Taurus Judge Public Defender

Description

The Taurus Judge Public Defender is a large-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 Public Defender is a scaled down version of the Judge with a short 2.5″ barrel and no snag hammer. Otherwise it has identical features such as 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-action) or short pull (single-action). 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.

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Specifications

4510PD-3B
Caliber:.410
.45 Colt
Grip:Ribber/black
Capacity:5
Sights:Fixed rear sight and red fiber optic front
Features:Chambered for 2.5" shells
Firing pin block; lock safety; and transfer bar
Action:Revolver
Material/Finish:Steel/blue
Size:Large
Trigger:Double-action/single-action
Website:http://www.taurususa…
Weight:1.7625 pounds
Barrel Length:2.5"
Twist:1 in 12"
Length:9"
4510PD-3SS
Caliber:.410
.45 Colt
Grip:Ribber/black
Capacity:5
Sights:Fixed rear sight and red fiber optic front
Features:Chambered for 2.5" shells
Firing pin block; lock safety; and transfer bar
Action:Revolver
Material/Finish:Stainless steel/matte
Size:Large
Trigger:Double-action/single-action
Website:http://www.taurususa…
Weight:1.7625 pounds
Barrel Length:2.5"
Twist:1 in 12"
Length:9"
MSRP$570.00

Editor Review

I should start this review by admitting that I find the standard model Taurus Judge to be an intriguing, if limited, gun.  It’s a snake gun.  And by snake, I mean snake—I’m not being euphemistic.  But a lot of folks out there are taken with the self-defense potential of the Judge

Which explains The Public Defender—a version of The Judge with a clipped barrel and a bobbed grip.  Gone are my notions of the perfect response to a rattlesnake’s rattle.  This compact version of an oddly large gun has just one intended use: self-defense.  But it is one of the least effective so-called self-defense weapons I have ever had the pleasure to shoot.

Some details.  The Public Defender’s 2.5” barrel reduces The Judge’s already negligible accuracy.  The stubby handle on the beast makes it hard to hold.  It is bulky and difficult to conceal, and isn’t light.  But the real problem is not entirely the gun’s fault.     

Look for a moment at the .410 bore.  The illusion is that the .410 and the .45 Colt, because they are similar in size and fit in the same gun, pack the same punch.  Not true.  The bullet in a .45 colt is heavier and traveling faster.  But not all that fast, as bullets go.  The .410, no matter what type of shot leaves the shell, will have less mass and travel slower.

Countless videos on the web show folks tearing up paper targets with birdshot.  Birdshot is made for killing birds.  A well-placed shot might kill or subdue a human being, which is the intended purpose of a self-defense gun.  The same can be said for the .22.  Odds are not highly likely.  You may incapacitate an attacker with birdshot.  You may well blind an attacker.  You would certainly scare an attacker and make him or her think twice about what they are doing.  Then again you might not.

But maybe there is something to this design that I haven’t thought about.  Maybe you keep a .410 shell in the first chamber and pepper your attacker.  Then, if he isn’t dissuaded, you have something larger in each chamber.  In that case The Public Defender could be a violent, non-lethal self-defense gun—one that got more and more lethal as you pulled the trigger.  And when you have exhausted the five chambers of the gun, you can hammer your assailant over the head with the gun itself.

I was once mugged and driven around downtown Atlanta with a .38 special tucked up behind my ear.  I was pistol whipped.   I was unarmed and relatively powerless.  In the end, I was not shot and I got away.   

If I had had a Public Defender on me at the time, I would have taken some pleasure in shooting my assailant.  But I’m glad I didn’t—he might have gotten mad. 

I’m not a cop.  I’m not charged with crowd control duty.  I can’t see shooting anyone I didn’t intend to kill.