"New Toy" range report: S&W Governor

This is a discussion on "New Toy" range report: S&W Governor within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Okay, I purchased a Smith & Wesson Governor a couple of weeks ago from Gilbert's Guns specifically because they are a site supporter. I got ...

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Thread: "New Toy" range report: S&W Governor

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Exclamation "New Toy" range report: S&W Governor

    Okay, I purchased a Smith & Wesson Governor a couple of weeks ago from Gilbert's Guns specifically because they are a site supporter. I got a very good deal on a Governor with the Crimson Trace Laser Sights. The gun arrived to my FFL/gunsmith within about four days since I'd ordered it on a Thursday. When I first took possession, I was struck by the extremely light weight for such a large framed firearm. Such a difference from the Taurus Public Defender I'd previously owned but sold over a safety issue (locking mechanism kept partially setting ITSELF without any actions from me -- just by dry firing and manipulating the action) before ever even firing it once. But I'd kept all the ammo I had accumulated in anticipation. So I picked up the gun from the FFL and took it to my favorite range (South Florida Shooting Range - Gun Store, Firearms Training, Ammunition) which is right across the warehouse complex from my 'Smith and so it was very convenient! At the range I was stunned by the felt recoil from the loads I tried -- basically 45 Colt and the 410. I'd not loaded the full moon clips because it was very difficult so I decided to forego that until I could get the tools from Brownell's that my 'Smith had recommended. Was notified that they'd shipped today. ANYWAY, My first shot was 45 Colt and dang if that thing didn't offer a sharper sense of felt recoil than my S&W 460 XVR with the 5 inch ported barrel! I mean it was a KABOOM! My hand ached after five slow fire shots. But accuracy was superb, especially with the laser. I ran 10 rounds of the 45 Colt initially. Five aimed using the laser and the sights. The laser came pre-zeroed with that dot sitting right atop the front sight as I aimed. Very nice. I also fired five from a low center two handed hold using just the laser and that was just as accurate as using the iron sights. The front sight is Tritium. To be fair, my first loads of the Colt 45 were from MagSafe so it was a defensive load. Still I was surprised because the firms OTHER loads don't kick nearly as hard from a 45acp or the 9mm or even the .30-30. But still those loads were extremely accurate well out to over 15 yards. Then I tried the 410, first using a bird shot load. I started up close at about 10 feet and gradually increased the range out to about 7 yards. That load kicked very hard as well. I moved on to the 000 Buckshot and surprise, that load was worth about half the recoil of the other loads yet up close I got a single ragged hole so tight was the grouping. There was also a large rip in the target which I think was the wad and shot-cup. I kept increasing the range to the target for the buckshot to see how big the spread would be at the various ranges. The buckshot stayed on the torso out to about 15 yards. That's pretty good. IMHO.WP_000112.jpgWP_000106.jpgWP_000104.jpgWP_000100.jpgWP_000091.jpgWP_000110.jpg

    The third picture was rapid fire 45 Colt from a position of retention at about 4 yards or so. The next pic #4 was my first two loads of buckshot and I was stunned at the tight groups and also at the odd placement of the wadding/cup for them both, at about the 11:00 position yet one of the shots was deliberately placed fairly low. I ordered a DeSantis holster made specifically for "The Judge." It was reasonably priced on a par with Galco and maybe a bit less expensive than Galco. I'm happy with the holster. It's very comfy and the draw is nice and smooth but not too tight or too loose. But this is in no way something designed for IWB! Strictly OWB. The 5th pic is done solely with the 45 Colt loads, but not MagSafe, in this case they were commercial reloads and a bit less powerful. Still quite accurate. I lengthened the range from 21 feet out to about 50 feet using the same target. The last pic shows the holster and the loads including a fully loaded full moon clip. That was a finger buster to get that set up. Pic #1 shows the piece and the various loads it chambers including the full moon clip for the 45 acp. Pic #2 is me wearing the DeSantis under a cover garment. I still didn't quite have my belt tightened up for street carry. I leave it looser for comfort when I'm home.
    Last edited by ExSoldier; April 3rd, 2012 at 12:21 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Senior Member Array mwhartman's Avatar
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    Congrats! I have the Judge and enjoy it.
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    Very nice. That'll take care of business.

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    test fired a Governor a few months ago and got similar results to yours. Didn't think the recoil was much more than my other large firearms. I thought it was a capable gun and very effective when mixed loads were used. Enjoy your new addition.
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    VIP Member Array old grunt's Avatar
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    Good luck with it. A great "deck broom" to ride in the car or truck with you !
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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babarock View Post
    test fired a Governor a few months ago and got similar results to yours. Didn't think the recoil was much more than my other large firearms. I thought it was a capable gun and very effective when mixed loads were used. Enjoy your new addition.
    I took it to the range again tonight. I think the much sharper recoil is due to the CT laser grips which are also quite thin. If they were fatter and more substantial to absorb the recoil like the ones on my 460, it'd be no trouble at all.
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    I have had mine for two months and your review is right on. I use the moon clips with 45acp, but I bought a tool, the original Moonclip tool and it makes the clips easy yo use. I carry with 45 colt mixed with a defensive 410 shell loaded with three dics and pellets. It has become one of my favorite range guns and the 45 acp is reasonable when on sale. A friend carries a judge as backup when wild pig hunting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hcrtex View Post
    I have had mine for two months and your review is right on. I use the moon clips with 45acp, but I bought a tool, the original Moonclip tool and it makes the clips easy yo use. I carry with 45 colt mixed with a defensive 410 shell loaded with three dics and pellets. It has become one of my favorite range guns and the 45 acp is reasonable when on sale. A friend carries a judge as backup when wild pig hunting.
    I sent away for the moon tool and a mandrel from Brownells and it's a good thing too. Tonight I shot a full moon clip for the first time and I'm calling Smith & Wesson customer service tomorrow. After that first clip was expended the empty cases STUCK inside the cylinder! I couldn't budge them until I put the ejector rod on a table and hammered the the butt downward. Sheeeeesh! If that had been real, I'd be dead if I'd needed to reload. I think I'll stick to the 410 shot in 000 buck. It's an up close and personal type of piece anyway.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    BTW Hcrtex, WELCOME TO THE FORUM!
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    congrads
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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    UPDATE

    Took the Governor to the range again last night. Soon it will be on it's way back to the factory for repair! It chambered, fired and extracted both 45 colt and the 410 fodder of all types. But last night I tried the 45ACP in the full moon clip for the first time. Before firing the clips slid in and out just as slick as can be. After clipping off all six MagSafe loads (my normal carry load here in South Florida), I tried to extract the spent cases and .... THEY WERE STUCK INSIDE THE CYLINDER! STUCK HARD AND FAST! I had to put the end of the ejector rod on the carpet and use my WEIGHT over about a 15 minute period to get the clip out of the cylinder. So today I called Smith Customer Service and they're sending me a shipping label to send it to the factory. ~SIGH~ I really love that gun, too. The tightness of the 000 Buckshot groups is not to be believed even out to 30 feet, they all stayed Center of Mass. Out to about 15 feet it was one ragged hole. I hope they can fix it convincingly. I'll probably just carry it with the mix of 000 Buckshot and Colt loads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    I took it to the range again tonight. I think the much sharper recoil is due to the CT laser grips which are also quite thin. If they were fatter and more substantial to absorb the recoil like the ones on my 460, it'd be no trouble at all.
    That could very well be the case. The unit I tried had stock grips and they were kinda thick and a little soft. Sorry you are having problems. Hopefully S&W will take care of you.
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    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    I'd lose the Mag-Safe ammo for carry. Back when Joe Zambone owned the company, it was pretty reliable, and I never saw any over-pressure loads. I've seen several in recent years. I suspect that may be the cause of the stuck cases. Besides, you can do much better than Mag-Safe for carry loads.

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    The accuracy is astounding. The grips would be my bet as well, but if the laser is of more use/comfort than I'd just stick with the CTC. I'm also with John here on the Magsafe. I would have went with some other stuff first, and then tried defensive ammo just to see what the difference is, but at least S&W is taking good care of you. Good luck with the replacement/repair.

    I've been thinking about one of these just for in-home defense. Two Federal .410 OOO Buck shotshells (I saw a clip of this load completely penetrating a ballistic gel block) followed by four .45ACP +P rounds would be pretty hard hitting. My apartment is small enough that a regular shotgun is nearly impractical for anything unless I have the time to bunker down with it.
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    thanks for the welcome!! Hope you get some answers from s&w as I haven't had a problem.

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