Cover Photo Credit Makthorpe / CC BY-SA

9mm revolvers are probably the most widespread firearms on the planet. They’re used by law enforcement, armies around the world, and private individuals looking for protection. Let’s discuss some of the top options out there and what you need to do to find the best 9mm revolver for your needs. 

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What to Look for in a 9mm Revolver

To find the 9mm revolver that perfectly suits you, you need to take multiple things into consideration. It’s not just about going to the local pawnshop and asking around. Neither is it about going to the official firearms distributor. Sure, they may help you, but they don’t know what you are looking for. If you don’t know what you’re looking for either, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve spent years trying to find that perfect revolver. After years of searching, not only have I found my perfect match, but I am now prepared to help you do the same.

Know What You’re Looking for

Although revolvers, especially 9mm, aren’t really pocket-tearing cannons, they aren’t packs of gums either. 9mm revolvers are perfect if you want to practice concealed carry (EDC – everyday carry). Some may perfectly fit your pocket; others will require a holster.

9mm revolvers pack a punch. After all, the standard-issue police weapons are often 9mm in caliber. Be that as it may, a 9mm revolver won’t stop a bear in its tracks. If you want to protect yourself from big game and criminals, you’re much better off getting a bigger-caliber rifle.

Revolvers also have a limited capacity. In some rare cases, you’ll find it that they can fit up to 10 rounds in one go. However, most of them are 5, 6, or 7. So, if you’re looking at high-capacity firearms, you’re best off looking elsewhere.

Price

Of course, no one can ignore the importance of this factor. For some, the price tag won’t matter too much. You can skip this part if that’s the case. However, if you’re like most people who are looking to protect themselves, their families, and their homes, the price is going to be an important factor.

As a rule of thumb, quality, performance, and durability are much more important factors than the price. After all, any revolver is a deadly weapon – you don’t want to run the risk of misfiring. Give a little more to receive a little more.

Quality Build

This is often affected by the price, but there are pricey models that have poor builds too. The best 9mm revolver will be built of quality materials, such as steel, aluminum, or polymer. A firearm needs to be able to take quite a bit of abuse.

Reliability

The fact that a weapon is constructed of the best materials on the planet won’t mean anything if a revolver jams on you when it’s supposed to fire. Remember, we may be talking about life-and-death situations here. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do here than to listen to what the other users have to say.

Accuracy

Accuracy is an important factor in firearms. Yes, this is true, but with pistols and revolvers, you can’t expect rifle- or carbine-grade accuracy. The range is lower, the barrel is shorter, and you won’t have any aiming paraphernalia, unless your role model is the mid-90s Danny Glover.

Expect effective accuracy at up to 25 yards. Within that range, feel free to compare different revolvers and their accuracy. Any accuracy statistics that are further away won’t tell you too much about the revolver.

Size

Want to keep a gun inside your home to ward off burglars and intruders? Then the size doesn’t really matter. You’ll keep it somewhere hidden, anyway.

But if you plan on carrying the revolver on you, you need to consider its size. You’re probably planning on using it as a concealed carry. It’s nobody’s business what you’re carrying, as long as what you’re doing is legal.

In most states, you’re going to need a concealed carry license to carry a hidden firearm. (People may not have any warning if it’s concealed.) But if a revolver is too large, it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb. When picking the best 9mm revolver for you, you may want to consider its size.

Weight

Usually, the bigger a weapon is, the heavier it will be. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. You need to consider how heavy a weapon is and your own size. If you’re 5’3” and weigh barely 140 lbs, a heavy gun will be hard to wield, conceal, and operate.

Remember, for personal protection, you’re not looking for firepower but safety. That said, some people are looking for firepower, so think about what you need.

Best 9mm Revolvers

I wish I had a list like the one below when I was looking for that perfect 9mm revolver. Yes, I know it’s hard and incredibly frustrating for a beginner. But the good news is, you’ll learn a lot about firearms along the way. You’ll also learn a lot about protecting yourself and shooting.

This is why I’ve selected five of my favorite-ever 9mm revolvers as outlined below.

Ruger SP-101®

This one is widely used by concealed carriers. It isn’t small, but it’s compact. It does pack a punch, though, as it delivers a solid amount of firing power. This is why people prefer this gun when it comes to safety.


Ruger SP101 9mm Luger 2.25in Stainless Revolver - 5 Rounds>>Sportsman’s Warehouse (Buy Here)<<

>>Guns.com (Buy Here)<<

We can thank the grip for the accuracy of the SP-101®. It allows tight handling and makes sure that you’re always shooting straight ahead. The grip is amazing, such that rain or sweaty palms shouldn’t affect your precision too much.

The Ruger SP-101® is very durable and resilient. Shooting it hundreds of times will not break or jam it and neither will dropping it. Don’t expect to have this weapon serviced many times.

And you can bet that this revolver will deliver accurate shots from 25 yards out. In fact, it may even do a good job at 30 yards. You can’t expect much more from a weapon of this type.

If it’s good for concealed carry, it’s good for target practice too. You need training if you’re going to be a concealed carrier. Looking for a gun? The SP-101® is a gun. A good gun. A solid gun. A reliable gun. A revolver.

Pros

  • Great for concealed carry
  • Quite the stopping power for its size
  • Accurate
  • Great grip
  • Incredibly durable

Cons

  • Only 5 rounds

Taurus 905

The 905 is small but it’s heavier than you’d think. This is because it has a steel frame that matches the steel barrel and cylinder. Don’t worry, though, as this gun isn’t incredibly heavy. The steel frame also means extended durability, so the 905 can take quite a beating.

Taurus 905 Series Revolver>>Sportsman’s Warehouse (Buy Here)<<

>>Palmetto State Armory (Buy Here)<<

When you first look at it, you’ll probably find it cute, adorable even. Then, you’ll pick it up and realize that it has quite some mass. Finally, you’ll shoot at the target and realize that there’s a lot of firepower behind this snubbie (a snub-nosed revolver or a gun with a 3” or shorter barrel). Seriously, it will surprise you.

If you have average to small hands, the Taurus 905 will fit you like a glove. If your hands are on the bigger side, it may be a tiny bit uncomfortable.

It’s small enough so that you can conceal it inside a matching OWB (outside the waistband) holster. When stored in an IWB (inside the waistband) holster, it is borderline impossible to detect.

Don’t worry about the accuracy, either. Taurus 905 is accurate for a 2” barrel handgun. Don’t expect it to be accurate at 30 yards, though.

Pros

  • Another concealed carry favorite
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Excellent grip for average and small hands
  • Accurate

Cons

  • May be uncomfortable for large hands
  • Only 5 rounds

Smith & Wesson Performance Center Pro Series

Seven-round revolvers are in the upper echelon of 9mm revolvers, and that’s where you’ll find the Performance Center Pro Series.

Smith & Wesson Performance Center Pro Series Model 986 9mm Luger 5in Stainless Revolver - 7 Rounds>>Sportsman’s Warehouse (Buy Here)<<

Whether you’re a gun enthusiast, a professional, or someone who knows nothing about firearms of any kind, you’ve probably heard of Smith & Wesson. As you’d probably thought, you can expect tons of quality from this gunmaker.

All S&W weapons are very durable. With the Performance Center Pro Series, you get a quality titanium build and a 5” barrel length. This is not a snub-nosed revolver. It’s a hefty, serious 9mm.

Sure, there are both matching OWB and IWB holsters for this S&W gun, but it’s not going to be easy to conceal. As a rule of thumb, people prefer keeping this beast at home or taking it to the range.

Now, let’s talk about range and accuracy. The Performance Center Pro Series gives the shooter precision control up to 30 yards. This is emphasized by the 5” barrel – it will give you an accuracy boost.

If you’re looking for a quality revolver from a world-renowned gun manufacturer, this S&W may be it. If you’re looking for a concealed carry, this gun might be a bit too much.

Pros

  • Titanium build
  • Accurate
  • Great range
  • Excellent grip
  • Brilliant for home defense and target practice

Cons

  • Not great for concealed carry

Charter Arms Pitbull 9mm Luger

Moon cartridges are great for people who want to use revolvers as semi-automatic weapons. However, moon cartridges often break or snap, which can cause complications. With the Pitbull, you don’t need to use moon clips. It has an extractor that has been specifically designed to replace moon clips. This is what makes this gun truly unique.

Charter Arms Pitbull 9mm Luger 2.2in Stainless Revolver - 5 Rounds - California Compliant>>Sportsman’s Warehouse (Buy Here)<<

>>Guns.com (Buy Here)<<

Although widely used as an EDC weapon, this weapon has been singled out by police officers. Apparently, it’s one of the best and most effective backup weapons. It also comes in a darker color, making it perfect for use as a backup weapon for police and security officers. Its compactness and light weight play a huge role here.

Although it’s quite small, the Pitbull 9mm Luger still features an ergonomic grip that’s very comfortable, even for people with large hands.

The gun is accurate and features minimal recoil. This, accompanied by the unique semi-auto extractor, is why many officers choose this weapon as a backup.

This little beast will work with any 9mm ammo, which further emphasizes its capabilities as a backup weapon. If you find yourself in a tricky situation, this bad boy won’t let you down.

Pros

  • Excellent as a backup weapon
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Comfortable
  • Minimal recoil

Cons

  • Not very durable grip

Charter Arms Pitbull Revolver

You may not know a lot about it, but the Charter Arms Pitbull Revolver is very famous in the world of firearms. It’s managed to achieve that which no other gun has done before. With its fully functional rimless cartridge that doesn’t require any loading devices. This is a significantly better alternative to moon clips, plus it’s very durable.

Charter Arms Pitbull Revolver>>Sportsman’s Warehouse (Buy Here)<<

>>Guns.com (Buy Here)<<

This gun is compact and serves as an excellent backup gun. Like the Luger version of the same revolver, the Charter Arms Pitbull Revolver is widely used in law enforcement.

It can support up to six rounds, but as a semi-automatic, it works great in situations that require quick reactions.

The only bigger downside here is that it has quite a kick. For such a small weapon, you wouldn’t expect too much recoil. If it could kick a bit less, that would be amazing. Still, the Charter Arms Pitbull Revolver is an amazing weapon in its own right, whether as an EDC or as a backup.

Pros

  • Very compact
  • Great as a backup
  • Semi-automatic
  • Revolutionary

Cons

  • A bit excessive recoil

Conclusion 

Although each gun on this list of 9mm revolvers is a great weapon in its own right, the Charter Arms Pitbull 9mm Luger is probably the best-rounded. Unlike the Smith & Wesson, it is easy to conceal with either an IWB or an OWB holster. It has less recoil than the Revolver version of the Pitbull and more firepower than both the Taurus and the Ruger.

I’m therefore calling the Charter Arms Pitbull 9mm Luger the best 9mm revolver. It’s reliable, accurate, durable, compact, lightweight, and not too expensive. It’s a perfect weapon for civilians and people who want to defend themself and their family and home.

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