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Taurus "Judge" for car/general defense

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by LoganDub8388, May 4, 2009.

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  1. LoganDub8388

    LoganDub8388 Member

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    Hey guys


    I have a glock 22 that i usually carry with me in my worktruck. (I'm a locksmith in greenville, NC) but am looking for a revolver (my first) to keep in the truck for personal defense. My area is not the worst in the world, but for the population in the city the crime rate is quite high. NOW before everyone tells me get a .38 spc or .357 smith for my first wheelgun please note that I am already going to be getting one eventually since i have always loved revolvers and the latter is the obvious choice BUT the JUDGE caught my eye and seems to be a very versitale weapon and quite frankly im fascinated by its double chambering options....the .45 long just seems like the ultimate manstopper all of a sudden! ANYWAY sorry to ramble but if anyone has any experience with these please let me know! any feedback or opinion is welcome. By the way the model in question is the "ultralite" stainless version with 3 inch barrell
     
  2. PcolaDawg

    PcolaDawg Member

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    I've got one. It wasn't the first revolver that I bought, but it has been the most versatile. I load it with 000 buckshot and have it by my bed. When I'm mowing the lawn (I have 4 acres with a couple of ponds) I put in three #6 birdshot shells for any copperheads I find, along with two 000 buckshot shells for anything bigger (wild pigs, etc.), and keep it in a side holster while I'm on my riding lawn mower.

    If I go on a long trip, I load it with buckshot and it becomes the weapon I keep under my seat.

    So it is definately my most versatile gun. In the winter, I've even found ways to conceal/carry it when I go to the movies and such.

    The first time I shot it, though, I blew the barrel off of the thing. Took it right back to the gun shop, who sent it right back to Taurus. Got it back about a week later and it's worked great ever since.

    Anyway, it's a handy revolver to have because of it's versatility. I rarely keep long Colt rounds in it, though. To me, it's valuable because it shoots shotgun shells. If I am going to use bullets, I will use one of my other guns that are more accurate, such as my Smith & Wesson 625JM, or my Kimber.

    Let us know what you do and, if you get it, let us know how you like it!
     
  3. bedwards1

    bedwards1 Member

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    You will find that the Judge is a very devisive topic on the forums. Having said that, I love mine. I can hit pretty well with it. I didn't buy it as a target gun and its not marketed as one. Used as intended it does the job very well. Mine is by my bed with 000 buck and W/W silver tips in it. I will use it for snakes when fishing with #6 shot in it. I can put it on paper at 50yds with the 45 colt and 000 buck at 25yds and the snake shot #6 at 10 yards with a good pattern.

    enjoy
    be
     
  4. sterling7c

    sterling7c Member

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    Sorry to be a wet blanket but while I like the judge I found penetration with shotshell to be poor no matter what loading (even in the magnum) and if I want to use 45 Colt there are better revolvers to be had. Wouldn't use one for SD but great for the garden and snakies.
     
  5. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    IMHO, the Judge would fit that bill nicely. It's meant for "bad breath range" personal defense, and to that purpose it lends itself very well.

    Mine is a 4" ultralite, 2.5" chamber. Firing Winchester 000 buck (3 pellets) it will put all 3 in a 12 inch pattern at 10 feet, and have enough power at that distance to completely penetrate 4" of pine board. If that isn't fatal, it sure as hell would be very "discouraging" to any attacker. I have -no- doubt that a face full of #4 or #6 shot at "carjacking" range would be fatal.

    My usual loading is 1 or 2 rounds of #4 or #6 (depending on what I can get) followed by 3 or 4 X 000 buckshot rounds. The first two rounds are meant to say GO AWAY in a very loud voice, the next three are for if you are too stupid to heed the first two. Personal choice.

    In the car, I have a cheapie Uncle Mikes strapped to the front seat so that it ends up between my legs. Very secure while driving, easy access, and if I leave the vehicle for a few moments I toss a black towel over the seat (black interior, black gun, black holster) which renders it invisible.
     
  6. danweasel

    danweasel Member

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    Do you drive in a heavily sanke infested area?

    But seriously, you should go over to the box o truth. They tested the judge and it would be fine as long as you use the 45LC and not the slugs. It's the best judge test I have seen.
     
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    If I saw some decaf coffee on the side of the road, sure as hell I'd shoot it. Decaf is an abomination unto the lord.

    Of course, there are many .45LC guns that handle better, weigh less, and are just generally nicer firearms. Unless you have a real need for the shotshells, I'd look around first.
     
  8. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    It is interesting that many people consider a .410 shotgun marginal for self defense, in that even buckshot loads almost always do not meet the 12" FBI's minimum penetration depth requirement. And lopping an additional 2 or so feet off it's barrel length cannot possibly help matters.

    Exactly. The Box 'O Truth article is here: http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot41.htm

    Read and heed it's advice.

    As for shotshells, Box 'O Truth found that "... the pellets only penetrated one side of the bottle. They did not exit. That means less than 2 inches of penetration into flesh. Not nearly enough for a defensive round. The poor penetration is the reason that birdshot, in any gauge, is a poor defense load. "

    Buckshot: "The buckshot only penetrated one jug and went into the second one. That is equal to about 4.5 inches of penetration into ballistic gelatin or bad guy. Not nearly enough."

    Slug: "It penetrated 2 1/2 jugs or equal to 7.5 inches of BG. Again, well short of the 12 inches minimum required for a defense load."

    45 Colt: "It penetrated 5 jugs, or equal to 15 inches of BG. Plenty of penetration, but the expansion was not very good, a problem with this particular bullet."

    So if using this weapon for serious purposes, I'd stick to 45 Colt ONLY. Might the other loads (bird and buckshot, 410 slugs) with shallow penetration stop a badguy? Yes, but if you're up against an adrenaline/crack crazed pain junkie, you could be in very deep doodoo.

    And as ArmedBear mentioned, their are other revolvers (namely the S&W 625/25) that are offered in 45 Colt that are capable of significantly better accuracy than the Judge firing 45 Colt - due to the Judges' considerable freebore.

    In the end, I love guns as much as the next guy and you should always get what you like. Just be aware of the pluses and minus before you buy.
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The 625 is a far nicer gun to carry and shoot, also.

    Don't get me wrong: for something that shoots a .410 magnum shell, the Judge is an interesting design. However, there's not much you can do to make a gun with that cylinder handle or carry like a 4" Smith, Colt or Ruger single action, or the new 4" Redhawk .45 which is a good deal heavier than the previous list, but a well-balanced, tractable large-frame revolver.

    Also, you don't want to have your face alongside of the cylinder gap of a large-bore revolver, if you figure on using the gun for defense IN the vehicle. Better to have a smaller gun you can get out in front of you a little bit.
     
  10. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Someone else has tested a new 3" magnum judge, can't find the review now, but with the Winchester 5-pellet 000 buck loads, they got the same velocity as the Box o' Truth test. About 760 fps. 68 gr at 760 fps gives you performance halfway between .25 and .32 ACP. Wouldn't tickle to get hit with 5 of those, but one shot of .357 or .45 may be better...
     
  11. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    A solution looking for a problem.
     
  12. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Ive been a proponent of not buying a Judge for as long as they have been around. I tend to think the 3" version everyone is so hot on is probably not worth the wait you are putting in to get one. Better just get the 2 1/2 if you have to have one.

    It hasnt stopped anyone from buying one though. I bet they hit a lot harder than most of the 380 crap that some people are carrying these days.
     
  13. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    You could always get a .44 Mag revolver. This makes a similar rugged, general-purpose gun.

    .44 Specials (or handloaded "light .44 Mag") for city, full-up .44 Mag for wilderness camping, .44 shotshells for close-range pests.

    DA or SA, each has its proponents. (Mine's SA...)
     
  14. welldoya

    welldoya Member

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    I've never shot a Judge but I have handled one at the gunshop.
    My impression of them is that they are big and heavy which in my book translates into "slow on target".
    For close quarters (like in a car), I like my S&W 642. Light and quick.
     
  15. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    I have a problem with the judge as a Safety rule, with shot shells and a rifled barrel they tend to spin out, potentially creating a rule 4 violation, you do not know what the back stop might be.
     
  16. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    We don't need reasons for buying a gun but if we did I'd suppose "novelty" would be as good a reason as any. However, in the specific case of the Judge, it seems to be selling like hotcakes and that would take the "novelty" shine off it for some of us - there are simply too many to be considered a "unique curiosity".

    My humble suggestion, if you're not yet an owner, would be to ask yourself if you'd buy it if it was chambered only in .410 and couldn't accomodate the .45LC. I certainly wouldn't.

    Then ask if you'd buy it if it chambered only .45 Colt - again, I would pass as there I believe there are much better choices in .45.

    If you answered "no" to both questions then the next obvious query is "what is it about combining two guns you wouldn't buy makes it a gun you would buy?" It's this last one that makes me an unlikely Judge owner.

    But every new 4473 annoys Josh Sugarman and that makes me happy. I've been of the mind that all firearms are compromises and that the Judge is just more compromised than most as it combines a severely compromised .410 with a substantially compromised .45.

    But more power to 'em - they seem to have found a niche that the Thunder 5 didn't quite fill for whatever reason (aesthetics?) and moved right in.
     
  17. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    My Judge Ultralite loaded weighs less than my Glock 26.
     
  18. David E

    David E Member

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    Why would you want an "ultra light" anything for a CAR gun ?

    The car can handle the weight, which will help with the kick, especially if fired from awkward positions inside the car.

    That said, there are plenty of better choices than a Judge for a "car gun."

    .
     
  19. Dimis

    Dimis Member

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    Im a judge owner its a 3 inch chamber 3 inch barrel model (3x3 if you will)

    ive found it nice for snakes in the yard
    ive also shot 45lc into decent groups from 10 yards
    and from that range all 5 of the 000 buck are still on target wide spread but still on target
    ive read about "theBoxOTruth" about a billion times and still say that no one wants to be shot even if it isnt going to kill them
    i load 2 000 and 3 45lc if the first two dont deter the attacker well im damned sure that the colts will

    just remember if you buy a judge use winchester smooth walled ammo because remington binds the action on occasion and the shells swell and are very hard to eject
    i dont know any other ammo thats as realiable as the winchester but im sure someone has a few examples
     
  20. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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  21. bedwards1

    bedwards1 Member

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    You guys take all the fun out of it. I carry a cheap Rossi 38spl which has served me well over the 15 years I've owned it. I think I gave 150 for it back then. I still enjoy the Judge and everyone who has seen it at the range likes it too. Taurus must be doing something right because there for a while, you had to wait in line to get one. Federal CC is making a shell just for it. If I judged everything in my safe the way you judge the Judge, I wouldn't own diddly. Not Bo either. :eek:
     
  22. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Really?

    Doesn't work that way for me.

    Besides, the OP asked about self-defense gun, not a safe queen. If he said, "I have 500 bucks that I can't stand having in my wallet. I want to shoot .410 and .45 in the same revolver, no matter what its faults," that would have been a different matter.

    As for me, I've got a LOT of things I'd rather do with that money (like this Model 19 snubbie at the local pawn shop in near-perfect condition, among other things...) It makes no more sense than the Judge, to me, since I don't want to carry a gun with that finish where it will get all boogered up, and it's not the ideal platform for my .357 handloads. Notice, however, that I didn't recommend a classic blued Smith in excellent condition, either, since the guy didn't ask about a safe queen.:)

    There's a different answer, for a different question, that's all.
     
  23. bedwards1

    bedwards1 Member

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    I shoot everything I own. I don't have the money for safe queens. My wife bought mine for me and I didn't argue with her! But I do like to own a variety. I've just never seen more negativity about a gun. If the man has the dough then so be it.

    There is a local shop that has a lot of guns from an estate sale that I have lusted after for a month, but I only scored a SRH lnib from it. It was made in 2000 and had been fired only from the factory. I will probably never hunt with it but I like BIG guns.
    Good luck on your model 19
     
  24. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    It shoots a larger pattern than a shotgun, yes, but its not like it creates a 180 degree pattern 2" from the barrel. At 8 paces I'm still putting all of my 000 buck and #4 shot on a man-sized target.

    By the time you get far enough away to make rule #4 a problem, any "shot" fired from a Judge will have very little energy.

    Which, btw, is another reason I like it in the SD role ... less chance of collateral damage.
     
  25. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Buckshot retains its energy long after it passes 8 paces. So does #4 birdshot, actually.

    Hell, I know a guy who had to have a few #6 pellets surgically removed, and the shooter (his brother, out bird hunting) was 80 yards away. Almost cost him his eye.

    Sorry, but you're wrong about this.
     
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