Penetration Report: Judge (pics and report)


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Apple a Day
September 18, 2011, 05:11 PM
I finally got hold of a Taurus Judge owned by a buddy and connived him into going to the range with me. He does some contract work serving court papers to nonviolent people. So far they've stayed nonviolent but he totes along his Taurus Judge as insurance (see picture).
I've tested various calibers for penetration versus old books, amassing a short table. Included is data on .410 shells fired from a Rossi break-open with a 23" bbl. I've wanted to shoot the same shells from a Judge to see how much the barrel length affects penetration. Today I got my chance.

The short version: My personal opinion is that I'd avoid the Judge as my personal self defense firearm.

The long version: I set a target out at 15 yards (the closest allowed at the range) and plied it with Winchester PDX-1 rounds, 000 buckshot, #6 shot, and some .45 Long Colt (250 grain cowboy loads).
All shells were 2.5" since that's the longest that version of the Judge could hold.
Results: see picture.
Penetration. You will notice that the copper disks from the PDX-1 shells and two of the 000 pellets are stuck in the cover of the book. Also, the BB's from the PDX-1 and #6 barely stuck into the cover. None made their way into the actual book. The .45LC rounds flattened out nicely into immense gobs of lead, were consistent, but only made it ~270 pages.
For contrast here are some of the results from other calibers below. All handgun/rifle rounds were fired at 25 yards while the shotgun shells were fired at 15. Data below is AFTER passing through the cover.
for reference:

23" barrel .410 PDX1=trio of disks: 1180 pages (through and stop)
single disks: 721 pages, 899 pages (average ~810 pages)
BB's: from 231 to 315 pages (average ~275 pages)
000 Buckshot: ~820 pages

9x19mm FMJ= 900 pages
9x19mm 115 grain HP = 500 pages
.38Spl 125g +P HP=500 pages
9x18 95g FMJ = 700 pages
.22LR 36g HP from 6" bbl= 450 pages
.22LR 36g HP from 16" bbl= 950 pages
7.62x39mm = tore through three catalogues like Obamacare and kept right on going.

Accuracy wasn't impressive, either.
Caveats:
1)I know that 15 yards is a few steps outside the intended engagement envelope for a Judge. It's the best I could do and still leaves it comparable to the conditions under which the other rounds were tested.
2) The .45 LC rounds were cowboy action loads and therefore indended to be mild loads. Stouter loads might produce better penetration but would also throw more flash and boom.
3)I didn't get a chance to try slugs. I brought along some 3" slugs but they didn't fit in his gun. Maybe I'll try some 2.5" slugs another time but at ~100 grains I don't expect they'll do as well as the .45 LCs.

As always, keep in mind that I'm just a wahido what likes to shoot things for fun. My tests are entirely unscientific. YMMV. Caveat Emptor. All statements are succeptible to terms and conditions. etc...

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Apple a Day
September 18, 2011, 05:13 PM
Here's the book opened. To the left is the inside of the cover and to the right is the top page. You can see how the smaller shot bulged the cover, dimpled the pages underneathe, but didn't actually penetrate. Yes, you can actually see the disks and a couple of 000 pellets embedded in the cover. They didn't penetrate.

Ranger30-06
September 18, 2011, 06:56 PM
Thanks for putting this up! This is very interesting because while not suited for CCW, it would make an excellent camp gun as you can handle everything from snakes to bears (with full power .45LC loads mind you). When I had my .45 ACP I found it okay for snakes however I was always worried about what would happen if I ran across a something a little meaner in those back woods of NC. Just my thoughts!

againstthagrane
October 17, 2011, 07:44 PM
i would show this to that girl in the other thread i made about the judge's lore, but i just defriended her after her snarky reply.

againstthagrane
October 17, 2011, 07:45 PM
it's pretty much what i suspected though. i bet those those pdx discs have a terrible sectional density.

EVIL
October 17, 2011, 09:29 PM
I'll take the single-shot .410 Rossi shotgun for 1/3 the cost of the Judge...the Rossi "tuffy" is an excellent value woods or camp gun. IMHO, the Judge tries to do/be too many things & none of them well (except for being the world's ugliest current production revolver...;)) YMMV

http://cdn5.thefirearmsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/picture-26-6.png

http://picturearchive.gunauction.com/635/9170854/32c19eccf64d689cd60e6cc9012bdc36.jpg

http://www.rossiusa.com/product-details.cfm?id=166&category=10&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=

nice range report!

Hondo 60
October 17, 2011, 10:13 PM
it would make an excellent camp gun as you can handle everything from snakes to bears (with full power .45LC loads mind you).

Boy, I sure as heck hope I'd have something stronger than 45 Colt if I came a crossed an angry or hungry bear.

Maybe some Ruger only 45 Colt loads - but other than that, I'd want a 44 magnum or larger.

Just my 2

788Ham
October 17, 2011, 10:19 PM
In my opinion, for what its worth, I think the Judge is just a cute come on to take your money. The .45 cartridges shot out of it might be okay, but a shotgun? Not with that short of a barrel. YMMV

Ranger30-06
October 17, 2011, 10:24 PM
Boy, I sure as heck hope I'd have something stronger than 45 Colt if I came a crossed an angry or hungry bear.

Maybe some Ruger only 45 Colt loads - but other than that, I'd want a 44 magnum or larger.

Just my 2
Yeaaaaaaa I've kinda changed that opinion since I made that post lol

Skribs
October 18, 2011, 02:35 AM
Everyone posts BOT #41 which complains about Judge penetration, but nobody posts BOT #53, Judge Revisited.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot53.htm

They basically say that the only thing worth using is the 000 buckshot. Seems adequate penetration for self defense, and 5 holes is certainly better than 1. At expected SD ranges, I can expect 5 holes.

Therefore, for the range I expect to use a car or home defense handgun, the Judge seems to be good. For defense at range (say, larger home, woods, on the street when someone 30 feet away pulls a gun), I'd opt for something else. That doesn't mean I wouldn't choose a Judge for my desk drawer or my car console. It just means that if I have to have 1 gun for all situations, it wouldn't be a judge. If I was buying a gun specifically for the drawer/console...yeah, it'd be a Judge.

EMC45
October 18, 2011, 10:22 AM
Judge. Waste.

Apple a Day
October 18, 2011, 05:37 PM
EVIL,
Funny you should post those pics because that's what I used for the original tests with the longer barrel (not the Tuffy but 'standard' stock)

I should also have included :
3" slugs out of the 23" barrel were REALLY impressive, penetrating ~1600 pages and making a catastrophic impression in the testing medium. Check out the picture.
Previously posted, check my response with pics #5 down
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=570776&highlight=.410

EVIL
October 18, 2011, 08:41 PM
EVIL,
Funny you should post those pics because that's what I used for the original tests with the longer barrel (not the Tuffy but 'standard' stock)

I should also have included :
3" slugs out of the 23" barrel were REALLY impressive, penetrating ~1600 pages and making a catastrophic impression in the testing medium. Check out the picture.
Previously posted, check my response with pics #5 down
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=570776&highlight=.410
And think ... that is only a .410 bore vice the 12 GA that many of us use for home defense ...

MCgunner
October 18, 2011, 09:48 PM
I have a .410 10" barrel for my TC Contender. It's kinda useless, but fun to walk around shooting starlings on the wing with. It has an effective range of 20 yards or a bit more, but it has a choke that does two things, CHOKE, and stop the rotation of the shot column. Maybe if you could machine the barrel of that Taurus to take the TC's choke, it might be a bit more fun with .410, but still pretty useless.

As for snakes, just let 'em alone and they won't bite you. If you GOTTA kill 'em and you can't hit 'em with a bullet, either (1)...you can't shoot or (2) ...you're carrying an inaccurate firearm. I've managed it from 10 feet with a .22 NAA mini revolver and a Federal Lightening LR 38 grain HP. A J frame kit gun is easy. :D

againstthagrane
October 19, 2011, 12:29 PM
did, anyone notice that my taurus judge thread got deleted by the mods? what gives? i thought we were within the rules...

EMC45
October 19, 2011, 12:35 PM
I noticed it got deleted as well. Must've gotten ugly.

againstthagrane
October 19, 2011, 01:19 PM
strange. usually they just get locked. i don't think i've ever seen something get deleted unless taurus is a sponsor or something...

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