Shotshells in pistols and revolvers have a reasonable modern history. My experience with them started with Thompson/Center Arms’ .44 Hot Shot which was a barrel for their single-shot pistol that could accept either the .44 Remington Magnum or shot-capsule-loaded shells for small game shooting. The barrel was rifled, but had a screw-on choke which helped to slow the spin of the shot charge and give better patterns. A later version of this barrel was chambered for the 3-inch .410 and .45 Long Colt, but these were frowned upon by the ATF, removed from the market, and then later, I think, finally re-allowed.
My problems with such guns has been sighting them in. If I sight in for a solid lead load, that meant that the shot charge may, or may not, fly to about the same point of aim.
I had the opportunity to shoot the Tarus at the last couple of Shot Shows, and at 10 yards it does reasonably well. Beyond that, the number of hits on the figure of a man decreases as does the potential effectiveness of the load. If the object of using a pistol is to quickly disable the subject, the relatively light weight and poor penetration characteristics of the projectiles (round balls and flat discs) of some loads argue against it. The potential for hits is increased, but the probable disabling ability of the load rapidly diminishes beyond across the room distances.
A determined person taking a hit from such a load at say 25 yards could still likely continue his assault with potentially lethal consequences. He will be injured to some degree, but not disabled. I would like to hear of some real-world circumstances of such shootings and their consequences.
Smith and Wesson’s new Governor is a 6-shot revolver has optional lazer grip sights that can be zeroed in for a given load. This gun will shoot .45 Long Colt, the .45 ACP (with half-moon clips) and the 3-inch .410 loads. I have dry fired this gun and much like its double-action trigger pull. This is not a pocket pistol. If I had named it, I would have called it the “Home Defender” because this is how I see this gun as being used.
Many shooters already reload load one or the other of the two .45s and likely have cases and components. What I would recommend is picking a load that the gun shoots reasonably well and using the lazer-sight to establish a good zero so that one could reasonably engage a person at 50 yards if needed or at point-blank range if necessary.
Perhaps the wife is not so well-practiced or confident of being able to handle this relatively large pistol. For her, perhaps the .410 would be the appropriate selection. The chamber loadings might also be alternated, but my usual luck would have me shooting the least appropriate round. In a life or death situation, you do not want to be concerned about re-indexing a cylinder or reloading your gun.