I don't blame you. Get the Rager and let us know how it works out. There is Raging Bull .454 on alaskaslist for $500, IIRC.
    I Hope you make it back safe. Shoot a bad guy for me.

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    Have you looked at the rifle type of this gun? I don't know if they make it in the 454, but it comes in rifles OR smooth bore, if you shoot lots of grouse and don't need a bunch of accuracy, I would go with smooth bore, BUT because they are so lite, handi, and quick, I would prolly take teh rifled, because you can still kill grouse and rabbits out to, say, 20 yards with NO 4 shot, and it would also make a dandy little camp rifle, also, it might be a great gun for kids to learn on. I believe the rifled barrel held 13 inch groups at 100 yards. I would take it for something lite to take on a hike.

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    BTW, its called the circut judge

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    You get it from rossi though, not taurus.

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    Have you looked at the rifle type of this gun?(Circut judge)they DO NOT make it in 454, It comes in rifled or smooth bore, but because they are so lite, handi, and quick, I would prolly take the rifled, because you can still kill grouse and rabbits out to, say, 20 yards with NO 4 shot, and it would also make a dandy little camp rifle, also, it might be a great gun for kids to learn on. I believe the rifled barrel held 13 inch groups at 100 yards. I would take it for something lite to take on a hike.

    Its the same price as the lower end judges, Here is the link. I have been thinking of getting one myself but I can't justify spending that much just now for a rifle. it would be a dandi little rabbit gun! and I love my rabbit hunting...

    http://www.rossiusa.com/product-deta...TOKEN=48730465

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