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Best 9mm Revolvers: Wheel Gun Perfected?


9mm is hands down the most popular pistol cartridge in the world. And for good reason. This is a nearly perfect middle-ground Goldilocks blend of power, recoil, and cost.

While normally assumed that a 9 will be semi-automatic, you aren’t so limited. There are a handful of 9mm revolvers out there, and a few of them are outstanding to shoot.

What are the best? Let’s talk about it.

Why a 9mm Revolver?

9mm revolvers are relatively uncommon, both because 9mm was developed for semi-autos and because you typically want a larger caliber round for a revolver. However, 9mm revolvers do have certain advantages that make them worth considering.

First of all, if you own both a semi-automatic pistol and a revolver, it’s nice to be able to use the same ammo for both guns. To really streamline your ammo, you can go with a 9mm pistol caliber carbine as your go-to rifle too. 

The second advantage is one that exists in 9mm semi-auto pistols as well: 9mm is a slender cartridge, which allows guns that use it to be smaller and more compact than those shooting larger calibers. This makes for a weapon that’s easier to carry and conceal. The irregular shape of a revolver also helps break up obvious printing. 

Finally, revolvers are known to have worse recoil than semi-autos, but 9mm produces less recoil than most revolver rounds, helping to make a revolver’s recoil more manageable.

On the other hand, 9mm Luger is generally going to be less powerful than your standard revolvers in .357 Mag or larger.

9mm revolver cover
There is an entire aftermarket world dedicated to revolvers. The Speed Beez moon clip rack features magnets to hold the clips in place for consistent reloads.

You also have a lower capacity relative to most 9mm semi-autos, with most 9mm revolvers holding five rounds. Occasionally, you’ll find capacities as high as seven rounds.

Best 9mm Revolvers

Taurus 905

Let’s start with one of my favorite revolvers from one of my favorite revolver makers. Taurus makes a huge variety of revolvers with options for basically anything you could possibly want, so it’s hardly shocking that they have a great 9mm, the Taurus 905. 

It’s got a slim, streamlined design and a 2-inch snub nose barrel, which is excellent for concealment. The matte black and matte stainless steel finish options both help the 905 fly under the radar even more. The low 21-ounce weight does mean it kicks pretty hard, but the rubberized grips help you keep that under control. 

The small size does keep the capacity capped at 5 rounds, but that’s pretty standard for 9mm revolvers. Furthermore, the cylinder is slightly oversized, making it faster and easier to reload. 

The single-action trigger has a smooth, crisp pull, and the revolver features a spurred hammer. However, there’s also a hammerless version for those who prefer that configuration, which has a 3-inch barrel. 

And to top it off, the Taurus 905 is quite affordable, ringing up for about $330 to $400, depending on which model you get.

Ruger LCR

The Ruger LCR is an excellent option for those looking for a hammerless revolver.

With a 1.87” barrel, an overall length of just 6.5”, and a weight of 17.2 ounces, the LCR has a compact, lightweight design that makes it ideal for concealed carry. The aluminum frame helps keep the weight down while still ensuring that the LCR is plenty durable. The Stainless steel cylinder adds extra durability where it counts but is also fluted to help keep the weight down. 

The low weight does mean heavier recoil, even compared to the Taurus, but the rubber Hogue Tamer grips help you keep it under control. And if you want a different set of grips, it’s really easy to swap them out, and there are plenty of aftermarket options. 

Similarly, the Ruger LCR has a pinned ramp front sight with a white bar, but the sight can also be replaced, so you can switch it out for a fiber optic or whatever other sight style you prefer. 

In fact, because the LCR platform is so popular, both in 9mm and in the other calibers that Ruger offers, aftermarket support is great, and there are plenty of LCR accessories and upgrades available.

And for those who like the LCR but want a single-action capable alternative with a hammer, the LCRx will be perfect. 

Smith & Wesson Performance Center Pro 986

If you’re looking for a competition grade 9mm revolver, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Pro 986 is the top option.

Weighing 35 ounces, this revolver is hefty enough to significantly undercut the recoil for a much more manageable shot. It also holds 7 rounds, helping it approach the capacity of a 9mm subcompact. 

It’s a single/double-action revolver with a crisp, light pull. The 5-inch barrel is a bit long for concealed carry, but it does help with accuracy, as does the partridge sight. The synthetic grip helps you keep a firm, secure grip. 

There’s also the non-pro version with a shorter 2.5-inch barrel, a red ramp sight, and a wooden grip, but the same 7-round capacity that’s better for concealment. Each comes with moon clips.

While the Pro version is certainly nicer, either of these revolvers is truly a pleasure to shoot.

Neither version is cheap, though. The standard version has a $1259 MSRP, while the Pro has an MSRP of $1399.  

Ruger SP-101 

The Ruger SP-101 is a solid and reliable revolver that has been a popular choice among gun owners for years. When chambered in 9mm, this revolver becomes an even more versatile and attractive option.

One of the key features of the Ruger SP-101 is its sturdy construction. It has a stainless steel frame and barrel, which makes it durable and resistant to wear and tear. This revolver also features a comfortable grip and a smooth trigger pull, which allow for precise and accurate shooting.

The Ruger SP-101’s compact size and reliability make it an ideal choice for concealed carry or personal protection, but like other options, it’s limited to a 5-round capacity. 

Overall, the Ruger SP-101 in 9mm is a great option for those seeking a reliable and sturdy revolver for personal protection. Its solid construction, comfortable grip, and smooth trigger pull make it a pleasure to shoot, while its compact size and reliability make it an ideal choice for concealed carry or personal defense.

Parting Shots

Overall, these 9mm revolvers offer a range of options for individuals who are looking for a reliable and accurate firearm. Whether you are looking for a high-end revolver or a budget-friendly option, there is a 9mm revolver on the market that is right for you.

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