Picked up a copy of G&A Handugns the other day and what is on the cover? Take a look…
“The Governor”…S&W’s take on Taurus’ “The Judge”. Another large frame revolver chambered for the .410 shotgun round. Why call it the Governor? I guess because the Governor can over rule a judge at the last minute..isn’t that who the condemned always hopes to get a call from before an execution?
I have never really been a big fan of The Judge and doubt I will be of this either. While they are fun I guess to shoot birdshot at Shoot-N-See targets through a car window (just like Taurus did when they introduced it) I find their purpose rather limited and lacking in my book. Of course my book for pistols is mainly written about CCW applications, something I feel this pistol generally does not lend itself towards as well as other choices available. But then again, neither does my 1911 as well as some of my other pistols either. For a home defense pistol that will not be carried I think it would be a fine choice compared to another revolver, especially sized up against a medium frame .38/.357 offering. Now if I was down South in brush country with rattlers all around I would definitely think this little mini-shotty would be a good piece of kit to keep on my hip for a casual walk in the wild.
This is not saying that they do not have legitimate self defense applications. With the right ammo they definitely do. While the use of birdshot out of a .410 barrel (rifled at that, the shot patter spreads like crazy I would bet) is somewhat laughable, ammo manufacturers snapped up the chance to create specific rounds for it since Taurus sold a bunch of their pistols. Now you have specific buckshot and defensive rounds designed specifically for this pistol as well as a re-emergence of .45 long colt rounds for it. Check out this vid…
One of those to center mass would definitely put a damper on your spirits.
I read somewhere about slugs for it, but why would you want to to shoot 100 grain slug rounds through it while the .45 LC rounds generally go for above 250 grains a round? Because those slugs move at supersonic speed (above 1,900 fps) and hit with much more measured force (something like 750 pounds versus 525 for the .45 LC). Either round massively trumps most other hand gun calibers by comparison.
Better yet, with “The Governor” S&W has gone an extra step and allowed enough clearance between the rear of the cylinder and frame for the use of .45 ACP rounds with special moon clips that they include with the pistol. This allows it to be used with one of the widely used cartridges in America, ammo that can be found most anywhere. Try finding .45 LC in stock at your local Wallyworld….
So special ammunition is making me rethink my stance on these “shot pistols” now. Not that I am going to run out and buy one anytime soon (or anytime later for that matter), I now consider this pistol to be more than an oversized revolver shooting a less than effective round. With the introduction of the .45 ACP as an option to “The Governor” I think S&W has opened up the versatility of the class even more.
I wonder what shooting an entire magazine of those PDX-1 rounds through a semi .410 like a Saiga would be like….hmmmmmm