Governor and Judge, Rifled barrels?


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slik pak
March 17, 2012, 03:33 AM
I have limited internet access, so I don't have a whole lot of time to search. Are the barrels on the smith and wesson governor and taurus judge rifled?

I don't understand how you can fire birdshot out of a rifled barrel?

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NOLAEMT
March 17, 2012, 05:19 AM
Yes they are rifled, otherwise they would be AOW's under federal law and require a $200 tax stamp.

you can fire birdshot out of a rifled barrel, but it will pattern horribly, as the two guns you mentioned do. They are novelty guns, and not handheld shotguns, as some would tell you.

The Lone Haranguer
March 17, 2012, 11:28 AM
Beyond ~10 feet, a birdshot pattern from a rifled-barrel revolver will look like a spiral with a big hole in the middle. But these .45/.410 revolvers are intended for much closer ranges than that, and are also firing buckshot.

DocRx
March 17, 2012, 04:04 PM
I beg to differ to some extent with the fine Gentlemen above. The Taurus Judge Tracker 6.5in 45/410 is much more than a "novelty gun". Not only very useful for "home defense", it is also used as a hunting weapon (by me, because of a couple neck surgeries and extended problems-can't use shotguns-possible permanent paralysis), the 45Colt for deer, and the 410ga for smaller animals (pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, etc.), and it works very well, especially with appropriate ammo. Smaller, lighter revolvers are now being made and used for PD. Contrary to some views, it's a great revolver to have. Try it, it might change your mind about a lot of things. Take care and be safe.

cfullgraf
March 17, 2012, 04:09 PM
I recently saw a bit on one of the TV gun shows about Taurus. They were shooting skeet with a Judge and breaking targets.

Pretty good considering how difficult .410 is anyway at skeet.

oldfool
March 17, 2012, 04:31 PM
the guy doing that shooting ain't no slouch, on skeet or whatever, with any gun
Jerry M, I think it was

410 in a long gun really don't give up much of anything on clays either, just shot density
don't take many pellets to bust clay, they poof real good if you hit 'em before they get on out there, but the pellets travel just as far as out of any other bore
good dove gun, too, actually
but best discussed in the shotgun sub-forum

lanternlad1
May 15, 2012, 05:49 PM
I believe the Judge WAS a novelty gun when it was first introduced, but with some of the specialty loads currently introduced for it like the Federal HD or Winchester PDX1 410 handgun loads, its not a novelty any longer. And the Governor with its six shot cylinder and ability to shoot 45 ACP as well as 45LC and 410 makes it a serious short range defense pistol.

Jim K
May 17, 2012, 08:01 PM
Strange, but except for folks like DocRx, I don't see many folks trading Browning Citoris for Taurus judges. I think conventional shotguns will be around a while.

Jim

spaniel
May 17, 2012, 11:18 PM
I have no use for one.

That said, my friend who owns one has a video of him shooting sporting clays with it. His it ratio was better than I managed with my old O/U 410.

stolivar
May 18, 2012, 12:37 AM
bs
I have no problems with tight patterns out to over 15 yards
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_iJ34EHuQs&feature=related debunks your opinion

steve

bluethunder1962
May 18, 2012, 12:46 AM
I have a governor and LOVE it. I shot 50 rds this week of 45 colt. It shoots well, I don;t shoot much 410 out of it but that is why I got it. I like the fact of less lethal and blank rds out of it. I bout sold it but got it out to get ready to and backed out and bought new grips for it and carry it some. It is funny the people that don't own one hate them and make fun of them. The ones that have them love them. Try to buy a used governor and see how many you find.

Ralph G. Briscoe
May 18, 2012, 12:54 AM
<<I beg to differ to some extent with the fine Gentlemen above. The Taurus Judge Tracker 6.5in 45/410 is much more than a "novelty gun". Not only very useful for "home defense", it is also used as a hunting weapon (by me, because of a couple neck surgeries and extended problems-can't use shotguns-possible permanent paralysis), the 45Colt for deer, and the 410ga for smaller animals (pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, etc.), and it works very well, especially with appropriate ammo. Smaller, lighter revolvers are now being made and used for PD. Contrary to some views, it's a great revolver to have. Try it, it might change your mind about a lot of things. Take care and be safe.>>

I've done a hell of a lot of bird hunting over the years and, while I'm sure it's possible to kill a pheasant with a lousy-patterning .410 revolver, trying to is a recipe for a lot of wounded birds. Not exactly responsible sportsmanship...

Skribs
May 18, 2012, 02:08 AM
The barrels in the Judge are not as rifled as a standard barrel. Therefore, they will pattern better than if you shot birdshot through a real .45 colt revolver.

The Judge/Governor are not hunting guns. They have three main purposes:
1) use point-blank on varmints or pests (most commonly snakes) with birdshot.
2) use point-blank on 2-legged predators with 000-buckshot or .45 LC
3) novelty/fun range toy, that you do not intend to use practically

It isn't much use hunting, but essentially functions like 3- or 5-round burst with 9mm ball rounds with 000-buck. It isn't a target pistol, and isn't designed to be. It's not something you want if you expect to be more than a few yards away from the target. But for a desk drawer or a car console, or even if you want to carry it, it is a good option.

FYI, you would be better off with a .22 than using the rounds designed for HD with the Judge. Use 000-buck or .45 LC. Don't use .410 slugs, the .45 does it better.

My biggest problem with these so far is that 1) they're not made by Ruger, 2) the S&W doesn't make a 3" chamber, and 3) the Taurus is a Taurus.

stolivar
May 18, 2012, 02:03 PM
skribs that is nosense. I can hit a 9 inch gong at 100 yards with no problem with 45 acp out of my s&w governor. and very accurate out to over 10 yards with federal 0000 buck. I get very tight groups out to 10 yards around 4 inches. plus at 15 yards I only have a 7 inch group at 15 yards.

Of course this is from a governor and not a judge


steve

Skribs
May 18, 2012, 04:31 PM
I haven't actually looked much at the Governor, stolivar, only the Judge. I'm still waiting for the 3" chamber on the Gov (they should call it the Governator!) or a Ruger version.

Orion8472
May 18, 2012, 05:20 PM
hickok45 did an interesting video on different rounds out of a judge. The OO, OOO, and Hornady stuff actually did very well.

Brink
May 18, 2012, 05:43 PM
I have limited internet access, so I don't have a whole lot of time to search. Are the barrels on the smith and wesson governor and taurus judge rifled?

I don't understand how you can fire birdshot out of a rifled barrel?
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8151/7184314080_414643a0bf_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kamelean/7184314080/)
Birdshot (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kamelean/7184314080/) by kamelean (http://www.flickr.com/people/kamelean/), on Flickr

#8 shot at 3 yards out of my Judge. Full range report at http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=659004

Pfletch83
May 18, 2012, 06:06 PM
I am going to pick up a Governor soon,and I didn't buy it for a range toy,but for close range personal defense (which is what the Taurus and S&W Gov. are meant for).

Said revolvers should also prove to be very good for home defense tasks.

The portability of a double action revolver and the close range firepower of a .410 using '000' buck,with the advantage of using standard Handgun ammo (.45LC,.45 Acp,.45 Schofield,.45 GAP,and .45 Auto-Rim).

MCgunner
May 19, 2012, 04:04 PM
I don't even consider my TC contender's .410/45 colt barrel "useful" vs a real shotgun. :rolleyes: Inside 20 yards, it patterns well, but the screw on choke (must be off to fire .45 Colt) stops the rotation of the shot string AND chokes it full choke, so 20 yards or a smidge beyond, I can hit birds, rabbit, what not with it and have. When dove season starts, I have a real shotgun, though.

The Judge/Governor have limited use and NONE of that use is field or hunting use. That's not opinion, that's just plain fact. I'm a wing shooter big time. My smallest gun is a 20 gauge coach gun I use for doves. I have 3 12s for bird hunting and two of 'em made good duck guns, I hunt a lot of ducks. I have a 10 gauge for goose hunting, shoot large payloads of big T steel shot (mandated by law).

Yes, the .410 revolvers are meant for self defense, but give me a .357 magnum...or my .45ACP or one of my 9s or even a .38. A judge is HUGE, won't fit in a pocket, makes a stupid carry piece IMHO, so many better guns out there. For home defense, I have my coach gun loaded with 3 buck and my daily carry by the bed, either 9mm, .38 special or my 3" .357 Magnum or my Ruger .45ACP. None of those are broke and it's MHO that if they were, no .410 shell would be the fix. :rolleyes:

lanternlad1
June 5, 2012, 02:04 AM
This video gives you a good idea of the Governor's patterning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_iJ34EHuQs

MUCH more accurate than some of the Judges I've seen.

stolivar
June 5, 2012, 06:20 PM
already posted that link earlier

Stainz
June 6, 2012, 07:41 AM
Not everyone who buys a Governor does so because it chambers 2.5" .410 shells. Last June 13th found me visiting a new lgs for the first time. Without a 2011 S&W catalog at that time, the slew of Governors he had - scattered around the store - in every display case - was a bit of a shock. Having just enough to cover it's cost was fortuitous - so much for my Jeep's new tires! The may-pops lasted a few months longer... never an 'impulse buyer', I left with a Governor.

Why? Simple. I love the .45 ACP round for self/home defense. My tricked out 625JM was not 'house gun' material - it was bought for fun. I wanted a 325 Night Guard... but they are over $300 more than that Governor. The Governor is barely 1.4 oz heavier - and only 7/8" longer OAL - with a 2.75" vs the NG's 2.625" barrel. Construction was very similar: Al/Sc alloy frame; tritium Night Sight on front and fixed sight on the rear; black SS cylinder and SS lined barrel. Of course, the longer cylinder means it will chamber .45 Colts and 2.5" .410, too.

The rifling is effective - it groups well with 230gr FMJ .45 ACP ball ammo and 250gr Speer Gold Dots in .45 Colt alike - hitting coincident POI/POA from 7-12 yd with either. It'll also chamber moonclipped .45 GAPs and .45 Schofield, originally referred to as .45 'short Colt', too. Yeah, that first week or so found me buying some .410 shells - still have a few. Interesting there, too. I duplicated the 'celestial swirl galaxy' pattern I noticed with birdshot from a Judge several years ago with it - gotta admit, it was entertaining - for a while. It's forte here is in launching .45 ACP (and .45 Colt!) - and it works well at that - and saved me some moola.

Stainz

Fiv3r
June 6, 2012, 01:37 PM
I wouldn't call the Judge/Governor a novelty gun, but I would say that it's a niche gun. It's not the be all, end all gun to blow a bad guy out of his boots. Conversely, it's not a party popper that plops shot out of the barrel like confetti.

It's a close work handgun. bird shot or snake shot out of the gun IS going to patten poorly beyond a few yards...but if this is a snake gun, you aren't going to be shooting it 10 yards. It's going to be 10' or more likely within striking distance. Same goes for the buck loads. It's going to be drawn and used within 7 yards...more likely at arm's length.

I keep mine in a lockbox in my jeep. If I am going to be driving through a crummy neighborhood, I holster it by my seat for faster access. The "shotgun" effect doesn't really matter to me, and I'm not all about blinding with birdshot. I keep it loaded up with buck, because if you are trying to yank me out of my car, I'm not goofing around with little pellets. It also makes a nice backup gun to keep in the car since it was fairly cheap and can still throw a good chunk of lead when loaded with .45 Colt.

I plan making my Public Defender Poly my camping kit gun. I have never needed a gun before. I don't plan on really needing one as my trips into the wilds are on the fringe at best. However, while staying in a cabin or tent, I like to have an economical larger bore peace of mind. It's light, packs well in my mini-lock box, and can be configured to a couple of different loads. The gun loaded with buck, an additional five shells of some variety, and 5 rounds of .45 Colt ride just fine in the box no larger than a full sized bible.

Works well enough for me, but I know there are certainly "better" guns out there.

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