Recommendations on a small revolver


Active Member
Mar 17, 2008
Tomball, TX
All I've ever had are semi-auto pistols. I was reading my new American Handgunner this past week and they were running an article about pocket holsters with smallish wheel guns. It seemed like a good idea, so now I'm thinking about picking up a setup.

My problem is, I don't know jack about revolvers, I've never even shot one. Anybody got info/advice for me?



New Member
Jan 14, 2009
Fort Worth
gotcha, well i am a novice at revolvers as well, but my dad has a S&W .38 snub that is quite small and thin. He really likes it alot, FWIW. dunno if the .38 is too small of a caliber for your tastes though...


Jul 24, 2008
Allen, TX
For concealed pocket carry it's hard to beat an S&W Centennial-style J-Frame (the X40/X42 series) - these are internal-hammer DAO revolvers and are the ultimate in light weight and anti-snag (with the exception of the all-steel 640).

The 442/642s are the most popular, clocking in at a mere 15oz (just a shade under 1lb) unloaded and packing .38 Special +P firepower. They can be had for around $400 new. If you're willing to pony up (~$700-$800 new) for more exotic materials, you can get your hands on an M&P 340 (13.3oz) or a 340PD (12oz) that are able to fire .357 Magnum, though whether you'll be up to that level of recoil, flash, and noise in such a compact package is up to you. Almost everyone I've met who has them carries .38 Special +Ps. The 640 is an all-steel .357 Magnum variant that, at 24oz unloaded, tends to weigh down in the pocket quite a bit - though some people don't mind the weight.

Another option is the "Bodyguard" (X38) variant, which has a shrouded, but still accessible hammer for single-action shooting if you so desire. Note however that it is slightly heavier, more prone to snagging and printing, and generally weirder looking than the Centennial.

I do not recommend regular external hammers for pocket carry, as they DO tend to snag, botching your draw.

As an alternative, if you don't mind the extra weight and size, the Ruger SP101 is a plenty reliable firearm - it just doesn't suit me personally.

I can't in good conscience recommend a Taurus or Charter to anyone, and Rossis are a very mixed bag (some are just fine, a lot aren't.)


Active Member
Aug 11, 2008
I will tell you those which I have owned and carried in my experience.

I have a S&W Model 60-7 stainless steel 5 shot 38 spl that I have had for about 10 years and it is a very nice revolver.

I have also carried a S&W Model 37 (Airweight) in 38 spl. I found it was nice to carry but bullets had a tendancy to creep forward and so it went away.

I have have owned two (2) Charter Arms Bulldogs in 44 Spl. Good cartrigde but brutal to qualify with. They went away, but I wish I had not done so.

Back in the late 80's I had a 3" Rossi in 38 spl, not a good revolver in my opinion.

I had a Colt Agent (the newer version) also in the late 80's, and it was a fine revolver and I wish I had it back. Six (6) shot, solid little revolver, carried as a back up gun for a short while, then when to a semi auto as I recall.

I still have a 686 in 2 1/2" 357 that is issued to me that I enjoy very much as an off duty sidearm.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Mostly, I carry a semi auto as off duty but with my 686 i am not under gunned.


Event Coordinator
Apr 27, 2008
I have to echo ChicagoTex's comments.

For pants pocket, a J-frame, Colt Agent would be the right size revolver. The SP101 is only slightly bigger, but is probably too heavy. There's a rumor of an alloy SP101 coming out also. Be aware, that some of these will not work with some jeans depending on the size of the pocket and/or the cut of the pants through the hips.

I like the S&W 642. It's the DAO centenial frame. The 642's without the lock were available from RSR recently.
If you get into the M&P 340 or 340 PD, you also get a pinned front sight. So adding a night sight is an option.


Jul 24, 2008
Allen, TX
If you get into the M&P 340 or 340 PD, you also get a pinned front sight. So adding a night sight is an option.

Right, I forgot about that. Actually the M&P 340 already comes with an XS Big Dot (the sight I'd choose for such an application), the 340PD just has a red ramp.


Nov 11, 2008
Deep in the Heart of Texas
If I were looking for a snubby right now, I'd definately look at Ruger's new LCR first. Its a 38+P with a polymer rear frame and aluminum cylinder frame and barrel shroud and stainless cylinder and barrel liner. Weighs only 13 ounces but reportadely is a "shoot all day" revolver due to the recoild absorbing nature of the rear frame. Test subjects have soaked up over 10,000 rounds with no change in tolerances - that's amazing. And I think they are priced well under the Smith & Wessons.


Also available with Laser grips...

All holsters made for the Smith J frames fit this LCR as well according to Ruger.

Is that not cool?

I'm thinking that I gotta get one of these myself - and I really don't need it at all... :patriot:
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