Ever since Taurus introduced their Judge .45
Colt/.410 revolver about three years ago, they have been selling
like beer at a biker rally. I first
reviewed the Judge back in February of 2007, and subsequently
their UltraLite version in October of that same year. The
results are in: the Judge is one of, if not the number one,
hottest-selling revolvers in the United States right now. I have
received a lot of positive feedback on that revolver. People
like the concept of a revolver that can shoot both .45 Colt
ammo, and also be loaded with .410 shotshells for packing around
where poisonous snakes crawl. As a trail gun in the South and
Southwest, the Judge makes a lot of sense, offering versatility
in ammo offered by few others. Also, for self defense, the Judge
is quite popular. Depending upon the cylinder length, shotshells
are available packed with three or five 000 buckshot, and at
close range is a formidable weapon. I have little use for a .410
slug in the Judge, for if a single bullet cartridge is wanted,
the .45 Colt cartridge is a much better choice. Last time
I checked, Taurus listed nineteen different versions of the
Judge, including models with Crimson Trace Lasergrips, blued
steel, stainless, UltraLite, and this newest compact version:
the Public defender.
The Public Defender wears a two inch barrel
and a bobbed hammer, but is otherwise pure Judge. The compact
revolver weighs in at one and three-quarters pounds, which is
lighter than the full-sized Judge, and only a couple of ounces
heaver than the UltraLite, but more compact than either. The
Public defender is a much more concealable revolver than its
full-sized brethren, hiding well in a belt or shoulder holster.
The sights consist of a square notch in the frame for the rear,
and a fiber optic front dovetailed into the barrel rib. The
bobbed hammer is grooved to facilitate thumb-cocking the weapon
for single action fire, and has the Taurus Security System key
lock at the rear of the hammer. The Public Defender shown
here is made primarily of stainless steel, and wears a satin
finish. The cylinder holds five shots, and can be loaded with
any standard .45 Colt or 2 ˝ inch .410 shotshell load.
The barrel/cylinder gap on the test gun measured five
one-thousandths (.005) of an inch, and the single action and
double action trigger pull weights measured four pounds, ten
ounces and ten pounds, eight ounces, respectively. The
single action pull is very crisp, and the double action is
smooth and even throughout its travel.
The Public Defender wears the Taurus Ribber
synthetic rubber grips, which are very comfortable, and remove
any pain from the gun’s recoil. Firing the Public Defender at
ranges from arm’s length out to twenty-five yards resulted in
predictable hits upon the standard human silhouette targets. At
across-the-room distances, buckshot pellets all stayed on
target, and the revolver fired to point of aim with the
Winchester 000 buck that I was shooting. Number six birdshot was
patterned at eight feet, to see how well the Public Defender
would do on a snake at that distance, and it patterned extremely
well. I also fired the revolver from the bench at twenty-five
yards using .45 Colt ammunition, and keeping the hits inside a
four inch circle was easy to do, even with the short sight
radius. This is not target grade accuracy, but this is not a
weapon that you will see on the line at the Olympics. This
revolver is built for a much more serious job, and in that role
of defending one’s life from the predators of this world, the
Public Defender excels.
Rob Leahy, owner of Simply Rugged Holsters,
has been right on top of things keeping leather ready for the
entire line of Judge revolvers, including this new Public
Defender. He makes a variety of holsters for the weapon, no
matter your preference of carry. He has a very good concealable
shoulder rig, along with his Chesty Puller across-the-chest rig,
but my favorite is still the Sourdough Pancake. This belt
holster is very versatile, allowing the option of strong side or
cross draw carry. For sitting in a vehicle or on an ATV, I
prefer the cross draw mode, as it keeps the weapon very
accessible to repel carjackers or other miscreants as the need
arises. I have heard that in some places, people are walking
into gun stores and asking for the “carjacker gun”, in
reference to the Judge, and that is an appropriate title for the
I am a fan of the Judge series of revolvers.
I think that the weapon fills a niche that needed filling. The
Public Defender is, in my opinion, the best version of the Judge
yet, filling the same role, in a more compact, more concealable
Check out the entire line of Taurus firearms
and accessories online at www.taurususa.com.
To order any of Simply Rugged’s fine
leather, go to www.simplyrugged.com.
To locate a Taurus dealer near you, click on
the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Public defender online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
|For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
||To buy this gun online, go to:
Simply Rugged shoulder rig for the Public
Simply Rugged's "Chesty Puller" chest rig.
Simply Rugged also makes a handy cartridge slide for
the .410 shotshell.
Simply Rugged's "Sourdough Pancake"
holster worn crossdraw, with cartridge slide.
Clever "Inside Out" straps quickly
and easily convert the Sourdough Pancake holster for
Got something to say about this article?
Want to agree (or disagree) with it? Click the following link to
go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.