Best Women's Self Defense Products – When I write about the best handguns for home defense, many readers complain about the lack of handguns. But this list was meant to be a list of semi-automatic pistols, not all guns.
To correct that mistake, here is a list of the best self defense pistols, both for home defense and concealed carry applications.
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In a market dominated by automatic pistols, revolvers remain a popular choice for personal defense for several reasons. They are accurate, reliable and very easy to use.
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Revolvers are also very accurate firearms, allowing new shooters to quickly learn and use them correctly with minimal instruction.
Pulling the trigger on a double action revolver is something you need to experience to understand. Although they are generally heavier than most semi-auto revolvers, on a high quality example they are smooth and you can feel the action as you spin the barrel.
The extra pull is good for defense as it helps prevent accidental discharge (although it’s still important to use proper firing discipline).
In a hammer double action revolver, you can alternate between a double action and a single action trigger pull. In most home defense battles, you’ll just want to use a double-action press, but in rare situations where you have to shoot for a long time, you might want to use a shotgun.
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For personal defense, accuracy and reliability are important. Thanks to the fixed barrel, the revolver is very accurate. Revolvers are also known for their legendary reliability and do not have many of the failures of semi-automatic revolvers, such as feed and ejection failures.
Revolvers are easy to handle. This is not to say that semi-automatic rifles are difficult to use, but a novice who has never handled a gun can quickly learn how a double-action revolver works.
Choosing the right caliber for your defensive revolver is very important. Too weak and you may not be able to effectively stop threats, too strong and you may not be able to properly control the revolver and shoot accurately.
I recommend the .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolver because of its ammo versatility. You can fire .38 and .357 Magnum Special cartridges in a revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum .357 Magnum cartridge, but .357 Magnum cartridges cannot be fired in a revolver chambered for the .38 Special cartridge.
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This allows you to use the .38 Special for target shooting, then load .357 High Capacity Hollow ammo for protection, or even .38 Spl ammo in the Heavy Frame Rifle for slow recoil.
You’ve probably used a lot of 9mm Lugers in the past, so a revolver in the same caliber may be the deciding factor.
Also, there are revolvers chambered in .327 Federal Magnum, which allow you to pack another round in a gun of the same size (due to the diameter of the cartridge), and provide the same ballistics.
This is definitely not recommended, but you can keep a revolver in a bedside safe for decades, pull it out and shoot it without cleaning it, and it will work just fine.
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One of the most popular home defense revolvers is the Smith & Wesson 686 Plus. The L-frame size provides plenty of recoil assistance, making the revolver incredibly slow and accurate.
The model with a 4.125″ barrel weighs 39 oz. It’s the perfect size for home defense and offers good balance and ballistics.
The S&W 686 Plus can be purchased with a rubber grip for improved utility, or to mimic the wooden grip of a classic revolver.
Double-action revolvers have adjustable rear sights and red rear ramps – a standard setup for defensive revolvers. The adjustable rear allows you to adjust the gun between .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges according to your preferred loading.
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The 686 Plus holds 7 rounds of .38 Special or .357 Magnum ammunition, but Smith & Wesson also makes a standard 686 that holds 6 rounds.
Again, the 686 is made of stainless steel, but Smith & Wesson also makes other versions of the 586, which is the only blue in the same revolver.
For an all-around revolver, many shooters turn to the Ruger GP100. The GP100 is similar in size to the S&W L frame, but remains smaller due to the tang-style housing.
However, due to the casting process (unlike the forged metal on the S&W), it is rough in some areas. That’s why I chose the 6-inch version of the GP100. I think it’s better balanced and you get the ballistic advantage of a longer barrel.
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The Ruger GP100 features a green fiber optic front sight for quick and easy aiming.
The Ruger is available in stainless steel or blued and can feature standard rubber or wood grips.
In addition, due to the design of the handle, the grip is completely folded, and the belt is not exposed, thus reducing the recoil of the shooter’s hand.
I think the Colt Python is a great revolver, perfect for personal defense – if you can afford the high price tag.
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However, I believe the Colt King Cobra can provide similar performance on a general purpose platform. It also works well for home defense and concealed carry. You get six rounds of .38 Special/.357 Magnum ammo in a small package.
I prefer the 3″ model as it is easier to carry but offers stronger ballistics when loaded with .357 Magnum ammo. The Colt King Cobra can be effective in home defense and concealed carry roles.
This stainless steel revolver gives you a sleek, no-nonsense look and uses a brass bead on the back. Colt really delivered when they brought back this classic wheeled gun.
Bottom line, the Taurus Tracker is excellent value. An adjustable rear sight, port barrel, and cushioned ribbon rubber grip are standard on the Tracker.
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Available in matte blue or stainless steel with a 4 or 6.5 inch barrel, there’s a Tracker to suit you. Both models hold seven rounds of .357 Magnum or .38 Special ammunition.
At 35 ounces for the 4-inch version and 40 ounces for the 6.5-inch version, the Taurus 627 has very little recoil and is easy to fire up quickly.
Small handguns are a great option for concealed carry because they fit easily in a pocket or tucked into a waistband.
They are also more reliable with a wider range of bullets than most micro semis.
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The Smith & Wesson J-Frame pistol has been used as a backup and concealed carry gun for decades, and for good reason.
One of my favorite J-frames is the S&W 638. The 638 is often called the “hump” and has a covered hammer. This allows the selection of double action and single action, but the hammer is not caught in the clothes during the pull.
Chambered in .38 Special +P, the 638 packs five rounds into a very compact package. The Model 638 is very light, with an aluminum alloy frame and stainless steel barrel and cylinder.
The Taurus 905 chambered in 9mm is an excellent concealed carry pistol for anyone with a stash of 9mm Luger ammo.
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The all-steel revolver holds five 9mm Luger rounds and weighs 21 ounces. For a revolver of this size, the extra weight helps dampen recoil.
Due to the frameless design of the 9mm cartridge, the 905 uses a moon-shaped magazine for loading. Moon clips make loading and unloading quick and easy.
Additionally, the Taurus 905 comes with a two-inch barrel, perfect for concealment, and is available in blued or stainless steel.
This 5 round .38 Special revolver is very light at only 12 oz. This is made possible with a 7075 aluminum frame and two-inch barrel.
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Additionally, the revolver comes with a rubberized, hand-reinforced grip that can be firmly gripped to aid in control. The narrow, narrow view reduces the chance of obstruction while providing good visibility for close defensive encounters.
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Ruger’s LCRx is one of the newest entrants to the concealed carry revolver market. There are several different types, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .327 Federal Magnum—with and without exposed hammers—with the LCRx chambered in .327 Fed Mag being the most notable.
The six-round LCRx is a .327 Fed. mag. It squeezes more rounds out of a similarly sized revolver and offers ballistics similar to the .357 Magnum.
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The LCRx consists of a one-piece metal frame attached to polymer handles and replacement handles. This makes the revolver light enough to be carried with a strong stability.
The Ruger LCRx comes standard with the Hogue Tamer Monogrip, a rubber grip that absorbs recoil and provides a comfortable grip.