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Best revolvers for concealed carry?

Discussion in 'CCW' started by Ballbearing, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Evangelist

    First of all, i am NOT an automatic pistol person. I don't mind the older ones so much like the 1911 Colt, the Browning hi-power, and the Walther PP series, but i really HATE the current crop of DAO auto's especially the ones with plastic frames. No, please don't try and sell me on them, i ain't buying. I don't give a rip if they can shoot around corners and are magically enchanted to let you see in the dark, i HATE them and will never buy or carry one, E-V-E-R! That having been said, i'm going to be getting a concealed carry permit soon and i want to know what the best revolvers would be for the job. I need:
    1. A gun that will hold as many rounds as possible. (No derringer for me!)
    2. A gun that although relatively small should have acceptable accuracy up to say at least 15 yards.
    3. A gun that shoots a round powerful enough to put down an assailant in the 1 in 10,000 event that i ever (God forbid!) have to actually use it.

    So far i've been thinking on trying to find a decent old Colt Police Positive Special, Detective Special, Diamondback,Agent or Cobra as they hold 6 rounds and are still concealable. But since they aren't currently in production, one of those may be a bit difficult to locate. So i was wondering if you folks had any other suggestions? And once more, if the middle of the gun doesn't go round and round, i won't even consider it. Thanks in advance.
  2. Taurus Fan

    Taurus Fan G&G Newbie

  3. KW Gary M

    KW Gary M Suspended

    I would say S&W Airweight if you can handle the 5 rounds. S&W also makes an M&P .357 revolver that is good. Both are very light and easy to conceal but only hold 5 rounds.
  4. Airweight38

    Airweight38 G&G Newbie

    Airweight all the way

    The S&W Airweight 38s are the shiznit. I don't know how much mine weighs, but it isn't much. You only get 5 shots, but I think it's a pretty good compromise, given the power of a decent .38 round.
  5. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    I'm a great wheelgun fan as well, even after shooting for many years.

    It's tough to go wrong with a Smith Centennial (442/642/new model 40, etc), although these are 5 shots. The Ruger SP-101's also great (although heavier--5 shot as well). Ruger does make the SP-101 327 magnum which is a 6-shot with decent performance--this might be worth a look. If you're looking for "bang for the buck" Charter makes its bulldog as well--5 rounds of .44 special in terms of firepower for me might well beat 6 or 7 rounds of .38. The Charter's rough around the edges, but alot of firepower for the money (and their customer service is great). I had an issue with my Bulldog when I shot it at first, but it was quickly fixed and I've had no subsequent problems. It's a real accurate pistol too.

    The major problem with snubbies isn't that they're inaccurate--they're plenty accurate for self defense guns--it's that they're very difficult to shoot well. This happens primarily because they have a short sight radius (and it's an angle thing--a little change of front sight alignment goes a long way but is tough to see), and tend to move around as you squeeze the trigger. Some of the sights are hard to see as well. A good sight job would go a long way to increase shootable accuracy of a snubby (I think C&S will do this on the J-frame Smiths). For me this is the major thing that makes snubbies hard for people to shoot accurately.

    I have a Smith 325 Nightguard for my CCW gun now--even though it's an N-frame 6-shot 45 ACP it's still very concealable. You might look at this series--they have smaller frame guns as well in it and .357 in 6 or 7 rounds. Their strong suit is the scandium frame makes them light, the stainless cylinder makes them not too light for good shooting, the Pachmyr's help tame recoil, and the sights are excellent (along with a somewhat increased sight radius). The C+S with the white dot/tritium make this very shootable for a snubby.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  6. Capt'n Mil Coll

    Capt'n Mil Coll G&G Evangelist

    I still like my .357 S&W 681. 6 shot stainless steel. Not too big to carry. And more than enough stoppability. Accurate to 25 yards easy. Easy to clean. Its never let me down. Saved my life quite a few times.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2012
  7. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Evangelist

    This gun looks great, but just what is this airlite alloy? Knowing the beating that the old Smith airweights took, i think i'd rather have something in steel, regardless of the extra weight. Some of the old airweights not only lost finish, but actual metal just from holster wear. I'm not a fan of aluminum in handgun construction. Titanium doesn't scare me, i've been around objects made of Titanium and it's a very tough metal. It isn't magical or damage proof, but it is very tough stuff. And those modern Smith's made of Scandium, what the hell is Scandium and what are it's properties? I hope it's better than aircraft grade aluminum if they're going to make revolvers out of it.
  8. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Evangelist

    This gun looks really good and beefy. It is an "L" frame if i'm not mistaken. I would pack a "K" frame with a 3" inch barrel, i think i could get away with that. But an "L"? I'd always be worried about it showing through my clothes. Those babies are not small guns.
  9. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    A loose T-shirt and Galco Hi-Ride or similar will conceal even an N frame on me strong side draw (even when wearing shorts), and I'm not that big of a person. If you select the proper holster you'd be surprised what you can conceal well.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  10. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    The airweights do fine for durability for me, but I think you're better off with a Ruger or steel frame mostly for shootability (if you can stand the extra weight). Titanium is great and corrosion resistant, but you might see interia pulling of some bullets when firing due to its extreme light weight (i.e. the bullet has quite a bit more inertia than the gun and tends to pull itself out of the case if not tightly crimped when heavy loads are fired).

    Scandium is a very expensive rare metal which is from formerly eastern bloc countries--it was used in some soviet fighters I believe. When alloyed with aluminum, it creates a metal extremely strong and lightweight--able to handle magnum handgun pressures. Given the exotic and lightweight alloys in our turbine blades, I have no problem trusting the strength and durability of a scandium/aluminum alloy gun; I just don't find them easy to shoot. You get a gun as strong as steel (or stronger) with a fraction of the weight--my N frame smith 325 uses a scandium frame.

    Bottom line is if you want the strongest snubby you can find, get a Ruger.

    Best of luck and Cheers -- hope you find what youre looking for !
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  11. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Evangelist

    Actually, i think i've found my gun at Taurus. They have a new 2" gun based on their small 5 shot frame that they have stretched just enough to give it a full 6 shots. It looks like it only comes in stainless right now, its called the 856. It's kind of like Jolt cola, you know the pop that had all the sugar and twice the caffiene? Well, the 856 has all of the capacity of a standard medium frame revolver on a frame that isn't but a hair larger than a standard 5 shot small ("J" frame for all you S&W people) frame. So i can hide it easily and i have that extra round that makes me feel so much more at ease for some strange reason. Plus, it really isn't a bad looking little revolver. It's matte finished, so it isn't shiny, and that's a good thing. You don't want a bright, shiny, mirror polished gun if you are ever unfortunate enough to actually get into a gunfight, especially if it happens in broad daylight. The reason should be self explanatory, but in a word, glare.
  12. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Evangelist

    Just F.Y.I., the Taurus 856 made the cover of "Guns&Ammo" this month. The article is very positive.
  13. KW Gary M

    KW Gary M Suspended

    I've never met a Taurus I didn't like. They are a great gun at a low cost.
  14. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder G&G Newbie

    If you are going to carry 24/7 you really need a compact revolver, something that well not snag when you pull it from your pocket or holster. Stainless so you don't have rust issues. I prefer the S&W M640, 5 round .357, holds up to mag rounds and is still light enough to keep in your pocket.
  15. SightNSqueeze

    SightNSqueeze G&G Newbie

    Taurus is an excellent choice. I purchased two Model 85's in both stainless and blued steel for my wife and mother. They are similar in dimensions to the Model 586, and identical in dimensions to the S&W J-Frame snubbie and old Charter Arms Undercover. Don't worry about range and sighting abilities for arms length point and shoot situations like the ATM machine and the dark side of the parking lot. Even still, with some practice, you could still hit center mass at 20-25 yards with open sights in daylight. For ammo, I'd opt for 158 grain .38+P lead hollow point defense loads as a compromise in controllability and bullet performance.
  16. SightNSqueeze

    SightNSqueeze G&G Newbie

    I might add that the spurless hammer is a good idea. That wasn't an option when I purchased the two Model 85's back in the early 90’s.
  17. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    I read it, and this would be a fine choice for a snubby; however, I wouldn't buy the lightweight (magnesium) frame one--I'd opt for the steel frame version. Why a manufacturer would make a gun that's not +P rated (the steel frame is +P rated, magnesium frame not) in .38 special escapes me.

    Welcome Sight, by the way :)
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  18. knightRider

    knightRider G&G Newbie

    smith night guard holds 7 rounds of 357 .
  19. SightNSqueeze

    SightNSqueeze G&G Newbie

    Roger that concerning steel frames; especially if you want to do any real range shooting over the years. When I was in law enforcement, our agency was one of the first to opt for aluminum frames in some of the early S&W autos; a decision we regretted later on. I know that there are a lot of "more durable" lighter alloys out there today, but are they as good as steel in performance? Also, does a compact revolver really have to be much lighter than it already is? Sometimes a little weight is a good thing when the muzzle goes bang more than once.
  20. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Evangelist

    That 7 shot night guard is not a small frame gun. It's either an "L" or an "N" frame, i can't recall which, but both are pretty beefy sized, even though the night guards are scandium framed and pretty light.
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