I converted a Circuit Judge into a pistol by removing the stock and fabricating a wooden pistol grip for it (along the lines of a Buntline Colt). It's my first revolver and I thought it would make a nice hunting handgun. I'm using the Buffalo Bore standard pressure 255gr. .45 Long Colt ammo and it shoots great! I haven't found a local range with a chronograph, but that ammo hits 1,200 fps out of an 8" barrel. I have to think I get a bit more out of an 18" barrel. If anyone has that data I'd appreciate you sharing it.
I got my first deer with it last week. This button buck stepped out at about 30 yds. and it was 4pm on our last day so I took the shot.
I think it will be effective well past 50 yds. if I can make the shot.
Shooting .410's out of it - you sorta need 2 hands, but it swings and points pretty easily.
For quick draws, it's a tad unwieldy.
It turns out there is one area of concern. I was informed by several people that if my finished length was under 26" that it would qualify as a "National Firearms Act" (NFA) weapon and subject to registration and taxes and other complications:
A firearm, as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(4), is made when a handgun or other weapon with an overall length of less than 26 inches, or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length, is assembled or produced from a weapon originally assembled or produced only as a rifle.
This was news to me, and it's just dumb luck that the total length is 26-1/8".
Thanks for reading,