The 5 Most Popular Revolvers On The Market

Whether you grew up watching westerns and want to add a classic to your collection or you’re looking for something to conceal, revolvers are works of art. With that in mind, here are five trending revolvers that exemplify an era while making you feel like a gunslinger.

Smith & Wesson Model 686 Centerfire

When you think of concealed carry, you might not think of a .357 Magnum but the Model 686 brings exactly that to the table. With enough stopping power to put an end to any self-defense situation and being able to take a beating, this is one revolver to keep in mind.

Smith & Wesson 686
Photo from Smith & Wesson official website

Considering Smith & Wesson’s reputation, it should come as no surprise that the 686 can go for hundreds of rounds without a misfire. It’s as reliable as any concealed carry firearm on the market, if not better, and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance to function.

Built with an L-frame of steel, this sturdy revolver does a great job of handling the recoil. In fact, there’s a version of the Centerfire, the 686+, that’s got a slightly larger frame that accepts a 7-round cylinder.

While the revised design can easily take on .357 Magnum rounds, it’s also capable of putting down .38 bullets. No matter which caliber you choose, the Centerfire definitely feels like it means business. It’s pretty thick and has some heft to it, with a longer barrel to give it surprising accuracy.

Because of that, many people use it for target shooting as well. The frame of the gun means that it fits comfortably in most S&W L Frame holsters, so you won’t have trouble finding one if you choose to use this for self- or home-defense. However if you decide to treat this beast of a handgun we highly recommend taking a look at our custom hand-made holsters.

S&W 686 Holster
SW 686 Holster

It’s worth noting that there’s a similar Smith & Wesson revolver, the Model 66, that’s got a smaller barrel which makes it easier to hide while packing the same .357 punch. Whatever you’re looking for, the 686 is a solid piece of a revolver.

Heritage Arms Rough Rider

To go in the complete opposite direction of the 686 is the .22LR Rough Rider. While it may not be nearly as heavy-duty, Heritage Arms has crafted a revolver that has consistent groupings inside of 25 yards.

Heritage Arms Rough Rider
Heritage Arms Rough Rider

Out of the 5 on this list, the Rough Rider looks the most like a classic western revolver and won’t break the bank to satisfy your aesthetic needs. It’s lightweight to help with quickdraw practice and isn’t too hard to find.

While it may be smaller than others on this list, don’t underestimate the capabilities of the Rough Rider. It’s great for protecting your house, though it’s low caliber doesn’t give it the stopping power most people prefer for concealed carry.

However, it’s the same low caliber that makes it perfect for beginner shooters or anyone unable to hold recoil of bigger calibers. The longer barrel further aids in the precision and a .22 has practically no recoil to speak of, so you’ll hit what you aim at and that’s the kind of reliability you want from a firearm.

Ruger GP100

Ruger’s GP100 is exactly the kind of revolver that fits the bill for “Anyone can shoot.” The hammer has a light pull and the trigger is smooth, so the revolver may be a little heavy at 3 pounds but its parts are lightweight.

Ruger GP100
Ruger GP100

On top of that, it has minimal recoil that beginners and veterans alike will appreciate. It’s worth noting that the GP100 seems to be especially wanted by female shooters, because of how fast it is to pull from a holster or purse.

It’s solid accuracy makes it easy to learn with and get comfortable shooting, too. Of course, Ruger is one of the best manufacturers of firearms so you can count on their revolver. It’s also not one to laugh at, because the .357 Magnum rounds that it fires will send anyone running.

While it’s easy to use and move with, the heavy caliber gives the GP100 some comforting weight for any situation. You won’t have to worry about the time of day either, because the fiber optic sight enables self-defense in almost any lighting condition.

Ruger GP100 Holster
Ruger GP100 Holster

One of the best features of the Ruger revolver is the grip that provides a lot of gun control for follow-up shots, not that you’ll need more than one with that accuracy. There are also a lot of options for customization to personalize your revolver, which is a popular appeal for newer shooters. Holster for Ruger GP100 can be also found in the wide offer of Falco Holsters.

Ruger Blackhawk

With all of the .357 revolvers on this list, it’s a good idea to include an option like the 9mm Ruger Blackhawk. That caliber balances stopping power and accuracy that more shooters will likely be able to handle in a survival situation.

Ruger Blackhawk
Ruger Blackhawk

That’s because the Blackhawk is an all-purpose revolver, functioning at a high level for target shooting while being easy to conceal. Being the second Ruger on here, it should come as no surprise that the Blackhawk can bring consistent groupings past 30 yards.

Similar to the design of the Rough Rider, the Blackhawk is a heavier revolver that also has a Western aesthetic. It’s not hard to find a comfortable Ruger Blackhawk holster that you can wear for hours. It’s also comparable to a .38 Special if you’re familiar with shooting that style of revolver.

Aside from being 9mm, the Blackhawk sets a mark by being extremely dependable and easy to maintain. Because it’s so easy to clean and reload, the Ruger Blackhawk is another revolver that’s great for all shooters without sacrificing stopping power or accuracy.

Taurus Judge 4510

While it’s not the most practical of weapons for target shooting or self-defense, it’s hard to make a list of popular revolvers without including the Judge. Taurus’ 4510 is one of their most successful, if not their best-selling, revolvers despite being more unwieldy.

Taurus Judge
Taurus Judge

This is largely due to the appeal, because the Judge infamously can fire .45 Colt or 410 shotgun shells from the small frame, hence the name. If you read that and wondered how much kickback it has, that’s a valid concern.

It takes a strong wrist to handle the recoil of either round, especially given the Ultra-Lite construction of the frame. It doesn’t weigh much, but it also doesn’t have much heft to absorb the kind of force produced by the projectiles.

However, the rifling makes it shockingly accurate for those who can sustain fire. You have multiple options for barrel length, with the largest Judge having a 6.5” barrel that does slightly better with the recoil.

You also won’t have to worry about it falling apart or jamming in the middle of a home-defense situation, which is where the Judge would probably be the most useful. At close-range, the Taurus 4510 is devastatingly powerful and loud.

That’s why the Judge isn’t ideal for concealed carry, though it will put terror into any would-be attackers. If you’re looking for a revolver with the same stopping power as the Judge that you could easily conceal, though, look no further than the Public Defender.

It’s similar in many ways with a shorter 2.5” barrel and, while neither is perfect for self-defense, even easier to conceal in a holster. Taurus even revised the design with a smaller hammer to make it easier to pull in a hurry.

Taurus Public Defender
Taurus Public Defender

While the Judge and Public Defender aren’t for everyone, they’re a lot of fun to shoot and the .45 Colt rounds can be pretty accurate if your wrist can take the recoil. The dual chamber makes it capable for different scenarios, too, with the 410 being better at close-range power.

Revolver Holster
Revolver Holster

Last Thoughts

As you can see, there are a lot of revolver options out there ranging from .22 all the way to the heavy-duty strength of a .357 or even a 410 shotgun shell. Whether you want one for your collection, concealment, or the end of the world, one of these most popular revolvers might be just the thing you need. If you didn't find your favorite yet you should also take a look at EAA Windicator 2

Martin Lukačko

sales & marketing

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