Taurus Judge Ammo Choice

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Old 01-29-12, 09:46 AM
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Taurus Judge Ammo Choice

I had someone on another forum PM me asking for help choosing an ammo for their new Taurus Judge that they bought for self/home defense. Since they had already purchased the gun their choice of gun was a moot point so I decided to test some various ammunitions to give them real numbers.

For the test I used my Judge Ultra Light and a shooting chronometer to measure the velocity of the projectiles.



For the test I shot five rounds of each ammunition with the chronometer 10 feet from the muzzle. I knew the shot shells would pattern quite wide at that range so I shot with the screens removed and blocks of wood protecting the chrono from the shot.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 09:50 AM
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Since I am not a fan of the Judge as a defense weapon I also tested it with a variety to bird shot for use against small vermin. Since these cartridges are not marketed for use in short barreled pistols I don't mind the velocity claims printed on the box. Here are the results:


average velocity: 407 fps


average velocity: 456 fps


average velocity: 480 fps
 
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Old 01-29-12, 09:54 AM
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Now to some possible defense rounds. Now is when I start to take issue with the velocity claims printed on the packages since some of the following rounds are advertised specifically for use in the Judge with special claims about the power they obtain from such a short barrel. All of my results contradict a popular article in a test run by a gun magazine last summer.


average velocity: 166 fps


average velocity: 443 fps
 
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Old 01-29-12, 09:58 AM
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This is really where I cry foul. All of these rounds are promoted specifically for the Judge and other short barreled pistols.


average velocity: 364 fps


average velocity: 402 fps


average velocity: 378 fps
 
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Old 01-29-12, 10:18 AM
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Since all of my velocities were very consistently much lower than advertised and what I have read from others I began to doubt the accuracy of my chrony. As a test I fired a series of strings with a .22lr Ruger MKII target model with the screens removed and in place on the chrony. The velocities were right where they should be, ranging from 1'283 to 1'327, so the chrony appeared to be working properly.

The fastest buckshot cartridge, the Federal with four 000 buckshot, had a energy of only 100 ft/lbs while the Hornady .45LC came in at only 81 ft/lbs. Compare that to the 125 ft/lbs of energy in my 32 grain .22lr test rounds. Something must be totally wrong. The felt recoil from the Judge tells my palm that there is a lot more power there than my numbers say. At first I thought the chronometer was seeing the plastic shot wad which at 10 feet from the gun would be seriously slowing down. Unfortunately the velocities from the .45LC rounds were also in the same velocity neighborhood so I have to assume the chrono. was seeing the shot. So, what's going on? What did I do wrong? I've been racking my brain and cannot figure out why the velocities are so low. I then got out my .308 and fired some rounds and they reported up in the high 2'700's where I expect so again I'm thinking the chronometer is correct.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 10:22 AM
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Knowing how the shot shells would pattern I am very glad I protected the chronometer with blocks of wood, which ended up taking more than a few pellets.



I expected some couchettes though I never felt any touch me. I wore safety glasses and a full face shield just in case. Packing up I saw that at least one pellet bounced back and embedded in the box sitting at my feet so I don't feel so wussy for wearing a little protection.

 
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Old 01-29-12, 10:56 AM
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Don't know that much about chronographs, but could the multiple projectiles cause an error factor. You were comparing multiple projectile shot shells against a single .22 projectile. Just a curious question.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 11:50 AM
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Thats what I was thinking til I saw that he also used some .45 Colt rounds and those numbers are just deplorable....166 FPS? A cheap BB gun has a higher velocity. It's not that much above a good fastball.

I would think you'd be able to tell a lot by the recoil PD? I know its not a good accurate test....but a heavy recoil in a light weapon normally indicates pretty good velocity.

Hornady lists the velocity on their site different from what the box says...but the data is for a 3" test barrel. I'm sure the box is labeled for something like a 6".

All I can think is that the screens being removed may have affected it?

I'd have to say a pine board, telephone book, or gelatin test might be in order.

Larry....I think the way a chrono works...its from the time the first pellet or projectile passes the first screen till it passes the second screen. Length of the shot string shouldn't matter.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 01:41 PM
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Recoil for all the round through the Judge feel heavier (have more power) than their velocities indicate. The Rio and cheap .45 LC were the lightest while the Remington #7 1/2 shot and the Remington 000 buckshot had a substantial kick, what I would expect from 600-800 pounds of energy. The 166 fps for the cheap .45 LC is 113 mph which is just crazy.

I took out a Bond Arms Derringer with 3" .410/45LC barrels. The cheap .45LC averaged only 80 fps and the Winchester #6 shot were 173 fps. Even the 80 fps rounds were hitting the water 40 yards away, close to my aim point and the bullet was not visible flying through the air so I know they were going faster than 55 mph.

It does not seem to matter if I'm shooting shot shells or single bullets the numbers are incredibly low. I could understand it if the .22lr and .308 also had wacky results but they are right where they should be. If I have time Monday I'll try and call the chronograph manufacturer and get their opinion.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 01:59 PM
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Has to be something with your testing (sorry to say). Maybe you were being over protective of your system and unintentionally aimed high, throwing off the results?
 
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Old 01-29-12, 02:04 PM
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I would suspect the problem is the length of the barrel or the particular barrel. All of the cartridges tested have known better performance in other guns. I have a 22 mouse gun for pocket CC, don't laugh, but when I test fired it, nothing around me was in danger. At just a few feet it would not penetrate a 3/4" piece of soft pine. It happened to be the same piece of pine we had been blowing apart with the 22 rifle, so I knew the 22 had enough punch. But in a short barrel, most of that punch is lost before the slug gets going. Those labels stating the ammo is for a 410 pistol are probably measured with a Thompson with a 10" or 14" or whatever barrel.

Bud
 
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Old 01-29-12, 02:23 PM
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But Bud....when you go to the Hornady website...they specifically tested in a 3" barrel.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 02:43 PM
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What's the diameter difference between the 45 and a 410? My search is down so can't check.

Bud
 
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Old 01-29-12, 03:03 PM
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The chrono gives an error message if it senses something but can not come up with a velocity so it seems "mostly" idiot proof, and I got consistent results with bird shot, buck shot and bullets. You can see from my guard block that the bottom of the shot pattern was into the chrono so I don't think I was shooting too high. I did try shooting high and I just got an error that it could not read. I have had trouble if the chrono is too close to the muzzle and it sees the gas escaping the barrel. Heck, I even threw rocks through the bloody thing and it worked.

Barrel length has always had an impact on velocity but I have noticed when you get really short every fraction of an inch makes a big difference. There is a huge difference in velocity between a standard length and compact pistol. This website has done a good job documenting what happens with shorter barrels.

The .45 LC bullet is between .452 and .454" in diameter so the .410 bore used in the Judge must be considerably larger than .410". I'll have to remember to take the Judge to work tomorrow and measure the bore.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 03:21 PM
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That really seems odd. Would think any .410 stuff would just rattle down the barrel? Wonder what the land diameter is...can't be more than a few thousands less?
 
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Old 06-22-14, 11:27 AM
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Sorry to drag this back up, but I was doing some searching and noticed we never got closure on this issue.

Well PD? Ever figure it out?
 
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Old 06-22-14, 03:27 PM
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I had to scroll up to remember what we were talking about. As it happens I just came in from working outside and still have the Judge on me. I'll throw it in my tote to take to work tomorrow. This also makes me wonder about the new Hornady ammunition that has a 41 cal bullet backed by two 35 cal lead balls. It really makes you wonder how a .45 cal bullet could ever make it down the barrel. Apparently there is something about the .410 that I don't know.
 
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Old 06-22-14, 03:46 PM
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Good explanation here Hornady's Critical Defense Triple Threat .410 Shotshell - American Rifleman that pretty much explains it all. Except your extreme velocity loss, of course.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 06-22-14 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 06-22-14, 04:41 PM
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The link did not work but a search once there for ".410 critical defense" got it.

Thank you. The description of how the hollow base of the .41 bullet gets flared by the balls clears up how it can engage the rifling. Great! Another ammo I need to try out.
 
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Old 06-22-14, 05:35 PM
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Oops...fixed the link for future readers.
 
 

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