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I've already walked up on two copperhead snakes and both times they got away. First time was a close call for me, I was lucky. Plus there are some impressive .410 loads with 000 buckshot and other types of defensive rounds available for the two legged type too. I would appreciate all opinions on these revolvers and what to look for. The lighter Public Defender model with a SS cylinder is looking good to me unless I hear otherwise.
 

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I have and like the Judge. A little longer barrel and the soft grips help shooting comfort. My 84-year old Dad was a little skittish to shoot it, but after shooting it once, ended up putting 10 rounds down range of mixed .410 buckshot and .45LC. He pronounced it good. DA trigger pull is a little stout, but it's my nightstand revolver.
 

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A friend of mine, a 62 year old, ex-police, single woman, who lives alone in a semi-isolated house has two Judges.

She tells me she keeps one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom. She explains that you can't know for sure where you will be and what you will be doing when someone breaks into the house, and she plans to be prepared whenever it happens. She leans toward the .410 load that contains some shot and some of the disc-shaped 'watch batteries'.

My brother also owns a Judge, and he has decided he could 'improve' on the standard .45LC load.

There is enough room in the .45 Colt case for a second bullet, and he uses it. He loads a 170 grain conical bullet over a 140 grain round ball with a Styrofoam disc between them. His reloading manual says a ~310 grain bullet with the charge he is using should do about 700 FPS, and he assumes about the same for the duplex load. At 7-10 yards, the two bullets in his duplex load typically print about 3-4 inches apart.

It's kind of cool to pull the trigger five times and find a 'decently tight' 10 shot group in about the middle of the paper plate.
 

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The Public Defender is what it is ... an ideal HOME DEFENSE gun! There are reviews and posts here in the ARCHIVES ... SEARCH!
The shallow rifling is just enough to make it NOT a short barrel shotgun and therefore not highly accurate with .45LC although you can put them where they count out to 25yds.
Not impressive with 8 shot and a wide pattern. Not consistent with buck shot but they will print somewhere on the paper.
The Winchester ELITE defensive loads, 3 copper disks and 12 bb, will print a tight group right where you point it with a clover leaf of the disks surrounded by a ring of bb out to 10-15yds making it ideal for distances found inside a house.
The "bite" of those rounds is OMG nasty and the "bark" is a roar and sheet of flame enough to be sure nobody would want to stick around for a second shot or more.

The gun is OMG vicious to to shoot and a most obnoxious hand cannon ... but you can get used to it and learn to handle it.
One drawback is an awful hard trigger pull out of the box, so much that wife couldn't get past 5 rounds without finger wearing out. That can be lightened down to a reasonable 4-6lb smooth pull with a trigger job (cutting springs) and a bit of polishing.
It is prone to rattle loose screws, particularly the one for the side plate and crane which can fall out and be a bugger to find the little screw, spring and pointed cone.

It is an ideal handgun for the intended purpose and I still highly recommend it as the choice for anyone wanting a gun for personal defense in the home!
Dig through ARCHIVES for several reviews here.
 

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I like the"Judge".

It's roar is pretty impressive. I had hit a rather large boar raccoon in the chicken coop almost point blank with 2 #4's and did not kill it. Make load choice carefully.

For walking at the creek it's wonderful! Great snake gun. I Load two #4's and three 45LC "Silvertips" (which shoot to point of aim) and feel pretty safe. Have snakes and feral hogs are starting to move in. The one we have is the 2-1/2" shotshell 3" barrel in stainless. They are a hoot to shoot! Like db2044 says the lighter one is obnoxious to shoot, while the steel gun is much less of a handful to shoot.


Draybo
 

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It can prove very intimidating for someone not accustomed to more powerful center fire handguns. Don't just had one to the wife and expect her to be pleasantly surprised when it goes bang or you may end up wearing it somewhere between your eyes after she picks it up off the ground!
Do get used to it yourself first and shoot it enough to get over the giggle factor that comes with it.
Demonstrate it in front of a first time shooter so they can appreciate that it is going to kick like a mule and roar.
Test various ammunition to see what works best for you and the pattern you want to be printing at several distances.
I was not the least satisfied with various size shot, up and to 00 buck, much over 15' but found the Elite rounds print pretty much where you point them and tight enough to do the job out to 30' and a little more. .45LC, of various configuration, was adequate to plant one in the torso of a man at 25yds although nowhere near as precise as any normal handgun. .45LC defensive loads might be adequate stopping power for a charging feral hog but accuracy over 15yds may be debatable on a moving target.

It is a"point and pull" gun for close quarter confrontations. You are not (although you can) going to cock the hammer for single action. You are not going to be making precise aimed shots. It's in your face, blow your head off close up and personal confrontation with a threat that qualifies for use of deadly force ... and thoroughly expect it to be "deadly" with the defensive loadings. I would quite expect "one shot knockdown" and an incapacitating wound (as well as an awful mess on the walls and carpet).

I suspect they deliberately made the trigger pull heavy and atrocious as this is a gun, and rounds, where you want to be absolutely positive about that decision to pull the trigger.
You can take it down to a level where a person with small/weak hands can comfortably pull the trigger (was an absolute must for my wife) but still leave it heavy enough to be very positive and deliberate.
 
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