Keeping a gun close at all times includes keeping one with you when you are in your car. For many people this simply means they put their concealed carry gun in the console or under the seat whenever they get into their vehicle.
However, for others 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.
That number of big pellets blowing out the end of the barrel allows you to get a kill shot or at least stop the aggression, even under duress.
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.”
No matter how well a gun is designed or how flawlessly it operates, it’s no good to you unless it’s easy to keep close at hand. The Public Defender is easy to keep close at hand.