Although single-action and double-action revolvers are no longer the stars of the handgun shooting world, they are a far cry from being forgotten. This year's SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, featured a variety of new top-notch wheel guns ranging from one of the smallest pocket guns available to an heirloom show piece with an eye-watering price tag! Here they are, along with a few more of the notable new models slated to ship in 2024:
Beretta USA has teamed up with the French manufacturer Manurhin to import what is considered one of the finest double-action .357 Mag. revolvers available, the 6-shot model MR73. This year marks 50th anniversary of this revolver which was developed to meet the stringent requirements of the French military and special service police units. The company is celebrating this landmark occasion with a special 5.25" barrel edition with features including fiber optic sights, a high polish blued finish, unique barrel markings, and second cylinder chambered for 9 mm cylinder.
Shipped with a certificate of authenticity the 50th Anniversary models will be limited to 50 pieces shipped to the United States with prices starting at just $10,999. If this version is a bit rich for your taste, then take a look at the standard 4" and 5.25" MR73 models with pricing that starts at slightly less startling $3,799.
Chiappa Firearms continues to diversify its Rhino 6-shot .357 Mag. double-action revolver series with the new 60DS Stormhunter featuring a distressed white finish. In addition to its unusual finish, the 60DS features a fiber-optic front sight, and adjustable rear sight and two rails integrated into the 6" barrel for optics and other accessories. The Rhino is famous for its bottom-chamber positioned barrel, to reduce muzzle rise, flat sided cylinder, vented barrel rib and distinctive canted, textured grip. The suggested retail price for this version of this revolver is $1,820.74.
Colt's Manufacturing answered the prayers of many a wheel gun fan with the re-launch of its much admired series of Python double-action revolvers 2020. These highly polished, stainless steel 6-shot .357 Magnums have since been joined by other resuscitated classic Colt 'snake guns,' including the Anaconda, Cobra and King Cobra models. But one more offering has been needed to satisfy Python purists and to bring this model all the way back into production. For 2024, the Pythons will be available made from carbon steel with the signature glossy blued finish. These models are available with either 4.25" or 6" barrels for a suggested retail price of $1,599.
Diamondback Firearms, best known for its AR-15 rifles and subcompact polymer pistols, launched its series of Sidekick single-action rimfire revolvers in 2021. For 2024, this company is stepping into the double-action, center-fire defensive revolver ring with the release of the brand new SDR 6-shot chambered in .357 Mag. This revolver is a surprisingly light 21.2-oz., unloaded, despite its all-stainless steel construction. The trigger proved to be pleasingly smooth when I had a chance to test fire it during the Media Day at the Range. Other features include a 2" barrel, fiber optic front sight, a dovetailed rear sight, exposed hammer, a compact J-frame compatible rubber grip and a suggested retail price of $777.
North American Arms is another company celebrating half a century in business this year by launching its first truly new Mini Revolver model in some time. Dubbed the Sentinel, this hybrid 5-shot .22 Mag. single-action revolver blends the popular Pug frame configuration with the swing-out cylinder of the Sidewinder along with a few first time improvements. This diminutive 1.5" barrel pocket gun will be available with a big dot or Tritium night sight up front, a dovetailed rear sight, all-stainless steel construction and a birdshead style pebbled rubber grip. It will be available summer of 2024 with a suggested price which has yet to be announced.
Taurus USA is getting back into the single-action revolver business with the new Deputy 6-shot chambered in .357 Mag. or .45 Colt. The Deputy takes the place of this company's Gaucho wheel guns (discontinued more than a decade ago) with barrel lengths including 4.25" or a 5.5" options. Made in Brazil, Old West styling meets modern manufacturing materials and practices to make this gun durable and reliable. The Deputy's features include a deep satin black finish, traditional fixed sights, an up-to-date transfer bar safety, a smooth trigger pull, checkered polymer grips and an attractive listed price of $606.99.
Last year Taurus changed the concealed carry revolver game by adapting their in-house, semi-automatic pistol T.O.R.O. red dot optics mounting system for use with the company's 3" barrel, stainless steel small-frame revolvers. The 6-shot Defender 856 T.O.R.O., chambered in .38 Spl., was the first optics-ready model to make it to market. Later that same year, the Defender 605 T.O.R.O. was introduced which holds 5 rounds of .357 Mag.
For 2024, Taurus is adding the new Defender 327 T.O.R.O. to the lineup. This model is another 6 shot chambered in the small but feisty .327 Fed. Mag. This means it can also safely chamber and fire .32H&R Mag. and .32 S&W cartridges. The version shown here has a matte black over stainless steel finish, and orange outline Tritium night sight up front, a bobbed hammer and a double-action only trigger. This Defender has a suggested retail price of $553.99.