Semi-auto pistols are popular and practical, but there are a small majority of people that prefer having revolvers as their CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon). Even though some may argue and say that a pistol is a better CCW, there are some revolvers that are just as good, if not, better than a pistol.
What Makes a Good Concealed Carry Revolver?
Here are some of the crucial elements that make a gun a good concealed carry so make sure that these factors are present in the product that you are choosing before you make a purchase for it.
There must be a certain level of compactness of the revolver in order for it to be a good concealed carry. Compactness depends on the overall length and width of the gun and ideally, you want it to be as short and thin as possible so that it doesn’t take up too much space in the holster. If it is small in size, it can definitely stay in concealment, making it a good concealed carry.
Besides being able to stay hidden, it would be ideal to carry something light rather than heavy. However, the definition of heaviness and lightness varies from person to person so you should set your own standards and it will be easier for you to find the right CCW.
Best Concealed Carry Revolvers – Reviewed
Now that you know what to look for and what a CCW must have, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market.
1. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard with Crimson Trace Laser
Smith & Wesson is a name that many people would’ve heard of and has been around for a very long time. The reason why it has become one of the best firearm manufacturers is because of the standard of their guns. The guns that are sold to their customers have good reliability and even though the price of its guns is slightly higher than others, it will still be worth your money.
The S&W Bodyguard revolver is one the best concealed carry revolvers that are able to give you a good combination of accuracy and practicality. This concealed carry revolver is one of the best because of its snag-free design. It is made without a hammer which reduces the chances of snagging allowing you, as a shooter, to quickly draw it and start shooting.
This concealed carry is chambered in the .38 Special +P ammo and can deliver the power that you need in a self-defense situation. Even though it may look small and stays concealed very well, it can still deal some serious damage to offer you a good level of protection when you need it.
As a concealed carry revolver, one of the most important things is to be light in weight. With the use of an aluminum alloy frame, the weight of this handgun sits at 14.4 ounces. Besides that, the stainless steel cylinder and barrel gives the durability that you would expect from this company.
Another feature that has allowed this to be a good concealed carry gun is the overall length of this gun. It is 6.6 inches in the total with a barrel length of 1.875 inches. However, there are some concealed carry revolvers on the market that are shorter but it may not perform as well as this revolver.
This is a five-shot revolver made by a manufacturer that is known for its reliable products. It has a snag-free design and is lightweight, making this a good concealed carry gun. The overall build is also durable and not only is it the ideal concealed carry gun for anyone, but it is also good for shooting targets at a close range.
- Ambidextrous cylinder release
- Trigger pull is smooth
- Comes with a Crimson Trace Laser
- Durable build
- Slightly longer than some concealed carry revolvers
2. Ruger LCR
The Ruger LCR or the LCRx is one of the most mentioned revolvers on any concealed carry gun reviews. Since this is a list of the best concealed carry revolvers, the Ruger LCR will definitely be on this list too. LCR stands for Lightweight Compact Revolver that has a weight of 13.5 ounces only which is why it is a common CCW gun.
Even though Ruger has been known for manufacturing big wheel guns, small guns like the Ruger LCR are just as good too. The frame of this concealed carry revolver consists of two different materials which are aerospace grade 7000 series aluminum and polymer for the fire control housing. The use of these materials is consistent for the different models of LCR that are chambered for different cartridges.
This concealed carry is equipped with patented friction-reducing cam system that allows for a smooth trigger action for this revolver. Besides the smooth trigger, the comfort that this handgun is able to provide is top-notch with the use of the Hogue Tamer grip. The use of this Hogue Tamer of the standard model of LCR has effectively reduced felt recoil making this gun easier to shoot.
If the factory grip doesn’t satisfy you, the revolver has a Grip Peg feature that gives shooters the ease of changing to different grips. Another feature like the fluted stainless steel cylinder with top quality finish has contributed to the reduction of the weight and the service life of the revolver.
For anyone out there looking for a revolver to be used as a concealed carry that doesn’t cost you too much, the Ruger LCR would be the best choice. The 1.87-inch barrel is also ideal for the .38 Special cartridge and with the Hogue Tamer grip, you won’t feel as much recoil.
- Can be modified with the removable front sight and grip
- Smooth action of trigger
- Has features that reduces felt recoil
- People with a big hand might find it hard to use
3. Kimber K6s
If you need a gun that can fire up to six rounds of .357 Magnum and ideal for concealed carry or everyday carry, get the Kimber K6s. Kimber has been known for their famous 1911 pistols but it has started to make a name for itself with the concealed carry revolvers. And this model by Kimber, the K6s, has a compact and lightweight design that makes it a good gun to be used for concealed carry.
The gun is quite small in size for a six-shot revolver which is why it is not the best to chamber for the .357 Magnum rounds. However, it is still something that many people can accept and is not a big issue. Because of the small size of the gun, it is easy to find holsters for it and holster up your revolver.
The Kimber K6s has a name for itself known as the world’s lightest six-shot .357 Magnum revolver and also the smallest diameter six-shot cylinder. With an empty cylinder, this revolver weighs at 23 ounces only and a 1.39-inch diameter cylinder. It is offered in double-action and the match-grade trigger at factory setting has a slightly heavy pull weight.
A black rubber grip is used for this concealed carry revolver to help reduce felt recoil from the 2-inch barrel and is textured to prevent slipping. The 2-inch barrel is what you would normally expect from a concealed carry snubby.
This is a .357 Magnum revolver that as a shooter, you will find useful in various situations other than using it as a concealed carry for self-defense. The sights that are used are commonly seen on semi-autos and makes the gun useful at the shooting range.
- Easy to find holsters
- Snub nose for concealed carry
- Sights included
- Heavy trigger pull
4. Colt King Cobra Carry
When people think about a wheel gun, they think about Colt and it is definitely a must to include a revolver from Colt in a revolver review. The model, Colt King Cobra, has been away for quite some time and Colt has finally brought this famous model back for everyone.
This Colt King Cobra revolver is chambered for the .357 Magnum and it is a double-action six-round revolver. This DAO (Double Action Only) revolver is an excellent choice of a concealed carry with the release of a bobbed-hammer model and with a barrel length of 2 inches only. With this design, you won’t have to worry about the revolver snagging during critical moments.
The frame that this DAO revolver is built on is a stainless steel frame and the overall construction uses the same material as well which gives it an aesthetic look. The Colt King Cobra is also made with Hogue Overmolded grips that can give you much more comfort than concealed carry guns that use wood grips.
A brass bead front sight is used for the revolver that ensures a quick target acquisition during self-defense scenarios. As a revolver that is used as an EDC, it is fairly lightweight weighing in at 26 ounces only. With the right choice of holster, you will barely feel that you are carrying a revolver.
The Colt King Cobra is a well-known revolver for many years and is a favorite for many shooters on the market. It is a gun with good performance and reliability and has features that make it a good concealed carry too.
- Bobbed-hammer design
- Stainless steel construction
- Comfortable Hogue Overmolded grips
- The short barrel may not be enough for the magnum performance
5. Ruger SP101 Spurless DAO
As many people know, snubbies are not known for handling the .357 Magnum rounds but the Ruger SP101 is one of those snubbies that are built to handle the five magnum rounds in its cylinder. It has the strength to handle the powerful .357 Magnum cartridge because of its stainless steel construction.
There are also several different models of the Ruger SP101 that offer different barrel lengths as well as for different calibers. The available choices are 2.25 inches, 3 inches and 4.2 inches barrel and the caliber options that are offered are .38 Special, .327 Federal Magnum and there is a 9mm version that has a machined cylinder face to allow for the use of moon clips.
Even though the weight of this revolver is slightly on the heavier end for a five-shot revolver, weighing in at 25 ounces, it is the reason why it is able to handle the powerful Magnum shots. The use of rubber grips has effectively reduced felt recoil making it more comfortable for the shooter to shoot and great for defense purposes.
The hammer of the Ruger SP101 does not have any spur, giving it snag-free capabilities which is an advantage that many people appreciate about this concealed carry. The black ramp front sight and the integral rear sight adds great value to the firearm too in a way that it improves the accuracy of your shots. Both sights are pinned and can be easily replaced with aftermarket ones if the shooter has a different preference of style for the sights.
The Ruger SP101 is a small-frame weapon that not only can be used as a concealed carry but also in home defense and other field uses. This is partly because of its ability to handle the powerful rounds that this concealed carry revolver is chambered for. When compared to other small-frame revolvers, the SP101 can be considered as one of the best concealed carry revolvers that offer the most power.
- Can handle powerful rounds
- Easily replaced sights
- Hammer does not have spur
- Good for many
- Slightly heavy for a five-round revolver
6. Smith & Wesson Performance Center 442
The Smith & Wesson J-frame revolvers have been around for a very long time and it shouldn’t be a surprise seeing one in a review about revolvers. Many people think that a J-frame is the same for any model number of S&W but this model, the Performance Center 442 is a good example of a different J-frame.
Since it is built on a small-frame, the size of this gun is fairly small with an overall length of 6.3 inches only. With the use of an aluminum alloy for the frame and a stainless steel barrel, this gun is able to be kept at a lightweight of 15 ounces only. A high standard construction is what you would expect from Smith & Wesson and that is what they have delivered.
Performance Center guns by S&W are hand-assembled and made to be perfect. This Model 442 is built to fire the .38 Special+P calibers and has excellent accuracy for hitting short-range targets. With the built-in Crimson Trace Lasergrip, you will be able to aim at your target easily no matter what situation you are using this gun in.
Being the best manufacturer for revolvers, S&W has never failed to disappoint and this Model 442, one of the best concealed carry revolvers, is made with a snag-free enclosed hammer. This feature is something that you will see a lot in other concealed carry revolvers and it is definitely helpful in preventing your gun snagging on your holsters in life and death situations.
The Smith & Wesson Performance Center 442 is a great J-frame revolver to pick up if you are looking for a gun that can be used in a variety of scenarios. From self-defense to competition, this gun is made for you to take an accurate shot at your target. It is also a product made by one of the best brands on the market so reliability won’t be a problem.
- Great for various purposes
- Comes with a Crimson Trace Lasergrip
- Five rounds of capacity only
7. Taurus Raging Bull
Most revolvers that are used for concealed carry often don’t have many functions, but that is not the case for the Taurus Raging Bull. If you are trying to search for a gun that can be used for various applications and has good firepower too, this gun would be an ideal option.
The Taurus Raging Bull is chambering the famous .44 Magnum round and as many people know, it is a powerful round too. When you talk about hunting handguns, this gun would be one of the favorite revolvers of Americans. The fact that this gun is chambered for the .44 Magnum round and still manages to be concealed is one of the reasons why it is one of the best options on the market.
Another place that you will see the Taurus Raging Bull performing well is when it is used for target shooting. Thanks to the use of a fiber optic front sight and an adjustable rear sight, shooters are able to aim at their target easily and quickly. The crisp trigger break and smooth action also allow for good accuracy when shooting at a target.
The weight of the Taurus Raging Bull doesn’t feel too heavy for a 6-shot revolver, weighing in at 27 ounces only. The finish of the frame is anodized matte and the cylinder has a matte stainless finish. The overall build of this gun is made for using it roughly over a long period of time so you don’t have to worry about it failing on you during life and death moments.
The Taurus Raging Bull is a great gun to be used for practice, hunting and of course, as a concealed carry. It is chambered for a powerful magnum round that can be useful under various circumstances. This gun also has great sights that help to aim at your target easily.
- Can be used on multiple occasions
- Chambered for the powerful .44 Magnum round
- Fairly compact compared to other revolvers chambered for .44 Magnum round
- A spurred hammer might snag on the holster
8. North American Arms .22 Revolver
This is a firearm with a special design that is unlike other revolvers that you see on the market. Most of the revolvers that are used as a concealed carry are chambered for the .38 Special round but the North American Arms .22 Revolver chambers for the .22LR round with the use of a conversion cylinder.
North American Arms is one of those companies that are not super famous but their products are definitely reliable. When you purchase a product like this concealed carry revolver, you will find that the quality of craftsmanship is very high and this gun’s precision in engineering is often known as “watch-like”.
The NAA mini revolvers weigh extremely light at 6.5 ounces only and have an overall length of 5.13 inches only. Which means that this revolver can be placed in various parts of a person, from the jacket pocket to ankle holsters. Having a backup gun on you is always better than having a full-size gun in your car or your home especially during critical moments.
This model of revolver by North American Arms has one of the most unique designs and if you are into collecting revolvers, this can be a great option for you too. Besides that, it is compact and easy to store this weapon on a person which makes it one of the best options for a concealed carry.
- Small and compact
- Can be stored in different places
- Good for defense purpose at a short-range
- Extremely lightweight
- Not offered in double-action
Our Thoughts – Best Overall
The best concealed carry revolver would be the Smith & Wesson Performance Center 442. This model is made by a well-known company that specializes in making firearms so reliability won’t be a problem for the Model 442. It is also great for different occasions like training, target shooting and most importantly as a concealed carry. The only downside of this gun is a low capacity but five rounds are definitely enough to take down an attacker.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Are revolvers easier to conceal?
Yes. Revolvers are some of the easiest handguns to conceal and while some people may think that the bulky cylinder may be an issue, many newer models have minimized the width of the gun to make it easier to carry in IWB (Inside the Waistband) Holsters.
Q: Is a revolver enough for CCW?
Yes and no. Some revolvers are great CCW, sometimes better than pistols, and some are just not that great of an option. As a CCW revolver, it should be reliable and easy to use since it is most likely used for defensive uses and you wouldn’t want it to fail on you.
Q: Is it safe to carry a revolver fully loaded?
Yes. Single-action revolvers that have an old design are made to be safe to carry fully loaded as long as the operating condition is still good.
Q: Will a revolver fire if dropped?
Older versions that have the firing pin attached to the hammer have a chance of firing if dropped. However, the modern version is much safer, especially those with the mechanism known as a “transfer bar” that doesn’t fire when dropped but only when you pull the trigger.
Q: Do revolvers ever jam?
No. Usually, it will jam when the bullet gets stuck between half of the barrel and the cylinder but if you are using factory ammo, it is unlikely that it will jam. Many people have gone through thousands of rounds without any issues only when they start using weaker ammo that causes the bullet to get stuck.