The Ruger LCR

Looking for a small, lightweight, easy shooting, reasonably priced revolver? Here it is. The LCR is going to be a hot seller for Ruger!

In firing those five rounds, two other things came immediately to mind. First, the LCR comes equipped standard with Hogue ® Tamer ™ grips (it will also be available with Crimson Trace Lasergrips ® as an option), and the recoil with those grips is very mild for so light a gun. This was just as I had remembered from Orlando, but my shooting here was with a hot +P load; so far so good. The second thing that I noticed was that I could actually see a decent sight picture as I lined the LCR up on the target. Snubbys usually have very rudimentary sights, amounting to little more than a bump on the front of the barrel and a groove on the top of the frame. The LCR has a decent sized, deeply serrated front sight blade and the frame has a broad groove with sharply defined edges. This allows for plenty of light on either side of the front sight picture, so your eyes can see that the front sight is properly centered and level in the notch. In other words, I think you can actually use the sights to hit something at more than "belly gun" distances.

To test that theory, I moved back to ten yards and fired five rounds of standard velocity MagTech .38 FMJs at the chest of the target. It was not as satisfying a result! That group opened up to well over five inches, looked more like a pattern than a group, and one round showed the beginnings of key-holing. I marked those five and switched back to a hotter load, this time the Speer Lawman 158 grain +P FMJ round. What a difference! That five shot group, still at ten yards, measured one and seven-eights inches, with the best three again measuring only three-quarters of an inch. Apparently this particular gun favors the hotter ammo.

Feeling a bit confident with the clear sight picture, I moved back to the twenty five yard bench rest table. Using a two hand hold, supported by a MTM® Case-Gard™ pistol rest, I fired another five rounds of the Speer GDHP 135 grain +Ps. The overall group measured five and one-quarter inches, but the best four were within an inch and seven-eights and the best three were in one and five-eights of an inch. I also had a three and one-quarter inch group with the Speer Lawman, with the best three in one and one-sixteenth of an inch. In reviewing these results, as well as some other groups shot by Mas Ayoob, we realized two things about this particular gun. One was a tendency to throw one "flyer" out of each group. These were not called flyers, meaning we felt them go awry because of something we did, but rather they went astray on their own. Mas thought it may have been from one chamber in particular, but my shooting did not confirm that, so we weren't exactly sure why it was happening. The other thing was the tendency of some rounds to key-hole, which is caused by the bullet starting to destabilize and yaw or tumble. It was happening mostly with either standard velocity rounds or with all-lead bullets. Mas had fired some Black Hills 148 grain wadcutters and some Remington 158 grain +P lead semi-wadcutter hollow points, normally a superb load, and found that this LCP did not perform well with them. I had the same results with the Black Hills ammo. Unfortunately, we don't have another LCR available to see if this is just this one gun or something that may be design related. For now, I'm pleased with the +P Speer GDHP, which is what I would be using anyway.

Overall, I really like this gun. It has all the attributes of a lightweight snubby, but none of the usual faults. It has good, useable sights, recoil is manageable, even with hot loads and it is accurate at normal snubby shooting distances. It has a smooth, crisp and reasonably light trigger, right out of the box. The LCR is as light as a Smith and Wesson 340 M&P, but has a much lighter price tag at $525 suggested retail, compared to a list price of $948 for the S&W. With the Crimson Trace Lasergrips ® it lists for $792 versus $1232 for the Smith. It should be just the ticket as a back-up gun in a pocket, vest or ankle holster. The only thing now is waiting for it to be available at your local gun shop. Ruger says that they began shipping the LCRs in mid March, but due to the overwhelming demand for the LCR - availability will be limited. Ruger also says it is one of the most significant new revolver designs in over a century. I agree!

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