The Charter Arms Pitbull is a solo act—the only revolver to make this top .40 list. Using the company’s dual coil spring assembly extractor, the Pitbull does not need to use moon clips to run the rimless .40 S&W cartridge. The five-shot revolver has a tough nitride finish to resist wear and corrosion for a lifetime of self-defense work. Standard on this model is a full-size rubber grip to maximize recoil management.
The Rhino 20DS offers great concealability because of its unusual profile. The flat cylinder allows for maximum concealed comfort since the revolver is so thin. The Rhino is also unique due to the position of its barrel, which is lower than on a traditional revolver design. The repositioned barrel allows the Rhino to produce less felt recoil because its bore axis is closer to the shooter’s grip.
This stainless steel revolver has the famed Dan Wesson tension barrel with interchangeable shrouds, which offers consistent cylinder-to-barrel alignment. The Model 715 also has a superior cylinder locking system. Grips are easily swapped, and the HV6-shrouded, vented, heavy barrel helps tame recoil. The revolver’s DA pull is short and relatively light with a crisp SA pull.
One of the most talked about handguns to hit the scene, the Kimber K6s is a stainless steel, six-shot, .357 Magnum revolver that is about the same size as the old Detective Special. It has a concealed hammer with a smooth double-action-only mechanism, and it weighs just 23 ounces. Unique for a wheelgun, the rear sight is set in a dovetail and the front sight pinned. The cylinder has flats instead of flutes, the cylinder release is the push-button type, and the grips are ergonomically shaped polymer.
A revolver reminiscent of the vest pocket guns sported by Old West riverboat gamblers, the NAA Sidewinder is no mere curiosity. Exceedingly small (5 inches longs overall) and lightweight (6.7 ounces), the 1.5-inch-barreled Sidewinder provides users with 5 rounds of backup .22 Magnum firepower in an eminently portable package. Unlike other NAA mini mags, the Sidewinder features a swing-out cylinder for easier reloading, and a .22 LR conversion cylinder is available for practicing with less expensive rounds.
The second most popular Nighthawk-Korth revolver will most assuredly be the Mongoose in .357 Magnum. At first blush, this revolver will make you think of the ever-popular Smith & Wesson Model 686, but a 686 has never had or will have a trigger this fantastically smooth. The Mongoose is a six-shot, duty-sized fighting revolver, and it’s available with either a 3-, 4-, 5.25- or 6-inch barrel. Like the Sky Hawk, the Mongoose has a matte black DLC finish, and all of its parts are fully machined.
The LCR completely changed what shooters thought they knew about snub-nose revolvers. Constructed from polymers, alloys and steel, the LCR is lightweight yet chambered in cartridges ranging from the .22 LR to .357 Magnum. The latest LCR is chambered in .327 Federal, a round that bested the old-school H&R Magnum and approaches energy that rivals the .357 Magnum. And the .327 Federal LCR holds six shots, while a .357 Magnum variant of the same size only holds five.
This S&W snub nose offers a seven-round capacity in a medium-frame revolver. The 686 Plus is built on S&W’s L-frame, which is renowned for its strength and durability when used in conjunction with magnum ammunition. The fully adjustable sights offer an excellent sight picture, especially the red ramp front sight blade.
Taurus took its legendary Model 85 and enhanced it with a convertible hammer. This means the revolver’s hammer can be removed for a snag-free draw from concealment. These revolvers offer a transfer-bar safety system, rugged fixed sights, comfortable rubber grips and a matte stainless finish. They are chambered to handle potent .38 Special +P loads, too.
Taylor’s & Company has launched its Taylor Tuned series, a process completed in Winchester, Virginia, where each gun individually hand-tuned by the company’s expert gunsmiths. They feature lightened hammer and trigger pulls with custom springs and hand polishing. These guns are ideal for those shooters that really want to up their game. Two initial offerings include the Gunfighter (shown) and Smoke Wagon. Both casehardened revolvers are claimed to have the shortest hammer strokes on the market and come in .45 Colt and .357 Mag. The Gunfighter has a 5½-inch barrel, while the Smoke Wagon is available with 4¾- and 5½-inch barrels.
Uberti not only has a CMS Short Stroke, but a new gun for Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) matches as well. The SASS Pro pistol is great for the Cowboy Action shooters with a short-stroke system, a checkered hammer and a factory custom trigger. This firearm is blued and color casehardened. Both 4¾- and 5½-inch barrels are available in .45 Colt and .357 Mag.
Semi-autos may be all the rage these days, but don’t kid yourself: revolvers aren’t going anywhere. The market for them is still very healthy, with a host of attractive options for the discerning buyer having been unleashed over the past several years. Throughout the pages of ‘Combat Handguns,’ we’ve covered it all when it comes to revolvers. It wasn’t easy, but we managed to compile what we consider to be 11 of the best to grace the pages of the magazine this year. Scroll through above to see what they are.
For more information on the guns featured in this photo gallery, please visit the following sites.
North American Arms
Smith & Wesson
Taylor’s & Company
The 28-gauge Benelli Ethos is a very attractive shotgun that any scattergunner would be proud...
by Thomas C. Tabor / Dec 26, 2016