Not-as-lethal ammunition for Taurus Judge

The .410 shotshell chambered Taurus Judge has created a niche in the ammunition market for defensive .410 ammunition. The Home Defender ammunition from Lightfield Less Lethal packs three rubber buckshot into a .410 shotshell. The company is selling this as less-likely-to-kill than regular ammunition but told me that under no circumstance could this be considered less-lethal.

So why would you want it? This is what they company representative told me

Our main premise for this line was giving shooters a choice. For example,a Taurus Judge loaded w/ 2 rubber buck followed by 3 lead loads gives the shooter a chance to send a painful warning. If those warnings are not heeded, then you have shown the intruders intention if the lead comes into play.

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.


  • Jim

    The Judge doesn’t need any help to be less lethal.

  • KC

    I wonder what the penetration is like, maybe it could be useful for locations where over penetration is an extreme concern, still, if someone is in my home and hasn’t bolted already from just the presence of me, they better expect more than rubber pellets heading their way…

  • jaekelopterus

    It seems like birdshot out of a two-inch barrel, with a cylinder gap to boot, is about as less-lethal as you can get and still call it a firearm.

  • cory

    That’s silly. You pointing a gun at the bad guy isn’t warning enough?

  • KBCraig

    The entire “Judge” platform should be considered a “less lethal” delivery system, unless you’re shooting .45 Colt through it. And if you are, you’d be better served with a revolver designed for .45 Colt, instead of this huge unwieldy lump of marketing. The .410 shotgun shell is marginal for defensive purposes when fired through an 18″ barrel. The penetration and effectiveness from a compromised handgun is too low to measure.

    As for the idea of this load being a “warning”, I have to roll my eyes. The phrase “warning shot” was surely coined by the first guy who missed. My definition of a warning is this: “The first shot to center mass was a warning that if you don’t stop, I’ll shoot you again!”

  • TCBA_Joe

    What a stupid concept. Makign a weapon less lethal without it being less-lethal. If you carry a firearm, you need to accept the consequences of using it. If you can’t handle shooting someone in self defense, maybe you should be carrying pepper spray or a taser.

  • DavidR

    I will soon be marketing a cartridge for the Judge that fires gum balls. After all, no one can resist a delicious piece of candy.

  • Zach

    Absolutely stupid. If the person didn’t stop at the display of a gun, you’re wasting time and will probably be dead before you get to the “lethal” rounds later on. And this rubber buck will be treated as deadly force legally, so there is no benefit there. It may even give the anti’s some stupid ideas. This is such a bad idea all around it’s hard to exaggerate.

    Aside from my main point, the “Judge” doesn’t exactly need help being ineffective. I would sooner carry a .22 revolver.

  • Maigo

    If you’re firing a gun as a warning, you shouldn’t be firing at all. The first thing the prosecutor is going to say is that you didn’t feel your life was in all that much danger.

  • Freiheit

    I agree with Joe. This is a bad idea, there are very good reasons that less-lethal options (such as rubber bullets, tasers) are regulated separately from firearms.

    It’s one thing to have some fun at the range and shoot beanbags, it is quite another to carry these loads.

    If these get popular there WILL be a backlash when some bozo shoots someone, kills them, and tries to blame the less-lethal ammo.

  • subase

    The whole ‘The Judge’ platform is a joke.

    Kudo’s for Taurus finding a market niche of the clueless defensive gun person. Who thinks because the Judge is a really big gun it must be the most lethal, knowledge given to them by watching Dirty Harry and the Desert Eagle .50 being used by every movie villain.

    But these people actually don’t want to kill anyone, they just want to ‘scare them’. So now rubber bullets have become available for the platform. I’d be worried about ricochets. Who wants supersonic rubber bouncing balls in their house? And can someone say civil lawsuit?

  • OMG I logged on to say, “The Judge is already as ‘less lethal’ as a firearm needs to be,” and like three people beat me to it! I love you people.

  • SpudGun

    Bah! Steve totally moderated my comments describing a typical Taurus Judge owner and why they need less lethal ammo. It’s almost as if my sweeping generalizations, wanton stereotyping and ill founded opinions aren’t appreciated.

    What’s a troll to do? 🙂

  • I can’t express just how bad an idea I think this is.

  • BK

    Less lethal does not mean that it is not deadly force. In most states discharging a firearm at another person IS the application of dealy force and as such should only be used to resist a like force. If you are faced with the prospect of being killed or seriously injured by an attacker why would you use a cartridge that is less likely to stop them. The other side of the coin is that since it is LESS LETHAL it has that warm fuzzy appeal to individuals who want to own a gun to defend themselves, but don’t really want to hurt anybody too much. The label, less lethal tends to soften the “rules of engagement” and lower the threshold for its use, which is a mindset which has a high likelyhood of getting the defender killed or jailed and almost assuredly sued. Less lethal has a purpose in law enforcement in the context of effecting an arrest under difficult circumstances while decreasing the chances of killing the arrestee. On the whole, there is not much of a niche for less lethal in the civillian realm.

  • Bryan S

    You shoot to stop a threat. Not to warn, not to wound, but to stop an imminent threat on yours or someone else’s life.

    And on a side note, How nice will it be to have 4 rubber balls bouncing back towards you at 500 FPS? 3-400 can break small bones, these could and would do bad things to people you may have not meant to shoot.

  • In NC, firing a gun no matter what the ammo is considered a use of lethal force. If you are justified in pulling the trigger, it does not matter what ammo you are using.

  • Komrad

    When police use rubber shot, don’t they bounce it off the ground to slow it down?

  • Matt Litman

    Agree with the above commenters.

    Also, it seems like a rubber ball would be likely to ricochet right back at the shooter if he happens to be facing a brick or stone wall.

  • Matthew Carberry

    Add me to the pile on saying “no” for defense.

    Maybe there’s a use for hazing wildlife/animals where that is legal and called for?

    I wonder what it’d do out of a 20″ barrel .410?

  • AJ

    What about using it for animal control? It might be useful for scaring off an animal. And if need be and the situation escalates, you have the lead option available as a last resort.

  • Peter
  • Squidpuppy

    Okay, not like this is gonna drive many sales (or maybe it will), but a buddy of mine’s wife is mostly anti-gun, but not so much she won’t let him have a revolver and a shotgun for home defense; she was a kid in LA during the riots many years ago – it left an impression.

    However, she’s adamant about not having proper defensive ammo in the vicinity with the kids, and no amount of argument over the years about guns & defense has ever swayed her. Whatever.

    So, what he’s got is a stock of mostly useless ammo, like snake shot .38 and bird shot loads, some other LTL including bean bag shot. This kind of thing would certainly placate his wife. Now, what does he _really_ do? He has proper rounds mixed into the boxes of his “for show” ammo; she can’t tell the difference – won’t go near the stuff.

    Not that it matters much, because his guns are imprisoned in a 1/4 ton safe hidden behind a stack of crates in the back of the garage; trigger and cable locked. So unless he’s got enough advance warning, he’s up the creek anyway. Shrug.

  • Carl

    Next: .68 shotshells with paintballs inside.

  • gyrfalcon

    For those that don’t think the Judge has enough knock down power, they’ve released the supreme court version.

  • All the Judge needs is a slide so I can rack it and really scare off the bad guys while allowing me to remain less than lethal.

  • GeorgeInNePa

    So much fail.

  • Warning rounds, huh?

    Personally, I think 230 grains in the left ventricle is a perfect warning to stop advancing. If necessary, I’ll warn him with the other seven rounds.

    If he’s still got enough moxie to catch me after that, I’ll warn him repeatedly with the butt of my weapon.

    Nothing says “Stop, I mean business!” like a hole in a vital organ…

  • I was hoping these guys would make a .410 load:

  • This is a lawsuit and murder/manslaughter/maiming charge waiting to happen. Bad, bad, bad idea.

    KBCraig: You won the quote of the day on my blog. Good line about the first “warning shot.”

  • Will

    .410 bore loads suck out loud in a 20″ barreled shotgun for anything except small game hunting. Sticking it in a revolver is not going to make it any better. Considering Winchester’s PDX1 doesn’t even penetrate to the 12″ FBI recommends as minimum, I’d only consider a Judge for a snake gun or something similar, but then I can just load up some .44 shotshells and use them in a Super Redhawk or Smith Model 29 and get the same results.

  • Patrick

    If an assailant points a judge at me I don’t know what its loaded with I am responding with a leathal response. The person looking down the barrel does not know what it is loaded with. Make the load potent. Less than lethal is a joke in a self defense or any useful situation

  • BH


  • Will

    BH: I agree that having to shoot someone during a life-threatening situation is one of the most difficult things to have to do and is the one of the last things that I want to have to do. But if I’m going to be shooting at someone, I want to know that the ammuntion in my firearm can get the job done if I manage to score vital hits. To me that means a well-designed hollowpoint in a handgun and 00 Buck in a shotgun.

  • ET

    I have a Taurus Judge Ultra-lite and I have to disagree with all the posters who have read the stories and now are experts. I load mine with Hornaday 45LC jhp ammo when I want personal protection. It is devastating. If you don’t want to believe me please, I beg you, let me prove it to you. Just stand in front of me and say the magic word…”shoot”. I also load the Judge with the .410 00 buckshot when I need a snake gun in the mountains or if I don’t need the power of the 45LC, ie. when I would have to shoot a dog in the yard that is attacking my pets etc. I will say that I would rather have my Rem 870 12 gauge tactical shotgun with a 18″ barrel, but I can’t always carry that, now can I.

  • Will

    ET- I HAVE shot the Judge. It gets a yawn from me due to personal experience. 5 shots of .45 LC in an unwieldy-ass package when compared to other prominent pistols. Add in Taurus’ notorious lack of QC to the equation and you’ve got a non-starter for me. As for “go down range and let me shoot you”, I’ve heard that one many times. If I’m going to shoot an animal with a handgun, why would I purchase a revolver that will see limited, if any use when a N-Frame Smith chambered for .45 LC will do a similar job in a more reputed package? Shot shells do exist for most makes of revolver from .38 Special to .45LC and .44 Mag.

  • Will

    One final thought: “less lethal” ammuntion makes sense from a law enforcement standpoint, but for your typical civillian they’re a waste of time. If I’m forced to shoot someone, they’re trying to kill me and I’m not going to rely on a simple “ouch” response to stop them: I’m going to fill their anatomy with as many deep holes in their vital organs as possible.

  • Superman

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

  • Will

    Superman: I’ll let you shoot me with your Judge provided you allow me to shoot you 15 times with my HK91 (G3 clone in 7.62 NATO) first. *eye roll* That has to be the dumbest argument around.

    No one sane wants to be shot with anything as a given. Doesn’t mean the Judge is effective. I will grant you the if it’s loaded with .45 Colt or 000 buck it would probably work, however 5 shots in a package that is almost as bulkier than an N-Frame Smith combined with Taurus’ bad reputation for poor quality control and the fact that I’ve fired a Judge and found the gun lacking makes this a non-starter for me. If you’re happy, rock on but try to find a better argument to bring to the discussion.

  • Ugotit

    First of all if some one is in your house that should not be there
    ( break in or what ever )
    They should not be there.
    We fight for the second amendment why give it up with
    Micky mouse toys and rubber balls.
    You be the JUDGE with the lethal weapon you are allowed to have,
    not the JUDGE, OR THE JUDGE
    The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

  • Anachronite

    LOL shooting an intruder with rubber bullets is like inviting the intruder to draw his weapon and kill you. What a joke. If your shooting at an intruder, use deadly force, lest you be dead first.

  • David Faraci

    Not a bad idea but I’d like to see high impact bean-bag ammo. I do security not a big fan of the taser. Just the other night a guard sat wrong with the taser on his side and broke it in 3 parts, you can’t do that to the Judge. Anodize it make it a different color maybe yellow or orange and there you go. If you guys do this let me know!

  • chris

    i think its a smart move to label it not as lethal, as nothing that is shot out of a barrel of a gun can really be called non lethal, they all have a chance of being lethal.

  • evildave

    If I have a gun, it is absolutely for killing.

    I see this kind of round as a ‘margin for error’.

    In situations where you’re using a weapon for self defense, you’re making split-second decisions that MIGHT, just possibly be wrong.

    Rubber bullets do kill. But if that ‘intruder’ turns out to be a family member stumbling around for a late night snack (and weapons in homes DO tend to kill the people who live in those homes), or a kid somehow manages to get the gun out and unlocked, then yes, I’d rather have the chambered round be ‘less lethal’, than have the gun locked in a box, unloaded, with a bicycle cable through the barrel, with the ammo stored in a separate, locked box, if someone kicks the front door in at 2:00am.

    Because in the spur of the moment, if I’ve fired once, I probably won’t stop firing, if you still look threatening to me. If I’m already pointing the gun at you, you’re never, ever going to have time to draw yours. Someone who’s just been slammed in the chest with rubber shot who does not crumple or fall on their butt will probably not do anything but flee, even if they are armed, but especially if they aren’t armed. They won’t know how badly they’re hurt (or not) until they stop running and check.

    Many articles point out the virtues of mixing ammunition in a revolver. Hollow point devastation and solid round penetration combined. The best of both worlds. Most burglaries are stupid punks who aren’t armed. I’m fine with not having to clean their brains out of the carpet if they flee, and I’m fine with paying the cleaners if they don’t.

  • Will

    Better idea than “rubber” or “less lethal ammo”. It’s called a flashlight (weapon mounted or hand-held) so you can follow the rule “Always be sure of your target and that which is around it.”

  • Mike

    Everyone here forgets,a 410 bird shot blast in the face at close range will blind a person.

    That person can’t see me to shoot back.

    I load my Judge with 2- 45 colts,2 tripple ot bucks,and one bird shot.

    I sleep with it while camping in my camper shell,pull the back lid to get me and get a 410 bird shot in the face first then tripple ot buck,then 45 colts.

    In the dark!!!! In the forest!!!

    You won’t be back!!


    • Johnny

      That is EXACTLY how I had mine loaded in PA, we had 21 acres and I have 2 kids. One day while at a camp fire a black bear walked up the neighbors on the kids and my 8 year old girl while at a camp fire. We first threw rocks to scare him off, it did not work, it turned on us. The Neighbor acted fast and hit him 3 times with #8 in the butt for an 870 express 12 GA, I hit him with with the first 3 rounds of shot from the Judge. I didnt know that a black bear could run so fast after being hit with so much shot, the next round was a 45 in mine and a HOT slug from his 12 Ga. Lucky Bear he was…Never walk up on our kids. I dont want to kill, I just want to warn and tell things to stay away.

    • WoodenPlank

      It’s also a fast way to find yourself on the wrong end of a civil lawsuit in many states.

  • mike

    To the guys questioning the use of a non lethal round, i give you a resent episode of last week. I was at the light just leaving a bar when a guy in his car was starring at me. Needless to say afterwords he got out, him and his friend and walked towards my truck in traffic. He was ranting about his status as a gang member. I drew my weapon and he told me to kill him. He wasn’t afraid and his cousin was already dead. He reached in my truck and snatched my hat off my head while the gun was pointed. If i shot him my law license would be in jeporady (Lawyer) since he was unarmed. I got my hat and he persisted to do the same. I put my gun up and wound up fighting two guys. When you near metro areas where shooting is like the ultimate wrong and you have alot to lose, less lethal solutions may be the answer. The law is pretty stupid about these grey areas. If i use a lets say normal round the presumption is i still intended death on a non-armed offender. P.S. I knocked both guys to the ground but loss some jewelry in the process. By the way the entire fight ocurred while i was on the phone.

  • matthew carberry

    Needless to say?

    Why on earth make eye contact? Why on earth not drive away? What on earth have your window down in the first place? Why on earth not let him have your hat if you for whatever reason left your window down? Why on earth would you choose to take on two-to-one odds hand to hand with someone not afraid of the gun?

    You are aware you don’t have to play their BS wanna-be alpha games right? That a wolf can and should ignore the barking of pissant little dogs?

  • matthew carberry

    For that matter, if you are legally justified in using less-than-lethal force from a firearm, under what statute are you not also justified in using lethal force from the same gun?

    Rubber bullets from 3 feet are not “non-lethal”.

  • wahoo mcdaniel

    I heard Taurus is adding another of its questionably made revolvers to the line: The Judge “Plea Deal”. It features a sling shot on a revolver frame, a big, unwieldy plastic frame, with a slingshot attached. It shoots rubber balls, ball bearings, rocks, or gum balls. MMM, tasty. And will only run about $600 or whatever you can spare. Defensive loads include a doberman pincer or a small yapping lapdog. That’s the less lethal round, that lap dog.

    Yeah, buy a Judge, a gun named to get you convicted by today’s gun ignorant juries on name value alone. These pieces of junk are a legal liability from the word go, from the stupid name on. A bad idea looking for a place to happen, the whole Judge thing…So, Why not the Taurus ‘Bad Ass’, Taurus ‘Vigilante’, maybe the Taurus ‘Civil Lawsuit’?

    How bout a 12 ga. Revolver, the Undertaker? 50 cal? The Broadside!.