Exploring Revolver Carry For Less Than $500
The wheel gun was the standard EDC gun for much longer than the automatic pistol, and concealed carry revolvers are still very popular. Whether one wants one as their primary carry gun or as a backup, here are 5 concealed carry revolvers for under $500.
Taurus, a Brazilian firearms manufacturing company, makes a wide range of firearm. Their handgun lineup is fantastically diverse, including autos everything from 1911s to polymer striker guns, full-size to compacts, and revolvers ranging from small-frame snubnoses to “do you feel lucky?” Naturally, the most famous is The Judge, a four-shot revolver chambered for .410 gauge and/or .45 Long Colt.
Their entry-level revolver is the 605B2, a five-shot snub-nose in .357 Magnum, retailing for $356.06. Taurus advertises the gun as firing .38 Special as well but, as anyone familiar with wheel guns knows, pretty much all .357 Magnums do.
Barrel length is 2 inches, and is also a true double-action, so it comes with a hammer. However, several Taurus DAO models, such as the M380IBULB in .38 Special, of similar size can still be had for under $500.
Get a Taurus revolved holster and you've got a solid revolver carry set up.
For a lot of people, Charter Arms is the first and last word in a compact revolver. Formerly bargain basement and ruthlessly simple, today it just isn’t the case. CA offers a range of finishes, configurations and calibers, at insanely reasonable price points.
Most of Charter Arms’ catalog retails for less than $500 - you may pay less in-store - which absolutely spoils you for choice. Naturally, the .38 Special is heavily represented, but .357 Magnum, .32 H&R Magnum, 9mm, .45 ACP, .40 and .44 Special are available as well.
The entry-level model is the Undercover, which retails for $346.00. Much like the Taurus 605B2, it has a five-shot capacity, is chambered in .38 Special, has a two-inch barrel and is a true double action revolver. However, an enclosed-hammer DAO Undercover can be had for $6 more.
However, much unlike Taurus, Charter Arms is made in the U.S.A.
Charter Arms revolvers are some of the most popular CCW wheelguns, and finding a Charter Arms holster is a cinch.
Armscor International, a gun maker from the Philippines, is fairly well-known for making a line of inexpensive 1911 pistols that function almost as well as pistols costing two to three times Armscor’s MSRP. They also happen to make revolvers.
The Rock Island M203 is vastly similar to the two revolvers mentioned above: it’s a .38 Special, it has a two-inch barrel and it’s a hammered double action. However, unlike the Taurus and the Charter Arms models, it has a six-shot capacity and an MSRP of only $283.
You can also opt for a six-shot, 4-inch barrel model for $275, and two hammerless DAO 2-inch barrel models can be chosen from for $492 each.
Rossi, another Brazilian brand, occupies a bit of a niche, making delightfully anachronistic (they have revolving rifles!) long guns of good quality at very reasonable prices. They are also Rossi revolvers, though they are actually manufactured by Taurus for the Rossi brand.
There are nine Rossi revolvers, in .22 LR, .38 Special (and +P) or .357 Magnum, only one of which has an MSRP more than $500. Four of those nine are 2-inch barrel, hammered double-action revolvers, with none available sans hammer. The entry level models are the Model R46102 and R35102, in .357 Magnum and .38 Special +P, respectively, retailing for $390. The only difference is the R35102 has a five-shot capacity, but the R46102 carries six.
Smith and Wesson
Usually, broaching the subject of CCW revolvers will bring up the J-frame, which at this point is arguably the archetype of the breed. Normally that also means it won’t be affordable but as it happens, there are nine S&W J-frame revolvers under $500. Like Charter Arms, they are made in America.
All are the format you’d expect, with 2-inch barrels, .38 Special +P chambering, enclosed-hammer DAO operation and five-shot capacity; the archetypical concealed carry revolvers. All but three of the nine aforementioned J-frames retails for $469, and three for $499 - just under the $500 mark.
Since the J-frame (and compact K-frame) pistols are so widespread, it's also easy to find Smith and Wesson revolver holsters.
So there you have it - (at least) five compact wheel guns that are ready to carry for less than $500.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests include camping, hunting, concealed carry, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible..