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Old May 23, 2013, 12:10 AM   #1
Sarge
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Shot a Public Defender today....

The fivegun, not the lawyer

I had some preconceived notions, most of which were incorrect. It scattered birdshot all over a B27 at 15 yards, but plenty good for snakes at 10 feet. It patterned 000 buck or PDX close enough to keep 'em on the head at that distance. From about 20 yards, I could shoot hand-size groups using my standard W231/250 RNFP 45 Colt load. There were three of us shooting it so I couldn't really shoot it for groups. I think if I perfected my hold, I could squeeze out 3-4 inches at 25 yards with 45 Colts.

Everybody loved the grip except me and I thought it needed to be firmer- or wood. I could feel the gun squirm around in the grips when I fired it. Recoil with the souped-up 410 loads was noticeable but not disconcerting. It spit a little and I didn't like that.

Surprisingly, the trigger wasn't half bad.The fiber optic sight was easy to pick up for quick shots but disconcerting for precise shooting... the fiber optic rod is half obscured when using a normal sight picture. Otherwise it shot a tad high. The sight is dovetailed in so you could experiment a little.

Overall, I liked it. Another friend has the 3" model and offered it for a test drive.
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Old May 23, 2013, 12:26 AM   #2
fragtagninja
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Not gonna lie I find the idea of a handheld shotgun really cool. Not sure how practical it is, or how effective the .410 is for SD, but still really cool.
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Old May 23, 2013, 06:32 AM   #3
Newton24b
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wow your the first person whos admitted that they had to practice shooting with a judge to get the best accuracy out of it.
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Old May 23, 2013, 06:38 AM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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yep... for shooting skunks ( the 4 legged type, not the lawyer type ) I think it would be fine... in other words, I think it would make a great farm truck gun

however... I have a hard time warming up to the super long cylinder & how "those guns" balance... probably why I've been dragging my feet on an X frame as well ( I really want a 500 S&W )... ( I even find the cylinder "too long" on my Dan Wesson 357 Max )

I've not held a S&W "Judge" did they copy the Taurus "ribber" grip of the judge as well, when they copied the gun ??? I'd think an X frame type grip would be better, or is that what's on it, & you just didn't like the softer rubber grip that S&W is putting on the X frames???
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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; May 23, 2013 at 03:21 PM.
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Old May 23, 2013, 10:58 AM   #5
g.willikers
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Glad you clarified.
For a sec there, it sounded like you had a serious reaction to authority figures.
This has a rifled barrel?
If so, it's not surprising that it would pattern so poorly with shot loads.
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Old May 23, 2013, 03:14 PM   #6
j3hill
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I have one too. Never shot it. Gave it to the wife and said keep it in your glove box. The purse would have been better, but its to bulky
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Old May 23, 2013, 10:20 PM   #7
Cheapshooter
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I have the PD Poly version. Surprisingly accurate with both 000 buckshot, and 45 Colt. Sufficient density in pattern @ 10 feet with #7 1/2 shot for snakes.
Besides all that, just a whole bunch of fun to shoot.
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Old May 23, 2013, 11:19 PM   #8
Prof Young
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Me too.

I have the public defender with the really short barrel. It's my HD gun. Course I hope I never have to use it but figure at the close range of HD shooting it's a gun that's hard to miss with. I've shot some of that Winchester ammo that shoots three discs backed up by some BB shot. Looks to me like at any kind of close range less than 20 feet it would take someone down pretty quickly. I'm no pro but I think it's a good choice.

And I take it to the range to with me and shoot 45 colts. Can keep all five in an eight inch circle at ten yards. It's a fun gun.

Live well, be safe
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Old May 24, 2013, 12:05 AM   #9
Sarge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWM
I've not held a S&W "Judge" did they copy the Taurus "ribber" grip of the judge as well, when they copied the gun ??? I'd think an X frame type grip would be better, or is that what's on it, & you just didn't like the softer rubber grip that S&W is putting on the X frames???
I just thought it was too soft & squishy. I believe the gun would be easier to manage with a firmer handle on it. This is just my personal preference.
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Old May 24, 2013, 10:34 PM   #10
Sarge
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Got ahold of another PD today... actually swapped into a stainless one. The grip screw on this one was a full turn short of really snug and once I tightened it, the 'squishy grip' thing vanished. I shot it with my standard 255 RNFP load (7.1 grains W231) my 255 SWC load (7.5 grains) and some Winchester #6 cheapie field loads. The WW #6 yielded snake shredding patterns at 12 feet.

It did not like the 255 SWC's and planted them perfectly sideways at 25 yards (THAT would leave a mark) about 6" above the front sight. It also got leaded up by them in two cylinders and this probably affected accuracy with the RNFP load. About the best it would do is 5-6" at 25 yards, again 5" high. What it will do is keep all its shots on a B27... even the sideways ones LOL.

I have some Hornady 225 grain LeverEvolution that came in the deal and I'll sacrifice 6 rounds to see if it groups better at distance- and expands from the PD's teeny barrel.

By conventional standards, the gun don't shoot for sour apples with two proven-accurate 45 Colt loads. Just for grins, I burned a couple of cylinders in DA shooting on 6" falling plates at 15 yards. I couldn't seem to miss one. Heck, I busted a coke can 2 out of 3 at that distance.

More to come, decent pic when I can get one.

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Last edited by Sarge; May 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM.
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Old May 28, 2013, 08:42 PM   #11
Sarge
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The shotgun aspect is interesting but of limited value to me... the oddball chamber dimensions presented some challenges in finding a usefully-accurate load. I eventually loaded a swaged .454" bullet and to cut down the distance the bullet had to jump, I loaded these out to 1.720”. You have to admit that the 45 Colt, loaded to this length, has a certain 19th century charm about it.



Be advised that loaded to this length, my Ruger Vaquero wouldn’t chamber them. But they dropped right into the Public Defender and that what I was after.


Shoots well enough for a general-use 45 Colt load, at least from shotgun/snubnose. Now to perfect the at 25 yard zero.




More here. Be advised that the link contains 'long load' data that exceeds published data, when bullets are seated to recommended OAL. It also contains appropriate warnings concerning that data.

http://www.thesixgunjournal.net/the-...nose-revolver/
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Last edited by Sarge; May 30, 2013 at 10:16 AM.
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Old May 29, 2013, 02:45 PM   #12
Sarge
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I was helping the Missus clean off the back porch of our old farmhouse today... something we've been needing to do as it contained 25 years of other relatives' set-asides. I heard her "EeeeeeK!" and discovered that she'd moved a box with three mice in it. Don't know if the were blind, as we didn't visit long.

I threw the box outside and discovered that if a 410 revolver isn't good for anything else, WW #6's will annihilate three mice with one shot, provided they are polite enough to gather in one spot. A 'triple' on mice! Now if I could just get doves to do that!
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Old May 29, 2013, 11:02 PM   #13
Newton24b
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did you try using 454 casull cases? i remember a few articles bout doing that when the judge first came out to the public.
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Old May 30, 2013, 12:41 AM   #14
Sarge
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Haven't yet Newton, but I'm looking at longer cases like the 460 S&W. Believe it would require a reamer, but it would sure get the bullet out where in needs to be in that long cylinder.

What I have done, is tinker with adapting the gun to shorter ones. I'd read that some of these revolvers will accept 45 ACP in Taurus's little 5-shot 'Stellar' clip intended for their Model 455 snubnose. Some won't; the difference being about 0.008" as near as I could tell. Anyhow I ordered a 5 pack of moon clips and determined to make them work. One of the glorious things about an off-brand revolver is that you're not afraid to go hammer & tongs on it.

I removed about 0.007" from the recoil plate before the clips would drop in and turn freely with ACP cartridges in place. The firing pin still sits below flush and headspace has not changed significantly, so there should be no negatives with this modification for standard-pressure 45 Colt of 410 shot-shells. It did require a complete tear-down and I slicked things up a little, while I was in there.

I've got half a three-pound coffee can of lead-bullet 45 ACP loads left, so we'll soon know how well the gun shoots with them. I don't expect it'll be a tack driver but I'm tickled to have added a layer of versatility to an already versatile fivegun.
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Old May 30, 2013, 02:00 AM   #15
Edward429451
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Love your thread title! Brought to mind many different mental images than than what the thread is really about, lol! It would be super cool if you can get it running with 45 acp's like you say.
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Old May 30, 2013, 09:41 AM   #16
Sarge
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I ran a few ‘clips’ of 45 ACP through the gun this morning and there were no problems to report. The target represents 20 rounds fired DA at 15 yards and I flubbed a few out of the bull until I figured out I needed to hold just under the red dot on the target. There was some key-holing but I didn’t bother cleaning the bore and it was already leaded up from yesterday's shooting. The same hold yielded consistent hits on 6” falling plates.



Man, this gun is dirty. The chambers look like old sewer pipe.
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Old May 31, 2013, 02:26 PM   #17
Sarge
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Satisfied that the ‘Long 45 Colt Load’ was going to shoot about as well as anything from this gun, I set about zeroing the fixed sights for 25 yards. It was shooting a good six inches high and there are essentially no aftermarket front sights available for this revolver. So the answer was to remove metal from the top of the frame at the rear sight notch. I just needed to determine ‘how much’. I turned to Brownells Sight Correction Calculator for the answer. With the PD’s 4.25” sight radius, the Math Wizard said 0.019” would get me there. I covered the topstrap with electrical tape and grabbed my freshest Nicholson 06601N and set to work- very slowly and taking measurements every third stroke. I stopped at 0.017” and eyeballed the sight notch, which was now a little shallow. I was able to deepen the notch an equal amount using a Brownell’s Pillar File, which has two safe edges and is perfect for these jobs.

When the rain stopped, I hung a target and fired five rounds standing unsupported at 25 yards. The Long Load group was 3” including the high shot (which I think I pulled) and 2” excluding it. Aside from a possible slight windage correction, I am satisfied. This ridiculous little 45 ACP/LC/410 combo revolver is now shooting better than the PT145 it replaced.

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Last edited by Sarge; May 31, 2013 at 02:45 PM.
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