Best 8 Shot Revolvers – 2021 Ultimate Review

| Last Updated: September 1, 2021

The idea of an eight shot revolver might sound a little odd at first. Traditionally, revolvers hold six shots. However, that is not the only capacity level offered in the form of a trusty wheelgun.

Eight shot revolvers are becoming more common and for good reason. They excel in a variety of roles and might be just what you have been looking for.

Scroll down to take a look at some of the best 8 shot revolvers available today.

Comparison of the Best Eight-Shot Revolvers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Gold bead front sight
  • Made from stainless steel
  • Best overall 8 shot revolver
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  • Rubber grip
  • Best 8 Shot .357 Revolver
  • Barrel measured at 4 inches
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  • Stainless steel finish
  • Best 8 shot .22 revolver
  • The barrel length of 4.2 inches
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What to Watch For When Buying an 8 Shot Revolver

Considering the fact that they aren’t as common as six shot revolvers, learning more about what to look for when buying an 8 shot revolver is key. Check out the following tips and information and you’ll be well equipped to choose the best 8 shot revolver for your needs.

This Section Written By: Brian Belko

Expert Author

Brian Belko: Gunmann Author

Brian is an experienced freelance writer and technical writer who has previously written for publications such as Wide Open Spaces, Bigfoot Gun Belts, Alien Gear Holsters, and Kampgrounds of America. He brings both a passion for writing and a love of the outdoors to his published content.

Aside from writing and the outdoors, Brian enjoys gardening, being a co-host on The Nostalgia Blast Podcast, and learning to code.

Considering the Advantages

The most obvious advantage to an eight shot revolver is the additional ammo capacity that they offer. Two extra shots might not sound like much, but they can make all the difference in the world in certain situations. At the very least, the extra ammo capacity means a couple fewer reloads during a trip to the range. Additionally, the confidence offered by knowing you have plenty of follow-up shots to fall back on if necessary is ideal.

Another advantage of an eight shot revolver is the comfort and reliability of the revolver platform. Many shooters, especially those with less experience, are more comfortable and confident in shooting a revolver. Those things are both very important and become even more so when we start thinking about self and home defense scenarios. Home defense is one of the areas where an eight shot revolver really shines and competition shooting is another.

Smith & Wesson 627

Potential Speed Bumps

As with every firearm, use and purpose matter when choosing. Some guns are great for one thing and awful for another. Every gun also has its own set of advantages and drawbacks. The main drawback of an eight shot revolver is the size. They tend to be larger and heavier than their six shot cousins.

Of course, this can vary greatly among different manufacturers and firearm models, but they do tend to be on the large and heavy side. This means they don’t tend to make very good concealed carry options. That doesn’t mean they can’t be carried concealed. It is just more difficult to keep them properly concealed.

Always take steps to make sure you are comfortable with a firearm’s size and weight before buying it. Even if you aren’t able to shoot it beforehand, simply holding it in your hand at the gun shop can really give you a true sense of the size that just reading the numbers on a website can’t. 

The Art of the Reload

One feature to look out for in an eight shot revolver is a cut cylinder that will allow the use of moon clips. A moon clip allows the shooter to fully reload in one movement and greatly decreases reload time. Take some time to practice using moon clips if it is your first time using them.

Review of the Best Eight-Shot Revolvers

The following is a list of the four best eight-shot revolvers currently on the market. While you are looking through each one, it’s important to know which characteristics and features stand out best.

This way you’ll know which one will match the description of your ideal revolver. Now, let’s take a look at the first revolver on our list – our best overall choice:

Best Overall

Smith & Wesson 627

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What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers stated that this revolver was great mostly for target shooting purposes. However, a good half of them said they keep this around at home just in case a prowler or burglar dares break into their homes. Overall, the accuracy was effective with targets from 20 to 30 yards.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This revolver might be an intimidating force to be reckoned with considering its weight and size. It’s made from mostly steel materials that make the revolver last you years or even decades. Nonetheless, it has that old-school classic look that makes it aesthetically sharp for most users.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be perfect for target shooting and home defense. You have a pretty good amount of firepower to work within either application. So if you’re looking for a heavy hitting revolver, this might be right up your alley.

Bottom Line

The Smith and Wesson 627 might be the kind of eight-shot revolver you’ll need on hand f you want the perfect revolver to keep nearby or take with you to the range. With power and accuracy, you’ll have a fun time firing this sucker off.

Pros

Super-durable construction

Easy to load, takes a few minutes

Hammer cocking is easy and smooth

Great for target shooting and home defense

Excellent gripping ability helps you retain control easily

Cons

It might not be suitable in bad weather

Might be a little heavy for concealed carry purposes

The cylinder might be a little difficult to pull out at times

Best Eight Shot .357 Revolverr

Taurus .357 Magnum 38 Special

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What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were pretty happy with the revolver overall. They managed to hit their targets accurately from about 20 to 30 yards out but went beyond that with larger targets. They also were able to keep a good hold in bad weather conditions. One user said his palms tend to sweat a bit and yet he still kept hold of his revolver.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A .357 caliber special revolver might be the most powerful of the bunch when it comes to the revolver class. So this list would not be as epic if it didn’t include an eight-shot revolver. This is solidly built and powerful enough to stop even small varmint in their tracks. But if you use it in a self-defense situation, know that prowlers and home invaders will think twice before messing with you.

Bottom Line

The Taurus .357 Magnum 38 Special would definitely be your kind of revolver if you want something that is powerful, accurate, and pretty dang intimidating. You’ll feel confident in having the advantage if using it in a life and death situation.

Pros

Solid construction

The rear sight is easy to adjust

Trigger pull is nice and smooth

Easy to load, only takes a minute

Great gripping ability, also really ergonomically friendly

Cons

None

Best Eight Shot .22 Revolver

Ruger SP101 22LR 4.2”

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What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers were quite happy with the revolver. They said they hit most of their targets accurately from distances of 20 to 40 yards. They were also quite happy with the construction of the revolver itself.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The .22 caliber might be one of the smallest calibers of all the revolvers. But there is no doubting it will stand out as one of the most accurate and reliable on the market for applications like target shooting and home defense. Plus, it can still do some serious damage at decent distances. So if you want a revolver that will work nicely in these applications and also be great for EDC use, this revolver will probably stand out as your favorite.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for the perfect revolver for concealed carry, look no further than the .22. You’re bound to find a revolver that’s at the right size for unobstructed, non-bulge concealed carry. This might be the one that will stand out as the best if you want something at your side in case you are ever in danger.

Bottom Line

The Ruger SP101 is arguably one of the best revolvers on the market for EDC applications. And its accuracy and reliability are second to none. If you want the perfect .22 revolver to add to your arsenal, you really should consider giving this Ruger revolver a closer look.

Pros

Excellent firing power

Fantastic for EDC carry

Great for all applications

Easy to load and cock back

Ridiculously accurate at various distances

Cons

None

Taurus 608 6.5” .257 Magnum

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What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users were satisfied with the revolver. They considered this to be one of the best revolvers for concealed carry. One user said it was able to sit securely in their OWB holster and allowed him to quickly draw it when needed.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This revolver is made from some of the toughest materials out there. One such material is rubber. It allows excellent grip and control, even in the worst weather conditions. So if you’re at an outdoor range and the weather takes a turn for the worse, rest assured your control stays the same.

Who Will Use This Most

This is perhaps one of the most accurate revolvers on the market. So if you’re in the market for something that can hit large targets accurately from about 50 yards out, this revolver might just be your cup of coffee.

Bottom Line

The Taurus 608 might be one of the most accurate on the market when it comes to eight-shot revolvers. Not only that, it’s one of the most affordable on the market. If you want a high performing revolver without breaking the bank, this might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Pros

Easy to load

Super-durable construction

Hammer is easy to cock back

Perfect for the range and concealed carry

Excellent handling thanks to the synthetic grip

Cons

Some trigger work may need to be done

Trigger pull might be a little rough at first

May need to be polished more often than some revolvers

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying?

Before buying an eight-shot revolver, it’s important to know some additional information before making a decision. You don’t need to make a buying decision blindly without knowing a few things. Here are some things to consider before buying a revolver:

Should I Consider One for Concealed Carry?

This is a question that gets asked a lot. If you are someone in search of an eight-shot revolver for concealed carry, you should look for one that has the best measurements for such purposes. However, you don’t have to purchase one for concealed carry. You can purchase one of a specific size that is best for home or shooting range use only.

What Kind of Ammo Will be Best?

There are all kinds and brands of ammo for an eight-shot revolver. So it would make sense to know which caliber your revolver of choice will be. Once you choose a revolver, you will know the caliber so you can decide on which brand of ammo will be best. Remember, some brands will be better than others. 

Which Caliber is Best For Me?

It depends on your personal preferences. If you prefer a smaller caliber, then odds are a .22 caliber would be more to your liking. If you want something with a bit more stopping power, the .357 revolver would probably stand out as one of the better choices.

Photo credit: peakfirearms.com

Pros and Cons of Eight-Shot Revolvers

Let’s look at some of the different pros and cons of eight-shot revolvers.

Pros

There are a lot of upsides to eight-shot revolvers. These are good reasons to invest in a revolver like the ones listed above. Here are a few common things to expect:

Superior Firepower

Firepower is important if you want something that will deliver stopping power like no other, especially if you are in search of a revolver that will stand out as one of the best for self-defense purposes. Regardless, most eight-shot revolvers will be packed with some excellent firing power that is hard to match against other revolvers. 

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Consistent Capacity

This is an actual no-brainer. Here, you know exactly how many bullets you’re working with. So it would make sense knowing exactly how long it will take you to load an eight-shot revolver. Most of the time, and depending on the type of rounds, they shouldn’t take any more than a few minutes to load. 

Tight Shooting Groups

Most eight-shot revolvers have a common thing, they tend to shoot tighter shooting groups regardless of the caliber. So if you hold accuracy to a high standard, there is a good chance you’ll consider an eight-shot revolver as your choice handgun. Besides, tighter group shots (while consistent) are a lot better than nothing at all. 

Ruger – SP101

Cons

While there are pros, they always come with a side of cons, and such is the case with eight-shot revolvers. Here are a couple of common downsides of eight-shot revolvers:

Can be Expensive

While you can find an eight-shot revolver at a price you can afford, they are much pricier compared to other revolvers on the market. This is something to keep in mind if you are on a budget and are in search of a revolver, in general. 

Some Rounds May Not be Compatible With Others

Throughout each caliber, it may be hard to tell which rounds would be considered compatible with an eight-shot revolver. This is why you need to be careful when considering which caliber might be the best (as well as the ammo that goes with it). Some of them may be slower in velocity, while others may be faster. Pay close attention to the performance of whatever rounds you fire so you will know how well they do in certain applications.

Conclusion

The best eight-shot revolver is out there. It’s important to find one that will fit whatever purpose or intent you wish to use it for. These are powerful, accurate, and reliable handguns you can use in any given situation. Be sure to choose the one that fits you best and feel free to fire off as many rounds as you desire. 

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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