Ruger LCR vs Smith & Wesson J frame

Ruger LCR vs Smith & Wesson J frame

This is a discussion on Ruger LCR vs Smith & Wesson J frame within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a young sister that is interested in getting a compact revolver for conceal carry. She is hell bend on a revolver as she ...

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Thread: Ruger LCR vs Smith & Wesson J frame

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    Ruger LCR vs Smith & Wesson J frame

    I have a young sister that is interested in getting a compact revolver for conceal carry. She is hell bend on a revolver as she has never in the past been a "gun person" but is young and moving out on her own. I brought up getting a semi auto pistol but with her lack of knowledge of guns and the simplistic set up of a revolver, she has decided that is what she is going to get in either a 38 or 357. We think we have narrowed down to these two revolvers, the Ruger LCR and a Smith & Wesson J frame. Any advice or experience with either of these two, or open to learning about other compact revolvers as well. I am usually familiar with most firearms, but have never gotten into owning a small revolver.
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    Member Array iblearning's Avatar
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    One might fit her hands better than the other, she needs to pick both up at a LGS. My .38 J frame 442 takes lots of practice to shoot accurately and has a long trigger pull, but I really like it. Ideally, she should shoot them to see if she feels one would work for her.

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    Member Array MikeyF's Avatar
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    My wife has the LCR in .357 and loves it. It's small but especially THIN for a wheel gun. The polymer helps a bit with recoil too and you can always run 38s. S&W make an outstanding gun too but where the Ruger really shines is the trigger. Try dry fire in the shop and you'll see. Honestly though she'll be well served with either gun.

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    I'm cool with the idea of a revolver for her but both of those seem more special purpose "experts" choices to me. She's going to have to embark on a regimen of practice in order to truly wield either effectively. It's do-able but she will need to make an effort...unless she's depending on it primarily for a threat factor, to dissuade a potential assailant.

    A steel J-Frame would be just as compact as an alloy-framed or plastic framed 5-shot revolver but offer a bit more shooting comfort for practice sessions. Even the steel-framed small revolvers are "lively" to the uninitiated.

    She'll just have to try both. I prefer the J-Frame's double-action trigger and feel it'd be easier to train a newby to gain good hits on target with the J-Frame rather than the LCR. Most folks here on the Forum seem to think the LCR has the preferred trigger though.
    archer51 likes this.
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    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    I like the LCR .357 because I have one. You can't go wrong either way.

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    i own both the lcr and s&w 638 j-frame in .38 caliber...the lcr is lighter,has the better trigger and Hogue Tamer grips..the s&w j-frame is just a well crafted,time tested design..either would be a fine choice,but i'd recommend the lcr in .38 for the reasons mentioned.

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    After trying them, she may find the LCR in 357 but shooting standard 38s or a steel framed Smith shooting standard 38s easier to shoot. Lots of combos of grips, frames, and loads to try and find one that works.
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    I'm very happy with my LCR with CT laser grips in .38 Spl.
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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    I don't own a LCR but I did manage to break a 637 j frame in less then a week. I also had a M&P9c which the striker block broke on and a 908s that would only run if it was drenched in lube. It appears the new smiths just aren't built like they used to be. On the flip side, I have had good luck with Ruger products owning both a LCP and a SP101 which I have never had any issues with. I would go with the LCR
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I think even the new all steel M60 j frame would work well.
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    Whichever fits her best but I would opt for the LCR.
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    Distinguished Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    If she's actually going to CARRY it all the time, then an LCR or a J-frame is a fine choice. If she's OK with the recoil, either the LCR or an Airweight J-frame. If more recoil sensitive, then a steel J-frame or load with 148-gr. wadcutters. If she's mostly going to leave it at home, a 3-4" K-frame, Six, or GP100 would be a better choice, I think.
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    If she's going for a light revolver, here's another vote for the LCR. If both are in stock form, the LCR's grips make recoil more manageable. To an inexperienced shooter (or even an experienced one), a S&W Airweight can hurt. I think its simplicity makes the revolver an excellent choice; I think the LCR is a good choice because it's light enough that she may well actually carry it.

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    Either will be ok is my opinion. I think for women, a much larger issue is how they would conceal, since women's clothing does not seem to promote CCW. Some of my wife's pockets can't even hold an iPhone, let alone a snubby. For that consideration, the 442 with an Uncle Mike's #4 pocket holster (the #3 is too small in my opinion) is a very small profile and tidy carry combination. To be honest, I found that the Uncle Mike's can almost work like a Remora in the right pair of pants.

    I would also focus on the ammo. If she is not going to be a gun girl, then some heavy barking rounds from a lightweight snubby will deflate her newfound enthusiasm. 148 grain wadcutters for practice and carry could be a very workable option. I was at a recent gun show and I got some super light recoiling cowboy reloads that would be perfect for a new shooter.

    I know this isn't part of the OP's question, but if the ability to CCW is a huge limitation, I have found that my Black Widow 22 mag with a remora holster is extremely concealable, in almost any clothing, and its supremely comfortable. We all know the 22 mag limitations, but with the 2 inch barrel and winchester super x (40 grain), you can get over 1000 fps according to the naa data. This would be a gun that could be carried all the time. Just a thought.

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    Of the 2 I'd recommend the J frame over the LCR. While the LCR is going to probably a little easier to carry, due to size and weight. The J frame is going to be easier to shoot for a novice, especially if sgooting magnum loards.
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