If I Could Only Have One: Revolver Edition


The old “if I could have only one gun” argument is among the most commented on and fun discussions.

It may even be enlightening. Heaven forbid we had to get by with only one gun. But the fact is, we do get by with one gun most of the time.

I carry one gun — sometimes a backup goes along. When going on a road trip or hiking, I carefully consider which piece to pack.

By extension, it is obvious these handguns might be at the top of the list if I were limited to only one gun.

In the coming series, we are looking at the one rifle, shotgun, pistol and revolver that might be the best choice for most scenarios.

This isn’t just a fun game, but a question that must be answered as we choose the best handgun for many uses.

For many shooters just beginning or on a budget, this is a tough question that must be answered.  

Taurus Tracker Ported Barrel
Barrel ports make the Tracker a pleasant handgun to fire even with heavy loads. 

A Note About Practicality

If you have to grab one gun and evacuate, you don’t want to waste time thinking about it.

You should have already made the decision and not be gazing into the safe wondering which handgun to deploy.

When it comes to revolvers, I have a few that I find trustworthy and well-suited to several tasks.

A six-inch barrel magnum is a joy to use and a fine hunting revolver. A two-inch barrel magnum fits handily into the back pocket.

Neither is ideal for every use. Just the same, if the SHTF, I think a .357 Magnum revolver might be the best choice.

Things hit with the Magnum stay down for the count. Practice loads in .38 Special offer low recoil and great accuracy.

They are good for small-game hunting. Magnum loads are well-suited to personal defense.

The different power levels available and the versatility of loads is appealing. 

Taurus Tracker Rubber Grips
Taurus has designed a set of grips that separate the steel frame from the shooter’s hand, making for a comfortable shooting experience. 

Selecting Your Revolver

If you invest the time and effort into mastering the magnum revolver, medium-size game may be taken cleanly with the .357 Magnum at modest range.

The best one gun should not be a fantasy gun you don’t own, but the best gun you own and the one you use the best.

I often carry a .45 caliber 1911 because it is flat, easy to conceal and offers good control.

But I carry the Smith and Wesson 640 Pro revolver because it is easily concealed, simple to use and has plenty of power.

Those who are familiar with small-frame revolver accuracy understand that a Smith and Wesson with a short barrel may be very accurate given good sights.

Magnum recoil may be controlled with hand-filling stocks that limit contact between the frame and the hand.

I believe that the shot that you are making is the important one, not a flurry of shots. The 640 is sometimes carried in the pocket when hiking.

Then there is the six-inch barrel Python. This revolver will chase a one-inch group all day. It is accurate to 100 yards with 180-grain bullets.

While I often carry it in the Galco shoulder holster, which distributes weight well, a 46-ounce revolver isn’t a daily carry.

So, while the short-barrel and long-barrel magnums are good guns, an in-between revolver with the four-inch barrel is the best choice for the one-gun person.

With the four-inch revolver, I may carry shotshells from CCI for snakes and small pests, and then the heavy-loaded Hornady XTP for maximum penetration. 

Taurus Tracker Revolver with Ammo
The Tracker is accurate with both .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammunition. 

If I Could Only Have One Revolver

Some have personal defense at the top of the list and don’t get into the woods.

I get into places where feral dogs and big cats may compete for my territory. The magnum offers an edge in power.

If bowled over by an attacking animal, the revolver may be placed into their body and fired time after time without any danger of a jam.

The best gun to have when you have only one gun is the one that you shoot best and have the greatest confidence in.

After some thought and difficult decision-making, I decided that the revolver I own that most qualifies as a one-gun revolver is the Taurus Tracker .357 Magnum with four-inch barrel.

First, the piece features fully-adjustable sights. This makes it a hunting, target and recreational gun I enjoy a great deal.

Even though the Tracker isn’t a heavy-frame revolver, the cylinder holds seven cartridges.

The lockwork is smooth and easy to use well in double-action fire. The barrel features ports on each side to help control recoil.

This is one mild-shooting magnum. Another advantage is that the grips totally insulate the hand from the steel frame. Recoil is never painful.

The barrel underlug is strong and adds balance. This revolver is very accurate. I have fired several five-shot two-inch groups at a long 25 yards.

Overall, when it comes to the one-gun theory, I do not feel limited at all with the Taurus Tracker. 

What would be your one-gun revolver? Let us know in the comments below!

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