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Revolvers: The 5 Best Wheelguns on the Planet Today for Self Defense

Taurus Judge
Taurus Judge Revolver. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

5 Best Wheelguns – Yes, millions of Americans choose semi-automatics to defend their home or property if the unthinkable happens. However, to this day, millions of revolvers are still sold due to their reliability: We live in an unpredictable and unreliable world these days. Many factors of life are not what they used to be, and home security is a new or renewed concern for many. Part of any home security plan should include a reliable firearm, and few hold the reputation of reliability that belongs to the revolver.

While lacking the magazine capacity of most full-size semi-auto pistols, the venerable wheel gun is virtually impossible to jam and often chambered in powerful cartridges like the .357 Magnum that put plenty of energy on target. There are many good revolvers out there to protect your home. Here are my picks for the 5 best revolvers to protect any home based on my years of experience in the firearms industry.

5 Best Wheelguns – Ruger LCRx 3”

The big boy of the LCR family, the 3” barreled models provide a good sight radius for accurate shot placement while remaining short enough to maneuver in a tight spot. The weapon weighs in at under 16 ounces in 38 Special +P making it a viable carry gun for those who need a double-duty weapon.

Chambered in .22LR, .22 Magnum, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum, this revolver provides an affordable “one gun” defensive solution for both in and out of the home. MSRP $579

5 Best Wheelguns – Ruger GP-100

This well-built wheel gun will take on all comers. Chambered in .22 LR, .327 Federal, .357 Magnum, and .44 Special, the GP-100 can bring some serious power to the table. Available in a variety of barrel lengths, this revolver is an accurate weapon with enough weight (40 oz. in .357 magnum with a 4” barrel) to take some of the sting out of the magnum cartridges.

The additional weight lowers recoil, allowing for faster recovery between shots, meaning a quicker follow-up shop if needed. MSRP $769

Best .22LR

Ruger GP-100. Image: Ruger.

Ruger GP 100

Image: Screenshot.

Ruger Super GP100

Image: Creative Commons.

Ruger GP 100 Review

Ruger GP100

Image: Creative Commons.

5 Best Wheelguns – Taurus 692

The Taurus 692 is a hefty medium frame revolver boasting a 7-round capacity in .357 magnum, and giving the option of 2.5”, 3”, or 6.5” ported barrels, the 692 is configurable to any need.

The ported barrel reduces muzzle rise & recoil, allowing you to regain your target quicker and put more rounds onto it if needed. As an added bonus the 692 is supplied with a conversion cylinder for 9mm Luger, allowing for a low recoil option and flexibility in the ammunition used, a major plus with today’s shortages. MSRP $652.50

5 Best Wheelguns – 5 Top Revolvers for Home Defense  – Charter Arms Pitbull

This compact powerhouse gives you five rounds of .45 ACP in a package the same size as a standard six-round .38 Special. (Compare to the semi-auto option).

The big-bore .45 cartridge excels as a man stopper with one-hundred and ten years of military pedigree to back it up. With less recoil and a lower cost per round than the .44 Special or .45 Long Colt, this revolver will handle home defense with aplomb, and unlike many .45 ACP revolvers, it does not require moon clips. MSRP $506.80 And if you live in the land of grizzlies and need more power than this, check out the .460 S&W.

5 Best Wheelguns – Smith and Wesson Model 66

I know there are two other full size .357 magnum revolvers recommended here, but I could not leave this one out.

Long the gold standard for defensive revolvers, the Model 66 Combat Magnum has an enviable reputation for reliability and accuracy. In my personal experience, it also has the nicest trigger of the revolvers listed. Available in 2.75” and 4.25” barrels with an MSRP of $874, this .357 Magnum will provide some serious peace of mind in today’s uncertain world.

Smith & Wesson Model 66

Smith & Wesson Model 66. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

If you want the slicked-up version designed for tactical use, check out this review.

5 Best Wheelguns – Rock Island M200

For those with a pandemic depleted pocketbook, this budget revolver has built a reputation as a no-frills defensive weapon. Boasting a lifetime warranty and a rock-bottom price point, the Rock Island Armory M200 can fill the need for a “house gun” without emptying the pocketbook and not disappoint in performance. MSRP $275

Offering power and controllability, the revolver is no stranger to defensive use. Like any pistol they require practice, especially in the magnum calibers, however for those that chose to become proficient with them, the revolver provides a reliable and powerful solution for home defense. They were the defensive tool of choice 100 years ago and are still a relevant choice today.

Colt Python Revolver

Colt Python Revolver. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.

Written By

Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.



  1. William

    May 22, 2022 at 2:48 pm

    Another good option is the S&W Governor. Like some other guns, the ability to shoot .410, .45 Colt, and .45 ACP with moon clips gives flexibility when ammo can be hard to find.

    The .410 option with number 4 shot is a great option for indoors when you want to knock down an intruder, but don’t want to accidentally harm the person in the next room. And my Governor hits with a fairly tight pattern at home defense distances with number 4 shot, so the pattern won’t spread too much.

    The .45 Colt option can be as mild or as powerful as needed, even with the ability to shoot +P bear loads that can equal or maybe exceed .44 Magnum.

    The .45 ACP option allows for quick reloads using moon clips, which for me are easier to reload fast than using a speed loader with other calibers.

    I keep mine loaded with .410 number 4 shot, and have two moon clips loaded with .45 ACP in case I need to reload.

    The Governor does cost more than the Taurus Judge, but it holds an extra round and has the .45 ACP option. And a friend that’s had both said that the Governor is the better shooter of the two. So to me, it’s worth the extra cost.

    • Michael Williams

      May 23, 2022 at 9:49 am

      There was a Real estate owner who was providing the employees conceal weapon classes plus the Judge which was very thoughtful because there are dangers in meeting clients late at night and there had been problems ♦️

  2. Kevin

    May 22, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    I have a RIA M200. Not a great choice for “life depends on it” Fit and finish are so-so. Cylinder does not lock up easily. I paid $199 and for that money, fun to have. No way is it in my bedside drawer

  3. Moonoy

    May 23, 2022 at 5:02 am

    Make positive your Smith and Wesson is pre lock or lock deleted. I carry an old blue 19 2.5 inch or a 3 inch 29. 44magnum.

  4. Logan Riley Plute

    May 25, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    This article gives me sporterized Enfield vibes🤢

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