The Shotgun Handgun: S&W Governor, Taurus Judge

It’s a controversial platform, but I kinda love mine.

Quick story: A few year’s ago there was some politician chatter about trying to ban or greatly limit handgun ammo. I thought, “Well, just in case that happens, I want something that shoots a variety.” So I picked up the Smith & Wesson Governor, which is their version of the Taurus Judge. (I believe S&W is a better brand with better overall quality.) And I figured if the politicians ban popular handgun ammo, they’ll never get rid of the .410 rabbit killer.

For those unfamiliar, both guns shoot 45 Colt, .45 ACP with moon clips, and .410 shotgun shells. The controversy among gun guys is the latter, which you’re free to discuss below.

I use Defender PDX1 loads for home (second from left in the pic). Of course, what’s cool about it is that you start with 2 shots of .410 and then load the next four chambers with .45 Colt or ACP (half-moon clips).


Anyway, I dig it. So there. :grinning:

Only regret is that S&W came out with a stainless model later, which I would have preferred.

Cool gun, how’s the kickback?

Also, how big is it? Desert Eagle’s look cool until you realize you need to have gorilla hands to hold them, nevermind trying to conceal it lol.

As I best remember my S&W model 29 .44 Magnum, my Taurus Judge, which is quite heavy, has about the same kickback as my .44 Magnum had with .44 Special loads. It is more comfortable with both hands.

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I thought you were off, because the Judge only holds 5 rounds. I guess the Governor holds 6.

I’ve shot the colt 45, and 410 shells out of a Judge. It wasn’t bad. I think the rubber grip did a lot.

IMO, it wasn’t close to any of the “big” handguns I have shot (460 mag, 500 mag, and a single shot 308).


Kick is surprisingly reasonable. Much less than what I was expecting. The frame is scandium alloy so they were marketing this as “lightweight” when it first came out, but it’s still close to 30 ounces. And while it’s a snubby, I’m not sure I could make this work for concealed carry. I mean, I could, but it’s a chunk.

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Yep. I think they were trying to one-up the popular Judge.

I’ve never shot anything like a 500 mag. I think my limit is .44!

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I don’t think I’d ever buy any of those guns. Fun to shoot a few rounds here and there (if you got the money for it).

The shell is 4 discs and 16 BB’s

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I like that unfluted cylinder.

Can you find .410? I restored a stevens 58A two years ago and havnt been able to feed it.

I haven’t had an issue with the 2.5 inch shells, at least with defense-specific shells. Not sure about more traditional 3-inch birdshot.

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I went with the 3” cylinder because I wanted as much firepower as I could get from a handgun shooting shotgun shells.

That’s true. I’ve seen slugs and buck, just no birdshot. I can’t put slugs down a 90 year old fixed choke barrel. Well, I could probably once. :joy:

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I love my SW Governor.

I take it all the time when fishing for snakes.