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Judging the Judge!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by rtaylor71, Jan 18, 2013.

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  1. rtaylor71

    rtaylor71 Member

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    Like most of you good people on this forum, I am a gun enthusiast. My dad taught me from a very young age, and it happens that I was bitten by a bigger bug than he when it comes to liking a variety of firearms, collecting, handloading for them, so on so on. I received extensive handgun training in the military and have done much research and experimenting since then. I say this not to classify myself as an expert by any means, but only to get across that I have a solid background.

    I never had a desire to go out and buy a Taurus firearm. They just didn't seem (to me) on the level with Colt, S&W, and the like. This in spite of years at the range having NEVER seen a Taurus malfunction. Then came the Judge!

    I had some funds burning a hole in my pocket and saw one at a local sporting goods store. I bought it and headed home to look up some reviews. (Backward, I know!) One writer whom I hold in high regard wrote that the Judge wasn't even worthy of a review because of lack of accuracy. I had to find out for myself, so today I took my new Judge to the range with some .410 shells (size 8 shot) and some .45 Colt I loaded myself. The shotshell loads performed like one would expect - spreading nicely an packing a pretty good wallop! Then I did an accuracy test with the .45 Colt loads and shot every round DOUBLE action.

    http://s583.beta.photobucket.com/user/rtaylor71/media/IMG_1701_zps9f600554.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

    I shot 4 groups of 5 shots and was I ever impressed! I can't explain why some others (who have a LOT more knowledge than I) have not had a good experience, but mine was excellent! I could hardly believe my eyes at 25 yards, but there it was!

    Being a close range weapon with a 3" barrel, it is more accurate than it needs to be and I would have no problem trusting it for protection or any other activity involving a handgun. Anyone doubting this Judge should think twice, lest he be held in contempt!

    Comments welcome and encouraged. Thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  2. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    looks like fun
     
  3. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    I have owned a Judge for several years now and my experience has been much similar to yours. It patterns buckshot extremely well, usually covering an area the size of my (small) fist. From what I have heard many people do not like the guns because they are Taurus products or because they think the gun is a gimmick.

    You didn't mention that you shot any buckshot through it but if you haven't I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Just be sure to stick to the Federal .410 handgun loads or the Winchester PDX. Winchester 3 pellet buckshot patterns to the edges of a human silhouette at 7-10 yards.
     
  4. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    Count me out

    I am one of those that has handled and shot one and has NO reason to get one or shoot another one.

    Too heavy first of all.

    Larger than a S&W 'N' frame AND badly balanced at least in mnsho.

    Shoots a 'shot shell' and I see the only use would be if your deathly afraid of snakes and dont know how to avoid them [ I do and have for 65 years ].

    The buckshot is not defendable in a court as there is the very good possibility that a single ball might not hit the intended target and harm/kill a innocent.

    I would LOVE - yes LOVE to see the Taurus poly framed model made in a shorter cylinder so as to allow only .45 colt rounds to be used.

    That would be one of THE best CQB or BUG revolvers on the market.

    You could have 5 rounds of one of THE best manstoppers .45 LC [ or game too ] on your belt or ankle.

    I am of the belief that a pistol [ handgun ] should fire one projectile at a time and that I [ the shooter ] am RESPONSIBLE for all rounds fired.
     
  5. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    Scaatylobo, you are of course entitled to your opinion but I would like to point out that the Judge - my Judge anyway - produces very tight groups with buckshot that are more than sufficient for in-home protection IMO. I do whole-heartedly agree with your statements about carrying a Judge though. They are too big and heavy for that role, but that is also not what they were designed for.
     
  6. hAkron

    hAkron Member

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    How impractical would it be to try to hit a clay pigeon at 16 yards? I would get one if I could use it for that.
     
  7. rtaylor71

    rtaylor71 Member

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    Scaatylobo I have some guns for specific purposes and some in the recreational category. I sure understand your point of view - it is too heavy for CCW. The long cylinder makes it a little front-heavy and although it shouldn't be a problem at a few feet, buckshot could surely cause one some civil trouble if not criminal. I think it does make a great trail gun, especially here in West Texas where the rattlesnake population is pretty dense! I personally like it because it's just plain FUN to shoot!

    I would LOVE to see Taurus come out with a poly frame .45 Colt too . . . fun AND practical!

    Thanks everyone for your opinions!
     
  8. rtaylor71

    rtaylor71 Member

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    hAkron -
    You might hit it, but out of that 3" barrel at 16 yards you might not break it! LOL
     
  9. rtaylor71

    rtaylor71 Member

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    Havok7416 - I'm going to be looking at Taurus products differently from now on, myself. The fit and finish on my Judge is excellent!

    I haven't put any buckshot through her yet, but I'll definitely try some of the loads you mentioned. With this current ammo scare, .410 is one thing that my local store has plenty of!
     
  10. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    @ rtaylor71

    I thank you for the comments and I see that your a man of rare intelligence.

    You see the wisdom of Taurus making a .45 LC poly frame that would be THE most amazing BUG or primary for those that EDC a wheel gun.

    I am totally surprised that its not in the works already.

    Also to the O.P. sorry but I misinterpreted your liking of this item.

    I thought it was for EDC,I am still not in favor of it as a house gun for liability reasons.

    But thats just me being a retired LEO and seeing too many lawsuits.

    btw,my "house gun" is my EDC = a Glock 23 or a Kimber 45 acp.

    Got very used to carrying one as LEO and doing possibly as many as a few thousand building clearings with it.
     
  11. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    Don't hesitate to give us a range report when you do!:cool:
     
  12. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    Snake guns aren't just for those who are "deathly afraid of snakes and don't know how to avoid them".
    Unlike NY, the South has a LOT of venomous snakes and a lot longer snake season.
    Copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlers are huge problems in many areas down here.
    Copperheads are very often unavoidable and have perfect camouflage for the forest floor. I even had one crawl across my foot while standing in my buddy's driveway one night, after a pool party. No way to avoid one that crawls on top of your foot in the dark, where you can't see it.
    I like snakes. I avoid venomous snakes when possible. It's not always possible.

    BTW, my Judge is a lot of fun to shoot.
    I guess a shotgun isn't defensible for defensive uses either, since those pesky pellets may hit someone other than the intended target.
    Something to consider.
    I haven't carried my Judge for SD, because I don't have a LH CC holster for it.
    If I did, it would either be with Federal Judge loads or Buffalo Bore .45 Colt ammo.
    If Federal would load their .45 Colt SWCHP as hot as they should, I would carry it with that load.

    It's also a lot of fun to shoot with .410 ringed loads/cut shells. The .452 OD of the .410 shell is a perfect fit for the .452 bore.
    It's like a long, wadcutter shaped Glaser Safety Slug.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  13. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    Warning, The Judge is not rated for this statement mentioned in the post above.[/SIZE]
     
  14. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    @ jaymo

    I am sorry but I missed your point.

    If you cant see them until its too late = do you shoot one on your foot ?.

    I think you might do that only once.

    A shotgun with 00 buck would not spread anywhere near as wide as would a short barreled handgun that has enough rifling at the end of the barrel [ to make it legal ] that it would make shooting 00 buck as a joke past 25'.

    Since its IMPOSSIBLE to know the distance you might need to take a shot,I say that carrying a S/D pistol that cannot do precision shooting possible is a lawsuit .

    I am much too responsible a shooter to carry such a tool.
     
  15. Airbrush Artist

    Airbrush Artist member

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    One things for Sure if You have a Judge for Home Protection and the bad Guy is coming down your hallway to your bedroom to do His Evil and you Confront him and Do what "YOU" need to do ,It will be the last hallway he walks down..I fired one yesterday with 410 for the first time and It is an amazing firearm...CCW I'd have to pass with the Good Judge...
     
  16. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    Actually, Buffalo Bore makes standard pressure .45 Colt defensive ammo that is safe for use in ALL .45 Colt guns, per the BB website.
    I wasn't talking about their rip-snortin hunting loads.
    Plus, have you seen how weak the Federal .45 Colt SWCHP load is? It's barely above Cowboy Action velocities. Speer Gold Dot .44 Special is hotter.
    I am NOT advocating the use of +P ammo in the Judge. I am advocating original black powder power levels, which the Federal SD ammo I have for mine, falls short of.

    Scatylobo, would I take some #12 birdshot to the foot, as opposed to copperhead venom?
    You bet your sweet arse, I would. Have you seen what pit viper venom does to human flesh? Copperheads are deadly.
    Tasty, too. Never said I'd waste said dead pit viper. I don't believe in killing snakes randomly, but if you had the experience with them, that we do in the South, you'd see it differently.
    Besides, what am I supposed to do with a deadly pit viper that is in my back yard where my children play, and my dog goes to do her business? Give it a stern verbal warning?
    Try to relocate it?

    Re: shooting buckshot past 25'. If you're shooting someone past 25', you're going to have a damned hard time convincing a prosecutor or a grand jury that it was self defense.

    Forgive me if I don't carry my venomous snake catching gear with me when I'm hunting 4 legged mammals.
    Going around a copperhead that you may manage to see in time to avoid stepping on it, isn't always an option. Should I retreat, and abort my hunting or hiking, just because of a deadly animal.
    Killing an animal that poses a threat to me, my friends, my family, or my expensive hunting dog is NOT wrong.
    Copperheads are in NO danger of going extinct.
    Besides, as I said, I do cook them and eat them, just as I would deer, hogs, squirrels, rabbits, birds, frogs, turtles, alligators, fish, crayfish, etc.
    Why is it ok for me to kill and eat animals that don't pose a threat to my life and limbs, but not ok to do the same to one that does?
    As I'd rather not engage in a battle of urination on the public forum, if our conversation cannot remain civil, we can take it to PM.
    But don't be too surprised if I ignore it.
    We're going to have to agree to disagree.
    Ya see, I can't tell you the best ways to deal with whatever perils you may encounter in the woods of NY, any more than you can tell me the best ways to deal with those I encounter in GA.
    To think otherwise, is foolish and arrogant.

    BACK ON TOPIC, my judge is little more than a range toy/fun woods gun. Up close, it does the job on whatever target I select. I have no illusions of it being the "be all, end all" of anything. I bought it just because I could. I needed no more reason than that.
    I have no 100% practical reason to own it. I'm ok with that.

    Mr Mod, I'm sorry if you misunderstood my post and felt the need to do some damage control. I should have pointed out the fact that BB does make rounds suitable for it.
    I would NEVER (not more than once, anyway) attempt to shoot Ruger Only rounds from da Judge. I personally think the revolver would survive. Possibly, in one piece. But it would be a bad thing to do to something I spent my money purchasing.

    IF Taurus made a revolver the same size as the Judge, but with a shorter, .45 Colt only, cylinder and a 3" barrel, I would carry it. It would be essentially a .45 Colt version of a Charter Bulldog.
    I see no problem with 1,000 fps loads out of that platform.
    However, they don't, so I won't. Once again, the Charter comes to the rescue.

    www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=268
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I have to agree with the naysayers:

    If I need shotgun performance, I'll get a shotgun.

    If I need shotshells for snakes, I can buy or handload shotshells in .45 Colt.

    If I buy a handgun, I want it optimized for the cartridge I use, not a compromise.

    If I am going to carry a handgun, i don't want a lot of non-functional metal weighting it down and making it clumsy to holster.
     
  18. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot53.htm
    Rifle barrel + shot = donuts...(considered that a shotshell uses an enclosed cup, vs. a open wad designed to quickly operate from the shot column)
    shot shell slug vs. metallic cartridge...
    the Judge is a gun that does NOTHING WELL
    what more is there to add?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    At the risk of arising the ire of the True Believers, I repeat what I first said when the Judge appeared on the market: "A bad idea, poorly executed."
     
  20. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    Ahh, yes. The Box O'pinions. Everything from those tests must be gospel, and must be the only possible conclusion to any shooting test.
    Trouble is, their test coincides with some other tests I've seen, and contradicts other tests I've seen.
    But, since they call it The Box O'truth, it must be gospel. Trouble is, you aren't going to be shooting someone through 4 layers of denim, and the 12 inch penetration is an FBI standard for LE personnel, not average citizens. Ya see, the FBI is taking into account the likelihood of having to shoot through light barriers, such as walls, doors, and car doors/windows/windshields.
    Those are variables that we are not likely to encounter.
    Does the Judge pattern like a shotgun at long ranges? No. It's not possible.
    Did I buy it for long range shotgunning? No.

    Some of the tests I've seen show it patterning well out to about 10 yards with the Federal Judge load. That's further than I would use it in SD.
    The odds are, I'd never use it in SD, other than in the main hallway of my house.
    It's not an ideal carry revolver for me.


    I realize I seem somewhat contradictory. That's because I'm realistic about it, neither a fanboy nor a "hater". I like it for what it is, and don't think it's anything more than what it is.
    It's a lot of fun to shoot, and holds a LOT more birdshot than a .44/.45 snakeshot load.
     
  21. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    True Believers will never never listen
    just hope they actually carry something useful
    it's a toy, somebody found something new to sell and has done so.
     
  22. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I'm happy that you're happy not owning one.
    I'm happy owning one. What's the problem with that?
    "True Believer"?
     
  23. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    It works (and that actually is something of an engineering feat)
    pretty well, it's the compromises that kill it, a shot gun does the shotgun thing SO MUCH BETTER
    a 45 colt does pistol so much BETTER

    I admit it works, and for what it is, it is
    most of the problems is how the gun is represented
    lets not forget the ads.
     
  24. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I view all ads as BS, intended to deceive me into parting with my money.
    All handguns are compromises.
    Yes, the Judge is a bit of a Jack of all trades and master of none.
    It's also a lot of fun to shoot.
    I can't carry a shotgun on my hip.
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    True. Consider the corollary -- if you can carry it on your hip, it isn't a shotgun.

    If I need shot shells, I can buy or handload very effective ones in .45 Colt.
     
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