Hand-Picked Daily GUN DEALS, and Exclusive Coupons Codes >>>

7 Best Concealed Carry Revolvers

Revolvers make for excellent CCW weapons...reliable, consistent, and easy to conceal. We've rounded up some of the best CCW revolvers on the market.

You may have grown up watching cop and cowboy movies.

And if you’re anything like me, these films gave you an appreciation for revolvers.

Empty Revolver Chambers
Empty Revolver Chambers

Classic lines and reliability have kept revolvers a solid option for self-defense throughout the years, and modern wheelguns still remain an excellent option.

If you’re interested in carrying a revolver for self-defense, read on to find out the pros and cons of carrying a revolver as your CCW weapon and our list of a few great modern revolvers that make for excellent carry guns!

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Best CCW Revolver

    Ruger LCR

    The low weight, Hogue Tamer grip, and small form factor make the .357 Magnum Ruger LCR a great overall choice.

  2. Most Durable

    Ruger SP101 DAO

    If you are looking for a revolver than can stand up to the harshest use, the SP101 is an absolute tank built upon a proven design.

  3. Highest Capacity CCW Revolver

    Smith and Wesson 686 Plus

    While it is a bit larger than the other revolvers on this list, the 7-round S&W 686 Plus is still manageable to conceal with its 3-inch barrel.

  4. Editor's Pick

    Kimber K6s

    The thin cylinder, excellent fit and finish, and smooth lines make the Kimber K6s our top pick for for a concealed carry revolver.

  5. Lightest CCW Option

    Smith and Wesson 642

    At 14.4 ounces, the S&W 642 is exceedingly easy to conceal; you might forget you are even carrying it.

Table of Contents

Loading...

Revolver Reliability

Everything in firearms is a trade-off, and revolvers vs. semi-autos is no exception.

Modern semi-automatic pistols are extremely reliable compared to 30 years ago, but they have two weak points — feeding and magazines.

Magazines are hands down the most common source of malfunctions in a semi-auto. A revolver doesn’t have that problem, ever.

FN503 malf 1, stovepipe
“Stovepipe” handgun malfunction

The second issue is feeding a round into the chamber.

Almost any semi-auto handles FMJ rounds without much issue, but hollow point rounds (what most people use in their defensive guns) can often cause issues.

Again, feeding isn’t something that a revolver has to worry about. You have just a basic trigger, a hammer, and a cylinder. Pull the trigger; the hammer cocks back, the cylinder turns, the hammer goes forward, and bang.

The vast majority of revolvers are similar designs that all share the simplicity that makes them reliable.

Pull the trigger again, and the same thing happens — pretty simple execution.

The trade-off?

A semi-auto malfunction can almost always be resolved with a simple tap-rack-bang drill.

But when a revolver malfunctions, it is almost always cannot be fixed quickly, or at all, in the field.

Downsides of Revolver CCW

Revolvers are not the end-all-be-all gun for concealed carry; there are a few shortcomings.

A revolver holds fewer rounds overall; most CCW revolvers have 5 or 6-shot cylinders. Most of your semi-auto CCW pistols hold more rounds. Even the smallest subcompact guns hold 6+1 (6 rounds in the magazine and 1 round chambered) minimum.

You can also get extended magazines to maximize your capacity even more.

P365 Upgrades Great Big Magazine!
Sig Sauer P365 with a 15-round magazine

The width of most revolvers is also something to take into consideration. They are thicker than most similar caliber semi-auto pistols, even ones with double-stack magazines.

For example, a Glock 33 Gen 4, chambered in .357 Sig, has a width of 1.18 inches and holds 9 rounds. The LCR .357 Revolver is 1.283 inches and holds 5 rounds — that extra width can make a difference. 

The weight of the LCR is less than the Glock 33, though, which might make the trade-off worth it. 

Ruger LCR
Ruger LCR

Types of Revolvers

For the most part, revolvers are very similar. They have all the same basic elements, but they might have a feature or two that sets them apart.

Aside from barrel length, there is something to consider when using a revolver for your concealed carry gun.

Do you want the hammer accessible, or do you want it covered so you won’t snag it on something when you draw your gun from the holster?

Check revolvers to be sure the cylinder fits well and is not loose. Also check to see I the cylinder lines up correctly with the barrel.
Hammerless (middle and right) or exposed hammer (left)? It mostly comes down to personal preference.

A lot of the manufacturers make a revolver with an internal hammer. These hammerless revolvers are double-action only. This means you pull the trigger, and the gun goes bang; you can’t cock the hammer back manually for that shorter, lighter trigger pull.

Best Concealed Carry

If you’re interested in a CCW revolver, there are a ton out there. We’ve rounded up a few that will serve you well for a CCW.

1. Ruger LCR

Unsurprisingly, the Ruger LCR is on most concealed carry gun lists, and looky here, it’s on this list too. Some guns are just popular because they don’t cost that much; others have rock-solid performance.

The Ruger LCR is the latter.

Best CCW Revolver
637
at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The LCR is a lightweight aerospace aluminum and polymer-framed wheel gun. Pair this with the internal hammer design, and you have the makings of a great CCW revolver.

This gun also has a feature called the Grip Peg. What the Grip Peg allows you to do is remove the grip and add a different style.

Ruger LCR 9mm
Ruger LCR

People buy and carry a gun more because they like the way they “feel,” and the Grip Peg gives you the option to get the feel you want and take a lot of the hassle out of swapping grips.

What do you think of the LCR? Rate it below!

Readers' Ratings

4.94/5 (1203)

Your Rating?

2. Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38

The S&W Bodyguard 38 is a hammerless offering made for concealed carry. It’s a small frame and lightweight revolver that comes with a built-in Crimson Trace laser.

394
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

It is chambered in .38 Special and is rated for +P ammunition.

Like most guns on this list, the barrels are pretty short, meaning accuracy is tougher at longer distances. These guns are usually used at a closer range, maybe 5-15 feet, and for that, this thing is perfect.

S&W Bodyguard with ammo
S&W Bodyguard with ammo

To help keep the weight down, Smith & Wesson used a one-piece aluminum frame.

The short overall length and the light weight make this revolver a solid choice for concealed carry. 

36
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

3. Colt King Cobra Carry

It wouldn’t be a revolver list without a Colt. I was cautiously optimistic when Colt announced the King Cobra; when I finally fired the gun, I fell in love.

Colt King Cobra with american eagle ammo
Colt King Cobra with American Eagle Ammo

Colt did an excellent job with their King Cobra, and this variant is a fantastic choice for concealed carry.

This reincarnation of a past revolver is a six-shot chambered in .357 Magnum — and it’s solidly made.

The Colt King Cobra Carry is well made for use as an EDC thanks to its bobbed hammer and two-inch barrel, but there’s more to it than ease of concealment. It’s a DAO, Double Action Only, which is just fine for a CC gun.

47
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Having a DAO adds a layer of safety to your carry. And as far as DAO revolver triggers go, this is a nice one.

Thanks to its stainless steel barrel and frame with a brushed finish, this gun is well-suited to daily use. It ships with Hogue Overmolded grips and has a brass bead front sight.

As I mentioned before, it’s chambered in .357 Magnum, which means it can also use .38 Special. Using .38 Special is fine, but don’t discount the value of .357 Magnum.

919
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The King Cobra Carry weighs in at 26 ounces, empty, and with the right holster, it practically disappears against your body. Plus, it’s accurate, reliable, and durable. I call that a win.

We have a complete review of the Colt King Cobra, and it’s awesome!

Colt King Cobra random ammo
.357 Magnum Colt King Cobra

4. Ruger SP101 Spurless DAO

If your priority is reducing snagging, you need to check out a spurless revolver like the Ruger SP101 Spurless DAO.

First of all, it’s Ruger, a company I’ve grown quite fond of, and second, it’s just a cool little gun.

A tiny package that delivers a titanic hit!
A tiny package that delivers a titanic hit! The SP101 Talo Exclusive

The Ruger SP101 is yet another .357 Magnum designed for concealment.

A few specs on this one. This revolver has a 2.25-inch barrel, stainless steel construction, ramped black blade front sight, integral rear sights, and a five-round cylinder.

Its overall length is 7.2-inches, its empty weight is 25 ounces, and it ships with comfy, cushioned black synthetic grips (you can get it with hardwood grip inserts, too). As expected, it has a satin stainless finish.

The engraving work on this pistol is beautiful, also, note the shrouded ejection rod
SP101 Talo Exclusive with the amazing and detailed engraving work

One nice thing about those factory sights is that they’re both pinned and replaceable, which isn’t something you can say for all the revolvers on the market. 

The Ruger SP101 has a few safety features, namely being DAO and having a transfer bar mechanism. As always, follow the four golden rules of gun safety, but this revolver is built with EDC use and safety in mind.

Most Durable
650
at Gunprime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

It’s accurate, too, something owed partly to its triple-locking cylinder. When you have a cylinder that locks into the frame at its front, rear, and base, your cylinder-to-barrel alignment improves, and you’re rewarded with greater accuracy and reliability.

Basically, the Ruger SP101 Spurless DAO is a fantastic revolver. I wish the grips were a bit different, but they may be great for your hands.

Keep in mind these snubby revolvers produce some significant muzzle rise. You’re going to feel that recoil, but you can learn to manage it — It just takes practice.

Want to learn more? Check out the review below from Johnny B!

5. Smith and Wesson 686 Plus

Many of you might have expected to see a Smith and Wesson on this list but might be thinking, “why the 686 Plus?” Well, because you can adjust your wardrobe to accommodate larger guns.

For me, throwing on a baggier shirt to conceal a larger revolver is far preferable to wearing some cute little shirt and a mouse gun or no gun at all. What’s more important, your fashion or your life?

S&W 686 and .357 Ammo
Smith & Wesson 686 Plus

The Smith and Wesson 686 Plus is a 7-shot .357 Magnum with a 3-inch barrel built on Smith and Wesson’s L-frame revolver for durability. It is a DA/SA revolver, meaning you can cock the hammer for that sweet for greater precision.

The cylinder is unfluted, with a 6-shot model also available. This revolver can be banged around, beat up, and keep on going; I’ve used mine pretty hard, and it has survived.

This is a slightly larger gun. Its 3-inch stainless steel barrel bumps its overall length to 8.2-inches and has a heftier empty weight of 36.8 ounces.

S&W 686 ADS
The gun’s factory sights are actually good; the sights are highly visible and facilitate rapid re-acquisition of targets (or as rapid as you can get with .357 Magnum recoil).

The gun ships with black synthetic grips with finger grooves (I actually like these factory grips) and a red ramp front sight with an adjustable white outline rear sight. It’s ridiculously precise and comfortable for me to carry. Get yourself a decent pancake-style leather holster, and it’ll fit you well, too.

It’s worth mentioning the Smith and Wesson 686 Plus is offered with a variety of barrel lengths, so you aren’t limited to a 3-inch design.

Here is our editor with his 4-inch model

The 3-inch model is among my favorite revolvers, and for good reason. I can be hard on my guns — and the 686 Plus can take it.

Highest Capacity CCW Revolver
899
at Gunprime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Check out our full review of the 686 Plus.

6. Kimber K6s

Surprised to see Kimber on this list? I was amazed that I like this gun as much as I do.

Featuring a 6-shot .357 magnum cylinder, Kimber designed this to be a lightweight revolver for better carry. Considering it weighs in at 23 ounces, empty, it falls under that category.

Kimber K6s

There’s one thing, though: lightweight is all well and good for EDC, but when you’re running .357 Magnum loads, the recoil is a bit much. Even so, this is a great little gun.

The Kimber K6s has an overall height of 4.46 inches, an overall length of 6.62-inches, and a width of 1.39-inches.

The Kimber K6s DASA with a 3-inch barrel is a sharp-looking gun right out of the box.

Even the cylinder of the K6s is made for concealment; it’s slimmer than most, and Kimber claims it is the smallest-diameter 6-shot cylinder currently available.

The frame and barrel are stainless steel, so they’re tough, and the barrel comes in at 2-inches.

833
at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Included on the K6s are black three-dot sights. It also has a match-grade trigger, rubber grips, and a textured cylinder release. Kimber offers this model in both DAO and DA/SA, so you can pick your poison here.

For up-close use, this is an excellent little revolver. If you aren’t a fan of Kimber, it might be time to reconsider that for this revolver’s sake. 

7. Smith & Wesson 642 Airweight

Some guns are simply iconic — the AR-15, the Remington 700, the Glock 17. Smith & Wesson’s Centennial Airweight line is that gun when it comes to CCW and backup revolvers.

Smith and Wesson 642 (5)
7 of Clubs with a 5-shot group at 10-yards, accurate enough for a CCW revolver!

It was a home run as soon as it was released in 1952. While there are a ton of options in Smith and Wesson’s lineup, the 642 is by far our favorite and one of the most popular to this day.

Chambered for .38 Special, this gun is small, reliable, and affordable. Holster options are innumerable, and upgrades are widely available.

Lightest CCW Option
425
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Everything about the 642 is designed to be perfect for concealed carry or as a backup to your main firearm.

Coming in at a feathery 14.4 ounces, the “Airweight” moniker is well-deserved. Its light weight combined with a short 1.875-inch barrel lets this gun disappear no matter how you choose to carry it.

I could go on, but if you want the whole story — take a look at our complete review of the S&W 642!

Smith and Wesson 642 (3)

Final Thoughts

You might be sitting there thinking, “hold on, these are all .357 Magnums and .38 Specials.” Where are the .22 LRs? What about the .44 Magnums? Where’s the Judge?

dirty harry make my day

Let’s be realistic about self-defense. While it is true that any gun is better than no gun at all, .22 LR is not the most ideal for self-defense purposes.

Conversely, .44 Magnum is great for handgun hunting or defense from 4-legged threats, but as a CCW, it leaves a lot to be desired. Larger magnum cartridges introduce the threat of overpenetration, heavy recoil, slower follow-up shots, and just being too large for comfortable everyday carry.

With .357 Magnum, you can run the hotter magnum rounds or elect to use the lighter-recoiling .38 Special rounds — both of which are logical choices for concealed carry revolvers.

Popular Pistol Calibers

Remember, this is not the end-all, be-all list. It’s just a roundup of a few nice options for a solid concealed carry revolver.

What do you think about carrying a revolver for your CCW? See something on this list that’s caught your eye? Want more revolvers? Check out our Best .357 Magnum Revolvers article.

The Best Gun Deals, Coupons and Finds

Subscribe to Pew Pew Tactical's sales and deals email.

75 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Bull o' the Woods

    From elsewhere on the interwebs (cannot post links in these comments but you might google for a website called Revolverguy):

    "[T]he ugliness of the [Smith & Wesson internal] lock transcends what the eye can see. When we see the lock, we see a reminder of the powerful, anti-liberty, anti-gun forces that colluded to deprive us of our civil rights in the Clinton era. We also see a reminder of one of their most important victories -- a signed agreement that turned one of the most prized and beloved of American companies against its own customers, against its industry brothers, and against the Constitution itself."

    October 12, 2022 10:12 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bull o' the Woods

    How about the Ruger GP100 7-round version? I particularly like the Talo distributor exclusive model #1789 with 3" barrel. Does everything the Smith can do but without the darn lock. It's what I would buy if I were in the market for a revolver. Sure, you can remove the lock from Smith revolvers, but it annoys me and drives me away from their modern offerings. I also have a sneaking suspicion (unconfirmed) that current Ruger quality exceeds current Smith quality. I have no experience with carrying a concealed revolver, but Chick Gaylord claimed that 3" barrels were easier to conceal than snub-nose revolvers. For your next review, latch on to a GP100 and see what you think.

    October 12, 2022 9:47 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    PM in Fl.

    Seems to me that revolvers report ACTUAL barrel length whereas semi automatics feature the total of the breach AND barrel. Why is this?

    September 2, 2022 11:49 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Chris Martens

    I just bought a S&W 686 plus and it is far from reliable. Multiple trigger lockups, like 5-10 times for a 50 round box of ammo. I’m sending it back, which is a major hassle. Have never had a problem with any revolver til I bought this lemon. And I researched it and this seems like a common problem. So their quality control sure ain’t what it used to be.

    September 1, 2022 5:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rachel Harrison

    Thank you for the article. I carry a 642 and have been looking for a new carry gun. Thank you for the info. R

    April 23, 2022 10:14 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    William Marshall

    I feel perfectly comfortable carrying a five round revolver, because unless someone is using a firearm to try and kill me, I probably won't need the use of deadly force. I'm also more aware of my surroundings and the situations I put myself in. If I think i'm too far away from my comfort zone, i'll just carry a speedloader or even a couple speed strips. If I carry a .38 special I use the standard loads. If I carry a .357 magnum, i'm probably using hunting cartridges because I will have the most serious stopping power. Of course i'm also going to be aware of what's behind my target. I always practice with the .357 magnum cartridge in a revolver chambered for such. And .38 special can only be loaded in a .38 special obviously. Also the .357 magnum is going to be the more heavy carry option. Enclosed hammer on the .38 special, for a more casual outing. But with a heavy .357 magnum I like the exposed hammer so the strap on the holster makes for a more secure retention, Different carry styles for the two also. I've had the ability to do a lot of ballistic testing to chose the right cartridge/bullet combination. I don't fear an open hammer snagging on clothing, since by the time you have the revolver cleared, your thumb is solving that problem. As far as using a shrouded or hidden hammer, if you do use it in self defense, it may show "less intent" because you can't stage the trigger taking time on your target. A .38 special with enclosed hammer is always with me, but when I go where i'm unfamiliar, I will step it up a notch with a .357 magnum DASA

    June 20, 2021 5:44 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Hayden Rosler

    I've watched somebody at an outdoor range consistently hit targets at 50ish yards with a snubby .357. Why did the author claim short barrels are inaccurate past 7-8 yards? Heck I can, and often do, get the job done within 15ish yards, and on a good day I can shoot out to 25 (the farthest at my local indoor range) with my S&W 69 Combat. Also, 44 mag snubbies should not be ignored as long as 44 special exists. 44 mag for four legs and 44 special for two. Man this one was a swing and a miss. I love you guys, but c'mon.

    April 1, 2021 12:42 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Citizen_Mikey

      Because you are comparing carefully aimed, pressure free, no bad guys present, skilled shooting. Of course there are skilled shooter who can hit targets far out, but most ppl are not that skilled. More importantly, this is about defensive EDC carry and the idea is that when you will be using these guns will be up close and personal, like most good guy/citizen gunfights. If you need to take 25-50 yards shots in any gunfight with a pistol, you are undergunned, and in a sticky situation being able to hit a static target in zero-pressure practice won't be all that useful when adrenaline is pumping and you need to make a 25-50 yard short barrel hit while on the move and likely getting fire at.

      April 29, 2021 11:15 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    KELLY L CAMPBELL

    All these under 900$ are discontinued, you need an update.

    August 20, 2020 6:51 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bob Thomas

    Though the LCR is an excellent, lightweight gun with a very clean double action pull, I wouldn't recommend it to a new shooter. My wife has the .38 Special version. I have run 130 grain .38's through it, not +P's, and because it's so light, the recoil is nasty. When you're in a fight and the adrenaline is going and all that, you might not realize it, but still, practice is very unpleasant. If you're prepared for it, it's certainly manageable, but it's definitely not something to go out and play with. I do have a discontinued S&W L-frame that I bought new years ago, a 681 4" . It's fixed sight version intended as a police sidearm. Right about the same time semi-auto started to become popular, so my guess is, that killed it. I like to shoot it but don't often. However, my Taurus Raging Bull .44 Magnum, 6.5" ported barrel is actually easier to shoot, for me anyway. The weight and porting help a lot, though it's incredibly loud. My XDs40 Springfield Armory and Glock 27 .40 subcompact are what I usually carry concealed though, because of their size and the .40 is a decently powerful round. But again, even with my full-size Beretta 96 .40, they have a snappy recoil. In my own little experience, I think if you want a semi-auto, an example I would recommend would be a Glock 19 9mm or maybe a 26 subcompact or G43. There are others, S&W M&P, SIG, and more. If a new shooter is not bothered by recoil, then sure, a .40 or .45 auto, or .38 or .357 Magnum, or the .327 Federal. There are compact 6 shot revolvers in that caliber. Lots of options.

    June 5, 2020 10:41 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Zack w

    I've got a taurus 856 and it's the most accurate handgun I've ever shot. One hole groups at ten yards is outstanding for a snub nose and mine will do that all day long. Much better trigger in single and double action than my great grandfather's highway patrolman. I think the 3 inch 856 defender with better sights is gonna be a perfect gun whenever it hits the shelves.

    May 14, 2020 11:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mikky Bride

    Like a pocket 38 for CCW. Use the SW BG38 w/o laser. These are slimmer than the Glock 43/36 so not sure where that came from. Unless I am just measuring wrong but I don't have to worry about any print with these.

    February 18, 2020 7:35 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    George P

    In a ccw or home defense scenario my GP100 3” is loaded so as the first rotations are .38 +p and the last 3 are .357 125 gt magnum. Love the wheelies.

    November 7, 2019 9:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    clarke steele

    I carry a Taurus Poly Protector 5 shot .357 Magnum, 19.7 ozs unloaded, ported 2" barrel, low profile snag resistant hammer for single action and 2 sets of grips with a trigger lock. Price is only $300

    October 27, 2019 6:17 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Simón Olguín

    I love Colt Cobra .38 Spl. + P, Stainless, 6 rounds.

    October 26, 2019 3:53 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      RUSSELL LOSINSKI

      YES SMOOTH AND DEADLY

      November 14, 2019 8:14 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ollen L Burnette

    My daily carry right now is a Manurhin MR73. Yes, it is a bit larger (4" barrel, 6 round 357 capacity), but I love how it shoots and it conceals just fine.

    October 21, 2019 5:58 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Reggie Turner

    The .327 Federal Magnum which holds 6 rds & has a little less grunt than the .357 is a revolver to be considered!

    October 21, 2019 11:25 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      LazrBeam

      Yes, yes, indeed the .327 Fed Mag Ruger LCR/LCRx or SP 101 are very worthy of consideration.

      August 29, 2020 7:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ryan Hartman

    The S&W m327 is a revolver to check out. I believe it was first manufactured in 2015 which could be why it didn't make this list, but it is an absolute beast. It's a lightweight 8 shot .357 with a two inch barrel. I have been carrying one for a year now and I couldn't be happier. Surprisingly accurate and easy to conceal.

    October 21, 2019 9:07 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Gabriel Simmons

    Do a SIG P365XL vs SIG P365 vs Glock 43X vs Glock 19 GEN5 vs Springfield Armory Hellcat vs Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield. It would be a very educational video for people looking it CCW.

    October 21, 2019 6:58 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Marcus Aurelius Tarkus

      I'd say throw in a KelTec P11, which was one of the original 10-shot compact 9mms, long before the Sig P365 made its splashy debut.

      October 21, 2019 9:47 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Gabriel Simmons

        but it is a Keltec see the issue

        October 22, 2019 6:22 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Marcus Aurelius Tarkus

    One reason that I love the colder-weather months: more opportunity to carry my S&W 686+ 3" concealed. My Remora IWB holster keeps the revolver secure and comfortably in place all day long. 7 shots available from the get-go.

    For the warmer weather/lighter clothing months, it's my Sig P365, which is just fine.

    October 21, 2019 6:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    JoeUSA

    not a single Chiappa Rhino snub nose?

    October 21, 2019 4:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    mountainhobo

    Weird exotics but no J frames? Okay...

    October 20, 2019 9:19 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Scott C.

      My thoughts exactly. My S&W 60LS is a great little wheel gun.

      October 21, 2019 8:32 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    BobF

    What about the Chiappas Rhinos? Certainly concealable with the 2” or 3” barrel, and their unconventional design makes for less recoil.

    October 20, 2019 4:49 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Victor Castle

      I guess the same place our 50 year old Charter Arms .38 is ?? I bought it for my wife when my boys were babies and I worked night shift.

      October 21, 2019 12:32 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    garyZ

    I'm confused. The pictures of the "spurless" Ruger SP101 seems to have a hammer spur. Doesn't spurless mean you can't see the hammer at all just looking at the gun?

    October 20, 2019 4:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      David, PPT Editor

      There are a boatload of SP101 models, but you are correct the Spurless models do have a hammer but it isn't readily visible when the hammer is down. We've actually reviewed a couple of models of SP101, both Spurless and with a full hammer. I renamed and added a picture to make the distinction more clear! Thanks for pointing that out for us.

      October 20, 2019 5:12 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jim Hovater

    Where are the S&W 640, S&W 296, and the S&W 329???

    October 20, 2019 3:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bob

    I know it's a bit exotic, but the Chiappa Rhino is pretty well optimized for CCW.

    It's the only 357 I have that I can shoot with little to no muzzle rise.

    October 20, 2019 3:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ron

    You need to educate yourself on SP101 revolvers. They come in DA only as well, with bobbed hammer and also SA/DA. I believe they even make one with internal hammer as well. .32 wadcutters are sufficient and better for the household. Educate yourself on them as well. They are also available in 38 special and 357 magnum. Having said that. I have 3 SP101's so I know what I'm talking about.

    October 19, 2019 4:24 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Splinter

    My go to EDC in retirement continues to be a light weight J frame revolver. On occasion I’ll carry the LCP .380 but I have confidence, backed up by having to use my service revolver in the line of duty, more than once.

    September 21, 2019 10:10 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    mark bitters

    just the smallest chance that a semi-auto will jam is enough reason NOT to buy one.

    August 13, 2019 9:14 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Daim

      Primers not igniting is enough reason not to buy ammo?

      October 20, 2019 10:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dee Dee Sommers

    I second William W. for the SP101 357mag 2.25in. Except mine has external hammer. I'm a smallish olderish woman. So I cannot carry my favorite handheld wireless personal protection device ;-) as frequently as it would please me. I usually conceal it just below my knee when I'm wearing a long skirt. But yeah. My SP101 is absolutely my preferred handgun.

    August 8, 2019 5:43 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    William W.

    You left off one of the best carry
    Revolvers made today, the Ruger SP-101 357mag 2.25in spurless. My daily carry with two speed loaders. Never feel under gunned.

    August 8, 2019 4:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    S. Diprima

    I carry a Taurus revolver model 817 ultralite 7 shot .38+ p. It weighs only 21 oz & It’s carried in a Bianchi pancake style leather holster. Very comfortable, easily concealed & very accurate.

    May 26, 2019 10:39 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Narq

      21 oz... a brick! The Kel-Tec P3AT (380) less than 9 oz with 6+1 for next to nothing. Simply nothing better for pocket carry.

      July 11, 2019 6:03 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Mikky Bride

        Kel-tech jam like crazy please don't recommend that garbage to people. There is a reason they are next to nothing.

        February 18, 2020 7:43 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    James Hoffman

    Just purchased a Ruger LCR. Love it. Especially with an extended grip for the pinky finger.

    May 1, 2019 3:05 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Steve Justin

    Love my judge

    March 16, 2019 10:03 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      S. Diprima

      Do you carry it concealed??

      May 26, 2019 10:41 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Craig Giddens

    LOL! The Judge as a conceal carry? You forgot to mention Smith & Wesson's other J-Frames (642, 442, and 637) and how in the world did you miss the Kimber K6?

    January 28, 2019 10:06 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      James Hoffman

      Price. Kimber is way too expensive.

      May 1, 2019 3:03 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mark

    I don't even know where to start. This "article" is extremely misleading and wrong. You are going to caust some one a lot of money at the least. Semi automatics are reliable they have bin evolving since at least 1911. A modern pistol will fire jhw just fine . as for malfunctioning you should have one in the chamber then if something happens after firing that one you will be able to fix the malfunction easily with a little training. However to train people to clear malfunctions we usually have to cause one as they are extremely reliable in the hands of someone competent. And last point if a revolver ever does jam you will be out of the fight as it usually requires tools to fix. In short anyone reading this who is looking to buy a first gun for self defense or carry go to a instructor any good instructor will offer to show you some options for a first gun and have you shoot some for cheep and you will save the money you would have pissed away buying a gun that is useless to you. In the end you may go revolver or not.

    August 31, 2018 8:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Some guy

      I would disagree. Semi automatic pistols are great and all but they have more moving parts. Imagine you are up close and personal. In the heat of the moment you press the pistol into someone's body and shoot. The gun will go bang... But it won't chamber another round. If you have a malfunction you would have to tap and rack and hope that was the problem.. with a revolver you can push that bad boy into someone and when it goes bang, you simply pull the trigger again. If it goes click (worst sound ever) you simply pull the trigger again non of that tap rack stuff. Buying a ccw revolver isn't a waste of money. I suggest anybperson who carries to have a back up ccw revolver that fits in a person's pocket. The revolver is the backup plan. It's not a waste of money because when the wolf walks through the doors and the first weapon goes "click" you'll thank yourself for gaving a revolver waiting for you in your pocket.

      August 31, 2018 10:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Average joe

      Yep correctly. I used to think that revolvers are more reliable than semi-auto pistols, but I only thought that when I didn’t know anything about guns!! If a pistol jams most of the time you just pull back the slide and solve the problem. But is a revolver jams, no way you fix that by hand in seconds. Everybody who thinks revolvers are more simple than pistols judge that only by external features, look inside the mechanics to see how revolvers looks so like complex o’clocks with some many tine parts. And another thing to remember is that blast and debris that fly from the gap between cylinder and barrel and goes on your face. You probably are gonna lose one eye or both if shoot without safety glasses. But I like revolvers and bought couple of for collection, but for conceal carry only if I also carry a pistol.

      March 9, 2019 12:51 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Splinter

        The only problem w/your assessment Joe is if you’re in the midst of a deadly attack and the gun jams, albeit a revolver or pistol, there is no time to “fix” the situation. Your attacker will continue his/her aggression and unless you have superior empty handed skills you’re going to lose. My preference is for a small revolver based on my 30 years, and three gunfights, as a street cop. My LCP gets carried when I cannot adequately conceal a J frame S&W.

        September 21, 2019 10:21 am
        • Commenter Avatar
          Alex

          What holster do you use for your J frame? Pocket carry or IWB?

          October 23, 2019 3:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jerry

    Jerry here. I have been carrying my ..38 colt detective special for years. Bianchi pancake or ankle holster. Also carry my Springfield XD. 45 on my hip. Both great guns.

    August 19, 2018 2:25 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    SGT Roy E.Payne

    My conceal carry is a Ruger LCR 327 Magnum (yes, 327), 6 shots,, with laser sights. Love this revolver, great trigger action..

    August 3, 2018 4:23 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mattie

      I'm looking for personal protection,concealed carry handgun and leaning towards the Ruger SP101 LCR Double-Action .327 Federal Magnum. Do you think a 50 y/o, 90 lb woman could easily handle it (kickback?)? Also are you able to shut off, the laser-sight-light on yours? Thanks!

      December 29, 2018 4:32 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        GaShooter

        You mention 2 very different firearms in your question. The SP101 is a SA/DA revolver; the LCR is DAO revolver. Both available in 327 Mag. To answer your question, yes, a 50 YO 90 lb person should be able to handle either of these model firearms. With a 327 Fed Mag revolver you can shoot 32 S&W, 32 S&W long, 32 H&R Magnum, 32 ACP as well as 327 Fed Mag cartridges. Very versatile firearm! I keep an SP101 327 Mag revolver loaded with 32 H&R Mag around the house for the wife.

        December 30, 2018 3:39 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          GaShooter

          I forgot to mention that, yes, there is an on/off switch for the CTC LaserGrips - usually on the left grip panel. When in the “on” position, the laser is automatically activated when you take your shooting grip on the gun.

          December 30, 2018 3:58 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          LazrBeam

          I've got a stainless SP101 w/ 3in barrel, an LCR and LCRx (exposed hammer), and a Taurus w/ 3 in ported barrel (an absolute tack driver) all in . 327 Fed Mag and all hold 6 rounds. Also, have Henry Big Boy in .327. It is a great round and, as you mention, great versatility capable of firing the lesser powered .32's. I highly recommend the .327 Fed Mag. If you have any questions about its power look up .327 Federal Magnum on your favorite search engine. You may be surprised. Betcha so.

          February 24, 2019 10:34 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Ron

          You need to educate yourself on SP101 revolvers. They come in DA only as well, with bobbed hammer and also SA/DA. I believe they even make one with internal hammer as well. .32 wadcutters are sufficient and better for the household. Educate yourself on them as well. They are also available in 38 special and 357 magnum. Having said that. I have 3 SP101's so I know what I'm talking about.

          October 19, 2019 4:23 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Chris

        The SP101 and LCR are both great weapons but I would lean more towards a bodyguard, they are great little guns. If you have a local range that has them for rent I would suggest giving each one a try and see what one best suits you. I've owned a SP101 and bodyguard, I absolutely loved the SP but the bodyguard was more practical for carry.

        January 1, 2019 2:04 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Dee Dee

        Hi Mattie, I am a 60+ y/o woman who would love to be 90 lbs. again. (5'1"). My first handgun was the LCRx with 3" barrel. It was a beautiful gun and very accurate. But it did NOT fit my small hands and with the 3" barrel, was not exactly very concealable. So I moved up to the SP101 .357mag 2.25". It fit's my hands so wonderfully! I do not carry .357mag rounds in it though. Those are too hot for me. I carry .38spl rounds and am going to try +P. But the solid stainless steel gun offers very little recoil. It is more comfortable at the range than my little .380 semi-auto.

        One thing I appreciate most about my SP101 is the external hammer. When I am at the range when my weakening hands get fatigued, I fire the weapon in single action. DA very heavy trigger. SA very light trigger. I wouldn't trade my SP101 for anything!

        August 8, 2019 5:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Wesley

    I'm 65 a former Naval Aviator and have had a CCW since I was 21.
    I went thru a lot of pistols trying to find something I could carry all day.
    I was predisposed to the Colt 1911 being convinced of its effectiveness. But over the years the most convenient has been a S&W Bodyguard. It's light and will easily fit in most pockets and does not need to be drawn to be fired. Because it has a shrouded hammer it can be manually cocked and fired single-action. For pocket carry I do recommend using a Garrison Grip Micro Trigger Stop For Smith & Wesson Revolver J Frame to avoid accidental discharges from snagging a trigger. It's old tech and there are newer models that will fire 357 magnum but for most situations where it's self-defense a belly gun with modern 38+P is adequate . One other thing to consider with concealed carry in states like Virginia displaying that you have a weapon holstered is considered brandishing a weapon. With this model you just put your hand in your pocket if you are feeling threatened and no one will ever know how close they came to being shot.

    July 21, 2018 5:02 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      brian

      Displaying a holstered firearm in Virginia is considered brandishing a weapon? Please explain, I don't understand.

      August 9, 2018 3:37 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Splinter

        Open carry is legal in VA but will likely get the police called on you. If you carry your gun in a holster, on your belt and not concealed, it’s legal and not considered brandishing. You only “brandish” if you walk around with the gun in your hand. Contact your local police for additional info, they’ll be glad to help.

        September 21, 2019 10:27 am
        • Commenter Avatar
          brian

          John W. said, "One other thing to consider with concealed carry in states like Virginia displaying that you have a weapon holstered is considered brandishing a weapon. " Your reply did not clarify his statement.

          October 23, 2019 8:08 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John L

    Perhaps it's not a "classic", but you've got to get the Chiappa Rhino on this list. It's a perfect concealed carry choice, and arguably makes other carry revolvers obsolete as far as features and practically go.

    To be fair, neither the LCRx or Judge are really "classics" either, but they made this list. So I'd say the Chiappa Rhino deserves an honorable mention at the very least!

    April 12, 2018 6:54 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Matthew Collins

      I will formally give the rhino honorable mention status on cool factor alone. They're also pretty much built like a tank from what I've heard.

      April 12, 2018 7:06 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      David

      The Rhino is one of many guns on my list of "MUST TRY", I've been craving to get my hands on one for YEARS.

      April 12, 2018 10:49 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    J Lu

    Great advice without hidden motives. I just attended a small gun show and this information was right on point. Thanks for the helpful input!!!!

    March 26, 2018 4:35 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      So glad we could help out!

      March 26, 2018 3:34 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Overdriver999

        This is a good list for sure...and maybe I missed it but if not,how bout doing a list in the future for a good first time buyer revolver list... I'm gonna be in the market within the next 6 months or so for my first "starter" revolver.

        August 1, 2018 10:38 am
        • Commenter Avatar
          Overdriver999

          Nevermind I found it.

          August 9, 2018 5:17 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    HUJU

    The Judge is a terrible recommendation for concealed carry.

    March 20, 2018 4:39 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike

      I disagree. For several reasons, I have concealed carried a Judge on numerous occasions. Because of my surroundings and the dangers posed from both human and natural predators, it was the only weapon I felt comfortable carrying.. It is comfortable with the correct holster and easy to conceal with the correct attire.

      May 27, 2018 10:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Josh woodin

    Your articles are great- not too wordy or technical you go right to the point! I appreciate your style.
    I. Would like to point out couple of things not mentioned: Taurus judge is a beast as said. Both in weight & size. Even as shoulder bolstered I would not recommend except on camping trip maybe but I wouldn't take on much more than pocupine with it!2) the light 1st river has huge recoil. I would recommend shoting 38 's in heavier weight or from .357 to balance recoil especially for a woman.
    Thanks again for your writings!

    May 26, 2017 5:46 pm
Join the community! Log in
Please provide a valid email address.
Password is required.
or
Register
Please provide a valid display name.
Please provide a valid email address.
The password should contain at least 8 characters with at least one number or special character.
Please accept in order to continue.
or
Trouble logging in?
Type your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.
Please provide a valid email.
Password
Type your new password and hit button below to confirm it.
Field is required.
Account already exists
We already have an account registered for email address () which is linked to your Facebook account.
To log in type your Pew Pew Meter password below.
Field is required.
Account already exists
We noticed that you have previously logged in with your Account which is linked to the same email address () - we can link both of your accounts together.
In order to link your accounts, hit button below and log in to your Account with the same email as above.

Account in Pew Pew Meter means more

Check what do you get by creating an account
Check and save your reviews!
Bookmark and compare your favorite firearms
Manage your newsletter subscription
pew pew tactical logo

new here?

Personalize your experience.
Select what level shooter you are!

pew pew tactical logo

level up your gun knowledge

Thanks! We'll send you the latest guides and training tips geared towards your level.

pew pew tactical logo

welcome!

You'll now receive newsletters of our best articles on techniques, guns & gear.

$47 value

yours free!

targets targets
free

practice targets

printer icon printable

our 9 favorite targets and drills

free

practice targets

printer icon printable

enter your email to download

We'll only use the information provided according to our privacy policy.

success icon

Ready to Download

Click below to begin your download

download pdf
Advertisement