6 Best CCW .38 Revolvers


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January 16, 2023

If you have a concealed weapon permit and you live in a state where you can carry weapons into places, you might be wondering about the best guns for concealed carry. Many people talk about their CCW (concealed carry weapons). In this article, we will review especially the .38 revolvers that are perfect for keeping with you all the time.

The Best CCW .38 Revolvers 

Here are our top picks for the revolvers we like the most. They all have unique features that make them easy to use and they can make you a more confident shooter. 

Chiappa Rhino

chiappa rhino

This revolver was created by Emilio Ghisconi, an engineer and target shooter himself. Since it was custom designed by someone who shoots themselves, it has one of the best designs for a .38 revolver. It’s a double-action revolver. 

Since the design is very unique and innovative compared to other revolvers, you will pay more for the amazing construction. If you are a gun collector though and you want something special, the price is definitely worth it. 

Fondly named the Rhino by Ghisconi, it actually comes in a .357 caliber. You can get it in the .38 size though, and it’s even easier to shoot than the .357 Magnum. The first model comes in 2 inches, but you can also check out the 4 inches, 5 inches, 6-inch sizes. 

With the lower barrel on this design, you will have a softer recoil impulse. Ghisconi’s main idea when making this design was to make a smaller recoil. This revolver does just that. 

Taurus 605: .38 Special Revolver

taurus 605: .38 special revolver

The Taurus 605 replaces the Taurus 85. Don’t worry though. If you loved the 85, you will still find many of the same features in the 605. Some of the same features include the top strap with a rear sigh groove, rubber grips, and a front blade sight. 

It comes in stainless steel and has a matte black finish. The stainless revolver is a little more expensive than the matte design, but it definitely looks sleeker than the other models. 

The only downside to this revolver is the weight. It’s 24 ounces when it’s unloaded. This can be a bit too heavy for new revolver shooters. Heavyweight revolvers do tend to have less of a snap though which is better for some people. 

LCR Ruger .38 Special Revolver

lcr ruger .38 special revolver

If you’re looking for a lightweight revolver with a smooth pull, this is a fantastic choice. Most users can’t stop talking about the smooth trigger pull. It’s super easier to carry and has a polymer lower frame with an even more lightweight alloy upper. 

The draw is also extremely easy since the Hogue grips were added in to make a tamer recoil. This revolver is straightforward and makes the whole process of loading and shooting extremely easy. 

Despite the LCR having a very simple design, it has some very unique and smart features. It’s also one of the most sold revolvers on the market, so you can be sure other people are buying it and loving it. 

Smith and Wesson Model 10: The First .38 Special Revolver

smith and wesson model 10: the first .38 special revolver

This is known as the first special revolver because that’s exactly what it is. It first started being produced in 1898 and has continuously been on the market as an original revolver. Some people love this gun because it’s a classic, while others want to stay away from it because they consider it old and outdated. 

Despite being made over 100 years though, it’s still one of the best revolvers you can get. It has a 4-inch barrel and has a traditional S&W’s K-frame. The trigger can feel a bit stiff at first, but it will smooth over with use. If you want to keep it in classic condition though, you need to make sure you clean it regularly and take proper care of it. Some people even pass this revolver down from generation to generation. So, if you’re from a gun family, you might get lucky and get this revolver from your parents or grandparents. 

You might have even seen this revolver in movies since they are commonly used in both old and new movies. They were even issued to police departments in the 1990s. They are accurate and always easy to shoot, making them great for beginners who want to feel confident when precision shooting. 

It is also the most used revolver in the world, so it has been measured by police forces and military members for its accuracy and reliability. It has been proven to be one of the most accurate revolvers in the world making it one of the most popular choices for .38 revolvers. 

Model 638 Smith and Wesson .38 Special Revolver

model 638 smith and wesson .38 special revolver

This is one of the special revolvers that has been made especially for concealed carry. If you have your concealed weapon permit and want to be able to take your gun with you, this is a great choice. The alloy frame is extremely lightweight and it has a special hammer shroud. The shroud makes it easy to withdraw from your pants or purse in the event you need to use it in emergencies after you have concealed it. 

The rubber grips are soft which makes them easy to hold. The hammer shrouds also serve another important purpose. Hammer shrouds have been removed from some revolvers, especially the newer made ones. With the soft grips and the hammer shrouds, single-action shooting is easy. 

This 638 model is one of the most common weapons carried by policemen while they are undercover and wearing plain clothes. At less than 16 ounces, you will almost forget you are carrying it around. The lightweight quality means it will snap pretty hard though which can be hard for new shooters. 

S&W M&P Bodyguard .38 Special Revolver with Laser

s&w m&p bodyguard .38 special revolver with laser

If you don’t care about the design of the revolver and just want something that functions well and is all tactical, you should get the S&W M&P Bodyguard with the integrated laser. It’s different than some of the other M&P J-frames though, so if you own another J frame model you might need to spend some time getting used to this revolver. 

One of the biggest adjustments is that there is not a latch on the left side of the frame and the release button for the cylinder is on the back of the frame. The laser is at the top of the right side of the frame and is behind the cylinder. This makes the laser parallel with the barrel which is not common in revolvers. 

At only 14.4 ounces, it’s very lightweight and easy to carry with you if you have a concealed weapon permit. 

What Should I Look For in a CCW?

Not every gun can be a concealed carry weapon. It needs to be the right size and it needs to be easy to pull out of your pocket or purse in the case of an emergency when there is danger around you. 

The best CCW needs to be lightweight and comfortable. You don’t want to feel like you are lugging around a huge item on your body or in your handbag. A CCW also needs to be tested and it needs to be reliable. CCW is meant to be used when there is danger around you or when you end up in a life-threatening situation. If your weapon is not reliable, you can’t trust that you will be able to defend yourself. 

For any CCW, you want to make sure the safety is always on and that it’s easy to locate to disable when you need to use it. 

Is a .38 Revolver a Good CCW?

.38 Revolvers are some of the most common CCWs because they are small, reliable, and accurate. They are often used by undercover police offers and are even used in some military units. 

.38 Revolvers are also excellent self-defense weapons because they are easy to shoot and can be hidden easily in your purse or pants.

Final Thoughts 

Finding a CCW can be difficult, but it just got much easier with this guide on how to choose the right .38 revolver for yourself. All the ones on this list are great for self-defense and use as a concealed carry weapon. 

Every product is hand selected by our editors. We may receive commissions on purchases from a link.

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