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Old November 9, 2018, 01:31 AM   #1
TruthTellers
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Is a used Taurus Poly Public Defender worth it?

I've had on my list for a while a Taurus Public Defender, but an all steel one. I would buy one new, but with the warranty change Taurus made last year, I refuse to buy any revolver from Taurus that doesn't have a lifetime warranty with it.

The issue I'm having is used, all steel Public Defenders are hard to come by at a reasonable price, yet the poly PD's are a dime a dozen. I want the steel models because the extra weight would help tame the .410 recoil, but will consider the polymer models if they're good.

Use will be for just about everything: plinking, CCW, woods gun, home defense.
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Old November 9, 2018, 07:47 AM   #2
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I have zero experience with a poly Judge and admit I am not a fan of poly anything. I’m not saying poly is bad, I have had Glocks, Kahr’s and have a M&P9c, all of which have been outstanding I just like metal...
If it were me, and I couldn’t find a steel version that qualified for the transferable lifetime warranty, I would get a new steel one and run it through its paces during its year warranty. If you don’t have problems with it during that time you most likely have a good one and won’t need to worry about sending it back for warranty work.
I will say that the Judges and Governors provide about as much fun as I have ever had at the range.
Oh, get ready for the numerous responses of how worthless they are for anything and how many better options are out their that you should be looking at.....
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Old November 9, 2018, 02:49 PM   #3
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I agree with Targa. If you're going to have a problem, it will probably be early. I have four Taurus firearms that are very reliable. I had one (TCP) that had a problem and that happened within half a box of ammo from when it was new. Taurus took care of the problem (7 weeks), it was fixed properly and it has had no issues in the 1,000+ rounds I have shot since I got it back a few years ago. My 2 revolvers have never had an issue.
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Old November 10, 2018, 12:09 AM   #4
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Points taken, I'll consider buying new, but let's say an issue occurs after the warranty expires, has Taurus specified how much they charge for service?
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Old November 10, 2018, 06:45 AM   #5
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FWIW, I have a steel Judge that hasn't ever given me any problems. It's just a range toy for me. It's fun to shoot. If I had to use it for SD/HD, I wouldn't feel unarmed. It shoots 45 colt about as well as any other snubby at short range. Mine is the 3" magnum version. IIRC, it would be 30 rounds of 32-caliber 00 buckshot flying through the air if I had to empty it towards a threat. I've seen what happens to cans, rotten squash, water jugs, etc. when they are on the receiving end. None of them fared well.
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Old November 10, 2018, 06:59 AM   #6
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On the plus side, the 410/.45 revolvers can do a lot of things. On the minus, they generally don't do most of them as well as other choices. For instance, it absolutely could be used for "plinking, CCW, woods gun, home defense" but for any one of those things in isolation, there are often much better options. CCW stands out as the stretch because these are very large and very limited for what they actually offer.

I'd tend to justify one of these as a "fun gun" and "just in case" for those other diverse needs. That said, get the steel. It could help keep .410 in line with "fun" and may be sturdier. The only place I really see any advantage to the polymer version is in CC or hiking but as I said, that's probably the least attractive role for this firearm. Seriously, here is another envelope-pushing choice for that role, just to make the point:

Glock 20 (10mm) | Taurus 4510PD-3B

Length: 8" | 9"
Width: 1.3" | 1.5"
Weight: 27.5oz | 28oz
Capacity: 15 | 5
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Old November 11, 2018, 02:19 AM   #7
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Numbers don't lie, Cosmo, the Glock 20 is a superior woods and hiking gun compared to any revolver. There was a time when I was wondering if .454, .460, or .480 revolvers would be better, but I realize that they're among the most impractical guns to carry unless you are in Grizzly territory. Even if you were, a 10mm Glock is not the worst choice you could carry.

I really don't see myself conceal carrying it, but a situation I could see is it being a designated vehicle gun, not necessarily for carjackers, but just a gun I keep in a vehicle and in use in an emergency.

Home defense I think is where it can shine. I don't question what 000 buck is capable of at typical home defense distances of 0 to 7 yards.

Plinking, I reload .45 Colt, so I don't spend much when I shoot it. Also have thought about getting some 9mm adapters and see how they shoot. Again, not looking for super accuracy, the gun isn't meant for distances further than 25 yards and even that is pushing what it was built for.
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Old November 11, 2018, 05:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
There was a time when I was wondering if .454, .460, or .480 revolvers would be better, but I realize that they're among the most impractical guns to carry unless you are in Grizzly territory. Even if you were, a 10mm Glock is not the worst choice you could carry.
I also view those extremely powerful revolver choices as largely in the "fun gun" category. (The .460 in particular offers a lot of amusement when it's time to bust water jugs, overripe fruit, etc.) There are certainly cases where an ~8" XVR can stand in for a reasonably powerful rifle but be much easier to tote around the woods. The problem is that I feel like there's a pretty narrow band of geography, wildlife, or activity where the defensive need isn't adequately met by something like a G20.

Quote:
Home defense I think is where it can shine. I don't question what 000 buck is capable of at typical home defense distances of 0 to 7 yards.
This probably the friendliest of those categories for the judge. Still, it's hard to beat a regular shotgun or something like a pistol-caliber carbine. I understand the maneuverability arguments in favor of a handgun but even there, I'm not sure the Judge is offering all that much advantage versus a regular full-sized pistol.

Quote:
Plinking, I reload .45 Colt, so I don't spend much when I shoot it. Also have thought about getting some 9mm adapters and see how they shoot. Again, not looking for super accuracy, the gun isn't meant for distances further than 25 yards and even that is pushing what it was built for.
It's another case where I'd much rather bring the Redhawk in .45 Colt.

I almost bought one of the rifle versions of the Judge in .357 magnum, just for the novelty and aesthetic charm. (It's quite attractive IMHO.) After carefully examining it though, the tolerances didn't seem all that tight. It looked like I could just about fit a whole case down the barrel! An important advantage to the PCC is increased velocity and that seems to work against it. I'm curious to know how the 9mm adapter works.

Overall, I think The Judge is a novelty item at odds with itself. It seems to exist in order to skirt a ridiculous and ridiculously bad law. It will fire .45 Colt but with a little less power and accuracy. It will shoot .410 but is rifled. If it makes you happy though, go for it and God bless. If they release the a rifle version with tight tolerances, I'll join you.
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Old November 11, 2018, 03:29 PM   #9
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It's probably my old law enforcement days coming back to haunt me but I wouldn't own a gun called the "Public Defender". Good grief! (smile)

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Old November 11, 2018, 07:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cosmodragoon View Post
I also view those extremely powerful revolver choices as largely in the "fun gun" category. (The .460 in particular offers a lot of amusement when it's time to bust water jugs, overripe fruit, etc.) There are certainly cases where an ~8" XVR can stand in for a reasonably powerful rifle but be much easier to tote around the woods. The problem is that I feel like there's a pretty narrow band of geography, wildlife, or activity where the defensive need isn't adequately met by something like a G20.



This probably the friendliest of those categories for the judge. Still, it's hard to beat a regular shotgun or something like a pistol-caliber carbine. I understand the maneuverability arguments in favor of a handgun but even there, I'm not sure the Judge is offering all that much advantage versus a regular full-sized pistol.



It's another case where I'd much rather bring the Redhawk in .45 Colt.

I almost bought one of the rifle versions of the Judge in .357 magnum, just for the novelty and aesthetic charm. (It's quite attractive IMHO.) After carefully examining it though, the tolerances didn't seem all that tight. It looked like I could just about fit a whole case down the barrel! An important advantage to the PCC is increased velocity and that seems to work against it. I'm curious to know how the 9mm adapter works.

Overall, I think The Judge is a novelty item at odds with itself. It seems to exist in order to skirt a ridiculous and ridiculously bad law. It will fire .45 Colt but with a little less power and accuracy. It will shoot .410 but is rifled. If it makes you happy though, go for it and God bless. If they release the a rifle version with tight tolerances, I'll join you.
Yeah, one of the reasons I want a big bore revolver that's .454 or bigger is to have something that's extremely powerful for the sake of having something powerful and to feel the recoil of something so powerful.

But then I realize there's nothing where I live that a Ruger Only .45 Colt load in my Redhawk won't take care of and that because of the recoil, I wouldn't shoot .454 or .460 much and it becomes a money not well spent. The one thing that would make me buy a .454 or .460 revolver is if more rifles were chambered for them, but there are few and usually cost as much or more than a .454 or .460 revolver.

Here's what the 9mm adapters do:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzwk8L6aTgs
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Old November 11, 2018, 07:45 PM   #11
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The one thing that would make me buy a .454 or .460 revolver is if more rifles were chambered for them, but there are few and usually cost as much or more than a .454 or .460 revolver.
That's true. This was also an issue with .327 until Henry finally stepped up. I looked at a lever action in .460 recently and the price tag hit me harder than the blast wave! In this case or maybe with the .500, I'm not sure it's all that important though.

Like I was saying before, the ~8" XVR sort of bridges the gap between pistol and rifle. It's bigger than most any other pistol but can still be carried like a big pistol. It puts out power levels in what could be considered rifle territory without the need of having one slung over your shoulder all day. It would be cool to have a rifle for it, but there are already plenty of established magnum rifle rounds to choose from. The .460 really shines in its native platform and I'm okay leaving it there.

Quote:
Here's what the 9mm adapters do...
That's interesting. It's like shooting a shorter-barreled, smaller-caliber firearm down a wider pipe. Given the already wide early barrel, I suppose power loss is already assumed as inherent in the platform so it's no big deal. This just opens up another fun jack-of-all-trades thing for The Judge.
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Old November 11, 2018, 07:51 PM   #12
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Depending what "it" is. I have an early PD Poly that I have had no problems with. @10yards it is quite accurate with 45 Colt ammo. It also holds a tight pattern with Federal personal defense 410 OO buck. @10 or 15feet with 7 1/2 or 8 shot it has a pattern density no slithery critter could escape. I really don't find the recoil with any load I have used to be difficult to handle. Because I don't conceal carry it I added Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips which feel a whole lot better than the original "Ribber" grips. Mine serves triple duty. 1. Primarily a "truck gun" secured in a console vault, and placed between the seat and console when driving. A car jacker's worst nightmare! 2. Snake protection while berry picking, and mushroom hunting. 3. It's a total blast, pun completely intended, to shoot!
For carrying I use an Crosman airsoft holster that I got a Walmart for under ten bucks.
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Old November 11, 2018, 10:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cosmodragoon View Post
That's true. This was also an issue with .327 until Henry finally stepped up. I looked at a lever action in .460 recently and the price tag hit me harder than the blast wave! In this case or maybe with the .500, I'm not sure it's all that important though.

Like I was saying before, the ~8" XVR sort of bridges the gap between pistol and rifle. It's bigger than most any other pistol but can still be carried like a big pistol. It puts out power levels in what could be considered rifle territory without the need of having one slung over your shoulder all day. It would be cool to have a rifle for it, but there are already plenty of established magnum rifle rounds to choose from. The .460 really shines in its native platform and I'm okay leaving it there.
That's the other thing I think about too, is what the .454/.460 gives me in a rifle over a .300 Win Mag. The only answer I can come up with is a tubular magazine and able to carry more ammo on my person and in the gun. Also, I'm no so sure .454/.460 in a lever action is better than hot .45 Colt, for my uses at least.

Quote:
That's interesting. It's like shooting a shorter-barreled, smaller-caliber firearm down a wider pipe. Given the already wide early barrel, I suppose power loss is already assumed as inherent in the platform so it's no big deal. This just opens up another fun jack-of-all-trades thing for The Judge.
The way I see it, the 9mm adapters are like 9mm snub velocity, but with less felt recoil thanks to a larger, heavier gun, and a longer sight radius. Practical? Idk, but 5 shots of 9mm with workable accuracy is better than no shots of .45/.410.
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Old November 12, 2018, 12:47 PM   #14
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ive been wanting a 38 snub-style back in my carry stable and ive been looking over the poly defender myself.

I did have a bad experience with the steel Judge....back when they first came out i thought it would make a dandy woods/survival/hiking and camping gun and bought one. The 45lc would shoot keyholes at 15 yards and the 410 rounds would swell after i shot and lock up the cylinder. I heard later you should only shoot 410 target loads and maybe that was the problem.
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Old November 12, 2018, 05:23 PM   #15
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Not sure where your keyhole problem came from, my PD poly is pretty accurate at 10 yards with Winchester PDX1 225gr rounds.

Judge PD Poly, 5rounds Winchester PDX1 225 grain 45 Colt @10 yds



3 rnds Federal Handgun 000 Buck @ 10 yds. (Large holes from wads)
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Old November 12, 2018, 07:55 PM   #16
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I know I had seen pictures of the issue I mentioned regarding the unusually wide start of the barrel. Here is a thread from the Taurus forum (with pictures) that discusses it with respect to the rimfire model:

https://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/t...g-quality.html

If anyone has the .410/.45 version and wants to check it, I'd be curious.
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Old November 12, 2018, 10:10 PM   #17
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As shown in my previous post (#15) the long unrifled section of the cylinder in order to take the 410 shell doesn't seem to have an effect on accuracy. Another claim clearly debunked by actual performance of my gun is the claim that the rifling is exceedingly shallow to enhance shot shell pattern. Whatever the depth of the rifling, it seems to work well with bullet, or buckshot.
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