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Old December 8, 2019, 03:31 PM   #1
GaryED50
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Taurus Judge or S&W Governor

Hi

I'm trying to decide between these two 410/45LC revolvers. Do you guys have any recommendations or thoughts?

Gary
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Old December 8, 2019, 04:56 PM   #2
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Prepare yourself for the torches and pitchforks.
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Old December 8, 2019, 07:07 PM   #3
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The Governor has better fit/finish and if you want to shoot 45acp in addition to .45lc and .410 it is the one you need to get. If it were me buying one? I would go with the Judge, it is still a quality piece at a lower cost.

And yes, there will be comments suggesting that you need to have your head examined for even entertaining the idea of such a worthless firearm...
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Old December 8, 2019, 07:57 PM   #4
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I recently picked up a lightly used Governor. I always looked at these as "why?", but now I have it, its pretty interesting and I see it in a somewhat different light.

Ive owned a couple of Taurus handguns in the past, and that was enough. This is an S&W, and other than it being one with a "stretched" frame, its really no different than my others, other than caliber interchangeability.

I can load 45acp in moon clips (same clips my 625 uses), 45 Colt (using 25 speed loaders), or 2.5" .410's, bird or buck.

With those long chambers and using the shorter rounds, I wasnt expecting the accuracy I actually got, which was actually very good. It shoots surprisingly well, 45acp or 45 Colt.

Using Federal 2.5" four-piece 000 Buck, it shoots a roughly a fist-sized group at 10 yards. Its more a vertical string than it is a "group".

#4 birdshot gives pretty consistent 18"x18" coverage at the same distance.

The Smith has a Scandium frame. The action and trigger are the typical smooth and slick you would expect from S&W. Fit and finish the same.

This one came with a tritium dot front sight as well. The gun balances well in the hand, points well, and doesnt feel awkward or "off", as its looks might suggest. Recoil, even with heavier loads is not obnoxious, and easily controlled when shooting quickly.

I can see one of these being a decent, mixed-use, "field" type handgun when loaded appropriately. I picked up an El Paso "Tanker" for mine, and it makes for a handy package.

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Old December 8, 2019, 08:22 PM   #5
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#4 birdshot gives pretty consistent 18"x18" coverage at the same distance.

That would make for a pretty effective small game/pest control load.
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Old December 8, 2019, 08:45 PM   #6
an Old Shooter
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My Judge has excellent fit and finish and the function has been flawless. I have carried it in the field often and have dropped a deer with it shooting 45 Colt. I bought it new for $400 several a decade ago. I would do it again.
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Old December 8, 2019, 09:07 PM   #7
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I have one of the 1st gen Judges and have no issues with it. I am storing my father in law's Judge (he is deceased now) and his has issues. Cylinder rotates very stiffly and some rounds drag against the back plate,,badly. I have not sent it back to Taurus yet, but should before mother in law decides to sell it. It hangs up after the first round is fired, or if there is a .45Colt in the cylinder.
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Old December 9, 2019, 01:25 AM   #8
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I have the Judge and sadly I still haven't shot any .45 Colt in it yet (but I found some reloads and factory ammo I had stored away over the weekend ) so I can't speak to what the .45 Colt is like, but I am going to say that I don't think a S&W Governor is worth the extra cost because I don't believe it will shoot any more accurately or effectively than a comparable Judge.

The most accurate 000 Buck ammo is the Federal with 4 pellets, but the recoil is snappy and you feel it after a few rounds while 3 pellet 000 Buck has a very mild recoil, it's not accurate past 5 yards.

I can only imagine how .45 ACP shoots in the Gov.

The Gov is larger in size, but due to the alloy frame it's about equal in weight. I don't like the idea of carrying any .410 revolver other than the Public Defender Judge, but if the idea is not carrying it, making it a truck gun or home defense gun... it can work well in that role.

From all that I see the Judge and Governor do shoot .45 Colt well, the usual complaints are that smaller .45 Colt only revolvers will shoot as well or better and be smaller, but you lose the ability to shoot buckshot or larger charges of birdshot vs a .45 Colt shotshell.

As usual, the best way to answer a question like this is what do you plan on using it for?
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Old December 9, 2019, 03:08 AM   #9
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First, evaluate why you want a .410 shotpistol, and google up some patterns and gel tests. Some people have unrealistic ideas about this sort of thing.

If you are interested in birdshot for snakes and pests, the Judge costs about half as much ...with variable quality if you are willing to roll the dice.

If you are interested in solid rounds, you are probably making a mistake. However, the Governor can fire .45 acp, which costs half as much as .45 LC and a quarter as much as .410 slugs.
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Old December 9, 2019, 05:04 AM   #10
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Wouldn't a Raging Judge be a better choice because you could shoot 410, 45 Colt and 454 Casull(watered down factory ammo) in it as well?
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Old December 9, 2019, 07:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryED50 View Post
Hi

I'm trying to decide between these two 410/45LC revolvers. Do you guys have any recommendations or thoughts?

Gary
I watched a couple of YouTubes about both..I find the gun fascinating also. Seems like it would be fun and a nice carry piece for in the desent for snakes.

The S&W 'seems' better made, holds 6 instead of 5 but it also more expensive. Saying the S&W is 'better' doesn't mean the Taurus is 'bad', according to these vids.

I think it depends on what you want to use it for..just plinking, fun and occasional field carry, the Taurus.
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Old December 9, 2019, 09:29 AM   #12
AK103K
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I youre only considering price, Taurus has more varying models and does look more appealing, especially if youre limited in funds.

I think if youre going to compare the S&W to Taurus, then the Raging Judge is probably the closest, more similar comparison of the two.

Those two are only about $40 apart in price, and for that little bit of difference, and given Taurus's sketchy history across all their guns, I think the S&W would be the no brainer.


The S&W will only take 2.5" 410's, where the Taurus I believe will take 3". Not sure how much of a difference that really is, but I guess its something.

I was surprised at how accurate and how little the pattern spread with the Federal handgun specific Personal Defense 000 buck load was. I didnt find it to have heavy recoil or was it difficult to shoot with. The load also went where I was aiming when I shot.

I havent shot any of the three pellet 000 buck, so I dont have a comparison.

If I were going to use it for people defense, I doubt Id use either.

I didnt find the birdshot load to be any different recoil wise than the buck loads. The patterns seemed pretty consistent and more or less centered on the POA too.

Of the three, for me anyway, its probably going to be the best choice for the .410 loads.

As far as how much of it your hand can take shooting it? Id rather shoot 50 rounds of the buck out of my Governor, than 50 rounds of the 158 grain loads I would carry in my Airweight J frames.


45Colt has more felt recoil than the 45acp. Kind of what youd expect I guess. Both are still easy to shoot well with though. Seems like the 454 would go the other way.

The main reason I went with the Smith was, Ive had/seen bad experiences with Taurus handguns in the past, and I like S&W's, and considering the number Ive owned over the years, have had very few problems with them.

The few (2) times Ive had to use it, S&W's customer service, while not great, was a lot better than Taurus's. Call S&W, and they will have a label for you in a couple of minutes, and the gun back to you within a week or two.

As far as these things go, S&W is pretty limited in their offerings of them, and I have a feeling, they probably just did them to cut into Taurus's market.

Taurus does have a lot more options and at lesser prices.

Whichever floats your boat, go for it. As was mentioned, thats really the only way to know. Might be the best thing you ever did.
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Old December 9, 2019, 11:03 AM   #13
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I am very happy with my Taurus Judge Public Defender Poly. The short barreled, polymer framed version of the Judge. With it's polymer frame, shorter barrel, and cylinder chambered for 2 1/2" shells it is easily carried, performs quite well, and as a bonus, less than half the price of the S&W. The Judge gives up the 45 acp capability, but that means nothing, and certain!y isn't worth an extra $400. More than the price of a Judge PD Poly.
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Old December 9, 2019, 01:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
I'm trying to decide between these two 410/45LC revolvers. Do you guys have any recommendations or thoughts?
Won't comment on the guns, directly, but consider this, if something isn't right, or goes wrong, one is made by S&W and the other isn't.

Taurus does not have as good a reputation as S&W. Especially if you have issues.

For me that's enough, and outweighs a difference in purchase price.
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Old December 9, 2019, 02:02 PM   #15
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Thoughts?

I shot a Judge a little bit, when they first came out ....... target was an appliance box (approximately 2 1/2' x 3') at ten yards ...... the birdshot pattern did not stay on the box, and there was an 12" blank spot in the middle of it with no hits if one was trying to hit everything but what you were aiming it at in the room, this would be great ...... NOPE.

.45LC was ok ..... but that thing was huge, for 5 rounds of LC ...... nope .....

There are better guns, for less money, I think ..... it's a gimmicky concept, targeting people that don't know any better, thinking they can put a shotgun in their pocket.
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Old December 9, 2019, 02:04 PM   #16
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I also despised Taurus' marketing campaign ...... if you ever get attacked by a bunch of watermellons on sticks in a dark parking garage ...... this is just the thing!
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Old December 9, 2019, 03:01 PM   #17
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It's one of those things that sounds better than it actually is. It's big, kind'a gimmicky and a poor compromise if you ask me. I've only put a couple dozen rounds through the Taurus, but wasn't impressed.

I strongly suggest you shoot one before you buy and I'd assume the S&W had the better action of the 2 though I haven't shot that one.
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Old December 9, 2019, 05:25 PM   #18
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Here's my thing, I have a .45Colt/.410 barrel for my Contender. I like it a lot as a pest gun. Would like it more if it was smoothbore but Uncle doesn't allow that without $ and a hassle I'm not willing to put up with.

Was not pleased with the performance of my .45 Colt rounds and got a .45 Colt (only) barrel.

A 10" Contender is quite effective, but the same stuff from a short barrel revolver just leaves me wanting.

Too much market hype on "oooh its a shotgun, you get multiple hits" etc.

A .410 slug is no slouch, call it 110gr and the MV out of a pistol is in the magnum range. BUT, its a .41 slug fired from a .45 barrel, so you lose a bunch, and its not a performance bullet its a lead slug.

Buckshot? sure, 3 pellets, 4?? again, not enough for me to match up against a good pistol round for defense use.

I wouldn't get either revolver, but if you're going to anyway, get the S&W, and don't whine about what it costs.
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Old December 9, 2019, 06:16 PM   #19
AK103K
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My local shop has a used Raging Judge (a more "apples to apples" comparison to the S&W) sitting on the shelf right now for $695. Not really "cheap" and actually about $50 more than Buds is selling them new.

He was asking $550 for the "used" Governor, basically, NIB, when I got it this fall in the same shop. Buds is selling the same gun I got for $740 new.

They arent always "more", nor are they always expensive.

When I was looking in the box when I got home, I found the previous owners original transfer paperwork, and the gun was originally sold less than a year ago. Im assuming it just wasn't thier cup of tea, which I can understand with things like this. The only reason I bought it was I was bored, never had or shot one, and it looked interesting.
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Old December 9, 2019, 06:38 PM   #20
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I'd get the one that fits best in a good ankle holster. But, seriously, the extra shot afforded by the Smith makes good sense for a handgun being used for self-defense.
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Old December 9, 2019, 09:50 PM   #21
CDR_Glock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryED50 View Post
Hi



I'm trying to decide between these two 410/45LC revolvers. Do you guys have any recommendations or thoughts?



Gary


The S&W has more versatility and a higher capacity.

However, I’m not sure about accuracy out of an awkward system in 45 Colt or 45 ACP.

Out of a Snubnosed revolver, I’m not sure of the utility in a 410 gun.

If it’s a snake killer you want, you can do a 357 Magnum or 38 Special with snake shot. Even a 45 LC, 410 Bond Arms derringer could do the trick.

Why focus on a multipurpose gun that is just mediocre?

I love my Ruger Alaskan 454 Casull which can shoot a 45 Colt but I only shoot Buffalo Bore 360 grain cast lead bullets.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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Old December 9, 2019, 10:45 PM   #22
GaryED50
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Thanks everyone. My main point is to just get a novelty plinking gun. No real serious purpose. just something to have fun with

Gary
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Old December 9, 2019, 10:49 PM   #23
AK103K
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This may help with what to expect with 45Colt and 45acp. I shot this when I got home the day I bought the Governor. Top group was three cylinders full at 10 yards DAO 45Colt. The lower group is the same, but 45acp.



That was first bush, and things have tightened a little more with both now as I've gotten used to it. You can see the acp group was already getting tighter.

This was the #4's at 5 yards. I was mistaken when I said 10 earlier. POA was the bridge of the nose, center of the sunglasses.



I've got a pic of the buck loads too somewhere. I'll post it up when I find it.

ETA: heres three rounds of the Federal 4 piece 000 buck load at 10 yards.....



You can see they tend to want to string vertically.

Last edited by AK103K; December 10, 2019 at 08:16 AM.
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Old December 9, 2019, 11:26 PM   #24
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Thanks everyone. My main point is to just get a novelty plinking gun. No real serious purpose. just something to have fun with
The the Judge is the obvious choice. Why pay over twice as much just for a "name"?
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Old December 9, 2019, 11:44 PM   #25
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I was faced with this same decision once. Ultimately, I chose the Taurus Judge Magnum because I wanted the ability to shoot 3" shells and it was cheaper than the Governor.

I've had the Judge for over 2 years now and it has never given me any trouble. One bit of advice that I can give you is that if you decide to go with the Judge, then get it in Stainless Steel, my brother has a matte black Judge and ended up having to Duracoat it in less than a year because whatever finish Taurus is using just isn't very durable, nor is it particularly resistant to corrosion because when my brother took the grips off his Judge to Duracoat it he round a bit of rust. (Oh, and ignore anyone who says that Taurus doesn't really use Stainless Steel, it's a load of nonsense. My Judge is indeed Stainless Steel, not just a silver finish.)
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