I’m fairly certain that the Taurus Judge had triggered more disappointment in me than any firearm I’ve encountered in my life.
No, I’m not claiming to have much trigger time with them. Several cylinders of .410 and another with .45 Colt scratched that itch for a lifetime (which is good, because the cylinder on that gun then locked up tighter than a Baptist’s butthole in a San Francisco bathhouse).
The thing is, they sell.
In fact, they’ve sold so well that Smith & Wesson gritted their teeth and developed their own version of the Judge, which they elevated to a higher elective office, the Governor.
While some people picked one or the other up for the novelty of it, there seem to be quite a few people who have bought into the idea that a large, awkward handgun with alternating .45 Colt bullets and .410 shotgun shells is a great home-defense handgun.
I’ve seen a few of them fired at square ranges, almost always slow-fired, single-action, and at close range. The owners typically fire one or two cylinders, and then they’re done. Recoil in the Judge (and I’m guessing the Governor) tends to be on the stout side. When the pull their target back from five-yards out, they’re thrilled that most of their bullets and or shot are somewhere on the paper.
You know where I’ve not personally seen a Judge? At any serious defensive pistol classes.
I’ll go ahead and confess that I’ve had a limited number of defensive handgun classes (eight) and have therefore seen only a limited number of fellow defensive handgun students (probably 80-90), and so there is the distinct possibility that they’re out there and I simply have a very limited education on the subject. That said, I read a lot of AARs (after action reports) from classes that I may be interested in attending in the future, and I don’t ever hear students or the instructors talking about the Judge for good or ill, as they simply don’t seem to be there. This holds true in even the revolver-centric classes or classes where the course of fire is more friendly to revolvers.
It concerns me to think that while Taurus seems to be selling the Judge to every Tom, Dick, and Sally, that the owners don’t seem to be getting any sort of quality training with them.
That leads me to the next question: is there a training industry opportunity for a Judge and Governor-focused class?
I have a sneaking suspicion that if marketed the right way, and taught by an instructor who can work around the deficiencies of the platform, a several hour to one-day course called “The Judge/Governor For Home Defense” might actually put some butts in seats.
Is that a completely insane idea?
I’m going to go weed and pull out summer plants so I can put in a fall garden now, before I suggest something truly crazy, like a class entitled, “Yes, Your Hi-Point Has Those Bumps With Dots On The Slide For A Reason.”