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American Handgunner March/April 2011 - Page 52

The #8 birdshot target, shot at three yards. The blotch from the wad is at 8:00. Near contact distance might prove significant. The “Ribber” grips, although shorter than on a full-sized Judge, still offer a good grip. Public The original 3" and 2.5" Judge and the Public Defender — a major size reduction. B Taurus J.B. Wood DefenDer A .410/.45 Colt y now, almost everyone knows about the big revolver from Taurus chambering both the .45 Colt and .410 shotshells. They named it “The Judge” because, according to Taurus, several people who preside in that position adopted it as a last resort in case the defendant or his friends chose to become violent in the courtroom. We’re not sure if that’s the case, but it does make a good story at least! The first edition of the Judge was chambered for the 2.5" .410. More recently, Taurus offered a version with a longer cylinder accepting the 3" version. Both are magnificent beasts, but they are big. Perhaps concealable beneath judicial robes but a bit large for ordinary attire. As a house or car gun, they are still outstanding. Now we have a more concealable version in the Public Defender. Both the barrel and the grip have been shortened and the extended hammer spur has been eliminated. There are still good serrations on the snub hammer and you can still cock for single action if you like. To keep it compact, Taurus wisely went back to the 2.5" chambering. Features Galore PoCket tool 52 The Public Defender still offers the fiber-optic front sight and integral square-notch rear. The rubber grip is the “Ribber” type, with flexible extensions at the front offering substantial recoil control and comfort. Even with the shortened grip it “holds” well. In the rear curve of the hammer is the familiar Taurus key-lock. Turned clockwise until it pops out, it stops everything. I’ll never use it, but it would be good for situations where there might be kids around or other people you don’t want messing with the gun. Internally, a transfer bar firing system allows safe carrying with all the chambers loaded. Speaking of which, WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MARCH/APRIL2011

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