It doesn’t seem like it, but it has been over
seven months since I reviewed the Taurus
Judge .45 Colt/.410 Shotshell revolver. In those seven
months, I have received a lot of feedback on that article, with
the great majority of it being positive. As I expected, the
snake lovers turned out in force for my comments recommending
the Judge as a good carry gun in poisonous snake country, and
some called me cruel, and worse, for my comments about shooting
a car-jacker in the face, instead of gently turning over the
keys and cash to the poor misguided thug. Besides all that
stuff, shooters who have bought the Judge have reported great
satisfaction with their purchase, except for one revolver that
had to go back for warranty work. Instead of plowing the same
ground over again, I will refer the reader to that earlier
review for details on the Taurus Judge revolver, and just hit
the high spots here.
The latest of the Judge series revolvers from
Taurus is their new lighter weight Ultra-Lite Judge, and is the
subject of this review. I did not find the original all-steel
gun to be cumbersome, but after carrying and firing this
Ultra-Lite, I like this version much better.
By comparison, at 25.1 ounces, the Ultra-Lite
weighs 12.9 ounces less than the all-steel Judge. That
three-quarters of a pound is significant if carried in a holster
all day while fishing, backpacking, or just hiking around the
woods. Other than the weight, the Ultra-Lite has all the
features of the original Judge. The front sight is a highly
visible fiber-optic unit, and the rear a square notch in the top
of the frame. It is a fairly rugged and dependable combo, and
the sights are very easy to align quickly. The Judge holds five
shots, in any combination of .45 Colt or .410 bore shotshells,
as the situation warrants. For general woods-roaming in
the summertime, I like two shotshells followed up with three .45
Colt loads. The first two can easily dispatch the largest snake,
and the last three can handle everything else.
Shooting the Ultra-Lite Judge, I tested a
variety of .45 Colt and .410 bore shotshell loads, including
some triple-ought ( 000 ) buckshot. Personally, I prefer
birdshot and solid .45 Colt ammo in the Judge, but after many
requests and an update on the previous Judge review to include
buckshot, I tried some in the Ultra-Lite Judge. The revolver
patterned numbers four and six birdshot very well at any range
at which a snake could be a danger, clustering a tight pattern
at six feet from the muzzle, and still pretty effective out to
seven yards, as can be seen in the pictures. With .45 Colt
ammunition, this Judge wasn’t as accurate as the earlier gun,
but still displayed usable accuracy at close defensive ranges.
Seven yard accuracy offhand was pretty good, entirely acceptable
for close range social work.
The fit and finish of the Ultra-Lite Judge was
well executed. It has an even bead-blasted dull metal finish
that is non-reflective. The trigger pull measured a smooth nine
and one-third pounds in double-action mode, and the single
action pull weight measured four pounds and nine ounces. The
trigger is wide and smooth, and very comfortable to use. The
barrel/cylinder gap measured just three one-thousandths (.003)
of an inch. The Taurus Ribber grip does an excellent job of
taming the recoil of the lightweight revolver, and it was not
painful at all to shoot the Ultra-Lite Judge, with shotshells or
.45 Colt heavy loads.
By design, the Judge is not really a hunting
arm, though it could fill that role at close range, but is a
pretty good choice for a firearm to carry while roaming the
woods and wilderness for protection from snakes, wild dogs, and
large animals. Like the all-steel Judge, it is also perfectly
suited to the role of a "car gun" for defense against
human predators while traveling the city streets and highways of
our country. I have done a lot of traveling, both in autos
and on motorcycles, and just about all the people that I have
run across have been nice folks. However, regardless of what
some would have you to believe, there is evil in this world, and
some people are just downright mean. Watching the evening news
can be depressing sometimes, seeing the terrible ways in which
some human beings treat others. The police do a pretty
good job of protecting the citizenry in general, but
still, everyday, some people kill, hurt, rob, beat, stab, shoot,
slice and just generally abuse other people. If you have a
twenty-four cop at your side, you will probably be just fine. If
not, you are responsible for protecting yourself and those whom
depend upon you. You can protect yourself, or the police can
show up later a draw a chalk line around your dead body. The
first rule of a gunfight is "have a gun".
Of the Judge series of revolvers from Taurus, I
think that this three-inch barreled Ultra-Lite is the best yet.
It weighs less than most small-framed .22 revolvers, yet packs a
lot more punch. For any one specific task, I can think of
another gun that can do the job better than the Judge. It is not
a target-grade paper puncher. It is not the perfect big game
hunting sidearm. It is not the best upland bird hunting shotgun.
However, it fills a niche that needs filling, as a good,
lightweight, versatile trail gun, especially in snake country.
For a wilderness camper, it offers good versatility for filling
the pot with meat. Also, as a car gun, it just might be as good
of an anti-carjacker gun as you can get. Firing a load of shot
at contact range, it has the power to do the job when pinpoint
accuracy is not possible. If you hit your attacker in the face,
he will leave you alone, and if you miss, you will not kill a
bystander thirty yards away. For close range social work,
defense against large animals, and to dispatch poisonous snakes,
the Ultra-Lite Judge can fill the bill.
Rob Leahy of Simply Rugged Holsters
in Alaska is building a dandy holster for the Judge,
appropriately called "The Judge". It is a version of
the Sourdough Pancake, and it is the perfect holster in which to
carry a Judge revolver. They are tough, durable, rugged, and
very affordable. Contact Rob through his website: www.simplyrugged.com.
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 Finder icon at www.lipseys.com.
For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
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