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:

Ruger SP101 357 Mag 2.25″ Revolver5 ShotMSRP $719.00
Smith & Wesson 642 Handgun 38 Special Revolver5 ShotMSRP $469.00
Ruger LCR Revolver .357 with Crimson Trace Lasergrips5 ShotMSRP $649.99
S&W M&P 340 Revolver5 ShotMSRP $869.00
Taurus Judge Public Defender Polymer Revolver5 ShotMSRP $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.

  • 294 thoughts on “Five Best Concealed Carry Revolvers

    1. 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……….

    2. 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 a street away inline with the shot you needed to take or be killed for sure. You can’t see through walls either, when in a house or apartment, it’s best to bring it outside if possible where you don’t have family roaming around the house while bullets are going off.
      The caliber matters a lot les that where the thing goes. When someone pops out with a gun to shoot you, there isn’t too much recon you can do without getting shot in the process

    3. 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 searching for IT while piling money time & ammo into something that has depreciated 50% upon purchase.

    4. 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!

    5. 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 firearm to assure bystander safety. The 38 Special plus p can pass through a perpetrator seriously if not mortally injury an innocent bystander. The video and still pictures show defending person drawing against a perpetrator at distance. In fact the one in your article shows a perpetrator with it knife. In many jurisdictions there is a duty to retreat before using deadly force. fortunately I live in Colorado and have protection of make my day. Defending yourself should be taught in a way that you do not expose your concealed carry weapon until the last moment assuring powder Burns on the perpetrators dead body at tactical angles.

      1. 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.

    6. 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!!!

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