Handful O’Justice

No, that’s not the name of a Louis L’Amour or J.T. Edson gunslinger, it’s what came to mind when I saw the latest offerings from Defender Outdoors over in Fort Worth country. It’s a mini version of the Taurus Judge revolver in .45 Long Colt / .410ga goodness:

Now I know some people are going to wince at the thought of popping a .410ga shell out of a little thing like this: “Oh noes, Kim! It’ll break yore pore lil’ hand!” they’ll exclaim. Actually, it will do nothing of the sort.

What causes recoil, as anyone will know who’s ever fired a .375 H&H Magnum rifle before, is the pressure build-up in the barrel as the boolet gets propelled from the casing. But with an ultra-short barrel, the bullet has left the barrel almost before any pressure can build up. There’s some recoil from the gun’s inertia being overcome by the propellant, but that’s not much to write home about. How do I know this?

Because I’ve fired a .410ga cartridge out of a Bond Arms Derringer, that’s why:

Yes, it was a little bit of a handful… the first time I fired it. But I have to tell you, I fired another dozen or so rounds immediately afterwards, and there was no sore wrist, no sore hand, nothing. It was, in fact, a pleasure to shoot — and I really enjoyed watching the snake-shaped outline on the target almost disappear after the second load of shot hit the paper. I imagine it would do a similar job if fired into a goblin’s face at halitosis range, you betcha.

I like the cut of the Judge’s grip, too: more substantial than the Derringer’s means that the recoil is going to be even more manageable, and there are another three cartridges in the cylinder withal, if needed (doubtful). If there’s a better pocket pistol for varmint reduction (of any physiology, mind), it’s hard to think of one.

If any of my Readers in the DFW area has one for me to try out when I return from Britishland, let me know. I’ll supply the ammo.


  1. Would you choose this for Goblin Reduction over a .38 snub or a Glock 26 mini 9?

    I ask because those two are my carry rotation. At $306 msrp, this isn’t going to break the bank, either.

  2. I’m not a fan of the Judge, or any other handgun in .410.
    First, it’s a gun that’s too big to be a good .45 revolver, and too small to be a decent shotgun. Your bullets are going to skid, and your pattern is going to be a doughnut shape.
    Second, .410 is just barely okay as a small game cartage from a full size shotgun. Hacking off several inches of barrel and adding a cylinder gap does not suddenly convert it into a videogame style cone of hallclearing death. You still got to aim the thing.
    Third, the Taurus QC model is pretty much luck of the draw. True, they have a pretty good warranty, but it’s of the “send you a new gun until you get one that works” kind of thing. Some peoples get ones that work, and some get to know the clerk shipping the gun back yet again.

    Basically, you get a big, heavy gun (with a heavy trigger) with questionable QC, questionable terminal ballistics, and a small amount of rounds on board. I’d rather have a Ruger in proper .45LC, or a nice old S&W Model 25.

    1. I agree with you Joe. I wouldn’t want to be shot at with a Judge, Governor or whatever they call the .410 revolver handgun.

      I’ll stick with my 1911 or my wife’s M&P 9c or a revolver in .38special. .357 mag is just too loud for interior social work.

  3. I have a prejudice against shooting shotgun shells out of pistols but after reading this posting this morning I did a bit of searching and watched some tests with the Judge and the S&W Governor shooting into gel and these things do work rather well. I am also thinking that since .45 Long Colt shells can be used loading a couple of .410 followed by a couple of .45LC in this Judge Tracker would be very lethal.

    I like learning new things and discarding some of my old ideas. Of course at my age any ideas in my head are old.

  4. That Taurus is no pocket gun. At that size, you might as well get something with some umph to it, like a Ruger Alaskan in .480 or .454.

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