Ruger LCR Range and Ammo test Report

Ruger LCR Range and Ammo Test Report

This is a discussion on Ruger LCR Range and Ammo Test Report within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: Ruger LCR Range and Ammo test Report

  1. #1
    Member Array 147 Grain's Avatar
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    Nov 2010

    Thumbs up Ruger LCR Range and Ammo test Report

    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, recoil was noticeably more on the LCR with the factory supplied Hogue-Tamer finger grooved grips, probably because it weighs 15% less than the S&W.

    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 (???).

    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 ***** 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.
    Last edited by 147 Grain; November 6th, 2010 at 06:58 PM.
    Aim for the Thoracic Triangle Area between the armpits and the base of throat.

    1. Shot Placement: Center Mass Between the Armpits & Base of Throat
    2. Heavy for Caliber Bullet Weight / Construction
    3. Choice of Caliber

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    Texas, South of the Sabine
    You did the right thing tetsing the different loads for yourself, in your handguns.

    Thanks for the nice report. Good work.


  3. #3
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Good testing job. It seems that the 158 grain get the best POA/POI result from a short barrel
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    North Georgia
    Great range review.

    I agree, the LCR is a excellent choice in a lightweight .38 option.

  6. #5
    GM is offline
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    Well done. Thanks for sharing.
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

  7. #6
    Member Array HandgunWorld's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    San Antonio, Texas
    I recently went to a range and rented the LCR and thought it was OK, but not great. I did an audio review of it

    I know recoil won't be noticed during a fight, but during practice it sure is. I think it will make some people not like the gun if it's their first gun.
    Bob Mayne
    HandgunWorld Podcast

  8. #7
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    I haven't had one issue with recoil out my LCR 357. I only shoot on the move, I do have some videos of me standing still for recoil purposes, cannot remember the last time I actually used any sight on any of my handguns. The LCR is a great weapon.

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