Long before the Taurus Judge took the world by storm, a company called Cobray was producing odd and imaginative little guns. The Cobray 410 Derringer has been called the poor man’s Judge. This compact double barrel is about the closest you can get to a legal sawed off shotgun without a NFA stamp.
It is a nasty little side-by-side when chambered for .410. This model takes 3 inch magnum rounds, and when loaded with buckshot it almost jumps out of your hand. The weapon is made to be used at close range, and in my opinion works best with birdshot. This weapon isn’t practical for self-defense in the traditional sense, but when loaded with birdshot it makes quite the snake gun, and is plenty powerful enough to discourage an unruly dog. I know someone who carries this gun when they jog, and they (and I would) feel confident with it.
The weapon is single action with the barrel selector located on the hammer. It breaks open like a traditional shotgun, but lacks an ejector. This means reloading is a slow process, requiring a punch rod or a decent finger to pry it out.
As I mentioned the recoil is pretty hard, very snappy, and the small bird’s head grips don’t help it much. It’s a very fun gun to fire; it destroys watermelons quite well. It also costs around a hundred bucks, and for that, it doesn’t get much more fun.