Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Friends is friends and business is business.

I can't remember where I saw the quote, maybe in an old "Cooper's Corner" column in Guns & Ammo back in the day, but it went:
"Yes, but what's it for?"

"Why, to sell, of course!"
Much derision has been heaped on Taurus in certain sectors of the shooting community for their ridiculous "Judge" series of .410/.45LC revolvers, but judging from sales numbers, Taurus has been laughing all the way to the bank. Something about the idea of a shotgun shell, even an anemic .410 bore, in a pistol tends to make the ballistic illiterati want to whip out the VISA® like nothing else I've ever seen.

America's premier revolver manufacturer could only watch it rain soup for so long before they had to stick out a spoon themselves. I predict it will be a sales success, given one caveat: The street price is going to have to be reasonable. I don't mean to cast aspersions on any certain demographic, but in my experience, the Venn diagram of those who are willing and able to dump a kilobuck on a brand-name Scandium alloy revolver and those who think a .410 revolving shot pistol is the bee's knees contains very little in the way of overlap.

In comments at ToddG's place, someone lamented
Smith and Wesson released THIS instead of an M&P10?
thereby demonstrating scant grasp of the mechanics of the gun business. An M&P10 would be cool, and they'd sell about five of 'em. The market has spoken, and it wasn't in 10mm-ese. Revolving shot pistols, on the other hand, which make about as much sense as a kickstand on a tank, are selling like sno-cones in Hades. And so it goes...

It's all about the Benjamins.

36 comments:

Sockmonkey said...

My buddy's wife wants a Judge. She wants the small size of a pistol (yes, I realize I said small about *that* pistol) - and she wants it to shoot something that won't go through multiple walls of the house. She wants a revolver for the relative simplicity of the thing. We've tried to talk her into a regular shotgun, or a better pistol, but to no avail. Seems like there is a distinct market for that idea. Oh, and putting a rail on the end so she can add a flashlight? Golden...

Cybrludite said...

Clearly I've fallen through some sort of hole in time, and it's April 1st, right?

og said...

Always wished someone would so a "Website of misfit guns", loaded with pictures and specs of firearms modern and antique that are impractical, unusual, sold extraordinarily well despite epic lameness, and etc.

The flagsdhip firearms would have to be the Judge and the Guv'ner

WV untatium. What the very finest potato guns are composed of.

Tango Juliet said...

I have no need whatsoever for a Judge. I am better off with a handgun for SD purposes (if I can't get to an AR.)

Bram said...

As Tam noted, the job of Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ: SWHC)managment is to maximize shareholder value. If selling .410 shotgun pistols - or 10mm or 10 gauge pistols - will make them money, that's what they should do.

The Judge and this thing look like they would be fun to shoot for a few minutes. I would never actually pay for one.

Anonymous said...

Revolving shot-pistols aren't my cup of tea. Anyone who says they need one for snakes and such hasn't actually shot a snake with "snake shot" before since the CCI 38special snake shot cartridges will destroy a 4' rattler's head at distances that require you to shoot (I'm sure the 44s are even better). But if someone wants one, that's their business.

Every one of these sold is one less vintage S&W revolver purchased, so that leaves more for me. :D

Besides, anything that energizes sales in the gun industry is a good thing.

Chris

SpeakerTweaker said...

I'm old enough - thankfully, thanks to the right parts of the internets (lookin at you, Tam) - to know better, but the Good Guy in me still wants to jump in and throw a flag every time I hear the Judge being touted from across the gun counter. Sure, it's cool if that's what you're into, but even guys that I was giving partial credit for knowing at least some stuff are taking Shotgun is teh Majick Wandz Joo Cant Miss!!!1! and mixing it with Fits In Holster/Nightstand, pouring it over .45 Colt is SuperMegaUltra to sell these things.

Alas, I stand there patiently until someone lets me hold what I want to hold. I still hope the guy eyeing the Judge asks me my opinion, though.



tweaker

JohnW said...

Isn't right about now when the used-gun counters should be packed with Judges unloaded by disgruntled owners? Where are they?

Tam said...

JohnW,

Most Tauruses (indeed, most handguns) never get used enough for their owners to become disgruntled.

If you wanted to, you could design a centerfire gun that would crumble to dust after the 500th round was fired and maybe one in ten owners would ever find out about it (and the other nine would call them "bashers"...)

Anonymous said...

Couldn't they at least have modernized the LeMat?

Ed Rasimus said...

Direct hit!!! I sneered at the Judge when it first came out and have told a handful of friends who were oohhing and ahhing over the concept that is was, to quote Cooper, "A solution to a problem that does not exist."

If someone is worried about shooting through the wallboard when they are occupied with repelling invaders of the homestead, then load up with Glasers.

BobG said...

"As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it."
- Dick Cavett

Tam said...

BobG,

"No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the record for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." -H.L. Mencken

CTone said...

Something nobody mentions with the Judge is that .410 handguns are very blasty. That's not a handy feature.

They do sell like hotcakes at the local Ganderous Mountainous, and I have to say that the Taurus commercial with the petite woman pulverizing watermelon like she was the new Gallager is quite effective. Something tells me though that the mighty .410 may not actually cause melon to explode.

Anonymous said...

Should have called it The Govenator

All hype, no performance.

Gerry

Tam said...

ZING! :D

Gewehr98 said...

Hmmm...

.410 buckshot or slug loads, running at .45 Long Colt pressures...

Wonder how much chamber wall thickness there is in that long cylinder. Enough to build a .444 Marlin 5-shot revolver? :-)

Sounds like it's time for me to pick up a donor gun for experimentation!

Exodus said...

Wait wait. Back up. Modernized LeMat.

9 shots of .357 rotating about a 28ga axis (since apparently the new Judge can run 28ga without running afoul of the rules.)

Do one in .327 FedMag while we're at it, so we can play with all those lonely .32 derivatives.

I realize that the center mini shotty precludes rail placement under the barrel - I can live with that. :)

Call me crazy, but this has much more appeal to me than any Judge or derivative.

If you need me I'll be playing Red Dead Redemption.

Tam said...

Gewehr98,

"Wonder how much chamber wall thickness there is in that long cylinder. Enough to build a .444 Marlin 5-shot revolver?"

With the Smith, I think your limiting factor would be more the alloy frame than the cylinder dimensions.

Weren't some BFRs done up in .444?

Matt said...

If you're a serious shooter, who's interested in serious metrics of utility for all your guns, it's not for you. And if you want beauty...well, Taurus knows they'll never get you as a customer anyway.

It's all about being over-the-top stupid-fun. It's cool because it's weird. And useless for any practical purpose.

Honestly? If I didn't have actual _useful_ guns I need to replace out of the firearm budget right now, I'd buy one. But I'm not going to try and pretend there's any rational justification for it.

Don Meaker said...

Me, I want a modernized pepper box. With a feature that lets all barrels go off at once by intention.

Beaumont said...

- Big +1 on the modernized Lemat. -Capitalism is a wonderful thing; the market throws up all sorts of products for all sorts of interests, & those products are not required to be particularly useful, as long as the maker believes they will sell. Those who bemoan this state of affairs can end up sounding rather Marxist.

Eric said...

Isn't it just a touch ironic for Smith to be copying Taurus?

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, the Judge fills a notch and it does a damned good job of that. I just love the "GNOBS" which is my term for gun snobs, who bitch about everything. I have one and I like it after several hundred rounds of .410 and 45. A little practice and use is a wonderful thing. If you haven't owned and used one quite a bit STFU. OBTW, I'm older than dirt and have owned and still own(and use) a shitload of firearms. Rant off!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I suppose, with that long cylinder, you might could chamber a 454 Casull round in that super light revolver. I wonder if they warn against that. -- Lyle

Tam said...

Anon 3:24,

I'm pretty sure you meant it fills a "niche".

Sincerely,

An "ENOB"

Eric said...

I think an M&P10 would refer to a M&P rifle in .308 like the AR-10, and not a pistol chambered in 10mm.

Tam said...

Eric,

Congregation, let us pray...

;)

Anonymous said...

Mea culpa! Thank you Tam! That is of course what I meant. However, most people understand( if they are not......). You I believe are a Southern girl so you know a niche and a notch are very similar. It's all in what we understand!

John said...

If SHOT's going to be about answers without questions catching on, somebody please bring back the autorevolver.

My Mateba's lonely, and I'm not sure a Rhino's going to be enough company to make it happy.

Exodus said...

Cheer up Judge/Governator/whatever fans. I found a dumber gun by carefully perusing some SHOT show literature I found on the onlines.

http://issuu.com/shotbusiness/docs/shotdaily_day1

If you're as bored or starved for gun info as I appear to be, you'll note a new Mossberg "Home Defense" matte black OVER UNDER Picatinny-railed shotgun. A "tacti-cool" superposed.

Honest.

Yet the updated LeMat remains untouched (and for that matter, where's my reproduction C96? Uberti, I'm lookin' at YOU!)

Keads said...

Ok, last stab at this before I assume that posting after 12 hour days is a bad idea!

Tam,

Although not as blatant as the "Governor", I have to postulate that Smith has already "stuck the spoon out the window" with the Bodyguard .380Semi and the .38 Special Bodyguard Revolver modeled on the Ruger LCR.

Retail price points are close for the Smith .380 compared to equipping a Kel-Tec P3-AT or Ruger LCP with an after marker laser to the Smith .380.

Wholesale is workable too!

Mikael said...

I wouldn't mind having one... I mean hot .45LC loads outperform .44 magnum... but it wouldn't make my top 10 want-to-have list.

...and for 'cool' factor, I'd rather have a mare's leg. And I haven't even seen the tv-series that birthed the idea.

Anonymous said...

When I see someone shot a clean round of skeet with one, I'll think about it. Until then I'll pass.

wv - pings - garands on the last shot.

jimbob86 said...

"Something about the idea of a shotgun shell, even an anemic .410 bore, in a pistol tends to make the ballistic illiterati want to whip out the VISA® like nothing else I've ever seen."

I spent a day and a half and and over a dozen posts at TFL trying to explain to the "ballistic illiterati" (LOL!) exactly why this was a poor choice for SD, only to be asked again and again, "Why do you think it is not a good gun? What did Taurus ever do to you that made you such a Hater?" I guess it's like trying to tell Wildebeeste that crossing Croc infested rivers is dangerous: they are going to do it anyhow.....

Anonymous said...

+10 on the Modernised LeMat!
8 or 9 rounds of .357 round a 20 gauge barrel.
If the bad guys' still running at you after 9 rounds of .357, a load of 20 gauge buckshot at point blank range should have some effect...