Testing the Taurus Judge
How well does 410 ammunition perform from a revolver
The Test Setup

Shotgun & Revolver, and Chrono(click to enlarge)


The Taurus Judge (click to enlarge)
Condition and Equipment Used.



Firearm: Taurus Judge: Ultra-Light version, alloy frame with a 4 inch barrel and cylinder capable of taking both 45 Colt and 2.5 inch 410 shotgun ammunition.



Range: Varied depending on ammunition being tested



Targets: 1/2 gallon water jugs, wet electronics catalogs (similar paper to a phone book) and 5.5-inch diameter Caldwel Orange Peel targets.



Conditions: (05/26/09) Mostly cloudy, high 60's with occasional light rain showers



Chronograph: Alpha Chony with passive sky screen and remote interface.



In this test I wanted to see what the Taurus Judge could do with various 410 ammunition. My father got one of the Ultra-Light version of the Taurus Judge as a Christmas present last year. He was kind enough to let me borrow it for a day at the range having fun.







Buckshot in a Taurus Judge
Buckshot load construction
Winchester and Sellier & Bellot

Winchester, 2.5 inch, 3 - 000 pellets (click to enlarge)


Sellier & Bellot, 2.5 inch, 3 - 000 pellets (click to enlarge)
Chrono Testing

Winchester 2.5 inch, 3 - 000-BK pellets
Low Velocity: 779.6fps
Hight Velocity: 897.8fps
Average velocity: 863.6fps (4rds)
Extreme Spreed: 118.2
Std. Deviation: 56.30
Pellet Mass: ~69.5gr (average of 6 pellets weighed)
Calculated Muzzle Energy: Total: 345 ft-lbs /pellet: 115 ft-lbs

Sellier & Bellot 2.5 inch, 3 - 000-BK pellets
Low Velocity: 842.9fps
Hight Velocity: 900.4fps
Average velocity: 878.1fps (5rds)
Extreme Spreed: 57.5
Std. Deviation: 24.87
Pellet Mass: ~66.0gr (average of 8 pellets weighed)
Calculated Muzzle Energy: Total: 339 ft-lbs /pellet: 113 ft-lbs
Buckshot load pattern from the Taurus Judge
Winchester and Sellier & Bellot

Winchester 2.5 inch 3 - 000 pellets (click to enlarge)


Winchester 2.5 inch 3 - 000 pellets (click to enlarge)
Patterning

Range: 40ft (13.3yds)
Target: 5.5 inch target spot on 32 x 21 in target backer.




Winchester
I fired 7 rounds of Winchester Buckshot in this pattern. As you can see by the yellow pointers only 16 of the 21 pellets hit my target backer. It will become evident later why the Winchester buckshot patterns so poorly. (Note: the unmarked holes in the center of the target spot are a couple slugs hits that I forgot to paste.)




















Sellier & Bellot
I fired 5 rounds of Sellier & Bellot and all 15 pellets are accounted for. As you can see the Sellier & Bellot buckshot patterns much better than the Winchester




















Terminal Performance of Buckshot When Fired From the Taurus Judge
Winchester and Sellier & Bellot


Winchester, 2.5 inch, 3 - 000 pellets (click to enlarge)



Sellier & Bellot, 2.5 inch, 3 - 000 pellets (click to enlarge)
Water Jug Testing

Range: ~15ft (5 yds)
Target: 1/2 Gallon Milk Jugs





Winchester
I had originally intended to do this test at 21 ft (7 yards) but with how bad the Winchester buckshot was shooting I moved up to about 15 ft even then I only managed to hit the milk jugs with one of the three pellets. The pellet was found in the fourth jug. At most about 16 inches of water penetration. There were no marks on the back side of the fourth jug.

































Sellier & Bellot
I hit with two pellets this time. Both pellets were found in the last jug and there were marks on the back side of the jug where the pellets stop although neither penetrated. So again a maximum of about 16 inches of water penetration.




















Buckshot Terminal Performance when fired from the Taurus Judge
Winchester and Sellier & Bellot









Winchester 2.5 inch 3 - 000 pellets (click to enlarge)












Sellier & Bellot 2.5 inch 3 - 000 pellets (click to enlarge)
Wet Paper Testing

Range: ~10ft (3.33 yds)
Target: Digi-Key catalogs, three catalogs duck tape together and soaked over night in buckets of water. The paper is very similar to phone book paper.

I moved in close for this test to again ensure that I got as many hits as I could.




Winchester
I fired two shots at the wet catalogs and even at 10 ft I still had one of the pellets miss the catalogs. As you can see the pellets are horribly flattened At first I thought this was due to the terminal impact but on closer inspection is became apparent that this deformation was all or nearly all done while the pellet was in the gun. The back most pellet was so flattened by the setback that the nominally 0.36 caliber 000-pellet was flattened enough that it has rifling marked from the Judge's 45 caliber barrel all the way around them.

Notice the rifling marks on these back most pellets, click to enlarge

Penetration: The pellets were found about 1.75 - 2.5 inches into the catalog. The one front pellet recovered did manage to penetrate to about 3 inches deep.








Sellier & Bellot
All six pellets were recovered from the two shots and as you can see the pellets are still much more spherical in shape. They definitely have flat spots from where they are mashed together during setback but are far less deformed then the Winchester pellets. I suspect this is due mostly to Winchester using a softer alloy. The construction and powder selection may also be playing a role in this deformation of the pellets. Penetration: All six pellets were found having penetrated the books about 2.75 - 3.75 inches







Slugs in a Taurus Judge
Remington, Winchester and Federal
Slugs
Remington
Remington, 2.5 inch, 1/5oz slug 7.8 inch group (click to enlarge)


Remington, 2.5 inch, 1/5oz slug, recoverd from wet catalogs (click to enlarge)
Chrono, Accuracy and Terminal Testing

Remington Slugger, 1/5oz slug

Chrono
Low Velocity: 1202fps
Hight Velocity: 1244fps
Average velocity: 1220fps (5rds)
Extreme Spreed: 42.05
Std. Deviation: 19.72

Weighed Mass: 96.1gr

Calculated Muzzle Energy: 317.5 ft-lbs

Accuracy
Range: 40ft (13.3yds)
Group Size: 7.8 inch

Terminal Performance
Two shot into wet catalogs.
Penetration: ~2.5 inch
Recovered Slugs Weight:
-Left: four pieces: 75.8gr
-Right: three pieces: 70.6gr
Slugs
Winchester
Winchester, 2.5 inch, 1/5oz slug, 3.2 inch group (click to enlarge)


Winchester, 2.5 inch, 1/5oz slug, recoverd from wet catalogs (click to enlarge)
Chrono, Accuracy and Terminal Testing

Winchester, 1/5oz slug

Chrono
Low Velocity: 1240fps
Hight Velocity: 1340fps
Average velocity: 1297fps (5rds)
Extreme Spreed: 99.30
Std. Deviation: 37.50

Weighed Mass: 92.8gr

Calculated Muzzle Energy: 346.6 ft-lbs

Accuracy
Range: 40ft (13.3yds)
Group Size: 3.2 inch

Terminal Performance
Two shot into wet catalogs.
Penetration: ~ 3 - 3.5 inch
Recovered Slugs Weight:
-Left: one piece: 91.4gr
-Right: two pieces: 91.4gr
Slugs
Federal
Federal, 2.5 inch, 1/4oz slug (click to enlarge)
Chrono, Accuracy and Terminal Testing

Federal, 1/4oz slug

Chrono
Low Velocity: 1188fps
Hight Velocity: 1208fps
Average velocity: 1198fps (2rds)
Extreme Spreed: 20.76
Std. Deviation: 14.14

Weighed Mass: 109.0gr

Calculated Muzzle Energy: 347.3 ft-lbs

Accuracy
Range: 40ft (13.3yds)
Group Size: 2.5 inch Only a two shot group

Terminal Performance
I only had two slugs so terminal testing was not conducted.
Odds and Ends
Shot Shells and 45 Colt
Notice the pellet strikes at several locations on my Chronograph.(click to enlarge)

Chrono of Shotshells and 45 Colt

I had just one shotshell with me. I chrono'ed this factory load both through the Taurus Judge and for comparison through my Stevens 38B. I did not do any patterning this time. But let me tell you the Judge pattern opens real fast. In the picture to the left you can see several pellet strikes on my chrono graph. I was only 6 ft from the closer light gait and the center of the pattern should have been at least 6-8 inches above the base. Remington, 2.5 inch, 1/2oz - #7.5 shot

Chrono in Taurus Judge [compared to Steven 38B 22.5 inch barrel]
Low Velocity: 825.6 fps [1103 fps]
Hight Velocity: 862.6 fps [1164 fps]
Average velocity: 839.4 fps (5rds) [1136 fps (5rds)]
Extreme Spreed: 37.01 [60.32]
Std. Deviation: 20.29 [30.65]

This 45 Colt data was done a few weeks prior to the rest of the testing presented above but I thought in might be helpful here. I was surprised that the velocity was as close as it was to the manufacturer's specification. The velocity was very consistent. Ultramax Cowboy Ammunition, 45 Colt 250gr RNFP

Chrono in Taurus Judge
Low Velocity: 685.4 fps
Hight Velocity: 699.6 fps
Average velocity: 693.3 fps (5rds) [Ultramax website specifies 730 fps]
Extreme Spreed: 14.26
Std. Deviation: 5.47

Calculated muzzle energy: 266.8 ft-lbs
Summary Chart of Velocities compared to other sources and guns.
Load Taurus 3 inch barrel1 Taurus 4 inch barrel2 Winchester 9410 3 Stevens 38B 4
Winchester 000 buckshot 777 fps 863.6 fps N/D N/D
Sellier & Bellot 000 buckshot N/D 878.1 fps N/D 1148 fps
Remington 1/5oz slug N/D 1220 fps 1817 fps 1647 fps
Winchester 1/5oz slug N/D 1297 fps 1855 fps N/D fps
Federal 1/4oz slug 1125 fps 1198 fps 1728 fps 1662 fps
Remington #7.5 1/2oz shotshell 792 fps #6 shot 839.4 fps N/D 1136 fps
Ultramax 250gr RNFP N/D 693.3fps N/D N/D
1 American Rifle Man, "Here Comes The Judge", August 2007, pg 50.
2 Testing presented on this page.
3 Testing presented in my first 410 slug testing page.
4 Testing presented in my second and third 410 slug testing page Take 2 Take 3.
Concussions: Well... I guess as far as buck shot goes the Sellier & Bellot buckshot patterned better and penetrated slightly better. I will be interested to revisit the buckshot if I can find a supply of the new Federal 410 buckshot. Its a 2.5 inch 410 shell with four, instead of three, 000-BK pellets. Given the substantial recoil the three pellets buckshot produces I think the Federal buckshot is going to be down right unpleasant.

Slugs it seems the Winchester worked best in this particular Judge. Good energy and grouped well. The Winchester slugs also hold together slightly better than the Remington. Unfortunately I did not have any Federal slugs to do terminal testing with but if other test are accurate they will perform well if they shoot accurately. The two rounds I did fire to get chrono data did not look promising for accuracy.

I am not going to try to say much about self-defense with the Judge. It did perform better than I thought it would. I personally would feel as comfortable carrying a Judge loaded with five round of the Sellier and Bellot buckshot as I would carrying a five shot 38 Special revolver. The 38 would be lighter and smaller but the Judge has alot of other tricks up it sleeve. I think the Judge makes a great carry round the farm handgun.
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