The Taurus Judge Polymer is one of the most talked about guns for sale in recent times, but not always for the right reasons.
Critics wrote the Judge off before it arrived. Others tried it with birdshot or low quality buckshot and came away with the same negative conclusion. Both argued that the 2″ barrel simply does not work with shot designed for an 18″ barrel and a 12-Gauge helping.
Some wrote it off as an unworkable gimmick that simply couldn’t deliver on its promise.
In a way, they are right. But in a way they are also very wrong.
Judge Works Better Than The Internet Says
The Judge works, but you have to go with 00 Buckshot or the slugs that are purpose-built for the weapon and pretty devastating.
The slugs make the shrunken 2018 Taurus Judge Polymer a solid concealed carry weapon. Yes you will only get five rounds, but they will be mini shotgun slugs with some seriously advanced tech packed into their small frame.
Ammo is Mission Critical
It really is a shotgun you can hold in one hand, but you just shouldn’t use it with birdshot. That is all wrong for the Judge and the low-powered frame and spiral in the barrel mean it spreads everywhere, within just a few feet.
Buckshot fares much better. The slugs are another league altogether, with a series of separate projectiles designed to group within 1.5 inches at about seven feet. That’s classic self-defense territory.
If you have one, try Sig Sauer’s 45 Long Colt bullets that have been cut deep for a massive deformation, tumbling and ripping when the bullet hits home. Gel tests of this 230gr bullet have been outstanding and there’s no doubt in our minds, the Taurus Judge Polymer is the real deal.
But is the Judge Good Enough?
Here’s the final reckoning. Are the slugs actually enough to displace your regular CCW? No, is the simple answer, thanks largely to the five-round capacity and the slow reload. wouldn’t dump a 17-round 9mm and two spare mags for that, ever.
It is 7.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide, which is Glock Sig P320 Compact territory, if we’re honest. It is super light and weighs less than 1lb, but you could replace the Judge with one of 10 polymer handguns that would do a better job.
The Sig gives 15+1 rounds of 9mm. It’s not even close.
Judge Is Epic Tactical Mini Shotgun
I can, however, see a place for the Judge Polymer. I would leave the slugs, load it with buckshot and then keep it as a truck gun or even home defense.
You could even tuck it in a sock holster as your back-up. Then it’s an option, basically a mini shotgun in the palm of your hand.
You could even have a few of these, loaded and ready to go in mini gun vaults in your home. Again, you really have to value the buckshot over the increased capacity of a semi-automatic.
But it can work for some people, especially inexperienced family members that just want to point the gun and pull the trigger.
It’s also generally considered one of the finest snake guns known to man. If you live in a place full of feisty Rattlers then you need one of these guns, or the bigger, metal Judge.
The best advice, as always, is to try this gun for yourself.
Don’t believe the negative hype. The Taurus Judge Polymer is a different kind of handgun. Taken on its own unique and particular merits, I think you’ll like it.