[For those who] regularly drive three or four hours at time or who drive a lot in the worst areas of big cities, the question is: What gun can I keep in my car for self defense? ... In my mind, one gun stands out above the rest for this application–the Taurus Judge Public Defender.
The Public Defender is a five shot revolver that holds either .45 long colt or .410 shotgun shells, or a combination of the two.
When Taurus debuted the Judge revolver family a few years back, they did something nobody saw coming–they turned the handgun world upside down. The Public Defender is a bit meatier than a .357 magnum with a similar length barrel, but its recoil is more comparable to a .38 Special and its self-defense advantages are similar to that of a small gauge shotgun.
The Judge family in general, and the Public Defender in specific, became so popular that Federal Ammunition starting loading .410 self-defense rounds specifically for handgun applications. These rounds contain nine big pellets in each shell. In a self-defense situation where a carjacker is holding his own gun and trying to pull your car door open, a Public Defender loaded with this ammo turns the tables quickly.
...The whole line of Taurus Judge revolvers is excellent, and they come in many variations–ranging from one with a polymer frame to a larger Judge with a six-inch barrel... However, the Public Defender is my favorite for the very reason Taurus provides on their website: “The ‘Public Defender’ delivers…devastating firepower in a…scaled down size that can travel with you.”
Hat tip: BadBlue Guns.