Best Concealed Carry Revolvers of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

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A traditional doctrine referring to handgun use was that semi-automatic pistols are offensive weapons, while revolvers are the best short-barreled arm for defense.

The main factors for that belief were handgun reliability and shooters training, but with advanced design and technology, compact semi-automatic pistols threatened to take over the biggest piece of the CCW market pie.

Though modern high-capacity, polymer-frame pistols had an incredible sales increase in past decades, some state legislatures have limited the ammunition capacity to carry pistols, giving a healthy boost to defensive revolvers.

Comparison of the Best Concealed Carry Revolvers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best Overall Concealed Carry Revolver.
  • The LCRx model has an external hammer for SA firing.
  • Hogue Tamer Monogrip for efficient recoil cushioning.
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  • A reliable 6-shot in .38 Special.
  • Runner-up for Best Concealed Carry Revolver.
  • Weighs only 15.7 oz due to the aluminum frame.
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  • Best Concealed Carry Revolver for the Money.
  • Double action only with an enclosed hammer.
  • Aluminum J-frame and stainless steel cylinder, crane and barrel.
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  • Best 357 Revolver for Concealed Carry.
  • All stainless steel J-frame with a 3-inch barrel.
  • A 5-round cylinder chambered for .357 Magnum and .38 Specials.
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  • A Hogue rubber grip.
  • Best 22 Revolver for Concealed Carry.
  • A five-shot .22 Magnum revolver with tritium sights.
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  • Best .38 Special Revolver for Concealed Carry.
  • The all-steel revolver with 2" barrel and 6 rounds cylinder .
  • Double-action gun has a checkered wood grip and a parkerized finish.
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  • Best Small Revolver for Concealed Carry.
  • The Mini features a cylinder notch for safe carrying.
  • Less than 4 inches long and five-shot .22 Short fluted cylinder.
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  • Patented transfer bar mechanism.
  • Best Ruger Concealed Carry Revolver.
  • Chambered in a .454 Casull, with a 2 1/2-inch barrel.
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How Accurate is a Revolver?

Unlike semi-automatic pistols, where the barrel does move to eject and load the next round, a revolver's barrel doesn't move between shots; hence, revolvers are inherently more accurate. If we are using a quality revolver and ammunition, the average shooting groups will be easily under a 2″ at 25 yards. 

Poor ammunition quality like inconsistent powder charges or malformed projectiles will greatly reduce the accuracy of the wheelgun, even causing a bullet to miss the target entirely.

While for self-defense purposes shooters can fire under stress in double-action mode, for precision shooting, a double-action revolver enables the user to cock the hammer for a light, crisp, single-action trigger pull.

While revolvers are able to utilize many different bullet weights and designs, there are some constructions like wadcutters that are designed for short distance target shooting. Even today, wadcutters are popular for use in short-nosed revolvers, because their short barrels are not capable of effectively utilizing higher velocity ammunition. 

As for accuracy, the myth is that the 2-inch barreled revolvers "aren't accurate" beyond a few feet. The shorter barreled revolvers with extremely short sight radius are more difficult to shoot accurately than those with longer barrels.

Are Revolvers Good Concealed Carry Guns?

Debates about which is the better choice for defensive weapon have been following these handguns from the moment of their invention. Answering the question of whether a revolver or semi-automatic pistol is the best gun for concealed carry should be treated in several ways. What type of a defensive weapon you’ll choose depends mostly on your skill level and preferences. 

The new generations of gun owners prefer polymer semi-automatics as a CCW for many reasons, but plenty of folks have been packing snub-guns for years because they are for the specific purpose we're talking about, probably the simplest and most goof-proof approach. 

As a reasonable alternative for a concealed carry/self-defense handgun, a lightweight and handy little wheelgun will be as easy to carry as a lot of smaller .380 autos, but with rock-solid reliability and versatility.

Additionally, beyond already mentioned legal restrictions of magazine capacities, compact and subcompact pistols cannot even compete with small revolvers for their more powerful calibers and much more straightforward operation.

How to Choose a Concealed Carry Revolver

When it comes to home defense short-barreled arms, you want stopping power. Most snubbies are chambered in .38 Special, but there are even snub nose revolvers chambered in .22 Short or .22LR as well as in mighty .357 Magnum and even larger calibers. 

Anyway, you have to remember the best carry gun is the one you have with you, so even tiny .22 Short might be your valid last line of defense.

If you have decided to take the old-fashioned revolver as your CCW instead of plastic semi-auto, you are probably aware of their reliability and ease of use as the most critical factors for concealed carry and personal protection.

The wheelgun time-tested design is straightforward in operation, it's simply ready, a point-and-shoot court of last resort.

For a carry gun niche, ideal carry revolvers will usually have a two-inch barrel, a round-butt, abbreviated grip, and a smaller frame that conceals well.  The mainstream grips of snub nose revolvers are Hogue-type rubber grips. 

A lot of concealed-carry revolvers feature a 5-shot cylinder because the essential dimension of a CCW gun for concealment purposes is the width.

Quick Take - Best Concealed Carry Revolvers

These are our recommendations for the best concealed carry revolvers:

  1. Ruger LCRx .38 Special
  2. Taurus 856 Ultra Lite .38 Special
  3. Smith & Wesson 642 .38 Special

Review of the Best Concealed Carry Revolvers

A concealed carry revolver is still a viable option for folks looking for operational simplicity and dependability, particularly when it is matched with top-notch defensive ammunition with enough persuasion to stop a threat.

Best Overall:​
Ruger LCRx .38 Special

Pros

  • Only weighs 13.5 oz.
  • Polymer Fire Control Housing.
  • 5 round capacity.
  • Hogue Tamer grip reduces recoil.
  • Monolithic Frame made of 7000 series aluminum.
  • LCRx comes with an external hammer and 1.87" barrel.

Cons

  • Kicks pretty hard.
  • Hammer requires considerable force.
  • Ejector rod pushes the spent cases out only halfway.

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new customers don’t like an overly heavy hammer spring, which combined with smallish hammer spur, requires substantially more effort than it should to thumb a cock.

Some other guys noticed a slight rattle in the gun, but this is normal since the drop safety needs to be slightly loose to work correctly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The LCRx revolver has roots from well-known LCR and other Ruger hammerless models. The 1.87 inch-barreled LCRx is part of Ruger’s LCR 'Lightweight Compact Revolver' lineup of revolvers with three modular sub-assemblies: a polymer grip frame containing the fire control mechanism; a stainless steel cylinder and an aluminum alloy upper frame.

Unlike LCR's multiple caliber choice, the LCRxModel 5441 is chambered only in .38 Special +P and comes with an exposed hammer that allows you a single-action trigger pull. A copper cylinder accepts 5 .38 Special +P cartridges, and with just 1.28 inches in width, it is one of the slimmest .38 Special Revolver on the market.

The LCRx consists of three modular sub-assemblies: the polymer fire control housing, frame, and cylinder sub-assembly. It also comes without an external safety due to utilizing a transfer bar ignition system; this revolver can be safely carried with all chambers loaded.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a slim revolver intended for concealed carry, but at less than a pound, we would not recommend it as a first gun for women or those who are recoil sensitive. With its smaller dimensions and +P loads on a par with 9mm Para, a Ruger's LCRx revolver is an ideal candidate for your personal protection on the street as well as in your home.

This light and handy wheel gun will be equally comfortable in an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster, a purse, or an overcoat pocket.

Bottom Line

The LCRx is the best option if you want a revolver for concealed carry for many reasons. It is rated for +P ammunition; furthermore, it has a lightweight and small design and an exposed hammer that will allow you to fire precisely at longer ranges in single-action mode.

On the other hand, your expectation about recoil should be realistic, as this snubby, though equipped with the innovative Hogue Tamer Monogrip, cannot keep the recoil of +P loads completely steady.

Pros

  • Transfer bar safety.
  • Very lightweight, only 15.7 oz.
  • Serrated ramp front and fixed rear sights.
  • Single/double action with a 6-round capacity.
  • Trigger pull is 4- to 6-pound (SA) and 10- to 12-pound (DA) .

Cons

  • Sights are small.
  • Inconsistent quality control.

What Recent Buyers Report

Like its competitors in .38 Special caliber, the lightweight Taurus UL 856 can produce a snappy level of felt recoil and louder muzzle blast with hot loads than standard pressure .38 loads.

While the 856 is shorter than a lot of compact pistols, at 1.41 inches cylinder width, it is tougher to conceal than a comparable semi-automatic.

Even for users with small hands, the grip on the UL 856 is on the short side, leaving their pinkie folded under the grip. However, a nicely textured soft rubber 3-finger grip with finger swells makes the grip feel comfortable and secure during recoil.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Designed with a six-shot cylinder, the Taurus 856 Ultra-Lite delivers 20 percent more defensive capacity than most conventional five-round snubnose revolvers.

The exposed hammer will allow you to use the UL 856 in SA mode for accurate target shooting, but this short-spur hammer will also reduce snags when drawing, enabling you to engage the gun for defensive work quickly.

As a typical snubnose revolver, the Taurus 85 Ultra-Lite with 2" steel barrel is a short-range defensive handgun that comes with a serrated ramp front sight and a fixed rear sight.

The gun comes with a serrated ramp as a front sight and fixed rear sights; an average shooter will be able to fire a 5-shot group of 2.5" at 7 to 10 yards. It features soft rubber grips, while the double/single action increases speed and accuracy for follow-up shots.

While the Taurus Model 856UL resembles the Smith & Wesson design, the trigger pull is much heavier, ranging from 10-12 lbs. for double-action to 5 lbs. 11 oz. in the single-action mode. But for a concealed-carry defense gun, this turned out not to be an issue, because a heavy DA/SA trigger pull can be considered as an additional safety feature.

Who Will Use This Most

Though the handling of +P hot loads can be a bit more challenging given the gun's lightweight nature, with adequate practice, the Taurus 85 is an excellent choice for a first revolver.

If you wear it in an appropriate inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster, it will evaporate beneath an untucked shirt or jacket, making this compact low-profile revolver a perfect solution for every day carry.

While exceptionally comfortable in its primary on-body carry position, the UL 856 is ideal for an off-body carry in a tackle box or a glove compartment of a vehicle as well as for home defense usage.

Bottom Line

With a lightweight aluminum frame, 2-inch barrel and at 15.7 ounces unloaded, the Taurus 856 Ultra-Lite in .38 Special is one of the most popular budget-friendly concealed-carry wheelguns on the market.

The new Taurus UL 856 is an affordable personal protection option worth considering, especially if you are looking for the 6-round compact revolver, which can accommodate ammo ranging from light target loads to heavy self-defense rounds.

Best for the Money:
Smith & Wesson 642 .38 Special

Pros

  • Enclosed hammer ideal for CCW use.
  • Very compact at 6.3 inches total length.
  • Stainless steel 1.875" barrel.
  • Double-action revolver chambered in .38 Special.
  • Aluminum frame keeps an empty weight of 14.6 ounces.

Cons

  • Limited two-finger grip.
  • Sights are very small.

What Recent Buyers Report

Obviously, the .38 Special +P-rated snubbies are not the guns to take to the range. The S&W 642 Airweight, like most of them, offers barely a two-finger grip, which will provide you with substantial and painful recoil when using powerful ammo loads.

Another typical issue with those tiny pocket revolvers is a heavy trigger and long trigger travel. The double-action Smith & Wesson 642 isn’t any exception, with a full 1/2" of travel and 12 pounds of trigger pull weight. However, you can overcome this shortcoming with a lot of dry fire that will break in the revolver and soften the springs substantially.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The primary selling point of the S&W 642 Airweight is its modern concealed hammer design based on Smith and Wesson J-Frame created in 1952. The 642 fires in double action only mode and can be fired through a coat or jacket pocket in an emergency without snagging.

The next factor that makes the 642 a standout among other snub-nosed revolvers is its stainless steel and aluminum construction. A combination of aluminum alloy frame, stainless steel 2" barrel, and 5-shot cylinder keeps the weight below 15 ounces and makes this revolver a viewable concealed carry option.

Who Will Use This Most

Since the recoil of high pressure or +P ammo may scare newbies, the new shooters should avoid this J-frame Revolver. The S&W 642 Airweight would not be a proper choice for a new shooter, but it is most suitable for experienced shooters.

Most gun authors agree that the S&W J-frame 642 model is the best for carrying as a back-up gun because you can carry and hide 642 much better and more comfortably than any pistol of similar dimensions. 

Bottom Line

As mentioned earlier, the Model 642 is a perfect a BUG – Back Up Gun. With its reasonable price, it is the first and only choice for the many experienced pistoleros considering the enormous offer of concealment holster systems with almost limitless concealed carry options.

Best .357 Revolver for Concealed Carry:
Smith & Wesson Model 60 .357 Magnum

Pros

  • 5 round capacity.
  • Single and double action ability.
  • Fully-adjustable target sights.
  • Caliber is .357 Magnum and .38 S&W Special +P.
  • Petite exposed hammer and 2.125" barrel.

Cons

  • Some claim the trigger is stiff.
  • At 22.6 oz, it’s heavy for a snubnose.
  • Very slight looseness in the grip panels.

What Recent Buyers Report

While the Smith & Wesson Model 60 is chambered to fire full-powered .357 Magnum rounds, extensive using of this ammunition in the small-framed gun will affect durability. After some time of heavy use, The Model 60 will start to show a few small signs of wear on the crane, frame, and cylinder.

This is one reason why most experienced shooters won't want to shoot defensive .357 loads all day long; the second is recoil. While the all-steel construction and full-length grips certainly make the recoil much more controllable, snappy .357 recoil will pound your hand solidly and generate more muzzle flip and slower recovery time between shots.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Along with the distinction of being the first stainless steel revolver in the world, the Smith & Wesson Model 60 with a 3″ barrel is probably the most elegant revolver ever. The tiny, 5-round S&W Model 60 resembles their most distinctive 686 sixgun, but more like a 2/3 scale model.

Model 60 belongs to the J-frame lineup, but it is designed to fire .357 full power rounds. That features make the Model 60 the most versatile revolver on our list.

Longer and heftier than most snubbies and subcompact 9mms, the Model 60 is certainly not a true pocket gun, but with an adequately selected IWB or OWB holster, this all-steel model is a good CCW wheelgun.

Actually, the Model 60 represents an ideal general-purpose revolver, which is highly accurate and easy to shoot, regardless of whether you are carrying it discreetly on the street or openly in the field for hunting.

Who Will Use This Most

Unlike other small revolvers on our list, the Model 60 is not designed for deep concealment, but it conceals very well underneath even a fitted polo shirt in a simple IWB (inside the waistband) holster.

The Model 60 is the perfect choice if you are an outdoorsman to protect you from wild animals or to hunt small game for surviving. On the other hand, the full-powered .357 Magnum round in this small package is also an ideal solution for concealed carry in the streets and protection from two-legged attackers.

The adjustable sights, smoothness of the trigger, and precise single-action mode contribute to the impressive accuracy of the 3-inch barrel, making it an extraordinary recreational shooting gun and a viable small-game hunter out to beyond 50 feet.

Since it is a very pleasant shooter when loaded with .38 Specials, smaller-handed and beginning shooters will find the Model 60 is a great companion for recreational shooting. Additionally, more experienced handgunners can carry it loaded with full-powered .357s as a concealed carry or a duty sidearm while adventuring out in the woods.

Bottom Line

Utilizing the Smith & Wesson J-Frame as the most popular small frame for the personal defense revolvers and legendary .357 Magnum cartridge, the classic Smith & Wesson Model 60 became a small but powerful tool that delivers terminal ballistics that no other concealable handgun can touch.

Best .22 Revolver for Concealed Carry:
North American Arms Pug .22 Magnum Revolver

Pros

  • Tritium sights.
  • Comes with a metal lockbox.
  • Comfortable Hogue rubber pebble grips.
  • Five .22 Magnum rounds capacity.
  • Overall length of just 4 ½ inches.

Cons

  • Reload is slower.
  • Recoil can be intense.
  • No finger grooves at the grip.

What Recent Buyers Report 

Regarding the ergonomics, a few buyers noted that the operating and recoil of this mini revolver could be hard to control if you have big man hands.

Since the Pug is a single action revolver, there is one safety consideration to keep in mind. To avoid carrying the Pug with the hammer placed down directly on a round, NAA has designed the “safety slots" into their cylinders. However, you should be extremely conscious and trained to rest the hammer-mounted firing pin in the appropriate cylinder notch per the provided instructions.

Though the NAA engineers blended a comfortable Hogue rubber grip with the Pug frame to mitigate recoil and control muzzle rise better, the recoil is still noticeable, especially if you have bigger hands.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Pug-T is the newest and updated magnum line of NAA miniature revolvers. The Pug-T features tritium (T stands for “Tritium”) night sights atop of 1-inch ported barrel. That feature grants you dependable accuracy of average 2.5 inches at 10 yards, which is about the maximum practical range.

With an overall length of just 4 ½ inches and weighing only 6.4 ounces, the Pug-T is still in the micro-concealable category. Chambered in .22 WMR, the Pug comes with the 5-round cylinder and a unique method for loading and dropping empty cases, which takes a little practice to get used to.

If you are familiar with standard single-action revolvers, shooting an NAA Pug shouldn't be a problem for you; you have to cock the hammer for every shot fired. The Pug comes with a Hogue rubber grip with a textured surface and has a modified teardrop profile that helps control muzzle rise.

Who Will Use This Most

With the rudimentary trigger and serrated hammer spur, the Pug provides solid contact when cocking and firing in close survival scenarios. However, the biggest selling point is gun's portability, which enables you to carry it in a jacket or jeans pocket without printing or other inconveniences. The Pug miniature dimensions will be appreciated by people who simply won't carry anything larger or those who want a back-up gun.

Bottom Line

Although .22 Winchester Magnum comes with noticeably more authority than .22 LR, its defensive capabilities are quite limited to very short range, and handguns like NAA Pug are ideal for that role. Considering its all-steel construction, the Pug-T is lightweight, an impressively well-made and surprisingly accurate little .22 revolver that anyone can carry, one no matter what they're wearing.

Best .38 Revolver for Concealed Carry: 
Rock Island Armory M206 2" .38 Special Parkerized 6Rd

Pros

  • Transfer bar safety.
  • Holds six .38 Special cartridges.
  • Snag-free hammer for a smooth draw.
  • Checkered wood grip and matte parkerized finish.
  • Steel frame revolver with single-piece 2.15" barrel.

Cons

  • Finish isn’t perfect.
  • Grip is not adequate for large hands.
  • Not rated for the use of +P ammunition.

What Recent Buyers Report

While many buyers asked whether the M206 revolver is rated for the use of +P ammunition, the Rock Island manual and the company website mention using only the standard pressure .38 Spl ammunition. Some reviewers recommend only the "occasional" use of +P ammunition as this a 25-ounce weight pocket gun, which might kick too much for most shooters when loaded with +P ammunition. Of course, you should also consider exceeding wear in small parts.

Another critique referred to the long, spade-shaped hammer spur, which could pinch the web of the shooting hand if you let the revolver slip during recoil.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Rock Island Armory is the Philippines-established firearms manufacturer well known for its simple, reliable and durable handgun designs, and the Model 206 is one of them. In this model, they implemented proven solutions from Colt and Smith and Wesson wheelguns.

Actually, the M206 sports the Colt pull-back cylinder release and cylinder, which rotate clockwise, resembling the action found on S&W revolvers. Continuing that mix of influences, the M206 features a squared-off ejector rod shrouded under the barrel, seemingly borrowed from Charter Arms.

The Armscor M206 successfully combines the single-piece 2.15" fully shrouded barrel and the cylinder that holds six shots, making this handgun nearly as concealable as a five-shot small frame revolver. While the larger hammer spur will enable you to cock the gun for single-action fire easily, the broad sights consisting of the fixed front sight and smooth channel frame cut rear sight.

The double-action revolver boasts a transfer bar safety and deeply curved, a smooth-faced trigger that requires 10 lbs. 10 oz. of trigger pull when fired in double-action mode and 6 lbs. 2 oz. of pressure to cycle in single-action mode.

Who Will Use This Most

The M206 revolver is ideal for personal protection and home defense for the occasional user on a budget. The Armscor M206 Revolver is a great choice for most people who cannot afford more pricey concealed carry revolvers from other reputable brands.

This short-barreled .38 offers manageable recoil for the most occasional shooters and a host of advantages over the autoloader. The Rock Island Armory paired their M206 revolver with .38 Special to make a potent combination and one of the best all-around concealed carry and defensive handguns for home use.

Bottom Line

In short, the Armscor M200 Series of revolvers are six-shot steel .38 Special revolvers in a medium frame purpose-built for concealable carry and home protection. The Rock Island M206 with mediocre trigger and action has everything most customers want in a concealed carry revolver, including a price they can afford.

Best Small Revolver for Concealed Carry:
North American Arms Mini-Revolver 1.125" .22 Short

Pros

  • Bird’s head grip.
  • Half-moon blade front sight.
  • All stainless steel construction.
  • Only 3.63″ long and 4 oz.
  • Safety notches milled in between the chambers of the cylinder.

Cons

  • Limited use.
  • Loading/unloading requires practice.
  • Pistol grip won't fit every contour of the shooter's hand.

What Recent Buyers Report 

Considering its minimalistic design, customers are often complaining about an uncomfortable grip without finger grooves and absent of any kind of trigger guard. Many users found the Mini's reloading process complicated, but since with the NAA .22 Short you won't be doing any tactical reloads, this issue may stay aside.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Reminiscent of many pocket revolvers – derringers, produced until the turn of the 20th century – the Mini revolver by North American Arms is a stainless-steel “monster” with less than 4 inches of overall length and 4 ounces of weight.

Like all North American mini-revolvers, the 22 Short Mini retains the standard single-action operation that requires the little knurled hammer to be cocked for each shot. The five-shot fluted cylinder has no loading gate and can be only loaded and unloaded by pulling out the cylinder pin that rests under the barrel. You can carry this single-action revolver safely with all five chambers loaded, due to the machined cylinder “safety slots” between each cylinder position.

The mini revolver has small bird’s head grip-frame topped with a 1 1/8 inch barrel and fixed half-moon front sight blade with a two-inch sight radius. The NAA Mini 22 Short is usually regarded as a belly gun or something to use at arm's length, but it is relatively easy and quick to put 5 bullets in a nice 4-6 inches group at ten feet, a typical self-defense distance.

The pistol is less than five inches in length. But the gun's tiny form makes it perfectly packable in a jeans watch pocket. So that keeps the Pug-T still in the micro-concealable category.

Who Will Use This Most

With the .22 Short chambering and No. 1 revolver, the Smith & Wesson started their handgun production back in 1857. The anemic round soon became popular in small derringer style guns for a vest in its time. The .22 Short pistols, also called mouse guns, were purpose-built for self-defense, and since these handguns are made from cheap pot metal, they came apart easily.

Today, the .22 Rimfire Short is popular as a low-noise option for pest control out of a rifle, or as a short-range gallery and plinking round from handguns, with NAA as the only manufacturer of a high-quality mini-revolvers in that caliber.

Bottom Line

A carry gun should be the best handgun you will "actually carry”, meaning that your last line of defense will probably be this beautiful little revolver, because its most significant value is portability. With its miniature dimensions and tiny 22 Short chambering, the NAA Mini revolver will fit many people's clothing and lifestyle; after all, it will still put holes into things.

Best Ruger Concealed Carry Revolver:
Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan .454

Pros

  • All stainless steel construction.
  • Compact sixgun in .454 Casull.
  • Cold hammer-forged 2.50" barrel.
  • Can also fire the .45 Colt cartridge.
  • Cylinder features a triple-locking design.
  • Hogue Tamer Monogrip with finger grooves.

Cons

  • Recoil is tremendous.
  • Due to its weight, it is not a good idea to wear it on a belt.

What Recent Buyers Report

Though the recoil of lighter .454 loads is tolerable for experienced big-bore handgunners, you shouldn’t forget that .454 Casull full-power loads generate just about three times the recoil of .45 Colt loads. Since the Alaskan displays savage recoil and blast when you try to send a 300gr bullet from a 2.5-inch barrel at nearly 1,400fps, it is very difficult to master follow-up shots; to be fair though, it is not designed for prolonged double tap drills.

As was expected, everything on this gun is heavy and large, weighing a total of about 50oz loaded. Although a pound lighter than other heavy-duty self-defense wheelguns, a lot of people complain that it is too big to wear in a belt holster while walking outdoors. To many users, the best solution for carrying this ultimate snubnose gun would be in some sort of chest harness.

Why it Stands Out to Us

After two decades of developing their famous Super Redhawk revolver, Ruger has created Super Redhawk Alaskan – a large-bore magnum handgun for handy field carry. Built on a large-frame, this six-shot revolver with a 2 ½-inch barrel is available in .454 Casull or .480 Ruger caliber.

The Ruger designed a dual chambering, which allows a .454 Casull model to accept factory .45 Colt cartridges, making it a very versatile chambering. It means you can load it light for reduced-power practice or cowboy shooting with .45 Colt ammunition, and if there is a need you can use a more powerful .454 Casull cartridge for protection from wild animals or felonious thugs.

Chambered in a .454 Casull, this serious sixgun features a triple-locking cylinder, a barrel that measures just 2.58 inches in length and a very comfortable recoil-cushioning Hogue Tamer Monogrip.

Who Will Use This Most

For sure, this is not a beginners' handgun, nor a casual plinking gun. The Alaskan .454 Casull is one serious sixgun intended to be the ultimate back-up gun for outdoorsmen, a hunter's companion in big bear country.

While the .454 Alaskan isn’t designed as a daily carry gun, this snubnosed six-shooter with an authoritative business end will definitely have appeal to gun-enthusiasts who prefer big-bore revolvers for personal or household protection.

Bottom Line 

When the Ruger turned their hunting Super Redhawk into a relatively little big-bore well-handling package, most of the outdoors-persons in the bear country got the ability to be well-armed at all times. All in all, this Ruger heavy-duty compact revolver line is a superbly engineered shooting tool with a dual chambering that offers versatility not found in this gun category.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Concealed Carry Revolver

If you decide to invest in a quality concealed carry revolver, you should be aware that a carry handgun is a different animal compared to guns built for targeting or recreational shooting. We made a selection of small wheel guns that are probably the most operator-error-free of any handgun; at the same time, they are easy to store and safeguard.

All the models from our list provide good combat accuracy within the limitations of a snub-nosed revolver. Actually, most of the revolvers in our overview are more accurate than an average user can shoot them.

Compared to the modern polymer-framed semi-auto pistols, the revolving cylinder technology is about 160 years old. Since their popularity does not wane, it tells us that a quality revolver like a Smith & Wesson, Colt, or Ruger is every bit as right a choice as it ever was.

The revolver is still around because it works well, is less likely to jam, and has a simple manual-of-arms – the features appreciated by a number of armed citizens. As the revolvers are almost totally reliable, it makes them an excellent choice for self-defense against predators on either two or four legs.

Along with the reputation of being a reliable defensive tool, concealed carry revolvers are versatile too. From deep-cover concealed-carry to defense against an angry beast in the wilderness, the concealed-carry revolver is the top choice in a handgun.

Finally, the short barrel, snub-nose revolver fits nicely in the smallest type of key-lock handgun safe. As a very simple defensive tool, it can be stored loaded for a very long period, as there will never be a lot of pressure on the springs like in semi-auto handguns.

Pros and Cons of Concealed Carry Revolvers

A snub-nosed revolver remains a viable option today for self-defense, even in the face of stiff competition from pocket-sized wonder-nine semi-autos.

If the compact revolver is your choice of CCW, then a small, quality made, double-action wheelgun will perform for decades without issues.

However, there are many compromises when we discuss carrying a concealed handgun, and for their advantages, snub revolvers do indeed have some disadvantages.

Pros

The short barrel revolver has several unique upsides over similar sized weapons. The first is reliability. Revolvers have less movable parts, so they are less likely to jam up than a semi-automatic.

Concealability is the next advantage, since the cleverly designed snubbie revolver features a small ergonomic grip and usually 5-shot cylinder to diminish its width and weight. It means there won’t be a bulge under your clothing or excessive weight on your belt, ideal for deep-cover concealed-carry.

Caliber choices are another main factor that should be taken into consideration. Along with common .38 Special and .357 Magnum, short-barreled revolvers are chambered for much more powerful rounds like .44 Magnum or .454 Casull as well as for standard pistol 9mm or .45 ACP cartridges.

Cons

As nothing is perfect, revolvers do have their disadvantages too. The most noticeable is their low capacity. Most short-barreled personal-defense revolvers come standard with 5 or 6 shots; these days, that is less than half of compact semi-auto pistol's magazine capacity. Besides low capacity, revolvers are extremely difficulty to reload under stress.

It is not a gun for everyone. The short barrel, snub nose revolver is an expert's weapon that requests plenty of practicing and experience. In short, it is not an ideal firearm for new gun owners. The combination of the very heavy trigger pull, poor sights, and more recoil makes a snub-nosed revolver in the hands of a newbie a wildly inaccurate firearm.

Conclusion 

While most of the revolvers reviewed above could serve well for casual plinking and fun, they have never expected to be shot much for fun or steel-target competition. These snubnosed guns are designed as personal defense tools, pure and simple, that are meant for protecting you from two-legged intruders or some of nature's biggest jerks.

About Josh Lewis

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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