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Thread: S&W Governor

  1. #1
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    S&W Governor

    What does everyone think of the S&W Governor for OC?

    6-shot SA/DA Revolver
    Fires .45 long colt, .45ACP, and 410 shotgun shells

    I can't think of a better option than a couple of shotgun shells followed up by some .45ACP.

    I know it is just the competitor of the Taurus Judge and I don't really want to start a Taurus vs. S&W thread, but the S&W name makes me want it more.


    This will definitely be my next gun purchase.
    Just wondering how everyone else thought about it.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Look at what The Box o' Truth has to say about the Judge http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot53.htm and http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot41.htm

    I'm pretty sure most of that will apply in spades to the Governor.

    stay safe.
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  3. #3
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    Ask the criminal what he thinks about the type of gun you have after your round inserts into his body

  4. #4
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    One thing I think everyone- from the consumers, to the marketing folks at both Taurus AND S&W,and all the interweb "experts" (most of whom have never so much as witnessed a round fired in anger-yet somehow have all manner of conclussions regarding the lethality of one round/shell vs. another) miss is the the fact that either design is being over-hyped as a defensive arm.
    It can actually function perfectly well around the home/ranch vs. snakes and other potentially dangerous critters,instead.
    Try not to get too hung up on .410 vs. .45 vs. w/e else for defensive use-try considering instead their handy/convenient utility use for other jobs.

  5. #5
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    Unless you need the ability to fire birdshot at snakes or birds, why not just get a used 629 or 686? Or, maybe whatever S&W has that chambers a .45 Long Colt?

    Multi-purpose guns have their place, but unless you need all or most of those "purposes" why not just get something for the actual purpose needed?

    Probably a lot wider selection of holsters for a "normal" gun, too.

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    As an owner of a judge I can say that carrying it daily is very reasonable and a great deterrent to anyone who may intend to do you harm. As far as it's multi-purpose abilities, 410 is a good load for critters as well as dogs. I personally carry it loaded with 000 buck shells for any threat that comes my way. There are many people who knock the 410 and the judge. But one range session with a couple of buddies converted them real quick. Wouldn't recommend .45 colt though as the chamber length makes for a little inaccuracy. If you want a single projectile the 410 slug is the way to go. Alot more bang behind the bullet and surprisingly accurate even from my 2 inch barrel. Just my two cents as an owner of the gun type in question. As far as the governor, no experience with it yet but can imagine that being a S&W firearm ( which the judge is based off a S&W revolver anyhow) it should be at the very least just as good as the judge. As always, a carry weapon is best decided by the person who will be carrying it. Find a gun that you are comfortable with in every aspect; shooting, carrying, price of ammo, etc. No matter what your final decision is, happy carrying and enjoy excercising your rights.

  7. #7
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    I've owned a Judge Ultra-Lite with a 3" barrel for over 2 years now. I have to disagree with the statement that the 45 colt rounds are not accurate when shot from a Judge & the 410 slugs are the way to go. I have shot a 3" group at 25 yards with my Judge when shooting Hornady 45 Colt. I don't always get that good of an outcome, but that's because I usually pull the Judge out last when shooting at the range & my concentration is off. The longer cylinder doesn't seem to be a factor with the accuracy of my Judge when shooting 45Colt. Tests have shown that the .410 slugs are not as accurate out of the Judge as the 45 colts are. That is inherently due to it's design.

    I have also shot 45acp from my gun using moon clips. I've been told that the Judge isn't designed to handle the added pressures of the ACP ammo. I shot 50 rounds of the ACP and it was not as accurate as the Colt, but it didn't seem to do any damage to the gun. I've heard that the Governor has been built stronger than the Judge so as to handle the 45acp pressures better. If the longer cylinder indeed affects the accuracy of these guns then the ACP would be the most affected, since it's the shortest round of the bunch.

    I don't usually carry the Judge for SD. When I CC I carry a Glock27, a Taurus TCP or a Taurus PT111 Mil Pro. When I OC, I either carry a M&P 40 Pro, a Glock 21sf or a S&W 40ve. I would feel safe packing the Judge, I just don't do it, unless I'm at my cabin in the mountains and I want protection from snakes, wild game or the occasional bear. The 45LC should slow them down, but I'm in the process of getting a 10mm gun for bear use. The Judge is OK for SD use, it's just not optimal because of the limited amount of ammo it can hold & reloading is more cumbersome. The Governor has the same limitations.
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    I would like to use some hornady rounds to see the difference. My only 45lc experiences have been with Winchester. As far as not carrying enough rounds for self defense, if you can't drop a man with five rounds of 45acp, 45lc or 410 then im not sure you should be carrying a weapon. Now if you are talking a bear, then I'm not carrying either gun in question for that. But as far as an open carry people bad guy deterant you will be set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Look at what The Box o' Truth has to say about the Judge http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot53.htm and http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot41.htm

    I'm pretty sure most of that will apply in spades to the Governor.

    stay safe.
    My only issue with these reviews is the range that he does the tests at. The accuracy tests are performed at 7 yards, and by judging from the pictures some of the other tests are slightly closer than that (but not what I would consider typical SD range). While I know that you can have a confrontation at 7+ yards, I would expect most non-home-invasion confrontations to be in the 1-3 yard range (if someone can post data showing what the "standard" range is for civilian SD usage of a gun please do so), and as such would expect both the penetration and accuracy to be improved (remember we're not cops and typically don't have long(ish) range shootouts with BGs). Though that could also be a reason to have two different bullets in the gun (say .410 and .45ACP); in case there's an issue where the .410 can't properly disable the BG at the range you're trying to engage him at. It also shows that at least with the .410 you have even less to worry about in regards to over-penetration and collateral damage from it or missed shots.

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    I have owned the S&W Governor for a couple months and I rarely leave the house without it. I live and work on a farm and I think it is a great weapon. It stays loaded with .410 000 shells and I always keep a few moon clips on hand with 45acp shells as well. And for just SD I think it would be an awesome close quarters defense gun. It has the ability to throw out 4 .350 balls at 1200fps. For a persuing attacker that would defenitley be my round of choice. I mostly wrap it in a bandana and throw it in my pocket, its not too bulky or heavy at all. The only dilemma I run into is the loss of ability to pick out your target at further distances if you are using 000 shells. In a hostage type situation I think this round would prove fatal for attacker and hostage, so maybe OC the Governor and CC a more accurate weapon incase of such a situation.

  11. #11
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    I think it would be a fine choice, personally.

    I owned the Taurus Judge Public Defender for a while and it's a very fine defensive carry weapon.



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  12. #12
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    These .410/.45 designs are quite versatile and allow the escalation of hostilities load by load PRN. Concievably one could load the first round as a .410 carrying a load of rock salt. The second round could be a half-slug backed by a couple pellets of 0 buck. The next three could be either .410 rifled slugs OR .45 long colt or any combination. One non-lethal backed by another less-lethal followed by three known killers.

    People who would carry this combo in this weapon MUST however be aware that ANY discharge of a firearm no matter the projectile load can be and must be assumed to be a lethal defense option to be used ONLY when the user reasonably believes himself to be in danger of death or greivous bodliy harm.


    I do believe that in most cases, the mere experience of looking down the unpleasantly wide muzzle of these firearms would create enough of what I call the factor to end the relaationship abruptly and in the carrier's favor with no police involvement needed. However, no firearm should ever be presented unless LETHAL self defense is justified.

  13. #13
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    45 ACP higher pressures than a 45colt? you got to be kidding. Top 45 ACP pressure is like 18K CUP, top pressure fro 45 Colt (in my Anaconda, not some cowboy load is over 30K CUP.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Look at what The Box o' Truth has to say about the Judge http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot53.htm and http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot41.htm
    Between the reviewer's "bag 'o water" and this statement: "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.[/quote]

    The reviewer lost all credibility with me. 12-guage 00 buck doesn't have that much penetration, but it'll stop you dead. He seems to think the only way to stop a bad guy is to drill him through and through.

    Wrong.
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  15. #15
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    18 inches (of gelatin) is what the FBI recommends, and according to them, if it doesn't penetrate at least 12 inches, it isn't good enough for them. (Or for "law enforcement use" to use their words.) ( http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf )

    Bones and other things will also reduce penetration.

    At what depth of penetration does further penetration provide diminishing returns? I don't know, but one must agree that some degree of penetration is desirable. For instance, if bullets only penetrated 1 inch of gel, they probably wouldn't stop anybody except those for whom the pain was too great to continue.
    Last edited by Felid`Maximus; 10-31-2011 at 06:44 PM.

  16. #16
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felid`Maximus View Post
    18 inches (of gelatin) is what the FBI recommends, and according to them, if it doesn't penetrate at least 12 inches, it isn't good enough for them. (Or for "law enforcement use" to use their words.) ...
    Law Enforcement requires the penetration of targets behind cover.

    It is much more extremely rare that a citizen on the streets needs the ability for self-defense from a target that is behind cover. We tend to be better served with rounds that limit our overpenetration liability. Cops are far less concerned with collateral damage than we are.

    Loads like the Hornady Critical Defense are specifically for defense of soft threats.
    Loads like the Winchester PDX Bonded are better for offense of targets that may be behind cover such as angled windshields.
    Obviously, there is a great amount of overlap and exceptions to all typical situations, but you get the idea.
    Last edited by MAC702; 11-01-2011 at 11:27 PM.

  17. #17
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    I bought a Governor about a month ago and really like it. Took it up in the woods with a coupla buds and every type of ammo it could shoot. It's way more accurate than I thought it would be in all cases. Anyway, I use it as a woods carry piece, not for daily urban carry, a bit bulky for me.
    Last edited by bikemutt; 11-01-2011 at 09:10 PM.

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