Smith and Wesson Governor

This is a discussion on Smith and Wesson Governor within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just put one of these on layaway for my first EDC gun.. It was a little large, but i've been reading people have been ...

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Thread: Smith and Wesson Governor

  1. #1
    New Member Array kharaa's Avatar
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    Smith and Wesson Governor

    I just put one of these on layaway for my first EDC gun.. It was a little large, but i've been reading people have been able to do it with no problem, and its probably just my unfamiliarity with carrying.

    I ultimately decided on it because of it's capability to fire .45 ACP which is a great defensive round, and the versatility behind it, with the fact that it's a revolver.. I like the simplicity of revolvers and the basic guarantee that when I pull the trigger it goes boom.

    I do have a couple of small questions about it. I know that firing .45 ACP out of it lowers the velocities a bit, should I be running +p 230 gr hydra-shoks/gold dots through it for my defensive load? I'll be using Winchester PDX1's for my .410 ammo, and after seeing the results in a couple of ballistic tests (with sim test gelatin) I have no qualms about using it.

    What should I be using though for .45lc? and which holster should I be buying for it? I'm about 6 feet tall and 240lbs

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    What made you choose that gun in particular?

    While the .45 ACP is a great defensive round - so are many others, in smaller calibers. Also, you will be losing a lot of the advantages of a .45 ACP if you shoot it out of this platform:
    Magazine capacity - you will have 6 rounds, and are you carrying a speed reloader? Do they make one for that size of cylinder?
    Performance - You will lose velocity both because of the very long "chamber" in the cylinder, as well as the barrel/cylinder gap, and the short barrel.
    I don't know if the "Governor" is rated for +P 45 ACP ammo. I would ask S&W that question - although the description they list says the cylinder is steel, so that's good (from a strength standpoint at least).

    It seems clear that the gun is designed to be used with .410 ammo. I doubt the performance of 6 .410 shells is equal to many guns (including revolvers) that are comparable in size and weight, but I suppose there is something to be gained by firing multiple projectiles at once. Personally I wouldn't want to do something like that off my own property - but self defense is a personal choice. It takes all kinds.

    As for .45 LC - whether the gun is capable of firing +P loads is the real question. The standard pressure .45 LC loads are nothing too impressive - although a .452 bullet going 800 fps will certainly do some damage. Buffalo Bore makes some self defense .45 LC loads - I would suggest to start looking there.

    I don't know if anyone even makes holsters for guns like this. Sorry I can't help with that.

    Good luck with your purchase, and happy shooting!

    Austin

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    New Member Array kharaa's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the information, I figured that the long cylinder would reduce velocities, so help somewhat compensate i'll probably carry gold dot short barrel rounds. Here is my question i'll loose some velocity, but will I really have a problem with effectiveness? is a .45 acp traveling at 600-700 fps still effective enough against a soft target? (two or four legged)

    They do make holsters, I may not be able to conceal iwb very easily, if push comes to shove, this will end up as a secondary gun(nightstand, ect) and i'll pick up something more compact at another time. I still need to retake my CCW class (I already took it once, but lost the paperwork and my prints during a move to a new house).

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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Are you completely sold/locked into this platform? Would you be able to transfer the money onto something else? For a first gun I would much rather have something in a mid sized platform and a little less gimmicky. If you really wanted to go revolver a K or L frame in .38/.357 with between a 2 1/2" - 4" Bbl. would offer you a better SD platform with everything from light recoiling .38's for practice up to full house, rock your socks .357 mags. Or you could use half and full moon clips in a dedicated .45acp revo. or stick with a classic .44 special big bore.

    The .410 revolvers aren't a great SD tool and could be a liability at a range that the pattern spreads too far and rounds miss your intended target. That would be very bad in a crowd. There are much better options out there that would also be easier to conceal.
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    New Member Array kharaa's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if i'm locked in or anything like that.. I'll stop in after christmas and ask, I am commited atleast as far my down payment is concerned, which was 135 (20 percent of total cost) but weither or not they'll let me transfer to a different gun. I'm having a little buyers remorse, because I did this on impulse without using my head.. (happens occasionally what can I say right? lol)

    The problem for me is there is an astounding lack of information out there about the governor.. almost any other gun, I can get detailed ballistics specs, and Q&A. This gun almost no one seems to own, and information about it is extremely vague.

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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    You can check the info on the Judge as far as ballistics, they should be very close if not identical depending on length of Bbl. in .410. You saw fuzzy marketing like this when people tried to compare a .22 mag to a 5.7 saying they were close. well a .22 mag out of a rifle length barrel does look similar to a 5.7 from a pistol length barrel, but the .22 mag isn't going to look that similar from a short barrel. I think how the .410 revolvers were originally marketed was kinda shady.

    .410 out of a full length shotgun barrel and .410 out of a snub are two very different animals. Now, I understand some work has been done by ammo companies to make a short barreled .410 more lethal, but you can only do so much with that. I am not an expert on the ballistics coming from these guns, but I am not really impressed with them as defensive guns.
    Last edited by matthew03; December 23rd, 2012 at 03:08 AM. Reason: Spelling
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    New Member Array kharaa's Avatar
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    it's not so much the .410 i'm concerned about, it's the .45 ACP performance.. I know it lowers velocities by about 20 percent.. I just need to know if that is still lethally effective for .45 ACP in the unfortunete case that I ever need to use my firearm to defend myself.. it's mostly about knowing that it WILL do the job. I know .45 acp is low speed as it is but I need to know that it will fully expand at that low speed.

    Someone did some tests, it was around 700-ish fps that they recorded on another forum I had read.

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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Then I would pose this to you, why would you choose this platform to launch .45acp? You are adding a lot of cylinder length that could be used instead for barrel length in an alternate revolver, therefore increasing the ballistic profile of your cartridge in the same sized package. Instead you are diminishing the .45 auto and also making the firearm less concealable.
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    New Member Array kharaa's Avatar
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    Honestly? The Governor had everything I liked in a revolver.. CT grips, decent sights.... double action/single action trigger... .45 ACP was a bonus because of the popularity of the round..I've read several reviews on the gun from say americanrifleman and TTAG(The Truth About Guns)

    None of them have mentioned any real problems with the Governor as far as they were concerned it was an excellent revolver from a performance standpoint.. .410 ballistics were excellent, it was accurate with 5 shot placement, some have called it once of the nicest guns quality wise to come out in a while, the niche of the platform and the price being only two real negatives i've seen about it.. Frusteratingly they lack real numbers, it wasn't until reading some of the replies to this thread that I became concerned about the effectiveness.

    I don't know why I like it so much, I really can't get my head around it. Have you never had a gun that just called you to it, no matter how unreasonable it sounded?

    I do appreciate you trying to help me out here, this has become way more complicated than I had ever originally thought. Do you think emailing Smith and Wesson on my concerns about the performance of .45 ACP would be fruitful?

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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    My guess is one of the forum reloading gurus will be along tomorrow to really help you out. I am not a fan of the gun, but don't let me steer you away from something you like and want to try out. Smith may be able to give you more input, doesn't hurt to ask. Post up some pics and thoughts if you get one. Take a look at the 625 as well, that is a revo that does the .45 well. Good luck on whatever you decide.

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    New Member Array kharaa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew03 View Post
    My guess is one of the forum reloading gurus will be along tomorrow to really help you out. I am not a fan of the gun, but don't let me steer you away from something you like and want to try out. Smith may be able to give you more input, doesn't hurt to ask. Post up some pics and thoughts if you get one. Take a look at the 625 as well, that is a revo that does the .45 well. Good luck on whatever you decide.
    I understand, if I can get some of my concerns about .45 acp resolved then I won't complain about the gun, because the 10 or so minutes I played with it at the store, I liked *almost* everything about it. but I totally will post up some pictures if i'm locked in to buying this or just decide its still what I really wanted. Maybe i'll try to setup getting some real ballistic videos with this thing.


    Hopefully some more technically minded people do post to help me with some of the specifics, but again thanks!

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    Member Array Sontag's Avatar
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    I've had a Judge for years. I don't carry it for self defense; the main reason is because I can't conceal it in work clothes. (Shirt/tie, or tucked shirt/dress pants). I carry a small 9mm daily either in my pocket or IWB.

    I do carry my Judge most of the time I'm at our farm when I'm out clearing/cutting trails or scouting. I carry 4 rounds of Federal Premium .410 Handgun shells (2 00 Buckshot & 2 #4 Shot) and 1 round of Hornady FTX 45 Colt, so I'm prepared for anything from rattlesnakes to coyotes.

    If I did not already have my Judge and the sentimental value it holds (my father bought it for me), I would buy a Governor because of the .45 ACP option and it's 6 round capacity.

    The Governor obviously suited you, so I wouldn't second guess yourself; you got what you wanted. If you carry it and decide it's not working for you, you have a great excuse to buy something else.

    And we like pictures on here!

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    Senior Member Array bunker's Avatar
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    If i were to carry a Governor, it would have to be Sarah Palin...

    If i had a choice between 45lc and 410 shotshell, i would go with the 410 shotshell. They are making some pretty 410 defensive rounds these days. They are going to be expensive i would assume.
    "6 P's of self defense "
    Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

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    Member Array romac's Avatar
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    Re: Smith and Wesson Governor

    I think as long as you like it enough to become proficient with it and always have it with you, then go for it and enjoy it!

    Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2

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    Member Array GeorgiaShooter's Avatar
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    I love my Governor but not my primary EDC. I do have videos that could be helpful with about everything I've learned with mine and examples of my wife and I shooting it. Some realistic examples of what to expect and even your speedloader options for 410 and 45LC. I'm surprised you chose this model for your first primary EDC. I would have probably leaped on the XDM45s or something like that but you wont hear me complaining, I love the Gov but it is a hand full. It will be hard to carry the Gov like most people would a primary EDC because of it's size, the hammer and the size of the belt holders for extra reloads but if you live in rural area, work on a farm, go fishing and hunting a lot this might be a sweet solution. I use my as a car gun on the road, hotels, camping because you can't knock it out of battery like a semi-auto and it will fire through sleeping backs, blankets, winter clothing etc with stunning reliability. It knocks 100fps off the speed of the round so use +P 230gr like the Speer Gold dots if you want some good power. This is also a 21 feet a closer type of gun in my opinion. Great for covering the door way of a hotel room for example. If you use the single action please be careful at first, the trigger takes a fly landing on it. No matter what happens you bought a very cool gun, I just think it will remain in your tool kit and could move to different roles in the long run. Talk about a fun gun to take plinking with family.

    Georgia Shooter - YouTube

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