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Review of my new Taurus Public Defender Carbon Steel revolver

1601 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  shaner
A gun dealer friend wanted my unicorn PSS magnum Judge, so I sold it. Been looking for a snake gun for carrying around on the farm but those full size Judge's are just too heavy. Soooo...
Revolver Gun Starting pistol Trigger Tool

So I picked up this little snaker for $385 new shipped + $15 4473 fee. So for $400 I got my snake gun.
Revolver Gun Firearm Starting pistol Trigger

Here are the specs: it weighs 28.2 oz's unloaded, barrel length is 2.5 inches, initial DA trigger pull 18+lbs - SA pull 7.5 lbs, It is made from Carbon Steel with the cheezy Taurus matte black finish. it is 8" long, and 5 5/8 inches tall with the Pachmyar diamond pro grip. As I said the trigger pull was horrific, and often caught right after the cylinder lock clicked into place, and would take effort to get the hammer to drop. Something was wrong. I have taken 10 or so Judge's apart and am familiar with the trigger pull and mechanism. When I began to strip the Judge I noticed the Cylinder hand was hanging and seemed to have no return spring tension. Well geez Taurus maybe next time you should go ahead and install the cylinder hand plunger before it leaves the factory. The spring was in place, but no plunger to provide return spring tension. So the hand would hang at the top of the frame cutout, which is what I had to overcome when pulling the trigger.

Luckily I have a bunch of dremel bit shafts, which happen to be the same size as the missing plunger and are stainless steel, so cut a bit shaft to the correct length, polished the end that rides on the hand, problem resolved. I also did my normal polish/lube of all the friction surfaces. Now the DA trigger pull is a smooth 11lbs and the SA is at 4lbs. I now have had two of the most reliable handguns Taurus makes fail from the factory. My Pt1911 commander - which is back at Taurus now, and this new Judge. Make of that what you will. I have owned 12 Judges and this is the first one I have had any issues with, other than one that was dirty and caused the cylinder to free spin. So maybe I was due.
Gun Revolver Trigger Shotgun

The lockup on this Judge is the best yet, once that cylinder lock seats there is no movement in the cylinder. Forcing cone gap is between .001 and .002 which is excellent. Cylinder timing was spot on. The cylinder star has nice even ratchet teeth. Overall build quality is quite good, with the exception of not putting the plunger in. I can see how it made it out of the factory, since it would shoot, as long as you didn't pay attention to the crappy trigger.
Art Visual arts Drawing Illustration

This snake target was at 20 feet using 2 Remington #6 shot shells. Pretty wide spread, may need to be prepared to get a little closer to the sneaky snake. I have also run 45LC and a few 000 buck loads as well. Accuracy with 45LC is a little lower than average for a Judge( but I have only shot 3" or longer barrel Judge's). 000 Herter's buck patterns at 5 inches at 20 feet. The Hornady SD judge shell patterned at 3 inches at the same distance. Overall a good initial range run. Fired 50 410 shells and 40 45LC loads and had no issues. I like the smaller form factor and it carries very well in my bulldog holster ( made for the S&W 686 3inch ), but works for this Judge as well. Ok snakes I am coming for you......

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I recommend #4 Shot. It seems to pattern much better in the Public Defender. I have used #6, #7.5, and #8 and get the same results you have a very wide pattern even at very short distances. #4 seems to be decent.
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It's always disappointing to hear about Taurus firearms which fail fresh from the box, but at least in your case you knew how to fix it, and had the necessary skill/matierals to craft a suitable replacement part.

I really hope that after Taurus has settled into the new factory in Georgia that they'll begin putting some serious effort into improving QA/CS because while I really want to make the PT1911 my next major firearms purchase, with their current QA/CS, I think I'd feel better spending another $150 on a Ruger SR1911.
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Nice review. Thanks for sharing

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