A snubnosed revolver colloquially known as a snubbiebelly gun or bulldog revolver is any small, medium or large frame revolver with a short barrel, generally 3 inches or less in length. Smaller revolvers are often made with "bobbed" or "shrouded" hammers, and there are even "hammerless" models, all allowing the gun to be drawn quickly with little risk of it snagging on clothing. The shrouded and hammerless models may even be fired through a coat or jacket pocket.
Snubnosed revolvers were extremely popular in the United States until the s and 60s, when most states passed laws limiting or prohibiting the carry of concealed weapons.
However, the passage of " shall issue " firearms license laws in the mids, creating new markets for small, simple, reliable, concealed carry firearms, and resulted in a resurgence in the popularity of snubnosed revolvers in the United States.
While most were made of traditional carbon steel, stainless steeland lightweight aluminum alloys that had been in use for decades, some of the newer models used high-strength, lightweight metal alloys such as titanium and scandium.
More recently even polymer frames have been used. Most manufactures now produce snubnosed revolvers larger calibers than before, such as. Some companies even make. The first snubnosed revolvers were the 6 shot, 3" barreled Colt Single Action Army revolvers made without ejector rods, officially called the "Sheriff's Model," and the "Storekeeper's Model",  also unofficially known as the "Banker's Special.
Webley produced smaller scaled. The term "bulldog revolver" would go on to become synonymous with large caliber "snubnosed revolvers. The Colt M Double Action Revolver is a 6-shot, double-action revolver manufactured by Colt from January to for a total ofrevolvers.
The Model was offered in three calibers, which lent them three unofficial names: the. The revolver was available in 2. The shorter barreled versions without the ejector rod were marketed as "Shopkeeper's Special". It is a small, concealable, 5-shot, double-action revolver chambered in either.
They were most often produced with 2", 3" and 3. They also had a grip safety. They were known as "The New Departure" to reflect the company's new approach to designing revolvers. Fitz Special revolvers are made by shortening the barrel to two inchesshortening the ejector rod, bobbing the hammer spurremoving the front half of the trigger guard, and rounding the butt. Reshaping the hammer and the butt allows the gun to be drawn quickly with little risk of the weapon snagging on clothing. The halved trigger guard facilitates quick trigger acquisition, even for shooters with large fingers or gloves.
He later modified two. The FitzGerald Special was the precursor to the modern snubnosed revolver and specifically the prototype for the Colt Detective Special. The Colt Detective Special is a carbon steel framed double-actionsnubnosed, six-shot revolver. As the name "Detective Special" suggests, this model revolver was used as a concealed weapon by plainclothes police detectives.
It was made with either a 2" or 3" barrels. Introduced inthe Detective Special was the first snubnosed revolvers produced with a modern swing-out frame. It was designed from the outset to be chambered for higher-powered cartridges such as the.
In production sinceit is a medium-sized, 6-shot.Snub nose revolvers can fit in your pocket, but they also have enough power to keep you safe. As with any defensive tool, finding the best snub nose revolver is vital for staying safe. The best ones focus on reliabilitypowerand simplicity. The Rossi 35 offers a great value. The gun uses a design from Rossi, but it is manufactured by Taurus to the same standard as other Taurus guns.
The Rossi 35 does offer better ergonomics than many other small revolvers due to a contoured grip, so it is one of the best budget revolvers out there. The Taurus 85 is fairly affordablereliableand packs more power than many other guns of its size. A transfer bar keeps it safe to carry, but it also has a security system that prevents the entire gun from functioning with the turn of a key.
That makes it a good choice for people who are worried about children accidentally getting close to it while it is in storage.
The gun is rated for high-pressure loadswhich boosts its power, so it does have something to offer besides safety. Novices should consider it for its mixture of price and safetywhile more experienced shooters can appreciate the increased power.
The Sidewinder is the revolver for shooters that want to keep their gun as small and light as possible. Some people find the ergonomics awkward due to its tiny dimensions, but most people can get used to it with a little bit of practice. Unlike most revolvers of similar size, the Sidewinder has a cylinder that swings out from the frame. The SP is a contender for the best snub nose revolver for people who want easy maintenance.
The gun is made of stainless steel and polymer, which resists most damage easily. Assembling and disassembling the gun is possible without any special tools, which is an asset for casual shooters who need to do maintenance. That makes this gun a top choice for new or intermediate shooters who value simplicity and comfort. The Cobra is a tiny double-action revolver. It is a very comfortable gun, both due to a grooved rubber grip and an unusually large trigger guard.
Those features make the gun easy to draw and fire under poor conditions, which is an asset for a defensive gun.
The trigger pull is slightly longer than normal, but most people will get used to it with a little bit of practice. This is a good choice for new or experienced shooters who want comfort without sacrificing any effectiveness. The Bodyguard Crimson Trace was designed specifically for personal defense. It features an integrated laser with ambidextrous controls for easy aiming under pressureand users can adjust that laser without disassembling the gun.
The cylinder release is also ambidextrous. The upper frame consists of a single piece, which helps to keep the gun light and durable. These features make it a good option for concealed carry, especially for left-handed shooters. The LCR is a balanced revolver that can work well in most situations. It uses a unique friction reduction system to make sure that the trigger pulls smoothly, and an unusual fire control housing to cut down on recoil. Try this model if you want a light, general-purpose weapon that is suitable for both new and experienced shooters.
The Rhino is the best snub nose revolver for competition shooters. Unlike most revolvers, the Rhino aligns the barrel and the bottom firing chamber. That gives it an unusual appearance, but it also minimizes recoil and muzzle flip for improved accuracy. The price of the gun does mean that most novices will want to look for alternatives, but it can certainly be worth the price to a consummate shooter. The Bulldog is the best snub nose revolver in terms of sheer value. The grip is thoroughly textured and includes finger grooves, so even a nervous shooter can keep their hands in the right place.
Consider this if you need something cheap for occasional use, but consider splurging if you expect to use your gun more often. Also, if interested in revolvers you can check our best 44 Magnum revolvers list. The Public Defender is the best snub nose revolver for most users because of its power and versatility.I was in law enforcement for some 38 years, so I have some pretty set ideas on what qualifies as a backup gun. These guns have to be sturdy, reliable, easy to use and quick to get into action, plus they must pack enough power to get the job done.
The one type of handgun that consistently met my expectations was the small-frame, double-action DA revolver.
They are very sturdy and simple—little can go wrong when you need them to work in the worst way. Finally, most of these revolvers chamber the.
When it comes to small, lightweight, easy-to-conceal snub-nose revolvers, the market has several options. The standard Undercover weighs 16 ounces and is a traditional double-action, snub-nose revolver chambered for. Charter also makes lighter revolvers, some with concealed hammers and various other options like finishes and laser grips.
This state-of-the-art revolver certainly meets my criteria for backup duty, and Ruger offers 10 different versions, including the LCRx, which has an exposed hammer. A year later, it was offered as an aluminum-frame Airweight version, and today there are some 39 different variations. With this variety I will select what I think are the three of the best for backup uses. Boasting at least 15 models that meet my backup gun specifications, Taurus is one of the best small-frame revolver manufacturers out there.
While I never actually carried one while serving in law enforcement, I have tested a number of them over the years and would have no qualms about putting one in my pocket or on my ankle. Here are three that are worthy of your consideration.
Sign up for our newsletter Sign Up. Up Next. Mission First Introduces Athlon Outdoors Network. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.This means that the hardest part of carrying a concealed defensive handgun is deciding on the one that will work best for you. Gun store shelves are full of used handguns that ended up as trade-ins for other types or styles that the owners felt worked better for them. The snubnosed revolver has a lot to offer, and its positive attributes can often be overlooked these days when semi-automatics are so popular.
The snubnosed revolver is the oldest surviving concealed carry handgun ever designed. I contacted Charter Arms and Sturm, Ruger for some extra examples of American-made snubbies to supplement my to give you an idea of the different types of five-shot snubs that are available.
There truly is something here for everyone. Charter Arms manufactures an extensive line of defensive revolvers, cataloging 57 variants. Their revolvers are innovative, sturdy and reliable. I requested a sample of what I consider their penultimate model, the Standard Blue. If you select a five-round firearm, it might as well chamber big rounds.
The vaunted. Considering the. Construction is stainless-steel-finished in matte blue. The sights are fixed, the rear sight is a groove in the topstrap and the hammer is exposed. Charter equips their revolvers with recoil-absorbing rubber grips. I carried an original Bulldog. It took a lot of concentration to shoot it with precision, but I loved the caliber and figured the big hole in the end of the barrel would have a strong deterrent effect when viewed from the unfriendly end.
The Remora can also be shoved in a pants or coat pocket without any modification or adjustment. It is an excellent defensive choice. I am happy to report that the trigger pull on the current. The pull weight is still around 12 pounds, but is smooth throughout. I took the Bulldog to the range with two different loads along with Tuff Products QuickStrips for speed-reloading of the five-shot cylinder.
QuickStrips compactly hold five rounds in a row and allow for loading one or two rounds at a time. The two. For a more sedate yet still effective self-defense load, I also tested the grain lead flat-point Winchester Cowboy Load.
It is rated at feet per second and foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. The Charter Bulldog performed flawlessly with both loads, loading and ejecting smoothly. Both rounds were more than accurate enough for any reasonable purpose. Recoil with Blazer ammo was significant but not punishing. The Cowboy loads were pleasant to shoot, and easier to control in rapid fire. Big, slow-moving soft lead loads have been effective threat stoppers ever since the days of the Old West and will work just as well today.
They are also a very good choice if you live in a locale where hollow-point bullets are banned.Last week, I shot my first Taurus Judge. I had some preconceived notions, most of which were incorrect. It scattered birdshot all over a B27 at 15 yards, but patterned the same load plenty good enough for snakes at 10 feet. Everybody loved the grip except me and I thought it needed to be firmer. I could feel the gun squirm around in the grips when I fired it.
Recoil with the souped-up loads was noticeable but not disconcerting. The fiber optic sight was easy to pick up for quick shots but disconcerting for precise shooting… the fiber optic rod is half obscured when using a normal sight picture. Otherwise it shot a tad high. It had been fired exactly once by the original owner and it has an even better trigger than the blue one I test-drove. The first thing I did was check the grip screw, which took a turn and a half to snug up.
The WW 6 yielded snake shredding patterns at 12 feet. It leaded up with only two cylinders of them and this probably affected accuracy with the RNFP load. It did keep them all on a B27 at that… even the sideways ones. It was definitely adequate for close encounters. A trip around the gun with the micrometers told why. In addition to a long jump to the rifling, the cylinder throats measure 0. Anybody with walking-around sense knows that if you want a revolver to shoot well, especially with lead, the bullet has to fit the cylinder throats.
To cut down the distance the bullet had to jump, I loaded these out to 1. You have to admit that loaded at this length, the 45 Colt has a certain 19th century Adriatic charm about it. But they dropped right into the Public Defender and that what I was after.
When you load a cartridge WAY out like that you increase the working space and chamber pressure drops. My standard-pressure 45 Colt loads clocked fps from this gun, which was no shocker considering its short barrel and cavernous chambers. It WAS fun to shoot, though. The last three rounds of that load were fired fast DA, at the head of a B27, after walking away from it 7 paces and turning around.By Syd.
The snubnose revolver is a close-quarters self-defense handgun. The design was a response to the need for a compact repeating handgun which could be presented rapidly and concealed easily.
The first compact revolvers were not the double action hand ejector revolvers we think of as snubnoses today. With the development of hand ejector, the modern double-action snubnose footprint was pretty much established, leaving only the final touch, the sawed-off barrel to Colt. ByColt had produced its six-shot Detective Special based on their. Its entirely possible that the very first snubnose may have been a home-brew full sized revolver with its barrel sawed off.
Well never know for sure. It was much more compact than previous renditions of the snubnose, and it has become the archetype for compact revolvers. It remains in service and production to this day.
The Model 10 snubnose is no longer in production either. These were large and powerful single action revolvers chambered in. These guns had long barrels and full grips.
With six and eight inch barrels, they produced respectable muzzle velocity and superb accuracy. So what would be the rationale for sawing off the barrel and grips, and thereby reducing the sight radius, muzzle velocity and general controllability of a handgun?
We always talk about the conceal-ability of the snubnose how easy it is to carry and conceal in a pocket or purse, and this is true, but there is another reason for building a short barreled revolver, and that is speed. If you have ever actually strapped on a Colt Single Action Army six-shooter, drawn that gun and fired it, you will understand that this operation is not all that easy to do quickly.
These guns are heavy and the long barrels have to be hoisted high to clear the leather. For the rest of us mere mortals, drawing a full sized revolver and getting its sights on target is a slow affair.
Try it for yourself if you have the equipment: draw a 6 barreled revolver from a holster, and then put a snubnose in the same holster, and see how much faster and easier you clear the leather with the snubby. What exactly is a belly gun? It is just what the word implies?Let us show you the best.
Before we get to the list, we will discuss some important features of the. This allows the. However, the main draw of the. Each of our. Consider the overall comfort of any. Great revolvers will always have great features. These include additions to the barrel to improve accuracy or noise suppression, sights, extended barrels, safety engagements, and so on. The more features you have, the more you can tailor your revolver to your personal needs and usage habits. All of the. You have to purchase a revolver that is made to last and which is built of a metal that can deliver consistent performance after repeated use.
What Recent Buyers Report Those who've used this. The handgrip is incredibly comfortable and each trigger pull is smooth and consistent. Why it Stands Out to Us This weapon stands out for its versatility. Being able to swap out different barrel lengths or purchase a revolver with different barrels means you can use it for different purposes.
Longer barrels will be better for target shooting and for hitting targets at a distance, while a shorter barrel will make the revolver easier to handle and be better for self-defense. It features an excellent design and a durable stainless steel frame that is sure to last for a long time to come.
Bottom Line This versatile. You can pick up a few extra barrels if you have a gunsmith that will make modifications at a bargain price. While most. Why it Stands Out to Us This caught our attention as the premier snub-nosed variety of. The short barrel length may not help with range, but it does make drawing this revolver extremely easy and fast. We also really like the nitride finish that gives the revolver an old-fashioned look and will guard it against damage over time.
Who Will Use This Most Those interested in a top-tier, self-defense weapon should check this revolver out. Keep in mind that it only holds five rounds as opposed to the standard six, so you may need to reload more frequently than you are used to. Bottom Line This is a phenomenal self-defense. What Recent Buyers Report The recent users of this.
Why it Stands Out to Us As. Who Will Use This Most Those in search of an excellent defensive sidearm will find a lot to like with this. It's very easy using handle thanks to its light weight and the silver finish makes it distinctive. When holstered on your hip, it's sure to deter any would-be assailants once they see what you're armed with.
Despite the small size, it can pack quite a punch.
Bottom Line This defensive. Just make sure the model you receive after purchasing has a firing pin that can put in the work necessary to ensure success. Users of this Chiappa Regulator seemed impressed with the aesthetics of the revolver. The gun shot very accurately and all the components worked flawlessly. Plus the price was also an appreciable factor.