Exclusive: Questions for the Judge

You’ve seen the Taurus Judge series of revolvers — the .410 shotshell or .45 Long Colt firing 5-rounders. I’m pleased to report I’ve got one in the stable and it’s about to undergo my usual battery of highly structured torture testing, namely: loading it up right out of the box, firing a bunch of rounds from a grab bag of spare ammo, and handing it to my shooting buddies who eye just about everything with a “prove it” kind of attitude. It’ll probably get dropped (accidentally, of course), left dirty, and basically treated like a rental car. Throughout this real-life testing, I’ll have some questions for the Judge:

1. Should I load up with just .410 shot shells?


Five rounds of .410 is a very effective load for self defense — as long as you’re very aware of the limitations, following the gun safety rules, etc.

2. Should I load up with just .45 LC?


Five rounds of .45 LC (AKA .45 Colt) is also a great load for self defense. With these you’re punching clean holes in a target. But aiming and knowing your target of course is still critical.

I could sneak in another question here, such as: What about loading up with a combination of .410 and .45 LC? And then, which do I want to fire first? And what order for the rest?

3. Is there enough stock to hang on to when firing?


These “Ribber” stocks (or grips, if you’re so inclined) are excellent on other Taurus guns. I expect the same performance here despite only getting two fingers around them.

4. Does the sight offer enough for properly aiming?


Face it, this is a close range gun for what will likely be a last-second, last-ditch attempt to defend a life. Will the red fiber optic dot on the front sight be enough?

5. Is it just too big for concealed carry?


Any gun can be concealed, if you work hard enough. But I want to know if this is a viable option for all-day on-body carry.

By the way, here are the Judge’s specifications:

  • Model: 4510PLYFS
  • Finish: Blue
  • Status: Available
  • Caliber: 45 Colt/410-ga (2.5″ chamber)
  • Grips: Ribber
  • UPC: 7-25327-61069-4
  • Capacity: 5
  • Weight: 27.0 oz.
  • Barrel Length: 2″
  • Height: 4.6″
  • Frame: Small
  • Width: 1.5″
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Front Sight: Fixed w/fiber optic (red)
  • Length: 7.65″
  • Safety: Taurus Security System,Transfer Bar
  • Trigger Type: Smooth
  • Order #: 2-441021PFS
  • MSRP: $514.17

Finally, how would you answer these questions? You be the Judge.

— Mark Kakkuri

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9 thoughts on “Exclusive: Questions for the Judge

  1. Keith

    I have owned a couple, but never cared for the stock grips. The Hogue grip worked well, but I really liked the Pachmayr Diamond Pro. If you get the latter in the polymer, though, it uses a different grip/screw than the steel version. I have since purchased a Smith Governor, which I much prefer over either Judge(but at a much higher price), especially when shooting the .410 shells at a distance.

  2. Rick McC.

    I’ve had mine for several years, and of course it did have to go back and get worked on the function reliably (the cylinder would bind up after a shot or two.

    I did work OK when returned, and it does shoot the 2 1/2″ Federal Premium Personal Protection loads (four 000 buck) very well.

  3. Ron R.

    I have a public defender. To answer your questions.
    1 & 2 for defensive purposes i use a mixed combo alternating between lc &410. I have hollow point lc, Hornady Critical Defense and Winchester PDX. If one of these rounds don’t stop the threat the others will.
    3. The short grip was difficult to be comfortable with. I replaced the stock grip with an aftermarket extended ribbed grip. It adds an extra .5 or so for pinky placement.
    4. The “iron sights” on the Judge are equal to any “iron sight” on any handgun. If someone is charging at you are you really sighting down the barrel?
    5. I use a Brave Response holster. Getting a public defender in and out is a chore. Not good for quick draw. But concealed carry would not be a problem with the proper holster.

  4. Chad

    I love mine it’s not too big like its brother to pack around all day. Lehigh defense make a maximum expansion round for this that is amazing. Great gun. Every gun has pros and cons. Depending on your use for it , up close it’s devistating

  5. Shadow Walker

    I have used the Judge in a shoot house using both loads, 410. are IMO perfect for congested housing areas and the long colt for larger properties. Cellphone belt carriers make perfect speed strip carriers and can be found a yard sale for $1 to $2, they clip to sweats so you are prepared.

  6. Jim L

    I have one,but my take on it is it’s just ok. I tagged a snake with mine like it was intended except I got it with the 45 colt. Oops. If I’m cutting grass in my field that’s with me. To carry as a concealed or self defense gun no it’s not for me. Sights ok, size too big, reliability has been 100%. That being said I would sell or trade it for something else.

  7. PDMcCripe

    You’d perhaps gain some credibility if you’d drop the “long colt” term. There is no “long colt” except in the vocabulary of the ignorant. In these times we, as a group, cannot afford to show ignorance of our topic.

    1. mark Post author

      Actually, PDMcCripe, I find the “Long Colt” and “Colt” designation used interchangeably when referring to this .45 caliber cartridge. Even some ammo manufacturers still use “Long Colt”. Besides, since there’s always history behind the naming conventions of ammo and guns, I think we’re better off keeping this kind of info in front of our readers.

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