A Look at the Two Newest Ruger LCR Lightweight Revolvers
Rob Reed 01.29.15
The Sturm, Ruger & Company’s line of compact LCR Revolvers has been a hit for the gunmaker since they were introduced a few years ago. The gun’s innovative polymer and metal construction and non-stacking trigger-pull have made them popular with shooters wanting a light weight, yet shootable, concealed carry revolver.
The company recently added two new designs to the LCR line. In addition to the existing .38 Special +P, .357 Magnum and .22 LR versions, over the last few months Ruger has introduced a 9mm LCR and a .38 Special LCRx with a 3″ barrel.
The Ruger LCRx is built on the same aluminum frame and polymer trigger housing as the other .38 Special +P rated LCR revolvers. The difference is the gun has a longer 3″ barrel and, unlike other revolvers in the line, features an exposed hammer, allowing it to be fired in single-action mode. The gun wears a set of Houge Tamer grips designed to reduce felt recoil. The LCRx holds five rounds and weighs 15.70 ounces with an overall length of 7 1/2 inches. The rear sight is adjustable and the front sight blade is taller than on other LCR models. The MSRP is $545.
The LCR 9mm uses the standard polymer fire control housing of the LCR series mated with the heavier stainless steel frame from the .357 Magnum model. As a result the weight is increased to 17.20 ounces. The rimmed 9mm rounds are fed into the cylinder with spring steel moon clips, three of which are included with the gun. The 1.87″ barrel and double-action only trigger make this a suitable “pocket carry” gun as a backup or primary concealed carry piece. The Houge grip on this version sports finger groves and is abbreviated when compared to the 3″ LCRx. The sights are typical of a snub revolver with a rear channel and small front sight blade. The MSRP is $619.
I was able to try both versions side-by-side at the recent 2015 SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range. I was impressed by the sheer shootability of the LCRx firing standard pressure .38 Special ammunition. The double-action trigger with the proprietary cam system that gives the shooter a smooth pull without any trigger stacking has always been one of the strong points of the design. The single-action trigger on the LCRx was even better. It was smooth and released at what I estimate at four or five pounds with a crisp release. Between the trigger and the sights this was a very pleasant and rewarding revolver to shoot.
The 9mm LCR reveals its origins as a “serious business” gun. Ruger used the steel frame due to the higher chamber pressure of the 9mm cartridge when compared to .38 Special. I’m glad they did because, even with the extra weight, the gun was “snappy” to fire. The recoil wasn’t exactly unpleasant, but it was more noticeable than the standard pressure .38 Specials fired out the LCRx. Still, the gun seems well suited for its purpose as a defensive firearm. The combination of the excellent ballistics of the 9mm round and the ease of reloading provided by the moon clips make this a good gun to slip into a pocket holster.
For more information on the 9mm LCR, watch this video of a Ruger rep demoing the gun at the 2015 SHOT Show.