SHOT Show 2011: Smith & Wesson Governor Competes with Taurus Judge


The Smith & Wesson Governor, a six-shot revolver that packs .410 shotshells, .45 ACP or .45 Colt. Photos by Corey Graff


At SHOT Show 2011, Smith & Wesson rolled out the Governor — a revolving shotshell-shooter that can hold any combination of six rounds consisting of .410 Shotshell, .45 ACP and .45 Colt.

As Gun Digest Author Massad Ayoob pointed out recently in his Backwoods Home blog, “I suppose turnabout is fair play. The Taurus folks have been selling clones of S&W revolvers for many, many years, and selling them quite well, too.”

Of course, Ayoob was referring to the Taurus Judge, which appears to have been the inspiration behind the S&W Governor. But surely there must be differences, and the main one is the Governor's ability to stock six rounds, versus the Taurus Judge's five.

The Governor has a barrel length of 2 3/4″ and the frame is a lightweight heat-treated scandium alloy — overall weight comes in at around 29.6 ounces. There is no rear sight, but the front sight includes low light tritium inserts for after-dark business. 

The one I picked up had the optional Crimson Trace laser grip, which is activated by depressing a button on the front of the grip (it basically turns on when you grip the pistol).

As Ayoob remarked:

Personally, I think it’s going to be interesting to be in court when someone who used one in self-defense says to the black-robed magistrate on the bench, “I did it with a Raging Judge!”

But, hey, if you’re gonna play the names, be cool about it. You can always buy a Taurus Judge AND a Smith & Wesson Governor, and wield ‘em both, one in each hand. When you confront your next burglar and he runs away with no blood spilled (the way such things usually end), you can shout after him, “You’ve been put on probation by the Judge, and been granted a reprieve by the Governor!”

To learn more about the Smith & Wesson Governor click here.


Recommended Resources for Concealed Carry

New! Gun Digest Buyer's Guide to Concealed Carry Pistols

The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry

The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery

Effective Handgun Defense, A Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry

Find more self-defense stuff at

Previous article Getting up to speed
Next article Clarksville, Tennessee: Ban On Handguns Lifted At Most City Parks
Corey Graff is the managing editor of the <i><a href="">Standard Catalog of Firearms</a></i> and <i><a href="">Gun Digest</a></i> annual book. In addition, he is the author of <i>What's In Your Bug-Out Bag?</i> and <i>The Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Holsters.</i> His personal interest in firearms includes handguns for hunting and self-defense as well as bolt-action rifles for western hunting.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.