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Taurus Judge Public Defender

Taurus Public Defender

Taurus introduced the “Public Defender” revolver, another in the line of the Judge revolvers, at the 2009 SHOT Show.

Chambering the same .45 Colt and .410 shotshells as the other handguns in the Judge line, the Public Defender is built on a smaller frame (the 85 series frame), and is clearly designed for concealed carry.  The Public Defender still chambers five rounds, yet is smaller and lighter, weighing only 28.2 ounces for the stainless or blued versions, and 26 ounces for the blued steel/titanium cylinder model.

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Smith and Wesson Model 632

Smith & Wesson 632

The modern Smith & Wesson 632 revolvers are a pair of J-frame revolvers chambered for the high-pressure .327 Federal Magnum cartridge.  One of the 632 revolvers was discontinued within two years of introduction, while the other has been in continuous production since 2009.

Both revolvers target the concealed carry market but from different angles.

S&W 632 PS

Officially introduced at the 2009 SHOT Show, details on the 632 PS leaked out in January 2008.  It is a small-framed revolver that holds six rounds in the cylinder.

Smith Wesson 632PS

The 632 PS has a 3″ ported barrel using the Smith & Wesson PowerPort technology.  The port is on the top side of the barrel, forward of the front sight ramp.  Because of this, the sight radius on the gun is about 1/2″ shorter than one might expect on a 3″ barreled revolver.

Unlike some of the other J-frame revolvers, the 632 PS has a full-length extractor rod.  The underlug is long enough to fully protect the extractor rod

Similar to the NightGuard line of revolvers, the S&W 632 PS has a matte black finish.  The front sight is a pinned ramp.  The rear sight is an adjustable, target-style sight.

This model 632 uses an exposed hammer, which allows the owner to shoot in double-action or single-action mode.

Smith and Wesson 632 PS

At the 2009 SHOT Show, I got a chance to handle this gun.  I had been hoping to see a J-frame in .327 Magnum, but this was not the gun I envisioned.  I was hoping for something more like the 642 revolvers, and this was not it.  However, I found myself liking the gun more that I thought I would.

The first thing that struck me is the cylinder seemed much thinner than what I was expecting.  I thought I would pick up the gun and see a cylinder roughly the same size as a Model 10 in .38 Special.  Not so.  The cylinder is definitely less bulky, and it still puts six of the magnum rounds at your disposal.

It had a decent trigger, good sight picture, and felt good in my hand.

However, I had a serious problem with this gun. Like most modern Smith and Wesson revolvers, it has the internal lock.  There have been demonstrable problems with the internal locks, and I cannot recommend any of the company’s guns that have one installed.

I left the show thinking that if S&W made this revolver without the lock and with a non-ported plain 2″ to 2.5″ barrel with the internal hammer, they would not be able to keep up with demand.  As it turned out, I had to wait until the 2010 SHOT Show to see the gun I wanted.

At the time I am writing this (September 2013,) this gun is still in the Smith & Wesson catalog.  It is listed as the “632” though it is also referred to as “632 Pro Series – PowerPort.”

S&W 632 Pro Series – Night Sights

The 632 was a J-frame, “hammerless” revolver with a 2 1/8″ barrel.  The cylinder held six rounds of the potent .327 Magnum.  The frame was stainless steel and the guns weighed only 23 ounces (unloaded).

Smith Wesson 632

Unlike many other J-frames, the model 632 had tritium, three-dot sights which made for a good sight picture.  Additionally, the sights were dovetailed, meaning adjustment or replacement was feasible.

This model 632  did not have an internal lock.

Smith & Wesson literature alternately referred to this gun as 632, 632 Pro, 632 Pro Series and 632 Night Sights.  These various names caused an unfortunate amount of confusion.  When talking about the 632, no one knew which gun you meant.  For an added layer of complexity, there was another Smith & Wesson 632 revolver that saw production in the early 1990’s.  Those guns were chambered in .32 H&R Magnum, and marked “.32 Magnum.”

Smith and Wesson 632

The 632 felt good in my hand, as do all of the 640/642 style revolvers Smith & Wesson makes.  The three-dot sights are a vast improvement over the fixed ramp front and narrow rear notch that many of the J-frames wear.

A lot of people are skeptical of the .327 Magnum cartridge, but I think this round has a lot of possibilities as a defensive load.  This model 632 is exactly what I hoped S&W would introduce in 2009.  MSRP was $916.

Unfortunately, this gun is no longer in production.  I do not have an exact date the gun was pulled from production, but it looks like it was pulled in 2012.

Smith Wesson 327 magnum

Smith & Wesson 632 Information Sheet

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New Taurus Guns at the 2009 SHOT Show

Taurus 709 SLIM Review

There was a lot of talk before the SHOT Show about some of the new guns Taurus would be introducing.  Well, here is what I found:

Taurus Slim

Taurus previously announced the “Slim,” or 709-series, pistol.  However, they are now offering it with a titanium slide.  Let me tell you this thing is light!  The Slim pistol is a single stack 9mm handgun that weighs only 19 ounces (unloaded).  With the titanium slide, you can shave a few more ounces off of that number.  The blued and stainless models feel good in my hand, but the titanium model is a real winner.  Taurus lists the steel slide versions at $439, and says the titanium version will go for about $100 more.

All three models – blued, stainless, and titanium,  have a 3.2″ barrel and come with a 7-round, flush magazine and a 9-round extended magazine.  The pistols have the Taurus SA/DA trigger system, meaning once you chamber a round, the trigger pull is a “short, crisp” SA pull.  Should the gun fail to fire, the next trigger pull (second shot capability) is a longer double-action shot.  Assuming the gun fires each time, the trigger pulls will all be single action.

Sights are a low profile, but very usable, three-dot system.

Taurus announced the 709 series of single stack 9mm pistols last year, but never shipped them.  During the past year, the Taurus SLIM has undergone several changes. There are several cosmetic changes, such as the grips:

Taurus 709 prototype grips

and recess around the takedown:

Taurus 709 prototype

The most significant design change has been the addition of a trigger safety.  The original 709 did not have a trigger safety, but the shipping models of the Taurus SLIM will have one.

taurus_709_slim_10

I had the chance to handle the blued and titanium models at SHOT.  The SA trigger pull was light and felt pretty good for a polymer gun.  The DA pull was much longer but relatively smooth.

These guns fit in my medium-sized hand pretty well, but someone with large hands may not like the size as much.  These guns should conceal easily in an IWB or belt scabbard.  While not as concealable as a Taurus TCP or Ruger LCP, they do offer the added benefit of a more serious caliber, better sights, more grip surface, and up to 10 rounds on tap before a reload.

I hope Taurus gets these to the dealers soon.  The single stack 9mm is a good choice for concealed carry and if they work well on the range, Taurus may sell a bunch of these.

Update: Taurus expanded the SLIM line to include the 740 in .40 S&W and the 708 in .380 ACP. We reviewed the 709 here and the 740 here. Unfortunately, neither gun was without problems.

PT-22/PT-25

Taurus PT-22

Also known as the 22PLY and 25PLY, these tip-up barreled guns now sport a polymer frame and lighter weight.  Unfortunately, the only samples they had on the floor (one of each) were in a back room for a private meeting with some big buck distributor when I was there.  These will start at about $220 and go up depending on what options you get.  The rep couldn’t tell me what options you may get.

Taurus TCP

738 TCP

The TCP, or Taurus Compact Pistol, is the latest .380 ACP pocket gun to hit the market.  Kel Tec had this market cornered until Ruger launched the LCP last year.  Now everyone is looking to get in on it.

The TCP is a very small, very thin, very light polymer pocket gun. The sights are almost non-existent, but I guess this was meant as a last ditch “get off me” kind of gun. The TCP does have a slide lock.

I’ve got photos and more information on the Taurus TCP here.

24/7

The Taurus rep said all of the 24/7 pistols were re-designed so the curve on the backstrap was slightly altered and now each of the pistols could hold one additional round as compared to the originals.  That seemed a little strange, so I asked him to repeat himself, and he confirmed the information.  As to why they changed the curve/grip he merely said “ergonomics.”

1911

Taurus did indeed introduce a double stack 1911.  For my hand, it is way too thick.  The magazine well is huge, and the gun balances nicely.  Fit and finish seemed top-notch on the floor sample (it better, right?).

Taurus also introduced a 1911 chambered for the .38 Super.

(Ed. note: As of October 2014, Taurus is only offering 1911 pistols in .45 ACP and 9mm. Also, the company is only offering guns in single stack models. There are no double stack 1911 pistols available from Taurus in the United States at this time.)

The Public Defender

By now, everyone has seen the Judge: Taurus’ .45 Colt/.410 shotshell combo revolver.  Well, Taurus just announced the Public Defender.  This revolver is also chambered in .45/.410 (2 1/2″), but on the smaller 85-series frame.

Taurus Public Defender

The frame was lengthened to accommodate the longer cylinder, but it is a lot smaller than the full-sized Judge.  Yes, it still holds five cartridges.

The hammer spur was trimmed and rounded to make it less likely to snag on clothing, but it is still large enough to cock for a single action shot (precision with a .410 shot shell?)  A fiber optic front sight and the ribbed Taurus grips are standard.

The Public Defender in stainless will set you back around $500, while a titanium model will go for about $600.  More information on the Public Defender is here.

The Tactical Judge

Taurus has introduced a tactical version of the Judge, complete with a ported barrel and Picatinny rail.

Taurus Judge Tactical

Playing off the success of earlier Judge revolvers, Taurus introduced the tactical Judge at the 2009 SHOT Show.  The Taurus 4510TKR-SSR and -BR offer a 3″ ported barrel Judge with a Picatinny rail for lasers and lights.

The new Judge chambers five .45 Colt cartridges or .410 (2.5″) shotshells. Standard on both the blued and stainless models are the red fiber optic front sight, fixed rear notch, and the Taurus Ribber grips.

Taurus reps said “around $500” for the retail price on this new Judge.

Taurus Judge tactical

The Taurus Judge SSR Ported has a yoke detent and the famous Ribber Grip that is supposed to absorb more recoil than other kinds of polymer stocks.  The ported barrel is supposed to reduce felt recoil when shooting this gun.

4.6x30mm Revolver

While the SHOT Show was interesting at the Taurus booth, I did not see the oddball 4.6x30mm revolver that Michael Bane talked about in his podcast.  The Taurus rep I spoke with looked at me as if I was a complete idiot when I inquired about such a beast.  Well, I guess it is one gun that did not make the trip from Brazil.  Maybe we will see it introduced later in the year.  Only time will tell.  I have a difficult time thinking it will be a huge seller, but I could be very wrong about that.

Final Thoughts

On all of the guns, the rep was a little loose with shipping dates and pricing.  So, stay tuned.  When they start shipping, and when we have firm prices, I will let you know.

Pre-Show Information

Before the show started, I posted the following information:

taurus slim

Michael Bane teased to a wide selection of new firearms to be introduced by Taurus at the 2009 SHOT Show in his January 7 podcast.  Calling them the “strangest eclectic collection,” Bane described:

  • a new Judge revolver based on the small, model 85 frame;
  • a high-capacity 1911 in three calibers: .38 Super (18 rounds), .40 S&W (16 rounds), and .45 ACP (12 rounds);
  • a polymer-framed pistol similar to the Glock but with the features “everyone has been asking for” (such as not needing to pull the trigger to disassemble the gun);
  • a compact, polymer-framed pistol in .380 ACP, similar to the LCP, but with a titanium slide and a mere 8.5 ounce weight;
  • a “super slim”, single-stack 9mm pistol;
  • a redesigned PT22 and PT25 that retain the tip-up barrel, but now with a polymer frame; and…drum roll please….
  • a revolver chambered in 4.6x30mm.

Wow.

I give Taurus a lot of credit for their willingness to step outside of the box and offer different things.  I really like them for that.   The Judge has been a huge hit, and it was never a gun I would have expected to survive its first year.  Maybe the 4.6×30 will be the same…

Regardless, I look forward to the SHOT show and getting my hands on some of these.  I’ll have lots of photos and more information for you, so stay tuned!

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New 2009 SHOT Show Rumor: 4.6x30mm Revolver? Michael Bane says Yes

HK MP7

Michael Bane mentioned in a recent blog post that he had information about a new 4.6x30mm revolver that would be introduced at the 2009 SHOT Show.  Bane posts:

BTW…Wednesday’s podcast will have some thoughts on choosing a gunsafe as well as the skivvy on the new 4.6 X 30 revolver to be introduced at SHOT!

The 4.6x30mm cartridge was introduced as a competitor to the  5.7x28mm developed by FN.  While the 5.7x28mm has encountered some success in the US market in the FN Five seveN pistol and the P90 and PS90 bullpup carbines, the 4.6x30mm has not had the same fortune with the HK MP7.

The ballistics are interesting in the 4.6x30mm, but not terribly exciting when compared to the 5.7x28mm.  Fiochi advertises their 4.6x30mm 40 grain FMJ and SP ammunition at 1900 fps.  Meanwhile the FN SS197SR, with the Hornady V-Max 40 grain bullet, is listed at 2034 fps.

I just don’t see a revolver chambered in 4.6x30mm as being a gun that will generate much interest…especially as a revolver.  The only thing I can imagine is a revolver set up for varmint/small game hunting, but I would probably rather a .17 HMR chambering for that anyway.  Frankly, if we were a little closer to April 1, I would have figured Bane was setting us up for a little joke.

Regardless, tune in to Michael Bane’s Downrange Radio podcast Wednesday for all the information.  Bane has promised to give us all a little more information then.

Update

The promised 4.6×30 revolver never appeared. Chances are this was another pie-in-the sky move by Taurus to generate interest in distributors. Taurus has done this more than once.

Many times a company will develop prototype firearms to bring to the SHOT Show or NASGW Expo to gauge interest from the distributors. These guns will most often be kept behind closed doors, and not be shown to the media or public. My guess is this revolver was one of those projects. Ultimately, it never made it into production or onto dealer shelves.

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Smith & Wesson Model 57 Classic in .41 Magnum

The Smith & Wesson Model 57 Classic is a modern version of the original 57 that was introduced in 1964. The Classic Model 57 was introduced by S&W at the 2009 SHOT Show.