The Governor was a very big part of Smith & Wesson’s SHOT Show.
The Governor cylinder is recessed for .45 ACP full moon clips that fit the model 25 and 625, which makes for quick reloads.
Smith & Wesson
If Dirty Harry made a new movie, I think he would abandon his .44 Magnum for the .410/45LC Smith & Wesson Governor. He probably wouldn’t use the “blow your head clean off” line, but the script could read something to the effect of “you can’t run away.” The .410 shotshell with four pellets of buckshot is an extremely effective round for self defense, and in the dark, in the middle of the night, a larger pattern of four balls rather than a single projectile is a welcome edge over a most likely moving target.
You might say that the .410/45LC revolver has come of age with this gun in more ways than one. The frame of the Governor is Smith & Wesson’s tried and true Scandium, and the cylinder is stainless steel. This makes for a strong and lightweight gun. They have also added a third caliber to the mix, .45ACP, that uses the same full moon clips that fit the model 25 and 625. That substantially mixes things up, because you can use full moon clips as speed loaders for this gun should your gunfight go beyond the initial six rounds. It comes with 3 of the 2 round size and one of the full cylinder six rounds. You can buy 4 and 5 packs of these clips from most internet retailers.
I guess the thinking of the 2 rounder clips is what S&W call “mix six.” If you carry the gun with 2 buckshot loads and 4 of the .45 ACP loads, you would have two close quarters rounds ready, and if you need a longer, cleaner shot, you can index the gun a couple times to the first .45 ACP shell. Then if you don’t need the buckshot, you can dump the cylinder and insert another full moon clip of .45 ACP. When you think of the gun in those terms it makes a pretty good case for the Governor as a home defense gun. There is a tritium illuminated front site on the gun, and it can also come with optional Crimson Trace laser grips.
The other thing that I feel has matured about the gun is the name. A lot of shooters who have been around these parts a long time have shied away from the .410 revolver as a potential self defense gun because of it’s name that it came to popularity under. Because even if you live in a state with a Castle Doctrine statute (the right to stand your ground in your own home), civil liability is always a factor when you are forced by a bad guy to use your firearm to defend yourself or your home. Nobody can stop anyone from suing you should you have to use your gun, and I shiver to think about the lawyer standing in court saying “your honor, the defendant bought a gun called “the Judge. He clearly “ … you fill in the rest. I feel that the “Governor” moniker accurately identifies the commanding presence of this gun without subjecting the owner to unfair judgment because of the name of his gun.
I was able to hold the Governor at the show and I found that it points very naturally and the grip angle on the trigger didn’t lend itself to “stacking up,” even for small female hands. Hopefully a full review of this gun will come soon. Note that this is a 2.5” gun and doesn’t take the 3” .410 shotshell.