The Taurus Judge series of revolvers have
been a hit with the public since first introduced back in 2006.
A few months later, when production began, gun sellers could not
keep the 45 Colt/410 Shotshell revolvers on the shelves. To this
day, the Judge revolvers are still very hot sellers. We have
reviewed here the original Judge,
the UltraLite, and the compact
Public Defender. Now, we have a version of the Public
Defender with a polymer frame to reduce weight a bit more. At
just over twenty-three ounces, the polymer revolver weighs five
ounces less than the steel Public Defender, which is a
considerable weight savings when carried on the hip or in a
The Public Defender Polymer uses a steel
sub-frame, with the grip, trigger guard, barrel shroud, and top
strap made of reinforced polymer. Polymer has been used in
handguns since the HK VP70 was introduced four decades ago. Some
folks do not like polymer handguns, but it is not because
polymer does not work well. I agree that a plastic pistol does
not stir the soul like walnut and blued steel, but for a handgun
that is a tool, it works very well. Polymer is lightweight,
self-lubricating, and does not rust. Nobody is going to accuse
the new Polymer Judge of being just a pretty face. It is a
homely-looking revolver, but it serves its purpose very well.
Like the rest of the Judge series of revolvers, Poly can shoot
45 Colt ammunition, and it does it well. However, its forte is
its ability to throw a charge of buckshot, birdshot, or a
combination of both for a formidable weapon for close-range
personal defense. Since the Judge was first introduced, folks
have been walking into gun stores and asking for “the
carjacker gun”, as it was recognized early on as being an
ideal carjacker repellant. If someone jerks your car door open
and immediately gets a face-full of birdshot, he will suddenly
have a change of priorities, I promise you. At across-the-room
distances, a load of buckshot, or even better, the new
Winchester PDX1 load that contains three flattened disks and
twelve pellets of plated BB-sized shot, makes for a very good
defensive load from a handgun. It is not equivalent to a heavy
payload of shot from a twelve gauge shotgun, but it is a whole
lot lighter weight of a weapon to carry. Poly is small enough
and light enough to conceal well under a jacket or un-tucked
shirt, and rides very well in a cross draw holster while seated
in a vehicle, for immediate access.
The Polymer Public Defender wears better
sights than previous models of the Judge, as Poly’s rear sight
is windage-adjustable, yet still low-profile and snag-free. The
rear sight notch is good and wide for quick alignment, and the
front is a red fiber-optic rod set into a square-faced steel
post. The small hammer spur is well-checkered for a positive,
non-slip purchase by the shooter’s thumb. Poly can be fired
from either the single action or double action modes. The single
action pull was crisp on the sample revolver, and the double
action very smooth. Pull weights are listed in the chart below,
along with other critical specifications.
||45 Colt or
2.5 inch 410 shotshell
The Polymer Public Defender was fired using a
variety of 410 shotshell ammunition and with a lead-bullet 45
Colt handload. Functioning was perfect with all ammo tested. I
concentrated mostly on 410 shotshell ammunition because I
consider this handgun a 410 shotgun first, with the 45 Colt
playing a secondary role. The reason for this is that there are
many 45 Colt handguns on the market, and the Judge series of
revolvers can certainly shoot that ammo as well as most, but the
ability of the weapon to fire the shotshells for defense against
poisonous snakes, pest control, and for social work make the
Judge revolvers unique.
The light weight of the Polymer Public
defender, which helps make it ideal for concealed carry, also
makes the felt recoil a bit sharper. However, the excellent
cushioned Ribber grip makes the weapon easy to control, and
eliminates any pain. I fired Poly at ranges from three to
twenty-five yards, with very good results. At across-the-room
distances, keeping buckshot and PDX1 loads on a human silhouette
was easy to do. The revolver fired smoothly, and the empty cases
always ejected easily, no matter the load tested. Again,
functioning was perfect.
The Polymer Public Defender was easy to
control, as can be seen in the accompanying video. It hides well
in a coat pocket, or when carried in a belt holster such as the
versatile Simply Rugged Sourdough Pancake. Loaded with PDX1 ammo
for self defense, it is a rugged, reliable weapon that is easy
to shoot, and easy to shoot well. Loaded with small birdshot, it
is an excellent choice for use against poisonous reptiles in the
woods, and if larger predators might be a problem, carrying two
shotshells with three 45 Colt loads would be a good choice,
especially in bear country. Like all of the Judge revolvers,
this new polymer-framed revolver is a versatile, reliable
weapon, and Judge Poly is my favorite Judge yet.
Check out the extensive line of Taurus
firearms online at www.taurususa.com.
For the location of a Taurus dealer near you,
click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order Judge Poly online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order any of the line of quality Simply
Rugged holsters, go to www.simplyrugged.com.
For a closer look at the line of PDX1
defensive ammunition, go to www.winchester.com.