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first post, intro and judge question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by trav, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. trav

    trav New Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hey all, first time poster, short time lurker.

    First, I would like to thank everyone for their contributions on this forum. A couple of months ago, my long time desire to own a revolver was rekindled when there was a series of attempted b&es near my home. I have a couple of shotguns, and rifles, but I wanted something more handy for home defense. Coming on here, and reviewing many of the threads helped me in reaching a decision on what to buy.... I decided on a S&W 686. I went down to my local gun store, and the clerk I dealt with had the personality of a rock. (though I suspect a rock would answer my questions with more enthusiasm) Anyhow, thats what I went with. I put the gun on layaway, and am working on buying a small bedside safe to store it in (have kids) and working on lining up a gun safety course. I consider myself to be "in the know" on gun safety, but have never owned a handgun, so wanted to go through the formality.

    Anyhow, my question is on the Taurus Judge. I have considered picking one of these up for a multipurpose kit gun.... hiking, fishing, etc. I can hear your eyes rolling... :) I have read a lot of posts on Taurus firearms. I realize that these guns 99.5% likely to explode if you look at them funny, killing 100% of all lifeforms in a 50' radius from the gun instantly... :evil:

    However, these guns seem like they would be extremely useful off the road. They are small, can use the 410 rounds for snakes, and the 45 rounds for larger beasties. I live in WV, so there are black bears, wild dogs, rattlesnakes, mothmen, and the flatwoods monster. I have never been attacked when I have seen these out in the wild (the Mothman, and Flatwoods Monster have steered clear... so far) and I am not the kind of guy just to start trying to kill whatever I see... but I have always wanted a gun to carry with me, "just in case". The Judge seems to fit the bill. Its lower price would prevent me from crying myself to sleep if it gets scratched up on rocks/brambles/etc, or sweat over me sweating on it, and it is small. I dont plan on just trashing any gun I ever own, but I would worry about trail damage to my shiny new 686.

    Do any of you hike with a gun, or stow one in your tackle box? What is your idea of a good multipurpose handgun?


  2. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Senior Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    I carry a glock 19 while hiking. I am not worried about anything outside of the two-legged snake variety.

    I live in the hot, humid south east. We have rattle snakes and copper heads. Those are the two most venomous and potentially deadly snakes in my area. Rattlers let you know that you are close (most of the time). Copperheads...well they have excellent camo and most bites are from people that step on them. If I get close enough to need to shoot him NOW, my foot is too close to use 410 or anything else. If he's far enough away to shoot safely, I just avoid him. I can't kill 'em all, so I live and let live. If he's on my property and I'm worried he may stick around, I just grab a hoe. Just remember, the 410 snake loads out of a judge aren't going to stop anything larger than a snake. So those 2-3 snake shells only leave you with 2-3 defensive rounds.

    There isn't an overly abundant bear population here, and my only two run ins were outside of 50 yards. They went about their business and I went about mine after a briefly mutual "Holy crap!" moment. If I were that worried about bear, I'd pack a 10mm.

    I've just never understood snake loads. If they are far enough away not to hurt you, move. If your land is utterly infested, talk to animal control. I personally can't stand them and I've been known to kill every venomous one I've seen on my property, but rarely with a gun.

  3. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Senior Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    1st off--welcome to THR

    as to best trail gun, after reading your 'hi guys' im thinking that given a a few seconds head start, you could schmooze most any creature.:neener:

    a 686 is a fine side arm but 357 and bear....bear may win. a judge is anything but small or light. id go with a 44 mag (blackhawk for open carry--cause im partial to rugers, YMMV) for back packing.

    happy huntin
  4. Canazes9

    Canazes9 New Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    I have had the opportunity to shoot a judge and really wasn't impressed. The pattern on shotshells opens up quite rapidly - if you can hit a snake w/ the pattern, then you are close enough to hit them w/ your 686 no problem (you can also buy shotshells for your 686). Accuracy was poor w/ 45's and the long cylinder made the gun feel unweildy.

    I think your 686 is a much better outdoor carry piece and that would be what I would carry if I had to choose between the two. I wouldn't worry about scratching it up - a 686 is very durable.

    Since you asked about other hiking carry guns, my personal favorite is S&W model 60-15. I carry it stoked w/ 38 special +P 158grn soft points on the trail and 3 or 4 speed strips of the same in my pockets. No bears where I live, but I have taken several wild pigs with it w/o incident, not to mention assorted coyotes, etc. I carry mine in an El Paso Saddlery thumb break holster.

  5. gatorjames85

    gatorjames85 Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    N. Central FL
    I would much rather try to take down a bear with a 180 gr hardcast load in that 686 than I would with whatever you would be carrying in a Judge. For your purposes I would go with either the 686, a GP100 (which would be kind of redundant) or a Glock 20. I don't think .44 Magnum is necessary for West Virginia-sized bears. As far as scratching the gun, just get a holster that covers all of the gun except for the grip.
  6. trav

    trav New Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    Thanks for the responses folks. I appreciate the input... Like I said, I dont think I would ever actually have to use the gun on a hike, its more for my peace of mind, than anything practical. Besides... think I wanna get a SA for my next gun. :)
  7. TIMC

    TIMC Senior Member

    Feb 16, 2003
    I own a Taurus judge and I would not call it practical.
    I find it to be fun but would not use it as a woods protection gun or really for home defense either. I will say it is pretty cool with 000 buck under 10 yards.
    My advice is find someting better to hike with like a S&W 625 mountain gun in .45 Colt.
  8. forgetitohio

    forgetitohio New Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    SW Ohio

    It sounds like you do all sorts of outdoor stuff.
    I'd use the Judge for mushroom hunting; doesn't mess them up too bad.
  9. Red Cent

    Red Cent Senior Member

    May 20, 2010
    McLeansville, NC by way of WV SASS 29170L
    You can purchase snakeshot for your smith. Good enough for MOA of snake. The Judge does kinda begs to be worn when you are shallow wading and walking in around those brush piles.
  10. KingMedicine

    KingMedicine Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    Boise ID

    So i basically had the same idea that you did. I figured the judge would be great for hiking and a multipurpose pistol. I bought one and this is what i found out.

    Its a fun gun, It makes a big boom.

    The negatives... With .45 Colt, it shot okay, but was not super accurate with the short barrel. (i had a 2 1/2 inch one i believe). With the .410 shotgun, the recoil was hard and the groupings were less then amazing. Specially with the 0000 buck, it was such a wide spread that i could not see why you would use anything but the colt 45.

    Then, it started jamming with every round. I finally decided to sell it to someone who always wanted one and call my losses.

    I personally think that a .44 mag Mountain Gun would be better. More accurate with the round, and you could use shot shells if you really need a snake gun. Also you would get another round in the cylinder. The judge i had only held 5 rounds.

    Just my opinion.
  11. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Senior Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Yep. Use the 686. It defines multi-purpose outdoor gun.

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