Ruger LCR Range and Ammo Test Report

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147 Grain

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
75
Fired the new $369.00 Ruger LCR in 38 Special for the first time today at my local indoor range. It has one sweet trigger that is superior to the S&W 637-CT with Laser Grips (single & double action) and shoots dead-on at 21' with Buffalo Bore's (BB) Standard Pressure 158-gr. FBI load.

Recoil, OTOH, was noticeably more on the LCR with the factory supplied Hogue-Tamer finger grooved grips because it weighs 15% less. http://www.ruger.com/products/lcr/models.html

The Model #5401 LCR is a polymer framed unit and only weighs 13.5-oz. with a 1.875" barrel that retails for $525. The S&W 637-CT (aluminum stainless steel Airweight) weighs 16-oz. with Crimson Trace Laser Grips and 1.875" barrel (retails for $901), but recoil definitely felt about 15% +/- less (???).

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson2/upload/images/firearms/zoom_lg/163052_01_lg.jpg

I tried 3 different types of ammo in the LCR and each brand appeared to recoil the same, with the Buffalo Bore load yielding the tightest groups offhand at 1 1/2" by 2". The LCR was then put in a shooting vice and yielded the following results (after perfectly aligning the open sights and locking things down):

1. Federal Classic 38 Special +P 158-gr. LSWCHP (Item #C38G) grouped 4" low and 3" to the left at 21'.
2. Speer Short Barrel 38 Special +P 135-gr. Gold Dot (Item #23921) grouped 2" low and 2" to the left at 21'.
3. Buffalo Bore Short Barrel Standard Pressure 158-gr. LWC-HP (Item #20C) grouped dead-on left-to-right and 1/4" high (probably due to a warm barrel) at 21'.

For self defense, the wife uses the S&W 637-CT (with small exposed hammer & laser) with Speer Gold Dot 135-gr. or Federal 158-gr. +P FBI load. I have used this setup with a laser to shoot 1 1/8" ragged groups 1/2 dozen times while braising myself. Federal's 158-gr. load shoots within 1/4" of Speer's short barrel load with the laser.

The LCR will be a BUG and naturally stoked with Buffalo Bore's Standard Pressure Short Barrel 158-gr. since this load shoots to Point of Aim (POA) with the factory sights.

Out of the 3 types of ammo, I have concluded that they're all suitable for self defense and I would not hesitate to go into the ammo supply in storage for either load in either revolver.

Note: Shooting 148-gr. wadcutters in both snubnose revolvers is much funner / manageable for extended shooting time. If you bring your spouse to the range, let her shoot a larger 38 Special with the fluffy kittens cat recoil. Wadcutters offer the lowest recoil, then FMJ, and etc., so there's no harm in letting them shoot lighter recoiling loads in a snubnose.

When your life is on the line, recoil won't be felt and it won't matter.
 

enrico

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
23
Hi 147 Grain,

Nice data gathering! :wink: I'll bet if you tried a 357 LCR (#5450 - 17 oz) the weight will be more even with the S&W 637 (16 oz) and, when you shoot 38-SPL in both the recoil will improve by 20% on the LCR and, it will be even cheaper by 10% even if you add a Crimson Trace :shock:

my 2c
E
 

147 Grain

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
75
Perhaps I should have gotten the 357 Mag version, but the LCR in 38 was on sale for $369 2 weeks ago and I coudn't pass on the price, which is now $50 higher.
 

chaos

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
4
Location
Redneck, Texas
I picked up one the day before yesterday. Should be just fine as a BUG. The ONLY thing that bugs me is it does print low, only slightly, with every type of ammo I have tried in it.

I have some 178gr homecast that I have not tried and wont, because I think they are too heavy.


Will Ruger sell me a shorter front sight? I want it to print dead on or even a tad high, I DO NOT like a gun that prints 2 inches LOW
 

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