Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

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):

Jay – UL and ML, Me – LL and UR; Mike – MR and LR

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!!]

3 Responses to “Range Report: Ruger LCR Edition”

  1. Lissa take my advice if you didn’t hate shooting it, GET ONE.

    When I’m not carrying my 1911 I carry a S&W642 in my pocket, as I can conceal it in anything I can’t conceal my 1911. Still as I told you I fully plan to switch out this gun for a Kahr PM9 now that they’re mass approved because like you, I prefer the auto-chuckers, and 6+1 Shots of 147gr 9x19mm >> 5 shots of 147gr .38 sp +P even before you start looking at gun width and reload mechanics ect ect.

    That being said I will NOT sell my J-frame for the world because unlike the above auto-chuckers they are super-versatile.

    #1. Easily concealable. If I can only carry one gun, I KNOW I can carry this gun be it summer, winter or fall.
    #2. (This is the big one) Revolvers don’t suffer from bullet set-back when cambering a round. A cartridge riding up the feed-ramp into the chamber of an auto-loader will eventually start pushing the bullet back into the case. If it goes too far, you could have detonation. Revolvers you can do this virtually an unlimited amount of times. This means if I’m staying someplace where I don’t have a nice lock-box to tuck my gun, I can simply unload it however many times I need to, and fill it right back up with no ill effects.
    #3. A small revolver is the ideal “Pack-O-Smokes Gun” this is a term I coined when I saw friends get up late at night and walk down to the corner store when their pack of smokes went dry, or some other necessity. Late at night, at a spot of frequent robbery. NOT a good place to not have a gun.

    With a J-frame it only takes a few seconds to drop 5 pills in the charge-holes and stuff it in a pocket holster, or a clip-on belt-waistband holster (with a light-weight gun you could even get away without a belt given your pants fit properly) and you’re out the door. So not much more time than it takes to grab your wallet and keys ect.

    So while you may like the sig better as an all-around gun, I find a small lightweight revolver to be the most useful tool in my CCW toolbox.

    • Mike said

      I think I’d be more inclined towards a PM9–or even a PM40 if they make an MA version–though I haven’t shot one yet. The P9, which I have tried and weighs maybe 1-2 ounces more, was much more enjoyable to shoot than the LCR (which in turn was much more enjoyable than the J-frame).

      • I still think the ability to have a gun you can load and unload the same 5 shells all day long without ill effects is worth it’s weight in Gold.

        Tho I prefer a Semi-auto if given a choice, and of the Pocket Autos Kahr is both the lightest, smallest, most powerful, and of highest quality.

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