The Taurus Judge Public Defender Polymer is a medium-frame revolver chambered for .45 Colt or .410. Taurus says its revolver is properly named the “Judge” because it is the gun most judges choose to conceal under their robes while in court. And, it fires the .45 Colt cartridge and .410 shell, which are ideal for close range shooting or self-defense situations.
The Polymer is made of, yes that’s right, polymer steel. What makes it different from the standard Public Defender is its 7.5″ overall length, but it’s still comparable in price. Otherwise has identical features including Taurus’s Ribber Grip (ribbed rubber), Taurus’s lock safety that disables the gun with the turn of a key, fixed sights with a fiber optic front sight that’s brightly colored and easy to see, it is hammer fired and shooters can set the action off with a long pull (double) or short pull (single). Also, it uses a transfer bar, so the hammer strikes a flat bar that presses the firing pin instead of the hammer striking the firing pin directly.
Taurus recommends the Public Defender for self-defense.
|Judge Public Defender Polymer|
|Sights:||Fixed rear sight and red fiber optic front|
|Features:||Chambered for 2.5" shells|
Firing pin block; lock safety; and transfer bar
|Material/Finish:||Blue steel cylinder|
Stainless steel cylinder
Steel blue frame
|Twist:||1 in 12"|
Taurus lists the weight of the standard steel Public Defender model of The Judge at 28.2 oz. That’s beefy for a snub-nosed revolver—the heaviest Ruger .357 comes in at 25.oz. Compact automatics are even lighter. Ruger’s LC9 is listed at 17.1 oz. But the Judge—even the chopped down Public Defender model, is made of steel. Lots of steel.
Finally—at long last—Taurus has heard our desperate pleas for a lighter version of The Public Defender. The Polymer framed Public Defender weighs in at 27 oz.
Again, just to be clear. Steel: 28.2oz. Polymer: 27oz.
The difference is 1.2oz. Even my math is that good.
My guess is the genius engineer who pitched this idea at Taurus is the CEO’s cousin. Or maybe it is some marketing wiz who knows that Americans are suckers for a good advertising campaign.
What is polymer? Is it plastic? I don’t want plastic in something I hope will last forever. I don’t want plastic parts in my automatics, or rifles. I know that many firearm designs form respected companies rely on polymer for their various lines of pistols—but not me. Not yet. I still prefer steel.
The polymer Public Defender has a steel skeleton inside its polymer exterior and it would have to. How else would it stand up to repeated use? Without such a backup, the first failure of the polymer would be catastrophic.
But if you have to line it with steel, why not make it out of steel? Oh yeah. Sorry. I forgot. We can’t possibly carry around an extra 1.2 ounces. That would break the back.
Who does Taurus assume will be buying this gun? The use of polymer should cut weight, cut cost, or allow something that is impossible with a more durable material. The weight issue is out of the question. The polymer Public Defender costs about the same as the regular model, so what is the point?
The Public Defender is hard to shoot. The recoil on a short barreled revolver is made manageable by the grip you can get on the gun. Not the type of grips, but how well you can hold onto the thing. The gun is heavy even when made out of plastic. It shoots underpowered ammunition.
I am dubious about the value of The Judge. I am obviously not going to change my opinion of the gun if it is made of plastic. If you are predisposed to like the gun, which is your right, it has some interesting features. It shoots a variety of ammunition, the rear sight is adjustable and the Taurus website claims that the gun “fits in most pockets.”
I find an adjustable sight on a snub-nosed gun a bit absurd, but since Taurus has committed itself to the absurd with this gun, why not? And it would fit in most pockets. That doesn’t mean it would be concealed by those pockets—but it would fit.