SHOT Show: Smith & Wesson Unveils Taurus Judge Competitor: The Governor

After testing the new Smith & Wesson Governor, the rabbi reckons it’s got too big a spread for anything other than in-your-face self-defense work. Which is equally true for the Taurus Judge—which overcomes that problem with Winchester PDX1 ammo. Which is not so great for shotguns. Anyway, the Governor had a nice smooth trigger pull and looks tres chic in femme fatale noir. As for the name, I propose that Taurus christen their next shot shell shooting revolver the Executioner so that Smith can call their next scatter-recover the Commander-in-Chief. The rabbi and my new best bud Scott Conti have signed up for a Feb demo gun; we’ll gel test this bad boy for your dining and dancing pleasure. Make the jump for some snaps of the Governor not in action . . .

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

36 Responses to SHOT Show: Smith & Wesson Unveils Taurus Judge Competitor: The Governor

  1. avatarPT says:

    Oh god no.

    Taurus, you should be sentenced to hell for coming up with this idea.

    Oh and the irony of S&W copying a Taurus design is just too sweet.

    • avatarWalter says:

      A small company called Mil-Tec industries out of Piney Flats, TN came up with the “Thunder Five” revolver before Taurus.

  2. avatarChris Dumm says:

    A pistol with the weighst of a steel 1911, the firepower of a Model 686, the range of a can of pepper spray, and the size of a small briefcase?

    I’ll pass. I already have a steel 1911, a 686 and a can of pepper spray, and a briefcase to carry them in. You’re responsible for every stray pellet you fire. Unless you use The Governor to do a Jack Ruby on your assailant, you’ll have too much collateral damage to answer for.

  3. avatarRalph says:

    S&W clones a Taurus? The end must be near.

  4. avatarBrad Kozak says:

    I wonder what would happen if Chiapas decided to turn the Rhino into a Judge-killer. What would they call it? The “Wooly Mamoth?” “The Behemoth?” The “Butt-ugly on a Stick?”

    Then we’d have true harmonic convergence, and we can all go look for bunkers…

    Heh.

  5. avatarChris Dumm says:

    Brad, that would be the final sign of the End Times. But only if gave reliable ignition. And they would probably call it the Protoceratops or something similarly bizarre.

  6. avatarSoutherner says:

    S&W still hasn’t figured out that customers don’t want the malfunction prone internal lock on revolvers!

  7. avatarStacy says:

    What’s the msrp gonna be (so I can subtract $100 to see what they’ll be priced in stores)? Being a 6 shot instead of the 5 shot judge is awesome. I want.

  8. Excellent hardware for an immediate application. Look around folks.

  9. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    Wow, I had to do a double take because at first I thought this was a TAURUS. S&W should stay with the 500′s as far as EXTREME STOPPING power goes, and the accuracy on these badgirls is just plain awesome. Now the kick may pose a problem for some, but the 300 & 350 grain hollowpoints are very manageable. I have fired the 300, 350, 385, 440, 500, 600 and 700 grain rounds thru all of my girls. The 700 grain is the most EXTREME and yet fun round I’ve ever fired in any hand cannon. I guess one of the best things about the 500′s is that it makes all my 357′s and 44 mags feel like a 22.

  10. avatarbo says:

    Most people reporting on this are skipping over the fact that this gun shoots, .410 Bore, .45 Long Colt AND .45 ACP. The ACP is a notable change from Taurus. I wonder how that works.

  11. avatarJim says:

    I think this may be a good choice for some people as long as they NEVER buy a .410 shell and stick to the real ammo. A .410 is fine if you ever get attacked by a killer squirrel.

    • avatarL Thomas says:

      Hey Jim – I’m betting you wouldn’t volunteer for a faceful of .410 buckshot. Killer squirrel indeed! I’m ready to trade my Judge for a Governor as soon as available, it will make a nice companion to my Thunder Ranch model 325.

  12. avatarrugersr9 says:

    Why does every gun have to be for killing people? Ever heard of snakes,wild dogs etc.

    • avatarNCGlockin says:

      I have never had my front door kicked in by snakes, wild dogs, etc.(nor have I heard of it happening.) I did have my front door kicked in by some punk while my wife and infant daughter were home. Fortunately, they left when my wife screamed at them. So now when I look at guns (Glock please), the only snakes I am thinking about shooting are the ones that walk on 2 legs.

  13. avatarTim says:

    Amazing how subjective the whole issue is, and how silly, & defensive, some folks get over their own personal feelings. Watch ;-)
    I’d LOVE to own one of these handguns, and plan on purchasing one as soon as possible.

  14. avatarNic says:

    To shoot the .45 ACP you have to use moon clips, two(2) are provided from S & W. One that hold two(2) rounds & One that holds three(3) rounds. This is so you can mix and match your load(i.e. 2/2/2 or 2/4 or 3/3)with all three types if you want to. And although some people don’t feel that a .410 is adequate defense ammo I bet they wouldn’t volunteer to test it. The Judge was an awesome idea and I’m glad to see S&W make one of their own and tweek the design some.

  15. avatarBig Milt says:

    Nice idea by S&W, but given the price difference between the Governer and Judge, the Judge will continue to outsell.

  16. avatarRichard says:

    I have a Judge and I love it. The house’s that surround mine are filled with children and old folks like me. If I ever have a home invasion the fact that I’ll be sending 6′s or 4′s across 12 ft rooms with mostly walls and window leading outside will greatly lessen my concern for my neighbors. Besides 410′s are cheaper then the glazer rounds for my 45′s . I know they are not the man stoppers 45′s are, still, OUCH! A lazer guided shot cup in the nose and eye juice running down your shirt seems like a deterant to me.

  17. avatarLee says:

    I had a D-Max Sidewinder 12-15 years ago ( Sturgis SD ) Six 45 LC or Six 3 inch 410′s PLus screw in choke tubes if you needed to tighten your group.

    For the price I would buy the Smith & Wesson before I would ever think of buying a Taurus , and the 45 ACP is a BIG Plus

  18. avatarChamp321 says:

    The taurus judge is a great multi purpose gun. The 410 is a great low recoil defence round. The judge will shoot everything from 4 to 6 shot, buck shot, slugs and 45LC. Granted you only have five rounds, but after you fire the first round, any attacker is going to run for the hills. The gun is scary loud!!! (especially in 3 inch) Any attacker with even a little cents isn’t going to stick a round for the second shot. With that said, Good job Smith and Wesson for giving the Taurus Judge some friendly competition.

  19. avatarPapa Chuck says:

    I have a Taurus Judge Ultra-Lite. It’s a ball buster at close range with .410 loads. I don’t shoot it much… just enough to know what loads work best for a hidden night stand/home defense gun to be used in the middle of the night or when a home invasion happens. If half awake or surprised with time to get to a gun, the Judge is a no brainer… point in the target direction and pull the trigger. No safety to forget, no dangerous light trigger safety, and broad pattern end threat power that won’t go through to many walls into neighboring homes or streets. I’ve tried the Winchester #000 loads (lousy patterns), Federal Premium Personal Defense Handgun Ammunition PD412JGE000, 410 Gauge, 2 1/2 in, 4 pellets (Decent patterns, but not a great fit in the chamber) and the Winchester Supreme Elite Self Defense Ammunition S410PDX1… hands down the best PD load for the Judge or Governor… Can’t miss! Tight enough to do the damage, and wide enough not to miss, plus an excellent chamber fit… no slop or too tight ejection swell. I’m considering selling the Judge to get a governor for the S&W quality… the Judge is decent quality, but a S&W is a S&W.

  20. avatarrandy bryant says:

    The smith is twice the price of a judge and it has not proven its self like the judge has.looking forward to getting my hands on the new 28 guage judge.

  21. i like this revolver,i like the shot shell and the fact of the 45,good job guys

  22. avatarDFA1 says:

    I have a 2.5″ ultra-lite and I love the concept of this gun. Unfortunately I must have a lemon. No matter what I shoot it jams, usually before I get thru all 5 rounds. I’ve tried loads of all 45, all 410 and different combinations and manufacturers. Doesn’t matter what I shoot, the cylinder rotation jams. I thought it would break in after use, but no. And no, I’m not using a 3″ 410 shell in a 2.5″ chamber.

  23. avatarjan says:

    i smell incest here

  24. avatarRod says:

    I bought mine last weekend. I bought both the Federal 000 and the Winchester Elite PDX1. The Federal jams regularly (almost on the same cylinder every time, but it did it on one other cylinder while testing it today). The Winchester hasn’t jammed once. I recommend checking it out for yourself, I’m contacting both Federal and Smith & Wesson to ask them for there recommendations. I’ll bookmark this and try to get back here to let folks know what they say.

  25. avatarJoe Keating says:

    S&W along with other manufacturers should learn to keep their costs down and sell handguns at or below say……..$400. They would sell a lot more guns if they were more affordable. I’d love to own a Judge or Govenor but not at these prices. It’s not something I would regularly shoot but is best suited for home defence or snakes.

  26. avatarEJ says:

    I am an owner of a Taurus Judge. I like the gun a lot. I am sure if I had the S&W Governer, I would also like it a whole lot. But to compare these two is kind of pointless. The gun that matters most is the gun that you can have handy when you need a gun. The Judge is a great .410 rattle snake killer… this is one time when you don’t mind a decent spread. I am sure that the Gov is pretty much the same thing. My wifes Hi-Point 9mm shoots just as well as my Glock.

  27. avatarSan Diego Steve says:

    The .410 slug leaves the barrel at 1,100 fps+. Anyway, the piece is so ugly that only a crazy person would argue with it! Also, you can mix the .45 and .410 rounds.

  28. avatarCGH says:

    I love my Judge. It’s has the 3″ chamber. This gun fills a niche. Its not a 25 yard gun its A point blank to 5 yard gun. It’s for up close and personal defense. It’s perfect for snakes, which is why I bought it. If I come across one in the yard or garden like the water moccassin my son found in my tomato plants, the litltle .410 is right ther on my hip. But the fact that the shot spreads so quickly makes it ideal for a gun in your vehicle . The 45lc capability is a plus.

  29. avatarFreshbrood says:

    Hey guys, .410 in this gun could be excellent as snake shot in the mountains or desert.

    It’s all how you use it. It’s another option, and that’s great. I like this gun much better than the Judge.

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