Best Ammo for a Taurus Judge

Quality ammunition determines smooth loading and shooting experiences, and when you are handling a revolver that has the capacity of a Taurus Judge, you definitely want the best. This handgun option is a powerful choice and is popular as a protective trail gun, and in some cases, as a self-defense carry choice.

With the ability to chamber both a .45 Colt and .410 shotshell, this is a fun option for quite a few shooting experiences. Take a look at our ammunition selection for this unique weapon to explore all its capabilities. 

Here’s A Quick Look of Our 6 Best .410 and .45 Ammos For Taurus Judge

Best .410 Shotshell Picks

Best .45 Colt Picks

The Taurus Judge Series

The Judge revolver was designed with close range, novel self-defense design in mind. It was originally called the 4510, but acquired the new name after rumors painted a picture of Miami county judges carrying them as protection in the courtroom. Whether that is true or not, the story provided an excellent marketing opportunity, and the revolver has become a popular choice for a variety of reasons. 

Raging Judge Magnum laid on a red rug.
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Available in 3 and 6 inch barrel lengths, it is bored at a 2.5 cylinder length to handle 5 rounds of a .45 Colt or .410 shotshell. There is also a model designed with a 6.5 inch field barrel and bored at 3 inches to handle the .410-bore shotgun shell. 

Despite the fact it can handle a shotgun load, it is not considered a short-barreled shotgun under the National Firearms Act due to the rifling in the barrel. This compromise helps keep the payload from spreading out to the point they are worthless. This rifling is defined by 6 shallow grooves and a 1:12-inch twist. 

Although designed with self-defense in mind, there are a lot better choices for that particular need- especially when conceal carrying. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective for that purpose if you choose to carry in such a manner. Just be aware for a CCW the .45 cal is the highest revolver option you can qualify with and concealing with a .410 chambered will be illegal (although not for open carry). 

What the gun has become popular with is the protective ability it provides as a trail gun, and for fun shooting opportunities. Loaded with a shotshell it is great for shooting snakes, clay pigeons, popping balloon targets, or really anything else you might zero in on with a traditional shotgun. Loaded with a .45, it can take down small game with no problem, and make something threatening, such as a bear, take pause.

.45 Colt vs .410 Shotshell

Focused shot on hand holding a Taurus Judge ble steel body.
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What truly makes the Judge such a novel revolver is its ammunition capabilities. A .45 Colt caliber load is heavy, dependable, and provides a more powerful and higher velocity shot for both close range and longer target acquisition. It comes in various weight options to meet the velocity and energy needs of your target. 

But what makes the Judge as popular as it is surrounds the .410 load options. These are low pressure loading for close range targets, and as mentioned can ruin a snake’s day with no problem. Up close, you can do a human quite a bit or damage as well, but the pressure is such to provide a peppering of penetration that may not be much deeper than a few inches.

Shotgun shells are either filled with birdshot as a 2.5 inch size with various weights, or most buckshot as a 3 inch shell. Most Taurus Judges handle a variety of 2.5 inch shells, but as mentioned, the 6.5 inch barrel model does have 3 inch shell capabilities. 

.45 Colt Particulars

The weight of your .45 Colt load will determine the velocity and energy of your round. In a 2.5 inch shell the heavier the load the slower the velocity, but the more energy it lends to the shot. 


Cartridges of .45 ACP pistols ammo.

These plain lead bullets with no casings. They are slow and not very powerful, but they are excellent for training and practice. 

Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP)

Lead with hollow points expand upon impact, making them great for self-defense. 

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

Popular and very common, these are lead bullets with a copper or hard metal jacket. Great for training and target practice, they also are great for day to day carrying. 

Open Tip Match (OTM)

These are highly accurate and consistent. They are similar to a hollow point but are specifically for target and competition shooting. 

Ballistic Tips

Ballistic tips ammo in a white background.

Ballistic tips have amazing stopping power and are excellent for distance accuracy. 

Bonded Ammunition

Great for self-defense, these rounds have a bonded jacket to the core. Great for self-defense, they are not great for target practice due to their higher price point. 

 .410 Shotshell Particulars

As mentioned, the majority of the .410 is a 2.5 inch birdshot. Birdshot comes in various sizes, but each shell more or less contains a half ounce of shot. A #6 shot, for example, is smaller than a #9 despite them weighing the same. A #6 might be good for dove hunting, while a #9 may be a choice for skeet shooting. They also will have various scatter patterns, although the length of the Judge will keep them in closer proximity than if you fired them out of a larger barrel.

Twelve gauge ammunition of different lenghts next to each other

For the Judge, you may want to stick to the #6 to #8 range if you are shooting a 2.5 inch shell. 

On that note, #00 and #000 weight options are available in a 2.5 inch shell. These are defined by 3 or 4 larger pellet loads and are considered the best close range defense option. 

Top 6 of the .410 and .45 Ammo For Taurus Judge Reviews

There is a lot of ammo available for the Judge models, and you can definitely pick and choose from a wide variety of weights and sizes to determine which is your favorite for various shooting scenarios. We’ve provided some top picks based on dependable brand manufacturing and load popularity. 

Best .410 Shotshell Picks

The .410 shell capabilities is truly what puts this revolver on the map. It is a great defensive, if not necessarily lethal round, and is seriously fun to shoot. 

1. Remington – STS 410 Bore 2-1/2″ Ammo

  • Weight: #8.5 shot size, ½ ounce
  • Rounds: 25

The Remington STS .410 Bore has ½ ounce of  #8.5 birdshot to provide an excellent close range target scatter pattern. It provides a muzzle velocity of 1200 feet per second and is excellent for trail protection as well. Designed as a target load for consistent shooting of skeet and similar type practice opportunities, it provides unmatched reloading ease and hull longevity. 

Best .410 Target Loads

When you want to have some serious fun with your Judge model, this is a great round to play with. Affordable and fun, you can have a great time exploring what it can do. 

2. Winchester – Super X High Brass 410 Gauge Ammo

  • Weight: #8.5 shot size, ½ ounce
  • Rounds: 25

Available in both the 2.5 inch and 3 inch shell, they take advantage of both ½ ounces of #6 shot, or 11/16th of #7.5 shot respectively. Winchester is a leading manufacturer of dependable ammo, and these two options are no exception. Great for target shooting, small game, and basic protection as well. 

Best .410 Target Loads

Great for target shooting, it also is a bit heavier overall for basic protection purposes. It might not stop large threats, but can do some damage, and will definitely take care of snakes, rodents, and birds without issue. 

3. Federal – Premium Personal Defense Ammo 410 Bore 2-1/2″ #000 Shot

  • Weight: #6 shot size, ½ ounce; #7.5 shot size, 11/16th ounce
  • Rounds: 25

This #000 shot includes a 4 pellet payload that provides an 850 feet per second velocity for incredibly disruptive close range shooting scenarios. Created specifically for handgun self-defense, if you prefer to use a shotshell in this capacity, the larger buckshot option has dependable threat stopping power. 

Best .410 Target Loads

Buckshot has some serious stopping power, especially at close range. Get rid of threatening animals on the trail, or stop significant t threats in their tracks to give you time to get to safety. 

Best .45 Colt Picks

A .45 Colt load is a lethal option that in no way can be mistaken for anything less. It is the ultimate self-defense option for the Judge series, and is what diversifies the gun to be used in multiple scenarios. These options are some of the best brands you can buy, and reflect weights for both differences in velocity and energy so you can get exactly what you need. As mentioned, the .45 is what allows the Judge to become a conceal carry option since it is the heaviest caliber you can qualify with. 

4. Hornady – Critical Defense Ammo 45 Long Colt 185GR FTX

  • Weight: 185 grain, Flex Tip Expanding
  • Rounds: 20

Hornady is one of the best when it comes to ammunition creation and manufacturing. Their Critical Defense .45 Long Colt provides a lighter 185 grain for an incredible velocity, and powerful energy delivery. With enhanced controlled expansion and reduced recoil in lightweight handgun designs, this is a reliable round you will be happy to have on the ready when needed. 

Best .410 Target Loads

This is a lighter .45 Colt option for targets that might be a more of a distance. The weight allows a higher velocity and accuracy, and with practice you don’t have to wait for your target to move closer. 

5. Winchester – Silvertip Ammo 45 Long Colt 225GR HP

  • Weight: 225 grain, Silvertip JHP
  • Rounds: 20

Winchester is another name you can’t go wrong with, and their Silvertip .45 Long Colt is specifically designed for maximum stopping power and personal defense scenarios. With a velocity of 920 fps, and a 423 energy load, nothing that gets within range is going to get much closer against this powerhouse. Perfect for personal carry and field protection, the precise accuracy of this load is with having on hand. 

Best .410 Target Loads

When you are unsure of which .45 round to buy, this is a great choice to feel out. It is light enough for a dependable velocity, but also heavy enough for improved damage. 

6. Remington – High Terminal Performance Ammo 45 Long Colt 230GR JHP

  • Weight: 230 grain, JHP
  • Rounds: 50

With a name like High Terminal Performance Ammo, you know the round has to have some serious energy and expansion design behind it’s making. Created by Remington, this is a serious caliber option packaged in a 230 grain weight casing and a jacketed hollow point for incredible expansion and damage upon impact. With a 850 fps velocity and 369 energy load, you are working with a seriously deadly load. 

Best .410 Target Loads

If self-defense is your main reason for owning a Judge, this is the round you cannot go wrong with. Heavy, yet with an incredible energy load and velocity that makes you think again, keep this one on hand. 


These ammo picks are favored choices by those who own the Taurus Judge. For the most part the .410 shells are not your best self-defense options if you are looking for a terminal load, although the #000 options can be quite damaging (as can the others in close range). They are a great overall protective load, however, and actually are a ton of fun to shoot. 

The .45 Colt options are a pretty lethal load that has some pretty incredible energy and velocity. They are a heavier weight but provide some great accuracy and power. Whichever you choose (or both), be sure to always practice with your choices to become familiar with what each can do.

See the best ammo for the Taurus G2C here.