Reliable and classic, revolvers are definitely making a comeback. For decades, wheelguns have been tossed aside in favor of more modern, semi-automatic handguns for concealed carry. But what’s old is new again. 

If you’re reading this, you probably have some handgun experience, and if you don’t, stick around. Revolvers can be a great concealed carry option. Why? Because they’re simple to operate with fewer moving parts than a semi-automatic pistol. Revolvers also have a very deliberate trigger pull, which brings the hammer back and then releases it to fire the gun. Such a long trigger pull can help reduce the chance of a negligent discharge.

While cylinder capacity on a revolver is generally limited to between five and eight rounds (depending on caliber), revolvers are a great choice for people with hand weakness or limited mobility because there’s no slide to rack. Plus, they’re fun to shoot. 

So if you’re thinking of getting a revolver for concealed carry, I took a look at five great choices for beginners. You can’t go wrong with any of these options. But be careful, a good revolver is like a potato chip, you can’t have just one. Luckily, we have great choices at to make sure you buy the best first revolver that fits your needs. 

Smith & Wesson Model 642

Caliber: .38 Special +P 
Capacity: 5
Barrel length: 1.875 inches
Weight: 15 ounces unloaded

The Model 642 has a short barrel, making it perfect for concealed carry. The overall small size and J-frame grip make it extremely concealable. The model 642 is often referred to as an “Airweight” because it’s very light with a surprisingly manageable recoil for a short-barreled revolver. The cylinder is designed to accept moon clips for fast and easy reloading. You can’t go wrong with this very popular and classic revolver. 

Ruger LCR

Caliber: .22 LR, .22 WMR, .38 Special +P, .357 Magnum, .327 Federal Magnum, 9mm
Capacity: 5-6
Barrel length: 1.87 inches
Weight: Dependent on caliber (13.5 ounces based on .38 Spl +P)

The Ruger LCR is available in multiple calibers, so you can get one in a chambering that suits you. This lightweight, small-frame revolver has a smooth trigger and highly manageable recoil. This revolver has a next-generation, patented friction-reducing cam that results in a smooth, non-stacking trigger pull. The cylinder is comprised of high-strength stainless steel and holds five or six rounds depending on caliber chosen. Grips can be the standard Hogue Tamer Monogrip or Crimson Trace Laser Grips with integrated laser sight for easy aiming.

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard

Caliber: .38 Special +P
Capacity: 5
Barrel length: 1.875 inches
Weight: 14.2 ounces unloaded

The appropriately named Bodyguard features an ambidextrous cylinder release button, which is perfect for left-handed shooters. It features a smooth, light (for a revolver) trigger pull, stainless barrel, and aluminum-alloy frame. The recoil on the Bodyguard is light and very manageable for a short-barreled revolver. This revolver is specifically designed to be comfortable and accurate for concealed carry. 

Charter Arms Undercover Lite

Caliber: .38 Special +P
Capacity: 5
Barrel length: 2 inches
Weight: 12 ounces

The lightest in this group, weighing in at just 12 ounces, the Charter Arms Undercover Lite is constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and steel, making it rugged, reliable, and comfortable to carry because of its weight. It’s available with a traditional spurred or a double-action-only hammer. The Undercover Lite begs to be your everyday carry revolver. 

Taurus 856

Caliber: .38 Special +P
Barrel length: 2 or 3 inches 
Weight: Dependent on model

With multiple models and barrel lengths, you’re sure to find the perfect Taurus 856 revolver for you. You can choose from double-action-only or double-action/single-action models. Lightweight, affordable, and reliable, you can even choose from many colors if that’s your style. The soft, rubber grips make this a joy to shoot.

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