10 Reasons Why You Should Consider A Revolver For CCW

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider A Revolver For CCW

Who needs a high rate of fire when you can put high caliber rounds on target? In this article, we’ll discuss a few reasons why revolvers should be considered for concealed carry.

1. Affordable

When we’re talking about having a single handgun that can serve all purposes of self-defense, a good, solid revolver is it. Capable of being chambered in any number of different calibers — including some versions that accept pistol cartridges — the revolver is an affordable all-around defensive handgun option.

2. Ergonomic

No matter how big or small your hands are, chances are good you can get a fully-bodied grip on a revolver. If you don’t like the grips, this is one of the few styles of gun where it’s easy to find after-market replacements to suit your tastes… Or you could even mill your own for added personality.

3. Beginner-friendly

Revolvers are great for first-time gun owners because they are simple to operate. For Double Action Only (DAO) revolvers, there is nothing to mess up once it’s loaded. Simply point to the target and fire. For SA/DA revolvers, there is the simplicity of DAO action with the option of single-action tight shooting.

4. Resilient

A good revolver will last a lifetime. No ‘if’s ‘and’s or ‘but’s about it. So long as you keep your revolver clean, dry, and lightly oiled, it’s one of the few guns you can pass down to your grandchildren and expect it to keep operating flawlessly.

5. Easy to fix

Should something go wrong on a revolver, there are very few parts to replace. And if you’re one of those folks who suspect that human civilization could collapse at any minute, a revolver is one of the few handguns that you can probably mill replacement parts for without too much issue.

6. Easy to clean

Slide out the cylinder, clean the individual cylinders. Clean out the bore. Clean the carbon off of the hammer. Lightly apply oil as needed… That’s the basics right there. If you do just that for the rest of your life, that revolver will be fine.

7. Extremely safe

No need for a manual safety when you have a handgun that will only fire if the hammer is pulled back to the rear. There’s absolutely no question of whether or not a revolver is ready to fire and thus the question of having a safety becomes pointless. If the hammer is back, it’s ready to shoot. If it’s double-action, you can expect it to fire if you pull the trigger all the way to the rear. Safety is predictability and a revolver will predictably shoot given certain conditions.

8. Built to last

Some of the oldest working handguns in existence are revolvers. Revolvers have fewer moving parts and fewer points of failure than striker-fired or SA/DA pistols. Given enough time, everything fails and a handgun has a few critical points where once broken, it will no longer work. Revolvers have the fewest points of failure of any handgun outside of a single-shot derringer.

9. State law compliant

No matter what state you live in, a revolver is generally classified as an acceptable handgun to purchase. Even in New Jersey, your chances of owning a revolver are decent so long as you’re willing to go through their shenanigans.

10. Easy to conceal

Believe it or not, revolvers are probably some of the easiest handguns to conceal. The cylinder tends to be problematic and for some of the older models, the handle tends to jut out, but when considering options outside of IWB (inside the waistband), a revolver is an excellent choice. Shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, purse carry… These are all great options for a revolver. For inside the waistband, you’ll likely need to figure out what works best for you but it’s still very possible.

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Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
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Glenn Lambertz

Absolutely! I’ve gone both ways in my concealed carry life…..semi-auto and revolver…..and I keep coming back to the wheel gun. My 38 Special+p five-round snub sends 110 grain bullets downrange at just about the same energy as a 9mm. No safety needed for the D-A only. It is VERY concealable. And my 357 mag S&W stainless has taken deer and other game with no problem. The targets get hit because the accuracy is there with lots of different ammunition, factory and home-made. And one more point….for those who reload….the cases don’t get thrown all over the place.


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Like Glen Lambertz below, I have carried both semi auto handguns and revolvers. As a new cop in the ’70’s, I was trained by the FBI during my Police Academy to use a S&W Mod. 10. A switch in departments put a Colt Trooper Mk 4 with a 4 inch barrel on my hip and a Colt Detective Spl. (Gen2) as my off duty carry gun.
In the 1980’s I was in charge of a small Department and we were permitted to transition to semi autos. I hoped for my favored 1911A1 (carried when I was a Corpsman in the Navy of the ’60’s. We went to S&Ws in .45ACP. I carried a variety of caliber semi autos from .380 to .40S&W to .45ACP and a variety of manufacturers from Bursa to Taurus To Springfield Armory To Sig and loved all!
Then in 2010 I suffered a high spinal cord injury and lost both dexterity and strength in my left hand rendering me incapable of “racking the slide” to chamber a round or clear a jamb. My solution was obvious…return to a revolver.
I now carry 3. Usually a Ruger LCR in .38+P and a Colt Magnum Carry (4th generation Detective special?) in .357 S&W Mag, but loaded with the same Hornady Critical Defense ammo as the Ruger for a “new York reload”. I also carry 2 HK speedloaders for each. In the winter, I add a third revolver, a Ruger SP101 in .327 Fed Mag speedloaders for it. Each is easily manipulated despite my disability. This is a factor too often overlooked when recommending a carry gun. At best it may be given passing mention.


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I retired after a 37 yr. career in municipal police. I started out with revolvers and have always been comfortable with them, although I was one of those who pushed for conversion to semi-autos. Today, I still carry my small, concealable semi-autos occasionally, but I find myself most comfortable with my J-frame S&Ws in .38 and .357 mag for most of my around-town carry. If I’m going to be on the road or in a less than ideal area, I might carry a .45 or 9mm with higher capacity, but for daily carry, it’s hard to beat my revolvers. I’m even considering carrying some of my 3″ barreled K and L frames for some applications.


Do you think that autos encourage more shots to be fired by police? Sometimes I read reports, especially from NYPD shootings and I can’t believe how many shots are fired, let alone how few hit. I would think a revolver would encourage more discipline, but then so would a single shot. 🙂


No, I think that proper training and practice dictate accuracy and number of rounds fired in a confrontation, not whether the gun is a revolver or semi-auto. While I’m comfortable with a revolver, that does not mean that it is the optimum handgun for use in police incidents where deadly force is required. More rounds may be necessary in order to stop suspects under the influence or for those who are not otherwise instantly incapacitated by the wounds. Additionally, multiple suspects can also alter the situation, requiring more ammunition being applied in a minimal amount of time.

Handguns are carried by police because they allow them to carry a defensive weapon on their belt and out of their hands. It is convenient and more portable than a rifle or carbine. However, handguns are not the ultimate in the ability to incapacitate an attacker as they do not generate the type of power that is found in other firearms, such as rifles and shotguns. In short, handguns are a compromise, and more rounds on the target are often needed to cause incapacitation.


I recently discovered that if I put my keys and pocket knife into the cargo pocket on my trousers, my full size revolver fits right into my front pocket, just fine, and it doesn’t really print either. That’s two bonuses to my way of thinking.

Clark Kent

Never, ever carry any handgun in any pocket. The LAST thing you want in a critical defensive shooting situation is fishing around in your pocket for your handgun. You want a repeatable, solid platform to draw from EVERY time (read: a belt holster or a shoulder holster).


I thought about that, and I tried it. No fishing. It fills the pocket. Easy-out. As I wrote – “full size”.

But I gotta say, pocket size is important. I have some trousers that wouldn’t secure a pocket gun because the pockets are so small that I can lose my keys sitting on the couch.


I carry a Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum IWB.


I have carried a S&W model 65 for over forty years. S&W removed the hammer spur and converted it to DAO. With it’s 3″ heavy barrel,round butt and stainless it has been my concealed carry choice.


I like, own, and sometimes carry revolvers, too. But there are some misleading statements in the article.
In NJ, getting a permit to purchase a revolver is no easier than for a semi-automatic handgun (NJ hates all firearms). Revolvers are not a lot simpler than a semi-automatic. If you’ve done a trigger and spring job on a revolver, you soon learn this. Revolver parts are no easier to “mill your own” than a semi-automatic. The sear engagement on a S&W 642 has a tolerance of only .004″. Try “milling” that in your basement. Basically, unless you’re stocking up on replacement parts and willing to learn gunsmithing, you’re better off learning how to make a bow and some arrows. Cleaning the bore and hammer is only the start; you also must clean the cylinders (or else fired cases eventually won’t eject) and occasionally the action. Field-stripping and cleaning the action of a semi-auto is much easier than a revolver. The operating manual is less complicated, but there are similar cautions; e.g., do not grip the revolver so your fingers cover the cylinder/barrel gap unless you like toasted fingers. The article was sort of okay, but could have provided a lot more useful information.


Or you can move out of Jersey. I am from Long Island and kicked the habit. I found that AZ is pretty open to guns. Iowa wasn’t bad either.


Yup. As soon as we retired, we escaped from NJ. Barely avoided the exit tax.


Exit tax?


Thanks for this informative article. I am a new shooter and I have a revolver. I am a really happy with my choice!

Wayne Clark

I have a S&W m66 4″ bbl K frame that I carry in a Fobus paddle holster. I just wear a large shirt (eg. Hawaiian style) in the summer or light jacket in the winter & it conceals pretty well. I’ve tried IWB (Mexican carry, for a minute…I don’t have a holster for that) & it’s just too uncomfortable for that…so outside it is. I carry two speed strips in an old cell phone case w/magnetic flap so it’s pretty easy to reload. Pistol & strips are loaded w/Blazer 125 gr. +P JHP. If I can’t take care of business with 18 shots, I’m probably dead anyway.
Looking at a Taurus PT111 G2 for IWB. Anybody tried one yet?


I gave 28 years of law enforcement service and I’m now retired. I have two favorite concealed carry guns after owning dozens through the years. One is my Kimber Ultra .45acp and the second is my Charter Bulldog in .44spl. I too am starting to favor the little Bulldog more and more.


Sorry, but each of one these reason is outmoded in the face of semi-automatics and now even more so with smaller concealed carry semi-autos. There is zero reason to carry a 5 or 6 shot revolver anymore and frankly, the revolver needs to be put to rest. I see little valid reason anymore to use or carry one.