Give Me the Bad News First

17-Jan-11 – 14:45 by ToddG

S&W will be announcing some very interesting new products at SHOT Show over the next few days.

Sadly, they are also announcing this:

(as first shown at Gun Nuts Media;
photo courtesy Caleb at Gun Nuts)

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Smith & Wesson Governor. And it is not, I’m afraid, a practical joke. Clearly intended to capture part of the lucrative (if disrespected) Taurus Judge market, the Governor… it will… you can… seriously, I’ve just got nothing to say.

When emulating Taurus is your product strategy, selling off stock options should be your financial strategy.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 59 Responses to “Give Me the Bad News First”

  2. Some things cannot be unseen.

    By Tom on Jan 17, 2011

  3. Sadly, the gun world morons are just as plentiful as the rest of the worlds morons. They may buy lots of these to protect themselves with…

    By Andy on Jan 17, 2011

  4. What a shame!

    By gtmtnbiker98 on Jan 17, 2011

  5. It may be ugly, but at least it is useless.

    By Tony B on Jan 17, 2011

  6. Wow…next they’ll re-introduce the Sigma.

    By Steve K on Jan 17, 2011

  7. Why would S&W want to sell a ton of these and make loads of money like Taurus did? That’s stupid. Gun manufacturers aren’t supposed to run their businesses for financial gain.

    By mlk18 on Jan 17, 2011

  8. I agree! Why would S&W respond to market research and want to make loads of money on a gun that will definitely sell. That’s stupid.

    By mlk18 on Jan 17, 2011

  9. While we’ve all been laughing at Taurus, Taurus has been laughing all the way to the bank. To paraphrase Jeff Cooper: “What’s it for? To SELL!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    By Tam on Jan 17, 2011

  10. Well, it’s not exactly like this is a new strategy for S&W. Sigma series anyone? At least that eventually morphed into something good with the M&P.

    Though the name is hilarious on a “they’re not even trying anymore” level.

    By commandar on Jan 17, 2011

  11. I thought I felt a disturbance in the force…as if a thousand good product ideas cried out in pain and suddenly were silenced.

    …apparently by the Death Star of stupid handgun ideas.

    By TCinVA on Jan 17, 2011

  12. TC — Awesome as always.

    mlk — I understand 100% where you’re coming from. The CEO is going to make money for the shareholders and that is his job. But long term, as shooters rather than investors, it troubles me to see them chasing sub-standard product ideas. In the long run, that will hurt the bottom line.

    By ToddG on Jan 17, 2011

  13. commandar,

    Please, it’s not like this is anything new; Smith hasn’t had an original idea since they bought the Rollins-White pat… oh, wait… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    By Tam on Jan 17, 2011

  14. One wonders if others will follow suit. We’ve had the “Judge” and the “Governor”…some ideas I’ve seen floating on gunboards:

    Izmash – Czar
    Ruger – Dictator
    H&K – Fuhrer
    North American Arms – Student Council President

    By TCinVA on Jan 17, 2011

  15. As a good friend pointed out during a phone call earlier, in the wake of the Tuscon shooting, “I’m going out to shoot my Governor” isn’t really a great line, either…

    By ToddG on Jan 17, 2011

  16. Size matters, at least in marketing…
    My Dad is visiting from overseas, and previous weekend I took him to a gunshow just for entertainment purposes. Dad doesn’t know High Standard from HK so he was paying each and every example equal amount of attention, of indifference.
    The only piece that peaked his interest was… yeah, the Judge.
    There is some benefit is speaking a foreign language that’s not understood by a dealer – you can say anything you want about his product without getting into confrontation…Still I was kind of disturbed by Dad’s choice, so after that I decided to redirect our attention from firearms to freshly baked bread.
    Seems like a good example of this product’s intended market – a completely clueless customer.

    By YK on Jan 17, 2011

  17. I’m not sure what the problem is that people have with the Judge (or this product, aside from it obviously being a copy of a Taurus product). I don’t have one yet, but I like the idea of packing one while I’m deer hunting with my muzzleloader during regular season. I have the option of using .410 shotshells to pop some small game, or using .45 LC to finish off a deer if needed (usually it isn’t needed, but if it is, it’s easier than reloading a muzzleloader). I also think it would be pretty neat at our skeet range.

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy one.

    By Carl K. on Jan 17, 2011

  18. TCinVA – The best thing about HK making the “Fuhrer” is that Todd would be sure to do an endurance test on one!!!!!

    By Stephen on Jan 17, 2011

  19. Carl K.,

    The short, rifled bore gives patterns with a huge donut hole in the middle beyond bad-breath distance, so forget skeet or small game.

    Accuracy with .45LC or ACP is adversely impacted by the fact that the bullet has about three miles of freebore to jump before it encounters any rifling.

    The Thunder 5/Judge/Governor is a triumph of marketing over understanding how guns work.

    You wanna buy one? Be my guest; it’s a free country. But I’m gonna snicker behind my hand if you do because, you know, it’s a free country…

    By Tam on Jan 17, 2011

  20. well now Todd can’t laugh at me for owning a .50 AE Desert Eagle anymore…..

    By Rob Engh on Jan 17, 2011

  21. Smith and Wesson released THIS instead of an M&P10?

    I have nothing more to say, because the only words I can think of are curse words.

    By JamesF on Jan 17, 2011

  22. I’m gonna hold out for the rainbow colored one that SIG is bound to come out with.

    By F-Trooper05 on Jan 17, 2011

  23. I’m glad they introduced this just because of the amusing commentary that has followed.

    TC don’t forget the Beretta “Il Duce” and Daewoo “Dear Leader”, among others…

    By LOKNLOD on Jan 17, 2011

  24. One question: where are you supposed to mount the light?

    By MDS on Jan 17, 2011

  25. For some reason, we seem to think of entities like S&W or Magpul as “gun organizations” meant to provide shooters with the opportunity to purchase the best gear from them.

    As Mr. Langdon made abundantly clear in our class, these are *businesses* and as such, their job is to make money. If that means selling us winners like the M&P line, that’s great. But if the “Governor” (Really, S&W? Really?) is what brings in the bucks, then they’d be a pretty poor business to pass that up.

    By Noveske FTW on Jan 17, 2011

  26. Just when you thought copying Keltec was bad this happens. Sure doesn’t have much room between the trigger and the trigger guard for gloved hands. I’m also guessing by the starboard side only picture it probably has an internal lock. Must be more of that S&W “market research”.

    Really wish they would of copied the 9mm revolver idea and rereleased a 940 in a no lock / scandium frame /crimson trace version.

    By pennzoil on Jan 17, 2011

  27. If Beretta came out with the “Il Duce” I may have to purchase my first Beretta.

    By Tom on Jan 18, 2011

  28. JamesF,

    Smith and Wesson released THIS instead of an M&P10?

    You and all three other 10mm fans are crushed. Now there’s a huge potential market share lost by Smith. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    By Tam on Jan 18, 2011

  29. Yikes.

    They’ll sell a million of them.

    By Jay Cunningham on Jan 18, 2011

  30. Tam – the pattern isn’t good, but it is fine for breaking birds with #9 shot at stations 1, 7, and 8. If you hit all of those, that’s a 10 or 11 (dependion on how you do the optional bird). It should also do well enough for at least a couple of birds at stations 2 and 6. If any birds break at stations 3, 4, or 5, that would be either luck or divine intervention. Shooting small game at distances out to 15-20′ should be within the realm of possibility, and it isn’t at all unusual to have game at that kind of distance.

    For the .45 LC, I’m talking about finishing off a deer at a distance of a few feet (again, which usually isn’t needed but I did have to do it once), so the diminshed accuracy isn’t really that much of a concern.

    In any case, I know 3 people with different judges, so I can try before I buy something that winds up being no more than a curiosity.

    By Carl K. on Jan 18, 2011

  31. Carl K. – Your post brought an old Aerosmith song to mind. I won’t say the title, but it rhymes with “Dweam On”.

    By Stephen on Jan 18, 2011

  32. Excuse me, I need to go bleach my eyes. But that name (and these comments) did start my morning with a chuckle.

    By LT on Jan 18, 2011

  33. Are we sure this isn’t somebody’s photoshopped send-up?

    By Matt on Jan 18, 2011

  34. That is a butt-ugly gun.

    By Jeff on Jan 18, 2011

  35. Its not like its the first time a great gun design has been copied and we all bought into..examples: 1911, cz75,all ar’s, not to mention all the pocket pistals..glocks….why is it a surprise that the” judge” would be copied..think of how much better” new” 1911’s are today than the original.( with all due respect Mr.Browning)

    By mike on Jan 18, 2011

  36. Its not like its the first time a great gun design has been copied…

    No, but that was the first time I’ve heard the Chunder 5/Judge referred to as “a great gun design”…

    By Tam on Jan 18, 2011

  37. The Judge/Governor fill a real segment of the market. Just because some people are to snobbish to see it doesn’t make it go away. People say accuracy sucks beyond bad breath distances. So what? Most nasty encounters happen at that range as well. Sounds like a great gun for putting a lot of stop on target very quickly. As for poor accuracy, I’ve done rabbits at 15 yards no problem and snakes at 10. How much accuracy do you need if you’re not shooting at cardboard or steel? It’s a great packing around the ranch gun. Smaller and handier than a carbine, heavy enough to stop coyotes, wild dogs, snakes, hogs, and just about any other critter that wants to mess with you.

    By Brice on Jan 18, 2011

  38. Governor?

    Did they name it after Schwarzenegger?

    I have never understood the ‘Judge’ concept.

    But then Jeff Cooper said once that anything that was really popular can’t be really good because not that many people could specialize enough to know it was that good.

    Well there is the proof right there he was right!

    By Paul on Jan 18, 2011

  39. Brice,

    The Judge/Governor fill a real segment of the market. Just because some people are to [sic] snobbish to see it doesnโ€™t make it go away.

    The word you’re looking for isn’t “snobbish”, it’s “well-informed”.

    This gun doesn’t do anything a .38 or .44 Spl revolver won’t do better, except be really big and clunky.

    By Tam on Jan 18, 2011

  40. They could have put out a TRUE compact G19-sized 9mm, but nooooooooo………….

    The tragedy is that such a pistol (between the Full Size and what S&W insists on calling a “compact”) would sell very well.

    Once upon a time, S&W was a leader in firearms design and manufacturing. Now, they just ape their Austrian and Brazilian betters.

    By Oscar on Jan 18, 2011

  41. Add ivory grips with my initials and Iโ€™ll start the paperwork.

    By Jeff H on Jan 18, 2011

  42. …the AMC Pacer of handguns.

    By Brian on Jan 18, 2011

  43. Well at-least it’s not another tiny injection-molded 9mm purse/pocket pistol… I guess. I dunno, it’s different in a copy-cat sort of way. I miss innovation.

    By David on Jan 19, 2011

  44. I don’t see how S&W is going to really sell all that many of these. The .410 revolver “customer base” so to speak, are generally also ultracheap bastards…I really don’t see them paying the price over Taurus “just as good as” for a S&W gun.

    “The Judge/Governor fill a real segment of the market”

    Yes, it fills the market segment of “f***ing retarded product made especially for people who either genuinely don’t know a damn thing about guns or who ride the short bus to work”.

    I don’t have a problem with the latter idiots, cause it’s their butt on the line in an SD event. However, gunrags and clueless idiots take it upon themselves to “inform” those who really don’t know any better about the Judge and similar guns, and these poor people choose said Judge or Governor for defense and they are unknowingly equipping themselves with an extraordinarily poor option.

    By George on Jan 19, 2011

  45. Without an 8″ barrel, this thing is useless.
    Also, it needs sights that won’t snag on the draw….

    By WTAprill on Jan 19, 2011

  46. No such luck that this was a photoshopped joke.

    Smith and Wesson now have this on their website:


    By Matt on Jan 19, 2011

  47. Apparently the single-stack 9mm a number of people (like me) have been waiting for isn’t at SHOT according to any of the reports I’m seeing. Now a lot of us have been screaming at S&W to make an updated version of the 3913 concept since they discontinued the 3913…but instead, we get this ***CENSORED*** abortion.

    What the ***CENSORED*** Smith?

    Maybe now that Ruger has introduced one you’ll once again decide to be late to the ***CENSORED*** market.


    By TCinVA on Jan 19, 2011

  48. TCinVA,

    The 3913 (and especially the LS) was the only one of their TDA autos that I really, really liked.

    By Tam on Jan 19, 2011

  49. Brice —

    Rabbits are not violent felons intent on doing you severe harm. There’s a metric ton of research out there about what works best at stopping the hostile actions of a committed attacker, and none of it points to this stupid hillbilly handgun being the answer.

    By TCinVA on Jan 19, 2011

  50. “Hillbilly Handgun”…. LOL!!!

    By Stephen on Jan 19, 2011

  51. For me, the “Governor” is next to a Derringer in 45/70 gov in the context of usefulness.

    By Frank B on Jan 19, 2011

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