The Best J Frame Revolvers Review (2022)

Best J Frame Revolvers FI

Getting the best J-Frame Revolver doesn’t have to be challenging, as long as you have a good idea of what you want. The J-Frame Revolvers come in different calibers to suit various applications. So, whether you’re getting a pistol for target shooting, concealed carry, or home defense, you’ll enjoy the overall performance of J-Frame Revolvers.

To make your search a little easier, we will be discussing several qualities to look out for in a good J Frame Revolver as well as a list of the best J Frame Revolvers you can find on the market now.

RevolversNameEditor’s CommentRatingGet The Best Deal
M&P 340

Most Recommended Option

1. Low profile night sights
2. Chambered in .357 Magnum
3. Lightweight design

Colt Cobra 2” .38 Special1. Fits .38 special and .38 P+ cartridges
2. Accurate for various ranges
3. Reduces recoil and shock
9.5/10SHOP NOW
Taurus 605 2” .357 Magnum1. DA/SA
2. Lightweight design
3. Excellent grip
8.5/10SHOP NOW
Ruger SP1011. Superior firing power
2. Excellent fiber optic front sight
3. Durable construction
8.0/10Currently unavailable
Smith & Wesson Model 601. Super durable construction
2. Easy to load
3. Reduces recoil
8.0/10Currently unavailable
Smith & Wesson 43C1. Super durable construction
2. Easy to load
3. Light and smooth trigger pull
7.5/10Currently unavailable
S&W Model 361. Slim grip with wooden handles
2. Easy to draw
3. Lightweight design
7.5/10Currently unavailable
S&W Model 6381. Better concealability
2. Lightweight and durable material
3. Hammerless construction
7.0/10Currently unavailable

Important Buying Considerations for A Good J-Frame Pistol

Like other revolvers,  we scout the internet and come up with the top five J-Frame revolvers for you, we made sure to shortlist them based on the characteristics and features below:

High-Quality Materials

Every J Frame revolver on our list is made from high-quality materials, such as stainless steel, rubber, and even durable polymer. It is important for you to get something made from high-quality material as you’d want them to last you a long time. However, just because they’re made from high-quality materials does not mean you should forget about regular care and maintenance for your gun. 

Size and Measurements

The size and measurements of a revolver are important depending on your personal preferences and needs, especially if you’re looking for concealed carry revolvers. Not all are the same size, some are smaller while the rest may be bigger. 


For budget shoppers, the price of the revolver may be an important feature to consider. However, just because you want to save money, it doesn’t mean that you should settle for a cheap model with low quality. You should always aim to get the best quality J Frame Revolver that you can afford, even if it means forking out a little bit more than your set budget. 

Review of the Best J-Frame Revolvers

Below are the top best J Frame revolvers that we have shortlisted from the market for you. As you go through the list, remember to take note of the features and characteristics of each gun to give you an idea of your ideal firearm. 

1. Colt Cobra 2” .38 Special – The Best J Frame Revolver Overall


The Colt Cobra J Frame revolver is able to take on the .38 Special and .38 Special P+ calibers and is made from high quality steel. Thanks to the rubberized grip, the revolver even works to reduce a great deal of recoil and shock to make it a comfortable carry gun. 

The Colt Cobra .38 Special J Frame revolver makes for one of the best excellent concealed carry revolvers. It is lightweight, durable, and accurate with a decent range. This is a reliable J Frame that you can count on to ward off home invaders and hitting bullseyes at target practice. 

Customer Feedback

Many customers were satisfied with the revolver from Colt Cobra. They found that the revolver was easy to load and feels very lightweight even when fully loaded. In terms of performance, they were very happy that the .38 Special revolver was able to help them hit a bullseye from as far as 25 yards out. 


The Colt Cobra .38 Special is the best kind of J Frame revolver for concealed carry purposes. It has proven itself worthy of the top spot and will most likely stay there for a very long time. 


  • Well-made and durable
  • Fits .38 Special cartridges
  • Fits in most holsters without bulging
  • Accurate at some pretty good ranges
  • Excellent for concealed carry purposes
  • Can take on .38 Special P+ calibers
  • Reduced recoil and shock


  • None


2. Taurus 605 2” .357 Magnum – The Runner-Up


The .357 Magnum caliber is a popular choice for its amazing shooting power. Not only will soft targets sustain a great deal of damage upon impact, but this is also a very intimidating revolver caliber as it delivers a great deal of damage to soft targets upon impact. 

With the Taurus 605 2” .357 Magnum in your hand, a home invader or prowler would want to be on the wrong end of the side in self-defense situations. So, if you need a double-action / single-action revolver with a 2-inch barrel, then this will be the one for you. 

With a decent trigger pull, the Taurus 605 firearm makes for a very powerful concealed carry revolver that will do some serious damage. If you need something reliable, concealable, and powerful, then this J Frame revolver might just be what you’re looking for. 

Customer Feedback

Recent customers are very happy with their J Frames in general. Although they’re small, they do pack enough punch to cause some impressive damage. Some even noted that the recoil and shock were surprisingly bearable considering the revolver holds a .357 Magnum cartridge. 


The Taurus 605 J-Frame revolver is one of the best-concealed carry revolvers on the market with amazing firepower and concealability. This makes it a dangerous combination for a revolver, making it a reliable firearm to keep you and your property safe. 


  • Double action / single action revolver
  • Light weight even when fully loaded
  • Really powerful
  • Great for concealed carry and target shooting
  • Excellent grip for great control


  • Some might need some adjustments
  • Sights may be a little too big for some
  • The cylinder may be a little difficult to pull out at first


3. Ruger SP101 – The Best for the Money

The Ruger SP101 revolver is made from stainless steel with a 4.2-inch barrel length. It also comes with a cylinder to hold 8 rounds of ammo and swings up with just a push of a button. The thick rubber grip not only gives a comfortable grip, but it gives the revolver a modern look and feel.

With the option to fire in either double-action or single-action, this is a great J Frame revolver that provides shooters with the flexibility and freedom to switch between the two depending on the situation. 

The J Frame Revolver from Ruger is proof that you can still get high quality and a well-performing firearm without busting your wallet. Not only is it affordable, but this is a deadly revolver that you can use to your advantage in a home defense situation. 

Other than that, you can even use it to help you get rid of varmint and critters in your garden. This revolver will definitely be something you can rely on to knock them down. The SP101 is a powerful and accurate revolver to suit any application be it at home or outdoors. 

Customer Feedback

Many were very impressed with the revolver, especially since it works amazingly in so many applications while still being super affordable. Since it’s a little bit too large for concealed carry, one said he keeps the J Frame in his home to keep him and his family safe in case of any emergencies. 


The Ruger SP101 revolver is probably the best affordable option you can get your hands on if you need a gun that offers good dependability, quality, and performance. 


  • Superior firing power
  • Fiber optic front sight
  • Easy to grip and keep stable
  • Easy to conceal in most holsters
  • Durable construction that doesn’t scuff easily
  • Excellent for home defense, varmint hunting, and target shooting


  • Trigger pull may be a little stiff
  • May be difficult to load at times
  • Might be heavy for some

4. Smith & Wesson Model 60 – The Best S&W J-Frame Revolver

Those who practice concealed carry may find that the S&W Model 60 revolver to be the best choice for them. The revolver is well known for its reliability making this a good choice if you don’t like the idea of using a revolver that keeps jamming. 

Smith & Wesson is known for producing some of the most reliable revolvers and firearms on the market. This means that you can trust that this J Frame revolver is definitely worth the investment. 

Those starting out with a concealed carry will enjoy this J Frame Revolver from S&W considering this is one of the easiest to use. For shooters who intend to EDC carry and want to stay prepared for any possible dangerous situation, then this revolver may just be the one you need for starters. 

Customer Feedback

Most customers were already a fan of the Smith & Wesson brand, but the S&W Model 60 further strengthened their love for the company as they had a lot to be happy about with this revolver. The J Frames from S&W helped them go the distance with larger targets, even accurately hitting targets from about 50 yards out. Not only were they impressed with its accuracy, but they found the revolver to be very reliable as it didn’t even jam once after going through 100 rounds. 


The bottom line is that the S&W Model 60 is a reliable and accurate concealed carry revolver. Those new to the industry will prefer this carry gun to any other choice on the market. 


  • Super durable construction
  • Easy to load
  • Reduced recoil
  • Accurate and precise shooting at various distances


  • None

5. Smith & Wesson 43C – The Best J-Frame 22 Revolver

The S&W 43C revolver is made from stainless steel and it stands out from the rest as far as quality goes. The sturdy build means that this firearm can take on a load of bumps, bruises, and even multiple amounts of gunfire. Not only can you load the cylinder with ease and fire off as many rounds as possible quickly, but it is also an easy-to-shoot revolver that won’t give you any reliability issues. 

This revolver from S&W is the perfect fit for those who place a large emphasis on reliability. Since it’s such a big company, S&W can be counted on to deliver on its promise of malfunction-free reliability. You’ll be happy to find this S&W J Frame revolver blasting through 100 rounds without a single jamming incident. 

Customer Feedback

Many concealed carry users looking for a reliable revolver were very happy with the quality and ability to fire accurate shots of the S&W 43C. The carry gun was also super easy to handle and comfortable thanks to its good ergonomics design. 


The bottom line is that the S&W J Frame gun is just one of the many revolvers that shooters trust most. Not only is its size good for concealability, but the model is also great for target shooting and self defense purposes. 


  • Easy to load
  • Durable construction
  • Light and smooth trigger pull
  • Accurate and precise shots at close range


  • None

6. S&W Model 36 – The Best Classic J-Frame Revolver

The Model 36 is a classic revolver that features a 1.8-inch barrel J-Frame, but with a slimmer grip and wooden handles. With a low profile sight, this revolver is easy to draw with an unloaded weight of 19.5 ounces, making it much lighter than many other stainless steel variants. 

This is also one of the most popular revolvers for concealed carry purposes. This light weight model simply won’t let you down. These small revolvers were designed to deliver full power rounds and are as simple and easy-to-use as they are reliable. Available in various calibers, it comes as no surprise that the Model 36 has become one of the most popular, small-frame, defense revolvers on the market. 


  • Slim grip and wooden handles
  • Easy to draw the revolver 
  • Lightweight option compared to other stainless steel J Frames
  • Classic design


  • None

7. S&W Model 638

If you’re looking for the perfect choice for concealed carry, then the Model 638 would make for one of the best handguns for you. The design of the firearm has been optimized for better concealability. 

While several concealed carry guns come built with several compromises, the 638 does not. First of all, the 638 is one of the Airweight models that is made with an aluminum alloy body and stainless steel cylinder. Not only are the materials durable, but they are also lightweight. The Unloaded weight stands at a mere 15 ounces, this means that the fun can be easily carried all day. 

The hammer-fires tend to snag on clothes easily during the draw, which is why this gun features a hammerless construction. The 638 has a shrouded hammer and can even be cocked for single-action operation without compromising its concealability or ease of handling. 

Other than that, the synthetic grips on the handgun also do a good job at reducing felt recoil while the low-profile sights make for easy draw. In terms of capacity, the 2-inch snubbie 638 provides 5 rounds of .38 Special +P ammunition, 

With all the refinement one could ever want from a concealed carry revolver, the Model 638 is as close as you can get to a perfect concealed carry gun as you could possibly get. 


  • Optimized design for better concealability and ease of use
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum alloy and stainless steel construction
  • Hammerless construction that can be cocked for single-action operation
  • Reduced recoil right out of the box


  • None

8. M&P 340


Although the M&P340 might not be the absolute best of the revolver line, it does feature every refinement that would make it a great choice for concealed carry applications. The revolver comes with low-profile night sights to ensure a smoother draw and easier shooting in low-light conditions. 

The hammerless double-action trigger provides a longer and harder trigger pulling, but this may not be a matter too much since the pistol is chambered in .357 Magnum cartridges. Since the dimensions are similar to that of a standard J-frame, the M&P340 is considered as a compact magnum. 

Made of Scandium Alloy, the gun is astoundingly light with only 13.8 ounces in weight when unloaded. This means the handgun can be easily carried by anyone. 


  • Low-profile night sights for better shooting in low light conditions
  • Chambered in .357 Magnum
  • Lightweight design


  • Hammerless double-action trigger makes longer and harder trigger pull


The Advantages and Disadvantages of J-Frame Revolvers

Here are a few reasons one might consider getting a J Frame revolver:


A J Frame revolver stands out from the rest in several ways which are discussed below. 

Better Concealability

J Frame revolvers are not only small enough for concealed carry, but the design itself, even makes the likelihood of bulging out almost non-existent. Those with a good eye for design and in search of a carry gun will end up with a J Frame revolver compared to other designs on the market. 

Preferred for EDC Use

Getting well prepared before a dangerous situation arises will put you miles ahead of those who are not prepared for it. Not only will a good revolver like a J Frame revolver, let you carry your firearm, regardless of where you are, but it also performs quite well in self-defense situations at home or wherever danger might be. 

Easy to Use

Most J Frame revolvers have a light trigger pull, making it much easier for shooters to get a shot off quickly. This ease of use is a major plus for those who intend to use their revolver for self-defense purposes. 


With pros, there are certainly cons. And needless to say, there will definitely be a few aspects where a J Frame revolver is not best for. 

Some May be Expensive

If you need a revolver for self-defense purposes, then the J Frame model may be a little bit more expensive than the rest. However, with so many models available on the market, there is surely one that is within your budget. However, when compared to the other revolver types, do expect these to cost a bit more. 

Less Than Ideal Sights

While sights are meant to offer pinpoint accuracy, some models may be a little large or too small, making it much more difficult to focus on the target itself. Although they do work with a little practice, not many will enjoy stock sights and would prefer instead to attach their own favorite sight or optics. 


Finding the perfect J Frame revolver may take some time, but once you find the perfect match, you’ll be able to enjoy your concealed carry revolvers that will not only deliver good firing power but also to stick with you for a very long time. 

Hopefully, today’s article has given you enough information and basic knowledge of getting a J Frame revolver. With enough research and digging, we’re certain you’ll find the right one to meet all your needs and requirements. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is S&W Model 60 J-Frame?

Yes, the S&W model 60 is a J Frame model that we have discussed above. The Model 60 is a great option and makes for one of the best revolvers for concealed carry purposes. 

Why is it called a J Frame? 

The revolver is called a J-Frame because the frame of the revolver is shaped like the letter “J”. This design also makes it much easier to draw and offers a better fit into your favorite holster. 

Should I get a revolver or a semi-auto?

Whether you should get a revolver or a semi-auto depends on what you feel most comfortable with. Revolvers have less capacity and a long double-action pull while semi-automatic guns require more upkeep and can be more complicated to shoot. In any case, both are excellent choices for self and home defense purposes. 

Is it safe to dry fire revolvers?

Yes, it is safe to dry fire most centerfire rifles and handguns once you’ve made certain they are unloaded and facing in a safe direction. However, excessively dry firing a rimfire gun may be a bad idea as they can eventually peen the firing pin, dulling it and resulting in unwanted misfires. 

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