Versatile and lightweight, the new S&W Governor revolver puts six…

Versatile and lightweight, the new S&W Governor revolver puts six rounds of 2½” .410 bore shotshells, .45 ACP or .45 Colt, alone or in combination, at hand. It incorporates S&W’s Scandium frame for reduced carry weight and comes with two 6-round and three 2-round moon clips for use with .45 ACP.

There are three things you look for in a personal or home defense handgun—ease of use, accuracy and stopping power. The new Smith & Wesson Governor delivers all three and in a choice of three different calibers that can be loaded in the same cylinder.

The large serrated hammer spur makes cocking the gun very easy and proved to be smooth and consistent, even when rapid firing single-action.

Why three? Up until now the alternate cartridge choice for defensive handguns chambered to shoot .410 bore shot-shells has been .45 Colt. This is a fine cartridge with a legendary history of use in America dating back to the 1870s. Today it is still regarded as an Old West cartridge, although there are self-defense loads in .45 Colt that match other large caliber rounds grain-for-grain in stopping power. However, with the option to carry a combination of shotshells and .45 ACP, the new S&W becomes the first triple-threat revolver in this growing class of personal protection and home defense firearms.

Gun Details
Smith & Wesson named the new multi-caliber revolver the Governor for its “authoritative appearance and specialized features.” And while we might have preferred a more traditional S&W numerical designation to giving the gun a name, Governor is definitely an unforgettable one. At the core of this revolver is Smith & Wesson’s patented heat-treated Scandium frame known for superior strength and reduced weight, both of which come into play here. Capable of chambering .45 Colt, .45 ACP and .410 bore 2½-inch shotshells, the gun is ideally suited for both close range defensive work within the confines of a home, and more distant encounters at ranges of up to 25 yards.

Best 5-round group from 10 yards was 1.25˝ with Hornady Critical Defense 185-gr. FTX .45 ACP. Hornady Critical Defense .45 Colt spread out to just under 3˝. Federal Hi-Shok .45 ACP placed five within 2.25˝ with two overlapping in the bull. Five rounds of Winchester PDX1 covered the entire right quadrant of a target.

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  • Pfletch83

    The Smith&Wesson Governor does it’s best work at close range with the 2-1/2 Inch Federal ‘000’ buck.

    The only PDX-1 ammo I would use would be the .45 Colt It’s a good round.

    Any .45 ACP or .45 GAP round should do just fine for a quick re-load.

  • Mike

    I will receive my Governor today. Will someone save me the learning curve and recommend the best ammo for all three rounds. My primary use will be as a snake gun and use 6 shot. Next would be a good buckshot then good 45 LC and ACP. Thanks in advance.

  • Doc H 1

    I have not fired the judge; but I love my Governor. The versatility alone makes it a keeper! Carry with a #7 shot, 2 rnds 45 acp in the 2 shot clips (great idea), a pdx1 410, and a 45 colt; hammer down on an empty chamber. There is still the option to use all 6 chambers and/or moon clips for a quick reload if I want. there is some recoil; but it’s nothing major. Fully loaded is very comfortable for such a large “looking” weapon. DA is kinda heavy, but not overly so / the SA is excellent! This is a great looking, well made, versatile, and accurate handgun out to 15-20 yrds easily! it is 1 Damn good handgun!

  • Carey

    The cylinder is long enough. Why can’t we have a similar weapon in 7.62×39? More bang for the buck and an excellent weapon for backpackers in bear country.

  • steve

    The Governor shoots a lot better than the judge….

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  • LB

    I own it I LOVE it! And Christopher… the .45 long colt doesn’t need moon clips, the .45acp does. Much better built gun than the Judge in my judgement.

  • I have shot neither weapon, but aren’t moon clips used only for ammo that does not have a rim such as the 45 ACP.

  • Christopher

    I’ve shot both the Governor and the Judge…stick with the Judge.
    Joe – you’re absolutely right. The moon clips are a pain to use and I really see no need to go through all of that to shoot the .45 Colt ammo. The .45 ACP and 410 shells are plenty!

    In this case “less is more”…

  • joe

    Sounds like a great gun. I just read how it requires moon clips and that part just killed it for me. I’m not a fan of using moon clips. I have shot the judge which is siliar and shoots the 45 colt n 410 shotgun rounds. Great gun to shoot n reliable. I love the grips on it aswell.