Rossi Circuit Judge in 28 Gauge

[Richard Johnson is a firearms instructor, law enforcement veteran, contributor to Guns and Patriots, and the publisher of Guns Holsters And Gear.]

With all of the rumors surrounding the 28 gauge Raging Judge, one of the overlooked new guns from the Taurus/Rossi lines at the 2011 SHOT Show was the Circuit Judge chambered in 28 gauge.

The new Circuit Judge has an 18.5″ barrel with a straight rifled choke that Rossi claims extends the shooting range of this long gun.  As with the previous version, this Circuit Judge is essentially a revolving shotgun, and weighs in at 5.6 pounds with hardwood stocks.

Rossi Circuit Judge - Right

The original Circuit Judge chambered for the .45 Colt/.410 shotshell proved to a popular gun in 2010, and it is can still be hard to locate on dealers’ shelves.

Rossi Circuit Judge - Left

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Matt Groom

    It’s quite possibly the only 28 gauge I ever wanted, but I can’t fathom as to why it has a rifled barrel, or how that could be of any benefit.

  • Peter

    “Straight rifled choke?”

  • Jeremiah

    Yeah, make an unrifled version and then we’ll talk.

  • Euan

    Can a 28 gauge cylinder safely chamber and fire any other round? Given the nominal diameter of the 28 gauge, i think we’re in the .50cal neighborhood; perhaps Rossi and Taurus plan to bring 28 gauge slugs to market or have a another round in mind, hence the rifling.

  • Chris C

    It is straight rifled so that between the lands and grooves it is less than .50″. That way it doesn’t qualify as a destructive device. As a revolver it sure could send out a lot of lead in a hurry, almost as fast as a semi.

  • RCG

    I guess at my age I must have seen an uglier gun somewhere. Damned if I can remember where or what it was.

  • Nathaniel

    It doesn’t have a rifled barrel, it’s got a rifled choke. Still a weird addition.

  • Nathaniel

    It would make a nice multipurpose backwoods gun, assuming it isn’t too heavy.

  • Nathaniel

    Herp derp, Steve says right there, 5.6lbs. Yeah, it’d make a fine backwoods gun, assuming you could find slugs.

    Steve, feel free to merge my comments.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Matt, I’m pretty sure it has a rifled barrel for import reasons. I’m believe that shotguns with revolving cylinders are “non-sporting” according to the ATF (ie the Armsel Striker/Street Sweeper). However, there is no law against rifles with a revolving cylinder being imported.

  • El Duderino


    No doubt. Does anyone even make 28g slugs? They might be nice for shootin’ hogs…

  • Other Steve

    Ugh, do it in a useable caliber (12 or 20) and I’d be all over it. 28? I can’t remeber if I have even ever seen a 28ga shell.

  • Squidpuppy

    Despite bbl rifling, I still can’t have one of these; revolving magazine. Sigh.

  • Airrider

    It’s a straight rifled barrel, apparently, which means there are grooves in the barrel but no twist. That would theoretically straighten out shot as it flies out the barrel to tighten up the shot’s grouping.

    You never want traditional rifling in a shotgun. That’d spin the shot out into a big “O” shape and you’d never hit anything that way.

  • H.Harrington

    The rifled barrel has to do with legalities.

  • Rodneybr549

    I’m waiting on the 12ga hanging judge. lol

  • Matt Groom

    That’s probably it, Rusty. I was wondering about the Street Sweeper ban. It’s probably how they’ll get around that.

  • w00d

    Too bad this gun will never be available in California. Any long gun firing a fixed shotgun shell with a revolving cylinder is an assault weapon. Also goes for the .45LC/.410 bore versions, and probably a .45-70 version should one be produced and advertised as also firing .410 shells.

    • AA

      The 45Colt/.410 IS available in California. CA DOJ has determined that it is a rifle. California laws specifically define a shotgun as a smoothbore, so this one is OK in CA.

  • I know that one aftermarket company offered straight rifled choke tubes, claiming that they improved paterning of shotshells.

    • Alex

      So, 28Ga has smooth bore or fully rifled?

  • tommy2rs

    28 gauge slugs for reloading here:

    Check Midway for the MEC single stage press and dies.

  • Zander

    I guess I’m the only one more excited that Rossi is making a Circuit Judge in .22LR/.22mag and another in .44 magnum.

  • Tux

    Nope, I am right there with you.

  • whh

    I heard from Rossi that all the other versions of the Circuit Judge won’t be available until September ’11!!!

  • drew357

    i like it, need to figure out a way to plug 2 of the cylinders and then take it dove hunting.