When you think about concealed carry pistols, people usually opt for semi-autos. Guns like polymer-framed and striker-fired such as those from Glock. Revolvers might not be everybody’s first option since they are big and bulky. That said, there are revolvers built for concealed carry and it carries some advantages over your typical semi-auto.

 One undeniable advantage a revolver has over a semi-auto is in the complexity. A semi-auto, in a scuffle, may not fire if you push the barrel right into your attacker. Doing so would push the slide out of battery and the gun would not fire. Another problem is that a semi-auto can jam. A trained shooter can quickly clear the jam and start firing again, but even then, it takes away precious time that you may not be able to afford. A revolver can still shoot if you push it into someone and even if a round fails to fire, you can just pull the trigger again and start firing. In short, a revolver is easier to use for beginners.

A revolver does not have to be massive. There are snub-nosed, hammerless variants out there that are compact enough to conceal on your person. The lack of a hammer also guarantees a smooth draw since the last thing you want in a self-defense situation is the hammer snagging on your shirt or holster. Not to mention, it is a lot more intimidating to be staring down a wheel gun than a semi-auto, though getting shot by either is unpleasant.

With this in mind, here are some of the most popular hammerless revolvers that you can buy right now.

1. The Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard

Getting a decent firearm can be difficult if you are on a tight budget and the M&P Bodyguard, among other firearms listed below, are here to solve the problem. Smith & P Wesson offered their Bodyguard line and the MSRP starts around $380 so you can get a Smith & Wesson gun at a very affordable price.

Chambered in .38 Special, the Bodyguard is +P rated, so you can use the more powerful rounds if you feel like it. The polymer grip frame and the aluminum cylinder go a long way in minimizing the gun’s heft and the streamlined design ensures excellent concealability.

You get a fixed rear and front sights but you can find a model with an integrated Crimson Trace laser. If you want some extra value from your purchase, consider buying their everyday carry package. It comes with a folding knife and flashlight.


2. The Smith & Wesson J Frame

The J-Frame is a double-action revolver that can be had in either .357 Magnum or .38 Special. There are many variants for the J-Frame. For instance, the Airweight models are chambered in .38 Special +P, so you can load more powerful rounds. All J-Frames out there have very short barrels, usually 1.88 inches. Therefore, these revolvers are only effective at close range. J-Frames are not heavy, either. Thanks to the aluminum alloy frames, these revolvers weigh only 15 ounces. The revolver receives many great reviews, even for first-timers. The best part is that there is a J-Frame for virtually any budget as the MSRP ranges from $380-$700 depending on the model.


3. The Smith & Wesson Performance Center 442

The 442 is chambered in .38 Special and unlike many other J-Frames that you may have seen before, the 442 is a cut above the rest. For one, Smith & Wesson managed to trim the weight down to just 15 ounces when empty thanks to the aluminum alloy frame. You get 5 shots in the stainless-steel cylinder and it is rated for +P round as well. It is also very accurate up to 15 yards, which is just about the right distance for self-defense purposes. The barrel is 1.875 inches long and you get the Crimson Trace Lasergrip to go with our purchase. In addition, you get a ramp front sight and integral rear sight just in case.


4. The Ruger LCR

One of the most popular snub-nosed revolvers on the market, the LCR achieved its fame thanks to its lightweight and affordable price tag. It is also versatile in more ways than one. For instance, you can get it in various chamberings such as .327 Federal Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, 9 mm, and even .22 Long Rifle.

The LCR features a polymer grip frame, which makes it so light. If you opt for the .38 Special, then your gun would weigh just 13.5 ounces. For this reason, this gun is a popular option for ladies who want to carry something a little hotter than pepper spray in their handbags or purse. The trigger is also excellent according to many users, not to mention the low recoil and ease of use.


5. The Ruger SP101

Most SP101s from Ruger come with an external hammer, but the 5720 model has an internal hammer that makes it more cancelable than the rest. Chambered in .357 Magnum, the SP101 has a 2.25-inch barrel and comfortable black rubber grips. It weighs 25 ounces and holds 5 rounds in the cylinder. It is a bit heavy but it helps to tame the recoil. Plus, the revolver is built like a tank so reliability and safety are unquestionable.

6. The Kimber K6

Kimber usually makes high-end semi-autos that fetch a high price, but they also offer some revolvers for far less without compromising the quality. The K6 looks absolutely beautiful and there are a few aesthetic options to choose from. It can be had in a satin or stainless-steel frame, with rubber, walnut, or rosewood grips.

The K6 is chambered in .357 Magnum and you get 6 shots instead of 5 in the cylinder. Coupled with a 2-inch barrel, the K6 weighs 23 ounces. It also happens to be expensive as well but you are getting what you paid for, which is a high-quality and reliable revolver with a smooth operation. Plus, the K6 retains its value very well since it is a Kimber.


7. The Rock Island Armory M206 Spurless

The M206 Spurless has been around for a while, but it deserves to be on the list. It is a .38 Special workhorse. In terms of looks, it lacks the glamor and glitz but it more than makes up for that in terms of performance. Most importantly, the M206 Spurless is affordable, which is always nice to see.

Rock Island kept the price down by cutting back on the looks and maximizing performance without driving up the cost too much. What they get is a plucky 6-shotter revolver with a 2-inch barrel on a double-action trigger. The trigger itself is very smooth, at least for an entry-level revolver and its timing is just right. The ramp front and fixed back sight are also pretty accurate. Although I did say that Rock Island had to jettison aesthetics, you still get checkered wood grips and an option between Parkerized and matt nickel finishes to complete that classic look. On top of this, you get an ejector-rod shroud and a Colt-like cylinder release as well.


There is one drawback that I should point out. It is the fact that it is not rated +P. While trained professionals can make do with the basic .38 Special, the operating velocity does not mix well with modern expanding bullets. Having a +P rated revolver and ammo can solve this problem, but not always. There is still good ammo in standard .38 Special, but it might take a bit of shopping to find a good one to feed your revolver.

8. The Colt King Cobra Carry

Colt rebooted their snake gun line and it kickstarted all sorts of discussions. One that got the most attention is the King Cobra. It is quite familiar to its 2019 release but it has been tinkered to improve concealability. This .357 Magnum revolver has its spur shaved off and it is outfitted with a 2-inch barrel. You get 6 shots in the cylinder.

Of course, the 2-inch barrel is not going to give you magnum performance. It will not be as bad as +P .38 standards, but it is not going to be much better, either. Moreover, all the burning powder needs somewhere to go, so do not panic if you see flame spewing out from the muzzle.

In terms of aesthetics, the revolver is all stainless-steel with Hogue Overmolded grips. You also get a brass-bead front sight and integral rear. The entire package weighs 26 ounces.


And there you have it, folks. These are my top 8 picks for hammerless revolvers that I think are worth every penny. Of course, there are still many excellent hammerless revolvers out there that are also very good, so you do not have to agree with everything I said here. Better yet, if you happen to own any other hammerless revolvers and have a great time with them, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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