The Rock Island Armory M206 is dirt cheap. Built upon a steel frame by the guys who produce more 1911 pistols than anyone else on the planet, the M206 is a compact sixgun that you can afford to carry in your tackle box. Each M206 comes with both slim wooden grips as well as interchangeable fat rubber versions. The gun can be had with either exposed or spurless hammers in both parkerized or matt nickel finishes. Chambered for .38 Special and packing six rounds onboard, the M206 is a Colt-pattern gun wherein the cylinder latch is pulled rearward. Robust, compact and super affordable, the M206 delivers the goods without breaking the bank.
This odd-looking wheelgun is touted as the next generation in revolver technology. The monolithic frame is cut from aerospace-grade 7000-series aluminum for excellent strength and light weight. A patented friction-reducing cam ensures a smooth, non-stacking double-action trigger pull, and the patented polymer fire control housing keeps everything oriented at the lowest possible weight. The high-strength, stainless steel, five-shot cylinder is aggressively fluted to minimize weight and bulk. The LCR has a shrouded hammer while the LCRx keeps this appendage exposed. Optimized for concealed carry, the Ruger LCR is light, compact and powerful.
This compact five-shot revolver, officially known as Model 5737, is rated for .38 Special +P ammo and sports a 2.25-inch barrel. Built upon Ruger’s full-figured SP101 frame, this muscular snubbie features a full-length underlug and Ruger’s patented transfer bar trigger for the ultimate in safety. The gun has a satin stainless finish, the cylinder locks in three places and the wraparound rubber grips tame recoil. The SP101 is also unusually easy to field-strip and maintain.
The S&W M&P Bodyguard 38 Crimson Trace is an aluminum-framed, hammerless, five-shot defensive revolver with a Crimson Trace laser sight built into the grips. The 1.9-inch barrel and cylinder are made of blackened stainless steel, and the gun weighs a mere 14.4 ounces unloaded. The Bodyguard 38 is rated for +P ammo and features a carry-friendly, snag-free design. With a long, smooth double-action trigger for safety and state-of-the-art materials, the Bodyguard 38 is optimized for personal protection.
Taurus offers one of the largest selections of wheelguns in America. Available with a wide variety of finishes, barrel lengths and grip options, Taurus revolvers are rugged and dependable. The company’s standard five-shot pocket gun utilizes a transfer bar ignition system for maximum safety and sports a 2-inch, underlugged barrel. The lightest of the lot tips the scales at a meager 17 ounces. The generous rubber grips ameliorate recoil, and the cylinder release button presses forward for activation. Taurus pocket revolvers offer a whole lot of gun for the money.
Packing seven rounds into a space not much bigger than its six-shot brethren, the Taurus Model 617 allows you to train on low-recoiling .38 Special rounds and then ramp up to .357 Magnum power for serious social work. The 617 sports a steel frame to offset recoil as well as those splendid Taurus rubber grips. The transfer bar trigger ensures that the gun will not fire unless the trigger is pulled. With a 2-inch barrel and a corrosion-resistant stainless steel finish, the Taurus 617 stuffs legitimate horsepower into an easily packable package.
Despite the proliferation of semi-auto handguns for concealed carry in recent years, the market for old school wheelguns, specifically, snub-nose revolvers, remains robust. Simply put, some people just love the feel and functionality of a classic snubbie when it comes to self defense. And if you’re one of said people, there are six options that you should definitely consider checking out, all from some of the top gun makers in the industry. Far from being antiquated, these half dozen offerings offer exciting updates to a tried-and-true design that has effectively served the defensive needs of both law enforcement and civilian shooters for decades. Scroll through the gallery above to see what’s available.
- RELATED STORY: Colt Detective Special – Looking Back at a Classic Wheelgun
To learn more about the snub-nose revolvers featured in the photo gallery, please visit the following sites.
Rock Island Armory M206
Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38 Crimson Trace
Taurus Model 85
Taurus Model 617
This article was originally published in ‘Pocket Pistols’ Spring 2017. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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