Taurus Judge Public Defender Ultra-Lite

Say what you want about Taurus, but when they hit a home run they know how to take advantage of it. The new Ultra-Lite features an aluminum frame. It weighs in at 20.7 ounces. The steel cylinder holds five rounds of .45 Long Colt or .410 shot shells. The MSRP is 648.00.

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.


  • Roadkill

    Shorten it for just .45 colt and toss on a good trigger, and I’m all for it.

  • SpudGun, please stop complaining and stop posting comments you know are in violation of the comment policy. There are plenty of other websites were you can say whatever you want.

  • Jerry

    Roadkill said: “Shorten it for just .45 colt and toss on a good trigger, and I’m all for it.”

    Wouldn’t you then have a S&W 625?

  • ericire12

    This is not breaking news…. It was in their 2010 catalog back in January.

    *I find it funny that their polymer Judge is 7 oz heavier then their aluminum one…… What good is the poly?

  • Jim

    What is SpudGun insinuating that is beyond the pale? I’d like to avoid his fate.

    On a separate topic, are the triggers on taurus centerfire revolvers any better than on the rimfires? The double action on my 22lr Taurus revolver is nearly impossible to actuate, especially after it dirties up a bit.

  • David

    @ Spud Gun – “First degree murder is not my bag.”

  • xstang

    Well, there was the story of the one dad who shot his daughters’ boyfriend in the crown jewels area with buckshot….not to put you on the spot Steve, but I’m pretty sure I read it here…

  • Jim and David, yes I know he was joking but others may not realize that and so I have decided to delete his comment. Murder and abuse is just not funny anyway.

    xstang, yep that did happen.

  • hojo

    When subtlety isn’t your strong-point… Taurus Judge.

  • SpudGun

    I can totally understand why my comment was deleted, not everyone gets my warped sense of humor and it’s hard to get the comedic intent that was meant to be conveyed from the written word alone.

    The underlying tone of my message was that Taurus Judge pistols are bought by a certain demographic for a particular purpose and that as a firearm, it’s practical uses are limited.

    I don’t want to get The Firearm Blog into trouble, as it’s the only intelligent place on the Web to discuss firearms and the like, so I’m sorry if my remarks caused offense.

    Steve – kiss and make up? BFF?!!!11!!one!!! 🙂

    • SpudGun, sure why not

  • Roadkill

    If you can get S&W to do a 5shot .45 acp or colt snubby, then sure, I’d rather get that. Smith & Wesson .45 ACP and Colts are all 6 round N-frames. Even when using scandium or alloy, they’re still beasts. While, they make a .44special snub, the ammo is hard to find and more expensive than .44mag. We’re still waiting for that damn Charter rimless cartridge revolver, and if anything I’ve heard more bad things about Charter than Taurus.

  • subase

    I wonder when Taurus will release their ‘Barrack Obama Judge’ in cool black. He was after all a law professor and head of the Harvard Law review.

    Or maybe the Taurus ‘Yes we can’ Judge

    I should seriously get paid for this.

    • subase, heh heh, I am actually surprised a gun company has not done this. They would get so much free advertising in the mainstream media, although they would not sell many of the acual gun … but who cares, they are need to engrave a few of their existing guns to show the local reporters.

  • David

    Spud – by “certain demographic”, do you mean a retired white physical plant supervisor from Lubbock and College Station, Texas I met in my CCW class who also likes his custom AR-15? Or, my hunting buddy, a white Vietnam vet who manages his ranch, is active in his church, restores old Ford tractors and who I have turned into a reloading nut? Both those guys are drooling over the Judge. Maybe there’s something in the water here in northern New Mexico.

  • SpudGun

    @David – Come on man, don’t get me into trouble by asking more questions about who I consider to be the typical Taurus Judge owner. It will just end badly, with me angering the owner of this Blog yet again and I’m using up all my ‘Get out jail free’ cards as it is.

  • devil’s advocate

    Even better for the obama crowd, just have Sierra come out with a line of matchkings engraved with the prez’s name?

  • SC Mike

    Typical demographics? Among the Judge owners I know are these folks:

    Gal – occupation, contracts manager in Northern VA (DC suburbs). SS Judge 3” barrel with 3” cylinder, loads mixed .45 and .410 000 or PDX1 for home and vehicle defense. This is the only handgun she owns.

    Guy – occupation, building engineer in Northern VA (DC suburbs). Blued Judge 3” barrel with 2.5” cylinder, loads mixed .45 and .410 000 or PDX1 for home and vehicle defense. He has several revolvers in .357 and .38 Spl.

    Guy – occupation, machine shop owner (VT grad) in Martinsville, VA. SS Judge 3” barrel with 3” cylinder, loads mixed .45 and .410 000 or PDX1 for home, office, and vehicle defense, and for walks in the woods. He has loads of handguns of all sorts and his rifle collection includes a 1000-yard gun.

    Guy – occupation, contracts manager who commutes bimonthly between home in Columbia, SC and work in NoVA. Blued Judge 3” barrel with 3” cylinder, loads mixed .45 and .410 000 or PDX1 for home and vehicle defense and for long walks in the woods and around the lakes and streams. Has several revolvers in .357 and .38 Spl, as well as pistols in .380 and .40 S&W, and one Bushmaster M4/AR-15.

    The durn thing is fun to shoot and surprisingly accurate for a short-barreled .45 Colt. There are quite a few nice self-defense rounds available in .45 Colt. But its flexibility is the key because it can fire .45 Colt and .410 shot shells.

  • SC Mike

    It’s a pocketbook issue. The data below is from the 1/1/2010 Taurus retail pricelist:

    2” Steel Blued 2.5 Public Defender weighs 28.2 oz. and retails for $570.
    2” Poly Blued 2.5 Public Defender weighs 27.0 oz. and retails for $570.
    2” UltraLight 2.5 Public Defender weighs 20.7 oz. and retails for $648.

    I’ve not shot the poly, but at the same price as the regular PD it seems a good value because of its adjustable sight.

  • subase

    I reckon the Judge is a good choice and weapon. As long as you use .45 Colt rounds that is.
    It’s basically just a really really big snub nose revolver. Idiot proof.

    But unlike a snub nose, this gun actually has a very high intimidation factor to it. Keep in mind alot of self defence encounters don’t even have shots fired, just someone presenting a weapon is enough to deter criminals.

    Showing your packing a gun this size, will pretty much everyone desist from whatever they were doing. I think it’s a good choice for those that don’t train with firearms or those that carry a normal snubnose for some reason.

    I’d give them this gun rather than a Glock 26 just purely for the much increased intimidation factor, if they actually got into a firefight. 5 vs 10 bullets ain’t going to save them from multiple attackers and them not being able to shoot for crap.

  • David

    SC Mike – Pocketbook issue? I paid less than any of those prices for my Glock 19, Ruger SP-101 and Ruger GP-100 at the local gun shop here in Santa Fe.

  • SC Mike

    David –

    I used MSRP for comparison purposes rather than trying to find a dealer offering all three on the web. Dealer prices are usually lower, but it’s also a matter of supply and demand. Last year Judge Magnums (3” cylinders) were hard to find and commanded a bit of a premium (but still sold below MSRP) because the 3” shot shells carry more shot than 2.5” does. Five 000 is better than three 000 (although Federal does make a 2.5” with four 000, if you can find them).

    As for street prices, a stainless PD with an MSRP of $617 is offered by Jim’s Firearms and Shooters Supply for $482. Jim’s got the blued PD for $449; as I noted above, the MSRP is $570. Gilbert’s offers this same model for $439.95. So shop around, as I’m sure you did with your pistols.

    I paid nowhere near list for my blued 4510 with 3” barrel and 3” cylinder (the Magnum) last year. I’m thinking about getting a PD 2” barrel / 2.5’ cylinder because of a game-changer, the 2.5” Winchester PDX1 (http://www.winchester.com/Products/New-Products/Pages/pdx1-410.aspx ); it’s now available in stores and on-line.

    In self-defense you need diversity. I carry either a .380 pocket pistol or a .38 Spl aluminum-frame snubby, both with premium Hornady, Speer, or Winchester JHP. My Judge serves as a vehicle defense (I drive SC – NoVA at least twice per month) and for home- or wherever I’m staying-defense. I also have a hi-cap .40 with tactical light loaded with premium JHP for self-defense when things outside go bump in the night.

    If you have to defend yourself in your vehicle or tight space, you want a revolver so you don’t have brass knocking you in the noggin. I load my Judge’s cylinder as follows:.410, .45, .410, 45, and 45, with the .410 now PDX1 and Winchester 225 gr SilverTip HP for the .45. (That’s why I’m looking at the Judge PD to replace my Judge Magnum; with the PDX1 I no longer need a 3” cylinder.)

    And if you’re a recoil addict, you can get a Raging Judge Magnum six-shooter with either 3” or 6.5” barrel that will also hold .454 Casull. If you can do without the .454, you might consider the Raging Judge Ultralight with 3″ cylinder that holds seven rounds of .45 Colt or .410.

    Shop around to get an idea of what’s out there at what price.

  • Roadkill

    The .410 revolver is an ideal ranch gun. Especially for areas where snakes are common. I’ve been working on the math. A standard .410 game load is about twice the payload of a .45 colt shotshell. And the colt shotshell is the biggest CCI makes. Add that with low weight and the ability to use a proven killer like the .45 colt, its just right to sit on your hip all day while you clear out fence rows.

  • Ken Coumerilh

    Then is there a reason this revolver is not considered a shotgun when it is loaded with 410 rounds? I’m thinking of the barrel length limit on shotguns. If I have this on my hip during dove season, can I get a ticket for being able to chamber more that 3 rounds? LOL Seriously though, how is this different legally?

  • SC Mike

    Ken Coumerilh –

    The fact that it has a rifled barrel means it’s not a shotgun.

  • Ken Coumerilh

    Thanks SC Mike, that makes sense.

  • Ellen

    Hi everyone. I’m new here. I just feel the need to ask SpudGun if his typical Judge owner is a 46 year old grandmother? I fell in love with the Judge when it first came out. It’s much easier for me to shoot and doesn’t hurt my hand nearly as much as a .44 magnum. My judge is just ONE of my carry weapons of choice. I never go unarmed, and I’m usually armed to the hilt. This day and age, you just can’t be too careful, and I pity the fool who tries to rob/kidnap/carjack/hurt me, my family, or any stranger I may be near. Have Judge, will carry out sentence.

  • SC Mike

    Ellen –

    A mid-fifties divorcee I work with has a Judge (3” cyl, 3” barrel) that’s her favorite.

    About four years ago I took several folks from my office out shooting at the NRA range in Fairfax, VA, about two miles from the office. The deal was they paid me for the ammo and I provided a .38 SPL snubbie, a .40 S&W pistol, a .357 magnum revolver with a 4” barrel, and a M4 / AR-15 rifle. At the time, she favored the .357 because it had some heft, but did not like the .357 ammo. (One other gal liked the snubbie and ended up getting a CWP and her own black S&W .38 Spl snubbie.)

    Time passed, so when I got my Judge last year I went shooting with several of them to try it out. (The NRA range does not allow shotshells, so we fired .45 Colt.) She loved it and bought one for herself the next day. It’s her constant companion. It has enough heft so that the perceived recoil is minimal.

    I plan to sell my Judge and get a Public Defender as soon as the old pocketbook permits.

  • Hicusdicus

    Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. A gun is tool a bullet is a tool a weapon is what is between your ears and that thing between your ears had better have a real good handle on the laws pertaining to lethal self defense in what ever state you live in. You have better gone over in your mind a 1000 times just what conditions must be present for you to take a persons life no matter what kind of a stink bag he is. The worst crime you can commit is murder and it is highly frowned upon and extremely expensive no matter what the reason. Bullets miss and are seldom instantly lethal and quite often cause no pain. The chance of wounding or killing a bystander are substantial and there and there is very little evidence in your favor you can present a jury. If I hit an attacker in the face with a load of # 6 their ability to carry on the attack with any chance of prevailing has pretty much gone out the window. I have 6 hand held sawed off shot guns from ultra lite PD to 4 inch barrels and 3 inch cylinders. I live in the country a and have run over 2000 rds through them. I am not a Taurus fan but I have finally gotten them all working flawlessly and I know what they will do and it is devastating. What I want them to do is stop some one from hurting me instantly at ranges up to 30 ft. If I put a few pellets in a by stander I won’t be looking at standing in a court room being sentenced from 10 to 20 for manslaughter. If your adversary is over 30 feet away you may have a problem with the self defense plea. All this knock down and bleed out is just a bunch of combat commando crap. We live in a so called civilized society that has an abundance of homicide detectives and prosecuting attorneys and prisons. You folks had better rethink all this bang, bang blather before it is to late. By the way I have been there, homicide detectives grand juries court rooms the whole nine yards. You are not going to say anything that is going to change my mind but you folks had better pay some attention to what i have said.

    • B420

      Better to kill a dirt bag and go to prison for life than let the dirt bag harm you or other people.

  • Hicusdicus

    One more comment. If you want to shoot a .45 buy a .45. The judges ability to shoot .45s is the only thing that makes it legal. The 3 inch 000 round at close range out of a small hand held gun fired multiple times is about the most lethal man stopper their is particularly when there is no time for a sight picture. Unless you have a rd that is ALSO loaded with pepper spray, they are available. Be aware that when the police arrive and there is a dead carcass on the floor and you are holding the smoking gun no matter what your excuse is your life goes in the toilet.

  • Ken Coumerilh

    I think I can accurately describe the typical Judge owner. Down here where I live, many of us own and carry guns. There are a few of us who are walking gun encyclopedias. Most of us though, are average folks who know how to safely handle and use the gun we carry. I live just outside Tightwad, Missouri–really. Most people here in Sky Village are between 60 and 90 years old. I’m 64. George has the most teeth. We all looked at the Judge. We have a gun shop with a door to the cafe inside. It has a pool table and the owner is retired, but just keeps running the place so we can buy guns cheap and talk about them. We’re mostly ex-military so the grab-ass is merciless in there. The reason any of us own a Judge is just because we want one. That’s it. I believe that’s it for any man. The women down here have real reasons, but when it comes to the guys, any gun we own is just because we want to own it and that’s it. So the typical Judge owner is just somebody who likes to show and tell. Simple as that. What do you think Steve? I’m right, huh?

    • Ghengis

      Ken… I’ve been to Tightwad. Where is this gun/billiard/resturant at?

      • Ken Coumerilh


        Here’s the address …

        Ferg’s Swap’n Shop
        14657 Highway 7
        Warsaw, MO 65355
        (660) 438-7413


      • Ken Coumerilh

        The owner of Ferg’s Swap’n Shop is Jim Ferguson. He also owns the adjoining restaurant–that is he owns the building. He has catalogs laying all over the place. He’ll order a gun for you and add 10% on for himself, resulting in a very good price.


      • Ken Coumerilh

        Or you can look at the used guns and rifles he has. The collection changes constantly. I bought an S&W M&P .40 from him in excellent condition with the case and extra magazines, etc for $400. You just have to check every once in a while and see what he has on hand.


  • SC Mike

    Hicusdicus –
    I’ve never shot anyone and hope I don’t ever have to bring a firearm to bear on another human. That said, I’d rather face the consequences of confronting an assailant with something more powerful than my quick wits, sense of humor, and good looks. Something in .380 caliber on up will do. It’s the old thing about facing twelve jurors versus being laid to rest by six pallbearers.

    Since I last posted here, I did get a Public Defender from Palmetto State Armory just before Christmas. They had a 10% off everything, so I got a brand new blued PD for $404, 90% of the $449 price on the tag. (The best price I’d seen elsewhere was $479.) I then ordered, received, and installed the LaserLyte red laser for Taurus pistols from OpticsPlanet.
    I now have it zeroed at 25’ and it’s held the zero real good. The best part about the LaserLyte is that you can keep the PD’s or Judge’s excellent grips, unlike the Crimson Trace solution.

    But here’s a tip to save you some time and effort. The LaserLyte comes with the laser mounted to the large plate that fits the Judge and other large frame Taurus revolvers. The kit comes with a smaller plate for the PD and other medium frame guns, but you have to remove two teeny tiny screws from the laser and use them to attach the laser to the medium plate; the kit contains the allen wrenches needed to do this. I did not apply sufficient torque to properly seat and hold the laser to the plate — I was worried about applying too much torque and did not check my work carefully.

    The first time I took it to the range I noticed it was loose, so I had to head home, remove the grip, remove the plate, and tighten the screws. I added some Locktite green just to make sure, but I really don’t think that’s essential if you do it right the first time. The parts fit together extremely well and it’s hard to imagine screwing it up like I did the first time.

    Even though the rear sight on my PD is more visible than the one on my former Judge, I highly recommend the LaserLyte. It’s a quality piece of reasonably priced gear that helps you hit what you’re pointing at, the essence of gun control.

  • Ken Coumerilh

    Some of what he says isn’t the case here where I live, but I still agree with Hicusdicus 100%. Afterward, even if you aren’t in trouble with the law, civil suites or anything else, you’ll still regret it and maybe even lay awake nights going over other things you could have done instead. The truth is, situations where that gun is absolutely necessary to save life are rare. Still, I carry one, but will likely never use it to shoot another person.

    Good words, Hicusdicus.


  • Hicusdicus

    Mike I don’t disagree with any thing you have said but…. The crimson trace I had on one of my judges proved to slow to activate. It was just something else to think about. Point of aim is good enough for me with the judge an the time constants and the distances I will be firing. Try this. Back toward target, gun in belt, draw, look over left shoulder, swing gun under left arm pit and fire. You won’t miss and who ever is behind you will never see it coming. I have practiced this move a lot and it works. The longer the barrel the easier it is. The chances of being approached from behind are highly probable and the approachee will not realize that he has just made a gross error. Oh yes # 6 bird shot should be the first one out the rest, what ever rings your chimes. Unless you have acquired some of the new projectile combined with pepper spray cartridge. You will then have time to turn around and let him find out if there is really life after death.

  • Hicusdicus

    To Ken, Right on. Show and tell. If you show somebody the judge then you can sure tell them what to do and they will do it.

  • Woodbuffalo

    Taurus did good.

    The 410/000 will deter most and the 45 is for the ones less easily deterred.


    If you cannot hit a snake with the 410, you should have time to reload.

  • Kim

    Has anyone compared the standard Judge and the Ultra light? My husband has the 3″ polished Judge, and I enjoy firing it on the range, but it’s on the heavy side for me to carry, so I’m considering the Ultra light. Is recoil noticibly different? My current carry is an Ruger LCR .38 special, which I like, but I’ve always liked hubby’s Judge more.