recoil protection compare LCR handgrips > CrimsonT LaserG

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mike-h

Bearcat
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LCR factory grips vs. CT Laser grips - recoil protection to hands:

My wife and I have been at the range comparing SW 642 vs. a standard Ruger LCR - - searching for our backup/pocket carry to our primary holster carry SP 101 3' 357 magnum guns. Not only are we looking for accuracy but ease on my wife's hands from recoil - - since she finds the SP101 near nil problem in this regard.

Our findings rendered us most pleased with the LCR over the 642 - by far, not only with accuracy and the smooth trigger operation and the size of the grip, BUT the amazing rubber grips that come standard help this LCR absorb recoil/hand-burning much better than we expected in a snubbie, and much-much better than the 642.

We enjoy shooting more than a few rounds so the joy of shooting is much influenced by recoil impact on ones hands. This is important to my wife. The standard LCR grip met this requirement. But, if we remove it and install a CT Laser grip, what then ??

We would like our LCR to be equiped with Crimson Trace rubberized laser grips (model # 411, I believe). But, we are worried that installing such in place of the wonder-Ruger standard factory rubber grips just might leave hands more susceptable - - if the CT grips are not as good regarding recoil protection to ones hands. Since we have not fired with CT grips to compare with factory grips we are unsure - - and that's the reason for this post.

Therefore > For the LCR > Crimson Trace rubberized grip vs. Ruger's standard grip - how can we be sure the CT laser grip for the LCR is as good protecting hands regarding recoil-hurt as Ruger's own factory rubber grip (which is fantastic protecting hands).

Looking for learned inputs from savy users with experience regarding this comparative issue.

thanks for your assistance.
mike
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Mike, Welcome to the Forum!
I hope someone here can give you a good answer,, but due to the fact that the LCR is still new enough that not a lot of folks have had the opportunity to try a comparrison like that,, yet,,, yet!
I know what you are wanting to know,, as I teach a lot of ladies to shoot. It is a serious and good question.
Now,, from what I've been able to understand about the LCR & the 2 different grips,, is that the whole package is better at handling recoil than the S&W's it's been tested against. I would THINK that the softer rubber grips would feel a bit better than the CT grips,, but the CT grips will still feel a lot better than the S&W stuff.

C'mon guys,, anybody else have a qualified opinion?
 

pyth0n

Buckeye
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I had a chance to fire the LCR with both grips. The Hogue grips are better at taming felt recoil than the CT. The CT are a harder material and therefore don't do as good a job of cushioning the blow. I fired 158 gr LSWCHP +P through both, quite a sting, and would definitely prefer the Hogue over the CT. Lighter weight bullets were more tolerable. I Bought the CT grip LCR because of the Laser, obviously.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
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Thanks replies from Cntender and Python above >

Question for Pyth, as a follow-up to his most helpful reply based on his direct experience with both grips >

> What other ammo types have you used to test fire both grips other than that +P you mentioned? You mentioned > "Lighter weight bullets were more tolerable."

I'm thinking of say standard (non +P) 158 gr ammo comparison for LCR factory Hogue grips vs. CT laser grips, a round which my wife fires much in her SP101.

(Ruger indicated their factory quality control tests with standard sights for the SP101 using 158 gr, so often we fire that weight round to tune our accuracy - and would like to do same with the LCR, although we do not know what type round Ruger uses at the factory for LCR's quality control tests.)

Perhaps Pyth only test fired the mentioned 158 gr +p - - with and without the Hogue grips - and not standard 158 gr or other rounds? I have found +p from a SP101 is nearly a non event recoil-wise but such can wake even me up from a LCR - especially with say Golden Saber 135 gr +p 38 spec.

On another point, I presume (but do not know) lighter weight defense rounds such as Hornady's critical defense 110 gr FTX round or say Extreme Shok's 115 gr EPR round would not be a problem with either grip regarding hands. Perhaps Pyth can comment on this since after he he put laser grips on his LCR perhaps by now he might be in a better position to report on 'hand tolerance' with other rounds using the CT.

My wife is no wimp, but has small hands.

Of course I can purchase a LCR and CT grips separately and if not happy with the CT grips "maybe" I can return for credit - - but, if I can know answer ahead of time then have possibly to purchase LCR with CT already installed at much lower total price, but then cannot return the CT grips most likely.

Thanks again to all - - as my learning curve advances inch by inch.
Mike
 

pyth0n

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I didn't have any standard velocity 158 gr but was able to use 125 gr Rem Goldensabers and std vel 130 gr FMJ. The recoil being stout with the 158 gr +P, Point of impact was about 4" high at 10 yards. The 125+P and the std 130 FMJ were closer to point of aim. With the laser I can dial any of them in, but I think I'll reserve the heavier +P round for my SP101. I have the Speer Gold dot sp 135+P .38 spl, but I haven't tried them yet. I don't have much and haven't seen any on the shelves lately. That's been the extent of my try out. Someone else may have done more and have different results.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
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Thanks a bunch, Python. Much appreciated your good inputs.

Seems Python is convinced that while he finds CT grips offer less recoil impact to hands than the standard Ruger Hogue grips, still he finds the laser function a worthwhile added feature regarding accuracy. Additionally, with those CT grips he will shy away from any +p ammo.

He did not say what type of defense ammo he might use with those CT grips that will be recoil-kind to hands. Hope some else can jump in here recommending defense type rounds that can be recoil friendly to hands with a CT laser grip.

My short research finds the standard grips that come from the Ruger factory are a full soft rubber overmold - - whereas the CT grips are not a full rubber overmold but instead are > Hard Polymer Sides, with Rubber Overmolded only at Activation & Backstrap areas. This is too bad since I note the CT web site shows full rubber overmold not only for the Ruger SP101 available but also such available for the S&W 642. Too bad they have not provided same for the LCR. Just my take. Maybe some else found differently?

thanks again, Python. Hope inputs from others will be forthcoming to further assist all - - as would be neat to realize goal of LCR with laser grips and still kind enough to all hands.
Mike
 

WMB30

Single-Sixer
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For me shooting 38 spl with the CT grip is fine. Shooting +P is very uncomfortable like in it hurts. With the standard LCR grip shooting +P is fine like in it does not hurt.
Bill
 

EnzNow

Bearcat
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Oct 16, 2009
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TUCSON
I shot 5 +P and 50 158gn reloads from my local range with the Houge grips and had no problems with recoil at all. Great accuracy at 7 & 15 yards and no hand pain, at all. I just installed the CT & ordered 75 Hornady's critical defense 110 gr FTX, which i plan to use as my carry round. Once I get everything out to the range Ill update, as to felt recoil comparisions. Hopefully this next week sometime. :) However worse the felt recoil is, its worth it to have the laser, IMO.

I think your right on the money tho... "My short research finds the standard grips that come from the Ruger factory are a full soft rubber overmold - - whereas the CT grips are not a full rubber overmold but instead are > Hard Polymer Sides, with Rubber Overmolded only at Activation & Backstrap areas. This is too bad since I note the CT web site shows full rubber overmold not only for the Ruger SP101 available but also such available for the S&W 642. Too bad they have not provided same for the LCR. Just my take. Maybe some else found differently? "

EnzNow
 
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I have the LCR w/ CT grips and a 642 also with CT grips. The Smith has the bigger grip that CT makes, not the more concealable one. It (S&W) is slightly more comfortable to shoot with Federal Hydrashok +P's. However the action on the LCR is far better. My wife had trouble pulling the trigger on the S&W, but no problem with the Ruger. I dont know if she can handle the recoil though. She keeps an SP101 by the bed for now, until I can get out to the range to try the LCR.
 

mike-h

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Great info Enz and Rum. Thanks a bunch. A few comments triggered by your postings >

Enz - - looking forward to your posting later this week with your experience shooting various ammo (including the Hornady critical defense) with the CT laser grip recently installed on your LCR. Also interested in what make and type was the 158 gr round you tested before installing the laser grips, and also how that same round impacts to hands when you fire it with the laser grips installed. Thanks.

Rum - - thank much you posting your results with the laser grips on LCR, and especially your recoil to hand comparison with that set-up AND with your 642 - - where you reported the 642 was 'slightly more comfortable' with laser grips than the LCR with its laser grip. Interesting you reported that your 642 laser grips have the 'bigger grips' - which to me means it is their full rubber overmold model, not their less expensive near nil rubber grip.
Also you mentioned you used Federal Hydrashok +P's - - I have no experience with that round, only with its standard pressure JHP (
PD38HS3H) which is too light regarding speed and energy for my idea of defense - - but your +p may be good enough. What's its product ID number? Also, if you have a chance, I would like to hear findings if your wife has a chance to shoot the LCR with the laser grips using various ammo.

thanks again guys - - we seem to be advancing quite nicely along the learning curve in answering the lead-off post to this series.
Mike
 

mike-h

Bearcat
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Message received from Crimson Trace regarding upgrading their only laser grip model >

1. My message to them >
Hello Crimson Trace,
I am planning to purchase several Ruger LCR revolvers and I am most concerned that if I put your Laser grips on to replace the nice Ruger factory Hogue grips that come standard with their LCR revolver, which amazingly absorb and deaden recoil hurt to female hands, your own replacement grips might be much less recoil absorbing - - since I note your web site states for the LCR Model # 411 and that site http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Produc ... fault.aspx states the material as > "Rugged Hard Polymer Sides, Rubber Overmolded Activation & Backstrap".

This tells me that the material you use for your own laser grip for the LCR is not 100% rubber overmold as is your model LG 303 for the Ruger SP 101 per its site
http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Produc ... fault.aspx which simply states "Comfortable Rubber Overmold".

I note for the Smith & Wesson J-Frames (like SW 642 model which competes directly with Ruger's LCR) your web site offers several types of CT grips, including #405 which, like for the SP 101 states, "Comfortable Rubber Overmold" http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Produc ... fault.aspx

Several ladies like the Ruger LCR much more than the SW 642, and they like the LCR because of the great shock absorbing standarad rubber grip that comes from Ruger with that revolver. They would be interested in laser grips ONLY if they can be assured that your grips would be at least as good at shock absorbing to protect hands from recoil as is the standard Ruger grip that they like.

Please tell me if you are developing soon for release a fully rubber overmolded grip for the Ruger LCR, like available for other guns - - instead of only overmoded at activation and back strap - - and when might that release date occur.

Thanks much

2. Crimson Trace's reply >
Dear Michael

As of right now I do not know of anything in the process of being released. Have a wonderful day!

If we can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to let us know!

Best regards

Brittnie Chadwick
Crimson Trace Corporation
9780 SW Freeman Dr
Wilsonville, OR 97070
800-442-2406
 

ranger7

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
25
The Hogue "Tamer" grips which Ruger puts on LCRs are probably the most recoil absorbing type of grip out there. I doubt if Crimson Trace is going to make anything comparable anytime soon, unless they develop a licensing agreement with Hogue.

I'd like to see Hogue offer "Tamers" for the S&W J frames. I think there's reasonable hope for that to happen since they already make them for S&W X frames (which fit the N frame.)

If recoil taming is very important to you, then I'm afraid you'll have to give up the laser grips. We have 3 LCRs in the family, all with the Hogues.
 
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Mike,
Federal 129 Hydrashok +P is #P38HS1. This is the 20 round box product number. I usually get them in the 50 round box - much cheaper.

Eventually I will try Hornady's 110 grain Critical Defense ammo, but for now I have plenty of HydraShoks.
 

pyth0n

Buckeye
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mike-h":fhckiwoj said:
Thanks a bunch, Python. Much appreciated your good inputs.

Seems Python is convinced that while he finds CT grips offer less recoil impact to hands than the standard Ruger Hogue grips, still he finds the laser function a worthwhile added feature regarding accuracy. Additionally, with those CT grips he will shy away from any +p ammo.

He did not say what type of defense ammo he might use with those CT grips that will be recoil-kind to hands. Hope some else can jump in here recommending defense type rounds that can be recoil friendly to hands with a CT laser grip.

My short research finds the standard grips that come from the Ruger factory are a full soft rubber overmold - - whereas the CT grips are not a full rubber overmold but instead are > Hard Polymer Sides, with Rubber Overmolded only at Activation & Backstrap areas. This is too bad since I note the CT web site shows full rubber overmold not only for the Ruger SP101 available but also such available for the S&W 642. Too bad they have not provided same for the LCR. Just my take. Maybe some else found differently?

thanks again, Python. Hope inputs from others will be forthcoming to further assist all - - as would be neat to realize goal of LCR with laser grips and still kind enough to all hands.
Mike
For me, I'll either carry the Golden Saber 125+p or Speer 135+p until more ammo is available for me to try out, or can get me reloader set up in my small apt. Then Ill look for the round that, first consideration, shoots to point of aim.
 

darkwater67

Single-Sixer
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Aug 7, 2009
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141
Mike...I've read other forums/reviews that echo what has been said so far...the Hogue grips work best to dampen recoil when compared to the CT grips. I think another issue you should address in your comparison is which grip will get you back on target faster, taking into account not just taming recoil but which sight system will allow for faster target acquisition.

I plan on installing the XS tritium dot on the new LCR that I just got for Christmas, and I believe for me this setup will get me back on target faster. I can just see myself trying to perfectly place the laser dot before I pull the trigger, and that will slow me down. A snubby is an extreme close quarters defensive weapon, so I don't need laser precision, I need speed.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
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Darkwater makes several very good points - -

1. He summarized it well with his > "Hogue grips work best to dampen recoil when compared to the CT grips."

I think most can now agree Ruger really did a good job providing the LCR with a great, rubber Hogue-type grip - - that, regarding recoil impact to hands, out performs CT Laser grips for that gun by far and also out performs the SW 642 regardless of laser grip model. We have gained from the experience of many posters documenting that fact. This finding is most important for ladies.

Therefore, if you wish to be as recoil-friendly to your hands as Ruger intended with their standard grip, and if you have a wife you want to feel really good with that gun - - don't change-out the standard factory grip from Ruger for anything else unless you have tested both ways.

I have made my decision, thanks to many great inputs -
- my wife and I will buy a couple of LCRs and not mess with laser grips at this point. This will enhance my carry by providing a pocket/backup LCR to by IWB SP101, and enhance my wife's SP101 purse carry by providing a smaller gun (LCR) for smaller purses. And, I want my wife to continue to feel comfortable with minimal recoil hits to hands and enjoy practice shooting no matter which gun - so she can not only have fun shooting as much as she likes for target practice to most importantly become as proficient with the LCR as she has already proven with the heavier SP101. In meantime, we will wait and see if in near future Crimson Trace comes out with a much, much better laser grip for the LCR proven to provide grip and hand-shock protection at least as good as Ruger's standard grip - - and then re-address lasers or not.

Regarding laser grips, since our research in this forum found that CT does make a full rubber overmold grip for the SP101, I have ordered one to test with one of our guns, and from that hopefully will find that it is as recoil-kind with +p (and even 357 magnum rounds) as now with my Hogue grips. Dealer agreed I can test and return if not satisfied.

I hope others following this post series continue to add their experiences regarding the LCR - - including about the type of ammo they found best for both range practice AND defense - - with standard Ruger grip and with the CT grip.

2. Drarkwater also said, regarding the LCR faster target acquisition >
"I think another issue you should address in your comparison is which grip will get you back on target faster, taking into account not just taming recoil but which sight system will allow for faster target acquisition.

I plan on installing the XS tritium dot on the new LCR that I just got for Christmas, and I believe for me this setup will get me back on target faster. I can just see myself trying to perfectly place the laser dot before I pull the trigger, and that will slow me down. A snubby is an extreme close quarters defensive weapon, so I don't need laser precision, I need speed."

That, in my view, is a great point that hit home to me - - accuracy and target acquisition speed at short range. He mentions XS tritium dot sights - -I am not familiar with such but would appreciate hearing about experience of Dark and others. On our SP101 we replaced the factory sights with green HI VIZ fiber optic sights which significantly improved accuracy and speed of target acquisition in low light conditions. Additionally one must address short distance point and shoot practicing instead of relying on lining up front and rear sites - - to enhance speed. I am just starting to practice that and welcome inputs from others on this point, too.

Darkwater asked me to address this acquisition speed point - - but I hope others will pitch in if interested, with their experience. However, since my original post for this series was based on LCR standard vs. CT laser grip, perhaps someone here would like to start another series just on Darkwater's point. Here or elsewhere is fine with me, as I am anxious to learn and learn.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
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Thanks Dark for the tip on XS installation thread. I read it all. Good stuff.
Have you yet had a chance to test fire your LCR with several types of ammo with your Christmas present XS sights? Lucky guy.
Mike
 

dmazur

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Oct 31, 2007
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Pacific NW
I can just see myself trying to perfectly place the laser dot before I pull the trigger, and that will slow me down.

I haven't found this to be true. If you allow yourself to be fascinated by the red dot (cats will do this...), then yes it can cost you time.

I believe new shooters can agonize over iron sight alignment, too.

With experience, most find that the laser allows them to acquire the target much faster, both for initial as well as follow-up shots.

You still need to maintain proficiency with iron sights, but the laser is a tremendous use of technology to aid in close range pistol sighting. (IMO)
 

mike-h

Bearcat
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florida
dmazur - thanks much your post. Seems reasonable your point. And, that's exactly why I wanted to put laser grips on at least one of our LCRs. However, as you know the reason for this posting, I do not want to go that route if such negativelly recoil-impacts my wife's hands compared to the factory (Hogue type) great rubber grips that come standard with the LCR.

I was unhappy to learn from the many responses to that posting that it seems best to forget laser for now - - since I do not want to do anything that would reduce my wife's joy at firing and continuing to become more and more accurate (in fact, embarassingly more accurate than me). But, the responses seem most creditable - - so we wait either for more convinging responses or for whenever if ever Crimson Trace upgrades their LCR grip, as they did for the SP 101.

In the meantime, we are putting the full rubber overmold laser grips on one of our SP 101s to compare that with our hogue grips on that gun, and if acceptable to become familiar with the potential benefits of laser over iron sites, as you mentioned.
 

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