First Impressions of the New Light, Compact Revolver

Ruger’s show stopping announcement is the new part-polymer revover: the Ruger LCR.  The LCR, or light, compact revolver, is a five shot, .38 +P self defense gun and Ruger’s follow up to the run-away success with the LCP.

In production now, the LCR is a unique revolver, blending elements of the traditional small-framed revolver with the advancements of modern polymer guns.  It has a steel cylinder and barrel, an aluminum frame, and a polymer handle.  The weight unloaded is less than 14 ounces, though it feels even lighter.  The cylinder has recesses so significant that “fluting” would appear to be a monumental understatement.  The polymer section holds all of the fire control components.  The front sight is relatively large for such a small handgun, and is easy to pick up in the wide rear notch.  The serrated front ramp is pinned suggesting an easy swap to another sight if so desired.

The trigger is very smooth with no perceptible staging, and presses straight back.  Compared to Ruger’s SP101, the LCR feels like a slick, custom job.  The LCR I shot had a much smoother trigger than what is on my Smith and Wesson 642.  The only complaint I had with the trigger is my tendancy to short stroke it.  If you ride the trigger out, feeling for a reset, you will short stroke this gun.  You must allow the trigger to ride all the way out before pressing again.

The balance of the gun is very nice.  The weight shifted forward, which appears to help with recoil.  Shooting standard pressure .38 Hornady 125gr JHPs, the gun’s recoil was almost non-existant.  Ruger did not have any +P loadings on hand to shoot, but I imagine they will be a little snappier.  However, even the standard pressure rounds seemed easier on the hand than similar loads shot in my 642.

The bottom line is I am impressed.  Ruger is making a very nice, very concealable revolver in a respectable caliber.  Some people may not like the modern look of the gun, but I was not put off by it.  In person it is a neat little gun, and I expect it will sell very well.

The gun seems to have had good success with those looking for a pocket gun or mouse gun for self-defense.  It is a bit bulkier than something like the Ruger LCP  or the Kel-Tec P3AT, but it has more fire-power too.  It’s a trade off.  If you can carry a concealed weapon this large in the clothing you are wearing, by all means do it.   If you are used to a AirWeight Smith and Wesson, this is very similar.  As one would expect with a revolver, there have really been no problems with this gun to my knowledge.   You won’t get the usual semi-auto jams, FTE’s, FTF’s, etc….  It’s just point and shoot.  And if and when you need it, that is very important.  There are two models are available.  The standard model is about $525 and a model with Crimson Trace laser-grips is about $750.   Either would be a fine choice for an “in your face” moment.