The Rossi Circuit Judge is an interesting rifle/shotgun hybrid, but even more interesting it is a carbine version of the Taurus Judge, a very popular self defense revolver. The Rossi Circuit Judge is chambered in .410 or .45 Colt.
The company Rossi started in 1889, but Taurus currently manufactures the Rossi brand. Its Circuit Judge is hammer fired and has a hardwood stock. It uses a short 18.5″ barrel available with either a smooth bore or rifled bore. It’s capable of firing .410 magnum shells as well as standard .410 shotshells and .45 Colt. It has a yoke detent system, which is a spring loaded latch attached to the yoke (or arm) of the cylinder. It ensures the cylinder is firmly secured within the frame, which is beneficial when alternating from heavy to light loads. Its action uses a transfer bar system where the hammer strikes a flat piece of metal that presses the firing pin instead of directly on the firing pin. It has fiber optic sights, which are brightly colored and easy to see. And, it uses the Taurus Security System, which disables the gun with the turn of a key.
Rossi recommends its Circuit Judge for hunting or leisure shooting.
|Sights:||Fiber optic front sight|
|Features:||Hammer fired; and double-action trigger|
|Stock:||Wood contoured Monte Carlo|
|Scope:||Scope mount base|
Once in a blue moon a new firearm comes along that is so clever and so wonderful to even contemplate that we must have it, whether or not we have any particular use for it. Rossi’s Circuit Judge is one such gun.
The Circuit Judge is based on Rossi’s wildly popular Judge revolver, which is a handgun that shoots either .410 shotshells or .45 Long Colt cartridges (the specifications for each are so similar that the cylinder and barrel can handle both without swapping any parts out). The Circuit Judge takes the Judge and turns it into a carbine-length revolving rifle.
Just look at it. A gun just waiting for a revisionist old west TV show to be written around it. It works well, too. Available with either a smooth or rifled barrel, you could shoot skeet with it if you cared to. With the rifled barrel it would make a handy brush gun for whitetails. Theoretically, it could lean against the wall by the bed and pull home defense duty. But in practice, I expect that the Taurus Judge will be most useful for perforating aluminum cans and splattering pumpkins off of fence posts. It’s just the kind of gun that begs to be used for plinking.
The wooden stock is handsome and daring, with a grip that is clearly inspired by modern revolvers. The double action features an exposed hammer and a five round cylinder. Accuracy is good enough to sort out all of your pumpkin-blasting needs within at least 75 yards.
What’s wrong with it? Well, nothing. My only complaint is that I’d prefer one in .357 magnum or .454 Casull and Rossi only offers The Circuit Judge for the .410/.45 LC. The model is still very new, however. It is hard to imagine that Rossi will be able to resist expanding the line over the next few years.