Concealed carry can be accomplished with many diverse types of weapons. Even a larger weapon could be carried if you wear the right conceal carry apparel or made some modifications to the weapon to help make it fit securely and undetected. Is there one that is better for concealed carry than the other? Is a handgun or a revolver best?
These are questions that may cross your mind as you begin concealing or if you have been doing so for a while but feel you need to change it up a little. We will look at the pros and cons of handguns and revolvers and see if there is one that outweighs the other with benefits.
More Reading: Best Concealed Carry Guns
Once you’ve taken a look at this article, I’d suggest that you take a look at our full write up on the best concealed carry guns on the market today.
First, you want to keep in mind that the standard revolver holds only five or six rounds in the magazine and chamber. The hammer cocks and releases by way of the trigger pull. They are also typically made of either aluminum or steel, meaning they are sometimes heavier than what you may be used to. Revolvers are most renowned for their sustainability and reliability.
It is not very often that you hear of a revolver “locking up” on someone amid a conflict. Double action revolvers tend to be the safest option, especially for those newer to the scene. With the double action trigger, you will not be likely to accidentally fire the weapon, but it is reliable enough to go off when you want and need it to. This can be a particularly important distinction depending on what type of conflict you find yourself in or if you are participating in a competition.
Another benefit of the revolver is that they are not as heavy since they do not carry as many rounds. This can also make a newer permitholder more accurate in their shots since they know they do not have as many “do overs” as they would if they had a semi-automatic weapon such as a handgun.
Finally, a revolver tends to be more accurate than a handgun since the barrel is permanently affixed to the frame. The typical handgun will have a barrel that locks into place when it is fired. While it is locked and can be secure, some amount of movement will always be possible, decreasing the accuracy. For someone newer to the scene, a revolver may be the best choice to practice with and to conceal carry. In the moment of firing, if you are approached by a predator, you want to have the most confidence that you will accurately aim and fire the weapon to neutralize the target. If you are concerned about accuracy, you should seriously consider purchasing a revolver.
Pistols have been known to be well loved by their owners and are also a reliable source of protection and will always be one of the best concealed carry guns out there. They have many pros, one of them being that the magazines can hold many more rounds than a revolver. This means that you can hit more targets in a faster amount of time without having to reload. Additionally, you can preload a magazine and reload the weapon faster than if you were using a revolver. This cuts down on the time it takes to go from target to target and can be beneficial during a time of self-defense or during a competition.
Handguns are also easier to learn if you are a newbie. This can be a big benefit for you if you want to learn quickly so you can be licensed to carry quickly. Also, if you are a teacher and are not used to teaching someone to use a revolver, it can be helpful to have a handgun to teach them with so you do not have to learn something new yourself. Handguns are also easier to teach to reload than a revolver is.
If you are looking for a weapon to keep on your person for self-defense, you want to also consider the durability of the weapon. If you are going to be in an outdoor environment with the opportunity for the handgun or revolver to be exposed to outdoor elements, this can sway your purchasing decision. For example, the US Army has done away with assigning revolvers as the main source of protection since they do not do well if they are dropped in the mud. Semiautomatic handguns are much easier to maintain and clean if they are exposed to the elements.
If you have smaller hands or find yourself having a tough time pulling back the rack of the handgun, a revolver may be a better choice for you. Revolvers are easier to handle and do not take as much hand strength to operate.
If you want to use a handgun, you must also accept that you need to be more aware of what you are doing when reloading the weapon. A handgun can lock up easily if it is loaded incorrectly. Handguns tend to lock up more often than revolvers. This can be quite frustrating for newbies and seniors alike. Can you imagine being in the middle of a gunfight and suddenly, your weapon locks up? This would be a challenge to resolve quickly. If this concerns you, then you will want to keep a revolver on your person.
Revolvers and handguns alike will help achieve your goal: neutralization of the target. Both are deadly weapons and will protect you in your time of need. They can each be easily concealed, and they cost about the same. If you are looking for a weapon you can simply point and fire without much thought, the revolver is the choice for you. If you are looking for a weapon with a larger capacity and you want to have a few more bells and whistles, the handgun is the one for you.
If you are unsure which weapon is best for you, you can always go to your local firing range and test out assorted brands of each type of firearm. You will find what works best for you before you know it. Happy carrying
Alice Jones Webb is a writer, life-long hunter, experienced shooter, and mother of 4 up-and-coming shooting and outdoor enthusiasts. Her opinions are respected around the industry and have been featured on leading firearm publications such as PewPewTactical.com, Recoilweb.com and MuckRack.com, amongst amongst others. She grew up flinging arrows and bullets at Virginia whitetails, turkey, and game birds, but her favorite hunting experience is chasing bull elk in the Colorado backcountry. Never one to sit still and look pretty, Alice is also a self-defense instructor and competitive archer. She currently resides in rural North Carolina with her children, non-hunting husband, and a well-stocked chest freezer. Contact me at: