Marushin Raging Bull Review

Marushin
RagingBull review
review
by

Allen Lee
(aka DumboRAT)

Stock
Specifications
FPS
~1
Joule on HFC22
Length: ???
Barrel
Length:
8
3/8 in
Weight: 820g

Ammo
capacity:

6
rounds


Upon
delivery:
I spent damned near an hour “restoring” it cosmetically.
DenTrinity’s
“gray/silver” liquid latex/rubber putty is damned impossible
to remove – I had to actually break out my Boker Ceramic knife
to literally shave off the excess putty before I could maky any
headway.  Combined with a healthy dose of organic solvents 
(in this case TESTOR’s #1148, old-school; plus isopropyl
“rubbing” alcohol) I finally managed to get it to collectors’
form.  Of note here is that
the silver/chrome plated finish of the body as well as the trademarks
themselves are remarkably resistant to surface scratches, just
as with the Tanaka Works’ plated pieces. The compensator ports
right around the muzzle made it a hell of a trick, too….soaking
the tip of a wooden toothpick with TESTOR’s and then using that
to take off the paint bit-by-bit worked extremely well, but also
took a long time.  Load
up your favorite DVD in the machine before you start, you’ll want
something else to occupy your mind.

So
aside from the painful restoration, what else will you notice
upon delivery?  The most
apparent is how huge this piece really is…… 
I bought this piece with the intention to mainly stick
it in my “collection,” and as such, debated a bit with my good
friend and fellow enthusiast Wallace of the www.AirsoftOhio.com community between the
6 and 1/2 inch version and the 8 and 3/8 model, and I’ve gotta
say, his instinct was right-on, he told me to just go all-out,
especially as I already had a 6” KWC Colt Python gas-operated
revolver in my war-chest.  The commanding physical presence of this replica
is simply second to none. 

More
on this size/weight issue later.  

Looks: Cosmetically, the finish,
very much as fellow enthusiast Just Handguns mentioned on a www.AirsoftZone.com Forum discussion thread
said, is below that of Tanaka Works’ silver/chrome-plating. However,
Marushin’s work isn’t shoddy, either, and compared to WA’s INOX
plating, say on their original Beretta M92FS PV INOX or that on
the “Chrome” S&W Shorty .40 (888, I’m doing this comparo
for you, bro!), there is not the same spots of “pooled”
plating as there is at times on the WA’s. I’d say that for the
low price of this piece, you’re getting quite a bargain. And besides,
from a distance even of only a few feet away, anyone not knowing
that this is a toy will be just as convinced if you pulled a Tanaka
or a WA on them (not recommended — this is just a way of comparison,
that’s all, if you get hauled to jail, don’t expect me to bail
you out).

The
trademarks are actually rather nicely and deeply inscribed into
the body of the replica, and is nicely counterstained in a contrasting
black color to bring out the visuals. 
Everything is in-place from the real-deal, and this even
extends to the trademark red striping down the rear of the grip
handle, which is a visually distinctive and instantly recognizable
part of the real-steel Taurus Raging Bull series. 

Size
matters!
With my 8 and 3/8 inch model (8.375 for all you metric nuts, but remember
this Taurus is just about as American as you can get, so let’s
stick with the English measurements, please, LOL), despite a low
objective weight/mass, it is quite hefty to hold, and subjectively
ranks right up there with, say, a 6″ WA SVI with heavyweigt
slide. Tricks on your mind, I tell ya.

Honestly,
those who would complain that this piece is too light really are
allowing the spec’ed mass-to-size comparison get the better of
their frames of mind.  This revolver’s weight is right up there with
what are often considered the “benchmarks” of today’s airsoft
gas-operated revolvers, the Tanaka Works PEGASUS-powered Smith&Wesson’s
– in truth there is but a few grams separating the weight of the
Raging Bull with even the 6” Performance Center versions of the
Tanaka revolver replicas. 

Sure,
I guess that it could be a valid debate that something as big
as this piece should really weight 300 or 400 grams more, at the
1.2 kilo mark, but truthfully, heft it in your hand, you won’t
be disappointed.

This
is all the more so when you add on the hefty sight rail that’s
included – and definitely so when you add a sight or scope atop
that rail.  Speaking of which…….

Scope
mount:

I didn’t bother with the scope mount — it’s a rather poor reproduction
of the real-deal, which carries with a a wonderfully detailed
“Raging Bull” trademark that this replica’s does not
(hence prompting me to place a call to Taurus, USA, for just that
part).  Nevertheless, it
is quite hefty (as is the case with the real-steel’s), and surely,
with that and a red-dot sight on-top, this will be one heavy merry
trucker.

What’s
strange about the Marushin-supplied mount is that it’s a two-part
piece, split directly down the middle LENGTHWISE. 
It’s much the same mount as that seen with the KSC SP2340
Delta Trial Limited Edition GBB’s underslung Picatinny rail mount. 
You essentially screw the two halves together around the
replica – in this case, the around the Marushin’s vent ribs.

With
the real-steel, the mounting system is much more conventional.  The main body of the sight mount rail is a one-piece
assembly, and a small slab of metal is inserted into a dovetailed
assembly at the junction of each vent rib, which then passes through
the open area and is locked down with a screw on each side.  Supposedly, this design (which is reflected
on the Python’s real-steel sight rail mount as well, and I’ll
get to that in just a bit with an additional concern) minimizes
the possibility that the sight rail will literally tear itself
off of the pistol during violent recoil – but of course, with
an airsoft replica revolver, which has effectively no “recoil,”
instead of the real Raging Bull’s .454 or .44 Magnum load, we
won’t really have to worry about this much, will we? 
=) 

Heavy
bits:

Let’s break off here and consider the mounting of such heavy accessories.
On my 6″ KWC Python, I use a real-steel B-Square brand mount,
specially designed for the Colt Python, to mount a rather heavy
20mm BSA electronic red-dot sight. With that combo in-place, you
can actually see the chassis of the replica “wobbling”
and flexing a bit within the grip panels. Not very reassuring
— I keep this KWC for plinking, and I would definitely not advise
anyone to deck it out like this for skirmishes. The risk of something
catastrophic happening to the body (READ: the body snapping in
half!) is simply too great.

With
the Raging Bull, however, there’s absolutely no fear. One look
at it’s underlying frame/chassis, and you’ll see why. When you
grip this piece, you’re really gripping the chassis and the main
gas reservoir.  Despite the weight of the real-steel Raging
Bull sight rail that I’ve mounted atop this replica (hey, I just
had to have the cute little bull marking, OK?) combined with a
Tasco PDP5 electronic red-dot sight system, the Marushin does
not exhibit any of that creepy “wobbling” that plagues the KWC. 

However,
having the main gas reservoir right in the grip also causes a
huge problem.

The
grip:
First, of course, you won’t
be able to replace the grip with, say, a real-steel wood grip
(but then again, why would you want to? as anyone who knows anything
about the Taurus Raging Bull knows that the recoil-buffered handgrip
is one of this item’s unique trademarks) — but the bigger problem
is that the grip is essentially a two-part “sleeve”
that is bivalved (cut in half, like a clam, only with both parts
separated from each other) and held together mainly by friction
pegs, further secured at the base with one set-screw to prevent
separation and loss in-the-field.

This
leads to the same kind of “separated” feeling that stock
Tokyo Marui M4 AEG handguards will give…only worse, as this
is in the handgrip of the replica itself.

Can
you get used to this? Yes, and the tighter you grip it/longer
you’ve gripped it, the tighter the assembly will be…but still,
it’s less than optimal. If you’ve handled one of the Tanaka’s
solid grips, you’ll constantly be bitching about this oversight
on Marushin’s part.  Trust
me, I do.

Ergonomically,
the grip is huge (hell, this is one big pistol), and to cock the
hammer for single-action use will necessitate a shift in the hand
position of all but the largest shooters.

Functionally: The Raging-Bull unique
safety lock (keyed) mechanism is nicely, if rather simplistically,
replicated (along with a nice Marushin logo-molded key for that
purpose), and the main cylinder release can be pulled “back”
as an active safety as well, preventing trigger engagement.

The
double-release cylinder used on the real-deal Raging Bulls was
not overlooked and is replicated, but the action of the cylinder,
both in engagement as well as in its outward release swing, is
much less fluid than that of Tanakas’ revolvers and even KWC’s.
A bit of lube and a bit of use will be required to work-in this
area, but still, it will never achieve the smoothness seen with
the Tanaka Works pieces.  Thankfully,
however, the cylinders actual rotation is quite smooth.  It’s not the nice clicking, near-bearing, action
of the Tanakas’ but it’s also not as plasticky feeling as that
of KWC’s.

Trigger: Single-action, this thing
is not bad at all. Nice crisp break, literally the same as with
Tanaka’s trigger, only with slightly more poundage necessary.

Double-action,
however, it is absolutely HORRIBLE.

The
first thing you’ll notice — and this will be noticed by anyone
without large paws — is that under double-action, the rigger
is a looooooooong ways off. This is a result both of the trigger
design/situation itself as well as the bulk of the grip. With
me, and I have medium-large sized hands, I need to really “stretch”
to reach the trigger, causing my shots to pull down and to the
right, as evidence of trigger jerking.

This
is further compounded by a dreadfully high-poundage pull, and
to add injury to insult, there’s no discernable point, by feel,
where a positive break of the sear comes to.

IMHO,
this trigger factor, more than anything else, speaks volumes as
to the apparent low-price of this piece, and betrays its nature
as such.

I’ve
shot some real-steel double-action revolvers in the past, but,
at least to me, this is nothing like what’s see with the real-deal. 

Performance: Without a proper chronograph,
it is impossible for me to make a true quantitative assessment,
however, using the standard soda-can method, I was able to at
least get some approximations.

Even
just with HFC134a, it easily punches through one side of an aluminum
soda can and leaves a dent on the other side that’s reminescent
of an entire 6mm BB — so if you want to approximate muzzle energy
from RedWolf’s “Poor Man’s Chrony,” there you go —
but I caution you that such results are likely completely off
since this is with a rather heavyweight 8mm BB….. Still, a quote
of approximately one-joule of force-output is likely not that
far off the mark. 

Regardless,
one big concern is the use of Taiwanese “Green Gas”
in this piece. As 888 has said, the “metals”
in this piece do not seem to be of that high a caliber — but
then again, that can also be said of most of the GBB’s out there….
Without having completely stripped this piece down for a true
inspection, it’s hard for me to insist on any particular area
of concern, but from even a review of its parts list, it seems
rather of greater concern to me that its striker assembly is so
friggin long.  This would
seem to cause a tremendous amount of torsional and flexional stress
on it — especially if the valve was harder to push down from
higher-pressure gas use.

And
now that some time has had to elapse since when I first wrote
the Pre-Review of this replica, we’ve come across some rather
serious durability/reliability concerns.  These are individually detailed in the posts
referenced here:

http://www.airsoftzone.com/forums/message.cfm?topic_id=47763&forum_id=11

http://www.airsoftzone.com/forums/message.cfm?topic_id=48024&forum_id=11#457520

Well, you can read as well as I can, so I won’t belabor the
point.  But honestly, these
posts from fellow enthusiasts worldwide seem to point to unredeemable
weaknesses with the construct/design of the Marushin 8mm GBB’s
that would make them not very well suited for higher-powered gas
use.

Indeed, it will be smart to heed the advice of most of the
Far-Eastern airsoft press in reserving this gas-operated replica
for only true HFC134a (1,1,1,2 tetrafluoroethane) use. 

As always, I thank the input of my fellow hobbyists in making
these issues known both to me as well as the community at-large.  Of special note are, in no particular order,
888, Just Handguns, Howard Sohn, Blake, and Viper6.  And of course, a very big and super-special
shout-out to Snowman (aka Snowman40), who gave us such valuable
information regarding Marushin’s promised servicing as well as
the design fault of part 32/83. 
Without your Forum posts, everyone, this review would not
have been complete.

Pictures:
The group pix of some of my select “silver” pieces shows
the finish of the Raging Bull with the Tanaka Smith & Wesson
Performance Center M29 Flatside alongside. Right next to it is
the Marushin Derringer SSB in their more traditional silver finish.
Note that this silver finish differs from that on the Raging Bull
in that the Bull’s “silver/chrome actually has the ability
to pick up finger-oils, and better replicates that of a real-steel
finish.

Up-close
and in real-life, though, the Tanaka’s finish looks much richer
and deeper than that seen on either of the Marushins.

Also
in that group picture, as you can see, are the Western Arms Smith
& Wesson Shorty .40 (whose silver/chrome finish looks very
much like the Tanaka’s finish), the Western Arms Shibuya Shop
Colt CDP (whose slide is of a matte, finely stippled “overspray”
silver finish and is NOT glossy), and, at the upper right hand
corner, my self-built BB-IPSC “Limited Class” replica
(which has a silver-on-silver tone-on-tone finish), with a PGC
slide that’s matte silver raw aluminum in finish, with a polished
aluminum Smoking Hole Pistol Design BlackHole magwell.

I
hope that pic will help potential buyers get a better of what
to expect.

Other
pics:
I also included a set of of pix that feature my
WA Beretta M92FS Perfect Version “heavyweight” model,
to which I’ve installed a set of genuine Beretta wrap-around finger-grooved
rubber combat grips, juxtaposed next to my new WA Beretta M92FS
Perfect Version “Premium Edition” Limited Edition piece,
which has genuine Beretta laser-engraved trademark and laser carved
checkering Walnut grip panels in-place.

Note
the wonderful blued-metal finish on the “Premium Edition,”
which, just as real blued metal as well as the “blued”
finish on the Maruzen PPK/S replica, can pick up finger-oils to
reproduce that effect. For those who are fans of that finish (which,
when “polished,” looks quite shiny), this is a wonderful
replica. I’ve added it to my “collection.”

I
know that there have been a lot of questions and hype regarding
both of these items, and hopefully, with these pix, other hobbyists
and collectors can make some good choices.

Gas
Capacity:
Typically, I get about a 3 to 4 second fill with true HFC134a — about
1/2 to 2/3 the capacity of a double-stacker WA magazine, I’d
say.

I
let the replica warm to room temp (appx 65 deg. F) for about
5 minutes, during which time I loaded and tamped-down my 18
shells, which takes an average of about 2 minutes for me to
do by hand.

I
then discharged the replica in single-action, one shot after
the next. After a load of 6 has been discharged, I would dump
the expended shells, and then re-load with the next set of pre-loaded
cartridges. The average time it takes me to reload and discharge
all 18 shells is just under 40 seconds.

This
netted near full-strength shots for well over 54 rounds (3 sets
of 18). I stopped after that because I was getting bored. =)
And also because, of course, that is more than sufficient for
one course-of-fire
under any BB-IPSC event, correct? 
Besides, this is about 9 minutes of “battle time,” and
trust me, one rarely lasts that long to literally re-load each
expended shell, so yes, as long as you have enough loaded cartridges,
you can essentially just keep going.

Reloading: Now, of course, per every
18 shots, the replica had about a two minute rest as I re-loaded
my shells. This time to re-expand the cooled gasses should have
resulted in slightly higher gas-efficiency…but I doubt that
you’d have trouble even if you just constantly rapid-fired.

In
any case, during reloads, due to the fact that:

(1)    

no “speed loader”
is as of yet available for the hunting-purpose real-steel Raging
Bull, and because

(2)  

it takes two hands to simultaneously trip the double chamber
release mechanism

…the
best technique I’ve found to re-load this replica is to simply
keep your left hand on the frame and cylinder, using your fingers
to rotate the cylinder to align the slots as you reload shells,
by hand,
with your shooting hand.

With
such practiced motions, you actually can unlatch and swing out
the chamber, dump the expended shells with your left hand all
as you’re grabbing for your first reload shell(s), reload, spin
the chamber with your left fingers as you reach for the next
set of shells, and then reload again.

Even
then, getting 18 shells out in less than 30 seconds will require
practice, and getting that out in under 20 will likely require
a LOT of practice due to the particular construction of this
replica’s cylinder internals as well as its shell, which I described
on AirsoftZone:

“…And
the shells……now, I have yet to see any speed-loader for
the Raging Bulls (which are typically hunting hand-cannons),
in either .454 or .44 MAG calibers, and if none are available
(or if incapable of being modified), then loading the shells
is a bitch, too, as although the casings have a mock neck/throat
as with real shells, the lack of a smooth bullet/ball surface
at the head makes it so that unless you properly seat each shell
in its slot, it simply will not go in smoothly…”
(source)

Accuracy
tests:

I found this to be rather disappointing. At appx. 5 meters,
I’m unable to hold anything better than a 2.5 to 3 cm grouping.

This
is opposed to, for example, a stock WA double-stacker, for which
I can actually quite easily hold a 2 to 2.4 cm grouping under
the same circumstances, and that’s with a considerably shorter
inner barrel.

Also
to further put this in perspective, my Guarder/IS non-Hop 6.03
mm diam. inner barrel fitted double-stacker “Limited Class”
of 5″ WA double-stacker base construct, can easily stay
well under 1.5 cm in terms of groupings at that range, provided
that high-quality BB’s are used.

At
the same time, even a *stock* WA SVI Championship .45, which
is “factory built” for BB-IPSC with an extended non-Hop
inner barrel, can easily hit marks under 1.3 cm in grouping.

And
once you step up to a professionally tuned balls-out “Open
Class” race gun, such as my “DumboRAT Special”
by Clarence Lai/Airsoft Surgeon, you’re looking at 0.7 to
0.8 cm groupings…..

Sure,
revolvers will typically compete in their own separate “Class”
for BB-IPSC and other such events, but the accuracy, or lack
thereof, for this revolver is defnitely nothing to be proud
of.  This is also further
confirmed by fellow hobbyist MMZ_Cee, who also expressed his
disappointment with the relative lack of accuracy from his Marushin
Anaconda – and yes, MMZ_Cee is also an experienced GBB hobbyist.

Why
such poor accuracy?
So why this poor performance from the Raging Bull?
My best guess is that it’s subjective — that it comes from
my interaction with the piece.

The
trigger pull, even when on single action, is rather heavy, and
typically causes me to “pull” the shots. And when
one tries to compensate for that, it just becomes inconsistent
overall, as any such human effort will induce extra variability.

This
actually has been the case with MMZ_Cee’s interaction with his
Marushin replica as well – as I cited before, it seems that
the trigger pull of these double-action modern revolver replicas
is just too heavy for their own good. 

A
secondary concern is again the grips. Should the grip “sleeve”
rotate axially due to hand-torque at a different rate than the
actual pistol chassis (being a car-guy, I like to think of it
as “slip angle,” instead of between the tire [tyre
for all you Brits!] and the wheel, here, instead, as such between
the rubber of the grip vs. the chassis of the replica), this
causes a slight mal-alignment between the shooter’s hand/arm
and the actual pistol’s bore axis. Add to that the additional
and near-instataneous (and therefore unable to be compensated
for accurately) induction of additional torque during the heavy
trigger pull, and what you get here is quite a bit of instability/inaccuracy
within the system.

Not
the best BB-IPSC chassis, IMHO.

Summary:
Overall, if I were to advise
someone looking to purchase this as a skirmish sidearm or a
BB-IPSC competition revolver, I honestly think that I’d tell
them to just go with the Tanaka Works’ PEGASUS-powered replicas. 
Truthfully, the Marushin’s are too large and too delicate
for either such purpose, and also is not accurate enough, overall,
to fill the second’s needs. 

But
if what you are seeking is a honking large revolver for your
collection, then seriously, look no further. 
This piece tops them all. 

External
Links:
http://www.taurususa.com/
– “loads of goodies in so far as reference Raging Bull literature/reviews
in real-steel format, as well as offers some goodies that you
can purchase for yourself, such as a hat, T-shirt, gun rug/case,
and even that ultra-cool Raging Bull trademarked sight rail.”

http://www.dentrinityshop.com/
– the original retailers of this fine piece

Site
links:
Possible
Raging Bull fault

Comment
on this article in the forums


Last
modified:
Saturday, January 11, 2003 8:23 PM
Copyright ArniesAirsoft




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