TTAG writers are, in the main, skeptical about the Taurus Judge and Smith & Wesson Governor. John Boch says “No gracias.” Our Illinois correspondent reckons they’re ridiculously unconcealable, and there’s nothing these things do that something else doesn’t do better. On the other hand . . .
ShootingtheBull410 has done a couple of tests on the oversized wheelgun. The Houstonian thinks that, with the right ammo, the Judge isn’t so bad — especially as a home defense weapon. RF thinks the Judge is all about cool factor rather than function. And sees nothing wrong with that.
A lot of our commentators have pointed out that the Judge (and its Smith & Wesson competitor) are ideal snake guns. As it happens, I was witness to a buckshot-loaded Judge fired in anger at a legless reptile during my recent sojourn in South Carolina.
After spending a week on the sandy beaches of Hilton Head, my family and I skedaddled up the coast to Charleston to visit some friends and put ourselves in direct line with the path of eclipse totality.
We were staying at my friend’s new home, built less than a year before. Although it was in a rather tony subdivision north of Charleston, his was the only house on the stub street. Our host had quickly learned that some of the local reptilian wildlife frequented his property. He decided to take steps to protect his large family from the venomous serpents that tend to come out when it’s damp.
Francis Marion, the famous Revolutionary War hero from the Palmetto State, wasn’t called the “Swamp Fox” for nothing. The coastal areas of the state yearn to be a wetland. After a huge downpour, water collected in various puddles in my pal’s yard. One of my host’s little girls came storming into the living room from her backyard. “Snake! Dad! Get the snake gun!”
The ‘snake gun’ was a Taurus Judge loaded with .410 buckshot, carried in a hip holster. My host donned his Judge, along with a large pair of snake resistant boots, and headed outside to take care of business.
The serpent turned out to be a member of species agkistrodon piscivorus, or as we called them on the Ft. Brown Resaca (back when it was the happening place in Brownsville) a water moccasin.
A blast or two from the Judge neutralized the threat — the snake was either down for the count or suddenly remembered an urgent appointment in Spartanburg. (No body was recovered, so I suspect the latter.) During the after-action review, I took the opportunity to talk about guns with my host, who, up until that point, I hadn’t known was a firearms owner.
“Why the Judge?” I asked.
“It’s the biggest thing I can carry comfortably when I’m out working in the yard, he shrugged, “and be able to draw it and fire fast enough to do any good.” A long gun was too unwieldy and slow to draw. Trying to take down a fast-moving reptile with his 9mm GLOCK was an exercise in futility.
The Judge could comfortably ride on his hip, under a covering T-shirt — complying with South Carolina’s open carry ban — while he was working outside. The Judge provided the buckshot needed to take down one of Lucifer’s little pets. Those aqua-serpents can sure move fast.
So it turns out there are at least a few people for whom the Taurus Judge is more than just an outrageous conversation piece at an open carry barbecue. Is it your snake gun too?