Smith & Wesson Governor .410 Shotshell/ .45LC Revolver

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.

{ 121 comments… add one }
  • Dougystyle December 6, 2013, 5:22 pm

    I just bought the Governor revolver. Love it by the way! I had checked out the Judge prior to learning about the Governor. I like the fact that I can use 3 types of ammo, and 6 shots instead of 5 with the Judge. Its a more superior quality gun, and honestly, bottom line…who would you rather have in your pocket, The Judge or The Governor?

    • Art Farnsworth January 19, 2016, 11:32 pm

      What states can I buy and legally own this gun in? I live in California now and will move either to Utah or Arizona in two years.

  • lw April 11, 2013, 4:57 am

    i saw a single shot .410 handgun with 12″ barrel.

  • Don Bailey February 5, 2013, 12:33 pm

    410/45 revolver is not a weapon that I would conceal carry because I prefer my S&W 40 which is still large and sometimes hard to conceal depending on what I’m wearing. For home defense you cannot beat a 12 gauge 870 pump with 00 along with other strategically placed pistols.

  • dick May 19, 2012, 5:07 pm

    What is the kick back on this gun, is it too much for the “little old lady”?

  • BB May 15, 2012, 7:17 am

    I thought sawed off shotguns were illegal

    • Jimmy August 31, 2016, 12:30 am

      That’s why you buy this gun saw offs are a illegal modification how ever unless a state has a law that prevents the use of shot or pellet shells inside a pistol(and there may very well be check your local law)then this is a gun that can be upclose home defense or distance defense I currently only own rifles and a couple shotguns when I pick up a pistol besides a 1911 colt 45acp I would want this and me personally would conceal carry if I can both this under my left shoulder and the colt either on my right hip or nape of my back

  • Coltin February 17, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Hey I’m looking for a revolver that I can just go out put up random targets at random places and shoot and hav a little fun but I’m also 14 and don’t want alot of recoil and want a brand of gun that I can trust and mom approved I also don’t want a little 22 either and If I do get this revolver I might just shoot the 410

  • DANNY MATAS February 7, 2012, 3:27 am

    Any one know the dif. between “the judge” and the”night court judge” by Taurus. Thanks.

  • Richard January 17, 2012, 8:42 am

    For all the dumbasses who own judges and have never done so much as cut paper with them… let me tell you. Your putting your life and the life of your family in a weapon that is untrustworthy at best. Taurus = SHIT. Any real shooter knows this. The shotgun pistol is a nice concept if your 5yds or closer unless the other person has a firearm as well. The snub nose does not create enough pressure to be effective beyond 10yds at most. You can youtube your ballistics gel report all you want but some people know first hand…. unfortunately. God bless my mossberg 500. And out of a box of 50 hornady rounds about 35 would cycle the rest just jammed. And after it got hot>>fucking done.

  • Jefferson A Long January 16, 2012, 4:05 pm

    I have read a LOT of comments about penetration of the Judge, using PDX rounds, versus a single shot with a 9mm. The one thing those 9mm speakers need to think about is this——-the PDX is sending DISCS that spin off in all directions , upon striking a meat-wearer (human body) like an animal or somethiong. It is notjust one round “punching a hole”. The PDX sends these discs, along with BBs, everywhere, so the PDX is doing more damage, in many spots, instead of the one that a single bullet will do. A single “bullet” WILL penetrate more pieces of plywood and such. The PDX will STILL be doing damage upon penetration. It is like sailing 3 or 4 frizbees through the air, all at once, when it hits an attacker. I am not concerned with sheets of PLYWOOD coming into my home, at night. Just sayin’, is all

  • J.D. January 9, 2012, 6:28 pm

    I know Taurus get a bad wrap because of 1970’s soft steel from spain and south America but alot haschanged over the last 40 years.I don’t know but if Springfield 1911’s are made with South American steel it can be that bad .Thats all Springfield 1911’s even the $3000.00 ones the steel is from South America,call and ask.

  • TRND January 9, 2012, 3:48 pm

    Has anyone used the Govenor as a ccw ? And if so , how?

    • SmarterThanMyWifeThinks January 16, 2012, 4:14 pm

      Shoulder holster under loose, baggy shirt
      You can also find a CCW fannypouch, online, if you wear one. I used to wear and carry, in that fashion.
      Now, I use a twin Shoulder (make sure it is legal in your state) rig. Wears and carries comfortably.
      Get’s to the point that you don’rt even know (feel discomfort) it is there, due to the balance of twin-carry

    • Lazarus September 9, 2012, 1:45 am

      I have put it in a slip holster inside my waistband while motorcycling thru some questionable places and I like the heft of it. Having shot the Judge, Defender and now the Governor I prefer the Governor as it comes back on target easier as it absorbs the recoil a bit more. If you are worried about its weight try a fanny pack I have used it in both but prefer the waistband carry for riding.

  • Roger Muggli January 5, 2012, 7:19 am

    Dear big gun people
    I am truley blessed to live where I do, here in eastern Montana on a farm our side of MilesCity. I am 63 years old and am a avid deer hunter all of my life, and the last ten years became a trophy whitetale bow hunter, and before birds and rifle for dear antalope. Rrised four boys and always wondered about the safery of the family and home defence, and wondered where to have a gun hid in the house and if I could teach them not to toutch the thing and if it would end in an accident. With this fear in mind, my guns stayed locked away. One night some years ago , while in a dead sleep, I was awakened by my slightly panicked wife that someone was stealing my pickup truck that was parked by the shop. I muttered to her that I,d deal with it tomorrow, arn’t you going to get up and have a look,it is mow moving down the driveway towards the county road,and you just lay there!? Well crap, seings how I am awake might as well get up and look. Sure enough it was my pickup tail lights as it made the turn onto the county road.Well arn’t you going to do something? Well as a matter of fact I am, you better hurry, she replyed, I am comming back to bed, back to bed? Your not going to do anything? yes i’m going to sleep,what?yes sleep. Or I guess that I could get he shot gun out and chase after him in your car, and see if we could get in a gun fight,? or I could take the 3006 and lean over the mail box and toutch off a couple rounds, well you might consider calling the sherrif,? Well he is probably in bed to , Well to bad, she replied.Isn’t that his job? good night dear. I hope you never get your pickup back,surves you right.Good night dear,.Next morning at breakfast she was still a little tense,what are you going to do, she asked in a tense stern manner, with all this rain I better go to the big canal and spill some water so it doesn’t run over and flood someone out,. You know what I mean, your pickup, I don’t understand you at all sometimes,. That truck is like a bad nickel ,it will show up,.Its not a nickel, you mean penny,!well as the phone rang,. Hello, Ken whats going on? We were fishing last might, started out at the 7th street bridge in Miles City and were going to float to the Kinsey bridge and had my truck parked there and were going to use it to come home in , but the rain got so bad and cold to we abandon ship and walked to your place and knew you left your keys in the truck and figured you wouldn’t mind if we used it to go home, I’m heading over to the gas statiom to gas her up and will be right out. You don’t have to gas her its only three miles to town, You didn’t hear us last inght? never heard a thing ken,stop at the house ,coffee is on and there is a bunch of scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast, see ya in a minute. That is what I love about you, she replide , you trust every one. My point, be careful,more innisont folks and family members are shot than bad guys and it takes a hugh sacrifice to keep the family safe no matter where you live and who has the gun. I am going to look into one of these 410 pistols , but truley it will probably spend its days and nights in the gun safe.

    • J.D. January 9, 2012, 6:59 pm

      Rodger,most story telles are B.S.ers and this smells like a ton of Bull Shhh and reeks of anti gun Bull Shhh.Most times when a gun is fired it is to save a life not a truck, The other time a gun is fired is to save the life of a stranger,and they don’t come any stranger than you but I would bet me or most any gun loveing freedom loving American I know would try and save you even it took fireing a shot,anti gunner or not you are a Human Being and have a rite to live and live without fear of a scumbag killer with a gun from a crime he stole from a gunsafe he broke into. God Bless The USA

      • SmarterThanMyWifeThinks January 16, 2012, 4:16 pm

        DOES kinda sound like a “Jerry Clower” story, doesn’t it?? lolol
        NOT calling anyone, LIAR. Just sayin’, is all

        • Richard January 17, 2012, 8:48 am

          Yeah this guy is full of shit.

    • BB May 15, 2012, 7:25 am

      BS alert

    • Craig June 12, 2016, 9:18 am

      I know two ranchers in rural OK and TX who leave keys in their trucks and cars overnight figuring that if anybody needs one badly they can use it without disturbing the house and perhaps getting shot. You boys need to live in the country awhile

    • John January 31, 2018, 3:24 pm

      Love your story. Thank you for posting it.

  • the punisher December 22, 2011, 7:19 pm

    the assassin now thats a good name for a gun!!!!

  • Colin December 20, 2011, 10:51 pm

    I went to buy a new judge. Two out of three brand new right out of the box where faulty. The sales person themselves (who would make money on the sale) even said that the governors quality surpasses the judge. I myself have wanted the judge because it would be fun to own but id rather pay and extra 200 dollars to not have to send it in for repairs. i like the fact that the judge has more options and sizes of barrels but having the extra capacity of the governor tops it off even more.

  • Comidas en la Diabetes November 7, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Me gusta este blog, pienso volver constantemente para leer las nuevas noticias sobre cuidado del cuerpo que encuentro, es muy bueno estar varias veces informandos de lo que sucede en estos topicos, y que todos en conjunto podamos difundir con algo para estos temas tan trascendentales. 🙂

  • AirMojo October 29, 2011, 5:01 pm

    I am currently looking into getting a S&W Governor… Compared to the Taurus Judge, I like that it holds 6 rounds, and shoots .45 ACP , since I have a S&W Model 625 revolver, Colt Officer, and Marlin Camp 45 Carbine… it’s nice to have multiple guns that use the same ammo… and I like having the .410 for home defense, even though I would probably be better off with a short-barrelled 12 gauge shotgun.

    Yeah, its a damn shame we have to spend our life’s savings on lawyer’s fees to justify saving our lives… but that seems to be the norm these days… so I don’t care WTF you call the gun that saves you or your loved one’s lives… but don’t you get free healthcare in prison ?

    Went to Gander Mountain today to look at a Governor… none in stock… but had some interesting conversations… I’m going to try some other local gunshops… I like the conversations, and gun talk in general… for fun, relaxation, and ecoonmy, I love shooting spring-piston airguns… I’m going to take my time on this gun purchase.

  • Roy Slater August 24, 2011, 10:10 am

    The governor would look great in my aluminum gun case. I’ll have to check this out next time I’m out gun shopping. Thanks for the video.

  • John Bessich August 22, 2011, 5:59 pm

    I wrote to S&W, which responded that S&W “doesn’t recommend” using the 45 Autorim in the Governor.

    Re: Levi Addison April 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    This makes me wonder, will this revolver shoot 45 auto rim? It shoots 45 ACP, 45 Colt and .410 shot shell, has anybody tried auto rim. Is the rim of the case not the right size. I have never had a chance to look at the new Governor, so to anyone who has would this work?

  • viagra pharmacy August 10, 2011, 10:50 am

    The downside to the Govenor is the recoil. The grips on the Judge seemed to absorb recoil better than the grips on the Govenor. The ammo that shot the most consistent groups was Remington .410 “home defense” 00 buck and Federal .410 handgun 000 buck. Hornady 45 LC 225 gr XTP shot the tighest groups from 15 yards.

  • ChiefJohn August 10, 2011, 7:03 am

    I’m having a hard time finding a Governor — appears to be heavy demand and/or limited production?

  • Jim G August 7, 2011, 12:04 am

    I just traded in a 3″ cylinder 3″ barrel stainless Judge and bought the Govenor. I did this mostly to gain the extra 6th round and the front night sight. After shooting both of them I can tell you that the pattern with 00 and 000 buck from 15 yards and in is about the same. This was interesting to me since the Govenor has a shorter barrel. The Govenor also seems to shoot a tighter group with the 45 LC. The downside to the Govenor is the recoil. The grips on the Judge seemed to absorb recoil better than the grips on the Govenor. The ammo that shot the most consistent groups was Remington .410 “home defense” 00 buck and Federal .410 handgun 000 buck. Hornady 45 LC 225 gr XTP shot the tighest groups from 15 yards.

    • SmarterThanMyWifeThinks January 16, 2012, 4:24 pm

      suggestion: try the buckshot on a watermelon at 15 ft and THEN use a PDX defender on the SAME watermelon.
      You will have to tell people that the watermelon “ceased to exist” when I used the PDX
      NO, I am not a seller of PDX. I just happen to own and USE a Judge, with PDX, and tried this (my own method of testing “destructive/takedown” ammunition) field trial, myself.
      Disppearing watermelons was/is the result

  • BigJer July 31, 2011, 8:50 pm

    Also we live in New jersey and the gun laws I know nothing about….any help here?

    • Administrator August 1, 2011, 12:52 am

      You have to talk to a local gun dealer about how you deal with licensing.

      • connor dolan September 26, 2016, 10:00 pm

        the problem with states up in the commie belt is that there are a whole array of convoluted laws that people don’t think about when it comes to what they allow you to own. your going to want to look into whether NJ allows shotgun shells to be fired out of a pistol. They may even consider the “judge, governor, defender”, or any other .410 caliber pistol as a “sawed-off” or shot barrel shotgun. If leaving the northeast is not an option, you need to talk to a local gun dealer. I do not recommend going to a big box store such as Wal-Mart(which that probably wont even have firearms in a Wal-Mart near you) gander mountain, bass pro, or cabela’s. I would recommend going to a store that’s small enough where you can meet the owner face to face.

  • BigJer July 31, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Looking for a DEFENDER handgun Living way too close to the Philly city & wanna keep my family in a safe and secure manner. I am not a gun nut but have shot a few (visited Israel and had the great experience to shoot a scorpian along with the wifey).. thinking we need a handgun we both can handle…Any suggestions on something we both can handle at a shooting range?

    • hey Ho September 27, 2011, 1:49 pm

      you shot your wife? 🙂

  • Lew July 21, 2011, 1:26 pm

    I own S&W and Taurus handguns, and am now the very proud owner of the Governor. Love the weapon. Fit on the gun itself, is the best I have seen on any I have owned or fired in the past 50 yrs. It is so tight, I don’t know how they assembled it. At 30 feet, I am able to keep 90% of the 000 buck in a 6″ bullseye, and I’m 65 yrs old. The .45’s are dead on, although I don’t have a great opinion of the .45 colt, so I will probably use the .45ACP (Had to pay $619.00 for mine, but got a free range membership)

  • EPD Adams July 18, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Just got mine today. Paid 599.00 what an amazing gun. Looked at every judge model over the last year couldn’t bring myself to buy one just felt cheap and uncomfortable . The governor fits great in my hand and shot even better. Love everything about it.

  • big al July 13, 2011, 11:07 am

    You are ALL fools…. Buy a gun, regardless of its make or model, know how to use it… know how to properly function it and defend yourself or loved ones. The worst thing you can do is to be unarmed in a fight. It doesnt pay to fight fair…

    • J.D. January 9, 2012, 6:41 pm

      big al is one of the few who make any sense. if your gun you chose works for you and you can hit what your aming at you got a winner.Buy what you want not because someone you don’t know says not to.With a life time warrwnty it cant be junk and Taurus does Honer the Life Time Warrenty just googel it. They may be slow some times but even the ones who complain about the Taurus C.S. say Taurus fixed their gun.

  • kbel10 July 2, 2011, 6:57 am

    I just picked up a Revolver S&W Governor and I love the gun!!! The only problem I see so far is putting 45 ACPs in the half moon clips. Does anyone know where I can get a speed loader for the S&W Governor? I’ve checked the web a bit and I am not coming up with anything… I cant even find a picture showing a Governor and a speed loader together. Thanks in advance for any help that’s provided

  • original tinman June 26, 2011, 12:55 am

    I don’t even consider taurus a real gun. I am happy to see S&W offering a .410 option. I am sure Jennings, Ravens, Taurus’ and other inexpensive poor quality firearms have their place however a better built (likely more expensive) reliable weapon I feel is a better choice.
    My .02

  • the don June 21, 2011, 12:10 pm

    I live in S.C. and hunt on public land I want a hand gun for shoting wild hogs that show up to close for comfort ! I want an revalver not a 9mm toy gun can you recomend anything the don.

  • Les May 28, 2011, 4:28 pm

    I think it should have beem called the “Jury”

  • Ravenwood May 24, 2011, 9:30 pm

    Judge. Governor. Defender. The name of a gun used in an act of self defense is as courtroom-trivial as the name of a car involved in vehicular homicide. “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, the Defendant’s guilt is apparent by the name of the vehicle he was driving: A 2002 Ram!”. Bah, not even if it had a Hemi. But if it really concerns anyone, well, just have your piece engraved. “Bambi” or “Mother” ought to sooth the hearts of the jury.

  • Levi Addison April 8, 2011, 12:26 pm

    This makes me wonder, will this revolver shoot 45 auto rim? It shoots 45 ACP, 45 Colt and .410 shot shell, has anybody tried auto rim. Is the rim of the case not the right size. I have never had a chance to look at the new Governor, so to anyone who has would this work?

    • jk July 18, 2011, 12:11 pm

      my thoughts exactly i have a S+w model 1917 and i use auto rim for some stuff works easier than moon clips for me

  • Brad T March 22, 2011, 4:01 am

    All this talk about worrying what the name is because what will happen in court, I learned a phrase while in the Marine Corps “better to be judged by 12, than carried by 6” and I believe in that, whether Im carrying a judge, governor, whatever… call it the ripsaw for all I care! Im glad that S&W went with this, especially all the horor stories out there about taurus, I would pay a little extra for peace of mind, at least I know that S&W has great quality control and its not gonna fall apart after a hundred rounds… again this is all based on taurus owners sharing what happened to them.

  • Ronbo March 16, 2011, 5:17 pm

    I will purchase the S&W “Governor” and dump my “Judge”. I have learned since buying the Judge, that quality counts. In the first 40 rounds I fired in my Judge, there were ten failures to fire,(light primer strikes) and two complete cylinder lockups. After about two months, I got it back from Brazil with new parts and a lack of confidence in it. I have too many other defensive weapons that have never failed to function properly. I like S&W products.

  • Dan Rex February 2, 2011, 8:53 pm

    “The Judge”, “The Jury”, “The Executioner”, “The Governor”. They all connote a “Bad-Ass Gun” and a “Bad-Ass Attitude”.
    “The Defender” is already taken. How about, “No other Choice”, “Last Resort”, “Leave Me Alone”, “Wrong House-Wrong Person”, “Meet Your Maker”, “The Prayer”, “My Helper”, “My Companion”, “Decision Maker”, “The Equalizer”, “The Persuader”,
    “The Savior”, “Your Choice”, “THE CRICKET”, “SAY GOODBYE” and……………………”THE TERMINATOR”. 🙂

    • Sam I. Am February 23, 2012, 12:24 am

      Surprised no one has said it yet… THE GOVERNATOR!!! (I’ll be back!) 😀

      Sorry everyone… I just had to go there!

      • Lucas March 16, 2015, 12:04 pm

        I could buy a guy named “The Terminator” based on the name only, really. Pathetic? Yes, but AWESSOME!

  • LEE January 31, 2011, 4:12 am


    • Brad T March 22, 2011, 4:03 am

      sorry buddy it is considered a short barrel shotgun… i looked into it for the taurus, and was shot down…made me sad…

    • connor dolan September 26, 2016, 10:04 pm

      word of advise…if any sentence starts with “my state wont let me own…” LEAVE THAT STATE. if your not allowed to enjoy your American freedoms than why live there. especially in a state like CA or NY, where the taxes are beyond unreasonable.

  • judge owner January 29, 2011, 6:05 pm

    Ladies stop the arguing ! its just another great gun that shoots! We all wish/dream that someone will break in our homes so we can blast them ! and this is just another tool for that ! lol take care Be safe ! Support NRA !

    • Lucas March 16, 2015, 12:01 pm

      “We all wish/dream that someone will break in our homes so we can blast them ! and this is just another tool for that !”


  • Terry January 28, 2011, 3:48 am

    While it may be used for home defense, the .410/.45 also has a very good nich in the snake,varmit and just plain fun to shoot market. Snakes, beavers and stray dogs that growl at you on your property while armed with a fishing rod don’t like a face full of .410 #4’s. I’ve already tested it. Plus, I don’t want to take $700 gun fishing with me that just might end up falling in the muddy water along a pond bank.

  • David January 25, 2011, 11:00 am

    The questions are answered by Smith that many avid shooters have asked:First, will Taurus sell any of these “gimmick” guns…..Yep. I was at a local dealer last Christmas that had a “Judge” sale. You could not get in the freaking store. Literally! It was a good price on the pistols and people were taking them out of there like they were giving them away. Second, do people want options with what they can fire from a firearm, yep. Now what I think… I first of all do not think that it makes a “hill of beans” what the name is. Smith saw a niche that Taurus is answering without competition. While I do not own a shotgun pistol and do not plan to own one at any price, I will not knock a person that is trying to defend his home, family, or himself (or herself). All of the positives and negatives have been brought up by the folk before me in this forum. There is positives and negatives for this type of firearm. Just remember the first rule of a gunfight…. You must have a gun!

  • Dad January 24, 2011, 10:24 pm

    Will it take +p ammo? How accurate is the 45? What size groups in the 410?

  • dewey January 24, 2011, 9:47 pm

    My house guns are all .44SPL/MAG N frame Smiths with the first round up #9 bird shot packed over 8.5 grains of Unique. The next 5 are 185 grain GDHP which run just under 1,000 fps. I won’t be standing in line for a .410 handcannon with unknown utility.

  • Eagleye January 24, 2011, 6:50 pm

    You can buy shot shells for most handguns. My .44 Magnum Smith will stop any thing that will fit through my doors. I don’t take it bird hunting.

    • Ben Trainer February 15, 2011, 10:48 pm

      I completely agree with your choice. I use .38 shotshells from CCI in my HD .357. I have patterned it at 7 yards and it’s still a nice tight shot column at that point. There are about 100 tiny pieces of shot in each one. They won’t leave my house and go over and kill my neighbors but they will most certainly discourage an intruder who takes one or two rounds in the face or family jewels. They are cheaper than Mag Safes but accomplish the same objective.

  • bob m January 24, 2011, 5:30 pm

    After 11 months of waiting for taurus to return a 357 to me, I ditched all their guns except my Judge. All my other revolvers are S&W — no comparison — if you have the money. The S&W is a bit longer – 1″ – even with a shorter barrel – But I WILL have one. Taurus makes a nice piece – tons of great options – but give me a S&W anyday.
    Ammo – In my experience – If you are using buckshot – Do Not skimp – Pay the extra cents for the Self Defense 410 shells – again – there is no comparison. And whichever brand you choose – Do Not buy the bobbed hammer models – I watched a group of firearms instructors – oggling a new concealed version – two of them nearly blew their feet off when their thumbs slipped off the heavy hammer. And they knew what they were doing under controlled circumstances.

  • Dave January 24, 2011, 4:29 pm

    Yes the name has to be changed. I live in Illinois and all of our past Govenors are already in prison!!!! How about the equalizer.

  • Matt January 24, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Would you use a .410 shotgun for close quarters defense against a bear, lion, wolf etc? No!
    So why would you think a .410 is a good choice for defence against something far more dangerous like a human that is probably carry a firearm as well?
    This is just another silly fad gun for the uniformed or clueless.

    • Halberstram January 24, 2011, 10:54 pm

      worked well for her:

      and you’re a fool for thinking a human is as difficult to take down as a bear or lion. Why make that comparison? .410 000 buck is not something I would mess with.

    • fizzle January 27, 2011, 1:59 pm

      I can’t believe this argument is even in play. Seriously a human is more dangerous than a lion or bear? Even if they had a gun they have to react before you do. And most likely if they have a gun breaking in the intent is to kill you anyway so if I had to beat em to death with a whiffle ball bat I would take my chances.

    • Brad Wilcox May 29, 2011, 5:35 pm

      a .410 in ooo buck shot is 3 .38 caliber pellets or in more brutal terms, equal to 3 .357 magnum rounds. in other words VERY adequate for a 300lb adversary!

    • Clifford Johnston October 29, 2011, 8:47 pm

      I find this gun with the .410 shot shell very attractive to take care of cotton mouth and rattle snakes in the field while we are flying our hawks and falcons. We never know when we or our birds are going to come across vipers, and sometimes just backing off is not enough. A full-size shotgun is too much, but the Governor should be convenient to carry and effective, although I can’t see using buckshot.

    • connor dolan September 26, 2016, 10:10 pm

      …did you really just compare the physical strength of a person to a bear? do you even know what a bear is?

  • Earle January 24, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Is this firearm Mass. compliant ?

    • Robert June 3, 2011, 11:48 am

      call your local dealer pretty easy

  • dan detmer January 24, 2011, 3:24 pm

    “It is being able to hit a moving target in dark house after being woken from a sound sleep.” This from the paragraph in the e-mail advertising the gun. This implies that the shotshell will allow a higher chance of hitting a target due to i suppose the fact that it is shooting a shotgun shell with multiple pellets and a larger patter than a single projective form a .45 cartridge.
    It is a fact that a rifled barrel will spin the shotgun wad and once the wad/shot leaves the barrel, the resulting pattern becomes very large at just a few feet resulting in some of the pellets to miss the target and also causing a different pattern each time the shot shell is shot. For this reason, I find the advertisement miss leading. anyone who owns this gun and plans to have it for self defense should definitely pattern this gun and see at what distance the pattern become so large a percentage of the pellets will miss a man size target. I almost see false advertising and a chance for a lawsuit if S&W does not tell people at what range a .410 buckshot shell will be effective as a self protection round.

    If you have ran this test, i would like to know at what distance the .410 shotshell with buckshot is considered effective with a high percentage of the pellets hitting a man size target. If this distance is very short, i would think a person would be better served shooting the .45 ACP or .45 LC so distance would not be a factor in self defense.

  • Jason January 24, 2011, 2:34 pm

    I’m surprised it took another maker this long before trying to get into the .410/45LC revolver market. I am relatively new to guns (only good thing that has come out of the Obama election for me), so I don’t have an avid love or hate for any particular brand yet. The first thing I bought was a Taurus Judge, 6″ barrel. I have read many comments over the last couple of years of the lack of quality of Taurus guns. ??? I have read many other comments about how people love their Taurus. All I know is I have never had a problem with my Judge. And if S&W is going to try to “compete” at $679, I’m thinking that only Taurus-haters or S&W-lovers will be jumping on that.

    Judge is not my range gun ($1/shot a little steep for me), but I have shot it enough to know the 45LC is not for me. .410 000 buckshot does the trick for me. Consistent pattern, and I can hit my target with power up to 15 YARDS, maybe farther (at least one of those 3 pellets is going to hit something). With regular .410 shot, the rifled barrel causes too much spread once you are past 10-12 FEET. So S&W adding 45ACP is not an attraction to me.

    I’ll stick with my Judge using .410 000 buckshot…and it cost WAY LESS than $679.

  • fizzle January 24, 2011, 1:56 pm

    Its the same if you reload because then you intentionally loaded a cartridge solely for the purpose of causing harm or death to another human being regardless of the original intent target practice or hunting and such.

  • Bert L January 24, 2011, 12:53 pm

    If you’ve ever been in court, you know the prosecution attorney will say “your honor, the defendant bought a gun of *THE TYPE* called “the Judge. He clearly… “. You can’t win no matter what you call it.

  • Brad Cole January 24, 2011, 12:49 pm

    Is the Govenor legal in Massachusetts ?

    • Mike December 11, 2012, 10:16 am

      Yes, the S&W Governor is listed on the approved firearms list.

  • Rob January 24, 2011, 11:32 am

    Are you saying the Governor was introduced prior to chronographing the different defense loads? I’m an S & W fan, but let’s admit it, the .410/45lc combo has been a tremendous success and we’re playing a little “catch up” while trying to improve quality and design.

  • rifleman January 24, 2011, 4:44 am

    when they make one a little longer than a firecraker, I may be interested. If they make one with a 7″ Bbl. I would look at it, if I don’t have to take out a second mortgage on the house to raise the funds, I might even buy one.

  • Marcus M. January 24, 2011, 4:19 am

    I had a Judge until it broke for the 3rd time and I finally got fed up with it and sold it off. Can’t wait to get this Governor since it’s a S&W – cant go wrong with a Smith!

    • todd August 10, 2013, 11:04 am

      I waited for years for Smith Wesson to come out with a .410 pistol, i bought one last year. Now Im gettn ready to send it back to Smith Wesson for repair. Im gettn lite primer strikes even on Remington ultimate home defense

  • Kent January 24, 2011, 2:33 am

    The problem, I see with these 410 shotshell x 45 Colt hand guns are, California and their very immature leadership in Sacrament and I am sure some other anti gun states have banned ownership of these defenders. Secondly, all states in this once GREAT Nation of ours, are not equal, our Constitution, 2nd Amendment, Bill of Rights etc are under challenge 24/7 by people thinking they know better than use, the citizens of the USA. Guns of any type, make and manufacture scare them and threaten to keep them from grabbing more power. Bottom line, these @*#><**^!!?'s are going to inch by inch remove our gun rights and all other rights we have under the Constitution and as I see it our only solution is to vote these bums out of office and support the NRA and the Gun Manufacturers of America. Nuff said, now go and do the right thing…


  • Darrell January 23, 2011, 10:23 pm

    If you got to use the weapon, who cares what’s the name of the weapon. It could be name “The Terminator”, I don’t care as long as it protect me and my family. I’ll take my chances in court.

    • Sam I. Am February 23, 2012, 12:14 am

      Cliché by now, but “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.”

  • Gerald Lewis January 23, 2011, 10:15 pm

    The freebore question brings up several good issues about velocity and even though the 45acp will likely drop up to 30 % of it’s wallop it is still more than enough stopping power at close range to get the job done effectively.
    The important thing is to evaluate the guns overall effectivness. I will buy one for sure.

  • Cecil Young January 23, 2011, 9:58 pm

    Money, Money, Money, I have to laugh that nobody thought the “Judge” revolver would be a viable “shooter”, and now that Taurus has proven them wrong. Smith & Wesson finally decided to stick their grubby hands into the money pot, after someone else took all the risks to bring the ” Judge ” to the market. I have a Taurus with a 3″ cylinder that takes 410 shells with 5 Triple ought buckshot, that will put the Smith & Wesson to shame as to hitability, and as to shooting .45 ACP, The bullet jump of a .45 acp compared to .45 colt ammo makes you wonder why anyone would opt for the ACP other than it’s being just another gimmick. So go ahead Smith & Wesson, Taurus always seems to be about 5 jumps ahead of you anyway.

    • TH April 28, 2011, 10:24 pm

      Please, sell your Taurus and get a real gun. While your at it, take all Ruger, Taurus, Colt (series 80 and newer), etc. Semi’s and melt em down.
      HK,Sig, and possibly Glock are the only real autos, and S&W and Ruger are the only real wheelguns

      • C.Wilson September 16, 2011, 6:06 pm

        well said i have the new sig P250 and and owned a glock 22 everything else is junk i have shot them all kimber is a price and name over all and all tho spring feild comes out with some good autos every once and a while for the most part i dont like the way they handle the smith and wesson governor my have a 1/2 smaller cylender it hold 6 and not 5 and night sights come standard not a (i should buy that for my judge so i can aim at night and protect myself and family) cause buy the time you flip the lights on so you can get a point on the guy in your kitchen all you need with the governor is a shadow put that tridium night sight on and pull then dial 911

      • J.D. January 9, 2012, 6:19 pm

        were you born dumb or did you have to work at it? Realy any gun you don’t like is junk? This is true why,even as a opinon it still is dumb!

      • hicusdicus January 26, 2012, 8:16 am

        TH ,is a viable reason for gun confiscation. He probably should not be allowed to drive a car and needs to wear a helmet.

      • K. Dawson May 31, 2012, 1:32 pm

        The .45acp chambering is extremely valuable. I live in a small country town and challenge you to find a box of .45 Long Colt within a hundred miles. However .45acp ammo is available. I don’t imagine I’m the only one in this situation. Of course you can order .45 L.C.’s online and ask the felon to kindly wait a few days.

    • J.D. January 9, 2012, 6:21 pm

      my reply was forTH but it also works for C.Wilson also.

  • ben e January 23, 2011, 9:08 pm

    Neat looking gun, more refined that the Taurus. Th price is a little high should be in the $500-550 range. Hey now, I could be wrong. I’d bite.

    • DJ July 28, 2013, 10:12 pm

      Up close self defense, who needs “refined”? The Taurus price makes it affordable and the gun is solid all around. Got extra $$$$$. then by all means consider the S&W. But these days most do not have the extra $$$$$.

  • mark January 23, 2011, 8:56 pm

    I got a question? With all that freebore before the acp or even the 45 colt hits the grooves,how much power is lost.

    • Administrator January 23, 2011, 9:00 pm

      Those kinds of questions will have to be answered when we review it and chronograph the different defense loads.

  • bob j January 23, 2011, 8:12 pm

    the name judge is fine, as it was chosen because so many judges buy them to carry under their robes in the court room,and a good lawyer should bring this out in court ,,it was designed for judges ,,”here comes de judge” surely nobody can condem the judge.

  • Gerald January 23, 2011, 8:12 pm

    According to their website, MSRP is $679.00. Way too much for me.

    • Gavin March 26, 2011, 3:50 pm

      then keep buying cheap junk guns. when they explode in your hand after using +p+ rounds, make sure you tell everyone so they can laugh at you.

      • Karl June 4, 2011, 6:25 pm

        You are paying for a name…quality isn’t always based on the price tag. S&W know you’ll pay through the nose because you expect a “certain quality”, but it is like the brand name at a supermarket versus the store brand, same product…different price because of “brand recognition”. Don’t get me wrong I love my Model 10…but it isn’t like my Russian Nagant revolver that I bought for $99 is going to explode when I shoot it. And you shouldn’t be using +P rounds in a gun unless it is intended for it, a lot of the older .38 Specials can’t handle those kind of pressures, including my Model 10, which is hardly junk.

        • Jake November 8, 2013, 4:28 am

          Oooooooooooh you just got told what’s up Gavin lol.

    • JOE BANDY June 27, 2011, 3:03 pm

      I boughtg a taurus night court judge 45/.410 and I absolutely love it. around 450.00

  • BOB January 23, 2011, 8:11 pm


  • Paul Novell January 23, 2011, 7:33 pm

    The idea that the name of the weapon will be an effective cause of liability for the defender is ridiculous. I think S&W is more so attempting (rightfully) to question the BRAND of the Judge. Let’s face it, for a lot of us not owning a Judge up to this point has been about the brand equity of the builder. S&W has a lot more credibility, for good reason.
    Still, a Glock 20 with Double Tap Equalizers (two projectiles per round) can hold 17+1 and a Surefire X400 Laser/light combo that’s do a lot more then this wheel gun. And I say this owning (and loving) my S&W wheel gun legends: the 500, a R8 .357 and a Scandium 340 .357… It’s just that 10mm in an auto trumps them all.

    Still, I’ll likely buy one…eventually.

    • Chuck May 22, 2012, 8:25 am

      Respectfully disagree, juries are full of “regular modern Americans”, you know…. Would you rather defend yourself with an AK or an M1 Garand ? Obviously, under most circumstances, the AK would be the superior choice. If there were to be legal action as a result your use of a Communist weapon vs. an “All American” icon would become an issue. It’s sad and true.

    • Greg May 23, 2012, 4:02 pm

      Why leave shell casings all over?

    • Mike August 22, 2012, 10:22 pm

      It was not about what trumps what.
      This was talking about the out its a awesome gun.

  • Al Dunning January 23, 2011, 7:20 pm

    I can’t see how the name could be a factor. If that’s enough to shoot holes in MY lawyer’s defense I need a new lawyer. Now, if the gun was named “Jury”…

    • Bill February 4, 2012, 7:48 pm

      or “Executioner”.

  • Bill Johnson January 23, 2011, 6:33 pm

    I think the name Governor is equally as bad as the Judge. Why not call it the Defender? You’d be less villified in court if you had to defend yourself, using a gun with a name like that instead of the name Governor or Judge…. just my 2 cents…

    • Don B January 23, 2011, 7:21 pm

      The reason they don’t call it the Defender is because there is already a gun called the Defender and I’m sure that copyright laws apply. There have been gun companies that sued each other over names and similar names. The name game you talk about in court, is more of a fantasy by people who make a living off of teaching liabilty in the gun culture, but I seriously doubt if you are in the right in a shooting, that you would have to be concerned about the “Governor” being the name stamped on your gun.

    • hicusdicus January 25, 2012, 8:01 pm

      Your comment sir, is one of the lamest one I have ever heard on a gun forum.

    • Rudman March 27, 2012, 9:23 pm

      I think DUCK MF might be a pleasant name lol who cares what it’s called… I have a sign in my front yard that clearly states my tree hugging neighbors want All Guns Banned… “Their House is Unarmed and out of respect for their opinions I promise I won’t use my guns to protect them” LOL It’s a big ass gun and hopefully I won’t see him in court after the Bullit Storm 😉

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