Range Report: Ruger LCR Edition
Posted by Lissa on January 19, 2010
Guest post by Mike . . . Happy now, Jay? :)
The LCR (Lightweight Compact Revolver) is Ruger’s answer to the popular Smith & Wesson J-frame snub-nosed revolvers. It weighs just 13.5 ounces—the aluminum frame and polymer fire control housing help there—and would be pretty concealable if one is into revolvers. It shoots .38 Special, which is certainly respectable out of a tiny gun.
I’d heard that the LCR had some amazing frame technology that made recoil very reasonable, but I was skeptical. My only prior snubbie experience (a “Bodyguard” shrouded hammer S&W J-frame, also .38 Special) left me a bit underwhelmed. I didn’t shoot it well in my five shots, but it was horribly unpleasant to shoot. I’d been interested in such a revolver as a potential carry gun, but that pretty much killed it for me.
Recently, I found myself at a shooting range in the Charlotte area intending to rent a big .357 magnum—they had a S&W Model 686—because I thought that’d be fun to shoot. While I was waiting for a lane, I noticed they had the LCR available too. Since they only charge $5 to rent a gun, I figured I could give the LCR a try first and just swap for the bigger 686 and be able to use up the rest of the .38 ammo if I disliked it.
Here’s how I shot the J-frame revolver a couple months ago (the two squares in the upper right were Lissa’s and mine with that gun):
Here’s how it went with the LCR at 20 feet:
I really surprised myself with how well I shot it—the silky smooth double-action-only trigger helped a lot—and that gave me more confidence and made it more fun, so I shot the entire 50 rounds of ammo. On my first target, I counted 23 holes out of 25 rounds fired, but I was 25 for 25 in keeping it on the paper with the second one after I got a bit more used to it. Whether it’s the frame design, the Hogue grips, or both, Ruger has made the recoil very manageable. By the time I got to the end of 50 rounds, my wrist was feeling it a little bit, but not enough to make me stop. The LCR would perform admirably in any real-world application of a snubbie, but I still wouldn’t want to shoot it all day.
The bottom line is that, if I ever decide to get a snubbie, the Ruger LCR is the one I’d get. They were selling them new at the same place for $400, so it’s reasonably affordable.
In other news, later today, I hope to get to the local range to try out some shiny accessories for my Sig Sauer P229. I recently added on Crimston Trace laser grips and obtained the Sig .22LR conversion kit. Both should help me become better, but I’m also hoping the conversion kit will save me a bundle in the long run.
[Thanks, sweetie, for the guest post. P.S. GO SCOTT GO!!]