How to Conceal Carry a Revolver?

As someone who carries a revolver 6-8 months out the year, I’ve learned quite a few things on how to conceal carry a revolver. For me, a .38 special S&W snub-nose is my summer carry (which I’ve talked about several times); technically I carry it during nicer weather because it’s easier to conceal carry a revolver. But that’s not the point here.

The point I want to make is that it’s much different than carrying, for example, a Glock 19. If you’re not a shooter who typically carries one, here are some things to keep in mind if you decide you want to add it to your repertoire.

1. Conceal Carry a Revolver: Slow Reloads

I just want to get this one out of the way. It’s beat into the dirt and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t already know this. Compared to an approximate reload time of 2.5 seconds for bottom-fed semi-autos, 4-6 seconds can feel like an eternity.

So, if you’re thinking of choosing a revolver for your CCW, you’re going to have to practice reloading.

USA Carry has a few articles posted about using speed strips, but I personally use speed loaders. I know they’re bulky, but they’re much faster for me. But here’s my plug to remind you all to practice, practice, practice! (Many recommend a cheap way to practice by either drying firing or using spent casings.)

2. Conceal Carry a Revolver: Rounded Frames

Many of you have differing opinions, but I’m always asked by my fellow concealed carriers “Hannah, am I printing?” Revolvers just have a frame that’s easy to conceal.

I’m not saying they print less than a semi-auto, just that the rounded frame leans toward concealment. Longer barrels make for sluggish drawing, but I don’t think any of you are concealed carrying a Peacemaker. Leave me a comment if you do!

3. Conceal Carry a Revolver: Great Back-up

I can harp on the fashion industry that has completely obliterated the presence of pockets in women’s clothing, but that’s for another time.  But for shooters that have deep pockets (pun not intended), a snub-nosed revolver can make a good pocket gun.

Fun fact: our CEO likes to carry a snub-nose occasionally as his pocket gun. I know there is a rise in compact 9mms as pocket guns, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about preference.

The .38 special I carry served once as my step-grandfather’s ankle gun. Also, revolvers can share ammunition with some rifles (which if you’re like me, is handy for going hunting or camping).

4. Conceal Carry a Revolver: Reliability

This stemmed from law enforcement. WAY back, ammunition was, more or less, not as “reliable” as it is now. Modern handguns, ammunition, and magazines have done away with this. However, I don’t know about you, but shooting that questionable .38 S&W Longs you found in the back of your bug-out bunker seems a little less terrifying with a revolver.

I’m not suggesting you should shoot it, I’m just saying to not put it in your rifle.

Now, I don’t advocate for poor gun maintenance, but revolvers, especially one’s with full steel frames can take much more neglect without suffering malfunctions. Again, I don’t recommend it. Also, just a note about safety: Even revolvers should be carried in a holster for the sake of securing the weapon.

With the invention of modern handguns, revolvers are now essentially having to fight for a role in the CC community. From experience, I’ve really enjoyed having a revolver as a self-defense weapon.

What do you think, could revolvers become obsolete, or do you think they possess qualities that will keep them popular?

As a personal note, I really love carrying this handgun. It is truly a pleasure to shoot and fits my hands almost perfectly. I have always had trouble with the feather-weight models because they feel like, unfortunately, toys. There’s just something about shooting a solid pistol that is unlike anything else.

Hannah Staton holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith where she also is a Writing Tutor. She was issued her Concealed Carry License in 2016, but has grown up around firearms her whole life. She is a Contributing Editor and Copy Writer for Clinger Holsters. She is an artist, cigar enthusiast, poet, and an avid shooter. She resides in Van Buren, Arkansas with her dog, Sunday and spends as much of her free time either with her family or making art. You can find her on Instagram @hr.staton or reach her by email:

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9 replies
  1. Paul Wells
    Paul Wells says:

    I purchased a RIA M206 .38spl this summer that I plan to pocket and or appendix carry. I fit it with a set of Hogue grips and it is pretty easy to conceal. I like the option to pick my carry based on what I’m wearing, doing, and or where I’m going. More choices is a good thing!

  2. Brad
    Brad says:

    I carry my vintage S&W model 37 in my front pocket (in holster of course) far more than I carry my SIG P365. The 37 is so lite and so easy to grab from the safe in it’s holster and stick it in my front pocket. I carry a speed loader or speed strip in my other pocket. However, if I am going to a large city or larger area, I am more comfortable taking the Sig as I have over twice the ammo capacity (12 round mag) and always have a spare mag.

  3. cdw2152
    cdw2152 says:

    I have only carried a revolver a few times and it was a Charter Arms .357 Mag Pug. It was uncomfortable to me IWB, so I only carried it OWB. I must say though I have never had any firing issues out of a revolver.

  4. Doug
    Doug says:

    I recently purchased a Taurus m85 for my wife after she had problems racking the slide on the S&W Bodyguard I’d bought her. First wheelgun I’ve ever owned and I love it. So much so that I now have a holster for it so I can carry it occasionally. Now I’m looking at a .357 for myself.

  5. John klopp
    John klopp says:

    I carry a Ruger sp101 in 357 mag. Like you said just something about an all steel snubby!! Love it!

  6. Carlene
    Carlene says:

    I have carried a s&w chiefs 38 special for 6 yrs now. Love it for concealed and shooting. Also have a bursa thunder 380, but don’t like to carry. Just target practice.

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