A much as semi-automatics are popular, old-school revolvers, especially snub-nose revolvers, are proven defense tools that have lasted the test of time. Shortening the barrel of full-sized revolvers to make them more compact and carry friendly has been happening in gunsmith shops since revolvers were first produced. By the 1950s, Colt and Smith & Wesson were specifically designing revolvers for law enforcement and civilian self-defense. These revolvers, which featured barrels as short 1.5 and 2 inches, smaller grips and fixed sights, soon became known as “snub-nose” revolvers.

While many misinformed shooters out there would have us believe that the revolver is an antiquated weapon, today revolver manufacturers are pushing the limits on snub-nose revolver designs, components and mechanisms to make them lighter, more accurate, safer and more user friendly. Here are 21 snub-nose revolvers currently on the market to consider for everyday carry.


Charter Arms Boomer

Charter Arms Chic Lady

Charter Arms Off Duty

Charter Arms Bulldog

Charter Arms Pitbull

Chiappa Rhino 200DS

EAA Windicator

Kimber K6s

Rossi Model R46202

Ruger SP101

Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan

Ruger LCR

Smith & Wesson Model 36 Chief’s Special

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38

Smith & Wesson M&P340 CT

Smith & Wesson Model 638

Smith & Wesson Model 686 Plus

Taurus Model 905

Taurus Model 850 CIA

Taurus 85C

Taurus Model 605 PLY


Wheelgun Sentries: Ultra-Reliable Charter Arms Revolvers

New for 2016: The Chiappa Triple Threat 20-Gauge Shotgun

Gun Review: EAA Witness 1911 Polymer

K6s: Kimber’s First Production Revolver

Gun Review: Rossi Rio Grande .30-30 Lever-Action

Ruger American Rimfire: A No-Frills, Everyday Working Rifle

Smith & Wesson’s Performance Center M&P R8 Pistol

Gun Review: Taurus PT-111 Millennium G2

Up Next

9 Classic Excerpts From Jeff Cooper’s Gunsite Gargantuan Gossip

Gunsite founder Jeff Cooper shoots from the hip in these passages from Gunsite Gargantuan...