The Taurus Judge

The Ultimate Defensive Option
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Special Projects Editor Roy Huntington takes another look at the Taurus Judge, a five-shot .410/.45 Colt revolver. Is it the ultimate defensive option?


You know, I’ve had some readers and viewers ask me if I would do something, and initially, I thought, well gosh that’s been covered a million times. But after they asked more questions, I thought you know what maybe it is a good idea. And what we’re going to do here is sort of revisit the Taurus Judge concept — the idea of a revolver that shoots .410 shotgun shells plus .45 Colt ammunition.

This particular gun is one I’ve had for years. It’s a polymer Judge and it rides with me on my tractor every single time I use the tractor. It’s loaded with two .410 shotgun shells and three .45 cold cowboy loads. And what its job is is like shooting field rats out here and varmints and things like that and it does a really good job.

So, what we’re going to do is basically just engage this target here at the kind of distance that you normally would engage with a gun like this.

Here’s one of the reasons why I think people like these guns so much is that it shoots standard .410 shotgun shells. This particular gun shoots the two and three-quarter inch. It won’t shoot the three-inch. And you can also shoot the various other .410 loads like the sporting loads — like this is a seven-and-a-half inch or seven-and-a-half shot. You can also do the various personal defense loads. Some of them have sort of buckshot in them, some of them like this Winchester has little tiny plated buck shots with some of these peculiar copper cylinders, so there’s a lot of options. And I found that the gun seems to run really well with all of them.

As an aside, I thought it’d be interesting to see what the .45 Colt shotshell with the big four from CCI with the number four shot … how that does in this gun in comparison to a standard .410 load. So without further ado, let’s do some shooting!


Okay, we’re at about three yards or so. I’ve got a two-and-three-quarter inch seven shot. It’s an old reload I’ve had for years. It’s what I usually shoot in this thing, so let’s see what happens.

So, I’m always actually really impressed by how well-centered these are considering that the shot capsule is going through rifling. And historically, when you shoot for instance a CCI shot cartridge out of a rifle barrel it tends to really splay it around. And perhaps we’ll see that later on but so far you can see just how darn effective this is.

Okay, this time I’ve got it loaded with one round of this .410 handgun. It’s a premium load from Federal — a two-and-a-half inch and it’s got four pellets of triple aught buckshot. So, let’s see what happens.

Okay, I think we’ve got a well-centered group there and then the other thing you see up in the corner is probably the wad.

Next up is the Winchester load, which they describe as 12 plated BBs and three plated cylinder projectiles, so this should be interesting.

Okay, so we have a really interesting thing happening here. I really like this because you’ve got the dispersion from the BBs and then you also have those big holes from those copper cylinders. All in all, I think this sort of combination of both types of projectiles may have some interesting merit.

This time, it’s the CCI .45 colt number four shotshell. So, it says it’s a 140 grains worth a number four shot, and no I have not counted them, so let’s see what happens here.

See now that’s what I usually see. You can see how the rifling is sort of thrown the shot with the plastic shot capsule. In the CCI load, it probably shatters as soon as it hits the rifling. The .410 shotgun shells have a plastic wad so it of course actually protects the shot from the rifling. And so then the shot doesn’t expand until it leaves the barrel. I don’t know how scientific that is but that’s just what I was thinking.

Now we’re gonna do something that is always fun in this little gun, but I’ve got five rounds of 250-grain flat point .45 cowboy loads,  maybe 650 feet per second out of this gun but it’s still really effective. And I like the fact that you can do this with it.

Well, there you have it — a decidedly unscientific presentation and test. But I think it paints it with a broad enough brush that you at least learn something and can make some decisions. You know I think possibly home protection, a truck gun, certainly it’s very useful around the place here.

I’ve got a little synthetic holster zip-tied to my roll bar on my tractor and this just sits right in it and it’s been very, very handy over the years.

Don’t forget Smith and Wesson makes The Governor, which is a similar kind of a concept and uh about 45 Colt the various .410 loads including the .45 shot cartridge capsule from CCI so you have a lot of options here.

All right you guys, hey thanks for tuning in, and hit the like button if you want to. And if you
comment, I promise I’ll pay attention and answer you if I can.

I think that’s about everything, so remember the four firearm safety rules. And until I see you the next time, stay safe!

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