Range Report - Ruger LCR 38

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Lanrezac, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    I hope this is the right forum to post a range report. I have had a Ruger LCR for some time, but with one thing and another, this is the first time I have shot it. I used Winchester 38 Special 148 grain mid-range wadcutters at about 30 feet. I shot all rounds two handed. I have three main observations:

    1) Recoil is quite snappy, even with wadcutters. However, the factory grips provide excellent control, but a beginning shooter would find this gun unpleasant to fire. I would not want to shoot it with heavy loads, but I would like to try it with lighter bullets (like standard velocity 130 grain FMJ or 110 grain HPs) to see how that affects recoil. (I see that Ruger offers this gun in 357 Magnum. I would be interested to know what this is like to shoot...as long as I do not have to shoot it myself.)

    2) Accuracy is good, better than I expected for a DA-only revolver that does not weigh enough to make a good paperweight. The basic factory sights are good (I did not have a laser or night sights), and once again, the grips are a plus in helping line them up properly, and keep them lined up during the trigger pull. The trigger let-off is crisp.

    3) The ejector rod seemed too short to me. I was shooting low-pressure factory ammo, but not all cases would eject cleanly - 2 or 3 would get about 90% out, then refuse to drop. This happened even when I pointed the muzzle straight up and stroked the ejector rod briskly. I wondered if nickel-plated brass would help. Without a longer barrel, this must be quite a problem in the 357 Magnum version.

    I hope this is of interest - just my $.02.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  2. garydude

    garydude Member

    Great report and thanks for the info. I tried smith and wesson's equivalent, shot one round and said "yikes" and handed it back to it's owner. This from a guy who just had a range session including 100 rounds of 44 mag.

    I think the idea with these small pistols is to shoot them frequently to remain proficient, but just not a lot of rounds per session.

  3. Slabsides

    Slabsides Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Short barreled revolvers are some of the most difficult handguns to master, esp. shooting double action. Short sight radius, long trigger pull and snappy recoil make these, as a general rule, NO fun to shoot. Excellent defensive handgun when mastered, but never much fun to plink cans with.

    I carry a S&W 642 daily as a BUG. I love it. I can empty a cylinder into one ragged hole at 7yds, but after a box of rounds, I'm done with it for a while. After only 5 +P rounds, I'm ready to shoot something else!

    We have a Ruger LCR for one of our range rentals.....it sees ALOT of use and I have yet to see it fail. Normally, they do not last long in the case and on occasion batches sell even before they get put in the case. Excellent gun IMO, and great report too, thanks for sharing!
  4. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    I have the LCR .357 and it is not pleasent to shoot. Very sharp recoil. After a few shots your hand is stinging. I'd rather shoot my Desert Eagle .50.
  5. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Thanks for the report! I have several of the snubbies, and love them all! For practice they are not a lot of fun to shoot, but then neither was the job I had while making a living for my family a lot of fun! In a get off me situation, they work great, and I can promise you that under such conditions you won't notice recoil, not even a little! While most of these guns perform well at 30 feet, they are intended for up close, and personal social work, within say 10 feet. They are designed to get to quickly, get them up and running quickly, because the danger has come upon you quickly!
  6. jeffadaklin

    jeffadaklin New Member

    Oct 11, 2011
    I had a Taurus 85 38, wasn't as bad as you say but it was a good bit heavier. ..had rubber grips which helped, just like your LCR. Nowadays it's the KelTec P32s that are killing me. Wife and daughter wanted really small purse-pistols- they are exactly was garydude said- you shoot them often to practice, but very short sessions. The ladies say 'it's not that bad' but I can tell they're fudgin' :) I know 2-3 magazines full and I'm done.
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    Good report, Lanrezac. I also have an LCR and found pretty much the same things. I did find that the ejector rod on mine will unscrew after a while and the first time it caused my cylinder to lock up, at least until I figured out what it was doing. You might want to keep an eye on that. All in all, I found that it is a good pistol and does shoot good for a snubbie.
  8. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have a KelTec 32 as well, and I thought the Ruger LCR had worse recoil...but I have not shot the KelTec for some time. Maybe I am just out of practice. I have not had time to shoot for a while, and I have been shooting mostly light stuff to get back into it. (I am a big fan of 32 Long, even though it combines the punch of 22 rimfire with the expense of 45 ACP.) I will have to try the KelTec and compare.

    And whoo, boy, TheGunClinger, you must have both hands and nerves of steel to touch off an LCR with .357s in it. Could I ask what load you used? Do they make they make special "snubby" loads for .357?
  9. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Thanks for the tip about the ejector rod, gdmoody. I will check mine as soon as I get home. I have an S&W Model 43 (the Airweight 22 Kit Gun) with exactly the same problem. It is always a pain when that happens. I keep meaning to use clear nail polish or some form of Loctite on it, but my adventures in home gunsmithing have not made me confident that I will not glue the whole gun together.
  10. Old John

    Old John New Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    I have both LCR's, a .38 special I bought last year when they first came out and a .357 magnum I bought a couple months later.
    I carry the .38 special as a pocket gun, when I need one. It's light & handy. I keep it loaded with 110 gr. LHJHP's. It's not too bad with those. I think they are stout enough to do the job, up close, as a "get off me" gun.

    I use .357 magnum 110 gr. LHJHP's in the .357 magnum LCR. It is definitely snappier than the .38 special. I carry it every day in an OSWB high ride pancake holster. I have confidence in it to do the job.
    I had carried a Ruger SP101 as EDC, for 8+ years, in that same holster, loaded with Silvertips or Golden Sabres.
    The LCR is just so much lighter......Takes some getting use to though with the snappier recoil.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  11. vulcrider

    vulcrider Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    Great report. I have the same gun and my experiences are similar. A good up-close and personal gun for SD. I found that Hornady Critical Defense 38spl 110gr, (not +P) gives me the best compromise between the recoil and a competent defensive round. The higher weight rounds are difficult to maintain good accuracy beyond 15ft. but the gun is accurate at that range. I bought it for CC and really only expect to use it at close range if ever. I have other guns for target practice, the LCR wears me out after 25-30 rounds without some rest in between firings.
  12. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes, the LCR was the last gun I shot before going home. Thanks for telling me about the Hornady ammo; that will save me a lot of trial and error.
  13. vulcrider

    vulcrider Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    Happy to share my albeit limited, knowledge. I contemplated the LCR for almost a year before finding the right time/deal. Could not be happier with the gun. NOW, I see Ruger has come out with a 22 version. If it wasn't so expensive ($529 for a 22!!!), I would love to have it for practice, providing it had the same trigger pull and weight.
  14. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Huh! I had thought Ruger should make a 22 version of the LCR, but I had been thinking of a conventional DA/SA version with a 3 or 4 inch barrel as an ultra-lightweight trail gun A DA-only version in 22 for training had not occurred to me, because the main training I need is getting used to the recoil. But for a new shooter, you are quite right.
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