Birdshot for self defense? Federal say yes

There has been a discussion on the blog about the controversial new Federal Personal Defense Handgun .410 shotshell ammunition designed exclusively for the Taurus Judge .410 revolver.

.410 Personal Defense opened and pellets dumped. Thanks to Stephen for the photo.

The round contains 60 pellets of #4 bird shot (each pellet is .13″ in diameter). The load of pellets weight 1/2 oz (218.75 grain). Velocity is listed as 1200 fps which makes the total energy delivered at the muzzle to be 700 ft/lbs.

Federal said to Guns Holsters and Gear that:

The #4 pellets (approximately 10) penetrate to a depth of up to 6″.

(the pellet number is wrong, but the penetration depth sounds right for .410)

So with these facts in mind do you think that this round is capable of delivering a blow that warrants its name? I am not sure it does, but I welcome your opinions in the comments. I have a few issues with this round and how Federal have marketed it.

Firstly, the FBI requires penetration of at least 12″ for their ammunition, added to this is the fact that the pellets are individually, only .13″ in caliber and weigh about 3.6 grain. I would not want to be shot by one, and they could certainty kill if they traveled around the body and hit a vital organ, but I seriously doubt an attacker would be stopped in their tracks.

Another problem is shot dispersion. Dick wrote this comment on the blog about he groupings he achieved.

NOT SUITABLE FOR PERSONAL DEFENSE AGAINST MUCH OF ANYTHING LARGE ENOUGH TO WARRENT “SELF DEFENSE” EXCEPT PERHAPS SMALL SNAKES! A large one shot with this round at 21′ will likely kill you before it bleeds to death! With 2 rounds it put 18-20 pellets inside a 12″ circle so the snake better be curled up and there were plenty enough large gaps to miss a head shot.

Another issue I have is the published velocity. When firearm manufacturers publish velocity they usually base it on their test barrels, which are usually longer than what you would buy. For example shotgun velocities would be recorded from 28″ or 30″ barrel. The 1200 fps this round achieves is very similar to other standard shotgun loads, the difference being it is intended for the Judge. Most of the Judge models have a 2.5″ chamber and 3.5″ barrel. Revolvers measure barrel length forward of the chamber, so compared to a normal shotgun this works about to be 6″ of barrel. I believe shotguns are loaded with fast burning powder (reloaders please correct me if I am wrong), but this seems pretty amazing if it can achieve maximum velocity in only 6″ of barrel.

Finally, if Federal believe this is an adequate round for self-defense, why have they not published their own internal studies? Telling me it has 6″ of penetration, presumably in ballistic gelatin, is just not enough information.

So far Federal have not delivered a .410 buckshot model of the Personal Defense Round, but likely will later this year.

I am interested in your opinions. I don’t consider myself very knowledgeable in this area.


Other blogger have weighed in on the issue. Go read what they have to say (if you have blogged about it and I don’t know, tell me and I will add your blog to the list):

Michael Bane @ The Michael Bane Blog

Caleb @ Gun Nuts

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.


  • B Woodman

    I think I remember (but can’t remember where) reading a report on the shot pattern of The Judge. Not good. Shooting small shot through a rifled barrel just spins the pellets, making a doughnut pattern with nothing in the middle where you’re aiming.

    Now, a buckshot shell. . . That would be interesting to test.

  • mskiles314

    These are a few of the thoughts I have about the Judge and 410 ammo:

    1. Numerous instances of self defense involving handguns are limited to brandishing the weapon only. And the Judge has a formidable profile.

    2. I’ve heard from self defense trainers that handgun engagements last only 1-3 shots.

    3. I consider the 410 birdshot as a less-lethal alternative to the 45 yet packs a significant bang.

    I’ve thought about the Judge using a combination of the two cartridges. First two would be 410, last 3 45 long. I think the judge makes for a fine home defense revolver. You could also think about penetration through drywall; the bird shot wont travel as much as the 45, so I would that would lower the risk to family in the house.

  • To depend upon 410 birdshot while acknowledging the pitiful penetration of the round is to accept that you are relying on a “psychological stop” to protect your family. If all you want is for the bad guy to say “Owwie! They’re shooting at me!” then why don’t you buy a pellet gun, or maybe airsoft?

    Most sane people don’t want to be shot by *anything* and will stop the moment they encounter any resistance. Then again, most sane people don’t break into occupied houses. Are you really betting your life on the invader suddenly being convinced of the error of his ways and turning around to leave peacefully?

    While *you* may deserve what you get for knowingly depending on a terrible tool, your family does not. Please, leave birdshot for shooting at little birdies.

  • Matt Groom

    Personally, I always considered the #4 to be the smallest of the Buckshot family, because I considered it the smallest suitable shot for use on medium to large sized mammals. I call it “Dog Shot”. A little too big for birds, a little too small for Deer.

    I don’t consider anything that has the potential to be lethal to be inadequate for self defense. I’ve been all over the world in some rather nasty places with little more than my trusty pocket knife and have felt adequately, if not ideally, protected. While my first choice for a primary self defense tool would not be a .32 ACP, I would not discourage someone who owned one from using it for that purpose, and have been known to carry my P32 as a primary when conditions required it. Likewise, #4 out of a 20 gauge would be sufficient, albeit not ideal, in my mind.

    The .410 bore is NOT a practical caliber for much of anything, IMHO. I think the .410 is a fun, sports shooting round. Let’s say it’s the .22LR of the hunting world. Relatively cheap compared to other bores, but able to be fired in relatively cheap guns. There’s lots of stuff you can kill with a .22LR, but most people would choose something bigger to hunt with, and almost nobody would pick a .22LR for self defense if they had a choice.

    I think the .410 bore out of a handgun is just plain silly. You could carry a 6″ Glock 17L that was the same size as a Taurus Judge and have 17+ rounds, or if you like revolvers, a 4″ S&W 686 in .357 Magnum which will give you either one or TWO EXTRA ROUNDS. A .410 Bore firing slugs out of an 18″ Shotgun provides the same muzzle energy as a .357 Magnum out of a 4″ revolver.

  • #4 birdshot is absolutely NOT suitable for defense against a human or other large mammal! Box ‘o Truth has a good analysis with a few anecdotes to back this up. They also show what happens when you put shot through a rifled barrel.

  • #4 birdshot is absolutely NOT suitable for defense against a human or other large mammal! has a good analysis with a few anecdotes to back this up. They also show what happens when you put shot through a rifled barrel:

  • Smore

    Here’s a link to a test report on the Taurus Judge by “The Box O’ Truth”:

    Bottom line: For self-defense with a Taurus Judge, use the .45 Colt, not the .410!

  • I’m with B Woodman- when Federal can create a .410 load that doesn’t fire a bagel-shaped pattern after being fired through a rifled barrel? THEN, we’d have something. Until then, the Judge remains a fun idea getting brutally pimp-slapped in the face by the laws of physics.

  • J Fulkerson

    There is a good article on the Judge on the “Box of Truth” website. I recommend anyone considering the Judge read it. The article echoes the concerns here that .410s are the Backstreet Boys of the shotgun world – wimpy, weak, not very useful but somehow “fun.”
    Federal does sell a .410 “Defense Buckshot” marketed for the Judge. I shot some in my Springfield M6 Scout Rifle and it was fine. I had excellent practical accuracy with the round out to 75 feet.

  • J Fulkerson

    Sorry – the link to the “Box of Truth” test on the Judge is

  • MMFB

    The Box O’ Truth has a very interesting article relating to this. Not the same calibers, but interesting none the less.

    Their comments on shotshells:

    “2. They are poor “Stoppers” against bad guys, due to insufficient penetration.

    3. Use modern, well-designed JHP rounds for personal defense.”

  • Don

    I don’t understand what the fascination is with the Judge. It’s a gun that performs two different functions, both poorly. It’s a horrible shotgun by shotgun standards. It’s too big and heavy by revolver standards. For $500 bucks you can easily buy a snub .38+p AND a shotgun and get a lot more use out of both.

    I’ll tell ya what though, the novelty of it would be worth $500 to me if it could fire 45-70 gov’t…


  • ^ What Matt Groom said.

    My only useful addition to this discussion: our enemies in the sandbox average, what, 7″ front to back, vs. 10″+ for the corn-fed boys over here?

    If you are talking about shooting the average T, or maybe a little kid, this would make sense. Otherwise, it seems like a good way to escalate hostilities in a direction opposite to what you intended.

  • Puke

    Wow, #4!

    That seems unlikely to penetrate clothing.
    I’ll stick to the buck sized pellets.

    I don’t get the donut shaped pattern either. Wierd.

    Fun gun to shoot though.

  • I really doubt that the advertised velocity of 1200fps is out of a 2.5″ barrel. Published data is usually for the standard shotgun barrel length. You can get up to 1300fps pretty easy and some 12ga loads go to 1585fps but not much past. Somebody needs to shoot one over a chrony.

    I had considered getting a Judge but I viewed the shotshell as a snake load. I guess it could be considered a goblin deterrent but I would rather have the 45 or a slug. The .410 cal is only cheap if you reload, which I do. Factory .410 ammo is easily 2-3 times the cost of 12ga or 20ga. It would be interesting to try working up a load that would have enough velocity out of the 2.5″ barrel.

    7/16oz lead in a 2 1/2″ .410 is a little heavier than normal so pressures are going up. That pellet count definitely says that it is #4 birdshot which is quite different than #4 buckshot.

    Standard load would be 1/2 oz. I was thinking that handloading for personal defense with #4 buckshot (0.24″ diameter) might be interesting. Take it a little less than 1/2oz (7 pellets instead of 10) and load it up to try to get 1100fps at the muzzle. The use of buffering material would probably be needed as I do not think that there is a wad designed for less that 1/2oz.

    I love the .410 for dove season here. There is nothing better than watching the expression of people shooting (or should I say, who can’t shoot at all) a 12ga as I limit out and they are still looking for bird number 3 with two boxes of ammo gone. The .410 is an excellent small game hunting round. It just isn’t as easy. I usually don’t bother to tell the other hunters that I shoot that 870 at the skeet range.

  • I must be having a senior moment as 7/16 is less than 1/2.

  • Regolith

    Matt…are you confusing #4 buckshot (which is .24 inches) with #4 birdshot (.13 inches)?

    Because they are a bit different.

    As for the round….it appears to be completely inadequate. It MIGHT work at contact distances. Maybe. Using birdshot at close ranges in even a full sized shotgun is a risky endeavor, and as you’ve mentioned the Judge is quite a bit shorter.

    Personally, if all I had was the Judge I’d either be shooting slugs or .45 colts out of it. #4 buckshot out of a .410 might work within 10 or so yards, but the range of self defense situations can’t always be predicted.

  • When push comes to shove I’ll shoot a person with a pellet gun before going hand to hand, and I’ll reach for a frying pan first. Birdshot is not ideal for self defense but frankly nothing is. Everything is a bit of a trade off and no gun is perfect for every situation.

    I like to do some iking and woodsloafing. I like a snub nosed double action revovlever for that, and I have thought about (but passed on) the Judge. With #4 shot you have a decent all purpose round for what you’ll most likely be shooting at (feral dogs, coyotes, snakes) that still can run off the pot farmer you stumble accross. I’m with mskiles314 on a 2 #4s 3.45s loading. Much more utilitarian in the woods than a Glock.

    That said I have a .410 and the buckshot rounds are pretty good and everywhere, so I don’t see the point.

  • jdun1911

    Dick Cheney shot his friend with bird shot at a distance of 30ft IIRC and it didn’t do much damage.

  • guy

    The Box o Truth guys put the Judge through its paces a while back – The Taurus Judge Vs. The Box O’ Truth

  • Kyle Huff

    Birdshot isn’t a reliable person killer even out of a 12 gauge. Even at very close range.

    Out of a .410 snubbie? Ridiculous.

  • Matt Groom

    Damn, you’re right Regolith. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about firearms, but it never occurred to me that shot was not necessarily numbered in a linear fashion and that Buckshot is actually a different class of projectiles, not simply a larger shot designation. Although this does explain were the term “BB” comes from…

    I guess that if you go bigger than the Buckshot class, you enter “Roundball” class and Slugs. I was definitely thinking of #4 buck, which is probably the smallest shot I’ve ever used other than the #7 1/2 birdshot they sell at Walmart. Weird.

    In that case, bird shot is not useful for self defense. That’s kinda a “duh” sort of thing, me thinks.

    • Matt, don’t beat your self up. It is an easy mistake to make.

  • Dom

    I can’t stand the Judge. People think it’s a shotgun in their pocket…perhaps, but the tiniest shotgun possible. Those easy to carry Bond Arms derringer .410s always made sense to me – snakes sneak up on you and they’re hard to hit. I guess you can say the same of evil men, but then again you need to hit them hard. It always seemed to me like peppering someone with small shot from a pistol was both ineffective and asking to be sued. Crazy risk to bystanders. And who said this was less-than-lethal? I don’t think so. It’s just in a pointless limbo between LTL and lethal enough.

  • fred

    This is a short range handgun self defense load.
    Most handgun fights take place at extremely close range.
    This will do the job at a few feet.

  • Tony

    From the original article: “I am interesting in your opinions. I don’t consider myself very knowledgeable in this area.”

    (I’m pretty sure that word was meant to be “interested”. 😉 )

    I dont think this is exactly rocket science. The FBI bases their standard on certain factors and if you agree with those factors (mainly, that you don’t always get a clear frontal shot but rather close quarters combat is a hectic and chaotic business, thus you might have to shoot through the attackers arm, or at an oblique angle, etc.) then their insistence of minimum penetration of about 12″, give or take, makes sense. (‘Tis (12″ minimum penetration) more like a guide line than a rule. 😉 ) Also, even with a clear frontal shot, to reach vital organs such as the heart and lungs, you have to penetrate bone – those pellets were how big and heavy, again? Seems like a pretty clear case of ammunition failing to reach acceptable minimum standard to be considered effective, to me.


    “1. Numerous instances of self defense involving handguns are limited to brandishing the weapon only. And the Judge has a formidable profile.

    2. I’ve heard from self defense trainers that handgun engagements last only 1-3 shots.”

    According to your point 1, you would be happy to have a piece of soap carved into a firearm shape and painted black as your self-defense weapon, then?

    Just like any other kind of psychological stop may take place, relying on that to happen is to rely on never meeting an opponent with any amount of determination. In other words, only preparing to fight the easiest possible opponents. Hardly a robust survival strategy, I would think.

    As for your point 2, either find better trainers or learn to pay better attention to them. Anyone claiming a firefight will last 1-3 rounds, period, is talking out of their ass. That 1-3 rounds may or may not be an average number of rounds fired, but believing that the average is what will happen and training according to that assumption (as in, “the average gun fight is only 1-3 shots fired so I won’t be needing a reload”), is training to only win 50% of possible fights. Kind of the same as relying on a psychological stop, come to think of it… If you’re happy with the thought that if you ever have to defend yourself you have an at least 50% chance of losing, then I guess you’re good to go, but personally, I want my odds to be waaayyyyy the hell better. Also, as with any other statistic, an average alone, without other information, is a useless bit of trivia. Before you can draw any conclusions about the data, you need to know if the rest of the data points are close ot the average, or all over the place – in other words, you need to know what the standard deviation is.

  • I see this overlooked most of the time,there is always the possibility of a contact wound.If all else fails,put the muzzle on the man and fire.That would be very lethal,IMHO.
    The fight cannot be assumed to take place at a distance.There are plenty of cases where the fight was to get the weapon away.
    A .410 load from contact range would be a devestating fight ender.I can’t think of too many revolvers that would pack the punch of buckshot or a slug.
    I think the gun is a wonderful idea.

  • On smaller pellets and penetration.

    Where I live (Denmark) , 4 mm pellets are the biggest ones permitted for Hunting (buckshots are illegal) ..

    thats another thing ,but:

    From a full length 12 gauge shotgun, I’ve seen what 4 mm pellets in a good hard load does to a deer. When the distance is below 10-15 meters, and if your shot placement is right, a 60 pound deer can be instantly incapitated with 4 mm pellets. I had one where both front legs were shattered from a too low first shot. second one tore trough lungs and ribs.

    I know that deers are not humans. But I dont want to get hit with a 36 gram shot travelling about 400 m/s filled with 4 mm pellets. It’s not optimal, but if it kills deers and foxes at up to 15 yards, it’s not useless against humans.

    But then again, thats 12 gauge and not 410. And its full size gun, not pocket size.

  • Putting faith in birdshot could get you killed, it’s as simple as that. If you need to use a gun in a self-defence situation you need a calibre that will end the fight as effectively and as rapidly as possible. If you have the Judge, load it with .45 Colt. I’ve heard of some people wanting to put birdshot into the first few chambers for self-defence- but some kind of humanitarian notion of wounding a violent criminal in a life or death situation is foolhardy in the extreme.

    You can not depend on a calibre with less than optimal terminal ballistics. Sure, it’s possible under specific circumstances that the .410 might do the job but if you are in a life-threatening situation you cannot bet your life- and perhaps that of your family- on a cartridge that may or may not work. Using birdshot may only serve to wound or enrage a violent criminal- and to use the average shots per gunfight figure- do you want to be involved in a shoot-out where you fire one or two shots intended to bring down small birds at a well-built, violent criminal while he’s firing a 9mm at you? Chances are you won’t make it to the .45 Colt cartridges further around the cylinder.

    Federal promoting birdshot as a self-defence round are, in my opinion, encouraging reckless behaviour which could get innocent people killed. The Judge is a nifty gun with some unique applications but birdshot is for birds- .45 Colt is for two-legged predators.

  • fred

    All handgun rounds are a compromise.
    If it is between a hit with birdshot packing 700 ft.lbs. and miss with a .45 colt I will take the hit.
    Obviously you want the next couple of chambers to hold the .45.
    I would not discount 700 ft. lbs. of birdshot at close range.
    Talk of “not useful for defense” is irrational.

  • Emmanuel Oklobia, Shell Nigeria (Use nickname: Y-Man)

    I live in a country where all you could ever get “legitimately” is bird-shot. But here, even the police are ignorant of the calibres: as long as it is a “gun” it is “considered” lethal: this is a police force that sometimes chases robbers with a Tear-gas gun (It has a BIG muzzle, so it must be a DEADLY weapon!)
    I can only get bird-shot, and while okay for training, I need something for SD. So: what if I un-crimp some shells, pour out the bird-shot, and replace with same weight in ball-bearings, the re-crimp? I know this must have been discussed in several of the forums out there, but I just can’t seem to find any clear answer. Would it work, with any reasonable accuracy, or do I just continue to practice how to put as much bird-shot on target as possible? What do you think?

  • Tony

    Fred wrote:

    “All handgun rounds are a compromise.”

    Ah. So your logic is that since even the most potent of handgun rounds is a compromise, compromising some more on top of that is just dandy? “Why bother with a compromise round like a 9mm or .45, why not just pack .22 short” – something like that?

    “If it is between a hit with birdshot packing 700 ft.lbs. and miss with a .45 colt I will take the hit.
    Obviously you want the next couple of chambers to hold the .45.”

    Hold on. If the birdshot is effective, why chamber .45 rounds at all? If the birdshot is ineffective, why bother with it at all?

    Do remember that at contact ranges, the birdshot travels in one clump, and once it spreads out it has also lost so much kinetic energy as to be fairly harmless to a human target.

    “Talk of “not useful for defense” is irrational.”

    Oh? Seems to me that all the reasoned discussion is coming from the sceptical side, and those claiming shooting people with birdshot is the way to go seem to resort to the “well I wouldn’t want to get shot with it”-level of arguments. (I would not personally like to get a paper cut, but that doesn’t mean I’d advocate the use of a piece of paper as a self-defense instrument. There is a difference between “unpleasant” and “stops a goal-oriented attacker fast”.)

  • fred

    Sure fine you win.
    I don’t advocate birdshot as the optimal defense load.
    The discussion was supposed to be about the legitimacy of birdshot in the judge as a self defense load. My point is that it does have its place.
    I am sure after you get hit in the face with 700 ft.lbs. of birdshot you will finish off the badguy with your 44 magnum or whatever.
    I will stick to my 1911/230 grain hardball.
    I surrender.

  • fred
  • Matt Groom

    @ Y-Man:
    Prohibitions against shotgun shot size, such as is apparently practiced in Nigeria and in Denmark, are incredibly silly. Whatever you take out of the shell can easily be replaced since unlike a pistol or rifle, it is not caliber dependent. It is weight dependent, however. The safest and probably easiest thing to do in your case would be to find larger shot of sufficient roundness, such as steel ball bearings used in certain industrial applications, and match the weight of the lead shot to the replacement pellets, or use slightly less. If the replacement projectiles weigh more, you’ll increase the pressure when you fire it, and that could potentially be dangerous.

    If you have access to a good heat source, you could probably use the shot that you remove to cast larger sized buckshot out of lead. I don’t know if these things can be bought in Nigeria, but there are several molds made for fishing weights that would make very effective projectiles for shotguns. Fishing weights (the small ones that are made of soft lead that you clamp onto the fishing line) should work pretty well. Keep in mind that roundness of the projectile will equate to better accuracy, and depending on the range you intend to use it at, that may or may not be important. A buckshot mold is quite possibly the easiest mold to make, and any machinist should be able to make one pretty easily if you just show them pictures of a bullet mold.

    The hardest part will be re-crimping your shot shells, which without specialized shotshell reloading dies can be a nightmare (I’ve actually tried this!). If you have access to this equipment, or have found a method that works, then you’re in business. Good luck!

  • caposkaw

    the federal birdshot seem a tentative for a dissuasive ammunition with a limitated lesive power.
    the first shot with the birdshot and the successives with 45 Long Colt..
    when the federal will produce a cartridge like this:
    (not silenced, obviously)
    i suppose that it is the right ammunition for the jugde.

  • jdun1911

    What do you know, Old Painless just posted a report on Buckshot at

    • jdun1911, good timing. Thanks for the link

      Let’s put some false rumors to rest:

      1. Birdshot is a good self defense load.

      This is false for several reasons. The main reason is that no birdshot load will reach the required 12 inches of penetration needed for STOPPING a bad guy from whatever he is doing to threaten your life. Birdshot makes a very nasty, yet shallow wound, and will not reach the vital organs or CNS.

      “Might” birdshot work? Sure. But why depend on “might” when “better” is available.

      Use birdshot for little birds. Use buckshot for bad guys.

  • Cymond

    I’m no fan of birdshot for self defense, as per the Box O’ Truth. Sure, they might work, but I want to improve my odds as much as possible. However, I want to point out that Federal is also making a load with 4 pellets of #000 buckshot. That would seem to be more appropriate.

    I do think the Judge could make a dandy woods gun, much like the Bond Arms Snake Slayer derringers.

  • Y-man

    @Matt Groom,
    I did the steel ball bearing swap: just got back from the “range”: worked perfectly!. I was firing at a light steel plate target at about 30 feet, with a Turkish semi-auto 12-gauge. Steel plate was PERFORATED! (Videos available, Steve…might mail you some…)
    I modified and fired 4 rounds (Varying sizes of ball bearings, filled up a bit with bird-shot to get the weight up and stop the steel balls rattling loosely): but I noticed that the time I put the modified round directly in the magazine (rather than behind a non-modified round) the little raised guide “bump” in the magazine pressed into the wadding/ seal I put in to hold the balls in, and some grains of powder escaped. Still fired okay though. Left my bore DIRTY!
    What am I saying? If there’s nothing but BB bird-shot like we have here in Nigeria: replace with ball bearings in a safe and proper manner for SD. Get good grade steel ball bearings, weigh to ensure the replacements are same or less than the weight of the removed lead bird-shot, and ensure you seal properly (I used a light covering of adhesive on a cut-out paper wad.) Also; when loading the weapon: put an un-modified round into the magazine first; BEFORE the modified: this provides a flat surface for the face of the modified rounds to rest upon.
    I must confess though: the first round was fired from a “remote firing rig” (I basically found a tree with the right kind of horizontal branch; zip-tied the shotgun to said branch, and used a strong nylon twine to fire it! Recoil broke the zip-ties! Shotgun got quite dirty, so I had to do a quick field cleaning…)
    I will be getting some AAA shot soon, that could serve as my primary HD/SD ammo (Nothing like Buckshot in Nigeria!), while I keep my BB for the “bitty birds”!

  • Dick

    Ok, I’e got to weigh in on this again

    I have fired 4 different loads from my 4″ barreled (includng the chamber portion) American Derringer Model 4 .45 Colt/.410 (2-1/2″ OR 3″). The results at 21′ were as follows:

    #4 .410 BIRDSHOT Federal 2-1/2″ (“Personal Defense”) — about 60 pellets ABSOLUTLY NOT ADAQUATE FOR PERSONAL DEFENSE except for possibly aganst the occasional dive-bombing, nest protecting blackbird!

    3×000 .410 BUCKSHOT Winchester 2-1/2″ — a good 12″ pattern of 3 .36″ 68gr centered but a little high of the aim point. I think I’ jerking this a little and even dry-firing (with snap-caps) shows the hammer fall brings the muzzle up about 6″ this distance so that may account for the slightly high pattern.

    5×000 .410 BUCKSHOT Winchester 3″ — a GREAT 12″ pattern of 5 .36″ 68gr centered but a little high … see above. THE BEST DAMNED CLOSE-UP AND PERSONAL PERSONAL DEFENSE HANDGUN ROUND I CAN IMAGINE! It will certianly clear the hallway, shoot throuth the car door if necessary (from the inside) to discourage a car jacking, and if there are 2 bad guys, you have another round waiting for him just in case he didn’t notice what happened to his buddy! I do not by any means recommend this round/weapon combo for someone who is a bit timid about recoil. After 6 rounds, it HURTS! It is not a firefight weapon nor was it intended to be. If you think you’r going to be in one, get the proper license and real AK-47! It’s what they are made for. It’s also

    .45 Colt Winchester 225gr JHP — 12″ groups a little high and left. Great if you can hit even a stationary target at 20′ with ANY HANDGUN in the dark, while under stress or perhaps while being fired at (being fired at is also classified as being under stress)!

    I have a box of 4×000 410 Federal Personal Defense rounds coming late this week and next Monday (after my hand heals) I’ll try out a few. I suspect this is the round I will settle on.

    Dick Getty

    • Dick, thanks for the comment. Very interesting. Please let us know how the Federal 4×000 works out for you.

  • Be careful using steel shot. Most lead shot loads have powder that is too fast for steel loads. Steel shot does not pass through either the forcing cone or the choke of a shotgun as easily as lead. You can get dangerous pressure spikes!

  • Y-Man

    You are right! I did some more shooting with my steel ball bearings and then thoroughly/ meticulously inspected the forcing cone, and the barrel. Obviously: the steel balls have caused a few glancing dents in the forcing cone, and some rough streaks down the bore of my shotgun. Of course: I have discontinued my “modifying” antics. (I got rid of all the ammo stock I had modified.)
    I do not have access to equipment/ facilities to re-work/ modify regular lead loads: I’ll stick to the regular AAA stuff for now: at least my shotgun is not irreparably damaged by my “irresponsible” ammo modification.

  • Dick

    I was able to buy 3 boxes of FEDERAL PERSONAL DEFENSE 2-1/2″ .410 4×000 BUCKSHOT rounds late last week and got to the range yesterday.

    The pellets are copper plated thus reducing the deformation as they travel through the barrel.

    I only had time to fire a couple of rounds but here are the results:

    At 21′ (7 yards) 1 barrel fired a pattern 3″ group and the other a 2″ wide by 7″ high group with 3 of the pellets grouping at 2″ x 3″ and closer to the aim point than the 4th.

    The wadding or “cup” also tears a hole in a paper target that’s not well backed-up).

    The recoil was less than the .45 Colt rounds or the Winchester 2-1/2″ 3×000 Buckshot fired previously and was quite acceptable.

    So, refering to my previous post, above:

    1. If you are sure that you can fire accurately under pressure, I would have to recommend the Federal 4×000 rounds. Placing 3-4 .36″, 68gr pellets traveling at “1200fps” according to Federal over a 2″ x 3″ area at 21′ should make a huge hole nearly clean through a bad-guy. An awful mess that would bleed out as fast as anything I can imagine. At 10′ it should cause even more concentrated damage.

    This round should be great out to 30′ or so (if fired accurately) which is about as far as you are likely to ever have to use a pistol in a self-defense situaton.

    2. If your are NOT so sure that you can get off an accurate shot under pressure (a first round hit on a man-sized target) AND you can handle the recoil from the Winchester 3″ 5×000 Buck, then I would use it rather than the Federal as the spread is greater and has one more pellet (25% greater weight throw) but 25′-30′ is probably the maximum effective comfort range .



    Would that Federal try a 3″ 6-7×000 Buckshot load for the Judge and American Derringer M-4.

    These are just my observations and opinions.


  • 321klop

    people keep say9ing that the judges rifling makes i shoot donuts 410 rounds have shot cups so the 410 round dont touch the rifling wtf you all are stupid

  • lee

    -Just getting into Krav Maga myself. Can you recommend and dvd’s or videos for me to watch?

  • gyrfalcon

    While birdshot is not applicable for self defense you could use a .410 Winchester Super-X “000” Buckshot (5 Pellet) round.

    I don’t think anyone wants to get hit with a 70 grain ball.

  • bugeater

    what about a “buck & ball” handload in 3 inch in the judge 3 mag??
    seems to me a woman cowering in the corner as a man breaks in the window and enters the house couldn’t hit anything most nights, giving the “buck” a copper plated BB load, with a “ball” of 000 .36 she just might hit something with 5 rounds across the room??

  • dck

    So, today I got back to the range and fired 3/4 box (15 2-1/2″ Federal 4×000 buck .410 rounds. A bunch of them at 40′. This from a 4″ barreled American Derringer Model 4. That 4″ includes the chamber so the actual “barrel” is only about 1-1/2″. The pellets are copper plated as apposed to the Winchester 3×000 2-1/2″ and 5×000 3″ .410 rounds.

    The powder load in the Federal rounds has obviously been lightened up (perhaps Federal is also usng a faster burnng powder) to compensate for the short barreled weapons the round is designed for (the Tarus Judge and other short barreled pistols).

    Also, the grouping of the buckshot from the Federal rounds IS MUCH MORE COMPACT than the Winchester rounds. At 40′, 6-9″ groups can be expected! (only 1 group out of the 4 shots I fired was larger).

    The recoil from the Federal rounds IN THIS WEAPON (weighs just under 1 pound) is very acceptable.

    I found the 3″ 5×000 Winchester rounds to have an unacceptably harsh recoil (FOR ME) in this weapon.

    But, remember, the Judge weighs 3 times as much as my little derringer.

    So, I hereby revise my effective range estimates for the Federal 2-1/2″ 4×000 copper plated .410 rounds fired from a Model 4 American Derringer from 30′ out to 50′

    Close enough for government work?

    To Bugeater: If your lady is “cowering in the corner” then the Judge or a large caliber derrnger or any other large caliber weapon WILL NOT BE SUITABLE FOR HER! DON’T OVER-PURCHASE IN CALIBER. She won’t practice with it!


    See also my 2 other posts, above

    Questions?? Comments??

    • dck, very interesting. Thanks for posting your results.

  • tom

    I just purchased a 3 inch chamber judge with 3 inch barrel.

    I saw federal handgun 2.5 inch # 4 in the store, but I wanted the extra power of 3 inch shells.

    I purchased 3 inch # 4 H&H.

    I want an effective gun for self defense and snakes for my wife to use.

    I have not fired it yet, but put 3 410 shells and 2 45 long colts in the gun.

    The long colts are expensive, so I will likely only shoot 410 shells out of the gun.

    Federal, should provide detailed balistic for 410 shot that all in the industry can challenge.

    Federal is a good company and should have good products, so let the industry put them to the test.

    I spent $525.00 on the 3 inch chamber Judge, I hope I didn’t waste my money.

    What 410 round, preferably in 3 inch shells should I use so my wife can have a personal defense gun in the house and I can defend against snake in our yard?

  • Dick


    It depends on how the amount of recoil you and/or your wife can COMFORTABLY handle.
    I personally would not want to rely on #4 BIRDSHOT for self-defense if a better alternative is available.

    Normal .410 loads are designed to be used in long-barreled shotguns.
    000 BUCKSHOT is .36″ in diameter. The same as a .357/38/9mm round).

    The 2/1/2″ Federal 4×000 BUCKSHOT makes an excellent round especially designed for short-barreled handguns as the powder charge and recoil is reduced. The buckshot is also copper plated. In my .45 Colt/.410 derringer with a 4″ barrel (including the chamber) it fires a pattern between 2″ and 3″ at 20′ The pattern at 40′ is about 12″. Good enough for snakes of all types!
    (Visualize 4 or 5 of these impacting your chest all at once!)

    Winchester makes a 3″ 5×000 buckshot .410 round (the buckshot is NOT PLATED) which has a more hefty recoil. The pattern with my derringer is about 9″ at 20′ using this round. It comes in boxes of 5.

    Don’t try to push your wife into the 3″ .410 loads if she is even a bit shy about recoil. She won’t practice enough to become effective with the weapon.

    The Winchester .45 Colt JHP is also a handful from a recoil standpoint.

    The Federal 4×000 has more throw-weight (4×68 grains = 272 grains) and at “1200 fps” (according to Federal) as apposed to the 225 grain .45 Colt JHP at around 900 fps. I have also found that this .45 Colt round tends to tumble out of my short barreled derringer thus reducing it’s accuracy at longer than ” ‘cross the card table” ranges. This, I think, is because there’s only about 1″ of rifling. With the Judge, or other longer barreled handgun, it would probably stabilize properly.

    Buy a box of each and try them. See which works best for you.

    I have found that 8-10 rounds per session is about all I can handle using the .45 Colt, 2-1/2″ OR 3″ Winchester rounds. Using the 2-1/2″ Federal (either the #4 birdshot or 4×000 BUCKSHOT) I can manage up to about 15 rounds before my hand becomes sore and I get recoil shy.

    ALSO keep in mind that your Judge weighs a lot more than my 15oz derringer. The perceived recoil will be somewhat less.

    The secret here, I think, is that if you’re going to be in a firefight, get a full auto AK! So for a pistol, 2 to 5 rounds should be plenty. WHICH MEANS: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

    The Federal 4×000 is difficult to get, but at, you can order or backorder a box of 20.

    Just my thoughts

  • I am a an OLD 410 fan and have used them for most everything since November 1950. A 410 slug will take down a deer, feral pig and a crook.
    I’ve modified every type of shot and created some of my own for ducks.
    I’ve purchased the Judge with a 6 and 1/2 inch barrel for home defense. First my house is fair size but most pistol are hard to aim when nerveous. Since my average room is 16 foot square, it is certain that if I fire the Judge at an intruder with #7 bird shot he will be immediately disoriented by multiple shot stinging his hide, the second shot will be #4s if he has not run out of the house and if he is still there he will have to deal with two standard 410 slugs. A fifth round will not be necessary.
    More than likely, an intruder will be about 10 feet away if I am forced to shoot the #7s will hurt severly, the #4 even worse. The slugs hopefully wil not exit but distort as they do in a pig or deer. It will not be pretty.
    At a military range I’ve put (7) seven 45 rounds in a 3 and 1/2 inch grouping consistantly on target for most of my military career. However, for home defense against an intruder the Judge is what I will use. I’ll have to Mop Up the mess, and the cops will follow a bloody trail to the Emergency room.
    I will feel secure regardless. Do not ever under estimate the 410, it is deadly.

    At 10 feet #7s get your attention and is a mind changing if on the reciving end.
    Dick and DCK I enjoyed both yoour comments and test.

  • Casey

    Hey Y-Man i am new to the reloading arena, and have some questions about melting down birdshot into buckshot or slugs. Can you email me at Mabbus4 [ at ] hotmail [dot[ com. Thanks

  • Elvis

    I had a comment on the Judge. I recently bought one and I have to say I was a bit unsure whether it was going to do what I wanted it to do. What I wanted was a gun that my wife felt comfortable with. She doesn’t like guns very much and has always been scared of them. I bought her a S&W Airweight and she has never shot it. This concerned me because if she ever needed it, I was afraid she would empty the thing and miss whatever she was shooting at. After buying the Judge, I wanted to run it through some test of my own to see how it performed. It is the Pub. Defender model and I expected it to have much more recoil and really be kind of nasty to shoot. However, it was just the opposite. It does not kick bad at all. We started out shooting number 6 shells and we taped a target to a 55 gallon drum. We busted off one round from about 12 yards away and to my suprise, the target was filled. I would also like to say that while none of the pellets appeared to go through the 55 gal. drum, they did make a mess of it. There were pellet dents in the drum and deeper than I thought they would be. I have wondered since then if we had been closer, if they might have gone through it. I didn’t want to try it because of one coming back our way. She liked it and felt good about it. After we were done, I shot some buckshot and some # 4 shells in it and I will tell you for sure that I would not want to be on the other end. I shot have shot anything from filled milk jugs, pumpkins, and even shot a Coyote that jumped out on me and a friend at hunt camp. I had #6 in it and Coyote died. I didn’t tell my wife, but now it is loaded with a #4 then some buckshot and 1 45LC. From what I have seen about the gun, I have no doubt removing her snub nose 38 from the closet and replacing it with the JUDGE. Thanks for your time

  • mitchshrader

    the gun sucks, the ammo velocity as published is misleading, the idea of SD with ‘less lethal’ ammo is easily accomplished IN AIRSOFT OR PAINTBALL GAMES but in the real world it’s dumber’n playing in traffic.

    After one HELL of a lot of analysis I’ve determined that home-centered self defense is easiest accomplished with your main carry handgun FOR ANYONE WITH LITTLE OR NO FORMAL TRAINING. Whatever you shoot most regularly is likely the gun with which you have the best chance of surviving armed conflict.

    Fewer rounds than a 1911, no track record, arguable marginal ammo, and who in the WORLD wants to TRAIN at a buck a round with a borderline, unproven, SILLY weapon…

  • I can personally attest to the effectiveness of the Judge, Public Defender 2″ barrel, 2.5″ cylinder. Monday I had a home invasion. Being in a wheelchair I was pushed and dumped out of wheelchair and I fired 3 shots as I fell. The first 2 were Federal Personal Defense 7/16 oz, 4 shot shells and the 3rd a solid lead .45 Colt, had 2 more following. Ironically, I was going to the range the next day, that’s why I had it out. I bought the gun 3 months ago and had never fired it. (Have other guns). I like others wasn’t sure how well this gun would work. Normally I would have had 3 (000) Buck Winchester shot shells with 3 .45 Colt JHP.
    Results were instant death to the first man and the other man ran. Later found out he died of extensive heart damage. Evidently missed with the 3rd .45 as I was laying on floor by then. Distance 3-4 feet. Worked at this distance but at greater would definitely prefer the rounds I planned on using.
    Lucky I was alert.

  • First of I’m glad you’re OK and the crooks didn’t hurt you. This is an interesting story and affirmation that all rounds are dangerous in the right circumstances.

  • gyrfalcon

    “I can personally attest to the effectiveness of the Judge, Public Defender 2″ barrel, 2.5″ cylinder. Monday I had a home invasion. Being in a wheelchair I was pushed and dumped out of wheelchair and I fired 3 shots as I fell.” — Gary

    Do you have any news stories you can reference this occurrence to? People on the Internet tend to embellish and lie about things so if this really happened I would like it if you could provide any sort of supporting information about the event.

  • Thomas

    I own the Taurus Judge and I feel it is a great weapon but know the gun’s limitations I have shot it numerous times and for self-defence I would only use either .410 buckshot , slugs or the .45 Colt the #6 and smaller shot is just bird shot and useless for self-defence as the penetration is far less than my air-gun , what I would love to see for the Taurus Judge would be an interchangeable cylinder for the .45 ACP , as .45 Colt ammo is hard to locate and when it is located the price is sky high ! Also be very aware that in certain parts of the U.S.(the State of California for one) the Taurus Judge as well as the shotgun derringers (American Arms and Bond Derringer) are illegal ! As a trail weapon here in Northern Arizona I carry my Taurus Judge with one round of .410 buckshot followed by one round of .45 Colt a great defence against man or beast !

  • Thomas have you tried Sports Authority? I buy .45 LC there still for less than a dollar a bullet for C.A.S. loads (230gr or so Lead flat points) which are plenty of medicine for a bad guy. I got a couple of boxes of 50rd for $37 a piece. Not the cheapest but in my neck of the woods a better deal than any ACP I’ve seen.

  • Thomas

    I wait until the Cross Roads gun show comes to Phoenix before I attempt to buy any .45 Colt ammo as there is only one gun store in the general area where I live and the ammo is $40 a box and up , at the gun show I have seen factory reloads for $20-$25 a box of fifty rounds ! There was an individual who used to sell reloaded ammo on Saturdays at the Prescott valley swap and had .45 Colt reloads for $15 , one of the few people I would ever buy reloads from as he had been doing reloads for many years , I am very careful about buying reloaded ammo as you never know if the person was qualified , nothing like turning your .45/.410 Taurus Judge into a magnum cannon that could blowup on you ! I have shot besides the Taurus Judge , the Bond Derringer , the American Arms derringer as well as the Master Piece Arms “Legend” derringer and I can truely say the Judge is superior to all of the derringers ! The most painful gun I ever shot was the American Arms derringer in .44 magnum , take a hammer and hit the web of your hand very hard and you will get an idea what the recoil was like shoting that monster ! I once seen an American Arms derringer for sale at a gun show in .45/70 ‘ with a “life time” supply of ammo 20 rounds ! The owner told me that was all I’d ever want to shoot out of that gun as the recoil was ungodly painful , he said he shot the derringer only once and the weapon flew out of his hand and hit his wife in the head ! Needless to say I passed up that “good deal” ! I had a big laugh once looking at the American Arms web site , they have a derringer for sale called the “Alaskan Survival” a derringer with one barrel chambered for the .45/70 and another barrel chambered for the .410 shotgun cartridge , well I don’t know about any of you I would not want to depend on a two shot derringer up in Alaska against a charging grizzle or polar bear ! The beast would be right on top of you with his teeth in your body before you could get off a fatal shot , if you didn’t break your wrist shooting the .45/70 ! The Master Piece Arms is another very painful weapon to shoot especially with the 3 inch .410 , the grips are way too small ! The best derringer in my opionion if you like derringers is the Bond Arms derringer , large grips and inter-changeable barrels you can shoot .22 LR. thru .45 Colt with many calibers in between , .38 special , 9MM , .45ACP etc ! You can practice shooting your bond derringer with cheap .22’s the best feature about this weapon

  • Thomas

    A further comment , all of you who own or have an interest in the Taurus Judge check out the newest magazine that is on the magazine rack at your supermarket called Taurus 2010 , the magazine is devoted entirely to the newest Taurus handguns with a full article on the Taurus Judge , after reading the article if you do not own a Judge you will probably want to buy one !

  • Thomas

    I can tell you from personal experience if you use a Taurus Judge the .45 Colt is the best round that a person can use for self-defence , the #4 .410 is good only at very close range and a marginal round at best for bob cats , rabid coyotes ! And the #6 thru #8 are worthless for self-defence against a human or an animal attack , as the range in a short barrelled revolver or a derringer is very limited with hardly any penetration to speak of , I once shot one of my .45/.410 derringers with the 2 and a half inch #6 .410 shot shell at a metal jar cap( about 3 inches in dia.)at around 10 paces and only 3 shots hit and went thru the cap ! Alot of noise , recoil but very little to show ! Carrying a Judge into a dangerous remote area (Alaska) with #6 or smaller shot is about as foolish as hunting a lion with a sling shot ! A very false sense of security ! Same with stopping a would be mugger or car-jacker , the small shot #6 and above would not even go thru heavy winter clothing ! So leave the small bird shot for the birds and use .45 Colt or buckshot ! Truely the best Taurus Judge to buy is the stainless steel model with a 6-inch barrel and the cylinder that takes the 3-inch .410 shell ! And Taurus refers to the 3 inch .410 as the 3 inch magnum , there is no 3 inch .410 magnum only 2 and half inch or 3 inch .410 !

  • Thomas

    I was at the Mesa Arizona gun show this past weekend and the Taurus Judge seems to be one of the most popular and desired weapons to own used Judges that were brought to the show by private sellers and reasonably priced were grabbed up in a hurry ! Also there was no .410 shotgun ammo or .45 Colt ammo for sale , usually at these shows there are semi-reasonably priced .45 Colt reloads for sale but not at the Mesa show ! I also noted alot of the older so-called cheap junk guns are also becoming rather expensive now ! The hot sale items besides the Taurus Judge were the new Rugers , the LCP and the LCR !

  • Thomas

    I see that Winchester is also offering a new self-defence .410 shotgun cartridge for the Taurus judge , looks like from the report that I seen in the Taurus 2010 magazine it looks better for self-defence than the Federal #4 shot as the Winchester has 12 BB sized shot and three cicular projectiles all in one cartridge ! Maybe good at relatively short range under 15 feet , but with a short barrelled revolver as with a short barrelled shotgun derringer penetration will be very poor !

  • Dick

    Thomas –

    Winchester is apparently trying to combine birdshot with buckshot. I have never tried this round but I think you’d be right in assuming the birdshot would have little penetration except at point blank or contact ranges.

    I much prefer the FEDERAL 2-1/2″ 4×000 Buckshot round in my American Derringer model 4. Puts 4 9mm rounds in a 4″ circle EVERY TIME at 20′. Any closer and it would put a 3″ hole in whatever it hits! Good enough for government work!

    The Federal 4 BIRDSHOT sucks as a persnal defense round in my opinion.

  • Thomas

    Dick : Just as the name implys #4 birdshot , it is definately for the birds ! I have shot .410 shot from both my Taurus Judge as well as my American Arms derringer and peneration was terrible , my air-gun has greater penetration ! Shooting the .410 shot all I got was alot of noise , recoil and nothing to show except for a few holes hardly any penetration , this was at 10-15 paces ! This could not penetrate heavy clothing if one were attack by an armed criminal in one of our Eastern cities in the winter or the skin of a dangerous animal as a bear ! The Judge and the .410 derringers are great if used with the proper ammo ! .410 buckshot or .45 Colt ! To be honest with everyone here , given the choice I would take an S&W model 442 airlite with plus p .38 ammo as my personal defence weapon to carry on the city streets or home defence over the Taurus Judge which is really more of a trail weapon !

  • Thomas

    For all of you who enjoy shooting the Taurus Judge and the shotgun derringers , check out the .410/.45 Colt weapon called the “Comache” a single shot pistol with a 10 inch barrel made in Argentina , I have seen them used at the gun shows for under $200 even $140 a really nice little survival gun that shoots both the 2 and a half inch .410 and also the 3 inch and .45 Colt ! An interesting write up on this weapon in the lattest copy of the “Backwoodsman” magazine ! The Comache shoots more as a regular .410 shotgun than as a short barrelled derringer or the short barrelled Judge , much better shot penetration and farther range !

  • dick


    I agree totally about the birdshot.

    The reason I like the American Derringer M-4 is that I can carry it in a belly pack with extra rounds (although reloading takes a lot of time and fooling around with this weapon) – It’s stainless steel since since I will be bringing it to the Republic of Panama (mosture and salt) and It’s hard for me to conceal a larger weapon since I’m slight of build.

    Everybody wears a fanny pack of some sort down here so it’s easy to go un-noticed. The Argentine .410 with the 10″ barrel sounds like a great quail gun though. I wonder is the barrel rifled? At any rate the Muzzle velocity should be much greater from the 10″ barrel than from my derringer’s 4″ barrel. I figure somewhere around 800fps for either the .45 Colt or the 4×000 buckshot rounds from my derringer but I haven´t been able to chronograph it yet.

    I will when I get back to the states in June.

    Thanks for you great comments.

  • Thomas

    Dick , yes the Comanche does have a rifled barrel unfortunately , but that is the only way it is legal to sell , the performance of these shotgun derringers , the Comanche and the Judges would be so much better if their bores were smooth rather than rifled but that is the law . Good luck in Panama and hope you do not have to use your American Arms derringer in a dangerous self-defence situation . The .45 Colt and the .410 buckshot are excellent choices but take into account that derringers are an over and under weapon and they are not the most accurate weapon in the world and dangerous animals like lions move very fast ! If I were in Panama and I could carry a handgun for protection I would definately carry the Taurus Judge in stainless steel loaded with .45 Colt or .410 buckshot or an S&W model 686 stainless steel (7) shot .357 magnum !

  • Thomas

    If any of you are into the .45/.410 derringers I highly recommend that you purchase one of the Bond Arms derringers they are equally well made as the American Arms derringers but have one big advantage , you can purchase different caliber barrels for your Bond derringer , for around $120 each you can purchase additional barrels in .22LR , 9MM , .45ACP .357 magnum etc ! A great way to get practice shooting your weapon with a .22 LR barrel then when needed just put on the .45/.410 barrel ! You can enjoy shooting your derringer all day without going into debt buying expensive .45 Colt ammo ! American Arms derringers are great , but avoid their ultra powerful derringers , like the .45/70 , .44 magnum and the 30-30 derringers ! I once owned their .44 magnum derringer and shooting it was the most ungodly handgun I ever fired ! Take a hammer and hit the web of your hand as hard as you can and that will give you an idea what shooting that monster was like ! I sold that gun after firing only 4 rounds ! And shooting the .45/70 is twice as bad as that ! Large built men have gotten broken wrists shooting that gun , one I knew had the gun (in .45/70) fly out of his hand and hit his wife in the head ! So for your own well being stay away from the very powerful derringers !

  • dick


    I would not recomend someone purchasing a large caliber Bond derringer because of the interchangeable barrels.

    For this reason – Large caliber small handguns (Derringers) require practice (painfull as it may be at the beginning) not only for accuracy, but for recoil management, both physical and MENTAL!

    Practicing with .22, .25, or .32 caliber barrels will surely improve accuracy USING THE SMALLER CALIBER, but I think will provide little, if any, improvement in accuracy when you switch to the larger caliber barrels for concealed carry and critical self defense use under stress use.

    Your thoughts?

  • Thomas

    Dick : I once purchased a used Bond derringer in the .45/.410 caliber and also included in the purchase were the barrel for the .45ACP as well as the barrel for the .22 LR , I was able to have fun with the same derringer shooting at tin cans , plicking etc and still have the more powerful .45/.410 barrel when I needed it . It was like having several guns in one ! There is no way a person could ever get the same feel , recoil or accuracy shooting the .22 LR out of the same weapon as you would with the .45/.410 ! Even shooting the 3 inch .410 has more noticable recoil than the 2 and a half inch .410 especially in the Bond or American Arms derringers ! Accuracy is really not that great in any derringer as these are over and under weapons the point of the bullet impact will be different with the second shot , this is where the Taurus Judge is superior to the derringer ! I had a good laugh once looking at the American Arms web site and seeing one of their derringers listed as the “Alaskan survival” derringer ! The weapon had one barrel chambered for the .410 shotgun cartridge and the other barrel chambered for the .45/70 , the barrells were 6 inches in lenght , I could only picture someone trying to aim and shoot at either a charging Alaskan polar bear or a grizzly bear with a two shot derringer , the bear would have to be on top of them before there could be an accurate fatal shot ! That is unless the person’s wrist wasn’t broken first firing the .45/70 !

  • JumpinJeepers

    I own a Judge. After seeing “standard” snake shot loads fail and fail again, I wanted something more. The Judge goes fishing and hunting with me, It is used on snakes and in the case of rabid animals, those too. I use .45 Colt for target/fun, it’s an easy reload. I don’t know why anyone would want to shoot a person/animal with a .410 shell from a Judge at any range, .410/Judge combo is NOT a human/human defensive load, it’s a human/critter defensive load. The .45 Colt is a good human/human defensive round. Yeah, the Judge is large, but that’s the price you pay for a multi-role revolver, If someone wants a carry gun they will buy a carry gun.

    IMO “Judge Haters” are some of the most annoying people I know.

  • Dick

    In response to JumpinJeepers:

    I say again and again. “Snake loads are for snakes. Birdshot is for the birds”.

    However for larger “game” try Federal’s 2-1/2″ .410 4×000 BUCKSHOT ROUNDS!

    4 .36″ copper-plated balls traveling in excess of 650fps impacting an area of a 3″ circle at 20 feet is impressive. 8-12″ at 40″ defines it’s maximum EFFECTIVE range.

    It´not a .45 Colt but in a close-in engagement I prefer BUCKSHOT!

  • Harry J Reeves

    People, please get your heads out of the area where there is no sun shine. I have 4 judges and a private pistol range where I have fired these beasts many times. Forget penetration FBI nonsense. How deep does a # 4 pellet have to penetrate ones eye balls, gum’s cheeks nose, chin throat, ears etc. The idea is to deter them from harming you and a face full of lead pellets will stop anybody no matter what their condition from continuing to be a threat. They won’t be able to see you or smell you or talk to you, what more could you ask for. Remember you have 5 chances to get them to change their thought patterns and accuracy is not required.

  • Thomas

    I was reading one of the latest gun magazines and I see that Taurus is going to offer their Judge in not only .45 Colt /.410 but also in .454 Casull ! And the another Judge will also be offered as a carbine as well ! Needless to say the .454 Casull should be a real handful to shoot , the 3 inch .410 buckshot packs a bit of recoil I can only imagine what shooting the .454 Casull would feel like ! This new Judge should make an excellent survival revolver for persons going to remote parts of Alaska or even Africa , I do bet that Taurus makes a Judge in the near future that will handle the .45/70 a real knock down cartridge !

  • Hicus Dicus

    For personal defense at 35 feet or less under extreme stress bullets suck. The chances of hitting some one armed with a weapon are slim, doing lethal instant damage are rarer yet. Hitting some one in the face with a load of # 4 buck are close to 100 percent and hitting them 5 times changes them from the terminator to the terminated. The judge is with out a doubt the best weapon ever designed for the average person to defend themselves with. Bucket of truth is actually a bucket of crap and a very poor documentation of the judges capabilities. As far as recoil who cares, if your life is at stake. My 5′ 2” wife can fire the judge 5 times rapidly with one hand with no problem. Were not talking driving nails were talking stopping some one with a lethal weapon before he can give you a lead enema.

  • Paul

    I have shot #9, #6, 000 buck & slugs through the Judge at a simulated interior wall. (2 pieces of 1/2 ” drywall, 3 1/2 inches apart.)

    At a distance of 10-12 feet, the #9 embedded in the 1st sheet of drywall with very few penetrating to bounce off of the 2nd sheet.

    The #6 penetrated the 1st sheet and embedded in the 2nd with a few penetrating the 2nd sheet, but carrying very little energy, I am sure.

    Of course the 000 buck & slugs both penetrated fully and carried sufficient energy to cause injury beyond. (In another room in your house…)

    My Judge is loaded #6, #6, 000, 000, slug. As for this discussion of penetration, I only need the bird shot to penetrate a cornea and perhaps an eyelid, then i can close the distance and finish the job with the 000 and slug.

  • Rozyredtoes

    Comment to Paul, You are right on. I find it hard to believe the stupid comments coming out of peoples fingers about self defense. I have been shot and barely lived through it and I have shot at people and missed. When this sort of attack is directed toward the average citizen it is usually so fast and unexpected that no amount of combat training will suffice. You are going to get one short chance to derail their intentions and it had better be a head shot and only a judge will guarantee this. I have yet to experience the so called doughnut hole pattern. Never the less it does not take many # 4 buck in the eye balls to settle the issue. And to answer some ones moronic comment about being sued, if some one scares me so badly that I think I need to shoot them a law suit will not be in the equation. A judge does hold 5 rounds if you feel you need to finish them off.

  • JD

    Would it even be possible to safely rechamber the Judge to 45-70?

  • Rozyredtoes

    Re chamber the judge to a 45 70 what in the world for. Apparently you haven’t quite grasped what the judge was designed for.

  • TMCC

    Standard 45 -70 rounds are probably too high pressure for the Judge. For example, shotshells typically have a max pressure in range of 10,000 psi & 45-70 Government rounds run about 28,000 psi max. 45-70 rounds for modern guns such as the Marlin lever guns can be higher.

  • Invent4fun

    I just bought a SS 3″ Judge. Having nothing but problems with it jaming. Sent it back to Taurus two weeks ago and it still is not fixed. It’s S&W from now on for me!

  • hicusdikus

    Invent4fun, The problem with S&W is they don’t make a legal sawed off shot gun that can be hand held and turn some evil doer in to Swiss cheese at up to 35 Feet. It will be 5 weeks before you get it back and your problems may be the ammo you are using. I have had 6 judges and they have all operated fine except for some brands of ammo. In passing I would like to say forget the 45 cartridges and stick to the #4 and 000. Think, shoot them in the face with bird shot and they will be totally distracted. If you can find some golden bear 000 keep it in the gun for serious work after you have given them a facial with bird shot. I have a pistol range and have fired my judges over 2000 times and I know what they will do and nothing else will do it like they do including my twelve gauge.

  • SF

    GYRFALCON. Here’s your link:


    So glad that you are ok, and that you were prepared. That bastard got exactly what he deserved. I’ve got my Judge loaded with Federal “four shot” for just that type of situation.

    Now, to all of you disbelievers, keep sticking to your FBI “12 inch rule”, and try to effectively engage a moving target, in the dark, with whatever your weapon of choice is. As for me, I prefer to have my shotgun concealable, maneuverable, and adaptable.

    Peace, Out!

  • rozyredtoes

    I have never seen a doughnut pattern out of any of my 4 judges from 3 inch to 4 inch barrels. The typical male hormone response is big bang and big bullets and lots of them. One shot of number 6 bird shot in the face will stop anybody immediately. I don’t personally know anyone who can still function with a shredded face, who knows it could happen. Don’t forget there are 4 more on the way. It really is beginning to dawn on me that the majority of gun people live in a gun fantasy land totally devoid of reality and common sense.

  • rozyredtoes – a little harsh but I agree with the sentiment. I’m no expert on shooting folks but I’ve been shot at (lived in a bad area) and had guns pulled on me. It sucks and it changed my demeanor. I imagine at close range birdshot of any type can be effective, but I don’t stock it primarily as self defense.

    Use what you got I say.

  • rozyredtoes

    Rob Taylor, yes I guess I am a little harsh, it could be that I am just old and grouchy. The bottom line is I am going to use what I feel will work best for me and every body else can do what they want as I am sure they will. Guns really don’t interest me much. I am more into watching movies, eating, taking a big morning dump and yelling at my worthless dogs. Being and old and a sissy I don’t want anybody hurting me, but if they feel they must I want them to pay through the nose and there is nothing like a load of buckshot in the face to make them wish they had found something else to do.

  • Like your style Rozy, although when I sit on the couch watching movies I bitterly cling to my guns.

    I take a lot of guff for loving my .410/.45 Survivor shotgun. But who cares? Like you say what works for you.

  • rozyredtoes

    To Rob a man after my own heart. sometimes while sitting watching a movie I hold a 3 inch chambered judge in each hand. Wow! I feel like I have a lead wall between me and the world. Its a feeling a little ole bullet gun can’t give you. The Judge will turn your face into fudge. By the way I have fired both of them at the same time as fast as I can and no one and I mean no one is going to make it through that male-storm. Just visualize 50 rounds of 000 buck in just 3 seconds all headed in your direction. Have a good one.

  • Will

    I’m with Old Painless on birdshot is all but useless in self defense situations. On the Box-o’-Truth, he mentions a police officer who had been training with birdshot in his issue shotgun, but forgot to swap out the training load for the 00-buck load he was issued for duty. That night he had to engage 2 armed robbers and grabed the birdshot-loaded shotgun. He hit them both, but they killed him and escaped. Winchester’s PDX1 does NOT meet the FBI minimum of 12″ penetration. Truth be told, I’d sooner use a Five-seveN pistol for serious social purposes than a .410. 5.7×28 is anemic as hell, but at least it yields adequate penetration with most loads.

  • rozyredtoes

    I just got some pdx1 Winchester. Haven’t tried them out yet, they look nasty. I am going to set up some special targets and shooting situations and see how well they will defend me from and armed intruder. There won’t be a lot of excessive shooting as they are about 1.50 each. I will let you know how it goes.

  • Will

    @ rozyredtoes

    Just be aware that in the geletin testing Guns and Ammo magazine has done on the .410 PDX1 load, the disks only penetrated 10.5 inches while the bbs barely made it 5.5 inches. That said, I wish you luck, I hope they work out for you, and I’d be interested to see your impressions of that load.

  • rozyredtoes

    To Will, Penetration is not the issue. Anything moving at 7 to 9 hundred feet per second is going to penetrate human flesh. And when it does so, it is going to shred it. The face and throat are the only target that I practice for and a hand held sawed off shot gun is the only weapon that is most likely to accomplish this on a regular basis. There are five rounds and the chance of not making a number of hits are going to be pretty slim. If someone can make it through this wall of lead then it means my time has come. We must consider that this is going to be a chance surprise encounter with no prelude to ramping up the ole adrenalin glands and taking aim. I think bucket of truth tests with the Judge had nothing to do with real life. These people are thinking combat and I am thinking WTF. It seems to me that three disks and a bunch of bee be’s might just add a little more pain and devastation to the equation. I could be wrong but I am sticking to my guns and my personal experience. I could lose but I will guarantee they they won’t come out a winner. I might add that at my age I really don’t care, will they have the same attitude.

  • Will

    To Rozyredtoes: We’ll have to agree to disagree then. If you feel comfortable with the .410 and the Judge, then rock on. I’ll stick with a Glock 19 or Glock 26 loaded with Speer 124 gr +p (or 147 gr depending on what I can get ahold of) Gold Dots.

  • clemorswomp

    To will, What are we disagreeing on. The brand of the firearm does not matter, its what comes out of the end of it. bullets are fine except when you come out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night in your bed and their is some unwelcome company in your bed room and you have at best 3 seconds to settle the situation before you become a victim. We have 2 3 inch chambered judges in slots in our head board behind our pillows. that is over 120 projectiles that can be turned lose in 3 to 4 seconds. We may not win but we will prevail and no one will take control of us. The thing that terrifies us the most is the cost of remodeling our bedroom. Remember misses don’t count unless she is fixing your breakfast.

  • Will

    To clemorswomp: Even with a shotgun, one must still aim at a target otherwise those 120 projectiles will miss and potentially go through wall board. Birdshot makes a nasty, but shallow wound with no guarentee of stopping a determined aggressor. The brand of a firearm does play a factor if said brand is well-known for quality control issues; with Taurus I’ve personally seen barrels fly off revolvers when firing, 24/7 .45s not feeding FMJ rounds, let alone hollowpoints, PT1911s having safeties break when brand new out of the box, hammers shearing off inside of 500 rounds, snubbies with no rifling in the barrels, etc. I understand anything man-made can break or get screwed up, but with Taurus the odds of getting a lemon are drastically higher than with many other manufacturers. I make my decisions based on the research of agencies such as the FBI who know a lot more about terminal ballistics than I do. I do realize that accuracy under stress is going to degrade, however I practice as much as I can afford to mitigate this as best as possible.

  • Will

    Meant to say “make my decisions on carry ammo”….

  • rozyredtoes

    Will, your right about a shot gun. With a judge you just point in the general direction and start rotating the cylinder. As far as taurus quality, the ones I own have been fired enough to know they are reliable. They are still the only people that make a legal hand held sawed off shot gun. The only thing I want out of the FBI is to stay away from me, I don’t trust them nor believe anything they say. I am not sure why you can not comprehend that a load of bird shot , buck shot what have you, in anybodies face will stop them from what ever it was they had in mind. I hope you never have to find out one way or another. I have on the receiving end. PS read what fuzzy has to say.

  • Will

    To rozyredtoes: that “point in the general direction and squeeze trigger” bit is one of the biggest myths around. Especially when you advocate shooting them in the face: a small and highly mobile target. I don’t trust birdshot for anything except bird hunting and skeet shooting; not when police officers have been killed because they had been using birdshot for training, fogot to swap out their training load for their duty load of 00 buck, and then got into a gunfight. As for Taurus making the “only legal sawed-off shotgun”… Bond Arms makes a “Texas Derringer” with .45 LC/.410 bore barrels available. I’m not saying a .410 and/or birdshot won’t work, but it’s subpar at best and I just plain won’t trust them when other options are available. Same goes for Taurus: local gunsmiths see Taurus get returned more often than any other weapon they sell except for Hi-Points. Taurus can make a good weapon that works, but for the prices they’re charging for some of their weapons, they’re poaching into SIG-Sauer/HK territory but I have yet to see any CONSISTANT quality controls from Taurus. If you’ve had good experiences with them, rock on. Just don’t expect me to think they’re the Hammer of Thor.

  • Will

    spelling error above… forgot*

  • rozyredtoes

    Will, let me rephrase my statement on aiming. my wife and I never draw a sight picture. We shoot from laying on our backs, rolling backwards, from front to back under our arm to just walking and shooting side ways out of the corner of our eye. All targets are 25 to 30 feet away and 12 inches by 12 inches in size. We feel this is a more real to life situation. I am not jerking you around when I say we never miss. There will always be 20 to 50 pellets in the target. We have trained to to always fire three times or more. Two of the three will not be bird shot they will be buck and ball. My wife and I have been shot her once and myself three times. We do not want a repeat of this. The chances of a home invasion where I live is pretty remote but we are in the middle of nowhere Ark with distant neighbors, she is a broker who sells rural real-estate and meets unknown folks in remote places to show property some times in the evening. Her chance of a bad situation are more real. I will say that she carries a NAA 22 mag, Rugar LCP and a judge of which two have lasers. We also use old tyvec dog food bags stuffed with what ever that she practices plunging a knife into. She carries a custom made 3 inch auto opener [ 300.00 dollars]with a 3 inch double edged blade which is the legal limit. Last but not least is the zap light that puts out a million volts. This proves the adage, don’t mess with old people who can’t fight, they will just kill you.

  • Plenty of people have been killed after plugging someone with buckshot, .44s and .223s as well. There is no magic bullet.

    At carjacking ranges five blasts of #4 will be just as likely to be effective in stopping an attack as anything else, and at those close quarters you’re still just as likely to get hurt. I’ve defended myself with the worst weapon of all (my fists) back in the day and I can assure you they are nowhere near as effective as a load of #4.

    I don’t think birdshot should be marketed as a “self-defense” load but let’s not pretend it’s wedding party rice.

  • Will

    Ok… this will be the last post I leave as I’m clearly talking past people. “Not taking a sight picture” is point shooting and while it is fast, it’s not as accurate. If you’re using laser sights, then it’s likely a moot point, though. One issue with shotguns in general is their inherent lack of precision. I know it’s unlikely, but if I have to take a “hostage taker” shot (God forbid), I’m infinately more confidant making that shot with a carbine or conventional pistol since I don’t have to worry about stray shot wounding or killing a loved one. At close range 5 shots of birdshot might work, but a full mag (15+1 in my case) of 9x19mm hollowpoints is far more likely to do the job. NAA mini revolvers are neat from a collecting standpoint, but I’d rather use a Seecamp/Kel Tec/Ruger .32 or .380; I just don’t feel comfortable carrying a single action revolver with almost non-existant stocks/grip as a weapon. Regarding the “tearing shit up” comment: the .38 Long Colt of Phillipine Insurrection infamy launched a 150 grain bullet at 770 fps and it was noted for inferior performance. Birdshot will leave a nasty wound, but as a medical student, I saw people walk 3 miles to a hospital after having been hit multiple times with birdshot and they made full recoveries; also Dick Chaney shot his hunting partner in the chest with birdshot at close range with a full-sized shotgun and said partner lived so please forgive me if I refuse to use birdshot (or a .410 for that matter) unless it’s the only weapon around. My “loadouts” are as follows: Glock 19 with 2 back up magazines, Smith 442 loaded with 135+p hollow points, a pair of folding knives with 3 inch blades that have opening assists, and a kubaton on my key chain when I’m out and about. If hunting, it’s a Remington 870 loaded with slugs, Smith 329 with 300 grain Buffalo Bore hard casts (18 rounds of “bear medicine”) and some hand-rolled shotshells for snakes (6 rounds in a 2x2x2 pouch) in additon to my hunting and field knives, so I’m covered. If I can’t conceal the Glock (which isn’t very often), I roll with a Walther PPS (leaving the Smith at home) in a pocket holster with and extra magazine in a hip pocket.

  • rozyredtoes

    Will, you are missing the point. Personal self defense which does not show willful intent to commit homicide is what it is all about. Please download the castle laws and your state laws on killing someone no matter what the reason. The law is not interested in your story they are just concerned with the dead body and who is going to pay for the deed. If you shoot someone holding a hostage I feel reasonably sure you will have to go before a jury or at least hire a very expensive attorney. .410 bird shot does not show intent to kill, even though it will. 20 more rounds of .410 000 buck will kill any human that was born of woman. When you are down at least a quarter million dollars and looking at 10 years to life your self defense theory may make a U turn. WE are not talking combat or running gun fights. We are talking about the average smuck that has just been confronted with so much fearful stress that it has addled his brain. What happens next will follow him the rest of his and his families life. We have read a lot of books by experts on accounts of lethal encounters and the misconception people have is astounding. Most of the stuff we have read talks about stopping an assailant not intentionally killing them. You really need to get more knowledge before you make a misinformed decision that will ruin your life.

  • Whoa. You’re loaded for bear, I respect that.

    I’m no expert but I’ve been shot at (lived in a rough area) and have been at the scene of more than one fight between ‘bangers. I don’t think birdshot is ideal, I just don’t think anything is ideal and there’s nothing that can’t be deadly. They killed some kid with a golf club a couple of towns away from me when I was a kid. And I knew a kid in high school who survived a butcher knife in the gut.

    You’re right that #4 isn’t as effective as even a .32, but I’ve had guns pulled on me three times (I got robbed a lot) and was shot at once so my experience is just as a guy who doesn’t like getting drawn down on. I don’t care if it’s a pink .22. And while I’m not a tough guy by any means, if I was blasted by birdshot I’d stop whatever I was doing, but I’m delicate like that.

    I like my .410 shotgun, but I specifically got the Survivor (about a decade ago) so I could use .45 as a defense round. They make Silvertip .45 now so if I ever had a judge that would be my load, but for snakes the #4 seems nice. Course I like overkill when it comes to snakes.

  • Will

    rozyredtoes- “a running gun fight”? If I were looking to get in a gun fight, I’d be carrying a military-issued M4 Carbine with full combat load, a side arm, grenades, a radio connected to air and artillery strikes, and I be travelling with at least a platoon of my friends in the Marine Corps. The reason I carry multiple guns are many but include 1) what if my primary (Glock) is inaccessable? 2) what if I get a clusterfuck of a jam and don’t have time to clear it? 3) what if I have to arm a friend/family member who needs a weapon? I could go on. “Willful intent”will be something any overzealous prosecutor will try to bring up regardless of what you’re armed with even your weapons so your arugument is moot. I carry weapons and ammo that are authorized by many police departments and the (dreaded) FBI, except when I’m hunting. When hunting I’m more worried about 4-legged threats. And as a friend of a couple homicide investigators and forensic techs, I’ll pretend I didn’t read what your wrote about the integrety of those people. There ARE bad cops, but good cops aren’t as uncommon as one might believe. And for the hostage taker shot: you mean to tell me that a bay guy is above grabbing your wife or children and using them as a human shield? Must be nice to live in Mayberry.

  • Will

    Rob- I respect your experience, but I’m only “loaded for bear” when I’m hunting. I carry multiple firearms because I think of various contingencies, but my first mode of defense is to remove myself from a situation that might turn violent; the guns are an option but not my first response if I can avoid a fight despite what rozyredtoes implied and if I were looking for a fight, I’d be rolling with a Marine rifle company (or a platoon of said Marines at the very least). I’ve seen plenty of photos and various other reports on gunshot and blade wounds as a medical and forensic science student and I’m not saying that birdshot hasn’t caused people to stop in the past or hasn’t killed them, but it just doesn’t to the damage nessessary to stop a determined attacker or group of said determined attackers. But if you feel comfortable with your choice then rock on and I hope you never need to use your weapon in anger as I hope I never need to use mine for anything more than a range toy or for a training class. I will recommend that you look at a different load than the Silver Tip (or Hyrdashoks for that matter), though. It was state of the art almost 30 years ago and better loads exist such as the Barnes XPB 160 and 185 gr (copper bullet), Federal 230 gr (standard and +p) HST, Federal Tactical 230 gr, Speer Gold Dot 230 gr (standard and +p), and the Winchester Ranger-T series 230 gr (standard and +p) loads. However if all you can find are the Silver Tip then by all means use it. Just be aware that the older designs have a tendancy to plug up when shot through heavy clothing and act like over-priced FMJ bullets.

  • rozyredtoes

    Dear Rob, I don’t disagree with you. But whether it be gang bangers or home invasion, murder is frowned upon by the, you will not take the law into your own hands crowd. They love to prosecute people, it gives them something to do for their paycheck. You better know what you are doing when you drop that hammer. Bird shot will distract them and if they persist you have a good case for justifiable homicide. And as I pointed out 20 rounds of .36 caliber balls all hitting them in a few seconds will definitely settle the immediate issue. If a few rounds miss it may keep you from raising the body count which can get very expensive. I feel reasonably sure that 5 rounds of 3 inch bird shot would also settle the issue.

  • Will – I’ve heard that and try to spread out my hollow points over a variety of brands but Cowboy Action Shooting is a blessing and a curse to we .45 lovers. Now it’s easy to find .45 (for years I made do a couple of boxes of Federal semi-wadcutter hollow points because it was all I could find) but almost all of it is just big ol’ hunks of lead cowboy loads. I’m a fan of the .45 but I’m nervous about all the hollow points anyway for the reason you suggest.

    I’m about to order one of those crazy vintage handloader kits for .45 (no press, it just appeals to me) so I’ll give those Barnes a try.

    I meant loaded for bear in a good way though. I force my wife to carry two first aid kits in her car, and since we work at home I actually carry while at work (home invasions are bad down here too) so no offense, I like someone who’s prepared.

  • rozyredtoes – I think we’re almost in aggrement, I just think it depends on the kind of issue being settled. Big talker who’s lightly armed (say a folding knife broom handle) I think birdshot would be preferable legally but what if the person’s high, a jacked up gym rat (I’ve seen the juice heads take some serious damage in the Jersey nightlife, no shootings buy people get rough with them and they don’t care) or a gang with vests and chopers and they say?

    Then I’d want something with more pi*** than vinegar if you know what I mean. I have to say that the .410 buck loads impress me (though I’ve never shot them out a judge) and like I said somewhere else Wild Bill Hickock killed lots of folks with one slower moving .36 galena pill so these new loads should work fine.

    I just think people need to tailor their ammo, gun and tactics to what they’re most likely to face. Since I’m a paranoid survivalist my house is on 24 hour barricaded door lock down so some birdshot in the face of a person who’s a third of the way stuck in my reinforced door he’s trying to batter down will work better than someone worried that their ex boyfriend is going to run them over in his prized Lexus.

    That said, I have a Stoegar 20ga double barrel and 20ga Mossberg Cruiser (both loaded with slugs) I would go to first, then my snubnose, THEN my .410 (I call shooting your way to the next gun you keep hidden in your house an East Orange reload) so I’m probably being hypocritical in defending the birdshot use

  • Will

    Rob- No offense taken. It’s interesting that you mention Wild Bill. He did very well with a .36 caliber Navy Colt, but in terms of modern ballistics it’s essentially equal to a .32 ACP. In his case it was the shooter, not the load as he was documented as dropping Dave Tutt at approxamately 75 yards with a heart shot. I live in a place where home invasions aren’t common but they aren’t unheard of either and I much prefer preparing for something that never happens rather than be behind the curve. With .410 loads I’m highly dubious of their velocity as stated from a handgun without someone independantly (as in no one from the gun rags, ammo manufacturers, or Taurus) chronoing the ammo.

  • Will – I agree with you on that. All the ammo has too much hype, not enough data. I have some 3 inch 000 which I know will be bitter medicine for an intruder coming out of my Survivor’s barrel, but some of these handgun specific rounds feel like they’re all ball no powder, and the federal Premium ammo looks like they don’t even use lead balls (they look like giant Crossman BBs, and feel light but I never cut one open to weigh them. I maybe old fashioned but I like lead to come of the business end of my firearms and while the Winchester Buck Loads feel like they weigh about the same as a .45 the handgun loads feel as almost as light to me as the Russian .410 #4 buck they sell for $2 a box.

    It is better to be prepared ahead of time. We have a lot of meth labs in the rural areas, which is leading to an increase in addicts. Break ins are common in some other towns, not quite common here yet but we have a lot of transplants with money who can afford to burn through their savings before stealing so it’s a matter of time.

    I also just got a tip to my crime blog that a Hell’s Angels “Nomad” chapter is recruiting near by, so I’ve been thinking about home and car denfense a lot.

  • Will

    Rob- Well stay safe, man. Over here meth is a real problem and heroin is coming back as a drug of choice amongst the addicts here. Regarding the Fedaral load: it IS nothing more than oversized BBs according to what I’ve seen with them. Winchester has a PDX1 .410 load but it’s a trio of flat discs and a handful of actual BBs. I highly recommend sticking with buckshot for self defense, regardless of the hype. This almost reminds me of the Extreme Shock ammo with all the advertising bull surrounding it.

  • rozyredtoes

    Anything that will help stop somebody from hurting you is worth considering. A flame thrower would be a good choice except that it ruins the furniture and stinks up the house. Some Mormon missionaries or jehovas witnesses permanently parked on your front porch would most likely keep you house crime free.

    • Lexington

      I go backpacking. Some areas allow CC, others require OC and still others forbid weapons at all.

      I note that a .410 – is – a pretty good shell for snakes and a .45 is enough to discuss manners with a black bear.

      @ Matt Groom “I think the .410 bore out of a handgun is just plain silly. You could carry a 6″ Glock 17L that was the same size as a Taurus Judge and have 17+ rounds,”

      Vs. the 20 #000 (.360 / 9mm) buckshot pellets from the Taurus delivered in only 5 strokes of the trigger?

      Your Glock spits those 9mm rounds out one – at – a – time, giving the BG a chance to return the favor The Judge spits them out 4 at a time — with no lag waiting to get back on target. Boom. 4. Boom. 4. Boom. 4. Check to see if aim point still exists. If it does, Boom 4 two more times. I can put 20 downrange faster than you can.

      Have a nice day, but if you haven’t fired this revolver with this shell, you’re not qualified to speak.

  • Will – Heroin, that’s rough stuff. Those addicts are always more desperate for some reason. I’m with you on the buckshot. People can argue about the Judge, but it’s helped give .410 owners some much needed diversity. I like the PDX idea but for the $2 a round I’ve seen it in my parts I can buy twice the 000 buck if I shop around.

    I love the hype ammo companies put out. It reminds me of the early 90s when people were selling “Dragon’s Breath” rounds. My general rule is that anything with “Extreme” in the title will never live up to the hype.

    rozyredtoes – You’re 100% right. Just the activity of neighbors cuts crime. When I lived in NYC my neighbors used to make fun of the fact that I sat on the stoop calling the cops on people, now that I’m gone they complain that their cars are getting broken into. Vigilance.

  • Will

    Rob- $2 per round? Even .308 Winchester/7.62 NATO isn’t that expensive. I agree with the Judge bringing options to those who want it (I don’t). About the best thing I have to say about it is “at least it ain’t a Hi Point”.

  • gyrfalcon

    Scientific studies and general common sense have fairly well proven bird-shot does not have the penetration to inflict a stopping wounds in a human. If all the pellets do is embed themselves in the first inch or so of flesh, what’s the point of using them for self-defense purposes? Maybe you’re trying to piss off the person attacking you and not stop them?

    There are documented cases where folks breaking into homes have taken full magnum loads of birdshot from a 12gauge center-mass and lived to tell about it, and even walk themselves to the ambulance. I’m sure .410 would be more effective though! (***SARCASM***)

  • Not sure the “Box of Truth” is a scientific study.

    Will – I saw .410 PDX for nearly $15 for a ten round box so not quite $/round but close enough for this cheapskate!

  • Will

    Rob- I think gyrfalcon means tests done according to the FBI’s ballistic testing protocols. I’m in agreement with him over the load’s documented lack of effectiveness. As for $15/box of 10 shells. All I have to ask is WTF? Even my Gold Dots aren’t THAT expensive. I can find a box of Winchester Ranger Talons (127 +p+ load) for $34.95/box of 50 or 70 cents/round. 50 rounds of my preferred 124+p Gold Dots runs about 28 bucks or so (56 cents/round) and my second choice (147 grain standard pressure Gold Dot) costs roughly the same with options to buy bulk packs of 500 rounds. In .410 you’ve got Federal’s 000 buck load going for 12.95/box of 20 thru And Winchester has two 000 buck loads; one 2 1/2″ and one 3′, both under the “Super-X” label.

  • rozyredtoes

    Come on folks you do not buy PDX to target shoot you get them to stop someone from corn holing you. As for bee bees they are not coming out of a daisy air rifle. I have read that about 800 feet per second is the speed of projectiles coming out of a 3 inch barrel. The penetration power of any bullet is determined by what it hits particularly what it hits if you miss the corn holeing perp. You all have to get it through your noggins that the after math of a shooting is where the most danger is. There is not point much point in saving your life if you end up spending the rest of it living in corn hole city. If you shoot someone for any reason you will have to deal with the Obama authorities and they feel if you are not wearing a uniform and did not vote for them which they will know because you own a gun, you deserve a good corn holeing and they will give it to you, big time. My choice for personal up close defense is a .410 hand gun loaded with as much metal projectiles that I can cram in it. Your choice is fine with me, just please back me up and don’t miss. Remember to tell them to smile and wait for the flash.

  • Ach the FBI. I forgot about them. I’d like to see them update the finding with all the new loads. I’d also like to see a real study of a years worth of ER admittances to see short and long term effects of various shootings. I guess monkey coke use is more important though. I’m interested in how the “green” ammo does in terms of lead, and how the higher velocities of ammo companies pushing the envelope change results, if at all. With the unloading of Russian ammo I wouldn’t mind seeing more testing between the same loading from different countries.

    I like the Winchester loads and have stocked them up. I’m looking at buying bulk from Cableas but that’s just because I like hoarding things.

  • Rozy – I just like the cheaper Winchester which has more big balls, no pun intended.

    How do the discs hold up at range? I like round balls but the discs make me nervous about accuracy, such as it is with a Judge.

  • Will

    rozyredtoes- Now you’re making precisely zero sense. The aftermath is more dangergous than an immediate an lethal threat? You mean to tell me you’re more worried about having to go to court than having a random thug put a bullet in your head? And earlier you said that you weren’t “talking about combat” when, in fact, you were discussing self-defense which is fighting for your life and thus is combat. All I have to say is that I’m glad you’re not in my unit.

    Rob- I highly recommend looking up Doctor Gary Roberts. Skip on over to and look in the terminal ballistics forum. He posts on there under the username “DocGKR”. He’s one of the most knowledgeable people in the country as far as terminal ballistics goes.

  • rozyredtoes

    Will, I am 74 years old and I can assure I know what is needed to know about ballistics terminal or other wise. What you need to know is the case histories about so called lethal self defense. Why you need to know this more than guns or ballistics is that if the time ever comes you will be able to make a knowledgeable decision that will not destroy your life. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to you and it will happen no matter what you do. Personal self defense means stopping someone from hurting you at the time and also everything that follows and this will require correct decisions that will have to be worked out long before the event. You do not want a jury to think that you wanted to kill no matter what the circumstances. Prosecutors and judges [ the kind that wear a robe] have heard the self defense plea more than you have heard your name and it does not impress them. Corn hole city and everything that goes with it is a bitter pill to swallow particularly if you think you are innocent. Go find some ex convicts and ask them if it was really worth it. I will shoot if I am in fear of losing my life but not to kill but if they just happen to expire too bad they should have left me alone. One round of .410 bird shot shows that murder was not my intent. Their is not a man born of woman that 4 more rounds, that’s 20 .36 cal balls out of my 3 inch chambered judge won’t stop immediately. Give it some thought you might see my side.

  • rozyredtoes

    To Rob Taylor, the buck and ball .410 so far has worked just fine. It left huge holes and bee bee holes are all around them. I only practice at 35 feet. I do think that the judge is the best close range personal defense weapon a person can have in time of need. Some person was blathering on about his 12 gauge and what it could do. When he was all through I told him their was one thing that it would not do and that was fit in his pocket.

  • rozyredtoes

    Will, another thing is you need not be concerned with is that I might end up in your unit unless we are related. The only unit I am concerned with is my family unit. The only combat I am interested in is the Peal Harbor type, strike the first and only blow and then leave. If there is no where to go then I will fire up the backhoe and leave 911 calling to the timid and fearful. I live in the Ozarks and the nearest neighbor is over 2500 feet away through the woods and my 5 dogs could always use some extra protein. Oh yes I do have things that will shoot farther and one has a bayonet on it. But the neighbors would get quite upset if I tried to bury one of their kin.

  • gyrfalcon

    It seems like a lot of people making comments are confusing birdshot with larger shot such as BB’s, #1-#4, 00, etc… The larger the shot it more penetration power you’re going to get.

    So unless any of you have data relating to birdshot here what I’m going to say:

    Birdshot is for Birds (and crazy people who don’t care about self-defense)
    Larger shot for People/Deer/etc

    Maybe some of the confusion is between #4 birdshot that is 0.13″ sized pellets, and #4 buck which is about twice the size at 0.24″?

    Heck load up some sand or salt in your gun. It’s your life.

  • rozyredtoes

    Gryfalcon. The point is, bird shot is not necessarily lethal. A load of bird shot in the head will give you a moment to decide just how far you want to take this unpleasant event just in case you have made a mistake. Lawsuits are unpleasant be not nearly as much as homicide charges. That bird shot is backed up by 4 rounds of .45 or 000 buck, what ever your pleasure. In fact salt or sand might be a better choice than bird shot, painful but reparable. If you should happen to get into a lethal confrontation there is most likely a 50, 50 chance that it could have been avoided and that makes you a murderer and subject to all the unpleasantness that goes with it.

  • Will

    rozyredtoes- You just mentioned in the last post addressed to me that if forced to kill in self defense that you’d “fire up the backhoe and leave calling 911 to the timid and fearful”. Well here’s a newsflash for you: covering up a killing automatically takes situation that ends in a manslaughter charge at worst to Second Degree Murder at best and if the prosecuting DA is good enough, they’ll likely try to get you for First Degree Murder. If one is forced to defend themselves the FIRST thing to do after the fight is over is to stay put and call the police. You do have the Constitutional right to remain silent and have an attorney present for questioning. A good defense attorney should be more than capable of pointing out to a jury that you fired in fear for your life when no other options were available; just look at how many thugs walk because of their attorneys’ skill. Tell me; where do you get your legal advice? I’ve spoken to several law enforcement officers, attorneys, forensic techs, and trauma doctors on various matter: officers and attorneys for the legal aspects; forensic techs and doctors for what weapons and ammuntion are truly effective.

    The Glock 19 is a common pistol in police holsters; if it’s not issued, it is on the authroized list. The Speer Gold Dot 124 grain +p load is issued to the NYPD and many other major police departments and its a proven load both in the lab and on the street. The kubaton is my less lethal option along with skill in hand-to-hand fighting. My overall point is that if someone has threatened me to the point to where I’m about to be killed and have to draw a gun, then deadly force is justified. Also, in most jusisdictions, discharging a firearm is automatically classified deadly force so your “warning round of birdshot” is a wasted shot at best.

  • rozyredtoes

    Will, I said if there was no place to go. Let me clarify this. My wife and I made the decision that if there were no witness to the act of either one of us taking someones life in a so called self defense event we would leave the scene. You are sort of right about everything you have stated and you have gotten this information from talking to people. Quit talking to people and start reading. I already know everything you have stated and then some since I have already been through it. The only right you have is to an attorney and a jury trial everything else is a crap shoot. If at the very best you are no billed and go home their is are still the friends and relatives of the deceased and their attorneys . No matter what the circumstances in their eyes you will have to pay with either money or blood. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder. The comment if you have to draw your gun is your decision that no one may agree with after the act. Jesus is the only person that supposedly returned from the dead and look at the crap storm that has caused. Dead people must be answered for.You are apparently reading or I might say not reading what I said. You seem to have a bad case of confirmation bias if you don’t know what that means find out. Warning shot? Who said anything about warning shot. If you have to go in front of a jury you will have to show them that it was not your intent to kill but to stop the person from causing any more damage. Their have been people convicted in self defense cases because they used ammunition the jury thought was used by the defendant because he wanted to kill. Fair or not they were convicted of homicide. You really need to stop typing and start reading. As far as your ballistics go I have personalty seen a pedestrian hit with a car so hard he went over 20 feet in the air and began his lawsuit from the hospital bed. I had to testify at the hearing. I know a person who was shot three times with a 38 special in the heart gut and arm and drove himself to the hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. He rose from the dead and later found one of his attackers and satisfied the grim reaper. I don’t really disagree with anything you say Or what some of these other folks say except that things don’t always work out the way they are supposed to. If I was Wyatt Earp instead of and old person with cataracts , arthritis and The flexibility of molasses in January I would most likely have a .45 with a high cap mag but I am not. From what experience I have gotten out of life I have come to the conclusion that the biggest deterrent that a human can have to stop them from continuing on a give course of action is mind searing pain. A whole lot of bits of metal that will turn his face into mush will accomplish this. Unless he is of course the man in the iron mask.

  • Will

    rozyredtoez- One nice thing about the state I live in: if someone is forced to kill in self defense and they are aquitted in a criminal trial, then they are protected from civil suit by the law. I already “spend a lot of time looking over my shoulder”. It’s called situational awareness and it’s what allows me to leave a potentially dangerous situation without needing violence. You say that if there are no witnessess you’ll leave the scene. How can you be certain there are no witnessess? Murphy’s Law is a real pain in the ass (what can go wrong will go wrong). If you leave the scene, you just made your defense all the harder as in the eyes of prosecuting DAs, “flight equals guilt” and you’ll be hard pressed to prove otherwise.

    You accuse me of confirmation bias when I’ve spent and continue to spend a great deal of my free time talking to (and reading the articles/essays) of ballisticians many of whom hold doctorates in their field. Are you honestly telling me that you know more about ballistics than someone who is a DOCTOR of the field?

    I agree that things don’t work out the way they’re supposed to which is why I won’t use birdshot unless the only alternative is being completely unarmed. The overwhelming evidence is that birdshot is unlikely to be effective against determined attackers. I already mentioned former Vice President Cheney’s hunting accident. Bear in mind that he shot his friend with a full length shotgun and not a Judge.

    You said that you live up in the Ozarks so I’ve a question for you, do you feel that birdshot would be effective if you somehow stumbled across a bear?

  • rozyredtoes

    Will,How did bears and PHD’s get into this conversation? Conformation bias is when you specifically look for anything that will conform your bias and gloss over things that do not so they do not register in your memory banks. Reading comprehension is another issue. I am glad to hear that you have situational awareness I developed that before they had a buzz word for it by being a rent collector in the black ghettos of Houston Texas for 9 years walking around at all hours with up to 5000.00 dollars on my person. I in no way said that a ballistics expert was wrong but I am skeptical of them being a hundred percent
    correct, it is a fluid science. PHD in ballistics, that a new one to me I always thought that it was a PHD in physics first then a study of ballistics. Before ballistics can get involved one has to hit what he is shooting at and the chances of that can get pretty iffy in a split second high excitement encounter. It is good to hear that your state has the castle laws, that is one of the better laws that was ever enacted. One must still show that the killing was justified or it is still considered murder. Something you might want to investigate is how many homicides each year in the US go unsolved. The reason I point this out is that the friends and relatives of the deceased will most likely never be interviewed after the person who killed their friend is found face down in a pool of blood and what if some attorney manages to come up with some type of civil rights violation which over shadows the castle laws, it could happen! Mr Cheny’s friend was rushed to the hospital I wonder how it would have worked out if the first round had been followed by 4 more rounds of 000 buck there is no overwhelming evidence that bird shot is ineffective. You are not correct in the statement that leaving the scene automatically makes you guilty it depends on the circumstances. One may retreat from what one perceives to be a life threatening situation. Lets leave it at this, you do what you want and I will follow my own counsel and may we all live happily ever after.

  • Will

    rosyredtoes- I gave you the opportunity to “agree to disagree” a while back but you persisted. However you and I are unlikely to change our minds on this subject so we’ll just have to agree to disagree and move on. You go on relying on an “ouch” response to stay safe while I’ll make sure they are physiologically incapacitated in order to keep me and mine in one piece.

  • gyrfalcon

    rozyredtoes — “Gryfalcon. The point is, bird shot is not necessarily lethal. A load of bird shot in the head will give you a moment to decide just how far you want to take this unpleasant event just in case you have made a mistake.”

    If people are interested in less-lethal/non-lethal self-defense tools they should look into alternatives other than firearms.

    rozyredtoes — “Mr Cheny’s friend was rushed to the hospital…”

    If someone shot me with birdshot I’m sure I would want to go to the hospital to have it removed. If they were attacking me I’m pretty damn sure I could return fire and kill them before the bird-shot could fully disable me.

    rozyredtoes — “I in no way said that a ballistics expert was wrong but I am skeptical of them being a hundred percent correct, it is a fluid science. PHD in ballistics, that a new one to me I always thought that it was a PHD in physics first then a study of ballistics. Before ballistics can get involved one has to hit what he is shooting…”

    Dr. Gary Roberts, LCDR, USNR, Stanford University Medical Center… Look him up on Google if you want. Ballistics don’t even come into play, just the wounds caused.

    • Dale

      To all..the Birdshot is fine in my opinion.

      May I just say I appreciate anyone humane enough to use Birdshot, like gryfalcon said…that person hit with it is going to hurt so much that no fool will continue.

      Let me give a little story for you all: I watched a show that featured a ROBOT that will shoot rounds at an intruder that is sensed by a laser beam being tripped, then the alarm sending a signal to the robot to fire!

      Well, all of the dudes on this team were ambushed by this robot and they ran for cover screaming, yes, with their heads down, collars way up and shirts pulled out to shield their faces. What were they being hit with? Little paint balls traveling at 500 inches per second during this trial.

      The interesting thing for me, the shocking thing, was the human reaction to “cover and run back” to where they came from (outside that door of the room the robot was stationed in). They, the reserarchers, were running in fright from their own invention when they KNEW it was JUST paintballs coming at them at a very low speed.

      All this to say that the writers such as gryfalcon are correct: Spray a load of Birdshot at a human being and they will run back outside, because that birdshot is travelling pretty quick and a lot more than the piddly stream of single paint balls the researches were hit with.

      Try a little experiment for yourself like this: Aim a BIG RUBBER BAND at someone and watch them cringe and turn away. If they are your employee or family member they will be very angry at you…why?
      You could “poke an eye out,” or injure their cheek or lips, or whatever.

      So imagine a shotgun with birdshot. Let’s put to rest the criticism of those planning to use Birdshot for self defense. Let’s congratulate them for being humane and giving the bad intruder a chance to change their mind and go back out where they came from – and to the Hospital.

  • Rozyredtoes

    Gy4falcon,I am not interested in non lethal weapons. I am interested in not going to prison.or losing every thing I have to attorneys. You and Will and other folks on this site seem to have a reading comprehension problem. We don’t need any help on how to look things up. My wife is a geo scientist and her dad is a retired rocket scientist and one of the top thermoplastic research engineers. Education is not one of her short comings. It was Will not I who brought up the PHD in ballistics. My wife was wondering which university offered a PHD in ballistics. Neither one of us has ever heard of this sort of PHD. I am pretty sure it requires some kind of ballistics to get a wound. Return fire after being hit in the face with a load of bird shot, you have to be joking. There is no way you are going to return effective fire if you are blind and in pain and shock. After a follow up with 20 balls of 000 buck you will most likely stop breathing. Bullets are iffy but a head shot is almost 99 percent effective and a judge at close range will almost guarantee a hit even under extreme stress. I have 3 38 special bullet holes in me one bounced off my heart and tore through my left lung and one swirled around in my intestines.I drove my self to the hospital and was pronounced DOA . After I recovered I was arrested and had to post 80,000 in bail and another 140,000.00 in legal bills before it all want away. You do not know what you are talking about, I do. You need to study not blather with other people about how the law really works. There is a site called learn about guns you should go there and read some of the comments made by retired law enforcement and attorneys about the misconceptions people have about how the law works. It might in the future save you a whole lot of grief.

  • Will

    rozyredtoes- For someone who agrees to disagree you seem to spend a lot of time insulting people. I get that you’re worried about prison time. If that’s the case then don’t fire your weapon at another person. Discharging a firearm at another person is automatically assault with a deadly weapon unless you can prove that you fired in self defense. You talk about scoring headshots without a sight picture and that “at close range the Judge guarentees a hit”. At the ranges you describe, the pellets will be a dense knot with little spread so you still have to aim the gun against a small and highly mobile target that is very likely to be moving when you begin your resistance.

    When I said Forensic Ballisticians with doctorates, I was talking about people who are doctors of forensic science and specialize in ballistics. Sorry for being unclear. I also highly recommend reading what Dr Roberts has to say since he is a medical doctor who has a great deal of knowledge in the field of terminal ballistics.

    Now for loading your Judge so the first payload will be birdshot with the remaining 4 being buckshot; if birdshot is as good as you say it is, then why not load all five chambers with birdshot and forget the buckshot?

    Finally my “apparent lack of reading comprehension”. I understand that you’re worried about going to prison. But what I don’t get is why you believe that discharging a load of birdshot is considered less deadly (or more politically correct or whatever) than bullets; as far as the law is concerned shooting someone is shooting someone and you have to prove that you acted in self defense regardless so your argument is a moot point. Handguns are poor manstoppers to begin with; their greatest strenth is thier portability compared to a carbine. Lets face it: if it were legal for us to carry carbines everywhere a lot of us would do so.

    Also, if the goal were to kill someone, a firearm would not be my first choice since there are toxins and chemicals that exhibit as close to 100% lethality as possible.

  • Rozyredtoes

    It is legal to carry carbines and a lot of people do, its called the army. Have you actually ever fired a judge. I don’t know why I asked, you could not have made the statements you made if you had ever fired one. In your case who knows. As far as toxins and chemicals go you need to explain this all to the military since they won’t use them because of their unreliability. You probably know something they don’t. The most lethal self defense is a flame thrower except it ruins the furniture and stinks up the house. Now on the reading comprehension issue lets see if your cognitive abilities can pick up on this next statement. Confirmation bias, A way in which we seek to find confirmatory evidence in support of already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret evidence to the contrary. Since you are now practicing law you should know that the law is not black and white there is always mitigating circumstances in your case it would it would be extremely insulting to say. Unless you are more than one person I have not been trying to insult you. It is very difficult to have a conversation with you with out you feeling insulted since you prattle on with no real knowledge of what you are talking about. You are a prime example of the saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Ok! I have a good friend who was a expert witness for the state for fire arms and ballistics. He has three engineering degrees was a special forces soldier and military sniper. Before all this he was a candidate for the Olympic shooting team for the USA. This was all a long time ago he is now in his mid 60’s He totally disagreed with me on the judge. He started shooting out in west Texas before he could even get an erection his Dad owned a 5000 acre ranch. He could shoot the ass out of a gnat at three hindered yards. I pointed that not all of us have a personal pistol range in the basement of their 8000 square foot house. He finally agreed that for an unskilled person who is not used to violence a hand held legal sawed of shot gun with five rounds of .410 would be the best choice for close up self defense weapon a person could have that is if they did not have any lethal toxins or chemicals. I will close by stating that the primary weapon is not what is in you hands it is what is between your ears. Let us hope that your ears are not touching each other. I want to apologize for the insulting contents of these statements. They were made to show you that my other comments were not insulting its just how you interpreted them.

  • Fuzzy 39

    I have a Judge tracker (6 inch barrel).

    With bird shot your face is hamburger,
    and with 000shot you bleed out.
    Here in Florida, you enter my home on foot and attack me we carry you out on a slab. My wife and I mop up the mess. No charges, no court and it is no crime. Florida’s castlelaw. Thank you Jeb Bush.

    Fuzzy out.

  • Will

    Rozyredtoes- You accuse me of confirmation bias. I am indeed biased; I have a bias against anything that is either scientifically unproven, has been documented as not working, and any combination thereof. My criteria for a weapon for any kind of personal defense are as follows.

    1) The ammuntion needs to be able to penetrate 12-18 inches of bare ballistic gelatin as well as through commonly encountered barriers (heavy clothing (4 layers of denim in lab tests), sheet metal, auto glass, plywood, and wall board) with good expansion and weight retention.

    2) The ammuntion needs to be readly obtainable.

    3) The weapon needs to be reliable. My standards of being capable of firing 2,000 rounds with no malfuntions (that are the fault of the weapon) without cleaning or lubrication. (By this I mean after cleaning and lubricating the weapon when I first get it, I expect it to be able to not need another cleaning or lubricatoin for 2,000 rounds of use before I’ll carry it. Once this is achieved, I’ll have a more routine cleaning schedule.)

    4) Parts should be obtainable for said weapon.

    5) If the weapon is a handgun, I should be able to conceal it without having to make extreme changes to my wardrobe. And example of an extreme change would be needing a full-length trench coat because I decided to CCW a Desert Eagle for some un-Godly reason.

    I hold my weapons and any potential addtions to my safe to very strict standards. And before you bitch at be for being lazy with cleaning, I’ve seen far too many Berettas, Glocks, SIG-Sauers, S&Ws, H&Ks, CZs, etc. make it to 2,000 rounds without cleaning and lubrication for me to expect a modern pistol to NOT complete such a challenge. Hunting and “fun” guns I don’t hold to such standards since I’m not likely to rely on them to save my life, but I do appreciate that many of them are capable of being pressed into service if need be. (One of my “fun” guns is a reproduction of the Colt SAA chambered in .44-40 as well as a Stoeger Coach Gun in 12 ga).

    As for military members being able to carry their weapons everywhere… The moment I see military personnel walking around off duty with their M4s, M240B’s, M203 rigs, and M1014s slung up, then I’ll believe that bit. Not once have I ever claimed to be a lawyer. I’ve just spent a lot of my time speaking to both defense attorneys and prosecuting DAs to whom I am thankful they were willing to sit down with me during their spare time and discuss the law with me.

    If you want to know the material I read, here are some links for you to the writings of Doctor Gary Roberts: a physician who is one of the best authorities on ballistics in the USA.

    I’ll close my comment by saying that I’m finished with arguing this matter since no matter how many times I can point out scientific and anecdotal evidence to the contrary that in your opinion birdshot is the Hammer of Thor and I’ve wasted enough of my life here. No matter what you use, train hard and stay safe.

  • gyrfalcon

    “rozyredtoes- For someone who agrees to disagree you seem to spend a lot of time insulting people. I get that you’re worried about prison time. If that’s the case then don’t fire your weapon at another person. Discharging a firearm at another person is automatically assault with a deadly weapon unless you can prove that you fired in self defense. ” — Will

    +1 to your comments. I’m glad someone takes the time to debate with an armchair cowboy who obviously doesn’t have a clue what he was talking about. While his wife and in-laws appear to be educated that doesn’t appear to be his forte.

    Generally my reading comprehension is quite good. If I choose not to reply to an idiotic comment about going to jail/legal battles in using a firearm that’s my choice and has nothing to do with comprehension. Anyone with a bit of brains knows even pointing a firearm at someone could be considered a felony by law enforcement. If you’re going to fire ineffective ammo (or even blanks) you’re just compounding the situation. Having a living perpetrator in the courtroom is real good idea Mr. Einstein (aka: Rozyredtoes).

  • Hicusdicus

    Lets stop all this second grade play ground banter. Insulting you was not my intent just colorful chit chat so I apologize. I am 74 years old. If a person with the physical strength to over power me and cause severe injury threatens to hit me with his fists I can legally point a fire arm at them and threaten to shoot if they don’t back off.. If they insist on advancing I can shoot to kill. If I shoot them in the face with bird shot it shows my intent was not to kill. Intent goes along way in a court room. Penetration, now there is a word with a lot of misinterpretation. I want to discuss only one kind of penetration. The kind I have in mind is the sort that pisses off thousands of nerve endings in the face and causes excruciating pain. It does not require much penetration. I have also been lead to believe that blind people in extreme pain are not much of a threat. What happens after that will require some real knowledge based judgment. Before you carry on any farther I have been there. Homicide detectives, interrogation rooms multiple felony charges, a bailiff, bail bondsmen,prosecuting attorneys , grand juries, incredibly expensive personal attorneys, a judge and much time in a court room. I ended up prevailing but only on account of blind luck . Blind luck can over rule talent , intelligence and wealth but it is extremely fickle. I have a concealed carry permit so that shows it went well. The wear and tear on my health did not fair so well. You certainly may do things as you see fit but you will be the one to reap the rewards.I want to sincerely say.. Before it comes your turn to grab the tiger by the tail be sure you have all your ducks in a row.

  • Thomas

    This past weekend I had the good fortune to be able to pickup a used stainless steel Taurus Judge and got to try it out this morning unfortunately I though this Judge also could shoot the 3 inch .410 shot shell but it does not, when I noted a quarter of an inch of the shell coming out the front of the cylinder ! Unfortunately the #4 shells I wanted to try out were 3 inch shells, while the 2 and a half inch shells were #8 shot ! The weapon performed perfectly, penetration was not that great, I plan to cut off a quarter of an inch from the 3 inch shells and they will fit in the cylinder ! What I have tryed previously in my Bond derringer is to cut open a .410 shell and pour out the small #8 shot and replace it with fired .22 caliber bullets or .177air-gun pellets, I have noted much better penetration but poor shot pattern, but at close range a better self-defence load than the small .410 shot ! Two questions : Has anyone removed the shot from the .410 shells and replaced it with steel air-gun BB’s ? Will it harm the rifling on the Taurus Judge ? (2) I have read on the internet that persons have shot the .45 ACP out of the Judge by using moon or half-moon clips, has anyone tryed this ? As anyone who owns a Judge knows that .45 Colt ammo is very expensive, while .45 ACP can be held for more than half the cost !

  • hicusdicus

    Thomas! Are you short of money? XPD is extremely lethal and you can practice with the cheapest bird shot. The judge is a personal self defense weapon that can be used successfully with minimal practice. Its the average Joe or Jane’s boom of doom. The judge was designed to shoot the .45 long colt to keep it legal. It is a sawed off shot gun. From buck and ball to bird shot, a few rounds in the face will end the confrontation and start the legal process.

  • Thomas

    Yes I have heard of the XPD, and even shot it once out of my Thompson Contender, yes it is a great defence round ! But since I had so many of the other .410 shot shells in #6 and higher I wanted to see if I could get just a bit more punch in the .410 Judge, and of course in an emergency if all I had were the #6 to#8 shot I would like something more powerful ! Well today I cut off the top of the 3 inch .410 and poured out the #6 shot and replaced it with a small plastic capsule filled with steel BB’s, packed it inside the .410 shell and sealed it ! Also tryed the same thing with another shell except used a few .177 air-gun pellets instead ! Both the BB’s and the .177 air-gun pellets went completely thru a wooden cabinet door that was and inch thick, shot at 20 feet ! Now the next thing I want to try is using moon or half moon clips with the .45ACP in the Judge !

  • Mike

    “(the pellet number is wrong, but the penetration depth sounds right for .410)”

    I was not aware that #4 pellets fired at the same velocity out of different gauges exhibited different terminal ballistics.