I said "legally" available at pistol length, as majority of states do not allow pistol length 12 gauges. Regarding the .410 cartridge, the 00 and 000 buckshot cartridges at 2.5 inch usually have 4 pellets. As 95% of encounters are with in 10 yards, any .410 load would have plenty of penetration to do the job. At 10 yards, birdshot will put a hole in you big enough for a beer can. Of course, you wouldn't believe that because I feel you're just doing searches on others' experience and not your own. The .410 also has a very tight grouping, I am not sure what you've heard or where you're getting your information, the only reason a Judge will have a wider grouping then your suggested 12 gauge is obviously because of the shorter barrel. .The recoil on the pistol does tend to cause vertical spreading of buckshot loads, but at 10 yards that's not going to be an issue.
I'm not arguing that the 12 gauge isn't more effective then a .410, but for you to say a .410 isn't going to have the stopping power to kill someone is pretty ignorant. Would you stand in front of someone at even 30 yards with a .410? Fact of the matter is for someone not very familiar with firearms, a .410 pistol would be ideal for self defense. If at 10 yards you're not able to hit a target, you shouldn't be shooting a gun anyways.
People really underestimate the power of firearms. The biggest deer my dad ever killed was shot with a .22 at 60 yards. And people don't think a .22 is deadly?
First off, forget the 12 gauge pistol. I don't care if it's legal and it has nothing to do with our conversation - neither of us have suggested using it.
Since you imply my experience is voyeuristic at best, I'll offer my experience here: I've been shooting for 31 years and hunting for 26. I am a former Marine and spent 4 years as part of a heavy weapons platoon. I've shot everything from black-powder to M-60's, M-249's, M-2's and MK19's. I will however concede that I have not fired the judge.
I do supplement my knowledge by reading facts (i.e. This is what we found firing x round into ballistic gelatin,) but not opinion (i.e. This is a good/bad cartridge for self defense.)
With regard to the spread of the judge vs. my suggested shotgun you first tell me the judge has a fine spread and then tell me that it would have a wider pattern "obviously because of the shorter barrel." Seems like your words support my position that it would have a wider spread. Thanks.
With regard to your next paragraph you offer a slew of assertions with little more than the assertions themselves to support the conclusions. Would I be inclined to stand in front of a judge or any other firearm while someone fires it? Of course not. Very few people are stupid enough to try to stop rounds with their body. Your implication here seems to be that, because I wouldn't stand in front of it, it must be a good self defense weapon. I wouldn't stand in front of a .22 short either. Doesn't make it good for the job at hand.
Moreover your assertion "Fact of the matter is for someone not very familiar with firearms, a .410 pistol would be ideal for self defense." is still nothing more than your opinion-even if you call it a fact.
I do agree that you should be able to consistently hit your target before you rely on a firearm to save your life. If you can't hit the target, keep training.
Lastly, that your father is hunting deer with a .22 (assuming rimfire?) is disappointing. I'm willing to bet he had to pull off a head shot to take a deer with a .22. Not only is that unethical, in most states it's illegal. I'll explain why if you'd like me to.
I'd be interested to see any work that you've done to flesh out (pun intended) the terminal ballistics of the judge. It could be I am all wrong on this. If I am I'll admit it, but right now I don't think I am.
Back you to Rajj -