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GUNS Magazine Digital April 2011 - Page 42

As a dual-caliber, revolving carbine, the versatile Circuit Judge can fulfill many roles (above) in the hunting and self-defense arena. Out of the box on the day of its arrival, Holt shot a limit of doves with the Circuit Judge. I HOLt BOdINSON f anyone had told me I could unpack an awkward looking, .410/.45 Colt revolving carbine, grab two boxes of 7-1/2s, head for the field and shoot a limit of 10 doves that same afternoon, I wouldn’t have believed them for a moment. Yet, that’s exactly the way it happened. I came away from that unique introduction to Rossi’s Circuit Judge with a profound respect for this new model, and the more I wring it out, the more I admire the design and its overall concept. The concept of a revolving cylinder rifle, carbine or shotgun is not new. In fact, it dates back to the flintlock era. By the time the percussion period rolled around, numerous makers, both here and abroad, were manufacturing a variety of revolving long guns. Probably, the best known were the Remingtons and Colts. The Circuit Judge strongly resembles a Remington, which was introduced as a percussion and later converted to cartridge. The Circuit Judge is a 5-shooter. It functions just like a conventional double- or single-action revolver and is enhanced with the Taurus Security System, permitting the owner to lock the gun with the turn of a key. The sighting system is a bit more elaborate with both a factory installed scope ring base, as well as adjustable, 3-dot open sights. The stocking, particularly the pistol-grip butt, is unconventional and looks like that of a T/C Contender or Encore, but overall it’s comfortable and makes up in performance what it lacks in esthetics. The stretched cylinder accepts .45 Colt cartridges and 2-1/2" and 3" .410 shotshells. Its 18.5" barrel is rifled and is fitted with two essential choke tubes, which have to be changed To comply with game laws, a factory plug limits the loaded cylinder to three shells. out depending on whether you’re shooting .45s or .410s. The shotshell tube sports deep, straight rifling lands and grooves. When a shotshell is fired, the plastic wad is seized by the rifling in the barrel and rotates down the barrel in right hand or clockwise direction. The purpose of the straight-rifled tube is to stop the wad’s rotation, to straighten it out and assure the shot charge is delivered straight ahead. If the tube was not there, the rotating wad and shot charge would fly off to the right and down, as many early Judge revolver owners found to their dismay. 42 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • APRIL 2011

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