Taurus Judge Public Defender .410 / .45

Taurus have added a snub nosed revolver to their line of Judge .410 Gauge shotshell / .45 Colt revolvers. The “Public Defender” 4510PD model is build on the smaller Taurus Model 85 frame.

It can only take 2.5″ .410 shells unlike some of the newer Judge models which can chamber 3″ shells. It also features a reduced profile hammer.

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Photo from casa-z

Two models are available. A lighter model with a titanium frame (see photo) and a standard model with a blued steel frame.


Capacity: 5 rounds
Cartridge: .45 Colt and .410 2.5″ shells.
Sights: fiber optic front sight and fixed rear sights.
Action: SA / DA.
Grip: Taurus Ribber
Cylinder: Steel or Titanium.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • These are AWESOME! Unfortunately we can’t own them here in the People’s Republic of California.

    • Bob Spiegel

      Has anyone found a 4 finger grip for the Public Defender

  • Wait, in Cali Taurus pistols are illegal? Is it because it fires shotshells?

    • brandon foster

      You can order the grip for the s&w governer its the same frame.

  • I have heard bad things about the Judge. I know my Lady’s father owns one, but I do not think he has tested it. I would never buy such a contraption.

    I know there are great spots on youtube about it. But seriously something like that viable? The box of truth has a ballistics test of that revolver. It is not very promising.

    • Jennerson, I agree. As a anti-snake gun I think its great, otherwise you need to use .45 Colt, which will give your wrists a hard time.

  • The Judge is no lighter than a lot of SA “quickdraw” revolvers that come in .45 LC, and the Taurus has led to a companies putting out 2 1/2 in Buckshot loads.

    I like my snub nose in a small caliber (just got a .327 that I load mainly with .32 H&R because I’m a big fan) but I think the Taurus could be a decent trail gun that gives you the option of a couple of rounds for snakes which are only a couple of quick trigger pulls away from something heavier for feral dogs etc.

    I haven’t fired one but I handled one in a gun shop and it was a decent weight.

    But I don’t pt a lot of stock in ballistic experiments. I love Box O Truth but I also come from a long line of guys who carried .25s and .32s on the mean streets of Newark NJ and all those old timers in my family lived to a ripe old age in a tough place with guns that would have failed the Box O Truth.

    Wouldn’t buy one myself but don’t underestimate someone with one.

  • Tony

    Mr. Taylor, did those old timers have to use those .25s or .32s much?

    The whole point of ballistics testing is not that a .32 or even a .25 can not be made to work – at least some of the time, I do wonder though how well they would work against a really dedicated assailant – but rather it is about probabilities. A more potent weapon is more likely to stop an attacker than a less potent one.

    It does seem from my point of view that sometimes folks in the U.S. do seem to fixate on searching for the “magic bullet”, but that does not mean that going the completely opposite and completely ignoring ballistics testing would be the optimal way to go either.

  • I was watch the Movie Max Payne the other night and I am pretty sure he was carrying and using a Judge.

    • Heath, he was 🙂 I have seen it yet but I read that on Wikipedia.

  • Dan

    The Judge line up is one of my best sellers and I have shot and love this little Home Protection gun. Loaded with #4 shot it is an up close never miss backed up with 000 Buckshot you have 3 40cal Pellets going down range per trigger pull. As for the 45 Long Colt ammo it is a great shoot at point of aim. I wish I had a dozen in my shop right now to sale they would be gone that day. Taurus found a real niche with this one!

  • I have the 2.5″ and the 3″ Taurus Judges and I think they are great. I had to wait 2 months to get the 3″ version because they are so popular. The Military has taken to using 3″ 000 .410 in auto shotguns for clearing rooms. You don’t have the Hi-velocity .223 rounds ricochets and the .410 can be held out and fired around a corner unlike the 12 gauge. This is why you won’t find a single box for sale anywhere and if you do, let me know where.

    I am considering this Public Defender as my car gun. If someone tries to hijack me I’m rather send 15 36mm 000 buckshot into the problem then hoping one of my .38+P from my S&W 340PD hits home. I love the judge as I can go to the gun range and from about 15-20 feet I don’t bother to site, just point. I can’t wait for the Lasergrips to start shipping as that will make it the no-brainer close defense weapon.

    One last thing. The recoil on the 2.5″ shells and the .45 Colt is FAR less than my J-frame .38 Special which when a .357 is fired, it is the most painful pistol I’ve fired. I haven’t shot the magnum shells yet as I am nursing a shoulder issue for a couple more weeks and the 3″ is a recent pickup.

    • bill

      Ever use slugs? Makes a nice hole

  • Do y’all think this would be a good CCW for a wheelchair-bound paraplegic with limited grip strength?

  • Check this video on the judge and the damage it does:

  • What link, Zenanskig?

  • here are the links:



    this one is on conceal carry of thejudge:

  • Chase

    I am really looking 4ward to the public defender. I had the oppoutunity to shoot the judge last year with 410 00 buck and 45 colt long ammo. A pleasure to handle. I am excited because I think this gun will make the best defense for in the car protection…bar none. An attack from the door or window, simply point and shoot, jus make sure that your arm is out of the way. I also think it would make a nice companion on the trail, but I am buying it for the car. A side not.. 410 ammuntion that does not have the ridges, so i guess you would call it smooth rolled 410 ammo does not expand when fired, so it does not get stuck in the chamber like a lot of that ribbed ammo. Jus a thought, this site and you guys rock. Keep shootin’ and keep safe !!

  • The Judge

    I find myself most troubled by the appropriation of ‘public defender’ in the denomination of such a dubious machine.

  • A real public defender

    I agree with the person who posted on Jun 17, 2009….as an actual public defender, the misappropriation of my appellation throws my pyloric valve into a spasm.

  • Fired Arm

    Sound more like a public complainer to me? This gun is awesome so if you can’t recognize that then you came to the wrong place.

  • Doug Hamblen

    I purchased the original Judge about 8 months ago. Since then I have shot 000, 4, 6, 7, 7 1/2, and 8 shot shells from multiple manufacturers–not to mention many 45LC rounds and have never had a problem with the gun. I originally purchased it as a snake gun, as well as for the novelty…and was suprised of the accuracy of the 45LC at 25 yards (Most actual shooting is well within 7). I was very interested when the Public Defender came out and purchased the SS model. Same gun, smaller package. Nicely fits in a ‘SmartCarry’ holster for CCW. I personally load 2 4 shot shells, followed by 3 Gold Dot 45s. In response to the paraplegic without good hand strenght, I don’t think this would be the best choice due to repeated double action. Highly recommend you look into Kimber Crimson Carry for its ‘Cocked Carry’ set up.

  • OklkieAvgGuy

    I have a couple buddies that have the budget to buy guns just for hell of it. They bought Both the 6″ 2.5″ chamber, and 3″ 2.5″ chamber.
    I love them both. They do what they designed to do. They make a handy Snake, Rat, Squirrel gun when outside hunting camping or working. You can carry without much hassle and dont have to run grab a shotgun.

    I really like the idea of self defense. I have always worried, Gor forbid I actually got in gun fight I would be to nervous to aim well and miss and hurt some innocent stand by with a large cal handgun (9mm or bigger), or than a small cal gun wouldn’t stop some hop up meth head.

    I think is a good mix. In gun combat at close range the 6″ is kinda hard to conceal and slow to draw. The inch is a little heavier than my .38 but I am a varly bick guy, so i doesn’t bother me.

    I did not test the 3″ chamber model. I settled on the steel 3″ 2.5′ chamber steel. I have read the 3″ chamber packs a little bit more powder bunch on the buck shot and you can get a 4 pellet 3″ .410. But, it cost more and I noticed the weight difference.

    The recoil was about the same to me. I could shoot the Long gun longer but I dont plan on going fird hunting with it.

    I fits handy in the night stand, in between the car seat on console. Easy to draw. i am not worried of hurting anyone than who I am aiming at.

    Loaded with .45 longs the long gun was about as good a can shoot any hand gun at a good distance. The 3′ not so much, but I got a tight pattern about 8 or 10 feet.

    I prefer #4 buck on the .410 shell. I Prefer .45 long as the killing shot. 000 works well up close 6 to 10 feet.

    I keep mine loaded with first three rounds #4 buck, and that hasn’t change the prep’s mind he at least itsn’t moving very fast I pretty sure I can hit them with the last two chambers. I prefer .45 long in last two, can’t always find them in stock, so I may have 000 .410 in last two chambers.

  • Doug Hamblen

    OklkieAveGuy is absolutely on target with the comment concerning first shots under stress. This is the draw of the Public Defender to individuals who have a realistic understanding of the effects of extreme stress while executing marksmanship. 4 Shot and/or 000 followed by 45LCs hasn’t been an option until now. The versatility of this firearm in a defensive posture is beyond reproach. Kudos to Taurus. Side note: I stated in a previous posting that this gun “fits nicely in a ‘SmartCarry’ holster”. I recently purchased a leather belt holster that I was not aware of at the time of that posting. I still use the ‘SmartCarry’ in certain outings where I would prefer not to be ‘printed’, but the belt holster definately as the advantage of a quicker draw. Chase is also on target with the ‘smooth’ cased shot vice the ribbed working out better.

  • Dan

    When the Judge was 1st announced was it offered in 44/40, 45 Colt and 410?

  • James Sullivan

    I really like the concept of the Judge revolver for home defense. When you have children in the house, you need to worry about shooting at a perp and the round going through a wall and hurting someone in the next room. I used to keep a .357 loaded with shot shells in my bedroom for this reason. Now, as soon as I am able to obtain one, it will be a Taurus Judge, loaded with #4’s! I don’t think the #4’s will penetrate 2 layers of drywall, and my children in the next room will be safe. I will probably load 2 .45LC’s for the last 2 shots.

  • Bill N

    I am retired military and ex-police officer (SWAT team leader). I have handled a wide variety of fire arms. I own a few handguns in a different calibers that I use for concealed carry. I recently bought a Judge with a 2.5 cylinder as an optional carry. I am now considered a “Senior Citizen” and my eyesight attests to that. I still love to shoot when I can and I know from experience and training that most self defense situations occur within relatively short distances with only seconds of available reaction time. The Judge is a great option for anyone, they are not hard to shoot, accurate at short distances with the .410 and the .45 LC is no less accurate than any short barreld revolver or pistol used for self defense. The .45 LC has a very manageable recoil with the short barrel, more so than a light framed .38 spl or .357 Mag revolver. This gun is not as light as some of the other choices, you can easily stay on target for a doulbe tap with either round.

  • Razorback

    I just bought one of these Judges with the 2-1/2 inch barrel, 3 inch chamber. At 25 yards with 45LC defense rounds, that pistol is very accurate and deadly. With the .410 000buck, the shot group was a bit spread one pellet entered the bulls eye, the other two were about 6 inches from that one (one to the left, the other to the right both just slightly higher). All were in the kill zone. For an averaged sized perpetrator, I estimate one pellt would rip through the heart and the other two would have penetrated and each lung.The 2-1/2 inch 410 shot shells spread in about a one foot circle with few pellest in the bulls eye but, peppered the rest of the target, the 3″ shot shells did the same but penetrated the backstop much deeper. The backstop was a series of 2×4 planks. The 000 buck and 45lc and slugs ripped clean through the backstop. After a box of 20 3″ 410 shots, the backstop broke apart. Using the magnums, the gun has a pretty good kick but not much more than say, a 1911. I have big hands and the gun with its ribbed grips is perfect. I have a collection of a wide variety of calibers and manufacturers and I have to say this one has great accuracy, feel and dependability. I would recommend this gun as a personal defense gun using a combination of 000 buck and 45 LC personal defense rounds in a heart beat. Using either, if it doesn’t put the perp down, run, he isn’t human.

  • I have the 6 and 1/2 inch barrel Judge. took it to the range and tried it out on a siloette. (I can shoot but cannot spell) It is easy to shoot, accurate, and deadly. I tried #4 bird shot for effect.
    The term blinding would be correct, the 000 were closely grouped and either would be a mind changing experience.
    The slugs are like the 357 or my 45acp 1911A, good enough to rip their gut out and destroy a life.
    I intend to protect my family’s life and property if necessary.
    There have been many recent home invasions lately, but there is nothing in my home worth stealing to die for.

  • do you lose a lot of accurecy with the new judge public defender stub nose against the original 3 inch barrel judge,i really like the public defender but im worried that the short barrel will really be unaccurate and the 3 inch might be a better choice

  • Dan Bobbitt

    I used my Judge Ultra Lite against a gallon milk jug filled with colored water and covered by two layers of cloth. At 20 yards it took two rounds of #9 shot to penetrate. I took one round of #4 shot to almost empty the jug. The 000 buck finished emptying the jug. The Hornaday 45LC eliminated the jug.

    This is a great gun. I am as accurate with it as I am my Glock 40 cal., Springfield Armory 45 xd, or my Taurus 38 + P at 7 and 20 yards.

    Any carjacker that comes up against the Judge is going to get his face removed before he dies.

  • I am glad to hear all the good reviews for this pistol. This weekend I am going to take my father to a gun shop and buy him one as a Christmas present. Of course I will put a few rounds through it and see how it shoots once he gets it home!! I will likely go with the 3″ model over the 2 1/2″ as he will most likely keep it around the house and not carry it concealed at any time.

  • mitchshrader

    The Judge is a silly gun. The Idea is silly, it’s the answer to a question only asked by the beancounters at Taurus.

    If you want to shoot .45 Colt ammo, get a carbine and revolver set; and if you want a snake gun a revolver or tuned automatic with good sights is sufficient. .410s suck bad enough out of a 24″ barrel that i’ll pass on dollar a round out of a 3″ barrel. Now, a .410 automatic shotgun with (6) 3″ rounds holding (4) 000 buck and a 22″ barrel is certainly NOT mistakable for unarmed..but equally it’s sub optimal on cost, and TRAINING IS EXPENSIVE.

    At a dollar+ per bang, I don’t need ANY other argument to hunt an alternative. I’ll take my .38 special with a 6″ barrel and shoot twice for the same dollar, and get change back. And *it* can actually hit the spot you’re TRYING tp hit.

    I purely detest the Judge. I can find more sense in a High Point carbine without even tryin. The IDEA sucks swamp slime through a hundred meter hose and won’t improve any with age.

  • Doug Hamblen

    In answer to tom7125 (sorry for the long delay in response) you do lose some accuracy with the public defender at distance. There is a distinct difference in my ‘regular’ judge and my public defender at the 25 yard line (add about 3 more inches to the grouping size)–but that is going to happen with any necked down barrel– and 25 yards is a pretty respectable distance for a short gun made for close range– I am confident in this firearm’s ability to perform.

  • Razorback

    Mitch….I respect your opinion about the judge but totally disagree with your comments. The point of this gun is stopping power. A box of self defense rounds at a dollar a pop isn’t what I would recommend for target practice. But I can assure you, one of those rounds will stop an aggressor abruptly. The round has a penetration of 17 inches. A couple of trigger pulls with 3 inch 000 buck will have you wondering “where’d he go” because there wouldn’t be much left. The beauty of the gun is it’s flexibility of ammo. If you want to play, with the 3 inch chamber, you use 45 cowboy rounds, 2-1/2 inch or 3 inch 410 ammo (really cheap). You can also use 2-1/2 inch or 3 inch slugs.

    The gun is not designed to be a long range sniper gun, it’s a personal protection piece. And any gun is only as accurate as the person pulling the trigger makes it. Most times, as any cop using a 38 or 9mm will tell you, when there’s a shootout, it’s close range,the bullets fly and many times no one gets hit on either side (except maybe innocent bystanders). That’s why whether in combat or in street shootouts, it’s important to count your rounds when shooting. With the judge, loaded with 000 Buck or even regular shot, someone is going to get hit. Unless you hit someone in a vital area, they’ll keep coming. Even if hit in a vital area, a determined human can continue at you for 15 seconds, even if shot in the head with a small caliber pistol (per FBI ballistics manual). 6 pulls of the trigger on a moving target with a 38 isn’t going to put 6 bullets into someone and the few that may hit, won’t necessarily stop a determined varmint of the animal or human kind. I’ve been in combat and I assure you, I’ve pumped several M16 rounds into someone who kept coming and wanting to hurt me bad. 5 trigger pulls of a Judge with 000 buck at close range is going to hit something and with the close spread within 25 yards, they’ll have at least 3 bullets in them. I just bought a box of 410 ammo from Walmart….20 rounds for $9.00 that has (4) 32 caL. Rounds in it. Fire power is where it’s at at close range and with enough rounds and big enough to not only hit a vital area but also to knock them back, giving you a bit of a chance to do even more damage or get away.

    Yep, if I were just going to shoot snakes, a 38 with snake rounds in it would be fine. The problem is, most snakes and other wild animals will avoid you if they can. A human animal that intends to do you harm, will do whatever they can to do that harm. So will a mother bear. I could walk through the woods with a Howitzer but it’s not practical. A Judge with an assortment of ammo will fit just about any close range event and do it with punch and accuracy and be easy to carry.

  • Local Defender

    Bottom Line – There is nothing better for home defense, espcially in tight quarters. You will blow the hell out of anything you point it towards, and they will not keep comming. The rule is – keep firing, and when you run out of ammo jump on your target and beat it to death with your empty pistol.

    Protect yourself! Proctect your family!

  • Doug

    I have read all the pros and cons from everyone and now really just want some info. I just bought a box of Federal .410 shells that say “handgun” on them. These are 2 &1/2 inch 000 and have 4 pellets in them. Obviously these are good for the Judge, what about normal Winchester .410 4 shot game loads for a shotgun? Someone had mentioned on another spot that these loads are different and “too fast burning”, help please!!!

  • Razorback

    Doug, I’ve run about 50 of those through the gun (myself and others who wanted to try the gun out) and never had a problem. We have tried every type of 410 through it with no problem. I’ve heard there were discussions on whether ribbed or smooth shells will cause problems. We’ve run a bunch of both with no problems at all. This gun is blued with a 3 inch barrel with a 3 inch cylinder. I (we) have fired 3 inch and 2-1/2 inch through it. The fun part is, some of the guys don’t even have one of the guns yet but show up with boxes of 45lc and 410 rounds.

  • Whit

    I’m still enjoying mine, no problems at all. It’s strictly for home defense. I have many other guns for other uses. Just use the right tool for the job. I’m sure my Saiga 12 would do proud on a home invasion but kinda hard to fit onto the night stand. I only keep The Judge full of 000 Buck unless I hit the range with .45’s for the fun of it.

  • doc_ty

    I agree with most of what has been said here. I just bought a Judge to keep in my office (I’m a dentist in a busy strip mall) because we get all sorts of people that come in here. We have to send deliquent accounts to collections and small claims court when they don’t pay. I just wanted to have something that my secretary could use just in case. She is an accomplished cowboy action style shooter.
    I load it with size 4 shot so that bullets aren’t flying for miles causing damage. I’m also going to use it when I’m out on my horse. I can shoot snakes, or grouse, and take some slugs with me in case I have to put down a horse in the back country.
    People just have to take the Judge for what it is. It is not a target pistol, just for close range only.

  • Razorback

    Check out CABELA’s on line for some really good prices on ammo. The cowboy rounds are great for shooting fun and staying in practice for shooting with the JUDGE. We’ve now put about 400 rounds through mine and never had even one problem.

  • Rob

    I just got the judge and was wondering if anyone had a problem with it, the trigger gaurd is close to the grip and is hitting my knucle of my middle finger. after repeted use it starts to get to ya,but other then that its an awesome wepon on many levels. ya almost feel sorry for the poor bastard that has to see it from the front.

  • NameTapeDefilade

    I just got a Taurus Judge 2.5″ Public defender, but has a normal hammer, not the lower profile one. All the pics I have seen have the lower profile one. I dont know if someone just changed it before me, or you can change it back, or it was some mistake by the company

  • griv

    Most of the “jamming” issues were due to people mistaking 3″ barrel with 3″ chamber. The 2.5″ chambered Judge will fit a 3″ shell in the chamber, it just won’t come out after the end expands following firing. That and NEVER use metal case shells such as Silver Bear. Great for the Saiga .410, tragic for the Judge.

  • hairtrigger6

    i personaly carry a public defender, with a bond arms darranger 45/410 for a boot back up. as well as my saddle riffle is a 45 lever action. i like to have a very universal round for the ease of it. the public defender is great. i carry a number 7 in the first chamber 000 buck in 2-3 and 45 in 4-5 i like the number 7 because in a car jacking sit. u want to dis orient them and then pump them full of lead balls and its great for snakes around the barn and on trails. as for the darranger i cary a 45 in the top barrel and a 410 000 buck in the bottom. for what i do having a universal round is a must

  • Bert Peters

    Dear sir:

    I recently purchased one of your Judge 45/410 models, the Public Defender. My question is, is the spurred hammer of the judge, interchangable with the bobbed hammer of the public defender? If so, would it have to be done at the factory?

    Thank you,

    Bert Peters

  • Roger

    anyone know where i might be able to get some exotic looking grips for the taurus judge public defender?

  • Whit

    Well, THE JUDGE works for me in close range home defense, 000 buck, head shot if I have to . Long range the Saiga 12 works (I have a Poly Choke II for slugs on down to #9). My daily carry is my Kel-Tek PF-9. No fails at all. 400 rounds cause that’s all I can spend for practice. For meat, Marlin 45-70 Tracker or my Remington .308.

  • Tony

    I’ve been reading some great reviews online. I’ve noticed however, that all those opposed to the judge, seem to always point to the box o truth. Interestingly, other websites with positive reviews, such as Gunblast, never get mentioned.

    The box o truth mainly sites that the .410 would not have enough penetration in a subject. However, Gunblast’s test with a pork shoulder refuted this notion. I think the main problem is, people want the judge to be accurate from 25 yards with the .410, and well, that aint the purpose of this gun. (the .45lc WILL definitely reach and touch someone)

    Recently that new Federal shells came out, as mentioned earlier, specifically designed for the judge. I saw a test in a gun magazine (can’t remember the name off the top of my head) as well as websites that showed this shell definitely will do the trick.

    It showed at just over 10 yards, the penetration of the 000 Buck met the standards of FBI ballistic testing. The spread wasn’t as bad as other loads as well.

    .32 caliber size pellets penetrate a body in four different places at the same time, increasing your chances of hitting a vital area, with just one shot, thats pretty darn good in my book. Sounds perfect to me, for home defense, in the car, and carrying it in point and shoot situations. The FBI supposedly says most gun fights occur with 8 feet. Let off two or three rounds real quick with the judge, and I’m confident bad guy go bye bye.

  • Deja vu

    I bought the Judge 3 inch mag for my self about 2 months ago. It is fun to shoot and at close range I think it would stop a person very well if loaded with buck shot.

    I dont think I would use it as a CCW just because of the size but as I said before i is a very fun gun and does real well for small animals like snakes.

    I have had a small issue with it though. It seems that when I shoot fedeal 2.5 inch bird shot through it that the empty casings ocasionally get stuck and are a little hard to get out of the chamber. I have never hd the problem with any other brand or calabur however.

    so in my opinion for home defence I would go with a 12 guage, For a CCW I would go with some thing smaller like a 357 or a 38 but that does not mean I dont like my judge, it is a fun gun and I feel that it was wrth the money, as othr people have said it would be a good self defence gun from carjackers and it is great for snakes and ground squirls.

  • griv

    I have a couple of Judges and I got SICK of all these BS comments about penetration so I did my own test. They are actually 36mm OOO shot.

    From 20 feet with a 3″ Winchester 000, I EASILY penetrated a pine 2×4, no surprise there. Then from 20 feet I fired at a 3/4″ Ipe plank. Ipe is one of the hardest woods in the world, twice as strong as pressure treated pine with a hardness level 6 times harder than mahogany (630) at 3,180. The 000 shot penetrated the Ipe as well. I don’t think a mass of flesh and bone will do better.

    Naysayers can “read” all they want. I own, I did it, so that’s all there needs to be said.

  • griv

    Oops, make that 5 times as hard. Fuzzy mathematician here.

  • ooo Buck is a hard shooter no matter where it comes out of. I have 3in ooo for my .410 and the five .36 caliber balls traveling faster than they ever did from a .36 is a good medicine for any goblin at close range.

  • Rich

    I have the public defender, and it has performed as adveertised, but I do have the trigger guard putting a hurt on the finder problem. I think a different grip would solve it, but I have found no one making an aftermarket grip for it yet.

  • Rich

    Sorry about the spelling in the above post, I am not a mouth breather, just a fundy typist!

  • griv

    As much as I love it for Home Defense or as a snake gun, I think it’s too big for concealed carry. I personally carry two Walther P3ATs with Crimson Lasers loaded with Buffalo Bore Hi-Test .380. Each pistol weighs 12 ounces a piece loaded with 6+1 and sporting bullets more powerful than any non +P 9mm or 38 special. Intermingled slug and hollow-points make short work of any bad guys.

  • Whit

    Walther doesn’t make P3AT’s. Kel-Tec does. ??

  • Samuel

    i just bought the judge public defender today
    I allready put 2 boxes of 45 lc and 2 boxes of 410 shells
    It is a great gun and the 45 are very accurate at 30 yds and the shot shells are very devistating up close and personal so this will be my choice of concealed deadly weapon.

  • Rev

    Today I got my Judge. It’s the 2 1/2″ chamber, 3″ barrel, in matte stainles finish. I’ve read reviews, seen videos and firmly believe for close quarters defense situations this is by far the best option available to date. It is effective for a seasoned shooter or a novice. I have, on more than one occasion, been on the business end of a gun, and knife. I’m a seasoned shooter and can say by experience that when, in a defense situation, I find it more realistic and probable that multiple projectiles, fired quickly, will be more effective than trying to get those three dots lined up for a shot, or shooting from the hip and hitting the threat. think about it; suddenly awakened, or a sudden approach to the vehicle, nerves, heart racing, heavy breathing, low or no light, confusion, forgot to put on your glasses, accounting for the friendlies in the residence or general area, inexperience. then quickly deciding to engage or take a defensive position. will you try to remove the threat or eliminate it? Most people, experienced or not, will be better off with the judge in their hand pointed across the room, car, cab, or brush. Don’t be a victim, get a judge. PS; Be certain the receiver is definately not a friendly; they can’t be replaced, and stay in the heart and mind for ever. thanks.

  • Tony

    Any word yet how much the polymer frame judge is going to cost, and when is it coming out?

  • BillN

    I’ve shot several 2 1/2″ 000Buck .410 rounds through my Public Defender between 7-25 feet. Regardless of the distance the point of aim is the point of impact. At 25 feet the spread is minimal, the three holes of each round are touching consistently on the paper with each shot.
    You will hit what you are aiming at with minimal spread using the 000 buck rounds. Definitely a terminal personal defense round. I personally do not like the #4 shot rounds past 7 feet, I have not performed any back yard penetration test with the #4 shot not a choice of personal protection for me.

    I am currently working up some hand loads for the 45LC using Hornady .452, 250 grain XTP. Will post information on the best load data.

  • Dyann

    you don’t see many girls on this site, any way the reason I got my Public defender is my biggest fear is missing my target. Now when I go target shooting, it makes me feel good to see all those little holes all over my paper. I walk alone and have had a couple of creepy’s turn from their route and start following me, so I have my PD loaded with 4-#4 shot, and 1-45 long colt. I figure if he’s still coming at me after getting hit with all that shot, I’ll finish him off with a 45. Hopefully this will never happen! I love it, and my husband even likes it after trying to talk me out of getting it.

  • RT Spinazzola

    No one can answer if the 3 inch Taurus or the 2 inch public defender has a different spread with # 4 shot gun shells.

  • It’s amazing how many comments this particular blog entry has received! Last weekend I went with my father to look for a Judge. Unfortunately all we were able to find was one of the 2 1/2″ models and nothing in 3″. We’ll keep looking or just end up ordering what we want.

    We both agreed we have no need for the 454 model they’re coming out with this year. It would be cool to go shoot but would serve no practical purpose for us.

  • Tony

    I’m sure it does, but with just an inch in difference, I doubt the spread would be that noticeable.

  • Bill N

    Heath, I am not sure what the difference would be but I agree with Tony it would be negligeable. From experience in shootng the PD at approximately ten feet with the #4 shot shell, the pattern covers a 24″x36″ silouhette target. The majority of the shot is within the shaded portion of the target. Hope this helps.

  • Razorback

    I assume you are referring to barrel length. The spread between the 2/12 inch and the 3inch would depend on distance. The further the distance, the wider the spread. However, at close range, less than 30 feet say, the spread is negligible. If you are referring to chamber size with the same barrel length, there would be no difference at close range. The 3 inch would have more penetrating power however, both at that range would certainly have stopping power.

    As for not finding a 3″ chamber Judge, they are very popular right now. Look closely at any in stock and don’t assume the gun shop knows exactly what they have in the way of Judge’s although, they are wiser now that it’s been around a while. When I bought mine, I couldn’t believe the gun shop owner assumed the 3″ barrel was only a 2-1/2 chamber. The gun was so new to the market, there was still a bit of confusion. The book and any of the markings on the box are not specific. They are pretty generic. This one was blued and he assumed the stainless was the 3″ inch. I had ordered the stainless and was waiting for about 4 months and it never came in and had no ETA. I wanted one so when I saw the blued one, I grabbed it. I’m still on a waiting list for a stainless. After the waiting period and I picked up the gun, I bought some ammo from him and also asked for 3″ 410’s. After a bit of verbal scrimmaging, we went to the range out back and I proved it was a 3″. As of this reply, after more than 600 rounds of 3″ 000 and various other loads, what a fun piece!!!

  • shindiggy

    i have recently bought a “the judge” gun in early march 2010 i couldn’t get off 4 rounds before it jammed up on me the cylinder froze and could not fire the next round, on top of that the trigger stuck in the single action configuration and took a little bit of time to finally break it loose. i took it back to the store i bought it from, they agreed with me and i exchanged it for a ss judge (the first was a blue finish) this one same problem i dry fired as soon as i got home and same thing this time i couldn’t get it to break the cylinder froze or locked up, could not fire it at all! took it back to the store this time they said they’ll send it to the manufacturer to repair still waiting for my judge to come back, disappointing really was looking forward to this gun, if it comes back the same i’ll probably sell it or trade it for something that works and it won’t be for a taurus.

  • Whit

    I’ve had mine (2.75 x 3″bbl) for a year now and zero problems with .45 or any shot shell I put through it. I can’t figure out a use for slugs when .45’s are available. At least 200 rounds of .45 and 100 of varying shot shells. I usually keep it loaded with 000 buck.

  • red

    @ shindiggyon-

    Strip down your Judge (even remove the side plate) and clean everything, then clean it again. Taurus seems to like shipping out their guns very greasy. My 617 had terrible grittiness in the trigger during D/A and a few other odd issues. After a very intense cleanign session, it’s much better.

  • debo577

    IMHO the Tauras Judge is a near perfect home defense weapon. Here’s my reasoning.
    1. As a handgun it is easily kept in a place where you can get to it quickly.
    2. Unlike a shotgun it is not unwieldy indoors thus it is easy to use in close quarters
    3. A 410 with small buckshot or better yet birdshot has limited penetration which limits the potential for collateral damage.
    4. In a panic situation you don’t need to be terribly accurate, just point in the general direction and pull the trigger.
    5. The recoil is less than the other big caliber’s
    6. It makes lots of noise which acts as a deterrent
    7. you can shoot around corners.
    Here’s a scenario: The first two chambers have 410 shells. This enables the home defender to take a quick “panic” shot likely to be enough to deter most home invaders. Even if the invader is hit by only one pellet, he’s going to feel it and not be able to gauge the extent of his wound. The wound is most likely non-lethal, but he won’t know that. If he continues his aggression, a second 410 round can be more accurately placed. If that’s not enough the last three chambers with Colt longs should have all the stopping power you need.

  • It fires AROUND corners?

  • Whit

    Some of the comments I’ve read here ae assinine. The Judge was designed as a close quarter self defense gun. It is not a target gun, it is not a hunting gun. There are no snakes where I live (except Democrats that want to ban them like Comifornia). Mine is loaded, in my home and very available. Slugs? Why bother when they can fire .45 long colt? I load it only with 5 rounds of 000 buck. Bedroom range. If it was a really serious break in I’d use my Saiga 12 and stuff them into the next county.

  • Deja vu

    I have had my 3X3 mag judge for some time. It seems to work pretty well other than I need to clean it at the end of each day shooting (some thing that should be done with most guns any way)

    I have shot about 200 rounds of 45LC through it and about 1000 rounds of various shot rounds. My favroit so far are the Federal 000 hand gun ammo. I just with they had it in the 3 inch

  • Me and my grandpa just got it and we love it. I am 11 and I can shoot it so if I can shoot it almost any girl can. Exept the prissy ones!!!!!!

  • ps I love the sig saur 556 rifle I highly recomend it

    We got them both yesterday

  • rozyredtoes

    My wife just acquired a ultra light weight public defender. It weights 15 ounces and she has no problem with the recoil. at 10 t0 20 feet its seems to shoot as good as our other 4 judges which is very good. she loads it with the Winchester xpd and she can now carry it comfortably in her coat pocket, She also carries a ruger lcp if not wearing a coat. She also keeps a 3 inch chambered judge in her console. She may not win but the other person will lose.

  • Whit

    I have the Tracker, love it. Contraption? I think not. Target shooting, no. Personal defense, you betchum RR.
    Little Beaver.

  • freeamericanwoman

    the judge was my first gun. I had no problem with the 45 but, the grip was too large. I sold it. Now I have my eye on a Public defender. I loved shooting the Judge, but, I have small hands and it took me too long to get a good grip to shoot.

  • Critical J

    I’ve fired plenty of guns in the past though never owned one. Now that my fiance and I are stuck living here in the hell hole that is Montgomery, AL, we’ve been trying to narrow down our options pertaining to best all around self-defense guns. I’ve got to say, considering all the arguments I’ve read here, forget that little .38 I was going to buy, I’ll take The Judge “Ultra-Lite” with a 2.5 cyl. and a 3″ barrel in stainless, I think…

    AL is an open carry state so concealment size is no real issue and even if I cared, well my kilt makes concealing anything a breeze anyway + I’m a fairly decent quick draw shot in a pinch, so i’ll probably keep just the first chamber loaded with warning pellets and then cap whatever baby gangsta thinks he’s still man enough after that, I suppose. Oh, I’m excited – can’t wait for the next gun show!

  • Rick

    Ummm… actually it’s .410 bore, not “gauge.”

    • Rick, you are absolutely correct, although in reality most people consider it interchangeable. The British use “bore” for everything, eg. 12 bore.

  • Whit

    Take a look at the new Winchester PDX1 made for the Judge. 15 fired at, 21′ = 15 plated cylinders, 60 plated bb’s. Trashed the old chain saw I was dumping (yes legally) If this don’t stop the bad guy move to a better area. I don’t even bother with the .45’s in this gun.

  • GaryP

    I just recently purchased a SS Judge. I had the choice between the 3 inch camber with the 3 inch barrel or the 2 -1/2 in. chamber and the 3 in barrel. I purchased the SS model with the 2-1/2 in. chamber and 3 in. barrel as I liked this model better. It was a little shorter in length and I figured that the 2.5 inch round should be pleanty. So far I have fired .45 acp using the steller clip, .410 rifled slug, # 6 bird shot and my now favorite round, the new Federal 000 buck firing 4 coper clad pellets with a 4 inch consistant grouping at 20 feet. The gun is very fun to shoot and works very well for its intended purpose which is SD. I carry this one in the car and use it as my “yard gun” when walking my property especially at night. So far I have had “0” issues with it jaming or ejecting spent rounds. It was a little tight out of the box but has loosened up and everything works smooth. In my opinion, it does EXACTLY what it was intended to do. I am not looking for a nail driver at 100 yards. If I want that I’ll use my 30-06 springfield. It’s for up-close and personal defense when your woke up in the middle of the night with some crackhead busting in your door or comming through a window. I think a close pattern of 4 pelletes of 000 buck at close range, center mass, would wreck the bad guys day. And if that didn’t stop him another 4 rounds of that stuff can be sent his way in less then a couple of seconds. Hmmm 20 pellets of copper clad 000 buck I think would do the job. I like the idea that for every pull of the trigger, 4 rounds close the the size of a 9mm round, get sent in the bad guys direction.
    On another note, I sent Federal an email and asked them if they would develope a non rifled saboted slug for the judge. The said they would pass this idea along to their R&d facility. Who knows, perhaps we will have a reasonably accurate slug round for the Judge befor long.

  • Whit

    I’m still looking for the right holster. I’m right handed and want a cross draw. Any suggestions??
    Thanks, Whit

  • Superman

    Anyone calling the Taurus Judge or Public Defenders less lethal is less smart. I’ve fired these hand guns and they are impressive. So go stand on the business end of one these and I’ll pull the trigger. Any volunteers? Plus the abilty to pull your trigger 5 times and make 15 9mm size holes across a wide pattern is just a crowd pleaser. Nice to have in backwoods Arkansas after dark. By the way…the biggest baddest most expensive cannon in the world is completely unlethal in the hands of less smart people.

  • MIKE

    I have a judge and I love it. My wife got it for me because she wanted it for the house instead of my pump 12 gauge that is hard to hide from the kids or lock up in the room. And for those of you who think it kicks to bad my 66 year old grandmother loves to shoot it.

  • Diana

    When I told everyone what revolver I wanted they were all shocked. We are a family that believes in the Second Amendment. I was able to hold in my hand and it fit just perfect. Then when I purchased everyone was amazed at the feel and the weight I have the 2.5 in barrel Shooting it is a real pleasure. Having fibromyalgia and years of being a chef, I have weak hands and was able to shoot 35 rounds in one trip to the range and every shot was on the paper {vital areas}.I don’t know if I will wear but do carry in my handbag.


    I have the public defender and like the gun. The only mistake I made was buying it without doing a thorough back ground check on the gun. Reason is I would like to be able to cock the gun to shoot and I can’t without a learther glove on and even then it is still hard for me to cock. This is no ones fault but my own but if this is an issue for a person I could not reccommend this particular model. It can be purchased with a regular hammer and that is what I wished I had purchased.

  • Hicusdicus

    Bucket of truth is like listening to an ole timer rant about carburetors and the good ole days when they made real cars. If you miss the attackers face with a load of # 6 what makes you think you are going to hit it with a bullet. Most civilian gun fights are at 8 feet or less. They are usually akin to a bolt of lightening including flash and noise. A public defender will give you about a 2 foot spread at 10 feet. A load of # 6 in the face will piss off thousands of nerve endings and blind people are not a serious threat particularly if they are experiencing extreme pain. 4 more rounds will definitely do some facial shredding. You will most likely experience some one screaming for Jesus to take him to meet his heavenly father or the other guy. If you want shoot a .45 buy a .45. The judge is a .45 only to keep it legal. The chance of killing an innocent bystander with bird shot is almost non existent. The last thing you want is to do is stand in a court room in front of a judge[ the kind that can really hurt you] and jury with a bunch of drooling lawyers planning vacations with your money. All the guys think they are a dead eye dick. Leave the eye out of the last sentence and think small enclosure full of amateur proctologists all related to Bubba. Taking a life in this country is highly frowned upon and very expensive no matter what the reason. You better have your ducks in a row.

  • Hicusdicus

    Please Change this forum so one can edit and also reply to a specific comment.

  • Diana

    So very true Hicusdicus, although, It is better to be judged {no pun intend} by 12 than carried by 6. I also believe if you draw your weapon and point it at some one in self defense manor a you should be prepared to use it and accept the responsibility. that come with it.

  • rozyredtoes

    Diana, your pun is appropriate. But I must say for myself and I am male that being carried by six is a lot more desirable than spending 20 years locked in a small enclosure with tattooed creatures with built in hat racks.

  • Jeanette

    Interesting Reading! I do like All of the different opinions. This is going to be a females point of view, so be patient.
    I first saw “The Judge” at a local police firing range when they first came out a few years ago. Test fired it a few times and had to have one. I was one of the first around my area to get one. I wanted the 6.5″ model for my own reasons. Let me try to keep this short.
    I got my “Judge” 6.5″SS model, and took it to my local firing range. It was a little tight, like I seen in some comments, but lossened up just fine.
    For home defense, I don’t think you could pick a better revolver. With the .410 shot shells, great for someone kicking in the door or coming in the window. Unfortunely we have had some home invasions in the area lately. But then beinng able to back the shotshells up with .45 colts! Awesome!
    And for being able to hit what you aim at, I have not had any problems at the range, and the range master and other shooters can tell you, it shoots rather well. My boyfriend re-loads the .45 colts for me, (I’m learning to reload) because of the rounds I put down range,lol.
    I lost my first “Judge” due to a house fire, but have purchased 2 more!
    One I use as a home defense revolver, and the other, a 6.5″ SS version is the one I use for hunting. Yep, you heard it right, I use it for short range deer hunting! It shoots very good out to 25 YARDS and even out to 50 YARDS! I shoot 3″ groups @ 25 Yards, and 6″ groups @ 50 Yards. I have Targets to prove it, along with the Range Master at the range.
    So this is getting a little long, but if you pratice, it is a very nice revolver, handles well, and really don’t beat me up at the range when I shoot 50 to 100 rounds on a Saturday. Taurus will be getting the first picture when I get my first white tail buck with the Judge. Only problem I have is getting the ‘guys’ to take me hunting anymore, lol.
    Sure, I could take a .270, or a .308, but with the Right Ammo, and practice, I will be successful soon.
    So women can shoot this pistol, and it really isn’t that hard to handle. By the way, I’m 52, so just about anyone should be able to handle the smaller Revolvers. Hope I didn’t make it to long, But I think “The Judge” is a wonderful all around Revolver!

  • Hicusdicus

    Jeanette, My Wife who is 62 says the same thing. In fact I called her and told her about it when I was in a town shopping about 50 miles from where we live. She called me back a few min later and told me to buy it. When I got home she fired it a few times turned around and told me to buy another one. We now own 6. 2 ultra lite PD and 2 SS with 3 inch chambers a 2.5 x4 inch and a ultra lite 2.5×3. We have them scattered about the house so one will always be close at hand. We think it is the best personal close range self defense weapon money can buy. We have both been the victims of robbery and we both have bullet holes in us. We take self defense seriously. The 4” shoots the best. The ultra lite PD is the one she carries on her job. She thinks it is the ideal gun for a woman. It does not require much practice it is hard to miss and it looks big and sounds even bigger.

  • Razorback

    By no means were you too wordy. People should know how well the Judge is for shooting for fun as well as personal protection. My wife is 63 years old and a petite 5 feet inches and I can’t keep enough reserve ammo because she shoots it all up. I have had to hide boxes of ammo so it’ll be there when I need it. She also does a great job cleaning the gun. Mine (well was mine, really hers) is a 3inch cylinder with a 3 inch barrel. I have a range down back and even in the snow she’ll be back there. Both she and I find the 3 inch 000 buck to be the most fun. We tried firing off just shots you would expect to make in a frightening and confused situation and just about every time, buck rounds ended up in the targets. The more she shoots it, the better it gets. Don’t let anyone kid you, 2 pulls of the trigger with 3 inch 000 buck loads will put very powerful 6, 36 caliber rounds into a bad guy. And if any nut thinks getting shot with games loads isn’t going to do some damage, they shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun. 2 or 3 pulls from the trigger is going to make for a terrible, most likely lifeless mess. One pull is surely going to cause the reason for pulling the gun out and shooting it, to turn toward another direction–end of aggression!!!

    As for some of the other comments made, maybe some folks need to watch the news.Even in Chicago and at one time, Wash. D.C. where having a gun was/is against the law, homeowners who protected themselves against any fear for their life, with a gun, were not charged with shooting the violent attacker. They were charged with having an illegal gun. You will be hard pressed to find, after any police investigation where a person killed a violent intruder into their home because they feared for their life, that charges are filed. And if there are, there are many Law professionals who will come to their aid, FREE.

    I am glad to know that when the cops (I was one) are minutes away to serve and to protect, my wife can stop a rape, beating, violent robbery or anything else that may threaten her life, in seconds. Don’t even say “well they could take the gun away, then what?” because I know in my wife’s case, they wouldn’t get close enough. And even if they did, she at least had a better chance than she would have had with just a cell phone.

    The judge is NOT a long distance sniper weapon. It is a close range tool for getting out of a very nasty situation. If you are one of those people who need every attachment to a hand gun that man can come up with, just to look cool, the Judge is not for you. If you want something with close range stopping power, the Judge is one you should consider.

  • Razorback

    By the way, the Judge with game loads is a great tool to have along when the deer aren’t around and a Turkey happens by!!

  • G3 Gopher

    I am considering purchasing a Public Defender (Ultra Lite) but I am concerned about the 2 finger grip. Are there any afer market grips for the Defender that are longer. Someone told me that the 3″ Chambered would fit the Defender. Any truth?

  • G3 Gopher

    I meant if the 3″ Chambered Judge grip would fit the Defender

  • Michelle

    I have been looking at this gun for several weeks and finally got it today! It is lightweight and the hand grip is perfect for a woman. Although it is a powerful weapon, it is not intimidating for a woman to carry. Ladies, if you looking for something to carry as personal protection or just enjoy shooting, this is it. My boyfriend enjoyed shooting it as well and agreed with me that this was the perfect handgun for me to have! Great Gun Taurus!

  • Jeanette

    Thanks for all the comments. Just wanted to let you know that I really like my Judge. And I wanted to let you know I just got the new one they have out, The “Circuit Judge”. It looks like it is going to be fun to shoot, and really be a conversation piece at the range, LOL. Again thanks for all the post.

  • Diana

    I have been looking and unable to find speed loaders for the public defender. I have check several web sites and have no luck. Any information would be great.

  • Gary

    I have had my Judge now for about 6 months. I own the ss 2.5″ chamber with the 3″ barrel. The first couple of times I fired it the spent shells were a little hard to remove. After cleaning however, that problem ended. I think it’s because I always swam the inside of the chambers with a little light gun oil after cleaning. I mean very little oil. Just enough to put a very thin film of oil in there. Not wet. Anyway that seemd to solve the sticking issue and does not cause any problems with the gun or shells. Now everything I fire out of it ejects just fine.

  • Gary

    Oooops. Sorry about the typo. I meant swab out the chamber. No swamming going on here. :-).

    Also if you have not yet tried the Federal 000 buck round in your Judge yet, I highly recommend it. It is a serious hard hitter. It has a good tight pattern. Here is a YouTube video of me firing my Judge at a full can of Lysol at about 15 feet or so. Not sure of the exact distance. I am using the Federal 000 buck 2.5 inch round. Not a bad pattern. Would have no problem hitting center mass with this round and I am positive it would be a bad guy stopper.

  • NORM I.


    • Big Bill

      This Winchester round is no joke! 3 fairly close .45 sized holes at 15 feet, along with the smattering of pellets. Not a fan of the plastic casing though, they tend to warp from the heat and get a little hard to extract. They are loaded in my Public Defender at all times for home defense.

  • NORM I.
  • Diana

    The Winchester 410’s is a load for home defense. At Cheaper Than Dirt the Winchester PDX1 is $18.83 for a box of 20 rounds. I purchased them with my Judge, I am a good shot even at 30 yards, not as accurate as I would like to be, good enough for the situation at hand. I have to laugh at the thought of ok I just unleashed 4 – 410’s in life threating situation at someone or thing. Knowing that i have one shot left and it is a 45 magnum I don’t think that the attacker would still be life threating.

    “when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns”

  • sgtdaniel

    Those of you who own and have fired the judge public defender. How is it at cartridge ejection. I have heard some stories of these expanding and getting stuck.

  • Hicusdicus

    Sgtdaniel, I have two Ultra light public defenders. Winchester XPD, federal and Remington work just fine. A lot of the foreign stuff does not. For self defense XPD is all you need.

  • Diana

    I do a lot of target shooting and because before you know it you can burn through a box of 50 rounds. I use the cheep ammo and I have not had any problems with the shells ejecting.

    “when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns”

  • lester

    i have a public defender and the circuit judge . love them both but i’ve had issues with 410 shotshells from 3 differant company’s when fired double action several have snapped single action produces more reliable results.i’m a little worried about the 000 buck loads on the street remember each of those pellets you are resposible for so i’m loading mine with 1 4’6 or 7 1/2 the rest get long colt.at home 000 buck is good. i carry mine in a pancake holster rides well and is very fast drawing .i really need to check into the misfires of the shot shells but i’ll still carry it the 4 45’s will surfice.

  • Tom Dawson

    I bought a Judge Public Defender last October, fired fewer than 25 rounds through it before I experienced trouble. When pulling the trigger, the hammer would stop in a single-action position, requiring a little more pressure on the trigger to fire. I thought that was a nifty design — until the trigger froze with the hammer in single-action position. I finally worked that out, and the next couple of shots went fine. Then it fired BEFORE reaching the single-action position; before I had squeezed the trigger fully. Scary, to say the least. Then the trigger froze to the point I couldn’t pull it. I unloaded the gun, took it back where I bought it, and the shop sent it back to Taurus. In due time, it came back — with the crane bent and the cylinder retention screw threads stripped. The shop sent it back again. I waited almost two months, and when I called the shop to inquire, I was told that Taurus sent an empty box, and that I should call Taurus (why me instead of the shop, but that’s a topic for another blog). I was told by Taurus that the shop’s FFL had expired and they couldn’t ship a gun to them. (This is a national sporting goods chain, not some little one-man shop — I won’t name it, but it rhymes with Rass Row Hop). That got rectified and in due time I received a replacement gun. I went through the FFL paperwork again since the gun had a different serial number. I asked to try dry-firing the gun before I took it, and found the trigger freezing and not being able to make the hammer fall. The gunsmith at the shop tried it, said it was defective, and they would return it to Taurus. Note this gun was not even out of the store before it had to be sent back. I got yet a third gun, asked to dry fire it before we went through the FFL paperwork, and it seemed to work okay. I then went through the FFL paperwork yet a third time (and I still had not fired 25 rounds through a Judge). I went to the range and fired 10-15 rounds, but this gun did not allow the hammer to pause at the single-action position. I tried to pull the hammer to single action with my thumb, and it stuck about one-quarter inch back. The only way to release it was to twist the cylinder back and forth as much as possible. I experienced the same problem about every second or third time — the hammer hanging up when pulled back with my thumb, necessitating wiggling the cylinder back and forth until it releases. Because of the problems with the other returned guns, I am going to see if this will cure itself with use, as the hammer and sear gradually wear in. Needless to say, I am not happy with the Judge. I own several other Taurus revolvers and a 92F in 9 mm, and am generally happy. However, I must say I am much happier with the Colts, Smith & Wessons, and Rugers I own than I am with the Tauruses. My first Taurus was a .357 revolver I bought new about 15 years ago. I hadn’t fired 70 rounds through it before the timing was so far off the firing pin was completely missing the primer. I sent it back, Taurus repaired it and returned it. I started keeping track of every round I put through it to see how many before the timing needed repair again. So far, I’ve put more than 23,000 rounds through it with no problems. If Taurus can fix it correctly, why can’t they make them correctly?

    As to the Judge, if use doesn’t fix the problem, I’m going to ask for my money back. It’s been an exasperating experience and I don’t care to go through more of the same.

    Let others beware!!!

  • hicusdicus

    To Tom Dawson, I have 7 judges one for each room of my house. 5 of them are ultra lite SS public defenders So far no problems. Have fired them about 50 plus times each so far no problems. They are all loaded with XPD. I am 75 years old and am not into guns except for self defense. I think the Judge is the best weapon there is for my time of life. I have been the recipient of an armed robbery and was shot 3 times. If I had a Judge there would be two blind and maimed criminals.

  • patches

    Has anyone had a chance to shoot all the models of the judge and compare them……particularly the poly framed 2.5in barrel versus the 3in ported barrel?
    I am just trying to figure out if the ported barrel really is any better than the stock 3 in barrel non-ported. Also does the poly frame kick harder due to the lighter weight versus its regular version mate?

  • I own a judge and I’m also a small arms trainer.
    What I’ve found with the judge is that at close range it’s lethal as any other magnum round. The 410 rounds and 45LC are hard on the wrist after 60 or 70 rounds. It’s extremely accurate. Light weight, cheap enough and it carries a life time warranty of the fire arm. Doesn’t matter who owns it. It will get fix and sent back if you have a problem. I’m strictly a sig Sauer fan and own multiple firearms. In the event that something happened where I’d need one, and I’ve been in that position twice in my civilian life, I would prefer the Judge Public Defender at close Range. I fire over three hundred rounds out of one of the ones I own. It went NON-Stop. Keep in mind it got VERY HOT, and shot shells will melt or stove pipe under those conditions. But most people won’t experience a fire fight with a burger that last 20 plus minutes and multiple reloads. The bottom line is, if some one decided to enter my house without my permission and intended to do harm to my family, I would grab the judge before I grabbed my sig or Glock. As far as cost goes and the willingness to protect your life at all cost. Hands down the Judge is a Man stopper at close range. One squeeze and the problem is gone, or trying like heck to get away from the canon. On the flip side if I were in a situation where accuracy and distance were the issues, I’d grab my Sig 239 or Glock 27 any day. In a pistol to pistol fight I’d use my Sig or Glock. In a fire fight or defensive line I’d use my shotgun or AR15. But if I were someone with no combat experience defending my property and my families life, the judge is the winne at close range in a home. Keep in mind that the average at 90% of all home invasions or Car Jacking your going to be at least 3 – 7 feet away. That’s we’re the 4 fundementals and natural point of aim come In from all your practice fires. However if your one of those guys or gals that never go to the range, the Judge works well. As far as wrist pain goes, in the heat of a fire fight or defensive posture, NO-ONE with no exception ever remembers squeezing the trigger and feeling a inkling of pain.

  • Randall J Hurd

    I guess no one is READING MY POST>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    On some of the Judges there is a problem. The Barrel Cone is Defective and needs Timing done on the Chamber.
    TAURUS Warranties this problem. Call the up, they send you a FEDEX Label. Box them up and Send them back to the Manufacture. Between FEDEX and the Time I spent on the phone was 5 DAys. They Overnight the Pistol back to you..

    Here’s a DEAD GIVEAWAY if you have the Problem. Ist, UNLOAD THE WEAPON>>>>> I can’t stress this enough.. Then RAPID FIRE 10-15 times. if the Hammer sticks in anyway, you have a defective Barrel cone.
    sorry about that guys…… Just trying to get the message out……..
    When I got mine back from the Factory, My Judge is now smoother than my Glock and SIG… and my Glock and Sig are Hopped Up with all the 3.0 – 2.5 lb triggers and Polished Ramps.

    Best thing I ever did with that Judge was spend a little times mailing it back. I dono, but I’ve never heard of a Ported and Polished Revolver, but Mine is SWEET>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

    • jack

      are you saying to dry fire my pistol to see if I have the problem

  • Galen Altman

    I purchased my second Judge, this one the Public Defender Lightweight. I just got a call from my dealer and was told it is ready for me to pick up. This is the “THIRD” time it has been sent back to Taurus to repair some failure in the trigger or hammer spring…so Taurus says. I bought it last August and after about 30 rounds of 45LC and some 410’s the trigger and hammer went limp. Went through the return procedure with dealer…got it back and fired less than 6 rounds through it in about 3 days when the trigger got so stiff it was very hard to fire and also same for tryining to cock the hammer.
    I spoke with Taurus about a replacement or refund…no-way. They will just keep fixing it. My dealer also tried the same and got the same answer.
    I certainly will not carry it as my concealed carry anymore. Even if they gave me a new one I would not trust it. My confidence in that gun is zip.
    Taurus does not care. They are more than willing to let the consumers find the weak links in design and materials.

    • My Judge Public Defender binds up between the chamber and the spent cartridge when I fire an empty resized reprimed case. Rotates OK prior to firing. This appears to be due to the primer expanding outward a small almost imperceptible amount after ignition. I was just testing the resized cases prior to actually reloading them. Now I am afraid that a full load firing will make the problem worse, wont be able to open the cylinder at all. Works fine with factory ammo so far. Ant suggestions? I am puzzled. Would the primer not be as likely to expand outward if an actual load of powder and bullet had accompanied its firing? Thanks.


      • renman1951

        You probably already have an answer to this – but just in case!

        The problem that you are describing is the result of the design of the boxer primer system NOT the firearm!

        When I first started shooting handguns (over two score years ago) it was common practice to use wax, soap, or rubber bullets to practice indoors. The DIY rounds were made by just using a primer w/o any powder and “cookie cutting” a projectile of either wax or bar soap. We also had to enlarge the hole leading from the primer pocket into the shell – if we didn’t – the primers had a tendency to back out!!!

        The reason that this doesn’t occur with a “normal” load is an extra-credit physics problem for high school physics students.

        NOTE: If you should be inclined to try this, DO NOT USE ANY OF THESE MODIFIED CASES FOR STANDARD LOADS!!! The way that we made certain that this never happened was to drill the case out to take a shotgun primer – easily ID’d plus more oomph to the practice round. BEWARE! This type of practice round has substantially more power than an airsoft!!! They can break windows, take out eyes, etc. – BE CAREFUL.

        Good luck!

  • Randall J Hurd

    I talked to a couple Handgun Grip manufacturers and the Taurus Judge “PUBLIC DEFENDER” is the one that’s not made on the Tracker Frame. So the Judge aftermarket Grips are not available until sometime next year. “Thankfully”. There are just some things that “GLUE” was not meant for, and “Hand Grips” are not one of them. It’s been a couple weeks now since my Judge has been back from the RMA department with the repair job. So far so good. However, the sticking Hammer on SA or DA I’m starting to find is pretty common on the PUBLIC DEFENDER models. It would be nice if there was a recall on them rather than a wait and see who send them back in scenario. But recalls verses customer returns dictates how much media attention one draws. It’s like the baby stroller and car seat recalls. That affects the bottom line. Taurus has so many different JUDGE models in the market that one will affect the other on a recall of one model. And that’s bad for business, if your in a business were failure is not accepted in the slightest degree no matter what the intention. Come to think of it, how many firearms manufactures have ever had a recall. I don’t know that answer, but given the nature of the business, admitting failure has a bad Voo Doo hysteria that would follow it. The only thing that would initiate a recall on something that requires any amount of skill and safety would have to hit a certain margin of unbearable repercussions. Like “Fire Stone Tires” would be a good example. I know if I were a business owner or executive of a large company, the weight of responsibility to fair market investment verses profit would be the determining factor on responsibility and forthcoming actions. So don’t blame the GUN, blame the basic concept of media circumventions of the truth as the determining factor of reality behind warranty and acceptability.

  • Michael

    I got a Judge – and what a piece of crap. Or at least mine is – apparently some users have no problems. But I would not place my faith – or life – in mine because it misfires on .410 rounds ALL THE TIME. Doesn’t matter who made the ammo (just bought and tried – and failed to fire the Winchester PDX ammo). Sent it back to Taurus – they ‘corrected’ it – it still misfires because the rim of the shotshell is thinner – and therefore further away – from the firing pin. Over and over again I’ve sent this gun back. And over and over again it misfires. I would love it if it worked – but it doesn’t. Like I said: a piece of crap.

    IF you own a Judge – PLEASE! – go out and shoot it. Make sure it will fire .410 rounds. It almost cost me my life – TWICE – because the darned thing misfired. There’s nothing like facing a threat – and then hearing that dry ol’ “click”. Will make your gonads draw up REAL tight. I’ve been cussing that thing ever since I bought it – and the dealer won’t do a ‘trade’ or return. Just “send it to Taurus” all the time. I think this weapon has spent more time in the mail than on the range – that, or sitting in some repair shop.

    As for me – well, I’m debating either a) throwing this gun into the trash (after all: it’s nearly gotten me killed two times), or b) modifying the ammo by crimping the rim or adding a washer, or c) modifying the gun so the cylinder sits a little closer to the firing pin. Why I should have to do dangerous modifications to a gun that is both “fixed” and “new” is beyond me – and if I get hurt, I’m suing Taurus. Again.

    ’nuff said. Hope this weapon works for you. As far as I go: I’m disappointed. And still trying to get that guy’s foot outta my butt from when the gun misfired.

    • If what the guy is saying is true, so be it.

  • RE: Micheals comment on 1/1/12 , wonder where in the heck you live? You have had to draw your weapon twice? Dude I have been carring concealed for close to 30 years now both in NY and SC and have never had to draw my weapon. Maybe it isn’t the gun, maybe it is the guy on the end of it that is broken?

    • Fyrewerx

      Not knowing any details of his situation, there is a possibility that he was drawing on rattle snakes, or some other extremely poisonous snake, both times. Being in some remote area, like desert or mountain, could lead to life threatening situations. Michael did not say the threat was posed by another human being.

  • Vernon Cook

    Question: I just bought a judge public defender and so far it fires well, my question is, can you use a standard 45 acp round in place of a 45 long colt?

  • eli

    will the raging judge grip fit on a public defender

  • Phil free

    Winchester pdx1 410 defender caused my 3 inch taras judge cylinder to freeze up. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  • notadirtdart

    I bought the judge years ago when it first came out and was very pleased with it. No issues. I bought the public defender somewhere around 2 1/2 years ago and I love it. I did have some misfires (about 3 times) with winchester 000 rounds. The primer was dented but not deeply. Since my model is the one with the completely bobbed hammer, I’m wondering if it’s a case of insufficient mass to push the firing pin into primers on ammo that wasn’t intended to be shot from a handgun. BTW, while the bobbed hammer may seem like a great idea for concealed carry, my own preference based would be to have the semi-bobbed like in the newer models. I’m considering going to a gunsmith to see if they can install the newer hammer, which would be faster and easier than shipping back to Taurus. Other ammo I’ve fired is the federal 410 handgun , and the PDX1. I have to admit I prefer the federal. At a range with the PDX1 I saw a few instances where BBs would hit about 5 feet away from POA at about 10 feet. No idea why, but I decided personally not use that ammunition on the street. Out in the wild, without having to worry about stray BBs, or in a “target rich” environment with no friendlies around, PDX1 would be great. I spent quite a few years in the Army and not to get an argument started with glockers and 9mm fans, but in my opinion the 1911A1 is w/o a doubt the best pistol ever invented. That being said, one squeeze of the trigger on a public defender would be almost like emptying a j-frame into a thug’s chest. 4×000 pellets at once is why the public defender is my primary carry. It also helps that I’m a big man, with big hands, so I actually was able to carry the original judge with a 4″ barrel in a custom IWB holster. The public defender’s reduced profile makes it almost a pleasure to carry without reducing effectiveness. Reading other posts, I can see some people have had problems with their firearms, and Taurus’ service. I’m not disputing any of these accounts, but some of them seem to be so extreme that I can’t help but wonder if they were written by someone working for one of the copycat companies that have started making .45/.410 models. BTW re: dry firing to check for a defective barrel cone. The initial post is about 2 years old. I hope that the problems are no longer occurring with current models, but if you want to dry fire your pubdef and you’re worried about the firing pin, there are several different makers of snap caps out there. I have a couple different brands (A-zoom and Tipton if I remember correctly), so theyre not difficult to find.