Fast Five: Top New Revolvers

Some people might think of revolvers as the handgun of the past, but 2017 has seen the release of some seriously impressive new wheel guns. Yes, semi-autos are still way more popular, but revolvers are seeing a comeback of sorts. As a matter of fact, Smith & Wesson and Ruger alone manufacture over half a million units a year – around a quarter of their yearly handgun production, respectively. With more and more Americans opting to carry a concealed weapon, millions have elected to carry revolvers. When manufacturers keep releasing these new and improved firearms, featuring the renowned simplicity and reliability wheel guns are known for, it’s easy to see why folks are still falling in love with revolvers. These firearms just won’t die out – there seems to still be a group of stubborn shooters out there intent on using these traditional firearms for hunting, carrying, sporting, competition, and home defense.

In this week’s edition of Gunivore’s Fast Five, we are going to break down for you the best new revolvers in the industry. If you’re still not settled on a wheel gun, check out our Fast Five feature detailing the market’s best CCWs of 2017.

COLT COBRA

I was so excited to see Colt finally decided to rerelease their legendary .38 Special Cobra Revolver. When the classic weapons producer debuted the 2017 edition of their famed snub nose six-shooter, they threw in several game-changing mods to sweeten the deal. As a matter of fact, they barely resemble the original 1950 model at all. One of the biggest upgrades Colt gave the Cobra was a brand new set of ergonomic Hogue grips that do wonders for control and handling. To give their wheel gun even more intuitive handling, they added what they call the “Linear Leaf Spring” to guarantee smooth, crisp trigger pulls every time, culminating in a truly impressive performance.

If you weren’t sold on its durability and user-friendliness, the Colt Cobra also features industry-leading versatility. In addition to its +P rating, the double-action revolver also has a fiber-optic front sight that can be switched out for your choice of sights, including tritium and night sights.

  • Model: Colt Cobra

    Colt Cobra

  • Caliber: .38 Special +P
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2”
  • Overall Length: 7.2”
  • Weight: 25 oz. (unloaded)
  • Sights: Red Fiber Optic Front / Frame Trench Rear
  • Frame: Stainless Steel Matte Finish
  • MSRP: $699      

S&W MODEL 69 COMBAT

Smith and Wesson has been producing some of the best revolvers in the market for over 150 years and the Model 69 Combat is just another in a line of fantastic firearms. This L-frame wheel gun was originally released with a 4.5” barrel but they’ve recently launched a compact 2.75” barrel edition at the behest of their committed fan base. Besides for lowering the gun’s overall weight, the 69 Compact Magnum is now one of Smith & Wesson’s best CCWs. Like the aforementioned Colt, this S&W offers decent versatility as a result of its ability to chamber both .44 Special and .44 Magnum rounds.

  • Model: S&W Model 69 Combat Magnum

    S&W Model 69 Combat Magnum

  • Caliber: .44 Mag
  • Capacity: 5 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2.75”
  • Overall Length: 7.8”
  • Weight: 34.4 oz. (unloaded)
  • Sights: Red Ramp Front / Adjustable Black Blade Rear
  • Frame: Stainless Steel Matte Finish
  • MSRP: $849.00      

RUGER GP100 & REDHAWK

Although I’ve never really been a huge fan of Ruger, I can’t deny their tremendous influence on the firearms community. As one of the leading manufacturers of revolvers today, the iconic company proudly makes some of the best wheel guns in the industry. I specifically like their highly-accurate GP100, chambered in .357 Magnum. If you haven’t figured it out by now that I take versatility very seriously, then you’re missing the ball big time. Like the aforementioned wheel guns, the GP100 comes in a variety of sights, barrel sizes, grips, finishes, and now calibers. The Ruger is especially good for newcomers considering its supreme balance, ease-of-use, and solid customer-service. While some folks may not like its beefy build, the sensible GP100 makes up for it by being plenty rugged and accurate.  

If the GP100 is Ruger’s answer to the evolving revolver market, then their Redhawk is the timeless classic redesigned. Originally developed in the 1980’s as a .44 Mag powerhouse, the big bore revolvers were designed for big game hunting. Although they were first conceived with massive 7.50” barrels, Ruger has recently redesigned the Redhawk with 2.75” barrel chambered in .357 Magnum. Plus, with an 8-shot capacity and heavy, bulky build, the Redhawk is not the most practical revolver in the world. Nevertheless, I must admit that it makes for a good hunting companion or home-defense weapon. For a hefty price, the hefty Ruger can be yours, capable of firing .357, .38 Special, and .38 +P loads.

  • Model: Ruger GP100

    Ruger GP100

  • Caliber: .357 Mag
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.0”
  • Overall Length: 8.50”
  • Weight: 36 oz. (unloaded)
  • Sights: Red Ramp Front / Adjustable Rear
  • Frame: Stainless Steel Matte Finish
  • MSRP: $799.00

  • Model: Ruger Redhawk

    Ruger Redhawk

  • Caliber: .357 Mag
  • Capacity: 8 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2.75”
  • Overall Length: 8.25”
  • Weight: 44 oz. (unloaded)
  • Sights: Color Insert Blade Front / Adjustable Rear
  • Frame: Stainless Steel Matte Finish
  • MSRP: $1,079

CHARTER ARMS BULLDOG

Charter Arms is one of the best and underrated firearms manufacturers in the business and their Bulldog is one of the finest CCWs the market has to offer. At first glance, the lightweight, durably-built wheel gun may seem like your run-of-the-mill firearm, but it’s far from it. By ditching the traditional side plate and opting for a stronger single-pieced frame, the Bulldog is insanely strong, somehow manages to hover around 20 oz. Furthermore, Charter gave their trademark wheel gun safe and simplistic features while also providing solid handling and versatility. For these reasons and more, the Charter Arms Bulldog is one of my picks for the best revolver of 2017.

  • Model: Charter Arms Bulldog

    Charter Arms Bulldog

  • Caliber: .44 Special
  • Capacity: 5 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2.5”
  • Overall Length: 6.7”
  • Weight: 20 oz. (unloaded)
  • Sights: Fixed
  • Frame: BlackNitride
  • MSRP: $443

KIMBER K6S

A lot of people may not have heard of Kimber Manufacturing, but they are one of the top producers of premium firearms in America. Although they are better known for their top-shelf 1911s, they also produce one of the best concealable revolvers money can buy. The small in size but big in performance Kimber K6S is surprisingly ergonomic and fun to shoot. To my amazement, the new stainless steel framed wheel gun is one of the industry’s lightest .357 Magnums. In fact, it may actually have the best factory double-action trigger of any small-framed revolver. All things considered, the K6S makes for a great CCW, especially since it packs such a powerful punch in such a small, lightweight frame. I’m also a big fan of the modern, hammerless design and wide array of available sights Kimber has to offer.

  • Model: Kimber K6S

    Kimber K6S

  • Caliber: .357 Mag (& .38 Special)
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2”
  • Overall Length: 6.6”
  • Weight: 23 oz. (unloaded)
  • Sights: Black Serrated
  • Finish: Stainless Steel
  • MSRP: $899

BONUS: CHIAPPA RHINO

The Chiappa Rhino is one of the most unique and innovative revolvers on the market, which will definitely turn off some traditional shooters. That being said, all of these changes aren’t for naught – the unconventional flat cylinder on the Rhino not only keeps it thin and concealable, but also the lower position (6 o’clock chamber rather than 12 o’clock) of the barrel significantly lowers the felt recoil. I don’t think the Chiappa is going to win any beauty contests, but the Italian firearm is definitely a top-notch, powerful, self-defense weapon. Although they currently manufacture an ultra-concealable 2” barrel variant, they are better known for their intimidating full-framed “Charging Rhino”.

  • Model: Charging Rhino

    Charging Rhino

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 6”
  • Overall Length: 10.5”
  • Weight: 2 lbs. (unloaded)
  • Sights: Fixed Fiber Optic Front / Green Fiber Optic Rear
  • Frame: Black Frame, Nickel Cylinder  
  • MSRP: $1,512

Gunivore has many more great articles like Hornady Gun OilLucas Gun Oil and Rem Oil

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