Kristin Hunt, Taurus’s PR person, said told me that Mark A. Keefe’s response to the Taurus 28 Gauge Revolver controversy is correct …
This is simply not the case. Taurus President and CEO Bob Morrison invited officials from the ATF’s Technology Branch to discuss some of the firm’s new product introductions. “I asked them to come and give some advice,” Morrison said. By all accounts the meeting was cordial, professional, and not a “raid” or “gotcha” as erroneously reported elsewhere. No determination on the gun’s status was made at the show.
Remember, to even be in the United States at all, the prototype had to be cleared by ATF for importation. On the 28 gauge Raging Judge revolver, Taurus sought ATF’s advice on some modifications to the gun and is the process of implementing the results of those suggestions.
This is a very common practice; gun manufacturers and importers regularly work with ATF as the firearm industry’s regulatory agency. Also, despite rumors to the contrary, the .45 Colt/.410 Bore lever-action Ranch Hand with the rifled barrel is good to go for importation, as is the 28 gauge Circuit Judge. You’ll see them later on this year, as well as the 28 gauge Raging Judge with minor modifications.
The controversy has revolved around the fact that a 28 gauge bore size is technically .550″. I did not think to look at the time, but I think Taurus is probably just constricting the bore down to 0.50″, or just under, to make it legal. Shotguns are anway usually constricted using chokes. Undersized 0.5″ slugs would bounce around until they engage the rifling, but the gun is designed to be a close range weapon and this would probably not be a deal breaker.
UPDATE: Just to clarify, I mean that the rifled barrel is constricted, not that it is a smoothbore.