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Taurus Judge vs. Public Defender: The Ultimate Showdown preview image
Oct 01 2023
8 min read

Taurus Judge vs. Public Defender: The Ultimate Showdown


In the world of self-defense revolvers, two names stand out: the Taurus Judge and the Public Defender.

Both of these firearms boast the ability to chamber .410 bore shot shells and .45 Colt cartridges, making them versatile and powerful options for those looking to protect themselves.

In this article, we’ll be comparing the Taurus Judge and the Public Defender in terms of size, weight, capacity, recoil, accuracy, price, and availability to help you determine which revolver is the better choice for your self-defense needs.

Overview of The Taurus Judge

Taurus Judge For Sale

Taurus Judge 45 Colt (LC)/410 Gauge 3" Barrel 5-Round Stainless Steel Revolver with Fiber Optic Front Sight
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The Taurus Judge: A Brief Background

The Taurus Judge is a unique revolver that has been turning heads since its introduction in 2006. This Brazilian-made firearm is a versatile choice for those looking to add a one-of-a-kind piece to their collection.

But what exactly sets the Taurus Judge apart from other revolvers?

An Overview of the Taurus Judge’s Capabilities

The Taurus Judge is a double-action revolver chambered for both .45 Colt cartridges and .410 bore shotgun shells. This dual-caliber capability is what makes the Judge such a standout firearm.

With a barrel length ranging from 2 to 6.5 inches and a variety of finishes available, the Taurus Judge offers a blend of style and functionality that appeals to a wide range of gun enthusiasts.

Ideal Use Cases for the Taurus Judge

The Taurus Judge’s unique chambering options make it a popular choice for a variety of uses. Here are some of the most common scenarios where the Judge shines:

  • Self-defense: The .410 bore shotgun shell capability is particularly appealing for personal protection. The ability to fire multiple projectiles with a single pull of the trigger increases the likelihood of stopping a threat, especially in close-quarters situations.
  • Pest control: The Taurus Judge is also a favorite among those looking to control pests and snakes on their property. The .410 shotgun shells are effective at dispatching small critters without causing excessive damage to the surroundings.
  • Recreational shooting: For gun enthusiasts looking for a unique firearm to take to the range, the Taurus Judge offers a fun and challenging shooting experience. The combination of .45 Colt and .410 bore rounds adds variety to a day at the range and keeps things interesting.

Why You Should Consider the Taurus Judge

So, why should you consider adding the Taurus Judge to your collection? Here are some key reasons:

  • Versatility: The dual-caliber capability of the Taurus Judge provides a level of versatility that few other firearms can match. Its ability to fire both .45 Colt cartridges and .410 bore shotgun shells makes it suitable for a range of applications, from self-defense to hunting.
  • Ease of use: The Taurus Judge is designed with user-friendliness in mind. The double-action trigger, comfortable grip, and simple operation make it an accessible option for both experienced and novice shooters.
  • Aesthetics: The Taurus Judge is a visually striking firearm with a variety of finishes and barrel lengths to choose from. Its unique design is sure to turn heads and spark conversation among fellow gun enthusiasts.

Overview of The Public Defender

Public Defender For Sale

Taurus Judge Public Defender Stainless Steel .45 Colt/.410 GA 2.5" Barrel 5-Round Revolver (2-441039TC)
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The Public Defender: Background and Overview

As a gun enthusiast, you may have encountered Taurus’ Public Defender, a compact, versatile, and powerful revolver designed for personal defense.

The Public Defender is a member of the Taurus Judge series, which gained popularity due to its unique ability to chamber both .45 Colt cartridges and .410 bore shotshells.

Released in 2009, the Public Defender quickly became a favorite among self-defense advocates and 2nd amendment supporters.

Compact Size, Big Impact

One of the main selling points of the Public Defender is its compact size.

With a 2-inch barrel and an overall length of 7.65 inches, it’s perfect for concealed carry or home defense. Despite its small size, this revolver packs a punch with its five-shot capacity and the option to use either .45 Colt cartridges or .410 bore shotshells.

This versatility allows you to choose the most suitable ammunition for your needs, whether it’s for personal protection or recreational shooting.

Use Cases: From Self-Defense to Hunting

The Public Defender’s dual ammo capability makes it a versatile tool for various scenarios.

For self-defense, the .410 bore shotshells provide a wider spread, increasing the chances of hitting an assailant. In contrast, the .45 Colt cartridges offer more accuracy and stopping power, making them ideal for hunting small to medium-sized game.

Additionally, the Public Defender’s compact design and light weight make it easy to carry and handle, especially for new gun owners.

Why Consider Buying the Taurus Public Defender?

If you’re in the market for a reliable, versatile, and compact firearm, the Public Defender might be the right choice for you. Its ability to chamber both .45 Colt cartridges and .410 bore shotshells makes it suitable for various use cases, from self-defense to hunting.

Moreover, its compact size and light weight make it an ideal option for concealed carry or home defense.

Specification Chart for The Taurus Judge and Public Defender

SpecificationTaurus JudgePublic Defender
Caliber.45 Colt / .410 bore.45 Colt / .410 bore
Barrel Length2″ to 6.5″2.5″
WeightVaries by modelLighter
Capacity5-shot / 6-shot5-shot
PriceSlightly HigherLower
AvailabilityWidely AvailableWidely Available

Taurus Judge vs. Public Defender: What Are the Differences?

Size and Weight

When comparing the Taurus Judge and the Public Defender, size and weight are key factors to consider.

As mentioned earlier, the Taurus Judge comes in various models with different barrel lengths, making it generally larger and heavier than the more compact Public Defender, which has a fixed 2.5-inch barrel.

These differences in size and weight may affect portability and concealability and, ultimately, influence the user’s preference and comfort level when handling and carrying the revolver.

Capacity and Recoil

Despite their size differences, both revolvers have a five-shot cylinder.

In terms of recoil, both firearms pack a punch due to their high-caliber ammunition; however, the Taurus Judge may have slightly higher recoil because of its longer barrel and heavier weight. The capacity and recoil may influence a user’s performance and satisfaction when shooting the revolver, so it’s essential to take these factors into account when making a decision.

Accuracy and Reliability

The accuracy and reliability of the Taurus Judge and Public Defender are similar, with both revolvers performing well depending on the ammunition used. The Taurus Judge may have a slight edge in accuracy due to its longer barrel and rifled bore.

Both firearms are known for their reliability and durability, able to withstand harsh conditions, and frequent use.

However, the Public Defender may have a slight advantage in reliability due to its simpler design and fewer moving parts. These factors can impact a user’s confidence and safety when using either revolver.

Price and Availability

In terms of price and availability, both the Taurus Judge and Public Defender are affordable and widely available in most gun stores and online platforms.

However, the Taurus Judge may be slightly more expensive and less common than the Public Defender due to its higher demand and popularity.

Additionally, both revolvers may require extra accessories or modifications to enhance their functionality or appearance, which could add to their overall cost and availability. When choosing between the two, consider your budget and convenience as part of your decision-making process.

Taurus Judge Pros & Cons

taurus judge
  • Versatile ammunition options
  • Powerful stopping power
  • Affordable and accessible
  • Heavy weight
  • Limited capacity
  • Bulky design

Public Defender Pros & Cons

taurus public defender
  • Compact size for concealed carry
  • Capable of firing various rounds
  • Lightweight compared to Taurus Judge
  • Reduced accuracy at longer range
  • Smaller grip may not suit all users
  • Slightly higher price point


What is a Taurus Judge good for?

The Taurus Judge is a versatile and powerful revolver, making it suitable for self-defense, home defense, and even hunting in some cases. Its ability to fire both .45 Colt rounds and .410 shotgun shells offers users flexibility in ammunition choice.

Is the Taurus Judge a good carry gun?

While the Taurus Judge is a powerful and versatile firearm, its bulky design and heavy weight may make it less than ideal for everyday carry. However, some users may find it suitable for carrying in a holster or vehicle, depending on their preferences and needs.

Did Taurus stop making the judge?

No, Taurus has not stopped making the Judge revolver. It remains a popular option among firearm enthusiasts and is widely available for purchase.


The Taurus Judge and Public Defender revolvers each have their own strengths and weaknesses. While the Judge offers greater stopping power and versatility due to its ammunition options, it’s heavier and bulkier compared to the more compact and lightweight Public Defender. The Public Defender, on the other hand, is easier to carry concealed but may have reduced accuracy at longer ranges.

Ultimately, there is no definitive answer as to which revolver is better, as different users may have different preferences, needs, and expectations when choosing a firearm. Both the Taurus Judge and Public Defender are excellent choices for self-defense, offering reliability, affordability, and availability.

To make an informed decision, it’s crucial for gun owners to do their own research, try out both revolvers at a range or store, and consider their personal criteria when selecting a firearm. Remember, knowledge is power, and finding the perfect revolver for your needs ultimately comes down to what works best for you.

Brady Kirkpatrick photo Brady Kirkpatrick is the founder of GunMade.com, the #1 online gun search engine. Recognizing the challenges of finding the right firearm at the right price, Brady built a platform to simplify the process, comparing prices across hundreds of online dealers and providing valuable content from trustworthy bloggers. His commitment to user-centricity and innovation has shaped GunMade.com into a comprehensive resource for gun enthusiasts. In addition to Gun Made, Brady has also lent his firearm expertise to an array of renowned publications, such as The Truth About Guns, CrossBreed Holsters, Cheaper than Dirt, 19FortyFive, We Are The Mighty, and many others.


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