I often travel the backwoods trails to re-connect with nature and find new camping grounds. Since there’s always a chance to find myself face to face with a dangerous animal, I bring some protection along. If you’re looking for a small and reliable handgun for off-grid defense, here are my suggestions for pocket revolvers.
Every outdoor journey can bring some unwanted guests, and you need to be able to defend yourself. The following pocket revolvers can help you kill threatening animals or ward off potential attackers. You can always run into a rabid raccoon or an angry moose. These pocket revolvers are a good choice because they offer proper comfort and are ammunition-wise.
Pocket revolvers for off-grid defense or hunting
Ruger LCR is one of the smallest and lightweight revolvers I had the pleasure of testing. It’s a small-frame, double-action only revolver that can chamber either eight .22LR or six .22 Magnum rounds. Ruger LCR melds a polymer fire control housing, including a friction-reducing cam system, with an aluminum monolithic frame, which supports a stainless steel barrel and cylinder.
It is worth mentioning that the cylinder is extensively fluted to decrease weight and it as a nitride black finish. You can carry it in your pocket or use a holster. Regardless the carry mode you opt for, it takes little space, and it’s easy to conceal.
Taurus Model 992 Tracker
I own one, and I can honestly say I love my Taurus 992 tracker. I believe this is one of the most versatile pocket revolvers for trail or tackle box use. It has conversion cylinder which allows you to switch from .22 LR ammo to .22 Magnum. It takes just a few seconds to make the switch, and although it is not the most compact or lightweight revolver, I’m willing to overlook this issue.
Taurus model 992 Tracker can fire nine rounds, and it features a fully adjustable rear sight. The revolver it’s made of stainless steel and features a recoil-absorber grip. You can use it in harsh environmental conditions without losing accuracy.
Smith & Wesson Model 317 Gun Kit
The 317 model is built on the J-Frame and is the only S&W that managed to retain the “Kit Gun” label. It’s frame and cylinder are made from aluminum alloy, and it weighs just 12.5 ounces. It has a 3-inch barrel and a fully adjustable rear sight paired with a green HIVIZ fiber-optic front sight.
As far as pocket revolvers go, Model 317 is very reliable with its eight charge holes for .22 LR ammunition.
Charter Arms Pathfinder
This classic DA/SA revolver is known amongst gun enthusiasts and has been around for many years. The .22 Magnum version is made from stainless steel and has a matte finish. It incorporates rubber grips that can handle sweat, rain and even snow.
The 4.22-inch barren increases the overall length to 8.24 inches making it larger than the other pocket revolvers listed here. The Pathfinder has a fully adjustable rear sight and a sloping ramp front sight. By looking at the picture, you can also notice that below the barrel there’s a full-length ejector rod shroud.
Smith & Wesson Model 60
Compared to the other pocket revolvers, this Smith and Wesson is more on the heavy duty size, caliber-wise. Model 60 has a 3-inch barrel and adjustable sights. It is a compact DA/SA revolver that can chamber .357 Magnum and .38 Special +P cartridges.
This stainless steel revolver with synthetic grips makes it ideal for the outdoors, especially since you can interchange ammo for various tasks. For example, you can use the CCI shotshell with 100 grains of #9 shot to get rid of vipers or varmints.
Taurus Model 605 POLY
Taurus model 605 POLY packs more power while offering light weight and less burden when carrying it. It is a DA/SA revolver with a 2-inch barrel. It is one of the pocket revolvers which can be used for sport, defense or plinking. Model 605 POLY features a lightweight polymer frame and a steel cylinder and barrel. It weighs only 19.5 ounces and has a length of 6.7 inches.
It’s designed to be weatherproof, and it has a fiber-optic front sight that mates up with a fixed rear sight for rugged dependability. It chambers .357 Magnum, but it can also accommodate .38 Special +P ammo.
I couldn’t end the article without mentioning another pocket revolver that I have bought. In fact, when looking for pocket revolvers on the market, I decided to get one for my wife as well. She has the Ruger LCP, but wanted something lighter, for her purse. After showing her various options, she settled on the North American Arms Black Widow model.
NAA Black Widow
I got this for my wife, and it’s one of the smallest pocket revolvers I could find for her. Sure, there were also other models, but I didn’t want to sacrifice capacity in favor of other factors. This small handgun has a 2-inch barrel with three-dot sights that include an adjustable Marble rear. I love it that it’s also a conversion model, so it comes with both .22 LR and .22 Magnum cylinders. Each cylinder can hold five cartridges. It has a pull-down cylinder pin latch, and the cylinder must be removed for reloading.
My 2 cents
When I think about pocket revolvers, I want something that is reliable during harsh weather conditions. I need something that is not a burden when carried and can chamber different ammo, for different tasks. These pocket revolvers are all good options if you’re looking for a handgun that should handle off-grid hunting and defense tasks.
If you have other preferences, please use the comment section below to let us know. I would love to hear about what others are using.
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12 thoughts on “6 Reliable Pocket Revolvers For Off-grid Defense”
I need some serious advice for a handgun for my fiance.
She suffers from MS and not only has numb hands but difficulty with strength in both hands, forearms and general upper body strength.
I have introduced her to fully serviceable handguns in .38 Special but she is unable to fully pull the trigger with one finger and the trigger guards don’t make it easy to fit two fingers in to take advantage of both and still allow the trigger to fully reset for a second shot. That is even with a well broken in pistol with what most consider a very smooth trigger.
She also doesn’t have the ability to reach up with her off thumb to pull the hammer back for a SA pull, either.
We tried several semiauto pistols in various calibers but unless the hammer is back and the safety on with an empty chamber, the act of pulling back the slide is very difficult as well.
Given today’s climate WRT possible civil unrest I sure would like for her to go armed if at all possible, but a handgun is no good to her, and could be a serious liability, if she is unable to wield and fire a pistol of ANY caliber based on her lack of hand/arm/upper body strength.
Might anyone, especially women with similar issues, be able to offer some good answers?
We could GREATLY appreciate any assistance.
Beretta used to make a model 84 with the tip up barrel (no need to rack the slide)in .380 acp. If size is not an issue (home gun etc.) a cz scorpion Evo (or another like it) would allow her to get both hands on the gun and run the charging handle against an object. Another option I heard of someone using just an old single action revolver and use the offhand palm to cock the hammer which tend to be larger and easier on the hand. Hope these ideas help you
Hello, try the keltec PMR 30 for her. 30 Rnds of 22 Mag, very lightweight .
I’d say that if she cannot physically handle a handgun, investigate her arming with a taser and/or ultra potent pepper spray. Only buttons here.
Hello. I suggest you explore the Beretta 21A in either .25 ACP or .22 Long Rifle. It has a tip up barrel that can be loaded one round at a time, making it unnecessary to rack the slide. The trigger guard should be wide enought to permit her to use two fingers to pull the trigger.
Do NOT be mislead by Gun Store Cowboys who’ve read to many gun magzeines and automatically sneer at the .25 or .22. Shot placement is everything. Either caliber will do the job, but I recommend the .25 because it is a centerfire round, less susceptible to primer problems than the rim fire .22 This pistol in 25 ACP loaded with FMJ rounds will penetrate more than 12″ in ballistic gel. A facefull of .25 ACP rounds will stop any attacker.
Sir: Might me recommend the TARUS JUDGE, revolver, can chamber two kinds of ammo, Shot Shell 410, or chamber 40 cal. regular bullet….James
Actually it is .410 and .45 colt but if you get a .410 slug I believe it is .41 cal. but the holster choices for the Judge are more plentiful vs the S&W Governor which has 1 more shot in the cylinder weighs almost the exact same but allows moon clips and 45 acp. But this is still a double action revover with more recoil than a .38 special
You left off the most popular chamberings for Ruger’s LCR. I own the .38 cal original, it’s also available in .357 and .327.
And 9mm too
On Smith and returnWesson revolvers you can lighten and smooth the trigger pull by replacing the stock trigger return spring with one from Bullseye or Wolf.
For wilderness carry your big 3 threats are small slithering reptiles for this a weapon that fires a shot pattern to hit small fast targets is best for most of North America a 22LR shotshell will do this. But any tropical or sub-tropical areas with abundant food sources and no cold spells to allow other predators to kill them they can grow much larger. I was sent an email about one eastern diamond back rattlesnake they found off of a golf course in Florida for that one I want a 20gage with #6shot.
2nd type is 2 legged and med 4 legs for that a 8 shot .357 mag revolver would be the weapon of choice.
3rd is a heavy gun with a deep penetrating, large caliber, heavy bullet no less than 41 mag.
First, forget those 22s..all they will do is piss something or someone off..according to every expert I’ve heard, use nothing less than 38 caliber.