Let’s try it this way: I’ll re-publish the press release verbatim, with my comments below.
For 2010 Taurus took the Judge Public Defender and made it even lighter with an incredible Ultra-Lite® aluminum frame. This new Public Defender weighs a mere 20.7 ounces, yet still delivers the same devastating firepower that makes its brothers famous. Nothing could be better for a nightstand gun or as a lightweight pack gun on trips through the backcountry.
Your bog standard $592 MODEL 4510 Judge weighs 29 ounces. In stainless steel. Using aluminum to trim eight ounces is a good idea, isn’t it?
If you’re packing, lighter is generally better—if only because you’re more likely to carry a lighter weapon than a heavier one. And you can’t use a gun you don’t have. Hence the enormous popularity of relatively small, relatively light plastic guns chambered in 9mm. And even smaller lighter guns chambered in .380. And small revolvers made out of relatively exotic, lightweight materials.
But the press release doesn’t talk about the Judge Ultra-Lite in terms of concealed carry. It touts the Ultra-Lite Judge as the ultimate “nightstand gun.”
To my mind, the ultimate nightstand gun has plenty of on-board ammo, lots of firepower and maximum accuracy. Choosing the best weapon for the job mandates compromise; you can’t have it all. Which is why I consider a tactical shotgun the ultimate nightstand gun. OK, bedside gun. For those of you intimidated by a big-ass big-bore cannon, the Mossberg 500 .410 is a wonderful choice.
After that, it’s a 9mm. A Glock with an extended magazine (check your state’s law for legality) carries 18 bullets. Two clips, 36 bullets. If you like big bullets and cannot lie, something chambered in .40 or .45 and the bad guy’s gonna die. If it has to be a revolver, my money’s on a big ass .357. I mean, why not? You know, other than over-penetration problems (good backstops make good neighbors).
Capable of chambering both .410 shotgun shells and .45 Colt ammunition, this amazing 5-shot combo gun is ideal for short distances – where most altercations occur – or longer distances with the .45 LC ammunition. The rifling has been finely tuned on this small frame revolver to spread the shot pattern at close quarters or to guide the bullet to the target. The Public Defender also features a reduced profile hammer that will not catch or snag for a quick and reliable draw.
There’s your why yes: while the vast majority of gunfights occur at close quarters, what about the ones that don’t? Would you really trust yourself to hit something accurately enough to stop it using a Taurus Judge if the target was say, twenty yards out? Subject to a little range time with a testing and evaluation model, I’m not feeling it.
Especially if the gun is no fun at the range. Less range time equals less accuracy. The Smith & Wesson Airweights are snappy enough to discourage regular practice. The Taurus Ultra-Lite Judge will be no better, and, perhaps, a lot worse.
By the company’s own admission, by design, the Judge is a bit of a spray and pray self-defense weapon. As long range accuracy isn’t on the cards (apparently), single action is relatively pointless. So why not just shroud the hammer and be done with it?
Something to do with the .45 LC capabilities. If that’s your goal, buy a comfortable, accurate .45 with eight rounds on tap and an easy-loading magazine or three. I’m thinking the Judge is all about bragging rights. Let’s face it: the Judge series looks seriously cool. The Ultra-Lite is an ultra-cool looking carry gun. Unless you’re one of those form must follow function guys. If so, stop making sense already, will ya?