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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I was thinking about getting a nice handgun and the .410's like the Judge, look pretty cool. I haven't shot one yet, but would like your opinion of them if you have. This would pretty much be a bedside table firearm (no kids in the house) so the larger size isn't an issue. I look forward to your thoughts.
 

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I'm just not totally sold on the concept of .410 handguns for self defense. For home defense I'd rather have a semi auto .40 s&w or .45 acp handgun or a 18.5" barreled 12 gauge pump. But that's just me, I know some people who really like the Judge and keep it beside their bed though.
 

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I like a revolver for home protection. Have you thought about getting a small barreled 357 and shooting 38 specials through it to reduce the recoil and less bullet travel in close quarters.
 

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I have a stainless Judge-I keep it loaded with multi-ball I believe they each are loaded with four (4) .36 cal round balls staggered in the buffing compound, makes nasty holes in watermelon from 3 to 15 feet away....would be good for home defense....I don't carry it it is a house handgun......
 

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As long as you're not fooled with some of the marketing hype about it replacing the need for accuracy, I don't see anything wrong with them. With the right load, a .410 round can be deadly. But, you're going to have to be fairly accurate with it, for it to work. With the short barrel & close quarters in a house, don't expect a large devastating pattern where all you have to do is point it in the general direction & it makes up for lack of accuracy.
 

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There really is no niche for the Judge or similar handguns chambered as such; it's a novelty and in reality quite useless.
T/C came out with a .45C/.410 Contender in 1967-68 which was and is a fun gun to shoot but serves little purpose other than being fun.
The harshness of firing a .410 game load from T/C's 10 inch barrel was tough to take; that harshness from a shorter barrel would be worse. Couple that with the shot spinning from the rifled barrel with no means of straightening the shot would prove a useless pattern of shot. The pattern of game shot from the T/C's ten inch barrel at a distance of 60 feet would land less than 25% of a full load hitting the target...that's with a straight grooved choke at the muzzle; unchecked your shot would probably be less than 10% at the target...not a very good effect for home self defense.
I'd go with a .45C single-action before I'd consider a Judge or similar handgun with which to protect my home and family.
A good 1911 would be more prudent and effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the quick replies. Seems like I might want to look for something a little more traditional. I do have a tactical 12ga pump, but it is a bit too big for the nightstand. Seems like a more traditional revolver might be more versatile if I ever want to carry outside the home. I appreciate your advice everybody.
 

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I'm with sniper. Its great for a home defense gun with the right loads. And they're making some pretty good loads for it now. I do agree that you don't need to be fooled into thinking all you have to do is pull the trigger and you'll hit the target. The pattern is not that big, but it's still bigger than a single projectile. As far as recoil, the gun is heavy enough (at least mine is) that the 'kick' is negligible. My wife handles it with no problem and she's a small woman.
 

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I completely disagree that thse guns are not useful; they are powerhouses--you just need to keep in mind they are in general short range point protection and the hows of loading are important. My Public Defender is as big as a SP-101 and can be loaded with 5 .45 colt buffalo bore standard pressure keiths or hard cast wadcutters and is a very potent gun--and as accurate at moderate ranges as any other snubbie.

Recoil can be stout, but I have no trouble controlling the gun (the smaller public defender) with buckshot OR the buffalo bore standard pressure colts. I`d liken it to (at worst) mid-range 44 mag loads and the grips dissipate the recoil quite well.

For general use I load mine 1 round PDX (defense disc and bb--for general stuff and the shot charge spreads out rapidly for critters), Federal 4-pellet buckshot (4 rounds of 000 buck; essentially the charge of 4x380 rounds), 45 colt, 45 colt (Buffalo Bore wacutter 45 colt--get around 800-900 fps on a 225 gr hard cast slug) then federal 4 pellet buckshot. You can tailor the load to the expected threat. In 1 cylinder I get 8x380 rounds (the federal buck is THE buckshot for this gun), 2x45 colts, and 3discs/bbs that will spread out rapidly to hit the target (granted the bbs and discs -- not the buckshot--have penetration issues). You could also go 1 colt and 4 buckshot rounds, etc.

The 3" chamber magnum version gives 5 pellets of federal 000 buck per round. You could have the equivalent mass of 15 380 rounds and 2 45 colts in one cylinder full.

The only thing to keep in mind is this is a short range gun for close in threats and it is a VERY capable self defense tool--especially for a limited proficiency shooter or bad envrionmentals. If it is going to be used as a home defense gun inside a living room or bedroom I would consider it ideal; I would NOT consider it a gun to be used with surgical precision and would consider it more as a point defense tool (due to shot charge spreading out). If you feel you would have to clear a house or protect property outside, etc. it might not be the best tool and you`d be better with a conventional gun.

Cheers and Merry Christmas !
 
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I can see your point. If I saw one for a decent price I'd consider buying it, would make a nice trail gun for snake protection.
 

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txplt, you say I would NOT consider it a gun to be used with surgical precision and would consider it more as a point defense tool (due to shot charge spreading out).

with 45lc or 410 slugs THERE IS NO SPREADING OUT.

name any other short barrel revolver that you WOULD concider as a "surgical precision" gun.
 

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txplt, you say I would NOT consider it a gun to be used with surgical precision and would consider it more as a point defense tool (due to shot charge spreading out).
with 45lc or 410 slugs THERE IS NO SPREADING OUT.
name any other short barrel revolver that you WOULD concider as a "surgical precision" gun.
Don`t know if you`ve ever shot and patterned a judge or the various models, but I would be much more comfortable with my Charter bulldog, LCR, Sig 238, etc. as a CCW in most settings where others might be around than a Public Defender loaded with birdshot or PDX, or even the winchester 000 buck which scatters much more rapidly than the Federal 000 buck. The shot spreads out very rapidly--You will find at 50` the fine shot to be largely off a standard silohette, the buckshot to pattern depending on brand but with winchesters to be scattered but mostly on a standard silohette, and the colts to group easily within a head of a standard silohette. The 410 slugs, btw, are IMHO not very useful except they are fun to shoot--giving a hearty `boom` and a huge flame out the muzzle. What makes a judge a judge is its ability to use the shot charges; the rifling spins these and makes it spread out. The federal 4-pellet seem to do the best but even with these POI varies (you get a clump of the pellets from the round about the diameter of a small plate at 30 feet which `walks` around the center of where you aim as you shoot)-- although they stay well within the body of a standard silohette out to 50 feet which makes it kind of OK--my point is there are better choices for CCW which was not the question in the original post--it was as a home defense gun for which the judge is a good choice as long as its limitations are realized. You certainly COULD use a PD as a CCW -- I`d just be a little careful and would probably alternate federal 4-pellet with 45 LC (MAYBE have the first shot as pdx but you can experiment for yourself). Trail gun this would be less of an issue.

Yes, I understand that the 45 colts and slugs will exhibit accuracy a little worse but mostly on par with other snubbies--Ive put several hundred rounds of 45 colt through various types of judges and find accuracy is OK depending on the model. Certainly OK for a short barrel handgun and it might be worth consideration if you wanted a 45 colt snubbie to consider a PD because I know of no other choices in production... But I generally don`t load mine with 5x45 colt rounds because for me that defeats the purpose--what I was saying is you CAN do this and as such it is certainly a very useful and versitile gun.
 

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^point was that the rifling spins the fine shot out VERY rapidly, and the buckshot less rapidly -- you will find at 10 to 20 feet fine shot spread out to the limits of and covering a standard silohette. The buck tends to stay in one place but depends hevily on brand. If you use the PDX you will find at living rooom distances the defense disks somewhere in the 7 or 8 ring, the federal 4-pellet buck roughly the same (all 4 rounds will spread out to about the size of a saucer but will impact at slightly different POIs for each shot) and the colts shooting roughly to POI with 4 inch groups or better at 50 feet depending on the Judge model.

I did a range report with the PD quite a bit back on the site; I`ll see if I can find the pics.
 

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^point was that the rifling spins the fine shot out VERY rapidly, and the buckshot less rapidly -- you will find at 10 to 20 feet fine shot spread out to the limits of and covering a standard silohette. The buck tends to stay in one place but depends hevily on brand. If you use the PDX you will find at living rooom distances the defense disks somewhere in the 7 or 8 ring, the federal 4-pellet buck roughly the same (all 4 rounds will spread out to about the size of a saucer but will impact at slightly different POIs for each shot) and the colts shooting roughly to POI with 4 inch groups or better at 50 feet depending on the Judge model.

I did a range report with the PD quite a bit back on the site; I`ll see if I can find the pics.
That sounds good. I don't think any BG would appreciate getting hit in the face with a .410, even the finer #4 shot. :) With that kind of spread at 20 ft., wouldn't be too hard to do that.
 
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