Circuit Judge Carbine for Home Defense

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MG77, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. MG77

    MG77 Member

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    I’ve seen some threads concerning the Circuit Judge carbine version of the Judge, that are now closed. I think there were common misconceptions that I wanted to touch on, so I’m starting this thread.

    It’s important to make the distinction that the Circuit Judge is the 18.5” revolving cylinder carbine version of the Judge, not the handgun. That makes this a very different weapon.

    The handgun version would be excellent for unwanted snakes, or a car-Jack defense gun, or just for the enjoyment of shooting shot shells in a handgun. Those are the only applications I would use that revolver for. If you’re going to use it to shoot 45LC, just buy a 45LC revolver without the wonky oversized cylinder. But I digress...

    Here are some reasons why the Circuit Judge CARBINE is a great option for hd:

    • 410 000 buckshot at velocities from a carbine rifle are very effective at home defense distances. Same EFP as .45 ACP.
    • Multiple sizes of buckshot allow you to vary the amount of energy / penetration. ie. #4 buckshot for apartment defense etc. (would not recommend smaller than #4 Buck)
    • The Circuit Judge comes with actual choke options that negate the rotation imparted on the projectiles by the rifled barrel. You get much tighter groups using the straight rifle choke for shot shells that stops the pellets from spinning. This is a HUGE point to this firearm that is often overlooked. Know the firearm, read the owner’s manual, use the proper choke for the ammo selected.
    • Simple, reliable revolving cylinder. Simplicity and reliability are big pluses when considering a weapon for home defense. No malfunctions. (Some ammo brass may expand and jam the cylinder. That’s more on the ammo than the firearm. Select quality ammo that you have practiced with.)
    • Low recoil / easy to shoot. Keeps subsequent shots on target. Can be used by more members of a family, if needed
    • Picatinny railing to mount lights/lasers.
    • 5 round capacity. More than some popular home defense shotgun platforms.
    • Relatively short / maneuverable
    In my opinion, it checks all the marks for what you would want in a home defense weapon.

    Again, not talking about the handgun. :)
     
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  2. unclenunzie
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    unclenunzie Contributing Member

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    Welcome.

    I'm thinking an ordinary pump shotgun would be better in that role in whichever gauge or bore you choose. Proven platforms, easy to operate and keep running. Mossberg 500 is my choice in a 12 gauge, others like the Remington 870. Also, during this this time of reduced availability of ammo, a 410 seems very hard to feed. You can get low recoil ammo in 12 and other gauges.
     
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  3. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    From a plain surface observation, what I like about a double action revolving carbine over a pump gun is that simply pulling the trigger makes the revolver cycle the action. Which should make the revolving carbine easier to make follow up shots either left handed or right handed than a pump (or lever) gun.

    Do you already own a Circuit Judge Carbine, @MG77?
     
  4. MG77

    MG77 Member

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    Thanks Unclenunzie,

    just wanted to address some comments in the other thread for clarity. Mainly, the advantages of the Circuit Judge over the handgun versions.

    For me, I think a DA revolver platform is still simpler than a pump shotgun and more reliable. Less movements, no chance of short stroking the pump action etc. And revolvers are a very proven platform.

    Good point on the current ammo availability.
     
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  5. MG77

    MG77 Member

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    Yes, I do. Those are the reasons I bought it at the time. The more I’ve shot it, the more I think it’s a solid choice. I agree on the simplicity and reliability of the revolver action. You “could” shoot it one-handed if you had to. Much simpler than a pump.
     
  6. whughett

    whughett Member

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    A YouTube video by Paul Harrell ruined any notion I may of had of purchasing one.......!
    Having said that it is a cool little carbine. I own a percussion carbine so it was interesting to see how Rossi/Tarus addressed the cylinder gap flash.
     
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  7. MG77

    MG77 Member

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    I watched that video and it mainly seemed to come from a hunting perspective. He was shooting a paper target from 25 yards and didn’t shoot the meat target with buckshot.
    That video did demonstrate the different patterns from using the different straight rifle choke. (Albeit at 25 yards).

    what I’m talking about is shooting buckshot with the correct choke at a meat target within home defense distances. He didn’t do that in the video.
    He went on at the end to explain the advantages the CJ has for a home defense application.

    If he were to make another video focused on a home defense role and demonstrating buckshot patterns at HD distances, shooting the meat target with buckshot, coupled with the simplicity of the DA revolver, you may have a very different opinion.
    No one is talking about using a CJ for Home Defense from a distance of 25 yards.
     
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  8. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    For inside the home defense, I'd like to see results on target at 15 yards. That's the furthest distance wall to wall in one part of my house.
     
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  9. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    It’s still neither fish nor fowl, nor master of much. 410 is unnecessarily small for home defense and the Judge, with its shallow grooves to mitigate the rifling effect on shot patterns, which are nevertheless not as good as from a smoothbore, is necessarily less accurate than a barrel with proper grooves.

    A firearm that was originally designed to meet the oddities of Brazilian gun legislation and specifically stymie car jackers, then further modified to meet the oddities of US gun legislation, then turned into a rifle, makes for an interesting oddity itself. But not an oddity that I would trust with my life and lives of my family.

    Happily, different strokes for different folks. Here’s hoping you never have to use it in a home defense role but that, if you do, it performs flawlessly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  10. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    I have a Saiga .410 with a nineteen inch barrel. It tears stuff up with buckshot. As to a revolving shotgun, I'll have to let you know. Just got a Landor Arms revolving .410. Haven't shot it yet, didn't want to blow away all my .410 ammo on testing. Managed to score some #9 recently at Wallyworld. Hopefully scrounge some more for a good days outing.

    I don't know how the trigger is on the Rossi, but the Landor is easy though somewhat gritty. I was somewhat surprised how easy it was. Hopefully shooting will smooth it out some. BTW, it's a smoothbore unlike the CJ. And comes with chokes. My belief is that it could serve as a viable self defense tool.
     
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  11. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Nicely put. No opinion from this nimrod on home defense shot gun or otherwise. That’s pretty much a personal choice that could be argued from numerous viewpoints. Well I guess that was an opinion after all ;)

    As to the judge carbine had I coins to spare I’d buy one just for it coolness. It would look good on the wall with my Remington Carbine. :) Both in 45C to boot.
     
  12. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Landor? Smoothbore? http://www.landorarms.com/TXS-804-410-REVOLVER-5-32-450-en.html

    Sounds interesting. Sure would like to see how that performs. How about some pics? Please. :)
     
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  13. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I think they are a neat gadget, and considered getting one years ago for a "Jeep rifle" for groundhogs, zombies, and plinking fun.

    And if you like it, I won't talk you out of it as a defensive option. It has merits, and preference is preference.

    But as others said, I think it's also novelty and a compromise. It will work, and there's arguments for it to work. But it's not the best nor the most well rounded.

    It's the like Subaru Baja of the gun world. It has its uses and has a following, but there's a reason it's not the number one seller and prolific in use.
     
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  14. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    That's the one. I have pics but had a problem loading when I tried last. Will try again later. Or even PM them to you so I don't derail this thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
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  15. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    It's a repeating firearm, it will work for home defense.

    In most states you can buy better options, like a semi-automatic .223, or a Glock.
     
  16. MG77

    MG77 Member

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    Thanks DocRock,

    Part of what formed my opinion about this gun for home defense was 410 buckshot being “small” and “under powered” compared to 12 gauge. Ballistic tests show 000 410 buckshot is effective at in-home distances, but will rapidly lose energy over distance. A 12 gauge can blast through multiple rooms and possibly exterior walls. Of course, 410 will shoot through interior walls, but will not pose as much of a hazard to people in other rooms / neighbors. Effective at close range, then quickly lose energy. If I were designing a home defense buckshot round, it would look a lot like a 410. Just my opinion.

    Another member mentioned a YouTube video by Paul Harrel concerning the Circuit Judge. But the video wasn’t focused on home defense. Paul also has a video about .410 for home defense. As powerful as 12 gauge? Absolutely not. Effective at in-home distance? Absolutely. But of course, in the video, he says “you be the judge.”
     
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  17. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    The Judge and its variants are an answer to an unasked question.
     
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  18. Scrapiron45

    Scrapiron45 Member

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    I have one, it's our back door gun. It's dispatched several raccoons and a couple skunks as rabies is a problem around here. Wife likes it as she's comfortable with revolvers. We keep it loaded with #4 shot for the critters but I wouldn't hesitate to use it as a close range home defense weapon.
     
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  19. whughett

    whughett Member

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    .

    Just for speculation, not knowing laws against such. It’s down fall for shot gun use is the rifling in the bore. It’s too shallow, the rifling, is be fully effective on bullets, hence its diminished accuracy with metallic cartridges. But enough to impart spin on the shot cup of the 410 load of buckshot.

    Could the barrel be reamed smooth or smoother to improve the grouping of shot. I mean if one really wanted a revolver 410 shotgun.
     
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  20. BlueHeelerFl

    BlueHeelerFl Member

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    I have a Circuit Judge that I keep loaded for home defense. I got it mainly as a SD long arm that my elderly Mother can use.

    She is familiar with DA revolvers and has no problems using the Circuit Judge

    I keep the choke for 45 Colt loads in it. Although it has an effect on shot patterns, at the inside my small home ranges where it would be used , that doesn't have a detrimental effect.

    I have it loaded with the 4 disk version of the PDX1 defense rounds, and at 7 yards it puts a fist sized pattern into a target with the disks
     
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  21. BlueHeelerFl

    BlueHeelerFl Member

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    Here is a pic showing a pattern from 2 Win Super X 00 shells. The location of the hits seems odd, but I shot overly low to avoid hitting the cables on the target holder.

    20210107_114334~3.jpg
     
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  22. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    This is starting to make me think of the blunderbuss used in the movie Looper.
     
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  23. BlueHeelerFl

    BlueHeelerFl Member

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    And that pattern was with the choke for shooting 45 Colt. I actually haven't used the choke that stabilizes shot spin.

    And I fired both off fast ,as in a SD situation, and I didn't hit the same point of aim.

    With that being said I would think the spread of those 10 balls would hit just about everything virtual in a center of mass aiming point.

    And 12-13 yards is about the longest line of sight distance in my house
     
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  24. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Or as I said when the original Judge came out, a bad idea, poorly executed.

    My 12-ga Ithaca with the 20" barrel and the magazine plug removed is a much better defensive weapon.
     
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  25. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I can see how the Circuit Judge (CJ) would work in a short range scenario inside one's home. Outside the house, much less so.

    If one can't have or doesn't want an autoloader, the CJ certainly offers ease of use with a simple pull of the trigger to cycle the action. Should be fast between shots, easy to shoot from either shoulder with less training, and capable of one handed repeat shots, too.

    What's interesting to me at the moment is that smoothbore Landor Arms that @KevininPa has. It should have the greater inherent accuracy of a barrel designed for shotshells and slugs.

    EDIT: Removed erroneous info about the CJ's barrel length.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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