The Best Revolvers Available in 2023

The Best Revolvers Available in 2023

22nd Mar 2023

Source Credit:

By: Annette Doerr

Photography: Chris Eger, Kristin Alberts, Rutsen Eagle, Ben Philippi

Date: 03/09/2023

Revolvers never really went out of style, but their popularity certainly has surged in recent years. Perhaps it’s because they’re easy to operate; maybe it’s because they make a great self-defense CCW (concealed carry weapon) due to their deliberate trigger pull. Or maybe it’s simply because revolvers are classic.

Revolvers operate very differently than semi-automatic pistols. Because it depends on a cylinder to hold ammunition and not a magazine, the capacity in a revolver is limited to between five and nine rounds, depending on the model. They can be a great choice as a concealed carry gun.

At the end of the day, revolvers are here to stay. If you’re in the market for one, we’ve researched the best revolvers available today. Here they are in alphabetical order.


Colt Python revolver

Looking for something you can shoot and show off? The Colt Python is it! The Python is a legendary double-action revolver featuring stainless steel alloys, so it will be your next legacy piece handed down for generations. This is by no means a lightweight revolver, as Pythons are manufactured with 30 percent more steel beneath the rear – adjustable – sight for a robust, solid shooting feel. 

Caliber: .357 Mag (also accommodates .38 Special)
Cylinder Capacity: 6 rounds
Barrel Length: 3, 4.25, and 6-inch versions available


Kimber K6S revolver

According to Kimber, the K6S is the world’s lightest production six-shot .357 Magnum revolver. The K6S line is available in four models: DASA, Stainless, Special Edition, and DCR. They feature superior ergonomics and finishes, an internal hammer, and rounded edges that help prevent getting snagged when drawing from concealment. All the K6S models offer the quality, dependability, and performance you’ve come to expect from Kimber.

Caliber: .357 Mag (also accommodates .38 Special)
Cylinder Capacity: 6 rounds
Barrel Length: 2, 3, and 4 inches (Varies by model)


Magnum Research Biggest Finest Revolver BFR

The Biggest, Finest Revolver, or BFR, from Magnum Research stands out in the crowd. It’s available in a long-cylinder model as well as a short-cylinder model. This stainless-steel revolver is engineered for hunting and can take down anything from birds to bears.

It’s chambered in multiple calibers, ranging from popular hunting calibers to basic EDC (everyday carry) calibers and everything in between. I’ve listed the full information on chambering below, broken out by those for the Long Cylinder BFR and the Short Cylinder BFR. The BFR is accurate whether using lead or jacketed bullets.

Long Cylinder Model: .30/30 Winchester, .350 Legend, .444 Marlin, .45 Long Colt / .410, .45-70 Gov’t, .460 S&W Magnum, .500 S&W Magnum
Cylinder Capacity: 5 or 6 rounds, depending on model
Barrel Length: 7.5 or 10-inch

Short Cylinder Model: .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .454 Casull, .480/.475 Linebaugh, .500 JRH, .500 Linebaugh
Cylinder Capacity: 5 or 6 rounds, depending on model
Barrel Length: 5, 6.5, 7.5-inch models


Ruger GP100 revolver

Most commonly chambered in .357 Magnum, the Ruger GP100 is one of the best revolvers available for several reasons. These babies are built solid! Because they’re a little heavier, they shoot incredibly smoothly, even when shooting hard-hitting calibers like .357 Magnum.

GP100s feature a triple-locking cylinder that locks to the revolver’s frame from the front, rear, and bottom for accurate alignment and dependable operation. The grip frames can be easily customized for best fit, with aftermarket custom grips widely available.

To keep things simple, takedown of this revolver requires no special tools – so it’s easy to maintain, giving you more time to shoot it at the range. Whether you’re target shooting, carrying for self-defense, or keeping it home for home-defense, you won’t go wrong with the hard-hitting, accurate Ruger GP100.

Caliber: .22 LR, .357 Mag (also accommodates .38 Special), 10mm, .44 SPL
Cylinder Capacity: Varies by model
Barrel Length: 2, 3, and 4-inch options (varies by model)


Smith & Wesson 642-2 Airweight revolver

You can never go wrong with a classic, and this one screams concealed carry! With its short barrel and J-frame grip, this one is going to be easy and comfortable to conceal on-body. Within the 642 family, several models are available. All have the Smith & Wesson quality and finish you’d expect from a classic Airweight revolver.

The stainless steel cylinder is designed to accept moon clips, making it fast and easy to reload on the go. Although the 642 is small, the recoil is extremely manageable, and it’s comfortable to shoot, making it one of the best revolvers available.

Caliber: .38 Special +P
Cylinder Capacity: 5 rounds
Barrel Length: 1.875 inches


Smith & Wesson Model 686-3 revolver

You can’t go wrong with another classic from Smith & Wesson dating back to 1981. The Model 686 is an L-frame revolver chambered in .357 Magnum. Because it’s built on an L-frame, the grip is beefier than a K-frame, which promotes a secure grip as well as recoil management because of the added weight. Crafted with stainless steel, there are multiple models that vary in barrel length from 2.5 inches to a whopping 8-inch barrel.

Caliber: .357 Mag (also accommodates .38 Special)
Cylinder Capacity: 6 or 7 rounds, depending on model
Barrel Length: 2.5, 3, 4.1, 5, 6, 7.3, and 8-inch options available


Taurus Judge revolver

It’s a revolver that can shoot .410 shotgun shells – this one is a little different, and that’s what sealed the deal on making this list. What sets the Judge apart from a basic revolver is that it can shoot centerfire .45 Colt or .410 shotshells. Because of the diversity, it screams home defense. Sure, you could use it for self-defense if you chose a model with a smaller barrel length.

Speaking of models, there are over a dozen available, making sure you’ll find (at least) one to fit your needs. Finishes range from stainless – both regular and matte – to matte black oxide. Regardless of which Judge you pick, you’ll be well-prepared with a quality revolver that’s sure to get people talking!

Caliber: .45 Colt or .410 shotgun shells
Cylinder Capacity: 5 rounds
Barrel Length: 2. 2.5, 3, 6.5-inch options (varies by model)

Which of these Revolvers best fits you?

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