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I am considering a Judge, but have read many mixed reviews regarding the quality, longevity, etc.

I would appreciate any comments from Judge owners both good and bad(if any).

I am looking at a blued 2 1/2" model, and am strongly considering its purchase.


Thanks in advance.
 

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The Judge is easily the most controversial product I've ever seen, and the attacks on it range from puzzling to absurd. I've seen people say that it's terrible, that it's inaccurate, that it can't hit anything, that its buckshot would just bounce off someone... and all of that is, of course, nonsense.

Fact of the matter is: the Judge works. But it's really big, in comparison to other pistols, so an argument could be made that you could get something smaller that would be as effective; a Springfield XDS, for example, is a .45 ACP that is probably volumetrically half to 2/3 the size of a Public Defender, but will hit just as hard. Of course, what that argument ignores is that nothing else out there can deliver the punch of a multiple-projectile shotshell like the Federal .410 Handgun buckshot or the NobelSport .400 buckshot or the Winchester PDX1, either!

Quality control? Well, that's a mixed bag there. The sights on my Public Defender are "off", they need to be adjusted by a gunsmith. Taurus used to have quality control problems but they seem to be much better. And, Taurus offers a lifetime warranty so there's that. If you want a better-built product, consider the Governor, as it's a lot more expensive but it does seem better built. There's a thread on here where someone's new Poly Public Defender broke within the first few rounds of using it, so be aware, stuff does occasionally happen, but with the # of Judges sold (millions?) and the # of reports of something like that happening, it does seem to be a rare occurrence.

Bottom line: if you want a Judge, get a Judge. There's nothing else like it (except the Governor, of course). And it does what it says it will do. Just understand its limitations -- it's not a target pistol for shooting horseflies at 100 yards, it's a personal defense weapon that is designed to be effective at personal defense distances -- and in that range (7 yards and under), it's devastating. Oh, and don't shoot birdshot in it, that's pointless and is probably where a lot of the griping comes from. Use the rounds that were designed for the Judge -- again, that's Federal .410 or Nobel .400 buckshot, PDX1, Hornady Critical Defense 410, or a good solid .45 Colt round, and you'll get great performance.
 

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i just recently bought one in stainless and although i haven't had it long i put about 200-250 assorted rounds through it and i love it. sights were dead on and i found it to be pretty damn accurate with everything i shot.
 

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I'll chime in. I purchased the Judge poly a few months back. I love shooting my judge on the farm. It's a very fun gun to shoot with either the .410 or the 45LC. Also, the poly model is not that bad to carry concealed if you find a holster that best fit your need. I have a good friend that is going to buy one for home use and not for carry. I recommended the 3" or larger in that case. No quality issues as of yet.
 

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I had a SS 3" cylinder model. I liked it but it was a bit too big for my tastes. (That sucker is huge! :eek:) So I traded it to a friend for his 2 1/2" Blued model which isn't quite as small as I thought :)() but still smaller and I think I like the look of the blued (black!) finish. I can't shoot 45LC worth spit (not saying much...) but I really got it for its .410 capabilities. Even with small #8 shot it ain't a gun to be sneered at! With some 000 buck, #4 shot or PDX-1 rounds -- GET OUTTA THE WAY!!! It will clear you a path thru about anything. As a friend said: A shotgun in the palm of your hand. What's not to like?! :D
 

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Oh, and don't shoot birdshot in it, that's pointless and is probably where a lot of the griping comes from. Use the rounds that were designed for the Judge -- again, that's Federal .410 or Nobel .400 buckshot, PDX1, Hornady Critical Defense 410, or a good solid .45 Colt round, and you'll get great performance.
I have to dissagree with that comment. Birdshot is not only inexpensive, it can be a lot of fun. Besides that it's great for snakes. I have set up small targets at 5 yards or less and had a ball. That's "playtime" ammo for a Judge, the other stuff is for when it's on "guard duty" !
 

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Sorry, should have clarified it with "don't shoot birdshot FOR PERSONAL DEFENSE". Yes birdshot is cheap and has other uses, but it shouldn't be used against predators of the two-legged or four-legged variety.

Have you tried Express Long Range birdshot? I have to do some more patterning with it to be sure but it seems to hold together really well out of a Judge, it doesn't seem to spray apart nearly as quickly as regular birdshot. The recoil is comparatively ferocious though!
 

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Hi jih1. I have the model you are considering buying. For me anyway, it's a keeper. I've had mine for around 2 years and have shot hundreds of rounds thru it and never had a problem.

I use mine mainly for home defense, but anytime I go to the range it comes with me. It's just plain fun to shoot.
The only down side to it is the ammo can be a little on the expensive side if you don't reload.
 
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I also have the 2 1/2" blued model and I love it. I load my own ammo, both .410 and cartridge. We have a lot of rattlesnakes and armadillos and I love the BB lead shot that I load for these critters. I also like the 250 grain lead bullet that I shoot in it. Very stable in my hand and very accurate. It not only answers my needs for home defense but it just happens to be fun to shoot. It is my "first response" self defense weapon loaded with the BB shot, but would use it only to be able to get to my double barrel 12 ga shotgun with 18 3/4 in barrels which is loaded with #4 buckshot.
 

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I had 3 public defenders out of those 3 only one was a problem ... But taurus fix that ... I would get another one if I can find it in stainless ..the pd is easier to conceal then all the judges .. Get one!


Sent from Rolo's iPhone 5 using Tapatalk 2
 

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I recently purchased the 3" magnum version, all steel. The largest model.

It shoots and holds up just fine. I can keep the .45 LC in a pie plate area
from 50 yards. Have only tried the PDX rounds which I dislike because the
BB's go all over unless you are like a couple feet away. Have not found any
other ammo to try in it.

Recoil not too bad at all but it does have some recoil. Sights are good.

I have no complaints.
 

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The first time I saw the Judge on a TV commercial years ago,I wanted it.A revolver that shoots 410 rounds looked like the coolest thing.Just look at it.As the kids say these days,It's "Bad A**.Last January,I finally bought a blue steel one.I have some nice S-W and Ruger revolvers also,but none of them put a smile on my face like the Judge.I don't think you will regret getting one.
 

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My Judge Ultra Light is one of my most versatile and fun-to-shoot handguns.

(Click on pic to enlarge)

Judge Ultralight (1).JPG
 

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One other thing. If I could do it again I would have just bought the
3" barrel with the 2 1/2 version. I don't think there is much sense in
being able to shoot 3" .410 vs 2 1/2".

I would have preferred the shorter cylinder size. Making it slightly easier
to carry.
 

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I have a Judge Mag, with a 3" barrel. I went with the steel frame/stainless cylinder because I wanted the extra weight, mostly to help tame the recoil of the 3" .410s but I also wanted the (assumed) greater durability. I can do one-handers with the .45s all day long but with the .410s, my wrist gets a li'l tender after 20 or 30 rounds. Using both hands, I've even fired over 150 rounds of 3" .410s (in reasonably quick succession) with no ill effects. I should probably note that two years ago, I shattered the base of my thumb and fractured the wrist of my shooting hand and still, neither weight or recoil of The Judge has ever been an issue. As far as durability...I haven't actually tried it but I could probably hammer with it all day and not hurt anything but the finish. I shoot it alot and have never had any issues with the gun.

All things considered, I've found mine to be surprisingly accurate with most all loads. They all shoot a tad different but I've run off enough of each, that I know the necessary compensations. I do the .45s occassionally just for fun but if I really wanted to shoot a Colt, I'd have gotten a Colt. I don't buy into the "expert's" opinions or experiments, I ran my own accuracy, damage and impact tests with all the various defense loads I could find, firing them all at various ranges. From what I've seen, 000 Buck hits harder and has much better grouping at all distances. I'm good with 000 Buck at up to 30 yds but beyond that, I'd want the 3" rifled slugs. I was more accurate with rifled slugs at 40 yds than with even the .45s but that might just be me. The slugs seemed to kick harder but the target impact was noticeably less than the 000, up to 30 yds.

I found all the disc loads to be rather inconsistent. At close range, they were okay for accuracy and disc grouping but the impact wasn't there...maybe even a tad less than the #4 Buck. There's just too much penetration with the discs and at close range, I'm pretty sure they'd blow right through a human body with alot of energy still behind 'em. The shot or BBs were all over the place and I really don't want that liability, it's bad enough to have to worry about the wadding (sleeve). Regardless of the load, the impact difference between 2 1/2" and 3" rounds at 5 to 7 yds seems to be negligible but the 3" shoot a good bit higher. For these reasons, I load 2 1/2" rounds for indoors and night outside carry. At 5 to 10 feet, even #8 birdshot (Winchester game loads) hit about as hard as the #4 Buck. A 10 ft shot into center mass with birdshot, would probably put most people on "airplane watch" and at least back the bigger ones up a few steps. For snake country, I usually load #4 Buck. Birdshot is good for snakes but I really, really, reeeeaallllly hate snakes and #4 Buck will pretty much vaporize 'em, even at a reasonably safe distance.
 

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In my opinion, there is not a better revolver than the Judge. It is very acurate, can shoot a ton of different kinds of ammo, it is scary as shit just to look at( most bad guys run when they see it) and it is probably the most fun gun on the planet! I would not trade my Raging Judge Magnum for any other gun, and if I have to protect my family or myself I would not rely on any other gun more than I would my Judge! Awesome gun!
 

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I have a metal Public Defender. Was worried about the recoil but those "Ribber" grips really do work. Recoils not a problem with .45 long Colt or .410

Mine is used for bedside home defense in my apartment. I figure max range I'd be using it at to be 20 feet. Took it out to the range with those Winchester .410 PDX1 Defender self defense rounds and shot a round. Here's the pattern at 20 feet. The three "self defense discs" were dead center and the 12 BBs formed a 12 inch diameter halo around them. I'm most pleased.

 

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The Judge you are considering is really a purpose-built home defense weapon. It can be fun to shoot at the range, or you could use it as a snake/varmint gun, but that is really not what most people buy them for. It is there for your nightstand gun safe, to engage bad guys at typical home defense distances, using expensive, specialized ammo designed for that purpose. There are other handguns out there that have more power, carry more rounds, are accurate out to longer distances, are easier and lighter to carry and so on. All those criticisms of the Judge are true as far as they go. What the Judge has over all those other guns is a little bit of "fudge factor" because it can fire these specialized shotgun rounds. These rounds spread out some and give you a chance to do at least some damage if you are freaked out, jerk the trigger and miss. Everybody thinks that if the time ever comes when they have to use one of these things, they will just behave like an action movie star, get a perfect stance, carefully aim, gently squeeze the trigger and put 3 shots center mass. That is not reality. You are going to be scared out of your mind, your body is pouring so much adrenalin into you that you will have trouble with fine motor skills, etc. You can train to overcome those limitations, but none of us have the time or money to train to that level. It is Navy SEAL stuff. The Judge is really there to compensate for your limitations. It isn't a magic wand that will let you just aim in the general direction of the bad guy and prevail, but it can turn a useless miss into a hit - and that is worth a lot given that most real gunfights are "3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds". Basically, buying a Judge is deciding that a 19 round magazine or fearsome .44 magnum is worthless if all you can manage to do with it is blow holes into your drywall when it really matters. If you shoot the Judge regularly enough to be comfortable and familiar with it, it could save your life where another handgun would fail you. Is that enough reason to buy one? You bet it is.

If you understand what you are getting (and giving up) and are comfortable with it - get one. Like all double action revolvers, I also love the fact that it is dead simple to operate, no safety to forget to kick off, no slide to rack, nothing to jam on you. Just exactly what you want in a high stress situation. Pull the trigger and it goes boom. Then pull the trigger again and it goes boom again, repeat until there are no more bullets. The last thing the Judge has going for it is the intimidation factor. Nobody should ever pull out a gun if they aren't ready and able to use it, but the view from the wrong end of the Judge is absolutely terrifying. Look at it in the mirror sometime if you own one. That view would convince almost anybody to run away and the very best gunfight is the one you win without having to fire a shot.
 

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I have the stainless 3" chamber, 3" barrel. I put a Crimson Trace on it and had it Mag-na-ported. I own quite a few guns and I have to say that this is one of the most fun, versatile guns I own. It is the only one I own that can successfully change roles by changing ammo. There are very few handguns I know that can shoot a bird, kill a snake, and still be used as personal protection. A CC gun it is not. When I travel, this is the first gun that stays with me in the hotels. I have had mine for several years now with no issues at all. It is as accurate as I need, it is not a target pistol. The Taurus design is basically a clone of the Smith and Wesson so I'm sure the gun will last longer than I will. The one thing I would consider is going to the 3" chamber. You can still shoot 2 1/2's and it just give you that much more versatility. If you haven't shot one, there is quite a difference between the 2. I shoot 3's and put 2 1/2's in it for the wife. Either way it would be a fine weapon.
 
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