Snubnose Revolvers – The Golden Age Is Right Now

Sam Hoober makes the case that there’s no time like the present for snubnose revolvers or wheelguns and the people who carry them.

Handgun Revolver Cylinder Wheelgun
Snubnose Revolvers – The Golden Age Is Right Now

Obviously, there’s a glut of polymer-framed striker guns on the market, but what some people might not appreciate is there are also a great number of really good snubnose revolvers around as well.

Given the march of time, advances in materials and also design, a person might even dare to say that right now is the golden age for snubbies in terms of what you can put in a revolver holster these days.

There’s a fantastic selection out there to fit any budget or desire, and new models coming to market with regularity with more innovative features that could not have been envisioned when the snubbie revolver was first popularized.

Not Your Father’s Concealed Carry Revolver

The Golden Age Of Snubnose RevolversThe Golden Age Of Snubnose Revolvers
The Golden Age Of Snubnose Revolvers

The concealed carry revolver used to be 5 or 6 shots of .38 Special – .32 in some models or even .22 Short for some vest pocket guns of the late 19th Century – with a 1.8-inch to 2-inch barrel, blued steel or nickel, wood grips and that was about it for some time. Smith and Wesson’s J-frame was quick to introduce some innovations, such as DAO or shrouded hammers as well as lighter-weight alloys such as aluminum or titanium.

There are few pistols easier to learn than a double-action revolver and with good carry ammunition, a .38 Special snubbie was almost all the gun most people would need everyday carry and arguably it still is.

But today’s snubbie handgun has SO many more available features compared to yesterday’s models. Unless a person has totally swore off revolvers, there is a snubnose to fit almost any and every sensibility and budget, from bargain-basement guns that will go “bang” with every trigger pull and little else to 21st Century wheelguns that would have been unimaginable even 20 years ago.

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The Snubnose Revolver Of Today

The snubnose revolver of today is a far more diverse breed than ever before. Chamberings have broadly remained the same, and there are certainly plenty of Plain Jane models in blue steel carrying 5 of .38 Special +P are out there. There are also .357 Magnum models as well.

However, caliber selection has also expanded to include .32 H&R and .327 Federal magnums, the latter being capable of near .357 Magnum performance with less recoil.

Blue steel and lighter alloys abound as well, but the dawn of the 21st Century has introduced polymers into the mix, as polymer-framed revolvers such as Smith and Wesson’s M&P Bodyguard 38, the Taurus Poly Protector, and the Ruger LCR and LCRx.

Ruger LCR with Crimson Trace LG-415G LasergripsRuger LCR with Crimson Trace LG-415G Lasergrips
Ruger LCR with Crimson Trace LG-415G Lasergrips

Blade front sights and trench rear sights have given way to fiber optics, tritium night sights and Crimson Trace lasers.

Such is the enduring popularity of the snubnose revolver in the concealed carry market that Colt saw fit to revive the Cobra with modern appointments. Kimber designed and released the K6s, one of the most attractive and easy-shooting compact magnums on the market.

Really, a person who wants a CCW revolver has an embarrassment of riches for choice. Desired features and price tag is really all a person has to settle, as there are snubnose revolvers to fit any budget. Bargain-basement revolvers from Taurus, EAA, and Rock Island Armory/Armscor are out there for a relative pittance to the $1,000+ range for Kimbers, Korth revolvers, and some of S&W’s more exclusive offerings.

It really is the golden age of snub revolvers.

Sam Hoober is a contributing editor at Alien Gear Holsters, as well as for Bigfoot Gun Belts. He also writes weekly columns for Daily Caller and USA Carry.

Sam HooberSam Hoober
Sam Hoober

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