Taurus Taurus Judge Question

Torontogosh

New Member
Does anyone know a person that carries a Judge, or at least keeps one as a bedside gun?

One of the blogs I read has gone on an anti-Judge rant, and thats fine...everyone is entitled to their opinion. But the main complaint is that the Judge is heavily marketed as a self defense pistol, and it can't really generate adequate power for the task. I have no idea of this is true or not, but if I carried a Judge, I would certainly want to know.

So, are people depending on Judges, or do they end up as range guns for the fun of it ?

The blog in question: http://vuurwapenblog.com/
 

thebrasilian

New Member
Check out this episode of shooting gallery. I think it will answer your questions. Do not use 410 slugs. 000 and the round with the disc are very impressive.

You have have to tivo it. They don't have the full episode online yet.
 

fiundagner

New Member
I lover the idea behind the judge myself, and plan on getting one at some poin t in the future. I have talked to people who were shooting them at the range they were perfectly happy with them. But i have a 2nd (3rd?) option, in the form of the S&W govenor. 45 Long colt, .410, & 45ACP, with a rifled barrel. anyone who doesnt think that that is sufficent for a self defense weapon is probaly concerned with killing bears at arms length. American rifleman reviewed it in their march 2012 issue, and seemed wuite happy with its preformance as well. Now if your trying to use .410 buckshot at 50 yards, you might have a problem, but other than that it shoud be a good option. and if its for a personal defence weapon, you might want to look into defensive handgun ammuniton as well. a few pellets of buckshot on top of 3-5 dime sized metal disks will do quite well as a defensive load.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/ ... 7992_image
 

JRiddle

New Member
I've got a Judge. The only time I carry it is when I'm on the farm, and that's open carry. In my opinion, the 3"Judge is too large to conceal easily. It usually stays at my bedside. It's not a long distance gun by any means, but within the distance of average sized room, I'd say it's hammer. The best ammo I've seen is the Win pdx1, I think it's like 12 bb shot, and 3 discs. At about 10 feet, you get a good bit of spread on the bbs, but the discs stay roughly within 2" or so. Here's a video link to youtube of guy testing that ammo on phonebooks. He starts with a .38, then shoots the .40, and finallly at about 5:00 on the timeline he shoots the judge.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=katLavQJ ... ure=relmfu
 

armaborealis

New Member
I saw someone with one at a CWP class.

I scoff it as a serious defensive sidearm. No, I am not volunteering to go get shot by one. But still, look at it compared to other options.

First, you have the semiauto vs. revolver question. There's a reason why people who carry serious combat handguns (LEO, military) transitioned from six shot wheelguns to semiautos decades ago.

Even if you opt for a revolver, I don't know why you'd select a Judge over any of the other fine offerings in proven defensive chamberings like .357 magnum. The .45 LC cartridge sits somewhere between the .38 sp and .357 in raw energy. It is not a .45 ACP. Many .45 LC loadings are a bit less than a 9mm in raw energy. There's also relatively few commercial loads available in .45 LC compared to the more common cartridges. So you're not getting any better terminal ballistics out of the .45 LC option than you would out of just about any other option, either in revolvers or semiautos.

The .410 option also seems like weak sauce. Box O' Truth tested .410 buck from a judge and found only about 4.5" of penetration -- not nearly enough. They also found inconsistent expansion. Birdshot is obviously a poor defensive loading and likely an ineffective stopper. Even the vaunted Winchester PDX1 that has already been mentioned penetrated only 6-9" (not the 12" that's suggested in FBI testing). The PDX1 works great out of a shotgun but that short Judge barrel really hurts the ballistics. Moreover, the short rifled barrel imparts a larger-than-desirable spread. At 7 yards they found that 2/9 pellets of buck missed a standard IDPA target. The armed citizen is accountable for every piece of lead that comes out of the weapon. Do you really want to spray an uncontrolled pattern down the hallway of your home or in the street?

The best use I've come up with for a judge is as an anti-snake weapon when loaded with birdshot. I think it'd be quite useful and handy in that role. I don't like snakes so I guess that makes the judge a fine pistol! For any antipersonnel use I'd want it loaded with .45 LC. I suppose if your primary use is antisnake, and you can only afford one firearm, then maybe a Judge makes some sense because it can pull limited doubly duty in the field and in the home. Just my opinion.
 

PCShogun

Member
The S/W "Governor" allows .45LC, .410 shells, AND .45ACP from the same weapon. If ammo flexibility is your goal you may wish to check it out also.
 

armaborealis

New Member
.45 ACP sounds more useful. Still, is there anything about the Judge or Governor other than price that makes them more appealing to those who prefer revolvers for self-defense weapons than, say, a S&W M&P R8? I'd take 8 rounds of .357 mag over 6 rounds of .45 LC or .45 ACP any day.
 

PCShogun

Member
I believe that many folks feel a shotgun is the best home defense weapon you can get. The Judge uses (small) shotgun shells AND bullets, and therefore it must be better than a regular revolver firing just bullets, right?

It some cases, it may not be a bad deal. If you cannot hit the broadside of a barn at 12 feet, this is the weapon for you. If your honest hope is that the sound of a .410 shot shell going off and the intruders chest being peppered with #8 shot is enough of a deterrent, this is also a good choice. If you live in an apartment where a normal round will penetrate clear to the other end of the building, this may be your weapon too. Many of us are of the nature that if someone breaks into their home while they are there, the intruders intent is to cause harm to them and their family. Wounding the intruder will not be the intent in a shooting engagement. A wounded intruder can still pull his trigger while pointing a gun at you or your family.

Personally, I worry about over penetration, and even more about how far a miss will travel within my sub division. I use hollow points for this reason but fear dry wall and vinyl siding are not much of an impediment to bullet travel. the .45LC is a BIG lead bullet traveling slow (compared to most calibers). I swear I could almost jump outta the way of a .45LC at 100 yards if pumped up on adrenalin. Shotguns can be unwieldy in a home situation though. I think the judge attempts to bridge this gap in a legal manner rather than advocate a short barreled shotgun.

I would flat cringe at the thought of someone using this as a concealed carry weapon and see they are loaded with shot shells. One shot in a crowded parking lot and you are going to hit a large number of bystanders. Sawed off shotguns are called "Street Sweepers" for a reason.
 

Torontogosh

New Member
I find it great to see so much conversation on this topic. In all candor, I bought a public defender last year, but I really just wanted another may to shoot 45lc, and I was curious about the idea. I am not above buying a gun for "the hell of it".

There really seems to be to be a school of thought that reports that the 410 is way too weak for self defense, even at close range. Considering that the judge is really sold as a combat/defensive weapon, is Taurus possibly misleading buyers? Conversely, people have been carrying .22's and .25's for decades, so whose to say what "adequate" power is?

Either way, I find the debate interesting.
 

armaborealis

New Member
Torontogosh said:
I
There really seems to be to be a school of thought that reports that the 410 is way too weak for self defense, even at close range. Considering that the judge is really sold as a combat/defensive weapon, is Taurus possibly misleading buyers? Conversely, people have been carrying .22's and .25's for decades, so whose to say what "adequate" power is?
Stopping power is not the same as lethality. A .22 LR will kill but probably won't stop.

The FBI standard is 12-18" of penetration, which ensures penetrating clothing and being able to reach vitals from even less than ideal angles. Some premium defense ammo for the judge like the PDX-1 does manage to meet that criteria, if used at 5 FEET (not 5 yards), with 3" shells (most folks load up 2.5") (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2011 ... -gel-test/).

You could also compare with the known performance of other rounds. Out of a Judge, the PDX-1 premium ammo clocks in at around 625 FPS (http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/taurus- ... allistics/). Each of the disks weighs 68 grains. That's almost as good as the .32 ACP, which pushes a mid-60s bullet at nearly 1000 FPS for around 125 ft-lbs of energy. So I guess you could say that getting a hit with all three of the disks in the PDX-1 ammunition is like three .32 ACP hits. While I personally consider a 380 or 38 special to be the minimum for defensive cartridges, the .32 was used for a long time in Europe.

You can also look at world-wide calibers selected for personal weapons by professionals, i.e., military and police. The Eastern Bloc settled on the 9x18mm. The Europeans generally use the .380 ACP these days, except for NATO forces which use 9mm. In the US, the 9mm and 40 SW are popular with LEOs these days.

So... Inside of five yards (where the spread issues are bad but manageable and the ballistics are marginal or acceptable) the Judge probably delivers acceptable terminal performance with premium self defense .410 ammo designed for use in a short barrel, especially if you have a 100% safe backstop (maybe a controlled environment inside your house) because some of that shot WILL miss your target, even at 5 yards. I'm certainly not going to volunteer to be shot by one. It isn't, however, going to deliver the performance you'd see out of a Glock in 9/40/.45 or a 20 or 12 gauge Mossberg 500 (heck, even a .410 with a long barrel that allows complete combustion).

So, I wouldn't say that Taurus is misleading consumers. I would just say that consumers want to believe certain things, like "I can get shotgun level performance out of this nifty versatile little handgun! And I won't have to aim! And its cheap! And it isn't a boring black glock like everyone else has!" When defensive firearms are concerned, TANSTAAFL... In the end you pays your money and takes your chances. At that price point, I'd personally take a used trade-in glock over a judge, myself, for defensive use.
 

04ctd

New Member
great discussion.

my credit card has been getting all excited about a JUDGE...thanks for giving it the chills.

i think this is a "neat toy" kinda deal
one you show to friends, and make them say "oh, aaah" and behind your back, they read stuff like this...and go..."wont do the job"
 

44lover

Member
Hey all, I've got the Raging Judge, blue with a 3" barrel. It lists in the Taurus Cataloge as the Model 513, 45LC/454 Casull/.410. It is a handful but a lot of fun to shoot. I usually load it with 3" .410 #4, the recoil is very manage able. The pistol itself is heavy but for a large framed guy with big hands it is very manageable. The .454 Casull with 260gr loads is stout, and attention getting, so if you like fireballs it's perfect. It does fall into the category of legally concealable,( around 11" in total length), but you gotta be a big guy to pull it off. I'll bring it out on Cinco de Mayo, and see what kinda reactions I get. LOL!!!
 

PCShogun

Member
04ctd said:
great discussion.

my credit card has been getting all excited about a JUDGE...thanks for giving it the chills.

i think this is a "neat toy" kinda deal
one you show to friends, and make them say "oh, aaah" and behind your back, they read stuff like this...and go..."wont do the job"
Not really a toy, looking down that barrel is going to be intimidating as he11.
 

bigfutz

Active Member
The litmus test for a handgun is this: Can you draw it and say, "Go ahead... make my day." If not, get a bigger gun. :)
 

armaborealis

New Member
Some folks next to us at the pistol range had one out over the weekend. I think they were shooting the .410 Winchester PDX load we've talked about here. Target at 5 yards. The load performed pretty much as reported on the internet; the three discs were spreading out over what looked like around 5" (a bit bigger than a fist) and the BBs were all over the place, with probably around a quarter off the paper (looked like a fairly standard ~20" wide humanoid type target). The recoil looked pretty heavy and it was slow back on target but then again they weren't in an aggressive combat shooting stance when firing it, so its probably better if you control the weapon with an aggressive stance. Noise was fairly hellacious.

I had my GP-100 out next station over and was putting controlled pairs of .38 special +P JHP into a thoracic cavity sized circle from the ready in about two seconds (fast as the range allows--almost anyone can do that or better from the holster with a bit of practice and training and dry fire, honestly, if range rules allow), but hey, to each their own. On the way home my wife commented that the Judge was probably awesome as a defensive weapon if you anticipated taking all shots at 3 to 7 yards, you never had to worry about an adverse background (i.e. you never carry it in a public place), you never have to worry about family members potentially in the line of fire, you never have a failure to stop, and if there aren't too many assailants. Needless to say she's sticking with her M&P in .40 SW on the street and a long gun AND an M&P in the house.

Still, while I still think it isn't a great defensive weapon, it might have application for handgun hunting of small game. I imagine a .410 at close to moderate distances would do ok against squirrels/upland birds, even with the short rifled barrel. I'd still prefer a 4" bbl or more though. And I still hate snakes, so the Judge would be fine for that.
 

mcdaniel

Member
bigfutz said:
The litmus test for a handgun is this: Can you draw it and say, "Go ahead... make my day." If not, get a bigger gun. :)
I'm guessing the TCP I keep in my pocket 24/7 won't pass this test. haha. Guess I better start toting my deer rifle.
 
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