Here is something I typed up last time. IMO, its easy to dispell the myth of the governor/judge being a superior SD firearm. However, for the record, I like it better than a single shot gun or a 25 auto for SD. Its also better than a bolt action sporting rifle for SD :P but beyond that?
The statements regarding lack of facts surrounding the issue is complete irrational non-sense. There are plenty of facts; the real issue is how important you may think they are or are not, and whether or not you understand what they mean:
1) The S&W governor has a 6 shot capacity, and the judge a 5 shot capacity.
In contrast, a double stack semi in say 9mm often has 2x to 3x the capacity. Even like sized 45 acp semi pistols (such as the glock 21 and S&W M&P 45) offer 12 rds (or more) as standard.
2) In studies about shootings involving police officers, 30% is the average hit rate. This refers to shootings where the police are being shot at. Policeman are often, (not always) trained better than a citizen with a pistol. In a governor, this would mean if fired 6 times, only 2 or less are likely to hit. Here is an interesting post by one of our moderators on the subject of hits in a SD scenario:
3) Carrying buckshot seems to rectify the situation in #2, but buckshot increases the likelihood of collateral damage exponentially. Using quick math, 4 38 cal buckshot BBs are 300% more likely to hit something on accident once fired compared to one projectile from say a 9mm handgun. This makes for a most precarious CCW/SD scenario.
4) If you draw your governor/judge in a SD encounter, you are likely to fire in DA mode. Of course you can cock it for SA, but generally this will not be achieved and for other reasons, it is often not a good idea. Even if you fire the gun once in SA (not likely) the next shot will begin as a DA. A 1911, and other semis which are DA/SA only have a DA pull initially, with each subsequent shot being SA thereafter. While some of the DA accuracy would rest on the skill of the shooter, SA pulls will generally make a gun easier to shoot accurately compared to DA pulls. Accuracy can be had in DA mode, but this is more challenging and requires more practice.
5) The governor is a scandium frame with a weight of 29.6 oz. As we go up the power spectrum, the felt recoil increases. That is true for any gun. Some 410 shot shells are much more powerful than others, and the 45 colt in a cowboy action load compared to a 45 colt from a SD round manufacturer is big difference. So, as said, going from lower power rounds to higher power rounds increases recoil. The more you increase recoil, the slower your follow up shots become. Remember that police studies show a 30% hit rate in high stress situations. A quick follow up shot can never hurt and sometimes a miss will make the follow up shot necessary.
6) Regarding the governor as a CCW: 29.6 oz unloaded, 8.5 in long, with a height of 5.5 in. A glock 21 45 acp (for comparison) weighs 26.28 oz unloaded, 8.11 in long with a height of 5.47 in. All data taken from manufacturers websites. The glock 21 holds 13 rds.
7) When comparing bullets comparable in size to the buckshot BBs, 9mm and 38 special, (or any of the plus P variants of those cals) there is much greater penetration than the penetration seen from 38 cal buckshot rounds fired from a revolver.
8) Using data from double tap.com, a 9mm + P 124gr bullet fired from a G17 (a fair comparison for overall size to the governor/judge) yields an energy of 473 ft. lbs. From the same site, the 230 gr bonded defense load yield a muzzle energy of 521 ft. lbs. The idea of 45 being a much better man stopper isn't as true now a days as it was during WWI or WWII.
9) Revolvers have been around since 1836, and shotguns, at least in concept were around longer than that. It has then taken approx 186 years at the least for this concept to be born.
10) Semi auto pistols are standard for a high percentage of armies in the world. They are also standard for many police departments in the US. This is for many reasons.
11) The MSRP for the Governor from the S&W website is $769. Currently there is a S&W 64 38 special (smaller than the governor, but with 6 shots of 38 special) for $269 on gunbroker. There is also a brand new glock 21 for $560. Of course on gunbroker, there will be shipping and transfer fees. Shipping is usually $30 or less and transfers are usually $40 or less. The governor is more expensive than many other SD options.
12) Unless you practice, a reload using a magazine from a semi pistol is quicker than a reload in a revolver.
So what does this all mean? Its all fact. Apparently these facts will mean different things to different people. So as I said, its not that there are no facts surrounding these questions, its more of a question of interpretation of the facts.