Gun Of The Week: Smith and Wesson R8 Revolver

The story behind the R8 is that it was designed for the shield man on a SWAT team.  The shield man usually uses a semi auto handgun in the hand he's not holding his shield in, and apparently they were running into problems with the slide coming back and hitting the shield, causing the gun to malfunction.   While this is a bummer, the solution that was developed by Smith and Wesson is hardcore. 

The brilliants minds that came up with this thing deserve a raise.  Here we have 8 rounds of .357 magnum.  A full 2 more rounds than your standard, 6 round revolver.  It's the most rounds in revolver that I've ever heard of.  It is also the same capacity as a fully loaded 1911.   

Because it was designed for a shield guy who only has one hand to operate, it also has a rail on it so you can attached a light.  This is the only revolver I've ever heard of that has a rail to attach a light.  

As you can see, this thing is full of firsts.  They managed to do all of this and the revolver is pretty much the same size as other .357 revolvers. 

From what I've read, the recoil seems manageable, and if it was an issue you could always shoot .38 special, and have a very soft shooting gun. 

It would serve as a superb home defense gun or an very fun range toy.  It would be a bit big to conceal carry, though I'm sure you could if you really wanted.  Open carry would be feasible if you don't mind lugging the weight around.


  • Cost: $1000 - $1300 on gunbroker
  • Caliber: .357 Magnum 
  • Capacity: 8 - the most of any revolver I know of
  • Accessories: Has a rail, the only revolver I know of that has one.  It also has a picatinny piece you can add to the top to put a RMR on it.
  • Barrel Length: 5"
  • Weight: 36.3 oz
  • Sights: Front Sight is a white dot