Year after year, concealed carry revolvers see a slow yet undeniable gain in popularity. 2018 was no different, and handgun manufacturers, as well as holster makers, worked to keep up with the rising demand for compact firearm production.
Concealed carry revolvers are the firearms of choice for many people who prefer less invasive and less intense gun experiences. In this roundup, I’m going to explore the top five concealed carry revolvers of 2018.
I must say that the winner in the roundup can already be concluded. The Taurus Raging Bull comes out on top every time. The size of this device is unmatched, especially when used for self-defense. Read on to find out what units followed in this firearm’s wake.
- At a Glance: Our 5 Best Concealed Carry Revolvers
- What are They?
- For Whom are They Best Suited?
- Things to Look For
- Our Reviews for the Top Rated Products
- Final Thoughts
At a Glance: Our 5 Best Concealed Carry Revolvers
- Taurus Raging Bull
- Ruger SP101 Spurless .357 Magnum
- Smith & Wesson Model 642
- Ruger LCR in .38 Special +P
- Kimber K6s
What are They?
The concealed carry revolver, also known as the everyday carry,is the classic handgun we know and recognize from films. They are the guns that the little old lady carries in her tapestry covered purse finger ready on the trigger pull at any given moment; or the gun that the bellhop pulls out of his sock when he finds himself in a sticky situation. Of course, they are also kept safely in a tidy holster or pocket.
Concealed carry revolvers are the smallest of firearms available on the market that will still get in the perfect shot if needed. They are incredibly compact—hence the word “concealed.”
These firearms are best used for situations of self-defense. In fact, most people purchase these guns with the intention and hope of never actually having to use them. Many do go unused for years at a time, due to their presence being solely reserved for emergency situations. The perfect tool to feel safer while hoping you never have to use it.
These handguns are ideal for almost any individual with the most basic hand-eye coordination skills. They’re easy to load, easy to shoot and easy to hide in concealed places.
For Whom are They Best Suited?
I like to recommend concealed carry revolvers to anyone who would like to feel a bit safer in their home or on the streets. Of course, this depends on the nature of the environment in which the user lives and functions.
This isn’t the kind of gun you’ll take hunting or out into the field for recreational use. They’re best kept for emergency scenarios where the safety of the owner is being compromised. Since the nature of these guns is ease of use, there are many benefits of having one around in the event of an emergency.
Though some police personnel has been known to make use of concealed carry revolvers in the past, this was usually in undercover situations where regular-sized revolvers would not have been appropriate. These guns are ideal for these situations as they are very hard to spot when properly concealed.
Things to Look For
When looking for the best concealed carry revolver to purchase there are a few things I encourage you to look out for.
Consider Your Needs
Take time to consider what you’ll use this firearm for.
If it’s recreational or hunting purposes then a concealed carry firearm is probably not the right firearm for you. As mentioned, I recommend these guns to individuals who need help with self-defense or additional safety in the home. They’re appropriate to keep in the safe or in your bedside drawer for easy, fast access.
Size & Comfort
Although most concealed carry revolvers are naturally of a more compact nature it’s still important to consider the right size for your holding ability.
Whenever you use a gun it’s important to be fully comfortable with the grip and shape of the unit. Find a revolver that best suits your handling criteria and that makes you feel empowered while holding it—not nervous or uncertain because it’s too heavy or uncomfortable. If you feel more comfortable with a more streamlined 380 semi-auto than you should better go with that.
Different brands of concealed carry revolvers will feature slight differences in terms of size and shape. Not all barrels will be equal in length so finding one to suit your comfort preference won’t be a difficult task at all.
Since these revolvers are typically reserved for instances where self-defense is required, it’s not overly important for them to have a large magazine capacity, especially when having good and reliable ammo.
That being said, if you feel you’d be more comfortable with a unit with extensive magazine capabilities then be sure to look out for this criterion when shopping for your firearm. Some self-defense situations may require you to reload the gun and, in this event, it would, of course, be preferable to have a magazine with larger capacity. Luckily, the market offers something for everyone.
Concealed carry revolvers are known as the guns with which you can have some fun when it comes to the exteriors of the firearms. Since they’re not really used in situations where high durability is required, the bodies of the guns can be customized.
You’ll be able to select from a range of exteriors including the ever-classic varnished wood finish or, for those who prefer things a bit flashier, a marble inset handle.
There are many companies who actually specialize in concealed carry revolver customization. This adds a recreational aspect to guns that wouldn’t normally be associated with enjoyable situations. Our gun can become a style statement.
This is an obvious point of criteria but an important one at that.
Due to the highly saturated nature of the concealed carry revolver market, there are guns to suit almost any budget.
When looking to invest in one of these devices, consider your available budget and pick a gun that falls into this bracket. It can be tempting to splurge on higher end units, but with concealed carry revolvers it’s rarely necessary.
Now let’s show you your options.
Our Reviews for the Top Rated Products
Taurus Raging Bull: Best All Around
The .44 magnum is my winner in this roundup as the best concealed-carry revolver. I love this unit because of its incredible performance in self-defense situations.
It has the ability to hold five or six rounds depending on your cartridge preference. Most concealed carry revolvers with this ability are of a much bulkier nature. This gun remains exceptionally lightweight and compact.
The most notable features of the Taurus are the following:
- Made from high-quality stainless steel
- Features a transfer bar for safety
- Right angle groove turn
- Weighs 53oz.
A concealed carry revolver is a companion for life, in my opinion. The kind of companion you’d prefer to never use but you’re happy that they’re always there. The Taurus Raging Bull falls perfectly into this role. I also love how incredibly lightweight it is—You’ll easily forget it’s there.
- Comes with an unlimited lifetime repair policy
- Exceptionally lightweight and compact
- Made from quality materials for optimized longevity
- Requires quality cartridges to prevent misfiring
Overall rating: 10/10
Take a closer look at it here:
Ruger SP101 Spurless .357 Magnum: Best Value Product
To put it simply, I love the elegance and simplicity of this Ruger concealed carry revolver.
It’s also, in my opinion, the best value for money product in this roundup as it’s incredibly affordable when you consider its abilities.
Features to note about the Ruger are:
- Five round magazine capacity
- Weighs 25oz.
- Optional spur available
- Rubberized grips for inexperienced shooters
In terms of being compact and concealed, the weight of this revolver is unmatched. You’ll be able to load it with a full batch of rounds and still not feel any noticeable weight from the device.
- Value for money
- Exceptionally lightweight
- Great body design
- Comes with front sight
- Lower magazine capacity
- The barrel can be difficult to clean
All in all, I recommend this product to anyone looking for a high performing concealed carry revolver at an affordable price. You’ll get years of performance out of a single investment and knowing you have the Ruger nearby will deliver great peace of mind.
Overall rating: 9/10
Smith & Wesson Model 642
Since we are on trend with incredibly lightweight units let’s take a look at one of the most unbeatably weighted concealed carry revolvers in the industry; the 642 by Smith & Wesson.
At an unfathomable 14oz., this revolver is almost absent when not in use. The design is also of a classic nature which I appreciate. The shrouded hammer prevents the revolver from digging into any surface it’s placed next to. This helps when carrying it on your person.
The only concern with this revolver is that the 1.8” barrel takes some practice before it feels comfortable using it. It’s the kind of revolver you’ll have to take to a shooting range before using it in a tense situation. You don’t want your discomfort to lead to an unnecessary accident.
That being said, it delivers accurate shots each time, even with limited practice sessions behind you.
Some features worth noting include:
- .38 Special
- Suitable for +P ammo
- Shrouded hammer
For anyone looking for a concealed carry revolver that they wouldn’t mind spending some time getting to know the Smith & Wesson is for you. It makes a great, lifelong companion to the person willing to perfect its performance.
- Consistent performance over long periods of use
- Slightly longer barrel
- Incredibly lightweight
- Takes effort to develop comfort while using it
- Only holds five rounds
Overall rating: 8/10
Ruger LCR in .38 Special +P
This unit reminds us of something out of a 1920’s mob film. It’s classically crafted and coated in a sleek gunmetal grey finish which makes it look a lot tougher than it probably is.
LCR actually stands for Lightweight Compact Revolver. As the name suggests, the Ruger is tiny and weighs next to nothing. It comes in at 13oz., making it than the Smith & Wesson model.
Features to note about the Ruger LCR are:
- Highly fluted stainless steel cylinder
- 87-inch barrel
- Aluminum frame
This is a great revolver for self-defense, especially when combined with good ammo. Despite being a double action gun, the friction reducing cam system makes the LCR incredibly easy to shoot. When it comes to material construction the Ruger really is cutting edge.
It comes factory standard with a Hogue Tamer Monogrip already fitted, so while customization of your gun is an option, it’s hardly necessary.
- Customizable around the grip
- Attractive design
- Requires +P ammo for optimized performance
- * 87” barrel can take some getting used to
Overall rating: 7/10
Kimber is a brand I know and love when it comes to compact pistols. It’s only recently that the brand began to impress in the compact revolver department as well. If it wasn’t such a fresh product on the market the Kimber would have been a closer contender for the number one spot in this roundup.
The K6s features almost everything you’d ever need from a concealed carry revolver. It isn’t as light as some of the other units, but the cylinder is incredibly short, coming in at 1.39”.
Kimber has also ensured excellent ergonomics when it comes to the manufacturing of its grips. The shooter has incredible control over the gun. The magazine also impressively holds six rounds which is unexpected when you look at the firearm’s dimensions.
The most notable features of the Colt Delta are the following:
- Match-grade trigger (standard)
- Shrouded hammer
- Weighs 23oz.
This is a great, affordable gun for an entry-level shooter looking for some peace of mind when it comes to self-defense. You can take this device out into a field for some practice with little help required to master using it.
- Feature packed
- Easy to use without much practice
- Most compact gun to feature a 6-round magazine
- Short barrel has a tendency to recoil
- Heavier unit
Overall rating: 7/10
As we come to the end of this roundup my favorite is still the Taurus Raging Bull for the best concealed carry revolver on the market.
Between design, magazine capacity and intent of use this is undeniably the top contender for anyone looking to increase their self-defense abilities.
While you’ll be paying a bit more for this product than you might like you’re guaranteed a lifetime of performance. It really is more of an investment than an expense.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—every single person should own a concealed carry weapon at some point in their life. It’s time to get yours!
Want more? Click here to read our review on the EAA Windicator.