Ruger LCR 38 Ammunition

This is a discussion on Ruger LCR 38 Ammunition within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently purchased a Ruger LCR 38. I am pleased with it so far and have shot it twice using 125 and 158 grain practice ...

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Thread: Ruger LCR 38 Ammunition

  1. #1
    Member Array Sea Wolf's Avatar
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    Ruger LCR 38 Ammunition

    I recently purchased a Ruger LCR 38. I am pleased with it so far and have shot it twice using 125 and 158 grain practice ammunition without any problems. I am impressed with the sights, trigger and perceived recoil. I cleaned this past weekend and checked the manual to see if there were any "tricks" I needed to be aware of. While reading the manual I saw that Ruger recommended shooting defensive ammo and checking to make sure the bullets remained seated in the cases.

    Have any other LCR owners done this check and found any factory ammo where bullets unseated?

    I plan to test it out with Gold dot 135 gr +p and standard 125 gr in my next range session.

    I am curious if anyone has had any issues with any ammo and what brand and specifications you had problems with?
    SW

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    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    For the 1.875 inch barrel, I'd only use the Speer GD 'for short BBLs" +P in their lightest weight for ft-lbs & expansion both. The .38spcl is a very mild round to begin with.
    Its long casing in a hold-over from black-powder days. Gold Dot, Hornady & Cor-Bon know how to optimize them for CC, though.

    These brands will negate the "bullets remaining seated issue". For practice, use decent range-grade ammo like WWB, Fed-AE, et al, in the same bullet weight you carry & you'll be good.
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    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    I carry Hornady Critical Defense standard pressure only because it's what came with the gun when I bought it from a friend. I plan on picking something else up for it eventually. I've never had any problems with my LCR. It's one of my favorite guns. I don't carry it often but it's ridden with me from FL to the Carolinas to TN and back to FL on our road trips because it's a great B.U.G.

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    It is a potential issue with heavy + P loads. The heavy bullet has more inertia, meaning it wants to stay at rest while the gun recoils. This can pull the bullet forward out of the case, especially after repeated firing...meaning the last round in the cylinder is more susceptible.

    Fire four, and check the fifth before firing. If you do this a few times and don't see any issue, you should be ok.

    Lighter and standard pressure loads are less susceptible.
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    Distinguished Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    I carry Gold Dot 125gr +P in my LCR.
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    Member Array Sea Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5lima30ret View Post
    I carry Gold Dot 125gr +P in my LCR.
    Any problems with bullets coming unseated?
    Thanks
    SW

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    Member Array Sea Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    It is a potential issue with heavy + P loads. The heavy bullet has more inertia, meaning it wants to stay at rest while the gun recoils. This can pull the bullet forward out of the case, especially after repeated firing...meaning the last round in the cylinder is more susceptible.

    Fire four, and check the fifth before firing. If you do this a few times and don't see any issue, you should be ok.

    Lighter and standard pressure loads are less susceptible.
    Exactly what the manual said to do. Fire 4 rounds of carry SD ammo and check 5th for unseating.

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    I've never had the issue myself, but I have the .357 version, which is quite a bit heavier and thus less susceptible.

    From what I've read, the issue is pretty much limited to uncrimped or lightly crimped ammunition. Most of today's JHP's should be fine (again, from what I've read).
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    Distinguished Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Wolf View Post
    Any problems with bullets coming unseated?
    Thanks
    SW
    I haven't had any problems with the 40 rds I've fired through it. They are surprisingly accurate if I take my time on the trigger!
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    I've carried the Ruger KLCR .357mag/.38spl for almost two years now. I found out the hard way about the "shoot 3-4, check 4-5" for separation-my fault I didn't read the manual fully. It's never happened with .38spl or .38spl+P, shooting all kinds of ammo, from cheap Tula, WWB, Federal, Remington, etc., totaling about 1600 now. However, with some of the .357mag ammo, I have noticed "degrees" of separation with several, especially the 125gr loads. My KLCR hung up with the CorBon DPX 125gr .357mag on one occasion-which at the time I thought was best out there for SD ammo. It happened on the second cylinderful while testing for carrying full time, on the 4th shot. Scared the hell out of me at first. Finally wriggled it loose and checked the gun out for damage. None noticed, shot some .38spl through it, and all was good with the KLCR. Looked at the ammo, the bullet had separated from the casing just enough to inhibit the cylinder from turning. Called CorBon, and was told by the VP of Sales on a callback, that it was a common problem with lightweight snubbies throughout the industry. He said that he would alert manuf. of call, maybe they had a problem with the crimping pressure. Sorry for so long a post, but now I check ANY manuf. ammo, at least 20rds, before feeling confident. I normally carry either Winchester PDX1 .38spl+P or Speer GD 125gr .357mag or .38spl+P 125gr (SB in both if available). No problems with either for me. Take care.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rxdoc View Post
    I've carried the Ruger KLCR .357mag/.38spl for almost two years now. I found out the hard way about the "shoot 3-4, check 4-5" for separation-my fault I didn't read the manual fully. It's never happened with .38spl or .38spl+P, shooting all kinds of ammo, from cheap Tula, WWB, Federal, Remington, etc., totaling about 1600 now. However, with some of the .357mag ammo, I have noticed "degrees" of separation with several, especially the 125gr loads. My KLCR hung up with the CorBon DPX 125gr .357mag on one occasion-which at the time I thought was best out there for SD ammo. It happened on the second cylinderful while testing for carrying full time, on the 4th shot. Scared the hell out of me at first. Finally wriggled it loose and checked the gun out for damage. None noticed, shot some .38spl through it, and all was good with the KLCR. Looked at the ammo, the bullet had separated from the casing just enough to inhibit the cylinder from turning. Called CorBon, and was told by the VP of Sales on a callback, that it was a common problem with lightweight snubbies throughout the industry. He said that he would alert manuf. of call, maybe they had a problem with the crimping pressure. Sorry for so long a post, but now I check ANY manuf. ammo, at least 20rds, before feeling confident. I normally carry either Winchester PDX1 .38spl+P or Speer GD 125gr .357mag or .38spl+P 125gr (SB in both if available). No problems with either for me. Take care.
    Thanks. I was a little skeptical of the need to do this test but based on your great feed back I will definitely follow through. Since the LCR 38 is lighter than the 357 I will definitely check out the +p ammo I have.
    Thanks
    SW

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    I've noticed setback with everything in .357 but not enough - not even close - to cause a jam. I've only ever noticed setback with .38 +P with the snarky Buffalo Bore 158 gr .38 spl +P or whatever it is they call it. The box I shot was seriously pushing into .357 territory as judged by how it smacked my hand.

    My procedure for checking setback with untested ammo is to check after each shot for the first cylinder full. Then, if it passes, give the last round another spin as the last round and assess from there.
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    I've done the check with 158gr Federal lswchp +P. No issue. I don't carry my LCR 38, so just did it out of curiosity.

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    I've shot several different brands of ammo through my Ruger LCR and have had not one problem with it. I have gone through about 400 rounds with it so far and I really like the gun. Right now, it is my CC gun and I use Hornady Critical Defense Lite for personal protection rounds.

    I did the fire four and check with the Hornady per directions. No issues.

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    I've never had 158 grain bullets back out in a .357; I wouldn't expect to see it happen in a .38.

    I'd consider the warning to be without relevance, like the parts about not letting your children play with your guns, or that some components might contain chemicals that cause cancer in the People's Republic of California.

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