The Remington 870 is one of my favorite shotguns for protection. It is simple to use, disassemble, reassemble, and troubleshoot. It has incredible stopping power and the mere sound of racking a new shell into the chamber is universally known, and feared. But what if you want a tool that can do more than one job? If you want the potency of a shotgun, the conceal ability of a pistol, and the versatility to customize your weapon’s loadout to specific scenarios, you need the Taurus Judge.

Mark Miller wrote a great article about the Remington 870 and why he thinks it’s the best choice for home protection. I am not here to tread upon his article, instead I wanted to offer an alternative to the pump shotgun. As I get older, I find that my demands for weapons have started to change. Earlier in life, I would only ask a single job of a single weapon (deer gun, home protection, etc.). Today, I want a more versatile weapon; one that can do multiple things well.


The Taurus Judge will do everything a pump shotgun will with regards to home protection. You have tons of choices for rounds: .45 LC hollow-points, .45 LC cowboy (bear killers), .45 LC ball, .410 buckshot, .410 slugs, and the PDX1 410 (combines three defense disc projectiles with 12 plated BB shot) and many more. You can overcome the five-round capacity with speed loaders, which allow you to reload and get back into the fight quickly. I also use this pistol for bear/cougar protection while I am bowhunting. As an added bonus, if I encounter a grouse while bowhunting, I can easily dispatch it without ruining an expensive arrow setup (designed for a deer). The best I’ve done with my Judge was about 20m for a grouse.

Rethink Your Shotgun
(Taurus Judge ammo selection. Image courtesy of

Taurus Judge specifications/features