.410 Revolvers

Which is better the S&W Governor or a Taurus Judge?

The .410 usually come to mind as an an alternative to the .22 long rifle for rabbits and squirrels. Its shot pattern is perfect for this type of shooting. Theres also a group of gun enthusiasts consider the .410 pistols like the Taurus Judge and S&W Governor are perfect for self-defense.
According to the gun experts these hand cannons are specifically designed for close-quarters encounters.
Such as when a bad guy breaks into your house and puts you into a potentially life threatening situation.

In this segment we look at these two bad-ass .410 wheel gun and its performance.

The general thinking for self-defense is who would want a .410 when a 12 gauge is available. There was a time, I never considered the .410 for this purpose.
Sometime later, I ran into an old timer and the subject of guns came up. I told him I keep a Mini-14 in the truck for survival.
He quickly added that I should also carry a .410 because it has some punch.
Not quite sure of the old timer comments, but I am aware that Taurus and S&W makes some good firearms.
It was worth looking at the Judge and Governor since its reputation stated that the revolver would be able to clear a would-be carjacker head from your car window.
These top 2 hand cannons S&W Governor, Taurus Judge are quite popular these days.
Ammunition have come a long ways in development, nowadays there are some great loads available for self-defense.

Here’s a test that pitted both of these hand cannons with man-stopper cartridges.
What are good man-stopper .410 cartridges for self-defense?

  • Federal Premium 2.5 inch, 000 buckshot (4 pellets) with an average muzzle velocity of 850 fps.
  • Remington Express XLR 2.5-inch one-half-ounce No. 6 shot with an average muzzle velocity of 1250 fps.
  • Winchester PDX1 Defender 2.5-inch loads contains 3 plated defense discs and 12 plated BBs with an average muzzle velocity of 750 fps.

S&W Governor
The handling and pattern performance on this revolver is the better of the two.
Features a 6-shot cylinder, which makes this frame a little wider than the Judge.
The trigger pull was a crisp 4.75 pounds in sigle action and 11 pounds in double action. DA was smooth but not for everyone.
Performance on the Range – 9Ft
Remington No.6 shotshell produced pattern of 10 inches.
Winchester PDX1 Defender produced a 5 inch grouping.
Federal Premium 000 with 1.5 inch groups.
These .410 cartridges are man-stopper.
Recoils were mild due to the heft and feel of the revolver.

21 Ft.
-No. 6 shot was at 16.5 inches groups.
-Defender load was spread to 8 inches.
-000 Buckshot was 3.5 inches pattern.

Accuracy at close quarter is good.
Handling and crisp trigger pull.
Recoil from all loads was well within the acceptable range.

Taurus Judge
Slightly heavy at 32 ounces and muzzle heavy with a 3-inch barrel, some would say not as balanced as the Governor.
The Taurus has 5 cylinder which makes it a smaller profile than the Governor, something to consider for concealed carry.
The trigger pull is 6 pounds in single action and 11.5 pounds in double action, has a slight creep during the long pull.

Taurus Judge 9 Ft
Remington No.6 shotshell produced a pattern of 13.5 inches.
Winchester PDX1 Defender produced a 6.5 inch grouping.
Federal Premium 000 with 4 inch groups.

21 Ft.
-No. 6 shot was at 18.5 inches groups.
-Defender load was spread to 3-inch high spread with 8.5 inches.
-000 Buckshot was 3-inch high spread of 10 inches pattern.

-Recoils were slightly greater than the Governor.
Accuracy is not as good as the Governor.
-If price was a deciding factor then go with the Judge, it is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper.