Snub nose revolvers have become popular among gun owners. What is it about this teeny-tiny weapon that has garnered so much attention? What exactly defines a snub nose and is it still able to pack a punch with such a small body and frame?
A snub nose revolver, also known as a snubby or snubbed nose revolver, is a 5- or 6-shot revolver with a barrel length of less than two inches.
The snubby revolver’s overall compact stature makes it very concealable, making it ideal for deep concealment, as a pocket gun, or as a backup pistol. What they lack in capability, they make up for with their ability to blend in with the human body.
Yes, these revolvers are made to fit easily into concealed holsters and that is part of their major appeal among gun enthusiasts.
Nobody wants to walk about with a huge hand cannon strapped to their side, so manufacturers make smaller, more compact versions with shorter barrels.
Snub nose revolvers have all of the benefits and advantages of standard revolvers but are more concealable. This is what makes a snub nose revolver a viable self-defense CCW option.
On the other hand, depending on the caliber, the recoil on these handguns can be extremely difficult to control. 9mm Revolvers are much easier to hand than a .357.
If you’re wanting to join the army of gun owners who carry a snub nose, here are some of the greatest and most popular snub nose revolvers on the market.
Best Snub Nose Revolvers
- Colt King Cobra Carry .357 Magnum Revolver
- Smith & Wesson Model 642 .38 Special +P
- Ruger LCR .38 S&W Special Revolver +P
- Kimber K6S .357 Magnum Revolver
- Charter Arms Off-Duty .38 Special Revolver
- Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum Revolver
Colt King Cobra Carry .357 Magnum Revolver
With this one, the manufacturer went all out. While most consumers will find the Colt King Cobra Carry .357 caliber to be too heavy for a CCW, many gun fans will love the vintage six-shot feel.
With a robust steel frame, a 2-inch short barrel, a bobbed hammer, and a relatively mild DAO trigger pull, it’s a six-shooter that packs a punch.
Double-action only triggers are considered to be quite safe, and while it takes some getting accustomed to, any newcomer can rapidly learn how to use this snub-nosed revolver.
Hogue Overmolded grips are included for felt recoil cushioning, and a brass bead front sight is included for accuracy and quick target acquisition.
If the .357 isn’t your cup of tea, you can go for the .38 Special, which also feeds well. See how the hammerless version compares to the Kimber K6S and the Ruger SP101.
This is the heavyweight champion of snub nose revolvers, weighing in at 26 ounces and resembling a heavyweight CCW. However, the weight is accompanied by unrivaled quality and craftsmanship.
Smith & Wesson Model 642 .38 Special +P
Since 1952, the Smith & Wesson 642 Centennial Airweight series has been a classic, with little need for improvement because it is a highly adaptable and reliable revolver.
The goal of the manufacturer was to create a lightweight, hammerless revolver with a grip that could accommodate larger hands. They certainly delivered on their promise.
It’s a compact, dependable, and cost-effective self-defense and home defense solution. In addition, the frame can be utilized as a backup handgun.
The S&W 642 is a wonderful tiny revolver that’s as light as a feather, with an aluminum alloy frame, 6-inch overall length, stainless steel barrel, and synthetic grips.
However, due to its small weight, you may experience muzzle rise issues. It’s accurate and fast at acquiring targets, although the recoil can be a pain in the hands.
It’s chambered in .38 Special +P, although there are also .357 Magnum versions available, and the difference is noticeable.
This concealed carry gun comes with a variety of grips, lasers, holsters, and ankle holster options, and it can easily become your favorite after a few range sessions.
Ruger LCR .38 S&W Special Revolver +P
The Ruger LCR.38 Special Revolver +P is a fantastic remake of the Ruger SP101 snubby from 1989, with a shorter barrel length of 1.87′′. The LCR stands for ‘lightweight compact revolver,’ and it’s available in a variety of calibers, including .357 and .22.
Because it’s a cheap, reliable, and hammerless snubby that won’t catch on your clothing when unholstered, the Ruger LCR.38 Special +P is a popular choice.
With a non-stacking, double-action (DA) trigger pull that is relatively easy in comparison to the others on our list, the Ruger LCR boasts remarkable accuracy for a.38 Special +P. It also has a fluted steel cylinder that helps to minimize weight and a long-lasting PVD coating.
In fact, because to its aluminum, polymer, and stainless steel alloy frame, this tiny revolver weighs around 8 ounces, making it a lightweight carry in comparison to the others on this list. It’s housed in a chamber. For that much-needed stopping strength, use 38 Special +P.
In addition, unlike other snub nose revolvers on the market, the manufacturer designed this one to be compatible with a wide range of aftermarket upgrades. When you wish to alter your style, the LCR .38 incorporates a Grip Peg for quicker grip removal.
The fact that it isn’t a six-shooter may be a disappointment for some. This does not appear to be a significant disadvantage because in self-defense scenarios, you nearly usually just need a few shots, which can be sufficient.
If you want the identical rifle but without the ludicrous stopping power, the Ruger LCRX with a stainless steel, matte frame is a good option. The LCR-22, a .22 caliber, 8-shot revolver with less force, but superior accuracy, reduced recoil, and improved concealability, is another option.
Kimber K6S .357 Magnum Revolver
This is a stainless steel six-shooter chambered in.357 Magnum with a 10-pound trigger pull that’s small enough to carry concealed. Because of the non-exposed hammer, it’s also snag-free. Although some people find the DAO trigger pull to be too strong, it does not stack.
It comes with detachable front and rear dovetail sights, as well as a variety of aftermarket sights and grips. For better operation, I recommend using black three-dot sights or a textured cylinder release.
When it comes to grips, the K6S boasts one of the most comfortable, ergonomically sound grips that both big and little hands can adapt to. It’s 6.62-inches long, 1.39-inches broad, and has a thin cylinder, making it ideal for IWB use.
This revolver is made of stainless steel and has a 2-inch barrel. The weight is 23 ounces, but you can anticipate it to last a long time. It should, in a nutshell, last a long time.
Overall, this is a big snub nose revolver with a non-stack trigger and acceptable recoil. Although the trigger is difficult to pull, the K6S provides unsurpassed dependability. The Rock Island Armory M206.38 Special Caliber is another option if you’re searching for anything similar.
Charter Arms Off-Duty .38 Special Revolver
Here’s a concealed carry system that’s stood the test of time and passed with flying colors. The Charter Arms Off-Duty is a small, snag-free double-action CCW that would be an excellent addition to your backup pistol collection.
It has a 5-round cylinder, fixed sights, four-point cylinder lock-up, and an internal hammer with block safety in .38 Special caliber.
At 12 ounces, the stainless steel barrel and cylinder, as well as the aircraft-grade aluminum alloy construction, give it a light feel, and it’s tiny enough for a purse concealed carry gun.
In the wrong hands, it can kick back strongly and can even knock you on your butt. Plus, the uncontrollable muzzle rise doesn’t help matters. The rubberized battle grip absorbs part of the force, and while it’s not a handgun for larger hands, there are many of grip options available.
The reloading is without a doubt the greatest, most memorable feature. With the left-side cylinder release, it’s simple and quick, and you can expect a lot of power from a .357 Magnum.
Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum Revolver
The Ruger SP101 Spurless carry gun includes an easy-to-pull double-action-only trigger with a transfer bar.
The ease of use and dependability of this wheel gun make it an excellent EDC tool.
With a 2.25-inch barrel and 7.2-inch overall length, this is a good concealing option. It’s big and hefty, weighing in at 25 ounces empty, yet the snag-free design makes unholstering a breeze.
It’s a five-shot situation. It features a stainless steel construction, a bladed front sight, fixed rear sights, synthetic grips for recoil cushioning, a 5-round cylinder, and .357 Magnum stopping power.
The triple-locking cylinder increases cylinder-to-barrel alignment, resulting in increased precision.
The Ruger SP101 Spurless DAO’s grips are a little too soft for some people, but others don’t mind. There are a lot of wonderful aftermarket choices for this handgun, and it has a lot of fans, both veterans and novices.
The 5-round cylinder and .357 Magnum muzzle rise and recoil don’t fare much better for target reacquisition than most semi-automatic pistols and personal defense handguns. This, however, will not be an issue for you if you practice properly.