Smith and Wesson Governor: A look into this powerful firearm

Initially produced by legendary firearm manufacturers Smith and Wesson Governor was designed late in the 2010’s and finally released in 2011 and since has taken the gun world by storm. Smith and Wesson sought out to change the revolver game for ever, and boy did they deliver. The Smith and Wesson Governor is a fairly large but very lightweight handgun (under 30 unloaded) due to its construction and unique alloys.

But do not let the lightweight fool you this gun packs one hell of a punch! The Smith and Wesson Governor can fire 2 1/2 inch 410 shotgun shells, .45 Colt, and .45 ACP. Yes you read that correctly, a revolver that can fire shotgun shells! Former President Theodore Roosevelt once said “Speak softly and carry a big stick” can you imagine what President Roosevelt would say about this beast of a handgun?

Smith and Wesson Governor
The Governor

Competition For Smith and Wesson Governor: Is there any?

Not many Gun manufacturers today can say that they have produced a revolver quite on the level of The Governor. However, there are a couple. Let break down this clash of the (revolver) titans.

A gun that is often compared to the Smith and Wesson Governor is the Judge from Taurus. It almost sounds like a movie title “The Governor vs. The Judge”! The Judge another revolver initially release in 2006 and is still produced today. The Judge was the first five shot revolver manufactured by Taurus, chambered for .410 bore shot shells and the .45 Colt cartridge. The Judge is marketed as an anti carjacking and home defense firearm.

Though Taurus deliberately designed the Judge to fire shot shells, the Judge does not qualify as a “short-barreled shotgun” under the National Firearms Act of 1934 as its rifled barrel makes it a regular handgun. However, under California state law The Judge is illegal to possess in the state.

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The Showdown

First comparison is the cylinders. The stock Judge is a five-shot and The Governor is a six-shot. However, there are certain models of The Judge which are six-shot.

Next up is what will go in the cylinders. The ammo. The immediate advantage that The Judge has over The Governor is capable over holding another cartridge. Both of the guns can hold .45 Colt and 2 1/2 inch .410 shot shells. The Governor can also carry .45 ACP. Chalk this one up to The Governor.

Lets look into the sights. The Governor comes equipped with rear notch and tritium front blade, which makes shooting in the dark or low light that much easier. The Judge comes equipped with fiber optic front sight, just about as good as the Tritium sight with exception that the fiber optic does not glow in the dark. Another W for The Governor.

Next up the measurements. While we would agree that measurements are all subjective to the firearm owner. The Governor comes in at 8.5 inches in length, a 2.75 inch barrel, and a height of 5.5 inches. The Judge is 7.5 inches in length, with a 3 inch barrel, and a height of 5.39 inches. Both firearms are less than 30 oz (approximately 29 oz). So it would come down to your personal preference of which firearm fits your grip better. Personally I prefer my firearm to a bit longer on the end of the barrel.


In our opinion if you are in the market for a fine revolver you cant go wrong with either The Judge or The Governor. However, if both are available we would have to recommend The Governor. It is a bit larger (only by a short margin), it is better suitable to shoot at night (could be very useful if hunting small game, snakes, or other intrusive pests) and it can carry another cartridge!

But don’t take our word for it! Check out both these fine firearms and give them a go

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