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Pros and Cons To Carrying a Concealed Revolver

S&W 8-shot revolver

A gun review I'm currently working on, sponsored by G2 Research Telos.

I love revolvers. I've got a couple of them, and carry one a few times per week. I like my semi-autos, too, and believe they have their place within my concealed carry regimen, but there's just something about the simplicity of a wheel gun that I love. In anticipation of a gun review I'm doing on a Model 627 S&W 8-shot revolver, I figured I'd list out some of the reasons why I believe it's a good idea to carry a wheel gun for self-defense, as well as a few issues we face as revolver carriers.

Revolver Pros:

There are quite a few positives to carrying a revolver, and why I do carry one on a weekly basis. Here they are–

Caliber Choices:

Believe it or not, you can have your cake, with a wheel gun, and eat it too. What I mean, is that there are revolvers available in the classic cartridges like .38 special, .357 magnum, .44 special, etc., but also 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP. etc. This is a good thing because, if you're cheap like me, and you own a few 9mm pistols but want a revolver, as well, you won't have to stock another type of ammunition.

Just pull the trigger:

I'm not going in the direction you think I am with this one. Nope, instead, let me tell you that if for some reason you have a light primer strike, or a dud round, there is no malfunction you have to clear. With your double-action revolver, simply pulling the trigger again will cycle the next round in front of the hammer, and unless there is a problem with your gun, which isn't likely, it'll go bang when you need it to.


For the reasons stated above, and the fact that there just isn't much that goes into a revolver, makes them less likely to break. Any well made firearm will perform for decades, but there are revolvers from over 100 years ago that function just as they did when they were first made.


I drop a snub-nose revolver into my pocket a few times per week, and I know others who carry one as a backup to their M&P on their ankle. Either way small guns are easy to conceal. Granted, there are a lot of small semi-autos as well, but most people who carry a revolver for a backup gun, actually do so for reliability purposes.


Literally, just make sure it's loaded up with the proper ammo, aim, and shoot. If you do your part, the gun will do its part, and it can be a match made in heaven. Then again, there are issues as well …

Revolver Issues:

Performance center revolver

8-shot cylinder

I'm not sure I'd call them issues, but there are some things that you need to be aware of if you're new to this game. First, some of the worst advice I've ever heard given at the gun store, is this:

Oh, you're looking for a gun for your lady, she'll never be able to pull the slide back on a semi-auto, just buy her a revolver instead. Anyone can shoot one of those accurately.

Let me just state right here, that if you or your lady has a hard time pulling the slide back on a semi-automatic pistol, neither one of you will be able to manipulate the trigger properly on a double-action revolver, either. The best bet here, is to bring whoever you're buying a gun for to a range that rents guns and find the perfect one that way.

Many double action revolvers have a trigger pull in the area of 12 pounds, which is atrocious for someone without finger strength. Then again, we can work this into a positive, as well, because such a long, hard trigger pull usually equates into a safe firearm because a deliberate pull of the trigger needs to happen in order to fire.

Round capacity:

Most revolvers come standard with 5 or 6 shots these days, with the rarity coming with 7 or 8. The one I'm testing from S&W is an 8-shot Model 627, chambered in .357 magnum. I'm carrying it concealed, and have been for a bit. On those days when I drop my snubby revolver into my pocket, it's a 5-shot gun. That could be an issue if I need more ammo than I actually have.

What about you?

What would you add to this list? Any pros or cons to carrying a revolver for your EDC? Let me know what I missed in the comments below. Then, make sure you like our Facebook page, if you're ever on that social media platform.


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13 Responses to Pros and Cons To Carrying a Concealed Revolver

  1. Darkwing December 5, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    Revolvers: 99% chance that they will not jam,

  2. Dale December 5, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    Why only 5 shots in a revolver designed to fire 8 rounds. I could see loading 7 and leaving 1 chamber empty for extra safety. Please explain?

    • Joshua Gillem December 5, 2017 at 10:06 am #

      Dale, I’d never carry less than what the firearm called for. I was talking about the 5-shot snub-nosed revolver that I carry a few times per week, not the 8-shot revolver I’m testing. Thanks.

  3. Eric December 5, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    Carrying a revolver gives one confidence of performance, that is “it will shoot”. I have a Kimber Raptor Ultra II 45 acp, 7+1, that I do not carry. Why? I had too many Jams at the range with various ammo. One jam when I need it to perform can be life ending. So I carry a S&W 686 Performance Center 7 Shot with no worries. And it is deadly accurate!

    Do have other Sig semi auto that I rotate for CCH, they have proven not to jam thus far. Will continue to rotate as long as no Jams, but the Beautiful Kimber is for the range only for now.

  4. Larry December 5, 2017 at 8:53 am #

    If you are speaking of the amount of ammo in the gun, why would anyone leave a empty chamber. Forensic firearm guys I knew would do drop tests all day, without any gun firing. Put the round in so you don’t have an ” oh heck moment”.

    • Glazi December 5, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      According to an instructor I had back when the .38 was the standard Air Force sidearm, this arose from an unconscious habit bored police sometimes had when on guard of resting their hand on the weapon. I guess it only took one instance of pulling one’s thumb across the hammer just enough to fire it off for the reg to come down to keep an empty chamber under the hammer.

  5. Kitty December 5, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    I have revolvers and semi-autos. Unless I am restricted as to what size gun I can conceal carry without imprinting (usually based on my wardrobe), in which case I will carry one of my small semi-autos – otherwise I always prefer to carry a revolver.

  6. Gene December 5, 2017 at 9:56 am #

    I also carry at home, church, everywhere. Mostly carry a small 380 Sig or J frame 38 Sp because weight of my larger 9mm, 45 auto & Colt Python is to much for 16 hours of carry each day. For dependability, I like the revolver, have never had a jam with them as with the autos.
    Semper Fi

  7. Max December 5, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

    Sorry guys but I am a Glock fan. Have three.2 17s and a 19 and they never miss a round but I do understand what people say when they want a revolver . Better safe that sorry.

  8. Bruce Savage December 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

    I carried a .38 revolver between 1962 and 1980 (dept issue. From that date, I carried a 1911 in .45 ACP until six years ago when I went back to revolver. Your home defense gun, comp gun and your carry gun should be the same one (less competition to shoot against in IDPA). At age 79, I’m taking my advice that I’ve given to my new students for years. I light weight 2″ wheel gun in a pocket is not the way to go. Too many people choose a gun to complement the way they dress – you carry gun should determine what you wear. Try to practice your draw, reloads and a few speed shooting rounds every day if possible. The best carry revolver: A S&W 4″ 686 plus with bobbed hammer, XS big dot sights, a 4 1/2 pound trigger job, extended hammer nose. With practice, you load a 7 round moon clip as fast as you can load a 7 round mag into a 1911. Carried in a Bianchi #111 cross draw holster with one or two extra Calif. Comp. clip holders. Moon clips will put in a class requiring a higher PF and many ranges require a different firing stance with a cross craw, but it’s the way to go.

  9. Tom Vasti December 5, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

    With a revolver, it is a lot easier to justify a kill shot : I have only six shots so I have to make them count…

  10. Gary December 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    I carry a .38 SPL and have two speed loaders on my belt. I can reload almost as fast as I can a 9mm. That said as soon as I can I will get a smaller 9mm for carrying (need to save up, my wife got one first …).

  11. TOM January 1, 2018 at 3:15 pm #

    Dress should not delegate your choice of weapon. because it is so warm in Florida in the summer, I found a suitable holster to carry that has not brought concern to any one. two brands come to mind, P D A holsters, and Sneaky Pete holsters. I have PDA, and it raises no concern at all from the average person, only mention of it is from those who are familiar with there existence, and they’re not worried about it.You can get them for either type(revolver or semi auto,) in whatever size you choose to wear. My wife has a 38 hammer less in her style, and I carry mid sized semi regularly. easy access right on my hip, outside of clothing.

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