Five Best Concealed Carry Revolvers

Author Tred Law
Gun writer, Tred Law lists his picks of the five best concealed carry revolvers for everyday carry & self defense.

Five Best Concealed Carry Revolvers
When drawing a Concealed Carry Revolver you likely want one of theses five best CCW Revolvers.
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Manasquan, NJ –-( I love revolvers as they are a tried and true design, simple to use and easy to maintain, with just enough capacity and caliber to get the job done.

As a firearms instructor I am asked all the time by my students, “What is the best concealed carry revolvers?”

My top five picks for the best concealed carry revolvers for reliable self defense include the five following wheelguns:

  • Ruger SP101 357 Mag, 2.25″ Revolver
  • Smith & Wesson 642 Handgun 38 Special Revolver
  • Ruger LCR-LG 38 Spl+P Revolver with Crimson Trace Lasergrips
  • S&W M&P 340 Revolver
  • Taurus Judge Public Defender Polymer Revolver

Ruger SP101 357 Mag, 2.25″ Revolver:

Ruger SP101 357 Mag, 2.25" Revolver
Ruger SP101 357 Mag, 2.25″ Revolver

The Ruger SP101 357 Mag, 2.25″ Revolver fitted with the Crimson Trace LG-111 Defender Series Lasergrips are designed to put the shooter on target quickly and accurately. The Ruger SP101 has a spurless hammer for a snag free carry and draw, features 2.25 inch barrel and fixed sights. These 5-shot stainless steel revolvers are chambered for .357 Magnum and can also fire .38 Special ammunition, including .38+P cartridges.

The Crimson Trace LG-111 Defender Series Lasergrips are constructed of hard durable polymer. The red beam laser is activated by a pressure switch located on the front of the grip, making it instinctively usable for right- or left-handed shooters. The laser is adjustable for windage and elevation using an Allen wrench (provided).You Can Never Be Too Prepared. The SP101 revolver boasts the strength to handle the powerful .357 Magnum and .327 Federal Magnum cartridges in a controllable, small-framed double-action revolver. Among the most powerful small-frame revolvers on the market, they are engineered for solid performance. Featuring a recoil-reducing grip, the SP101 is comfortable to shoot and perfect for personal defense or field use.Strong and reliable shot after shot, all SP101 revolvers boast solid steel sidewalls (no side-plates), making them rugged, reliable, and dependable.

Available in .327 Federal Magnum, .38 Special and .357 Magnum (which also accepts the less expensive .38 Special cartridges), you can count on the SP101 when you need it.

Smith & Wesson 642 Handgun 38 Special Revolver:

Smith & Wesson 642 Handgun 38 Special Revolver
Smith & Wesson 642 Handgun 38 Special Revolver

The Smith & Wesson 642 Handgun 38 Special Revolver is a lightweight alloy framed revolver with a steel cylinder. Smith and Wesson calls this an Airweight revolver. It comes in at 15 ounces unloaded. It is a 5 shot revolver and rated for .38 Special +P ammunition. The standard 642 comes with a 1 7/8 inch barrel and the Pro comes in at 2 1/8 inch barrel.

I am a large caliber bigot. I make no apologies for it. Before this gun, I only thought there were 4 common calibers worth buying a handgun in: .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .357 Magnum, and .44 Magnum. I still think that way, but with one caveat. A .38 Special in +P can be had in ballistics close to a slow .357 Magnum. Make that two caveats, I don’t know who said it, but a [insert small caliber here] in the pocket is better than a [insert large caliber here] in the dresser. I think there are limits to the second caveat, but for 40 years the majority of police in this country carried .38 Specials and like I mentioned above, there are +P’s that push the .38 Special over 1000 f/s.

Ruger LCR Revolver .357 with Crimson Trace Lasergrips:

Ruger LCR Revolver .357 with Crimson Trace Lasergrips
Ruger LCR Revolver .357 with Crimson Trace Lasergrips

When Ruger designed the groundbreaking polymer-framed Ruger LCR Revolver in .357, it did so with the intention of Crimson Trace Lasergrips compatibility and availability right out of the gates. The addition of the Lasergrips greatly enhances the defensive capability of the lightweight LCR revolver with a seamless fit and quality engineering. It will hold zero continuously without fail. Ruger’s commitment to endorsing Crimson Trace laser sights is further validation that after the weapon itself, a laser is the best self defense investment you can make.

S&W M&P 340 Revolver:

Best Concealed Carry Revolvers
S&W M&P 340 Revolver

The S&W M&P 340 Revolver is a lightweight, five-shot, double-action-only revolver is perfect for concealment and comes with an internal hammer that’ll keep it from catching on the draw. It’s chambered in .38 Special +P and the heavier .357 Mag., providing shooters with some options when planning their personal defense.

Taurus Judge Public Defender Polymer Revolver:

Taurus Judge Public Defender a good carry choice
Taurus Judge Public Defender Polymer Revolver

Last but not least, on our list of the best concealed carry revolvers, check out the revolutionary new Taurus Judge Public Defender Polymer Revolver. This scaled-down model of everyone’s favorite combo gun, the Taurus Judge, still gives you the ability to fire your choice of ammunition —now in a size that fits in most pockets— also in a lighter, polymer body frame with new updates for improved handling and accuracy. Truly amazing! Just like its big brother, this little gun delivers amazing versatility and devastating firepower for self-protection. .45/.410 (2.5″ chamber)


Concealed Carry Revolvers Capacity / Price Comparison Chart:

Revolver Capacity Price
Ruger SP101 357 Mag 2.25″ Revolver 5 Shot MSRP $719.00
Smith & Wesson 642 Handgun 38 Special Revolver 5 Shot MSRP $469.00
Ruger LCR Revolver .357 with Crimson Trace Lasergrips 5 Shot MSRP $649.99
S&W M&P 340 Revolver 5 Shot MSRP $869.00
Taurus Judge Public Defender Polymer Revolver 5 Shot MSRP $514.47

Short and sweet huh? These are my top five Go-to-Guns for concealed carry revolvers if you’re looking for ultra reliable, easily concealable wheelsguns with enough stopping power for that peace of mind. Others will always disagree so let me know in the comments below what your favorite self-defense revolver is and why you think it is the best?

Thinking you want a Semi-Auto for your concealed carry weapon? Read our related article of the Best Handgun For Concealed Carry .

AmmoLand Editor Comments:  This article was updated to reflect changes in product improvements / availability on 07/12/2017.

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Mac Daddy

I respect the writer’s knowledge but before I go to using a 357 magnum in a house or on the street there are some drawbacks first being a 357 is over kill because if you miss the errant round is very likely going through a wall which may have a horrific out come on an innocent bystander possibly being a family member or friend. As for on the street I have personally seen a 357 round go a city block passing through 1 house & stopping by embedding the projectile in the refrigerator door of a 2nd house. I have… Read more »

Mike Thomas

I have a soft spot for the S & W Model 19 or 66, especially the new 66 that Smith came out with!

Myron J. Poltroonian

As to which firearms you should carry concealed, it’s a matter of your physique, preference and practice, practice, practice. If you’re a “Wee slip of a Lass”, Dirty Harry’s 6″ barreled S&W .44 Magnum Model 29 is most likely not an option. Likewise, if you’re a ham-fisted 350+ lb linebacker, a Raven in .25 ACP would be difficult, if not impossible to handle quickly and accurately in a stressful, life or death situation. Tailor your carry gear, clothing and mode(s) to suit your particulars, not someone else’s. Remember this too, as Robert Ruark famously noted: “Use Enough Gun”. Meaning one… Read more »


Is there a Mod 29 44mag in a sub barrel ; -) …

What would some of yall’s opinion be for a Good Round not yet used in Revolvers. That would you like to see? ..
I think a type of 357 sig or 10 mm used in a Revolver would or could be a decent idea.. if made right, and I havent seen that but id like to someday.

Bo Stone

Yes use enough gun, good advice, what we need to remember is that in the majority of self defense cases you will be in very close proximity if not in actual contact with your attacker, it is also important that you can point shoot without the need of sights or even the laser sight that is so popular today. I can tell you from personal experience that point shooting is the key as you wont have time to acquire a sight picture or even look for the laser dot, just saying, and I agree with most of your post, well… Read more »

Peter Bullock

S&W 638. 38+P, 5 rounds, lightweight snubbie
Short stub of a hammer for when you have time to cock it for single action, flawless DA for when you’re in a hurry…

My first carry gun , originally suggested after a conversation with an S&W rep at a very large gun show. I vried a bunch of others but keep coming back.

Of course, tucked away elsewhere is an LCP with appropriate ammunition for stoppers.


I have been carrying a .38 colt detective special sense the early 80’s, when I was transferred to investigations, have carried it for years and still do in retirement, never has it failed me, I guess these semi auto’s are good but Ive been a wheel guy for so long I don’t see me changing anytime soon.
It does my heart good to see that others are as smitten by these revolvers as I am, guess I am not the dinosoar I thought I was.

Wild Bill

, I hear you. I love the snub nose concept. I am not quite as happy with the snub nose results.


I carry Charter Arms Bulldog Pug, .44 special. Titanium frame. Hollow points.

Myron J. Poltroonian

Mine’s not Titanium.

scoot lind

I have a .22 magnum SA/DA 8 shot snubby and a .38+p SA/DA 5 shot snubby. I have carried both with ease with OWB holster shirt covered both well ( no outline showing). I live in New Orleans and most encounters in my neighborhood involve 2 to 5 attackers. my question is more shots or more power?


My Taurus revolver is a lil heavy for all day carry, but i try here at home on occasion and late at night it is a great go. But i carry a Keltec PF9 with ah 8+1 mag extention from keltech, ive No issues though some have with PF9s.
And on occasion my lil friend Ruger 380 LCP has been great..
Ive no issues trusting any weapon if need. Or if at home if i must i wouldnt hesitate using my 22LR squirrel rifle, or HR single shot 12

Larry Salley

The Taurus 605 Revolver has impressed me. It has become my everyday carry gun.

Taurus 605 Revolver

Bo Stone

Many say 380 is “enough” except trained gun store employees, some compete & teach. Well so is a 22LR to temple if so could be arranged w/cooperation. Consider a heavy weight boxer’s punch over 500ft-lb energy doesn’t always knock his opponent out unless hitting “rich right” and how long those matches can go (or short … in exceptions). Those smarter than me indicate 500 is minimum for personal defense against humans and 800 min, for hunting or PD from wild animals while hiking/camping. Now consider the guns above such as LCR357 w/ideal Lucky Gunner Labs PD ammo = 440ft-lb muzzle… Read more »

Hardy Spires

Go to the lucky gunner tests and look at all of the .380 ammo that they have tested. There are several that meet the requirements of the FBI for defense purposes. They have the 12″ of penetration and also retain bullet weight along with very good mushrooming. Any caliber that you choose will need the correct ammo for the job you use it for. I wouldn’t try to use .380 in a long distance shootout with somebody but in an up close run in with a person trying to harm you it will get the job done. Not a lot… Read more »


I believe the Taurus Spectrum 380 is going to change the discussion very soon. I do not own one but it was tested by a variety of shooters. And you can hide it anywhere! 380 is plenty for defense,


The author mentions the .327 Federal Magnum a couple of times in the SP 101 portion of the article but, the article was written in 2012. I just LOVE the .327 Fed Mag as it’s bad%ss round. Ruger markets it in the LCR (6 rounds instead of 5) as well as the SP 101 (again 6 rounds). I’ve got both with the SP 101 being in the 3 in barrel model. Talk about a sweet shooter. And the versatility of either one in being able to feed not only .327 Fed Mag but .32 H&R Mag, .32 S&W Long, .32… Read more »

tunnel rat

I also like the 327 fed over the 357. a sp101 3″ performs right up there with the lighter bullet weight 357 and you have an extra round, plus you can plink and practice with all those rounds you listed. Excellent choice for EDC. Haven’t tried it in the LCR but again you get 6 rds and the 357 LCR is manageable in defensive situations.


What about a 3rd gen. Colt Det. Spec.? Easy to carry and has 6 rounds. Plus it’s accurate.



Hugh McPhink

I love the snub nose revolver as either a prima or backup weapon. My current revolver is the Kimber K6s 357. It is a few ounces lighter than the Detective Special and will handle any 38 Special or 357 magnum round. I have fired several rounds in each caliber and find that the WW 110 JHP and the WW PDX 1, 125 rounds do not have to much recoil for me to get accurate and fast double taps. I carried a revolver for approximately 10 years as an LEO and never felt out gunned until we started have gang robbers,… Read more »

Dennis Stanley

I have a Charter Arms 38… 5 shot with a crimson laser that is at least 25 years old. (not the laser) Two years ago a 400 pound black bear began to tear down my my sliding back door. I was dead asleep until he entered my kitchen. The dogs were barking like hell when I finally awoke. This is what is never talked about. When you wake up from a hard sleep you are at best “muddled” When you hear all this commotion you are confused. The LAST thing you need is to have to think about where your… Read more »


If you want over 1,000 ft./sec in your 38 Special with less recoil than your + P load AND a GREAT round for Home Defense, I would suggest the PolyCase ARX round. Once you hit the “Perp”, in even an upper body shot, he/she most likely will be taken to the Morgue, instead of the Hospital !

Jim Macklin

The recoil of a semi-auto pistol is increased by the slide. A Revolver recoils only from the bullet and powder impulse. An aluminum light weight revolver is easier to carry but will recoil a greater amount with the same ammo.
38 Special 125 grain JHP short barrel loads do not have excessive recoil but are effective.
A 357 Magnum will be all steel and thus recoil less when used with 38 Special.
A proper rubber grip such as Pachmayr or Houge will reduce strain on your joints.

Vieteran Gunsmith

Right you are Jim, however the double muzzle blast from a .357 in a revolver is a factor in perceived recoil, and when it comes to recoil it’s the perception of it that makes people flinch when firing. There are two blasts and flashes with any revolver and I have seen novice shooters react to the increased flash and loudness of a revolver more so than with a semi-auto pistol. I’m surprised no one seems to mention this, but as the projectile jumps from the revolver chamber past the cylinder gap into the forcing cone, there is a pronounced concussive… Read more »


I have a healed rotator cuff, but when I put pressure it does hurt so I need a concealed gun that doesn’t have too much of a kick what do you recommend?


They do make a .9mm in a Revolver now days. I always refrain from suggesting a revolver to people unless you have a lot of Control of keeping your shooting finger completely away from the Trigger. They have no safety’s and I know a lot of people think that it is not necessary to have a Safety but it is until you have absolute finger control. I have been shooting for over 50 years now and still love a safety.. Be Careful in what ever you choose. Safety is always of the utmost.

Jim Macklin

Trigger finger control is equally important on a revolver or semi-auto rifle or pistol. A double action only revolver will have an 8-12 pound long trigger pull. If you have a conventional single-double action revolver thumb cocking the hammer should be limited to hunting small game. For self-defense learn how to shoot double action. It can be mastered, it is faster and a double action only revolver will keep some ambitious DA from claiming you shot somebody accidentally because you had it cocked “on a hair trigger.” You can justify deliberately shooting someone under the Use of Force Laws. But… Read more »


I would use a 38 special. Any 125gr +P load will do. In a J-Frame Revolver the recoil is very manageable if it has some weight to the gun. It shouldn’t mess to much with your rotator cuff.
If a 125gr 1100 ft/sec=336 ft/lb lead/copper/steel/polymer piece hits a chest or face the negotiation power to leave the scene (if this is still possible) is huge.


Unless you’re using some exotic ammo, you will not get anywhere near 1100 fps from a 38+P. Especially from a snub nose.

Wild Bill

Patti, I recommend more research. For example: If you knew someone with lots of different pistols, maybe you could start out by shooting a revolver and a semi auto in .22. Then shoot something in .380. Then shoot something in 9mm or .38 Special. But there are lots of other consideration, too. Are you wanting a concealable revolver or concealable semiautomatic? Revolvers seldom jam, and are simple to use, but have few rounds. Semi-autos have lots of rounds, and fast reloads, but if they do jam, you better know what to do. Is concealment the most important factor? What is… Read more »


Good advice! 🙂


Another goooooddddddd comment from you Wild Bill, keep them coming as you are a resource of good information.

Wild Bill

and Mr Charles, Thank you, thank you very much. Oddly enough, over the years, and contrary to my own advice, I just buy something of everything because they are all fun in their own way! I wonder how things turned out for Patti?

Bo Stone database will sort handguns by recoil ft-lb after you rent a few loaners at the gun range to see what feels good then find those guns on the recoil list and see what “kicks’ same or less keeping an eye out for the largest caliber possible (makes biggest holes) you might manage … then make this short list annotated with weight of it to carry. Lastly, ref. Lucky Gunner Labs to sort what ammo a) makes the biggest hole in “gel” + b) penetrates “gel” within FBI standards penetration consistently I’m betting you will not select something with ideal… Read more »


Patti if you are open to a Semi Auto look at the Sig P238. It is a .380 Caliber I know some people claim .380 isn’t enough. But I have never seen anyone volunteer to stand in front of one and test their Theory’s. I bought one for my wife in the Rain Bow edition and she loves it. She could not rack the slide on anything else.. She is 77 years old and has Arthritis in her hands. I carry a Kimber Micro .380 as a back up. We have ourselves done extensive testing on the .380 caliber our… Read more »


Patti I have had three shoulder surgeries as a result of several years of powerlifting injuries and I can fire just about any handgun including a 460 S&W revolver ( 18 rounds is my limit as have no problem with that number) but my usual carry is a S&W MP 40 and I have no problem with a hot carry load. While this may be the answer you dislike I would suggest you see a good physical therapist (my daughter is one but that is neither here nor there) and after following their instructions to get increased flexibility start a… Read more »


I would use a 38 special. Any 125gr +P load will do. In a J-Frame Revolver the recoil is very manageable if it has some weight to the gun. It shouldn’t mess to much with your rotator cuff.
If a 125gr 1100 ft/sec=336 ft/lb lead/copper/steel/polymer piece hits a chest or face the negotiation power to leave the scene (if this is still possible) is huge.


Like the author, I like the .357 Magnum round. I carry one of three revolvers. I have a Dan Wesson .357 Magnum with a 6.5 inch heavy barrel. That gun is an accurate tack driver. And it is so well balanced it is like shooting a .22, with very little kick. I also have a Smith & Wesson 686 Plus with a 6.5 inch barrel. That gun is also a joy to shoot. Finally I have a Taurus model 66, which is almost identical to the Smith & Wesson. It also is fun to shoot, and very accurate. My son… Read more »


I like the .38 cal. S&W 638. You can see the hammer but it won’t snag coming out of concealment. It can be fired single or double action.

N. E . Kingdom

MR. DEF………. Perhaps you should consider some type of MENTAL HEALTH assistance… POWDER BURNS on a perp, YOU NEED HELP and soon because you will L O S E if this is your way of defending yourself……….

George burns

You should carry what you can shoot well. When in a dire situation there is seldom enough time to look around and see that the area is clear. If you don’t take the shot, you will die for sure. That’s just part of the risk you assume when you carry a gun for decades years, You do the best you can, usually that means hit what you are aiming at. Having had these things happen, it all goes down so fast that it takes a few days to even recall what happened, Let alone if there was someone a half… Read more »

Robert Fulcomer

The Taurus ultra lite is lighter and cheaper. I carry one every day


Why not begin a new defense carry gun shopping research with the ammo? Then why take opinions, even those from pros when solid testing can be had? Then go looking for a handgun that shoots what you prefer … that fits and is friendly to how you do things? … on Genitron where recoil, capacity, prices, weight and ranking as to conceal ability, power, self-defense, etc. are ranked … all except trigger-pull weight. More likely to hit bullseye & carry just in case, less likely to screw up under fire & less likely to keep on shopping, trading and… Read more »

Hardy Spires

Good response for the question Bo. These folks did a lot of testing and they give pictures and numbers to back up their research. The .380 caliber has been maligned by a lot of folks but there are three rounds in their tests that give good results. The next thing for her to consider is a gun that is easy for her to use and be comfortable with in her hand. I personally carry a M and P Bodyguard by Smith and Wesson but it has a little bit of a stiff trigger. It has a factory laser on it… Read more »

Bo Stone

The petite that was shopping for something less than her 38spl giving her the flinches ended up with a more friendly to use, fire, rack P238 Sig (NEVER the LCP was a consideration due to operation for her tiny weak hands, and gun store already frowning on 380 as a real PD, so no help moving her to even smaller powered guns w/less recoil)

Bob Lovell

Try carrying a North American single action, 5 shot 22 Mag.. It fits safely in your pocket and can be hidden In the palm of your hand. The 22 Mag. will drop a 500 lb. Hog like a ton of bricks! It will stop a man easier! All this fluff and flourish about powerful bullets just obfuscates the issue. Carry what is sufficient to easily conceal and get the job done. Stop blithering about ballistics and theories!

Mike Gunn

This North America SA, 22 Mag is great for concealability, lousy for speedy follow up shots, and inferior gun in a moving scenario beyond hugging distance. This gun is great for close up surprises. For defense against knife attacks, multiple fighters, accurate & quick fire beyond 3 feet…I’ll stick with .38+P or better. Innocent life is too precious to rely on some cheap single action mess when there are better options. Even if one loves 22mag, Ruger has a 9 shot snubby! I would hate for Mr. Lovell to need to reload during a fight. While he was mentioning the… Read more »


Mr. Gunn, you must not be to versed in the north American arms mini pistols. The one you speak of is only one model of several that the company produces. Look up the sidewinder on their web site. That one is a five shot revolver of .22lr, and comes with a second cylinder in .22mag. When empty, open cylinder, push star ejector, empty. If you want faster, you can opt for the ranger model that breaks down, and drop your empties in a hurry, and use your speed loader to get back loaded fast. Accurate to 3ft, or a hugs… Read more »

Owen Anderson

Agree with the 22 being used as how many can shoot and hit on the first shoot the target and with fast accurate shots thereafter – you do not need a lot of lead if you place a shot in your target where it hurts – “aim” seems to be never discussed nor where does that missed shot goes to bring a civil lawsuit – we do not live in a void of potential problems for missed shots – check how deep a “22” will penetrate – some 12 inches, three part separation, etc.

David E Fischer

Once again not one word about pass through. I concealed carry is a Smith & Wesson model 360 357 Magnum / 38 Special. I loaded with 38 Special 125 grain jacketed hollow point. For the hundreds of articles on how to shoot and aim and favored guns a fraction if that mention bullet passing through the Target and hitting an unintended Target on the other side. I do like the option of the 357 Magnum I do believe however it is too much bullet for self-defense in a populated area. No one discusses selecting an angle of attack with a… Read more »

HMLA-167 Warrior

There is so much wrong in this comment above that I don’t even know where to start.

Bill Ridenour

Agree. The illogical is appalling. Let’s all wait til thd perp is close though to get powder burns? No thank you.


see you guys in court

Mr. B

Some ranges will let you rent and test fire the handguns of your choice. Try it before you buy it.

Bill Ridenour

This is what I recommend to all my friends. Also, a conceal carry course, enough range time yo correct major fighting mistakes snd a quick draw class.


EAA Windicator, 2″ snub-nose 6rd. $279.00. Handles all .38 loads, plus the .357mag. Works for me.
Got the 6.5″ barreled Taurus 5 rd which can use the incerts to fire the .9mm rounds, along with .410/.45lc. It’s all preference, carry whatever revolver you like to use, YOUR CHOICE!!!

mike ray


Antonio Scarpacci

“Taurus” and “best” don’t even live in the same neighborhood but they do live around the corner from “adequate”.
And to the guy who said ” A .357 in less than a 4″ barrel is nothing but noise and flash….. May as well carry a .38″, You need to Google some chrono data. That is a load of crap. The .357 in any barrel length makes an unloved step brother out of a 38 in the same barrel, all day long, every day, period, end of discussion. Be safe out there.

Larry Brickey

We disagree. I have a Magnum Judge, a 9mm and a .380. All work just fine.

Bob Lovell

I carry a North American Arms 22 Mag. It is a real pocket 5 shot revolver. If you believe a 22 Mag is not powerful enough, you haven’t killed much with one. One shot to the head of a 500lb pig and he drops like a stone. I’ve killed deer on the run with a 22 Mag. rifle. It is madness to believe you can carry a large pistol around in Florida when it is hot and humid and you are dressed lightly. If I were carrying in in NYC in a 3 piece business suit, I would carry my… Read more »

Larry Brickey

I have one of these with a laser. Good gun. Only thing that bothers me is the no actual safety.

tim wynne

Great comments. I carry my NA 22mag folding stock pistol clip everywhere. Its sufficient and never a pain to carry. I read a story on ammoland few months back where a lady in alaska dropped a charging bear with 22 rifle. The big guys stay home but i’ve always got my NA.


The Taurus PT 809C 9mm +P (C stands for concealed) 3.5 inch barrel holding 12 to 16 rounds Mags is a much better concealed handgun. Much better choice for CCW than the S&W Shield 9mm. I have fired both many times and the Taurus PT 809C out performed it nearly every time. Cops found out years ago that a .38 with 6 rounds can put you in BIG trouble when you need 7 or more rounds and only have 6…and reloading a revolver when in a fire fight is nearly impossible.

Michael Cantor

Nothing here has convinced me to give up my 9mm S&W shield with +P LE rounds for URBAN environments. Do you guys (and girls) carry all day? In lightweight clothing and have to maintain concealed? Legality matters to the Jury and prosecuting and defense attorneys. I am limited to 10 rounds in CA, well, 10 +1. I can carry my shield with 7,8 or 10 round mags. It is light, accurate, fairly easy to shoot for a small gun. Has been 100% reliable with over 10 different loads including cheap range ammo and over 500 rounds through it. . It’s… Read more »

Michael Cantor

ALSO, a .357 mag in anything less than 4 inch barrel, is just noise and flash. May as well carry a .38 +P in a lighter gun. Look at the ballistics. A 4″ 357 looks cool, but shoot it next to a 6″ version and see the muzzle flash and recoil difference. Shoot a 2 inch in .357 mag and see if that seems like a good idea. Also, remember about the cylinder gap flash of a revolver: This can cut your finger off or burn through many fabrics and other materials. Something to think about.

Larry Brickey

I have a Chiappa 2″ Rhino and I like it. I use a sticky holster.

Jack in NW FL

I carry S&W mod 65 (K frame) w/ 3 inch barrel when I go revolver. My wife had a air weight 5 shot that was brutal to shoot. One day my wife shot my 65 when we we practicing , had to find her one of her own. The combination of the stainless frame and heavy barrel make these very accurate and balanced in the hand. Her opinion is she would rather carry a heavier gun that she can shoot accurately over a light gun she fears the recoil of. As far as lasers, I used to be laser adverse… Read more »

John A Boyd

My wife is left handed. Purchased the left handed Charter Arms Pink Lady for her with exposed hammer. It also is equipped with the Crimson Trace Laser grip. She has gained a lot of confidences shooting it with 38 wad cutters at the range using the laser dot. The little double action gun is perfect for it’s simplicity. She had trouble with the slide on a semi auto because of lack of hand strength at 70 years old. The ability to target practice using single action does not ware out her trigger finger.

Carolyn Gresham

Kimber makes a .380 with a very easy slide!


Laser grips/sights on a defensive gun? Why? Dont waist your money!! Let’s face it, if you are in a gun fight, as a civilian defending yourself or a loved one, you will most likely be within 5-7 feet of your attacker. Additionally, the altercation will most likely move quickly to less than arms length. If a person can not hit a target at that distance a laser is not going to help. It will be extremely difficult to find a laser dot on the target due to the pistol hand moving all over the place during the fight. Get out… Read more »


Most likely, you’ll never need the gun at all. So why bother carrying?
Most likely, if you do need the gun you won’t need to fire a shot. So why even load it?
Most likely, if you do need to shoot you’ll only need to fire 2-3 shots. So why carry spare ammo?

The answer to all these arguments (along with yours) is that we don’t prepare for “most likely”. Personally, I don’t use a laser on my carry gun – but I also don’t assume that point shooting within 10 feet is all I need to know.


I agree with your point, but I didn’t mean to leave the impression that point shooting is the cure all and that is the only knowledge one needs to know. One should know a variety of fighting moves, gun evasion/offensive techniques, in addition to shooting with both hands, including practice practice practice.The point I am trying to make is… Adding a laser to a J-frame type defensive hand gun is costly and is going to provide very little benefits during a close-in gun fight. If by chance one uses a laser on a J-frame defensive hand gun for a longer… Read more »

Robert Howard

You’ve never used a laser before, have you? Target acquisition is dirt simple – you’re not “looking for” the red/green laser dot; it’s there, right in your face. That’s the point – you don’t HAVE to look for it like you do with sights. That’s one of the biggest advantages of lasers over iron sights; you don’t have to aim. Not to mention if you’re ever in a situation where your line of sight is problematic (e.g. behind cover) just reach around and set the dot on target and fire without even having to look down the barrel. There’s no… Read more »

Hardy Spires

I agree with you 100%. I had rather have a laser and not need it than need it and not have it. In low light conditions it makes a lot of difference. The cost of buying a gun with a factory laser is not that much more than the regular price without it. If you add it on after you buy the gun it will cost a lot more. I bought a Smith and Wesson bodyguard 380 recently. It was my first try with a laser but it only cost about $50 to buy the one with the factory laser… Read more »

Wild Bill

@RH, Everybody should buy what they think that they need, but no one should think that gizmos make up for practice. I notice that laser dots wiggle around a lot in the hands of inexperienced shooters. Shooters that take Rob Lathem’s advice and “learn to hold the gun steady” don’t need a laser or sights, up to certain distances. Buy what ever you think you need, but buy some lessons and dry fire. Everyone likes to win, no one likes to practice.

Jim Macklin

When practicing “dry firing” a laser is a great training aid to show you how much your point of aim wanders and then you can training to hold steady. Also, the laser shows you where you are pointing. Look at something and then low ready, point at that target. Are you on target or 5 feet off. The laser can replace hundreds of dollars worth of ammo, and can be used [with an unloaded gun] anywhere. In your bedroom, the apartment in town, you can learn to always hold te gun the same way, to point accurately and to squeeze… Read more »

Randel Smith

I mostly agree but there are reasons not to have one. First if you always practice with one I find I do look for the dot vs just firing in a point and shoot situation. Another is that it will reveal your position If you and trying to hide from an attacker much like tracers can in a fire fight.. This is the reason the military tracers don’t light until about 200 yards.

With all this said I have a crimson Trace on my Ruger SP 101. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything.

Jim Macklin

The Hollywood movie shows the bad guy [usually a prison tard scene] stopping their hostilities when a red dot appears on their chest.
Bad guys are not watching their own chests. Point the laser at their head and eyes. If they don’t stop, pull the trigger. But they will have a hard time attacking when their eyes are temporarily out of service.
A 5mw laser will make them turn away, close their eyes, but it will not cause instantaneous total blindness. But the laser is a weapon used on the eyes.


Odds are you’re knocked down on the ground. Trust me, you’ll wish you had a laser then, esp. if you are trying to shoot the bad guy in a public area while you’re sideways getting kicked.

Syd Tubbs

I have been carrying a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug stainless (big hole-.44 Special), with Glaser safety slugs. About 7 years ago my wife got me a set of Crimson Trace grips for Xmas. They do make my yearly qualification easier, especially the 25 yard stage. Still have to use the course the States training center mandates for the LEO retired concealed carry. I like my 45 in the winter, but for a summer gun I think the Bulldog should be considered. Just stay away from the heavy Buffalo Bore loads.

Bob Long

good line up, I agree with the top 4, have to say I disagree with the Taurus Judge, quality is built into the Rugers and S&W’s but, it is a foreign concept with Taurus. My Judge had to go to a gun smith, after firing 5 rounds, the shells expanded and had to be punched out with a small screw driver and hammer, why? because the cylinder chambers were not drilled out to the correct specs. I also had a Taurus 608 (8 shot 357 mag) and the HEAD spacing was off, and after a couple of shots the cylinder,… Read more »

rocky lee

I gave my wife the Ruger sp101 with the Crimson laser. Good gun for her, she loves it. It’s pretty. But do not use it for concealed carry. The bullets rattle in the cylinder and they sound exactly like bullets rattling in a gun, with every step.

rocky lee

I like the S&W model 19, any old Smith in .357 in blued so the cylinder bores are recessed is a good piece to have with you.

dalton williams

interesting reading


If the pistol is too big or too heavy it is less likely to be carried. Yes, .357 is way more powerful than .38 special +P, BUT the firearm to handle it needs to be heavier. .38 special +P will do the job and do it well. I carry a small S&W Centenial, 15.5 ounces loaded with aluminum cased hollow points. In a Gould and Goodrich IWB holster and wearing a polo shirt it’s comfortable and does not “print”. The thing is, something bigger or heavier might just stay at home, and that more powerful or higher capacity pistol would… Read more »


How do post a photo here? Don’t seem to see any way to do it.

OPS M.R.P. in 45cal


ruger security six, 357 mag, back up is 1911 a1, 45.

Ruger Security-Six Revolver in .357 Magnum


my guns bigger than yours.and its practically undectable where I carry it and it fires a big load


Just picked this up on an FtF trans. $300.00

Daniel Smith

Problem with most of these revolvers is long trigger pull and rcoil especially in 38 + P and certainly in 357 Mag. Without training and PRACTICE none of these firearms are very good at all. Concealibg the Taurus on body is really tough to do. Good for a home or auto go to gun though. I own most of these firearms abd shoot them well. My wife is an accomplished shooter and has issues with rcoil and trigger pull but can manage both. Did I mention that just this past WEEK she shot 200 rounds through her carry firearm. It… Read more »


,if you like your Charter Arms Bulldog and are comfortable with it that’s all that matters. Take care.

Ron Burling

I still don’t see anything that makes me want to give up my Charter Arms Bull Dog. 5 rounds of Hornaday Critical Defense with 2 Speed Strips is plenty for me.


I carry a five shot revolver cause it chambers snake shot well…more rattlesnakes than hoodlums around these parts.


For self defense, I do not look for an extended shootout. Five should be enough, just don’t miss. My concealed is a North American Arms singe action mini-revolver, with the .22 LR and .22 mag cylinders and a Laser-Lyte Laser Sight. The laser sight is switched on with the thumb during the cocking action. I carry the mag cylinder with hollow point ammo and realize reloading under fire is out of the question. A very safe gun to carry, the hammer is down in a slot between the shells and can only fire if you cock it. It has a… Read more »

Donna Bright

I just completed my concealed carry class with a Ruger 380. As I am becoming more accurate I was interested in possibly moving to a 9mm. I have very small hands and I have looked at a Sig 9mm that fits my hand. Any comments would be appreciated as I have only had a personal gun since September. Thank you, Kentucky Lady


First, congratulations. My first gun was a SIG P239 in 9mm, and I believe this is a great caliber for several reasons. You may well find that with a heavier SIG that “snap” and “bite” you experience with a .380 pretty much goes away. No matter what pistol I own (I have several), I put $20 Hogue rubber fingergrips on them; they all shoot like butter, right up to my SIG P220 .45. Have fun! (And remember the SIG will probably require new gun handling techniques if you buy a DA/SA pistol).

stephen solnikowski

Try the S&W Shield in 9mm


I got my wife the Ruger LCR 38+P revolver with the Crimson Trace Lasergrips. She broke her left wrist in 8 places and is to weak to chamber an auto pistol. It has an easy trigger pull and the laser sight comes on when you grip the handle of the gun. She does not (under the stress of being in the process of shooting someone) have to remember to turn on the laser sight or to take the gun off ‘safety’. Just pick it up, grip it and pull the trigger.

Daniel Schitkovitz

Did you buy yet? Were you thinking of the Sig P938? I used to have one, I also had an S&W Shield. I have trade away both of them. Now I carry a Kimber Micro 9 CSE (CSE only available at Cabela’s); they do have a bunch of versions. I like the Micro 9 way more than the Sig P938 or the Shield. I am also way more accurate with the Micro 9. I’ve put about 500 rounds through, with ZERO malfunctions of any kind; with multiple varieties of ammo. Different weights 115gr, 124gr, 147gr and 92gr. FMJ, HP and… Read more »

Robert Howard

About the only problem I’ve encountered with women is being unable to rack the slide on some semi-autos. That’s mainly why they use revolvers. I’m not saying you can’t, just saying be sure whichever one you choose is one you won’t have a problem with. And best of luck finding your perfect fit.


“As a frame of reference, I am a large caliber bigot. I make no apologies for it. Before this gun, I only thought there were 4 common calibers worth buying a handgun in: .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .357 Magnum, and .44 Magnum.” With due respect for the author, and other handgun owners, I am amazed at the above quote from the author. How is it so many law enforcement agencies issue 9mm semi-autos? Where is the .380 in the mix. LCP, for example, is an incredibly popular C/C weapon – due to its compact size, ability to conceal, AND it’s… Read more »

Robert Howard

I don’t understand why you mention law enforcement in this comment. You do understand that efficacy is one of the lowest factors considered when a municipality chooses its LEO weapons and ammo, right? Price/expense is the very first, and 9mm is a cheap round. Incidentally, that’s why so many of them choose Glock – it’s cheap. As for the .380, there’s really no comparison. Ballistically, the 9mm is far superior to the .380 acp.

S Walker

I have read all the statements and reply’s and just like the number of choices everyone wants to make there’s the best and they pump what they like best. Here’s a fact the gun you have is they best if you know how to use it and over the 50 plus years of carrying many different calibers and having to use them (retired LEO ) I would never slam anyone’s choice until I find out they forget placement and how to use. I carry and conceal a full size pistol and I also have 2 backups on me always. It… Read more »