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The Taurus Judge is a bit of an odd duck: a revolver that shoots a 410 shotshell. When the weapon came out, gun gurus decried the pistol as neither this nor that. Not as accurate as a “proper” handgun and not as lethal (or accurate) as a “proper” shotgun. But man oh man is the bad ass-looking revolver selling. So much so that the clever clogs at Winchester decided that the Judge needed a proper bailiff. More specifically, a self-defense round that eliminates the “decisions decisions” part of the ammo equation (i.e. birdshot, buckshot or slug?). How about three flying discs and 12 BBs?

“The PDX1 410’s three flying discs penetrate eight to ten inches into 10 percent ballistic gel from seven to 15 feet,” Senior Product Manager Brad Criner told TTAG. “The BBs penetrate four to six inches at the same distance . . . You get the shot of the BBs and the deep devastation of the discs. It’s the best of both worlds.” For the shooter, obviously. And they get it. Literally.

“I have to be careful what I say,” Criner says, carefully. “The PDX1 410’s outselling our existing 410 products by double digits. We cannot keep up with demand.” So what about long guns?

As I mentioned this weekend, I’m looking at the Mossberg HS 410 for “the” shotgun in our series How To Defend Your Home with a Shotgun. Criner says long guns increase the PDX1 410 ammo’s velocity from 750 feet per second (Judge) to 1100 feet per second. Which is enough to make a lethal round lethaler. At the same time, the Winchester shotshell maintains the advantages of low(er) penetration than, say, a .45 Colt or .32 caliber bullet (whose impact velocity pretty much matches that of the PDX1 410’s three discs).

Yes, but, Winchester fired the round out of a Browning rifle, not a tactical (18″ barrel) shotgun. ‘Cause there’s only one such weapon and they didn’t know it existed. But now they do and they want to see what’s what. So they’re sending us a bunch. Our mini-Mossie’s due next Saturday. We’ll put gun and ammo together and post our test results and videos next week. Followed by the next chapter in the home defense shotgun book. Beats working for a living.

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  1. Appears to be a modern variation of the old buck&ball load common to muskets in the 18th century. There really is nothing new under the sun.

  2. I look forward to reading your report on this ammo. I believe that Taurus is also introducing a carbine in the Judge series , "Circut Judge" with an 18.5" barell.


  3. In other words, even when fired out of a “long gun”, woefully inadequate at penetrating even the minimal body armor worn by the largest street gang in America.

    To penetrate the body armor most often worn by those we’ll most likely be fighting, you need a minimum .30 caliber bullet leaving the muzzle at @ 3000 fps.

  4. This load is outright dangerous.
    After shooting it through my Judge and Circuit Judge (with both chokes) this is probably the worst load that can be used in either firearm. The spread with rifling guaranties collateral damage. If you use a circuit judge with the straight rifled choke it’s less of a mess but still is throwing BBs all over the place. At 7 yards with either firearm you have the disks staying within a few inches of POA, but some of the BBs are already flying outside the target area. At 15 yards the disks start missing the target and it’s not uncommon to only have 1 disk and a few BBs on paper. At 25 yards with a Circuit Judge, I fired 5 rounds with the thread protector (allowing spin) and 5 rounds with the straight choke. 1 BB hit the target out of those 10 rounds.

    Switching to 255 grain, 45 colt ammo, all rounds are on target at 7, 15 and 25 yards, with rapid fire groupings often forming a single ragged hole. There is no reason to use buck and ball when a heavy slug from a .45 Colt will do a better job.

    If you are using Winchester PDX1 ammo for SD, retain a good lawyer. This stuff is irresponsible and hazardous to innocent bystanders and property. Before you argue, pattern it yourself. Anything that misses the target is a potential lawsuit. You do the math.

    • I bought the Circuit Judge a few weeks ago and have not had a chance to take it to the range and test the PDX1 (with both chokes) for myself, but was just wondering what your thoughts were on its performance from the 7-10 yard range, if collateral damage was not an issue. Also, which choke would you recommend for that range using the PDX1?

      I am really torn on using the PDX1 versus 000 buck. Any thoughts?

      • Last week I had my 6-1/2″ barreled 2-1/2″ chambered Judge at our river lot. After comparing patterns, consistancy and accuracy, I keep mine loaded with 2-1/2″ 000Buck.

  5. I went to the range to use these 410 3 inch rounds in my saiga 410 the surefire mags and these rounds wouldn’t even make it in the chamber so i went to the factory 5 rounds mag loaded two fired fine.P.S. these rounds are a little bigger than 3 inches.It’s the same thing i encountered with the 410 handgun buck shot and my saiga.

  6. Try the PDX-1 Out of a Mossberg 50455 (with a standard buttstock) and see how it works.

    The Federal buckshot loads work fine out of my Stocked .410 and the patterns are pretty well right on the money.

    The .410 HS would most likley be a problem because of the “Spreader” choke on the muzzle.

    A plain 18.5 inch barrel should work very well.

  7. @relic the info i got on thes rounds show an effective range of 7 to 10 feet which is where most self defense shootings occur. the yardage you tested at is ridiculous. know your ammo, know your gun, don’t shoot farther than what you, your gun and your ammo is capable of. firing a self defense round at 25 yards sheesh what a laughable prospect of anything hitting the target……

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