Rossi Circuit Judge: A Top-Selling Single Action

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posted on August 26, 2020
rossi-circuit-judge.jpg

Repeating rifles and carbines that employ a revolver’s rotating cylinder are not new, although the ability to purchase a factory fresh model caught the industry’s attention when Rossi came out with its Circuit Judge at the 2010 SHOT Show. Based on the popular and reliable Taurus Judge lockup and action, the original was chambered in .45 Colt and came with the same the versatility to digest .410-bore shotshells that made the handgun popular among enthusiasts.

Rossi introduced a .22 version of the Circuit Judge the next year, shipping each model with a pair of cylinders—one for .22 LR and the other to digest .22 WMR. Capacity was nine rounds, regardless of cartridge. It came with an adjustable sight at the rear with fiber optic up front, polymer stock, Picatinny rail for mounting optics, was capable of operating in double or single action, had a hammer extension and shipped with an 18 1/2-inch barrel. MSRP at launch was listed in the original press release at $680.

Unfortunately, the company no longer lists the .22 version as being available. Despite that fact, the Rossi Circuit Judge chambered for .22s took fourth place in Gunbroker.com’s annual listing of top single shot rifles. We’re not quite sure it belongs in that group, although figuring out exactly which rifle group it fits into is something of a challenge.

Today the odds are good you can find a good used model, with matching spare cylinder for for somewhere around $600. Price, of course, varies by condition and seller’s mood. They are a fun (the guns, not most sellers) and have achieved the kind of popularity that may force the company to consider resurrecting the model.

When B. Gil Horman tested the Circuit Judge in 2012, he wrote, “The .22 Long-Rifle/.22 Mag. interchangeable cylinder model is a lightweight, ultra-reliable plinker that can easily digest just about anything you choose to feed it.” Using the rimfire magnum loads he printed sub-2 inch groups routinely, regardless of load.

His review also includes full testing of the .45 Colt/.410 version, which is still available new from the factory and selling well. Oddly, digging through our archived press releases we also found announcements for other discontinued models, likely more rare, introduced the same year as the .22 version—the Tuffy (.45 Colt/.410 Shotshell in black synthetic stock), .44 Mag., 28-Gauge and a Lever Action that would fit nicely into another category.

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