Looking for a cool (but practical) open carry revolver


September 11, 2007, 06:41 PM
I live in AZ, so open carry is pretty common and pretty acceptable around here. I would really like to get a revolver, one that would look cool for open carry (lots of custom grip options, holsters, etc.)

My first thought was a Single Action Army clone, but I guess I would like something more "practical" than that, even though it wouldn't be as cool, I guess.:rolleyes:

What would/do you carry? I was thinking something like a 4 inch .357, but even then I wouldn't be sure what to get just because I don't know a whole lot about revolvers.

And post pics if you got 'em!

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September 11, 2007, 07:04 PM
Nickel S&W Model 19, 4" barrel, well-Flitz'd, with a pair of factory "diamond" target stocks. Or the same gun, blue, with diamond magna stocks and a Tyler T-grip.

Bigger bucks? blued Colt Python, 4", second-generation factory stocks.

September 11, 2007, 07:33 PM
Don't bother with Smith and Wesson...you can get exactly the same thing from Ruger or Taurus for half the price or less. It doesn't get much cooler than a big shiny Blackhawk...but something like a Taurus model 65 or Ruger GP100 would be a little more practical. I suggest you do a little browsing at budsgunshop.com, they've got lots of cool revolvers and you can't beat their prices.

Personally I'm getting a Super Blackhawk in .44 magnum to go along with my new CC permit. :D

September 11, 2007, 07:40 PM
Smith and Wesson is the big dog of revolvers for a reason. I don't care for Ruger lock work - their triggers suck. The best trioggers are to be found on old Colt 'V' spring guns, but Pythons are getting way to spendy.

Get a stainless S&W and have it polished up. That will turn heads. :)

September 11, 2007, 07:46 PM
i don't know about turning heads, but a smith model 10 snubbie is a great carry gun, and smith's do have about the most aftermarket grip options out there

September 11, 2007, 07:47 PM
Smith and Wesson is the big dog of revolvers for a reason.

Yeah, there are far too many snobs who think something must be better because it costs more. Rugers are fine guns, so are Taurus, and many others. They're all accurate, and they all go bang when you pull the trigger. There are lots of people who complain about the quality of new S&Ws right out of the factory - especially the triggers.

September 11, 2007, 07:47 PM
Semi-auto revolver?


My pick for a 4 incher - S&W model 57 41 mag. There's nothing like an 'N' frame.

September 11, 2007, 08:00 PM
My preference for open carry is 4" "N" frame S&W. Cal. begining with .4X . Mod 58 with stag grips and a Tyler "T" grip adapter is old school and quite classy in my opinion.

September 11, 2007, 08:10 PM
My vote would be for a Ruger stainless single action, with some nice grips and tooled leather holster. Cowboy style.

Don Lu
September 11, 2007, 08:12 PM

I dont open carry, but I own one of these. I think they look different and If I did open carry, this would be an option. the front sight is very easy to focus on too.

September 11, 2007, 08:12 PM
Ruger GP-100 in 357. With a 6 inch barrel is eye catching, accurate, and won't kill your hand when you shoot real 357 ammo. A real gun for real people.


September 11, 2007, 08:19 PM
If you want to look 'cool', you might consider the rig that Val Kilmer wore as Doc Holiday. I think it was best displayed in the 'I'm you're Huckleberry' scene with Ringo.

As an aside, a 'cool' look is like a loud muffler.

Maybe that's what you are looking for though.


September 11, 2007, 08:31 PM
I would go with the 4" 28-2 or if I had LOTS of extra $$$ 3 1/2" 27-2!

September 11, 2007, 08:49 PM
saltydog, I hear you on that. When I say cool, I'm not thinking "MALL NINJA, everyone please stare at me and the huge gun I'm carrying." I'm thinking more along the lines of classy, subtle, whatever.

I don't even know if it is something I will end up doing. I really do want to add a revolver to my collection, and I think getting something that would look "good" if I decided to open carry would be a nice bonus.

September 11, 2007, 08:54 PM
there's not much cooler than a stainless 4" birdshead vaquero in a mernickle holster http://www.mernickleholsters.com/pssys/ps6sasys.html and who told you they arn't practical

September 11, 2007, 09:44 PM
Uberti Walker.

September 11, 2007, 09:45 PM
No one told me they weren't practical, I just don't like the idea of having to manually cock the gun before firing. Just a personal preference I guess.

September 11, 2007, 09:49 PM
nickle finished Schofield with pearl grips in a crossdraw slim jim holster. :big grin:

September 11, 2007, 09:51 PM
I don't know exactly what you're looking for but a revolver that I would really like to get in the future is the S&W M625, .45 Long Colt., 4" barrel, stainless steel.


September 11, 2007, 10:18 PM
S&W 329PD. Its a lightweight .44 mag, but you can load it up with buffalobore reduced recoil ammo and still get enough of a punch out of it. http://gunblast.com/SW329PD.htm

September 11, 2007, 10:23 PM
For cool there's nothing else even close. Ruger Old Army. Stainless. Ivory grips. Black powder.



September 11, 2007, 10:30 PM
Their's nothing cooler than the sound of a big revolver being thumb cocked.

September 11, 2007, 10:40 PM
Smith's and Ruger's both make fine revolvers, but in a single or double action, the Revolver that's going to turn my head will most likely have a prancing horse on it.

Pre War Colt's always get my attention. Old N & K frame Smith's are a not too terribly far behind second.

Thaddeus Jones
September 12, 2007, 09:43 AM
Get a high polished, pre lock S&W model 66, and put ivory grips on it. Then you won't have to switch guns before a barbeque.

September 12, 2007, 11:14 AM
My choice would be a Smith and Wesson K frame, like my 19-3. deep blued. Beautiful gun. Subtle and very classy. Fantastic accuracy, and smoooooooth trigger.
Otherwise, I'd go for a Ruger GP100, blued, with the larger grip frame.

By the way, for either gun, if I were to open carry, I'd put a pair of nice wood grips from Kim aherends or Hogue on either of the guns.

Sniper X
September 12, 2007, 11:26 AM
If money is no object, find a cherry 4in Python. If my 6in Python was a 4in I would carry it openly! In a Sharkskin Holster and belt combo! BLING!!

September 12, 2007, 11:30 AM
Most 4" K-frames. Model 10, 13, 19... and their stainless models, too.
Any older Smith would do... 1917s and such.

Or you could get a Webley:

September 12, 2007, 11:39 AM

Or, in the "Classic Origitacticool" package.


September 12, 2007, 12:04 PM
Okay, nothing has a bigger "cool" factor than a Mateba autorevolver in the world of wheelguns, for me.
Someone already posted a pic of one.

If cool = antique, then get a 455 webley redone to fire 45 acp.

If cool = something modern and super stout, get a ruger superredhawk and have the barrel chopped to 4". I have a buddy who carried one and it was really an interesting piece. Lots of "what the? Is that what I think it is" type questions

If cool = expensive, then get a python

If cool = something pretty, then that's in the eyes of a beholder.

Deer Hunter
September 12, 2007, 12:11 PM
A smith and Wesson 625 of 627. The 625 is .45 ACP, but if you can find the .45 Colt version of it, that would be great.

September 12, 2007, 12:12 PM
Cool gun for open carry? My choice would be a 4" nickel Smith Model 19 or a 4" Colt Diamondback 38spl. All Diamondbacks are cool. Keep them shined up and they will definitely be cool!

September 12, 2007, 12:59 PM
No reason to go money crazy to have a "cool" gun. No reason to carry a SA revolver because when all is said and done, you are carrying for SD and a SA revolver isn't the best defense. I like my 4" S&W M686 with a set of original Target Stocks. That along with a DeSantis Scabbard makes a good looking revolver that will do the job if needed, and it's comfortable to carry in that holster.



Flame Red
September 12, 2007, 01:16 PM
If money is no object, find a cherry 4in Python. In a Sharkskin Holster and belt combo! BLING!!


September 12, 2007, 01:49 PM
toasterlocker: Ruger Redhawk:) and you have both worlds. LOOKS:)
Practical:) Affordable:)


James T Thomas
September 12, 2007, 02:12 PM
For "cool" try the Ruger Old Army that was recommended by RPCVYemen, or even a stainless Vaquero, but carry it in a custom Alphonso black leather holster with a silver embossed chess piece knight displayed on the side.

You will be way cool!

September 12, 2007, 02:16 PM
I don't know about you, but to me a carry gun (be it open or concealed) should be one that I'm comfortable and competent with. The "COOL" factor falls to the bottom of qualifyling features.

September 12, 2007, 02:20 PM
In AZ I would Open Carry a S&W 21 or 22-4, preferably the Thunder Ranch version or the new Color Case Hardened versions.

I really like N-Frames, big bores and blued guns. BTW, my EDC concealed is a Thunder Ranch N-Frame and I'm a "little guy" with a BIG heart. :)


September 12, 2007, 02:38 PM
I'm with Sniper X !!!

September 12, 2007, 03:01 PM
No reason to carry a SA revolver because when all is said and done, you are carrying for SD and a SA revolver isn't the best defense.

But if you fire a cap'n'ball blackpowder revolver, by the time you've fired 6 round in rapid succession (from what I have seen at the range), you and the city block you're standing in will be covered a dense layer of dark smoke. So if you actually hit the BG, you've won, and if you miss six times, you just duck out in the cloud of smoke and live to fight another day!

If you fire 6 rounds of that new fangled smokeless stuff at them, they will still be able to see you. Why would any man in his right mind disable a smokescreen during a gun fight?


September 12, 2007, 03:23 PM
A Smith and Wesson 28 is both practical, relatively cheap, and quite a nice lookin' pistol.

I present... The BBQ Gun Rules.
1. Your piece must be useful. 24k gold plating is fragile, not to mention tacky. Rubies are right out. If you bring that to the BBQ, we will make fun of you.

2. No stainless steel. Nothing says "mass produced, easy to touch up, as little finish work required cost cutting" than a matte stainless finish. Bring something blued or we will make fun of you.
2a. Exceptions: brightly polished stainless steel may not get you laughed at. Better engrave it to be sure.

3. Ain't no such thing as a purdy grip made of rubber. Wood and animal bones are the order of the day. Other materials are acceptable on a case-by-case basis. If you bring mother of pearl, we will call you a pimp.

4. Your holster shall be made of leather and it shall look as good as your pistol. Kydex is practial. Kydex is ugly. Leather is practical and pretty. If you bring kydex, we will make fun of you. If you bring nylon, we will pity you.
4a. The prettiest pistol in the world is no good without the prettiest leather. Your leather should be on par with your pistol. If you carry an engraved Smith and Wesson in a $25 holster, we will make fun of you.

5. Plastic pistols will get you made fun of. There are many uses for polymers. Lookin' good isn't one of them. Steel please.

6. All the above rules can be disregarded if you can make it look good.

September 12, 2007, 03:39 PM
S&W TRR8 with a durable dot optic (such as a Trijicon Reflex or an Aimpoint). Attach a good light to the bottom rail. Don't forget two or three moonclip holders!

September 12, 2007, 04:08 PM
Another vote for the Ruger GP 100 but in a 4" barrel. Though it me not be the "coolest" looking revolver they are built like a bank vault and work great.

September 12, 2007, 07:15 PM
S&W 15 2" or Model 19 2 1/2" or a Model 66 with a good polish, some really nice exotic wood or ivory grips (depends on whether nickel or blue). I would spend a few bucks on some very nice leather, matching belt, holster and ammo pouch. Would make for an effective and classy package. Equally at home at the mall or BBQ. Bill

September 12, 2007, 09:10 PM
1. FINISH - For the ultimate in cool, open carry revolvers, the finish needs to be a goreous bright blue (like both Colt once used on the Python, and S&W once lavished on their wheelguns). AN OPEN CARRY FIREARM SHOULD BE BEAUTIFUL TO BE COOL.

Nothing is as gorgeous as a S&W Model 27 with it's fully checkered top strap or a Colt Python . . . either gun, in either finish but nickle is "da bomb!";)

2. WEATHER CONSIDERATIONS - Last I checked, it got damn hot out in the beautiful state of Arizona. Thus . . . you need to keep the bulk, length and weight down a bunch.

Thus . . . forget the 6" barrels and the big frame revolvers! They weigh too much to tote on the hip all day!!! So . . . only short barrelled Pythons and M27s still make my "cut" . . . and then, not for long . . .

3. GOIN' FOR COMFORT - Since it is hot, I'm going to punt BOTH the gorgeous Python and M27 S&W wheelguns for something lighter and more "toteable" . . . this means a sexy S&W K frame or J frame. More on that in a moment.

4. GET A NICKLEPLATED S&W - with a 2 1/2" or 3" barrel! The 3" barrel models are SO POPULAR for a very good reason. They are very accurate, even with the shorter tube . . . plus they look totally cool! At the maximum, look for a 4" gun.


Your cool wheelgun, for hot Arizona needs to have a model letter of either J or K. Both are compact and sexy . . . like a curvy fashion model.

Rugers are like Madame Olga from the old U.S.S.R. (my apologies to the real Olgas out there;)) . . . you know the type woman . . . stout . . . massive arms and legs, thick waisted and the face that would charm only a bulldog or her mother!;) Plus, Rugers have all that "tatooing" down the barrel telling you stuff lawyers tell 'em to put on 'em.

(Note: Please don't be offended folks, this post is intended to be a little humorous and tounge-in-cheek! I ain't much to look at myself in the "chunky" department right now!;))

Nawww . . . make my a K frame MODEL 13 or MODEL 19 in bright nickle . . .

OR any of the super sexy little J-frame snubbies in bright nickle like my recently acquired Model 36 from '64.

I was looking today for a Model 19 in factory nickle but, alas, it was sold.:banghead:


Yep, real men don't wear "nylon" . . . at least not for a holster!;) Hopefully you don't wear nylon anywhere else either!!! Mernicle will make you a leather holster that will cause Diane Fienstein and Rosie to like your gun!!! Well . . . maybe that's stretching it a little!


And here's a carved one with the initial "R" on it. In my neck of the woods that means "Redneck" . . . or . . . if you have a fine Ruger, that would suffice too.;) Actually, I LOVE Ruger products and own several . . . but except for the original Redhawk they ain't too sexy, IMHO.

IF YOU WANT TO TOTE A GORGEOUS RUGER OR TWO . . . here's a rig that Mernickle makes that will definately pimp your ride:


You need some gorgeous grips on your Roscoe, not rubbers, if you are gonna expose yourself. There are some great stock makers.

On the S&W forum, a guy named "executioner" makes some GORGEOUS stag grips . . . and I mean GORGEOUS.

Genuine aged Ivory looks great too on either bright nickle or blue.

Then . . . who can put down the gorgeous wood stocks of collinscraftgrips?

YOU LUCKY DOG . . . here in Gaw-Gah where I live it is illegal to expose myself. But if I could . . . I'd take some of my own advice!!!;)



September 12, 2007, 09:41 PM
Grant Cunningham (love his blog) just finished his 5-part series on Revolver Aesthetics, and ultimately used the Manurhin MR93 as an example of his idea of an updated version of "the accepted design envelope", i.e. "cool". Check it out.



Big Boomer
September 13, 2007, 04:41 PM
That's all I have to say about that...

oh and that I am jealous!

Cocked & Locked
September 13, 2007, 04:47 PM
How about a S&W model 27 .357 magnum with a 3.5" barrel. You can change the grips as the social situation calls for, and be cooling it in style.


September 13, 2007, 05:54 PM
Pack one of these S&W's http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a149/Fisherman_48768/1875schofield45l.jpg

September 13, 2007, 06:07 PM
Smith and Wesson Model 10 in 3" they are in fact less than the GP100 and one of the nicest handguns to carry in a piece of leather like
galco's. They are the most coppied/ oldest production gun still being made.

The Annoyed Man
September 13, 2007, 06:55 PM
I have a S&W Model 29 Classic in .44 magnum in all blue steel (pics below). It has a 5" barrel, is tough as hell, and dead accurate. Anyway, I think it would be a pretty cool looking open carry revolver.

Unfortunately, they don't manufacture it in blue steel anymore. In fact, I think they might have just done a special run in one year. I bought mine brand new in about 1995 for $452.00. It's a truly beautiful revolver. I was window shopping S&W 29s at Bass Pro the other day and was shocked to see that they were running upwards of $1,000. Who knew?

September 13, 2007, 07:13 PM
S&W TR 22-4 with the factory magnas and a T-grip, carried cross draw in some nice leather and a leather double moon clip holder carried directly behind the holster.

Oh, wait, that is my open carry rig, sometimes seen in Arizona as well as my home state. (My son is in Sierra Vista, and I often bang around in the local area, Tombstone, Tucson, Bisbee, etc. Just how embarrassing would it be if we bumped into each other wearing the same rig? Maybe you ought to choose something else.)

September 13, 2007, 09:04 PM
In all these entries, just ONE for a 586/686??? Make it two. Love those barbecue rules.
Cordially, Jack

September 13, 2007, 09:16 PM
Smith and Wesson is the big dog of revolvers for a reason. I don't care for Ruger lock work - their triggers suck. The best trioggers are to be found on old Colt 'V' spring guns, but Pythons are getting way to spendy.

Get a stainless S&W and have it polished up. That will turn heads.

I don't need no stinkin' snob guns!:neener:

My BBQ gun is a Ruger. It not only is my BBQ gun, it's furnished the meat for the BBQ more'n once. :evil:


September 14, 2007, 12:24 AM
For your criteria I'd probably choose a S&W 57/657 with some nice grips.

My personal choice was a 4-5/8" Blackhawk .41 Magnum in an El Paso Saddlery holster.


September 14, 2007, 12:39 AM

September 14, 2007, 01:15 AM
Carry the most beat-up gun you can find in the most beat-up piece of leather. Just be sure to carve a few, big, eye-catching notches in the grip! That'll turn heads. Bonus points if the leather has blood stains on it.

Adam Selene
September 14, 2007, 11:58 AM
A nice S&W Registered Magnum would do well even if it were one with about 60% finish, but only Saxonpig would do that.

A nice S&W 27-2 w/3.5 inch barrel would do well as a substitute.

Any one of the Gun-of-the-Month that S&W was doing in the 80's and 90's, a K Comp would be sweet.

September 14, 2007, 04:18 PM
Carry the most beat-up gun you can find in the most beat-up piece of leather. Just be sure to carve a few, big, eye-catching notches in the grip! That'll turn heads. Bonus points if the leather has blood stains on it.

Actually, for an open carry defense gun, I like this logic. :D It's sorta like my idea of the perfect commuting vehicle, beat up mid 60s half ton (they made 'em out of armor plate back then) with huge pipe bumpers front and rear and a loud glass packed dual exhaust 454 CID engine. Of course, the gas mileage won't make Ralph Nader happy, but nobody's gonna mess with ya on the way to work! BWAAAAA, ha, ha!

September 14, 2007, 04:43 PM
I'm partial to the 686. Attractive but not flashy, all business, but well heeled business.

The Mateba posted earlier sure is an eyecatcher, I can't imagine the cost of getting a good holster made for one.

September 14, 2007, 04:47 PM
BTW, this thread has me looking at Pythons on Gunbroker.

The wife says you are all in trouble.

September 14, 2007, 05:42 PM
Cocked and Locked, S&WFan: Now thats what I'm talking about. Nice revolvers! Cool Thread. Bill

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