View Full Version : 45 colt load for Taurus Judge

August 18, 2011, 05:50 PM
Looking for a load for 45 colt in a taurus Judge. I am currently using 9.5 gr Unique w 200 grain cast SWC. Id like something with a bit more power. 9.5 is max according to Alliant. I also have some H110 that I use for 357 magnum, but I cant find any load data for that powder...any suggestions? I know I cant use the Ruger only load data, but since the Taurus is a modern revolver, can I go a little higher than what they list for colt clones?
I also have some 250 grain Hornady XTP's I could use

August 18, 2011, 10:37 PM
How thick are the chamber walls at the outermost edge?

August 19, 2011, 12:58 AM
I would use a 255 grain hard cast SWC and 9.0 to 9.5 grains of Unique. That will shoot through most anything on earth on a broadside. 9.5 is max per Alliant. I would not go +P with your gun.

Lost Sheep
August 19, 2011, 01:10 AM
Based on little more than the absence of load data for older (originally black powder cartridges) I will venture the guess that H110 does not burn reliably at the kinds of pressures that guns chambered for the old black powder cartridges can stand.

Hodgdon, the manufacturer of H110, recommends to NEVER reduce H110 load data more than 3%. That indicates to me that less than optimal pressure is a bad idea. Most of the load data I have found for H110 are over 33,000 CUP. I suspect some of the replica firearms and older guns around are not capable of digesting 33k, and that probably includes the Judge as well.

Erratic burning because of reduced H110 loads is said to be the cause of pressure spikes in some guns that has resulted in blowups. Does not happen every time. In fact, ballisticians have trouble inducing the condition reliably and some people even claim it doesn't happen. But that has not reassembled a single gun.

My advice, stick with powders that behave better at Colt 45 pressures than H110 does.

Lost Sheep

August 19, 2011, 07:33 AM
The cylinder walls on the Judge are paper thin but I haven't heard of any kabooms yet. I would stick to regular loads, never "Ruger Only" or "+P" heavy loads.

August 19, 2011, 09:54 AM
Evey time this question comes up about the judge and hot 45 colt loads, I answer the same way, forget-about-it! Two problems with the fact that you're trying to make one gun shoot two very different shells. The outside diameter of a .410 shell is .470. The 45 colt has a .452 diameter SOLID bullet. Then the 3 inch chamber of the magnum judge gives 1-5/8 inches for the .452 bullet to travel before it encounters a throat.

So what happens when you fire a 45 colt shell in this huge, long freebore? You get massive blow-by! The powder gasses have no barrel to seal against to provide velocity.

Then, you have a small bullet rattling down that big chamber, then slamming into the rifling. It then has to start spinning while trying to grip the rifling. So the third strike against the judge is lousy accuracy.

For those that have read this far, you have to realize how a normal revolver is built. You have the chamber, then IMMEDIATELY the throat in the front of the cylinder. This allows the bullet to transition from the case to the barrel with ALL the powder gases behind the bullet. Also it's still accelerating when it encounters the rifling, going slow enough to not skid the bullet into the rifling.

None of these conditions exist in the judge. The bullet exits the case, the powder gases blow by the bullet then the bullet has no guidance or support for 1-5/8 inches! (the 2.5 inch judge, the original, still has the same problems).

The judge is simply a short range defensive weapon best used with the .410 shells. There's some specialty rounds available for the judge in .410 with 3 .400 lead balls in a 3 inch shell. Winchester has some loads with 2-3 slugs as well. The 95 grain normal .410 slug is anemic at best. AND it's too small to grip the rifling in the barrel.

August 19, 2011, 10:03 AM
You could make some *nice* loads for it using 250 grain bullets, black powder, and longer brass. Not sure what the best brass to use would be; maybe brass .410 shells, or cut-down .303 British or .444 Marlin.

August 19, 2011, 10:12 AM
The Judge is designed for Phone Booth range personal defence , so load it up with those nasty .410 PD loads and forget that it will even ignite 45LC cartridges ! ( notice that I didn't say shoot ) ! I have a 3" Judge in my dresser drawer loaded just this way !

August 19, 2011, 10:41 AM
Don't tell this guy... I'd hate to spoil his fun! Winchester 255's at 20 yards.


From excellent thread on the Public Defender.


August 19, 2011, 03:25 PM
Thats a rare one there ! Is it stock ?

August 19, 2011, 09:00 PM
I don't know but I'm itching to test drive one. It really don't take much barrel to produce that level of accuracy or better. I get the chamber dimension differences between the .45 & .410, but as long as they are bored on axis and 72 degree centers. I'd expect at least that much accuracy from ammo it favored. I was encouraged by the fact that the subject gun did that with common 255 LRN,

Frankly I'm more concerned I might get one with action problems, rather than one that don't handle 45 Colt ammo well.

August 19, 2011, 09:15 PM
I had no interest in them... until I saw the carbine version. I immediately wanted one of those until I came to my senses and remembered it's a Taurus.

Too great a chance that I'd get a bad one [again] and it would never really work right and have no resale value. That's not to say they all suck; I just don't trust my luck. (hey, that rhymes)

I still think you could load something resembling a trapdoor-level .45-70 GOVT cartridge for it.