According to the FBI, the average gunfight takes place around a 3-yard circle. It often lasts for three seconds from start to finish, wherein three rounds are fired in self-defense.
Under such circumstances, a concealed carry revolver would seem to be a better choice than a bulkier pistol. It’s lighter, smaller, and hence, much easier to hide. Moreover, with a large caliber cartridge, like the 357, it provides a significant amount of power.
In this article, we’ll talk in detail about the best 357 revolvers for concealed carry, in addition to a full guide on how to choose the right one.
The Top-Rated 357 Revolvers For Conceal Carry
Here’s a roundup of the best 357 revolvers that you can carry concealed. This caliber is by far the most versatile, and we made sure that the revolver is the perfect match for its power.
All the listed revolvers have an outstanding performance. And we made sure to include a wide variety of attributes to fit all requirements. You can easily find the right quality, price, size, and aesthetics that you need.
Ruger LCR x 3” .357 Magnum
The Ruger LCR 3” 357 Magnum is a lightweight, sturdy, and efficient revolver. It’s easy on the hands with its 21.3 oz manageable mass, and minimal recoil. It might not be just as easy on the pocket though, as it retails at a price point north of $650. It’s worth every penny though, and here’s why.
This gun is made from a monolithic stainless-steel frame, which maximizes its durability and strength. The merges seamlessly with a simple grip that matches the general minimalistic air of the gun. Still, it’s a peg grip, so you can change it to any other form you like.
Recoil is the main reason for hand injuries while shooting guns. It’s also a cause for derailed aiming. That’s why we all prefer guns that tame their firepower well. The Ruger is among the well-crafted guns that fire away without showing that exaggerated reaction.
This single-action gun is easy and precise, which is always a plus. We also like the friction-reducing cam, which facilitates the trigger pull and makes it smooth and non-stacking.
Colt King Cobra .357 Magnum
The Colt revolvers aren’t just handguns; these are more of collectible items that gather value as time goes by. The iconic Colt King Cobra is the second snake that came out in 2019, following the huge success of the Colt Cobra that was introduced in 2017.
This double-action revolver is fast, and its 6-shot capacity places it as a high-ranking CCW. The rugged frame of the Colt is made from stainless steel, and its solid grip molds easily with your hand. It has a brass bead front, a 3” barrel, and weighs around 28 oz. This revolver is a work of art, and its price tag reflects this status.
Ruger SP101 Spurless
The Ruger SP101 is a sleek gun with a 5-shot capacity, and a 2.25” barrel length. It weighs 25 oz, and has an overall length of 7.2”. Moreover, its lines aren’t interrupted by a hammer. So This compact and lightweight revolver is perfect as a concealed carry weapon.
The simple lines of this Ruger start with a removable black ramp at the front sight, and it goes interrupted all the way to the integral rear sight. The grip is a regular frame that would stay steady in your hands, but still, you can replace it with a customizable one.
You’d get a fine positive alignment with the triple locking mechanism of the cylinder into the frame. In addition, the transfer bar mechanism minimizes the odds of accidental discharge. it’s a gun you can depend on for smooth operation without a hitch.
Moreover, if you need to disassemble the Ruger for maintenance, you wouldn’t need any special tools to do so. It’s divided into subassemblies that you can take apart, then reassemble, without much trouble. Just make sure you know what you’re doing. This is a valuable piece.
Fits perfectly in a backpack and won’t snag anything.
The Taurus 617 is a hard-to-get revolver! It had garnered huge popularity as a CCW for quite a while, thanks to its 7-round capacity, comfortable grip, added safety features, and double mode action.
This gun works fine as a single-action or double-action revolver. And it would serve you well, as long as you use it within a 30-foot range. The serrated hammer minimizes the chances that your fingers would slip while pulling it back, and the rubber grip makes this move even easier. It also decreases the recoil transferred to your hands.
This compact revolver sports a 2” barrel, has low profile front and rear sights, and weighs around 28 oz. Its overall length is a tad below 7”, which makes it among the best conceal carry guns you could use. It was actually one of the options selected in law enforcement for quite a while.
Smith and Wesson Model 60
Smith and Wesson’s guns have been around for more than seven decades. And interestingly, these revolvers are just as popular and dependable today as they’ve been in the 1950s. This Smith and Wesson model 60 has actually started the trend of stainless steel revolvers back in 1965.
Despite the relatively long 3” barrel, overall 7.5” length, and steel-constructed J-frame, this revolver weighs only 23 oz, making it one of the best concealed carry revolvers. It’s thus a perfect combination for self-defense, law enforcement, and sportsmanship.
It has a 5-round capacity, rated for continuous use of +P cartridges, and it works in both single-action and double-action modes. Most folks prefer to use it with the potent 375 calibers, but some have a tradition of loading it with 38 S&W SPECIAL +P. Clearly, the performance of the branded cartridges is something ‘special’!
This revolver usually comes with a 3” barrel, but there’s an option to request a 2” variety. The front sight is a black blade, so it’ll give you more opportunity for aiming at a distant target. In addition, of course, to its short distance combat capabilities.
Bond Arms Roughneck
This Bond Arms Roughneck double-barrel gun is one of the most compact and budget-friendly CCWs you can lay your hands on.
Despite the moderate price tag, these guns are made from high-quality steel. With craftsmanship that attends to the smallest detail. The mechanical parts aren’t die-cast, but rather polished repeatedly, and hand-finished. The manufacturing process is quite streamlined, and eventually offers a good gun that retails for less than $300.
The Roughneck is often compared to the Texas Defender, which sports a few more perks like the upgraded hammer and trigger designs. However, the differences in price often plays out in favor of the Roughneck.
The 2.5″ barrel is normally used with 9mm, 357/38, or 45ACP cartridges. We’d recommend the 357, naturally, considering its size and build.
The grip is standard sized and made from rubber for easy handling. The small frame has molded steel front sight and rear sight blades, which aid a bit more in alignment. The overall length is around 4.5”, and it weighs only 10 oz. You can literally conceal-carry three of these guns on your person!
The Taurus Protector is a true black beauty. It’s compact, sleek, sturdy, and remarkably accurate. This outstanding design comes in part from the several historic collaborations Taurus has had with Smith and Wesson in the 1950s, then with Bretta in the 1980s.
Unlike most revolvers, the Protector is made from black polymer from tip to toe. This gives it extra strength at a lower weight when it comes to concealed carry revolvers. It’s mostly free from protrusions, so it’s not likely to snag into your clothes as you draw or conceal it.
The front sight has a fiber-optic insert, which you can use for optimized targeting and alignment. While the rear sight is fixed and uneventful. It’s a single action/double action gun, and that versatility is always much appreciated.
Customized options are available.
It has a 5-round capacity, and it’s primed to shoot 357 Magnum or 38 Special +P. You’d get a bit more accuracy and comfort with the 38, but far more power with the 357. You wouldn’t feel much recoil with the build of this one, especially, with its generous and finely ribbed grip.
As for the safety features; the Taurus safety system (TSS) is famed for its rigorous locking mechanism that can only be reversed by using a specific key. The transfer bar is another safety aspect, as it keeps the hammer from hitting the firing pin, except when the trigger is pulled full-way backward.
Ruger Super Redhawk
The Ruger name is bound to come up several times in any self-respecting revolver list, and here we have it again. This time with a larger gun that offers far more power and accuracy. The Ruger Super Redhawk comes with a long barrel, but there’s a shorter barrel variety, which is the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan.
This gun has the signature triple locking cylinder, which provides high dependability and stability for the revolver. It’s constructed from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, with a cold-hammer-forged barrel. This is a combination of high precision, durability, and stability.
This gun is made for 44 Special cartridges, and the .454 Casull models take factory 45 Colt cartridges. Its long barrel keeps the shots aligned as they blast into their destination without the slightest swerving.
If you’re looking for a 357 breed from this species, then you can also check out the Ruger Redhawk. Which has a very similar performance, but a different finish, with its hardwood grip and different caliber shots.
This German workhorse is as strong, versatile, and dependable as they get. The EAA Weihrauch Windicator is a gun that you can fashion to your own liking. The barrel comes in 2”, 4”, and 6” varieties. The caliber gives the optional 357’38 special options. And the finish can be Nickel or Blue/Black, as you prefer.
One of these sits in my personal living room coffee table.
The Windicator has a 6-plus-one-round capacity. And as you fire away all these shots, you’d find that the molded rubber grip is absorbing most of the shock, thereby minimizing fatigue and recoil.
The overall length of this revolver is 7”, and it weighs about 1.8 lb, which places it among the mid-sized CCWs, rather than the compact ones. It comes at a great price, and promises to stay with you for a very long time.
The Kimber K6 is as resilient as the Windicator, but unlike it, it comes in a much smaller package. It’s perfect for concealed carry, home defense, and acts as a reliable back-up. This makes it a formidable concealed carry revolver.
Despite the tiny size, it can shoot up to 6 rounds of either 357 Magnums or 38 specials. It comes with a short 2”-barrel, a 1.39” cylinder, and a total weight of 23 ounces. The sleek frame is made from prime-quality stainless steel, crafted to weather the toughest environments.
Being a shooter-friendly gun, the Kimber has mild recoil, and the trigger is designed to give a smooth response. It has an ergonomic grip that would alleviate any fatigue, even after firing 6 shots in a row.
Rock Island Armory AL 3.0
The RIA CAL 357 Magnum Revolver is a traditional mid-size CCW. It’s reliable, safe, and gets the job done. It might not be the best gun for sports and range competitions, but it’s quite effective a self-defense revolver.
It can fire 6 rounds of 357 shots in single or double action. It comes with a 2” barrel and a blade on the front sight, so it might do an acceptable job in aiming and alignment, and it does its best work in short-range engagements.
The Rock Island Armory Al 3.0 is a rugged gun, and the Blued finish certainly adds to its seriousness. It spans around 6.7”, and weighs approximately 1.5 lbs, so it’s not a cosmetic weapon. The trigger and grip are also sturdy matters and fit well in large hands.
Smith and Wesson Model 640
Smith and Wesson is another brand that earned its right to appear more than once in top-rated revolver lists. These vintage guns are of a prime quality, and they come in a wide array of styles and specs. The Smith and Wesson Model 640 is among the compact models that easily pack a good punch.
This revolver doesn’t come cheap, and that shows clearly in its sleek and careful design. Its overall length is 6.6” with a 2” barrel length, and it weighs around 22 oz. Adding to the mix the way the frame is sturdy and snag-free, you get a perfect self-defense concealed carry gun.
The capacity of this one is 5 rounds, which is no surprise here. And it takes 357 Magnum as well as 38 S&W SPECIAL +P. It’s a double-action-only revolver, which frees the rear end from any protrusions. The grip is synthetic, which might not give the same shock response as the rubber ones, but it’ll certainly endure any wear and tear.
Chiappa Firearms Rhino
Chiappa Firearms has been in the business of making light weapons for more than six decades. The Rhino line of revolvers is one of the most innovative you’ll come across in this category. The Rhino 30DS is the perfect example of this leading-edge CCW.
The appearance of the Rhino guns is certainly unconventional, but the uniqueness of these revolvers doesn’t end with their looks. One of the main differentiators is the way it fires from the lower end of the cylinder instead of the more common upper end. This modification utilizes all the strength of the arm and minimizes the recoil.
There’s a wide variety of Rhino models, with different barrel lengths, calibers, overall sizes, and finishes. So finding the one that appeals to you is quite probable. The Rhino 30DS is an ideal choice, with its 3” barrel length, 7.5” overall span, and 1.7 lb weight.
It’s a 6-round revolver, working on single or double action. It’s made from a machined 7075-T6 alloy frame, while the cylinder and Barrel are crafted from steel. The grip is made of a good quality black rubber to complete the elegant look.
Charter Arms Mag Pug
Last but not least, there’s the Charter Arms mag Pug. There are several variations on the same tune when it comes to the Mag Pugs. Their prices range from around $400 to $700, according to their special features, finishes, and barrel lengths.
The typical model has a stainless steel frame, 2.2”- barrel, and weighs around 23 oz. It’s a 5-round revolver with Crimson Trace laser grips that guarantee better alignment with your targets.
They even make a pink version of a similar pistol.
The hammer, grip, and trigger are pretty standard, and they might not look too glam, but these parts are prime quality, and the Mag Pug as a whole, is a spectacular revolver for self-defense.
There’s so much to know and understand about handguns. And that’s why we often get inquiries about the best types, safety matters, and whether or not a specific gun can do its job well.
Here are some of these frequently asked questions and our best answers to them
Is a 357 good for concealed carry?
The 357 is actually the gold standard for concealed carry. This caliber is perfectly suited for the compact and mid-sized guns suitable for keeping on your person. It’s powerful, but not to the point of derailing the gun. Also, it can travel far and make its presence felt.
What is the best revolver to carry concealed?
The Ruger LCR 3” 357 Magnum is hands down the best concealed carry revolver. It’s strong, effective, accurate, and durable. This compact and elegant gun can be concealed easily, and since it doesn’t have any protrusions on its frame, it wouldn’t snag when needed.
The Ruger is also easy to carry and its grip gives both control and comfort. It’s the perfect companion if you need it for self-defense, and if you take it along for some sportsmanship in the range, it wouldn’t disappoint.
The price of this revolver is a bit above the mid-range, but it’s still affordable, and it’s definitely worth every penny.
Additional Things To Consider in a Large Caliber Conceal Carry Revolver
Your legally carried gun should make you feel safe and confident. At this point, you’ve clearly made up your mind that semi-automatics are not your thing. So how can you make a final decision among the wide selection of CCWs?
As you look for the right concealed carry revolver, you’d need to consider a few points. Think of them as a checklist to land the best deal.
Always carry the most powerful gun that you can control. Carrying a gun that’s capable of firing a ton of high-strength bullets might sound like a wise choice. But this extra power often comes with a bunch of conditions.
Learn the actual math here.
First, a more powerful gun is often harder on the hands, elbows, and shoulders. If your arm isn’t primed for these high-octane bad boys, then your gun would be a liability, rather than an asset.
Powerful guns are often times some of the most popular handguns.
Second, a macho gun is a lot like a hard-headed stallion; it’s hard to control. If you’re out in the range, you’d want to fire a round to win. But that can only happen if the gun doesn’t swerve and bounce as your fire each shot. This matter is more serious if you’re using the gun for self-defense.
For people with smaller hands you might prefer something like a 9mm pistol.
Finally, powerful revolvers are often heavier, thicker, and longer. An overall large gun might fit your expectations on what concealed carry means if you’re a well-built person, who wears extra layers of clothing. For the rest of us; size matters, and a smaller gun is more practical.
The flip side of the coin is going for a weak gun just because it’s smaller or lighter. If you can handle the firepower, and the gun fits your person, then that’s a smart selection.
Size and Weight
“So, how big is it?”
Length, thickness, and weight. These are probably the first parameters that come into the conversation as you mention concealed carry revolvers. And that’s for a very good reason. It’s hard to carry or conceal massive large objects.
Then again, if you go puny, the gun might turn up to be too weak, or terrible at aiming. You might recall a famous scene in Men In Black. The one where Will Smith holds a tiny gun called a noisy cricket, but it turns out to have mammoth power! Well, things don’t quite play out that way in reality.
Weight translates to balance. Lightweight is a plus, but only to a certain degree. If the gun isn’t ‘pulling its weight’, it might feel too loose in your hands. If you play tennis or any racquetball you can see some parallels.
Revolvers’ ammo calibers range from the 9 and 10 mm, all the way to the 44, which are Dirty Harry’s rounds of choice. In addition to the 45, which served in the military for a long time. The 22 are also a thing, but this is a caliber that’s more of a recreational toy. It’s not the best option for self-defense.
Each one of the different calibers has a unique performance, power, precision, and price. This wide array of cartridges also have interesting historic backgrounds dating back to the last century. The labels are mostly related to diameters, but they contain references to brands and power as well.
Among the large-caliber cartridges, the 357 Magnum stands out as the best-case scenario. These are high-octane shots that can fit into compact 5-shot revolvers, and as you fire them, they’ll come out straight ahead at the target.
Among the perks you get with the 357 is access to the 38 specials. Revolvers designed for the former are also equipped to handle the latter. The 38 cartridges are popular among a lot of folks, so that’s a plus.
Speed and Precision
Revolvers were traditionally single action, which means, you had to pull back the hammer then fire the trigger. With a double-action weapon, you could just pull the trigger right away. And this is also the case with the buried hammer revolvers.
Is one mode better than the other? It’s actually a matter of tradeoffs. And that’s why you’d find several guns with both modes of operation. The single-action has a shorter trigger pull, so it provides an easier and more precise shot. Conversely, the double action is a fast loading mode, but, it’s not quite as steady and precise.
Tradeoffs continue in every aspect of gun design. Barrel length controls the ease and precision of taking aim.
Learn more through this link.
A longer barrel maintains the shot in a perfectly straight line, so it has a much higher probability of reaching its destination. It also provides a visual continuum you can use to take aim and align your shot. This setup is also heavier and makes the gun harder to conceal.
Contrary to that; shorter barrels are far lighter and much more compact. They’re a bit crude though when it comes to their hitting the correct spot. Most of the guns with tiny appendages are used in short-range situations, rather than in long-shots requiring precision.
The comparison between semi-automatic guns and revolvers could go on forever. But most people agree on one fundamental fact: revolvers are more reliable.
The magazines of semi-automatics are loaded with far more rounds than revolvers. But, they get jammed occasionally. This hitch is rarely encountered with revolvers. You do need to feed these guns more often, and that of course, takes a bit of a time out.
Reliability extends further to the type of gun. Some brands focus on making glamorous frames, while others make revolvers that you can truly count on.
Most people conceal their guns within their clothes. With the most popular styles being the waistband carry or the appendix carry. So if you live in the Southern warm areas, you’d mostly be wearing light clothes, which might not conceal much. A small compact gun would be a better fit with that wardrobe.
On the other hand, the folks who live up North; normally have multiple layers of heavy clothes on them. They can easily conceal a baby elephant underneath those wraps. And so, a larger gun might not be a far-fetched option.
Every person carries a gun, loads it, aims, and shoots differently. There are some basic rules and fundamentals, of course, but there’s also a wide area where personal preferences rule. For example, there are several holster positions, and each person would choose the setup most comfortable for them.
There are tons of revolvers that would fit the bill to the nines when it comes to their size, weight, power, and even aesthetics. Yet, only a handful of them would fit your grip perfectly. And probably one or two would feel like they’re the natural extension of your hands. If you’re lucky, one of them will catch your heart.
Guns are like cars, pets, and jeans. Picking the right one for you has some rational and some emotional aspects. And that’s perfectly fine. But how can you tell which revolver is that best fit? Watching a photograph wouldn’t cut it, and even getting a feel of it at the store might not be enough.
The best approach is to go to the shooting range and try your hand with a few types. Eventually, you’ll develop a sense for what you like and what you only tolerate. That’s a good point to start from.
Also, bear in mind that our affinities change as we experience life, or get older. At some point, you might want to upgrade or add a new gun to your collection. So as you browse through the different revolvers, visit the range, and try some different models.
Regulatory Matters and Usage
Depending on where you live on this wide earth, you’d have some rules and regulations related to carrying guns. The type, size, caliber, and manner of carrying are all matters to be determined by the official authorities in your geographic area.
Before making a purchase, make sure that you are eligible for carrying a gun, and that particular gun complied with the laws and regulations.
In addition, your intended usage and skill level would also be major determinants of the type of revolver that actually works for you.