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Thread: Taurus Judge as a carry weapon?

  1. #1
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    Taurus Judge as a carry weapon?

    I just bought a blue 3" barrel magnum Judge. I consider it a good home defense handgun, but does anyone carry one?

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    It may be a good backup gun but I would not carry it as a primary. All the reviews I have read on it say the 45 cal round it accepts does ok but is not greatly accurate.

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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    It wouldn't be my first choice for daily carry, but some may like them. The load you choose to carry is a major factor.

    The rifled barrel is reported to spin & spread shot like crazy, so if you carry .410 loads you'll lose a lot of accuracy when shooting greater distances. If you're loading the .45 Long Colt you'll have better accuracy, but there are a lot of good guns in calibers similar to the .45 LC, and many of them offer greater ammo capacity.

    As a home and/or vehicle defense gun where confrontations are even more likely to be up close & personal its probably a good choice. I'm just not sold on them for every day carry.

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    If you are carrying a snubbie of any flavor, you're counting on your tool of last resort being used somewhere within 50ft +/-. Even if you opt for the longer barreled version, it is still a short distance defensive weapon, especially when using the .410 shells. The Judge is decidedly a short range gun as designed.

    I see the Taurus Judge as a very viable carry gun for both two legged predators and four. As well as the creepy crawly varmints that one would encounter in a back country hike. Bird shot for snakes and buck/.45C for dogs/coyotes/two legged predators is how I see this being used. Chances are snakes will be shot from just a few feet... .45 Colt is not to be trifled with and is a good defensive round as pistol rounds go, but I prefer mine be loaded with some flavor of .410.

    In addition to trail carry, cross draw carry in a motor vehicle would provide phenominal first shot capability, especially with the new 3" .410 buck round developed specifically for this gun. This round would also be highly effective in urban carry where encounters are measured in single digit feet. If you are going to carry .410 rounds for defense, be sure to check the patterns at distance(s) to understand how rifling will impact it's effectiveness. Expect something of a donut, particularly with smaller shot.

    It's all a matter of personal choice and how you prefer to take responsibility for your safety. Personally, I think it's a great choice for trail/x-draw car carry. Effectively an SBS without the hassles of NFA papers and obuse carry rigs.

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    I carry mine at times depending on my environment. I would reccomend using the federal defense loads for this as they were designed for this weapon. The 000 bock patterns well as opposed to normal .410 buckshot ( the wadding and powder are different) also the #4 loads made by federal ( defense loads) pattern well also. These I keep in it while hunting in case of snakes. As far as .45lc goes, i've found that you can get very good accuracy if you use the hornady leverevolution loads and shoot single action. Blackhawk also makes a level2 retention holster for it, I would reccomend this as well. Hope this helps.

    ps, I had to send two judges back to taurus for finish issues ( bluing & peeling off) they finally sent me a stainless model.
    Last edited by NRAMARINE; 10-29-2010 at 10:30 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    There have been threads for the Judge as a carry gun in the past and I recommend against it. I had considered it until I looked at the box-o-truth http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot41.htm research.

    If you are using it just for snakes it is fine. As a defensive pistol you better load 45LC rather than 410 shotshell (including slugs).

    I prefer a semi-auto high capacity 45acp gun for home defense. At least until I can fight my way to my 12 gauge shotgun with 00 buckshot in it!
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 10-30-2010 at 12:10 PM.

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    Regular Member 1000ydshooter's Avatar
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    I Carry a 3" magnum modle when it is more practical than carrying my full size 1911. I saw the boxotruth site along time ago and put no stock in it. Like some of the others have said use the federal .410 buckshot rounds made for handguns you will get better performance tha just standard off the shelf rounds. most of the 45Lc rounds out there are cowboy action loads and way underpowered. Go with the hornaday rounds or Grizzly ammo rounds.I wuse the Grizzly ones, when ya pull the trigger hold onto your hat they pack a punch. The main thing is be comfortable with it and confident and know its and your limitations.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000ydshooter View Post
    I Carry a 3" magnum modle when it is more practical than carrying my full size 1911. <snip>
    The Judge is a pretty big revolver. I would think a fullsize government 1911 would be easier to carry. I'll take 7-8+1 of 45acp over 5-6 45LC any day.

    There may be specialized ammo for the Judge that gets better results but for self defense if I am at home my 12gauge 870 covers me better than any 410 shotgun would. For out and about I prefer my USP at 12+1 as my utility self defense gun. I also have some 15+1 models but the USP is something I would bet my life on.

    BTW: Welcome back 1000ydshooter, come on out to an OC dinner. I will probably schedule one in Yorktown soon.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 10-30-2010 at 02:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    The experience I had with them was not so good. I shot two guns on two different occasions. 45 Colt seemed to work well. One gun grouped very, very nicely at 21 feet. However, the pattern at 7 yards was terrible with buckshot...one pellet to the nuts, one to the shoulder and the other to the top of a lung. Bystanders could easily be hit by a stray pellet.

    The primary problem I had with this gun was that the cylinder locked up on both guns. It took quite a bit of work to get the cylinder open and the remaining ammunition out without scratching the finish.

    Tom Givens reviewed The Judge in SWAT Magazine. He talks about it in Proarms Podcast #60.

    Better to just get a Taurus or S&W revolver in 45 Colt. I believe The Judge to be an unreliable firearm given the performance I observed in two range sessions with two guns.

    The obvious answer for you is to test your gun extensively. If it fails, then either get it fixed or sell it. However, you should have confidence in the gun before using it for defense.
    Last edited by 230therapy; 10-30-2010 at 11:44 PM.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

  10. #10
    Regular Member 1000ydshooter's Avatar
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    Would love to come out to dinner sometime but not in the country at the moment. Im out in the pacific on Kwajalein atoll working for the government again. kinda way out here but it was this or 4th trip to Iraq. Wont be home till late May. i plan on having a Range day for anyone that wants to come,out on my family farm in Isle of Wight. I got a nice list of new fun things i wana get this trip. figure make a day of it with a bunch of friends.

  11. #11
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000ydshooter View Post
    Would love to come out to dinner sometime but not in the country at the moment. Im out in the pacific on Kwajalein atoll working for the government again. kinda way out here but it was this or 4th trip to Iraq. Wont be home till late May. i plan on having a Range day for anyone that wants to come,out on my family farm in Isle of Wight. I got a nice list of new fun things i wana get this trip. figure make a day of it with a bunch of friends.
    Talk about middle of nowhere! I guess that is what the name translates to in english. :-)
    Apply sunscreen and keep an eye on the fishing pole!

    Have fun and hope to see you at a dinner next year. If your family farm has 1000 yards available I might want to see you make that shot. :-) (I'm still working on my 100 yard shots)

  12. #12
    Regular Member 1000ydshooter's Avatar
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    Furtherest i can get at the farm is about 500 yards. Looking for place i can shoot further than 1000 for when i get home. One of my new toys will got alot further than that.

  13. #13
    Regular Member 1000ydshooter's Avatar
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    Actually i think Kwajalein means "Where the hell is that" in English. Im on a even smaller island called Roi Namur, all 1 sq mile of it. If it wasnt for the diving and fishing here id go crazy.
    Last edited by 1000ydshooter; 11-01-2010 at 07:24 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 230therapy View Post
    I shot two guns on two different occasions. 45 Colt seemed to work well. One gun grouped very, very nicely at 21 feet. However, the pattern at 7 yards was terrible with buckshot...one pellet to the nuts, one to the shoulder and the other to the top of a lung. Bystanders could easily be hit by a stray pellet.
    Between that and the lockup problem you mentioned, I'm not impressed, except perhaps as a holsterable .410 anti-rattlesnack weapon on the open range. Otherwise, it's starting to sound like a cross between a VW and a Cadillac, made by Yugo.

    I like a firearm that's accurate at short distances (less than 7 yrd), still accurate at long distances (50 yds), capable of taking down multiple perps in a second or two, controllable enough that I can easily double-tap two separate targets in less than one second, reasonably lightweight (I consider 2.2 lb "lightweight"), easily concealable, and not prone to over-penetration (I want to sop the perp, not the little girl sitting behind him).

    That's why, after 20+ years of thought and experience with everything from a .22 LR pistol to The Judge, the .50 Desert Eagle, Ruger .44 magnum, S&W .357 mag (each of the last also firing special loads), 10mm, .45 ACP, 9mm, and a Walther .380 ACP, I opted for a CZ 85B 9mm firing Ranger XST ammo.

    Best of all worlds, without sacrificing much from any.

    Although I must say, I won't use it to hunt antelope any more than I'd use it to kill a rattlesnake. For the former I'd buy a proper hunting rifle, and for the latter I'd simply find a large stick or rock.

    One thing really concerns me about the Taurus Judge: " It got its name "The Judge" in 2006 when Bob Morrison, Executive Vice President, learned that judges in high-crime areas of Miami, Florida were purchasing the revolver for personal defense in their courtrooms."

    I assume they were doing so with the .410 load in mind. Otherwise, just go with a 9mm, .45 ACP, or a .357 or .44 shooting either magnum or special loads - cheaper and more accurate.

    The thing that concerns me is the serious lack of accuracy using the .410 load. I mean, really! Is a judge seriously considering unleashing such a widespread patter in their courtroom? The collateral damage would be huge!
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