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Taurus Judge Review: .410 Shotgun Revolver?

We tested the Taurus Judge -- chambered in .45 LC/.410 -- to see if this revolver could withstand the rigors of farm life. Come see if it held up!

Shotgun…meet revolver.

Taurus Judge
Taurus Judge

As a gun frequently touted as a defensive option where revolvers are concerned, the Taurus Judge offers up an option for those looking to work around their home.

But what’s the final verdict? Is the Taurus Judge an accomplished gun? Can it handle your daily tasks around the farm? 

at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at this wheelgun which takes both .410 shotgun and .45 Colt.

We’ll walk through its specs and features, how it handles on the range, and ultimately help you decide if this is the gun for you.

So keep reading to learn more!

Table of Contents


Taurus Judge: Specs & Features

  • Weight: 1.8125 lbs (29 oz)
  • Barrel Length: 3 in
  • Overall Length: 7.5 in
  • Width: 1.531 in
  • Height: 5.394 in
  • Caliber: .410 Bore, .454 Casull, .45 Colt, .45 Schofield
  • Capacity: 5 Rounds
  • Action: Double-action revolver
  • MSRP: $563

The Taurus Judge came chambered in .45 Colt and short .410 shells with a capacity for five rounds.

Taurus Judge cylinder
Taurus Judge cylinder

Whether that’s enough to satisfy your liking on a daily basis is up to you.

If you were looking at using this gun for self-defense purposes, I myself would look elsewhere. 

I much prefer the idea of having a semi-auto with more rounds; however, for farm use, I think five rounds is perfect.

That’s enough to deal with any type of larger threat (e.g. chicken killing fox) without being overkill. 

Taurus Judge loaded cylinder
All loaded up

The ability to carry that many shotshells with you as you go about your business can easily help dispatch multiple copperheads and rattlesnakes as you come across them. 

If you really need more rounds, get yourself a speed strip and keep it on your person as you ride around on the four-wheeler. 


Taurus Judge
Taurus Judge

Some guns feel like two 2x4s nailed together into an ‘L’. Some of them look like it too.

Not so with the Taurus Judge.

While the handle does have finger grooves — something many people are not fond of — the gun feels very natural in the hand. I didn’t feel like I was grabbing a bag full of marbles. 

Even if finger grooves aren’t your thing, I would still recommend giving the Taurus Judge a try.

Satisfying Click of a Hammer

Judge with a loaded cylinder
Judge with a loaded cylinder

The Taurus Judge is a double-action design, meaning you can simply pull the trigger and shoot, or you can cock the hammer back first – a la Clint Eastwood.

On most revolvers, I’ve found I do prefer to cock the hammer before shooting — especially if the trigger pull is ridiculously long and stiff.

While neither of those things is a problem with the Taurus Judge, I did like shooting the gun with the hammer cocked as well. 

Taurus Judge
Taurus Judge

It’s easy to pull back with your thumb on the Taurus Judge without feeling as if you’re in a super-thumb war. And it drastically decreases the distance the trigger has to travel to go boom.

And for those who care, yes, the hammer does lock back with a satisfying click.

To the Range!

As previously mentioned, the Taurus Judge is designed to shoot both .45 Colt and short .410 shells.

We showed up at range day on the first day with regular length .410 shells only to be disappointed. They don’t fit. 

So, instead, we threw in .45 Colt. 

.45 Colt and .410 GA Shot
A few ammo options

I like shooting .45 Colt, but it is extremely hard to find this ammo right now in my area.

Yeah, everybody’s having trouble finding ammo at the moment, but I’ve only seen one gun store in my region that has the ammo for this gun. Did I mention they were charging $70+ for 50 rounds of ball??

Range Dynamics .45 Colt
Range Dynamics .45 Colt

And if I remember correctly, they only had two boxes. 

That makes it incredibly difficult to spend a lot of the time at the range with this gun or to keep a ready supply of ammo in your home. 

In contrast, pretty much everywhere I go at the moment has 9mm

.410 Shells
.410 Shells

The .410 shells were even harder to find.

We checked several local gun stores for weeks to no avail. Eventually, we sourced some from a flea market.

There are pros and cons to everything — I get that — but if you’re looking for a gun with readily available ammunition at the moment, this isn’t it. 

About that Trigger Pull Though…

Shooting the Taurus Judge
Shooting the Taurus Judge

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to pull the trigger on this gun.

Many revolvers you’ll find out there have ridiculously stiff triggers that aren’t fun to shoot. Given that Taurus is widely considered a “budget” brand, I didn’t have the highest of expectations when I first picked this one up. 

For example, shooting a Taurus 82 is about as clunky of a revolver experience as you can get.

However, with the Judge the trigger pull is very smooth, you don’t have to travel half a mile with it, and it didn’t require a lot of grip strength to operate. 

Taurus Judge
Taurus Judge

Combined with the awesome sights on this gun this meant I was able to empty a cylinder on target much quicker than able to with a stiffer trigger. 

I’d say that’s a win.


Shooting the Taurus Judge
Shooting the Taurus Judge

Whether you’re shooting .410 shotgun shells or .45 Long Colt, neither option has terrible recoil within the 3-inch barrel Taurus Judge.

I found the .45 Long Colt to be pleasant to shoot as there was no fear factor causing recoil or painful snap.

The .410 shells were a tad different, however. 

It’s still manageable, but there is a notable difference in the recoil with .410.

If you were spending three hours at the range doing nothing but shooting .410 shells out of this, your wrist would likely feel sore at the end of the day. 

.45 Colt and .410 GA Shot
.45 Colt and .410

For the occasional snake or rat, you’ll be able to shoot it with no problem without feeling like you need to ice your wrist down afterward.

No match for the judge

Surprisingly, the Taurus Judge wasn’t anywhere near as loud as I was expecting. We were spending our time with the 3-inch barrel version of this pistol.

So, if you’re going to spend some time with a shorter barrel, I can easily see how that would be a louder bang. 

But, with this particular model, you can shoot it without feeling as if your ears are going to explode with every trigger pull. 

Taurus Judge
Taurus Judge

Even compared to some of the rifles we shoot on a regular basis, the Taurus Judge was actually quieter — something I found surprising. 

That’s all when shooting .45 Long Colt, however. As soon as you put a .410 shell in there, you’ll hear differently. 

As expected, the .410 shells were much louder.

Sight Alignment

Taurus Judge Sights
Lining up the sights

The main thing I liked about the Taurus Judge was getting a sight picture.

I shot a number of other pistols on one of the same range days and none of them were as intuitive or as easy to line up with the target as was the Taurus Judge. 

Taurus Judge Front Sight
Taurus Judge Front Sight

I was able to shoot much faster with this revolver as a result. 

The rear sight is your standard metal sight without any markings, but the front sight is a little red tritium bar.

Brightness and contrast with the metal mean it’s easy for you to line up the sights so you can put lead downrange. 

Shooting the Taurus Judge
Shooting the Taurus Judge


It depends on what you’re shooting here.

Our range days were spent at 21 feet and 29 feet. With the .45 Long Colt chambering, we were able to hit good groupings (for us) without much problem.

With the .410 shells, you just point in the general direction and pull the trigger. There really is no aiming involved there. 

From 29 feet, a .410 shell out of this will have a spread of around 5 feet — so you’re going to hit what you’re aiming for. 

Taurus Judge Target
Here’s how I did.

At 21 feet, you’re still going to hit what you’re aiming for. You are not looking at a close-knit, choked shot pattern at all out of this gun when shooting .410. 

Taurus Judge Target
Another shot of the target

If you’re aiming for a rattlesnake or fast-moving rat, I suppose that’s a good thing, because you’ll hit it.

But if you were hoping for something a little more precise, you’re going to want to switch to an actual shotgun. 

But, hey, you’re probably not expecting a tight choke out of a 3-inch barrel anyway, so this may just be a moot point.

By the Numbers

Reliability: 5/5

It’s a revolver, so unless there’s something wrong with the cartridge, it’s going to go bang when you pull the trigger. We had zero problems with malfunctions here.

Ergonomics: 4/5

Personally, I had no problems with the handle of the gun whatsoever. However, it does have finger grooves on it which I know a lot of people hate. I’m taking a point off here simply because I know there are some people out there who won’t enjoy the feel of the pistol with them.

Accuracy: 5/5

We didn’t find any problem with the accuracy of the pistol, actually preferring it over the semi-autos we were shooting around that same day.

Customization: 3/5

I suppose this is somewhat apples to oranges, but there’s simply not a lot of upgrades you can do with a revolver compared to a semi-auto. However, one can change the handle, add a laser sight, and add different front sights to this weapon.

Value: 5/5

Coming in at right around $500, the Taurus Judge is a fairly common pistol price. I’m happy with just about anything within that ballpark.

at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Overall: 4.5/5

We had zero complaints about this gun. If you spend your money on one of these, we think you’ll be very happy with your purchase.


Taurus Judge with Ammo
Taurus Judge with Ammo

If you regularly spend time walking around your farm taking care of business, the Taurus Judge is most certainly a gun I would consider. 

Grab a nice holster for this gun as a convenient means of stowing away the gun until it’s needed around the farm.

at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Have you ever shot the Taurus Judge? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments. And for more options, be sure to check out our Best .410 Revolvers Roundup!


What caliber is the Taurus Judge?

The Taurus Judge shoots both .410 Shotgun and .45 Colt rounds.

Can the Taurus Judge shoot 3 inch .410 shells?

The regular model shoots 2.5" while the newer Magnum model will take 3" shells.

Can you shoot buckshot in a Taurus Judge?

Yes, it will shoot .410 birdshot, buckshot, and even slugs.

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22 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Wilson Ryder

    Love mine , it's a fun gun. But that is where it ends. Up here in Maine we are allowed to shoot partridge off a four wheeler and it seemed like it would be the perfect gun for that. First day out I managed to bag one bird, but.... that was after shooting at fifteen birds. The gun has such a spread that unless the bird is 10 yards or less you won't bag it. Don't get me wrong, I love the gun and it is a quality gun, but don't expect to bag game at any medium distance. The gun is very accurate with the .45 long colt and comfortable to shoot.

    February 19, 2022 3:54 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I don't know who wrote this, but his lack of knowledge concerning pistols in general has me questioning his review. Specifically, the "handle" on a pistol is not a handle at all. It is called a "grip". If you're going to write about guns you should at least use the proper nomenclature. Not using the proper nomenclature makes him look like one of those anti-gun idiots that don't know anything about guns.

    January 27, 2022 9:03 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    weak work by the editor. Short 410 must refer to 2 1/2" since referring to them as a short shell doesn't clearly state the facts. A spread of five feet makes me question as to the effect of any pellets on the real situation intended targets. A 410 from a revolver isn't something I would trust to stop a threat at night in my residence.

    January 26, 2022 8:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Leroy J

    Would not touch anything made by that company. Do not stand by any of their products. Millennial recall.

    January 26, 2022 12:05 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      What are you referring to when you say "Millennial recall"? Thanks

      January 30, 2022 8:38 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Taurus handgun. Bought for 300+. Recall offered $100.

        January 31, 2022 7:33 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mr. Mark

    "We showed up at range day on the first day with regular length .410 shells only to be disappointed. They don’t fit." So what is "regular length" and why don't they fit?

    January 26, 2022 9:43 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dagger Treadwell

    Wondering if the Judge handles +P .45LC? That's nearly .44 Mag pressures and ballistics.

    January 26, 2022 8:41 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Drew Lenear

    I have had a 2" Judge with the 2.5" cylinder for over a decade. When it first came out I definitely drank the Kool-Aid! I have run thousands of rounds through it; .45LC, 410 #6, #5, #2, BB, 00, Slugs and the specialized defender rounds. The thing I love most about this gun is its versatility. I keep it loaded with defender rounds as my bedside home defense, when hunting I load a mix of #2 and 00 (3-00/2-#2) the 00 still works just fine as a snake gun but the #2 is better, both will dispatch a coyote, fox, bobcat aggressive raccoon etc...
    At the range I've found it to be immensely fun to shoot. Running 410 2.5" #2 or even #6 definitely produces a big bang and draws attention. But the results on silhouette at 25-50' give me the confidence in keeping it bedside. I thoroughly enjoy this gun and like having it in my collection. Is it my EDCC? No. I prefer my Smith M45 X2 .45ACP. If I knew I was going into a bad situation I want 12+1 of .45ACP. But for hunting, camping, hiking, trail riding, or to handle surprises it is a great option.

    January 26, 2022 5:32 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Susan Sweeney

    I have a Judge and love it. I like that the .410 will hit pretty much what your are aiming at in a general direction sort of way. If a prowler walks into my bedroom, I want them down and out without a lot of fuss on my part. I do think, however, that shooting at varmits and snakes with this gun is a waste of good ammo. I can dispatch them faster and better in other ways. Besides, l like snakes. Armadillos and coyotes and feral hogs are another matter. A good rifle works there. I haven't bought .410 ammo for a while and now I'm thinking I should start looking around and comparing prices. Good advice. I don't fire foreign ammo especially Russian. No quality control.

    January 26, 2022 5:01 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bernie Carey

    I've owned a 3" Judge for a few years. Only down side is finding ammunition and it's cost. It's my go to camp gun. I love mine especially with my Denali chest holster. Perfect when in the field, on the tractor, on the skidsteer or just riding on the SxS.

    January 25, 2022 7:36 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    What I was thinking I see others are as well. I think I would rather have a 9mm semi auto with a shot shell, or a revolver like a 22 or a 38, maybe even a 9, that I can load entirely with shot shells. I could also use the intended main ammo for the most of the shooting I would do.

    January 25, 2022 6:24 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      The difference between the shot charge of a pistol round and a shotgun shell is astronomical. The puny shot charge of a pistol round means a severe lack of shot density when compared to a shotgun shell. I have an S&W Governor to handle the chores that you would use shot for. I love it.

      January 27, 2022 9:10 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    .22 shotshells are reasonably priced (comparatively) and handle snakes and rodents just fine. As far as the two-legged rodents, not so much.

    January 25, 2022 5:43 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    james henkel

    Shalom, not having any of the Winchester PDX1 Defender rounds; you missed the best part - Hickcock 45 did a good review; the PDX1 makes nasty hole in 55G steel drum. To date; all the gun experts, etc. that poo-poo the Judge have not accepted my "come and visit" invitation. Yes, only 5rds, but in a small house, narrow hallway, don't think intruder #6 will decide to be" moving on". Defender rd has 3 plated disc, 12 plated bb's.

    January 25, 2022 4:33 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rick Burdo

    Have owned a 3" chamber 3" barreled Judge for a dozen years. The 3" shotshells are a beast for recoil, but 3" buckshot is brutal downrange. I have shot brass cased Russian 3" shotshells with buckshot and disks (defensive ammo I guess) and that stuff is very inaccurate but the disks are the wildcard,the sound would scare the life out of you even if it didn't hit you.
    Mine has a factory installed Crimson Trace laser grip and is quite accurate within reasonable ranges. Very satisfying to shoot, goes band EVERY time!

    January 25, 2022 4:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Did you try to shoot .410 slugs with the judge ? In order to check the accuracy...
    Maybe the .410 slugs have more stopping power than the .45 LC, and maybe can be better for home defense...

    January 25, 2022 4:23 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    M Allen

    Owned a Public Defender loaded with 410 as a snake gun on my property. Ran into an Eastern Diamondback Rattler at very close range one afternoon, pulled the Defender, fired one round & the cylinder fell out & rolled away. Manufacturer was kind enough to sell me a replacement screw for just $39 + shipping. Replaced the screw / cylinder & sold it as fast as I could. Replaced it with an LCR with snake shot. Lighter load & the cylinder stays in place!

    January 25, 2022 4:21 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Have had the judge for some time, love shooting it (till I order more ammo). The things so heavy shooting 45 LC or 410 was of little consequence. Trigger pull is long and heavy (expected), so takes some adjustment going from my other 9s to that. Otherwise, it’s been solid and fun to shoot.

    January 25, 2022 4:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dennis Sumner

    I've had one for years, the Public Defender, shorty. With the new "miracle" .410 defensive stuff and my handloaded .45 colts it's a very impressive piece of work. Easy to carry and if you play around a little, surprisingly accurate!

    January 25, 2022 4:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    You keep saying 3” barrel, sure looks like a 6” to me!

    January 25, 2022 3:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joseph Diodato

    I have the magnum and it shoots great also have the "Short Lane" rifled adapters that allow me to shoot 9mm. I can shoot the Judge with 9's all day but limit myself with 45lc and .410 mostly due to availability and cost !

    January 25, 2022 2:57 pm
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