The idea for combining a .45 caliber cartridge and a .410 shot shell in one gun is not new, it has generally been limited to specially-built over/under Derringer-style pistols. Taurus International’s Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Robert Morrison, asked the engineers at Taurus if they could build a revolver chambered for both a .45 LC cartridge and a .410 shot shell. The result was the original Judge chambered to fire either 2½-inch shot shells, .45 LC cartridges, or a combination of both. The limitation of the 2½-inch guns was the number of pellets in .410 gauge 000 buckshot shells, usually three, although that has changed with the new 3-inch Magnum Judge.
“The new, longer cylinder 3-inch magnum version loaded with 000 buckshot is probably the most awesome self-defense weapon I have ever seen,” says Morrison. “The thing you have to remember is that the pellet doesn’t know if it is spraying from a shotgun barrel or a pistol, it is coming at you at about 950 fps (feet per second), and with a 3-inch .410 buckshot load, five pellets of approximately .36 caliber (.350) diameter, the result at close range is devastating.”
“At 10 feet, says Robert Morrison, “five pellets all strike within the upper part of the chest cavity, at 15 feet the spread covers the torso, and at 30 feet from the head to the beltline.” An accurate shot with the 3-inch Magnum Judge is like being hit five times at once. According to Morrison, “The cumulative effect of that form of impact is far more dynamic than a double-tap, which is to hit your target with one aimed shot and a quick second follow up shot. It is the multiple impacts that make a double-tap so effective, so when you compound that with five simultaneous hits, it is far more immobilizing.”