One of the small disappointments of SHOT 09 was that the line to shoot the Taurus Judge at the pre-show media shooting day was always too long and I never got a chance to try it. It’s entirely possible that the length of the line had something to do with this video, which they showed us on the bus ride out to the range:

The Judge chambers both .45 long Colt and 3-inch, .410 shotshells. There are five 00 pellets in a 3-inch .410 buck load. As you can see, that’s more than enough to turn a watermelon – or, I imagine, a real head – into a daiquiri.

Shotguns and watermelons are made for one another. I read once that in the original script for “Dirty Harry,” when Frank Sinatra was set to play the lead, Callahan favored a 12 gauge, not a .44 magnum. In one scene, he explained his preference for the shotgun by shooting a watermelon several times with a .38, only making holes, then blowing it to bits with a 12.

A local hunter ed instructor always brings a watermelon to the live fire portion of his course. As a demonstration of what can happen if you’re careless with a shotgun, he puts a field load in a 20 gauge and vaporizes the melon with it. His students never forget that lesson.