Ruger is one of the most well-respected names in firearms, and even though the revolver isn’t typically on the “most carried models” list, you will still be able to find devotees here and there. And for good reason. Modern revolvers have come a long way from the typically cowboy-centric origin pieces that often come to mind, and the Ruger LCR line is a perfect example of that.
Even though personal defence technology has advanced to a point where even the most powerful semi-automatic pistols have been rounded, bevelled, and compacted to be able to be carried nearly anywhere, you can still find revolvers to stand side by side with them in both performance and power. The snub-nose revolver is an American favourite that has been nearly perfected by Ruger.
The LCR line brings the iconic look of early 20th century revolvers to the modern concealed carry crowd, with all of the legendary stopping power held by the favourites of yesteryear. Let’s break down the LCR and the LCRx and see what makes them so perfectly adapted to their roles.
Ruger debuted the LCR series back in 2009 with their original LCR model. Unlike any other revolver on the market, the LCR was revolutionary. They did away with the traditional external hammer that revolvers are known for, replacing it with an internal hammer, making it strictly double-action. Since its introduction, the Ruger LCR has remained a favourite amongst revolver enthusiasts, as it is a much more concealed-carry friendly design. This snub-nose compact revolver remains a top-selling firearm from Ruger for many reasons.
The LCR sports a relatively thin frame and fits the standards of concealed carry, measuring no more than 1.28 inches at its widest point. It is 4.5 inches tall and while it is 6.5 inches long, which initially sounds rather large, only a tiny 1.87 inches of that is barrel length. One of the most impressive things about this gun is the weight. It tips the scales at a feathery 13.5 ounces empty, and just 17.2 when it’s ready to spit. This means you can wield this gun with all the muscle it takes to hoist a can of soda.
Depending on how you feel about the issue, the action of the LCR can be considered its most glaring weakness, or a game-changing win. While most revolvers, snubbies in particular, have the signature external hammer, the LCR does not. This means that the LCR is exclusively a double-action revolver, and it cannot be used with a single action option for the shooter.
The LCR does away with the hard plastic or wood furniture, and in doing so, it incorporates a wraparound rubber grip which significantly reduces the often challenging recoil felt when using a revolver. The top of the backstrap also features padding strategically located where the webbing between the thumb and forefinger meets the frame of the gun. These improvements help to make the LCR a much more enjoyable shooting experience. The recoil is reduced significantly compared to competing manufacturers’ revolvers, while the shooter’s grip and general control of the gun are measurably improved.
One of the most irritating things about conventional double-action revolvers is the nearly unbearably long pull of the trigger. Ruger created a solution to the heavy trigger and long pull feel, by incorporating a special cam in the trigger assembly that cuts the friction down by a noticeable amount. While the pull is heavier than semi-automatic pistols at 7lbs. 8oz., it is unbelievably smooth in operation. There is a potential downside, however, in that the trigger must be fully released in order to reset. This can be an unwelcome change for those who prefer short trigger resets.
The LCR has been available for about a decade now, and that means that you can get an LCR in any one of several different calibers, depending on your preference. The LCR is available in dozens of variations, but the most popular calibers will include:
- .22 Magnum
- .327 Federal Magnum
- .357 Magnum
The constant revisions and variations of the LCR produced one of the most desirable types of the LCR line, the LCRx. A formidable subtype that was largely spawned from the general desire to have a gun that performs like the LCR, with the option for dual firing capability.
The Ruger LCRx was introduced in 2014. Several upgrades were made, and the LCR series became one of the best snub-nosed revolvers around. There are similarities between the LCRx and the other models in the line, but this model definitely stands out from the crowd. The LCRx is the result of a long line of revisions, updates, and improvements. Constructed from the same base steel, polymer, and an aluminum alloy, the frame is extremely sturdy while providing more firing power than the original LCR due to the increased barrel length. This is ideal for many people because while it remains incredibly easy to carry concealed, it fills this role without making any compromises with regard to power or performance.
If you are looking for a revolver that is sturdy, powerful, and easy to aim for, the LCRx is a great option. It measures 7.5 inches long, 1.28 inches wide, and 5.8 inches high. The LCRx features a longer barrel than the original LCR, at 3 inches. The barrel is longer, which makes it easier to get an accurate aim while still being able to keep it concealed until you need it. Compared to the 1.87-inch version, this model is still just as easy to control and draw, but the 3-inch barrel gives it the same stopping power that you get with the same gun, but with a 4-inch barrel.
One of the biggest perks is that it weighs less than a pound, at just 15.7 ounces prior to loading it. If you are concerned about having a gun that’s too heavy to use quickly, you won’t have to worry about that. You’ll be able to draw quickly, which is crucial if you need your gun for protection.
Unlike the original LCR, the LCRx has a streamlined external hammer which gives the look that many people want but without hindering the ability to draw easily from your holster. Additionally, because of the hammer, this revolver includes a double and a single-action trigger. The double-action trigger allows the user to shoot much more quickly, as the purpose of the double-action is to cock the hammer and release it in a single pull.
The factory-supplied grip is the Hogue Tamer No Finger Groove Grip. It does have a two-finger design which isn’t always the best, but this one seems to perform quite well. Many people with larger hands tend to stray away, but this handgrip can easily accommodate larger hands with 3 fingers. The grip is full-length and helps with control.
The trigger pull on the LCRx is smooth-faced with rounded edges and is about 0.3 inches wide. This design fits comfortably in the first joint of the trigger finger. When used as a single action, it takes about 12 pounds of pressure to fire the shot. When used as a single action, you use the external hammer to cock the gun. The SA shoots at about 6 pounds of pressure.
When first debuted back in 2009, this gun was only chambered for .38 special, but it has come a long way in the decade or so since premiering. These days, you can also get a Ruger LCRx chambered for a .22LR, .22 Magnum, .38 Special +P, .327 Magnum, and 9mm Luger
Side by side, the LCR, and the LCRx are incredible additions to any snubby-fan’s collection. Determining which one is right for you, however, is something that will take a little consideration. You will need to iron out exactly what role you need yours to fill once you get it home. If you are looking for a robust defense gun with legendary stopping power, the LCRx is going to be your snub du jour. This double-action double-duty superstar can be carried in concealment with a high degree of effectiveness, and it can offer dual-action shots and a slightly longer sight radius. If you want the epitome of reliability in a gun designed to be concealed then the LCR is your iron, for sure. Not only does its lightweight frame allow it to be carried and brought to bear effortlessly, but the sleek design and hammerless construction allow for a smooth and snag-free draw no matter where you carry it. Whether you’re looking for a duty revolver or an off-duty defender, the LCR and LCRx definitely have you covered. You can rest assured that you will be holding one of the most reliable options for hideaway revolvers that are currently available anywhere.
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