August 28, 2023
In 2006, Bob Morrison, then in charge of Taurus, noted that in the high crime area of Miami, Florida, judges were purchasing the company’s novel revolver—one model in .410 and the other .45 Colt/.410—for self-defense in and out of the courtroom. Having observed that, Morrison came up with the “Judge” name, a moniker still used today.
The Judge line has grown to more than a dozen models, and with its enduring popularity it was only logical the company decided to include it in its new Executive Grade line of handguns. It retails for $950.
These guns are so fine-tuned and finished that they could almost be part of a custom shop from any manufacturer. The hand-polished satin finish is smooth as silk with a patina not seen on many production guns today. It’s uniformly applied on all parts of the gun, while still offering a natural resistance to corrosion, easier cleanup and a smoother draw. Behind the cylinder on the right side of the gun is the Executive Grade emblem, and the barrel is stamped “The Judge” on the right.
Heft of the gun is under two pounds at a pleasing 29 ounces. Due to the large cylinder—which is 1.5 inches long and 2.6 inches in diameter—the balance point is just forward of the trigger. Lockup is tight and secure at the cylinder yoke and the recoil shield. The ejector rod will almost clear the .45 Colt, but the .410 shell has to be plucked out with your fingers and is protected with an under-barrel shield running nearly the full length to the muzzle of the .705-inch barrel.
The rear sight is a gutter milled into the topstrap, but out front you’re treated to a brass insert where you’d expect to find a fiber-optic rod on a standard Judge.
Taurus points out this series has a custom hand-tuned trigger system. I measured the single-action pull at six pounds with no travel in the trigger before the sear broke. In double action it took nearly 12 pounds to cycle.
The trigger is smooth, semi-target in width. The hammer is checkered and the cylinder release has been redesigned for easy access to loading or unloading the cylinder, and the safety is via a traditional transfer bar system.
As an Executive Grade gun, this Judge sports a pair of target-type grips from Altamont. The grip panels are checkered, and the grip itself is hand-filling in all dimensions. The gun comes in a very tough Pelican Vault hard case with a custom foam insert.
The Taurus Judge is not only a unique handgun but a handy one at that. No wonder it’s been a big seller for Taurus for a long time.