[Editor:  We all know Chicago is bad.  Especially the south and west sides.  But when my friend said he packed a Taurus Judge as his BACKUP gun in Chicago, I did a double-take.  Whoa.  A Judge for a backup gun?  Wow.  I knew there had to be one heckuva story behind it so I asked him to write about it.  Enjoy…]

For when you need to spread some love to the unloved…

by Charles Sykes

In distributing GunNews in Chicago neighborhoods, I’ve commented about upgrading from a 6-shot semi-auto every day carry (EDC) gun, particularly when traveling in Chicago. It started with a discussion at the Chicagoland GSL meeting about revolvers being inadequate given the increasing number of bad guys working together. Today I’ve upgraded both my EDC piece and my backup piece.

Back in the January issue of GunNews, editor John Boch wrote about how he no longer ever carries a snubby as a sole carry piece. I had previously commented on a gentleman at the last GSL meeting who reflected the common comfort that many older folks may still have in carrying a five-shot revolver for defense. While they don’t plan on being around a protest march or anything of that sort, groups like the one in December that attacked a CTA bus driver and other can seemingly spring up out of nowhere. In this case, twenty-plus people swarmed the driver at Monroe and Michigan, a very ritzy location on the edge of Millenium Park – hardly a place one would expect an attack.

While I previously carried a 6+1 .380 everyday, I felt increasingly undergunned given the changes in crime patterns in Chicago. Even with 13 rounds with the extra magazine, I felt it was long past time to upgrade, so I purchased a Ruger LCP Max, which is 10+1 and 12+1 for the extra magazine. Of course, I ran into an issue from Ruger when they wouldn’t ship to Cook County, IL despite the legality of 12-round handgun mags in the city.

In the last couple of issues, I’ve commented on five-shot revolvers being inadequate as the sole personal defense firearm around Chicago given the trend towards group assaults. But, being old and having some fondness for revolvers, I picked up a Taurus Judge as a backup gun.

While the Judge shoots a .45 Long Colt, that’s an old Cowboy cartridge that I’ll pass on. It also shoots a .410 shotshell. Rather than using buckshot, I use a mix of two shotshells, one from Winchester (PDX Defender) and one from Hornady (Critical Defense).

Both pack several larger projectiles. Penetration is not a major concern for me. Instead, I prefer to share the joy from each round fired. In other words, my .380 is my primary go-to piece. And when I need to spread lots of love with those violent criminals who Mayor Lightfoot says aren’t loved, I now have the Judge. Life is good once more.

The Winchester flavor has 3 plates backed by a dozen BB’s, while the Hornady version has a 41 caliber slug backed by two 35 caliber balls.

An article stated that both flavors, along with 000 buck passed the gelatin test for adequate penetration (generally 00 buck was difficult to find even before the COVID/Floyd shortages).

Please note I have been cautioned that, while it’s fine for .410 shotguns, rifled slugs should not be fired in the Judge revolver, something confirmed years ago in an email response from Taurus. I presume it has something to do with shotguns having a smooth bore versus the Judge’s rifling.

8 thoughts on “The Judge as a *backup* gun in Chicago”
  1. Beware the language you use when talking about preferred guns and/or ammo. If you are involved in a self-defense shooting, your words WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU. And “sharing the love” sounds like an angry, hateful guy who just WANTS TO USE HIS GUN and is looking for any excuse to do so.

    Kinda like some of those idiot no-trespassing signs out there, like “trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot twice.” Imagine having to defend yourself on private property from violent attackers, then being confronted in court with that sign.

    Yeah, some things are JUST NOT GOOD IDEAS.

    1. Eh, that’s what the lawyers and legal defense insurance are for.

      So long as Mr. S. survives the attack, that’s the important thing.

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