A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Ruger LCR

It looks like Ruger has felt the call of plastic, and spawned a revolver with a major portion of the frame made of polymer plastic. The guys at Gunblast knew about this thing and kept it a secret. They have a review for any potential interested buyers. I tend to agree with Grant Cunningham. This thing is like taking a hamburger, tossing away the bun, and putting it between two halves of a melon.

Just because it's different doesn't mean it's good. Making a pocketable revolver lighter is not a new concept. Smith & Wesson has done that admrably over the years, even putting .357 magnum in a five shot scandium package for those inclined towards early onset carpal arthritis. Unfortunately time tested S&W scandium revolvers are Ruger's opposition at the gun counter for this new product. A plastic and aluminum revolver with a stainless steel cylinder and barrel does not inspire confidence in this shooter. With a $525 MSRP with a Hogue grip or a $792 MSRP with a Crimson Trace laser, I would just buy a Smith instead.

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Blogger Brigid said...

I may be the first to say that. . but that's a pretty ugly gun. I might shoot it through a paper bag, but not sure I'd buy one.

I'd be curious to see what people think of how it performs. Might surprise us.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Joe Carpenter said...

Interesting. I'd like to see one chambered in either .32H&R Mag, or the new .327 Federal. With those, you get less recoil (good for the lightweight type guns) and 6 rounds in about the same size cylinder.
Though, I can understand why they opted for .38 special- being a much more prevalent cartridge than the 32's.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous miguel m said...

we need someone to put 10,000 round thought it. yes is it very ugly. If the gun works like a dream .. it will sell

6:04 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

I dont care HOW cutting edge it is...for that kind of in house budgeting,the INNER PARTS are..ARE MIM BTW..(eff dat),cast plastic grip,and ALLOY frame.
all these technologies are CHEAPER TO PRODUCE,hence high profit margin.
why in hell does it cost sooooooo damn much,I fail to see it justified.
Gimme an old smitty anyday

6:35 PM  
Anonymous IndependentRealist said...

That is really something to see!I know the quality that goes into most Ruger poducts so I am going to wait on an opinion just yet? I agree the price is alittle high.


6:36 PM  
Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

Way too much money for way to little gun. I'd buy a 442 or 642 used before I'd buy that thing new.

6:54 PM  
Blogger ChuckAtPodunkOutpost said...

Brigid beat me to the sentiment...

My initial thought was Is it Sunday already?

7:07 PM  
Blogger Sevesteen said...

If the trigger is as good as the two reviews I've seen, it is at least worth looking into--Plastic may work just as well, and I'm glad to see innovation in revolvers, even if it eventually turns out to be a dead end.

However, based on their track record with new models of polymer handguns I'll wait for the post-recall models.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would buy it if it was cheaper. Why pay more for plastic?

8:16 PM  
Blogger Old NFO said...

Yeowche.. Dats a price tag! Agreed on the S&W. Heck you could probably buy a pretty nice Colt Agent for that amount!

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

had one Ruger 45ACP pistol and that was about it. No more. This colt is the same lousy standard.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Eric Shelton said...

I'm curious what nature223 is trying to say- to the best of my knowledge no Ruger revolvers have any MIM parts in them. Maybe this is the first- I don't know.

Personally, I'm not excited about a polymer OR a lightweight revolver. I want the weight to help with recoil. But I DO like the fact that Ruger still hasn't put ILS on their revolvers, and this one finally has a shrouded, instead of bobbed, hammer.

8:50 PM  
Blogger be603 said...

At $299 they'd have a market and do a great service to less affluent folks in need of a "pocket protector."

8:57 PM  
Blogger zeeke42 said...

Based on other Ruger MSRPs, the street price is probably the same as the Smith airweights ($400) or slightly less. The Ruger is a bit lighter and supposedly an excellent trigger. I'll at least give it a fair shot.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

De gustibus non est disputandum, as the saying goes. I like the look of it myself. It will probably have a more durable and maintenance-free finish than a S&W 642/442, and will lure Smith buyers because it doesn't have that stupid keyhole on the side of the frame.

I'd say that Ruger will need to looke closely at that cylinder, it will probably need to be dehorned a bit to make it friendlier to pocket carry.

Performance will make or break this new revolver. If it's reliable, shoots well and has as good a trigger as early reports indicate, it will probably be a hit. Looks will be secondary, as they are with the Glock.

12:18 AM  
Blogger SpeakerTweaker said...

You've gotta be kidding me. I can get a nice NEW black 442 right now for about $460. This thing will likely street in my neck of the woods for ~$425.

I see no real comparison.


12:41 AM  
Blogger Mark Horning said...

It's the same weight as a Charter Arms Undercover Lightweight. Might as well get the charter at over $100 less. Especially given how much Charter's quality has gone up in the past 2 years.

This is going to languish at the price point. Bring it down to the price of the LCP and it will sell.

At least Ruger is trying though, and it IS lighter than an SP-101. Then again my Kimber Ultra is lighter than an SP-101.

The Gunblast article states that they built in one of those abominable "lawyer-locks" though. I am therefore officially uninterested.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Rabbit said...

First new previews at 2009 SHOT Show- Introducing the new Ruger RG 38.

How many times will it really fire before it goes out of time?

Sorry, I'll not be in the market for it.


1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A suggestion for a future "ugly gun Sunday"


the "endor blaster rifle", a mutilation of an M16


terrible. It has a flash suppressor welded onto where the rear sight should be for goodness sake.


2:57 AM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

Some things are simply inherently wrong. This is one of them.

5:17 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I'm an SP101 fan, but this is certainly very interesting.

agreed with zeeke42. Brand new ones ,without the frooky laser sight, are $525.00... and we know how much Ruger's prices drop from the stated MSRP.

The base model might turn out to be quite a deal.

I'm keeping an open mind about this one.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, if it had a copper color coating and an exposed ejector rod, I'd think this was another Steampunk entry.
Personally, I have not had a MIM part failure yet and a lot of plastics have done great, but why would Ruger waste time re-inventing the wheel(gun) when manufacturers need to be looking 10 years forward not 10 years back.

1.Cartridge development hasn't changed dramatically in the last 100 years.
2.Hopefully, that development will give rise to a new operating system which we really haven't seen in about the same time.

Ruger (or most of the other US manufacturers) are not interested in being on that frontier. Instead, they are content to lounge around the flat pastures of yesteryear.

Don't worry though, Bill Ruger. If you fail to meet the demands of the market, Obama et all will just bail you out. It's the new American Way.


7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, the gun is perfect. It's got a laser and everything. That more than justifies the $800 pricetag.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't we all been waiting for GLOCK to do this? It's about time.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Hyunchback said...

The ugly stick went out and sprouted a new twig for this one.

Ruger needs to learn that they can't out Smith a Smith. Ruger revolvers fit a certain niche. People who didn't mind the weight who probably shot hot loads.

To go to the extremes like this was...


9:18 AM  
Blogger The Raving Prophet said...

Yes, it's ugly. Yes, it is a radical departure from the traditional revolver. Yes, the MSRP is a bit high- for somebody snubby hunting, I'd recommend a Smith 638 or 642 over the Ruger if they're as close in price as it appears they may be (the 642 seems to hit the street for right at $400).

But I still think I want one. I tend to go for the ugly reinterpretations of the revolver (as my S&W 327 TRR8 will testify). I think it might be a bit better in recoil absorption than my 642, as the poly grip might assist by flexing and the redesigned grips will absorb. They also fiddled with the geometry a bit, so it might be a bit more controllable there too. Still uncomfortable to shoot, but maybe, just maybe, what we see here is one of the first radical reinterpretations of the revolver since they went double action.

10:16 AM  
Blogger jepperson said...

Some thoughts for consideration. From what I've gathered, the action's assembly is very coupled with the frame design and is supposed to be very smoothe. Which is a good thing.

Another thought to consider in the lightweight snubbie realm is recoil. Lighter equals less mass hence more recoil movement. However, what is often more of a concern is upwards movement that creates for a longer return to firing position.

One aspect that is rather interesting with the Ruger design which does not come to play in the S&W designs is that this firearm is front heavy. All the metal is toward the front. Polymer and grips toward the rear. Thus, potentially helping the barrel to point back down quickly. This can be advantageous in a confrontation where getting the front sight back on target quickly is very important.

Further more, the polymer frame is going to have some give. Even if it's not noticeable. And that will also have an effect as well.

While the lightweight may not make for an enjoyable gun, usually, you're not looking to fire tons of rounds in self-defense. While it might make training a bit of a !@#$% it sounds like it will work well for defensive purposes.

"It's just another lightweight, 5-shot, .38 Special revolver, the ballistic equivalent of a 4-door economy car; I'd be more impressed if they'd done the same thing in a 6-shot package."

Let's be frank here, for a street confrontation (which is what this gun is for, either as a citizen's self-defense or a law enforcement officer's back-up gun), it is extremely rare for 5 rounds to be fired. I do not see how 6 rounds would somehow make this firearm acceptable but 5 does not.

And I do think there are substantial innovations in the design. While I do not know if this will be as amazing


As for beauty, it's in the eyes of the beholder. I like the design. I love the fluted cylinder.

But then again, I thought the GP100 had nicer lines than the standard S&W's. It's really a personal taste.

And as soon as Ruger offers it in .327 Federal, I will likely buy one.

"why in hell does it cost sooooooo damn much,I fail to see it justified."

Um, when have you ever paid MSRP for a Ruger? I mean, I got my Mini14 Target new for $700. MSRP was a few hundred more.


"The Gunblast article states that they built in one of those abominable "lawyer-locks" though. I am therefore officially uninterested."

Well, you can thank CA/MA for that. Get used to it folks. If gun manufacturers want to sell arms. Those stupid things will be.

That said, I did read that the design Ruger implement is supposed to not impede the firing mechanism in any way. I think they were able to do something funky. Perhaps there is something locks and just block the pull of the trigger. I do not know. But it sounded like they were saying the design can't cause a secondary mechanism failure.

- N.U.G.U.N.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Crucis said...

A pistol in search of a niche---at S&W already has that with their M642 & M442. I priced a M442 this last weekend for a friend. $425 including tax at a local gunstore. And---it fits nicely in my jeans in a DeSantis pocket holster.

Ruger: Too $$, too little, too late.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Wayne said...

A couple of thoughts:

As several have already commented, the polymer grip frame will probably help with recoil by flexing slightly. It will also reduce their cost by eliminating most of the hand-fitting (trigger housing and fire-control group).

This could also lead to a more consistent out of the box trigger.

The lock is certainly installed because of CA/MA. It is also probably cheaper to install the internal lock than to include an external lock in the package.

I don't think Ruger uses MIM parts, so that is not a concern (they do a ton of investment casting). Also, the cylinder timing is almost certainly fixed by the aluminum cylinder frame. I don't think going out of time will be a big problem.

Love it or hate it, it is a radical departure from previous designs. It is using multiple proven technologies (aluminum frame revolver, polymer grip-frame for a handgun, polymer fire-control housing) and combining them in a very new way.

I can't wait to see what further ideas this inspires.

God bless!

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the gun. Price is a tad high for all the plastic but is still a decent concept. However, I'll be waiting until after the first recall. Then I'll be waiting for someone to run 10K+ rounds of +P through it to see if the Internal Lock fails and causes it to become a paperweight.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I became the first person to order one from my local shop. I didn't want to get to far down the waiting list--they still have four customers waiting for LCPs ordered last year. I decided to go with the laser grips--which I like enough to already have on two S&W snubs, a 642 and a 649. I love snubbies, love the 38 Spl. cartridge, love Ruger and S&W revolvers, and can't wait to try the trigger and handling properties of this model. Actual cost to me for the LCR-LG was $669. Subtracting $250 for the laser grips (which go for $299 in most configurations) puts the cost for the standard model right at $419, which is exactly what I paid for my 642 from the recent run of no-lock 642-1's.

Yes, I am an accumulator and should probably seek help.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Bullet Boy said...

I am intrigued by the LCR but wonder about durability. With an Alum. frame and attaching the way it does to the barrel I see that as a weak point. Alum. tends to break where steel cracks first and tends not to blast apart. I see a potential safety issue.

Because this pistol isn't designed to be a daily shooter it may be fine.

On my Blog I have a video of the New Ruger LCR. Besides the guy pointing and pulling the trigger at the engineer it is a good video.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Norman said...

Why not an alloy framed SP-101? Jeeze.

6:36 AM  
Anonymous FatWhiteMan said...

It says "Ruger" on it so it will sell and sell well.

Kel-Tec had an awesome little inexpensive pistol for years. They sold several but it did not have ready acceptance (meaning they didn't buy a lot of big ads in the gunrags). Ruger copies it, calls it the LCP (Little Copied Pistol?) and they can't keep them on the shelves.

If it says "Ruger" it has to be better.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Sevesteen said...

I don't think it is correct to say that the P3AT didn't have ready acceptance. According to BATF (spit) data from 2006, Keltec made 42% of the .380 pistols manufactured in the US. Most businesses would be quite happy with that market share.

(Second place is Beemiller, who makes the High Point .380)

I would have liked to seen Ruger design their own pistol rather than copy the P3AT so closely, but this isn't all that uncommon in the industry.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is a neat design but I don't like the price. I bought a S&W 638 in the MCX for $460 (not to mention the $30 mail in rebate they gave me) a few months ago and it is a great weapon. The big plus is that S&W has OUTSTANDING customer service while my experience with Ruger (at least their NH shop) has been terrible. Ruger's coporate HQ doesn't even answer complaints. For this reason I'll stick with the time tested S&W. In my opinion S&W can't be beat in models available and great service. Besides, Ruger has a track record of fielding new designs in pistols that need recalls for things that should have been discovered during prototype testing.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

I think it is a neat design but I don't like the price. I bought a S&W 638 in the MCX for $460 (not to mention the $30 mail in rebate they gave me) a few months ago and it is a great weapon. The big plus is that S&W has OUTSTANDING customer service while my experience with Ruger (at least their NH shop) has been terrible. Ruger's coporate HQ doesn't even answer complaints. For this reason I'll stick with the time tested S&W. In my opinion S&W can't be beat in models available and great service. Besides, Ruger has a track record of fielding new designs in pistols that need recalls for things that should have been discovered during prototype testing.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well I quess they waited for old Bill to pass on ! maybe the China boys are making this item , the LCP is pretty crappy & plenty of broken parts .....Xavier this is onetime I will agree with you ! remember me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 16th, and nobody can get ahold of any. Local gunstore owners want them, but can't get them from their distributors. Too bad. Really wanted to see one up close & personal.
Especially want to examine one that's had a bunch of rounds threw it. To see how & where it wears. Like if it flame-cuts at the top of cylinder gap/backstrap and if the indexing notches (star?) imprint themselves from the cylinder to the aluminum breechface.
Apparently Ruger is having distribution issues as of late: I've had a Bisley Vaquero on order for ever. Was supposed to be issued at the beginning of this year.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it. I'm going to get one. Who really cares what it looks like? I'm no movie star, I just need a good lightweight shooter. I'll carry it every day and scratch it all up anyway. I stopped buying guns for their looks a long time ago.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see any problem with the aluminum frame. I have 20 year old nail guns that are nearly all aluminum and take a thousand times the abuse that any firearm will ever take, and they work fine. I don't see how that could be a weak point.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did Ruger make it?

Because GLOCK wouldn't.

(Still waiting for a GLOCK carbine, revolver, shotgun, and sword.)

9:12 AM  
Blogger risa said...

Old lady here ... still prefer the Security Six ... yes, it's heavy ... which is how my arthritic hands stay on target while I'm blinding the BG with the fireball. And ... mine was $275.

2:56 PM  
Blogger John said...

I laugh at the "my gun is better" as much as I laugh at Ford vs. Chevy guys. I love S&W, but I think this has a lot of potential. And 10K rounds through it? There's darn few full-size pistols that ever get that many in their lifetime either. Their owners usually post on the internet more than they shoot. Snubbies are meant to be carried all the time, not shoot competitions with.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought one. The G&A test says that Ruger fired over 10K rounds out of one with the fire control housing screw removed and the gun suffered no ill effects. I think it will be a winner!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had the opportunity to fire my new LCR....and the LCR is my new favorite snubbie. Compared to my 340 Airlight....the LCR is a downright PLEASURE to shoot. It "barks" to be sure...but it doesn't seem to "bite!" After 50 rounds in my 340....I can barely hold the gun straight...no issues with that here.

I cannot say whether or not it is because of the superbly designed Tamer grips, or because of the excellent trigger, or because the polymer frame soaks up recoil....I honestly don't know.....but I agree with Ruger's statement that [i]perceived[i] recoil is dramatically reduced over my 12 oz titanium cylinder 340. FWIW...everyone on the range was suitably impressed with the gun...especially the trigger!

My sole remaining question is with regard to durability. Ruger claims to have fired in excess of 10,000 rounds with the firing control housing screw removed with no ill effects. I would like to see a 50,000 round torture test...but that is just me. I know that most LCRs sold will have barely 500 rounds through them in a lifetime....but I like knowing my guns can take a pounding.

I intend to trade off my 340 for another (spare) LCR!

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love mine! S&Ws snubbies have proven themselves over the years, however I'm always looking for something different (as long as it is quality). Ive put several hundred rounds through my LCR, and couldn't be happier.

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all that comment without owning.....Go out and shoot one, You may be surprised. I personally do not look at pretty as a means of self preservation and do not see one as a showpiece. I like to consider it a show stopper! If you are looking for a plinker, get a .22lr. Yes they do work, quite well.

4:11 PM  
Blogger jwillis said...

My wife and I bought an LCR a few weeks ago and she used it to qualify for her CCW the next day. She is beginning to have arthritis in her fingers and was unable to shoot her Taurus 85 very well or very many times. Neither of us could shoot very accurately with the Taurus. We compared the LCR side-by-side with a S&W 642 and also with my son's S&W 637. There is absolutely no comparison in the triggers. Ruger did their homework on this trigger...it is freaking awesome. The felt recoil is greatly reduced compared to the S&W J-frame. The biggest difference I think is because of the Sorbothane rubber insert inside the grip and located behind the grip backstrap. This week I put a Wolff spring kit in the Taurus and polished the trigger assembly. That improved it greatly, but it is still nothing like the LCR. The LCR pulls easier at first, but gets stiffer as you pull it back. It is really smooth with no over travel, slop, or play. The LCRs are hard to find and we gladly paid $550 for ours at the local gun dealer. He had it in stock, we wanted it, and I love it. It meets all of my criteria for a carry gun. Jim

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Al said...

Picked up an LCR at a gun show this A.M for $420, and immediately took it to the range. Put 50 rounds through it, and it shoots like a wet dream.... Don't care if the transfer bar rattles or not, I just want it to go BOOM when the hammer comes down, and it does............flawlessly. It'll be close to me while I'm at home, and in my pocket when I'm out and about. Ruger's got a winner with this one.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares what it looks like? It's supposed to stay in your pocket until you need it to save your life. I love how people say it costs too much for a gun with a plastic frame, when half of them probably have Glocks that they paid even more for. By the way, the MSRP is meaningless. I've never had to pay anywhere near MSRP for any gun.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Give me a break--either you like the LCR or you don’t, not a big deal. But don’t fabricate stuff just to prove a point (Ruger doesn't use MIM parts). I like the LCR allot. I like the weight, sights, the mix of high-tech polymer, aluminum, and stainless. I like the grip, and love the trigger pull–WOW! I like the LCR so much that I traded my 15 year old S&W 638 for this pocket rocket. Shoots good too–+P’s have a snap–but manageable. By the way American Rifleman did an article about an LCR that went through a 10,000 +P torture test. My old S&W would have gone out of time.

11:27 PM  

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