The Taurus Judge

Silver barreled, black gripped Taurus Judge on a white background

It’s the hottest thing to hit the revolver market in years. So much so, that many firearms experts are baffled as to why.

Silver barreled, black gripped Taurus Judge on a white backgroundMany reputed “experts” have derided the Taurus Judge as a pistol that tries to do too many things and instead accomplishes none of them very well. Fans of the Taurus Judge claim the versatile pistol is ideal as a self defense firearm as well as a handy trail gun.

Who is right? Let’s find out.


Capacity: 5 rounds
Caliber: .45 Colt/.410 Bore
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Felt Recoil
Grip Size
Ammunition Capacity

The stainless steel Judge Magnum is by far the most popular of the Taurus .45 Colt/.410 bore revolvers. Unlike it’s smaller cousins, the Judge Magnum is capable of firing full size 3-inch .410 shotshells.

Standard Judge cylinders are elongated to 2.7″ in order to accommodate standard 2.5-inch .410 shells, while the larger 3-inch Magnum models have cylinders measuring 3.2-inches so the 3-inch shells can be fired.

The bores of Judge revolvers are microgrooved to minimize shot pattern disruption while still imparting enough spin to stabilize .45 caliber bullets. Straight from the factory, the double-action trigger requires 12 pounds of pull, although the action is smooth and, when cocked for single-action shooting, it breaks at a crisp 4 pounds.

.410 birdshot has no role as a personal defense load in the Taurus, although is useful as a snake load. Loaded with three pellets of #000 buckshot the 3-inch Winchester .410 load is more than adequate for self defense.

Back up that load with a couple of rounds of .45 Long Colt and you’ve got a usable self defense platform.

Do you have a Taurus Judge? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (2)

  1. I own a 2.5 judge. For me,the idea of this gun is to provide the coverage of a shotgun without the length and burden of a long gun. The real practical use of this gun is “bedroom ranges.” Lets face it very few self defense incidents involving a firearm happen more than 20 feet away. Shooting someone on the street much farther than that will probably get you in hot water in many municipalities! (Proving self defense starts to get sticky.) I have shot various loads and types in my gun and my carry choice is Winchester PDX. The flat discs give multi bullet punch and the shot give a spread to cover in the event of a rushed first shot. At 20 feet it fills the doorway with shot and with little fear of wall pass through endangering loved ones sleeping in the next room.

  2. Actually looking forward to acquiring a Judge Magnum to see how it compares to firing an existing mod of an over under Stevens Model 22/410 break open shotgun chambers 410shotgun shells under with 22LR over.. Like the versatility of 45 round along with 410 and 22LR though.

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