The Judge Home Defender – Breaking It Down

I’ve been blasting away with the Taurus Home Defender for about a month now. The gun itself is rather interesting. It has more in common with something like the Mossberg Shockwave than the original Judge. Since the gun has been designed for home defense, I decided to outfit mine as if it was the only gun I had for home defense. What would I do, and why would I do it? With that in mind, I’ve had lots of people asking about the weapon and its accessories, so let’s break that down.

The Taurus Judge Home Defender

The Home Defender version of the Judge features a massive 13-inch barrel. It’s designed with an extended forend and comes with rails for both lights and optics. Taurus installed shields against the cylinder, which would provide a bit of protection against the blast when using the extended forend.

The longer barrel gives the rounds a significant velocity boost and tends to allow buckshot to be a bit more like buckshot. At the same time, it can still handle the proven and massive .45 Colt rounds. Let’s break my Taurus Judge Home Defender down.

The Optic

Across the top sits a Vortex Defender. Why the Defender? Well, if I doubled up on the Home Defender with a Defender optic, it’s got twice the defense, right? No, not really, but the Vortex CCW-Defender is very light and very small. It comes with a Picatinny rail adapter, which is necessary with the Home Defender.

Some of the problems I have with the Defender-CCW don’t much matter with a revolver, outside of the oddball motion sensing auto-off with a crazy long on time. Anyway, the Defender’s refresh issues aren’t a big deal on a nonreciprocating firearm. The buttons are massive and easy to engage, and the big 6 MOA dot is easy to see. It works and keeps with the affordability of the Taurus Judge Home Defender.

The Light

I’ve tried a few different lights but settled on the very compact TL RM1. This lightweight, compact light is designed for long guns but works very well for the Home Defender. The ergonomics of the ramp-style switch make it easy to access. I can also use a pressure switch if I so choose.

Five hundred lumens is enough for inside the home, and it casts a wide, bright white beam that has lots of spill. The TL RM1 is also very light, which makes it easy to maintain the ability to fire the weapon with one hand. It’s also fairly affordable and easy to use.

The Ammo

I’ve tried a number of different loads with the Judge Home Defender. The one that consistently makes the most sense and is the easiest to find is the Hornady Critical Defense. It’s a .41 caliber projectile backed by two .35 caliber balls. It’s three projectiles total, and the .41 caliber FTX slugs give you excellent accuracy, and the two extra balls give you that extra shot on target effect. It provides a rather light recoil and delivers consistently tight groupings at home defense ranges.

The Side Saddle

The side saddle mounts to the optic’s rail. It’s not made for shotguns but for rifles. This five-shot side saddle is a Monstrum Tactical .243 caliber side saddle. It attaches with ease, and the .410 shells slide in rather easily. Even the .45 Colt rounds fit, but they tend to be tight compared to the shotshells. It allows for five extra rounds to be held to the gun and doesn’t get in the way.

The Future of the Judge Home Defender

I plan to add a pressure switch to the TL RM1 light; this way, I can access the light at two different points if necessary. I also plan to swap the stock grips for an ATI X2 grip. It’s larger, and the Judge grips feel fairly small. If possible, I’m looking to add a single-point sling to the gun, which will provide greater control and retention over the weapon.

The more I use the Home Defender, the more I like it. It might not be my first choice for a home defense weapon, but I’m enjoying the process of dragging every ounce of potential out of it. Check out the Home Defender now and make it your favored home defense weapon…or just have some fun with a massive revolver.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.