Ruger’s Lightweight Compact Revolver, the Snubby
- Texas Deputy Killed in Collision with Intoxicated Driver
- ODMP: South Carolina Officer Dies of Smoke Inhalation from Earlier Fire
- FBI Hostage Rescue Team Agents Killed in Training Exercise
- Phoenix Police Officer Dies in Fatal Hit-and-Run
- Metro-Washington Airport Officer Shot and Killed by Wife
- New York Student Killed During Shooting between Intruder and Police
- College Student, Intruder Killed in New York Break-In
The snub-nosed revolver is alive and well. Many street-savvy officers understand the importance of carrying a backup gun for those times when their primary weapon fails. (Do you carry an off-duty gun? Let us know at www.lawofficer.com.) Many fine compact pistols exist, but the snub revolver is less susceptible to fouling from dirt, dust, pocket lint or a naturally occurring substance than the finely tuned, semi-auto loader.
Because the snubby is enjoying increased popularity, it isn’t surprising that Ruger has introduced a space-age, high-tech snubby hybrid: the LCR (Lightweight Compact Revolver). This 13.5 oz., small frame, five-shot revolver represents one of the most significant revolver design evolutions in a hundred years.
The LCR’s frame is an aerospace grade, 7000-series aluminum forging treated with a black synergistic hard coat that’s applied once it’s machined. It was tested with more than 30 different chemicals and exceeded mil-spec salt spray tests while offering performance greater than hard-coat anodizing. This monolithic frame provides sturdy support for the cylinder and barrel. The 2″ barrel has a 1:16 twist and is made of 17-4 PH aerospace grade stainless steel.
The LCR’s lightweight, polymer trigger housing contains the entire fire control assembly, which offers a higher level of functional reliability. The trigger assembly is put together with no hand-fitting, resulting in a highly consistent product at an affordable price. This also makes in-agency repair easier.
The fiberglass-filled polymer frame provides a reduction in felt recoil. The frame’s grip peg allows for a variety of grips to be installed, and the LCR’s standard Hogue “Tamer” grip with a Sorbothane insert reduces perceived recoil even further. It’s small enough to hide in a coat pocket or an ankle holster but offers a full-hand grip for fast-action shooting. The result of a joint effort with Hogue, the LCR’s standard grip was designed using U.S. military ergonomic data on hand shape and size, so the LCR can be comfortably held by a wide range of hand sizes. An available Crimson Trace LaserGrip offers the advantages of a laser sighting system.
The aggressively fluted 400-series stainless-steel cylinder is lightweight and compact, measuring 1.283 inches in diameter at the chamber area. Treated with an advanced form of Ruger’s “Target Grey” finish, this stainless steel cylinder is strong, durable and designed to
handle full power .38 Special +P loads. The Ruger LCR’s patent-pending front-latching system uses titanium components, optimized spring tension and enhanced lockup geometry to ensure the cylinder stays locked in place during firing.
Pulling together a number of street-proven loads, I headed to the range to test the snubby. I found the trigger action reasonably smooth with only a slight glitch midway through the trigger stroke. Although it would probably bother someone trying to get the tightest group possible, in rapid fire—the scenario in which the gun is likely to be used—it wouldn’t be noticed. Speaking of groups, I used two street-proven loads—bench-rested at 50 feet—to see just how tight a group the LCR could shoot. Each group is five rounds measured at its widest point. Velocity was measured with a Shooting Chrony chronograph placed 15 feet from the muzzle. The results were:
The Ruger LCR is one of the best .38 snubbies available—it’s as simple as that.
Cartridge Grouping Distance Velocity
Speer 135 2 “ 1,001 feet
grain Gold per
Dot hollow second
Winchester 2.25 “ 822
158 grain feet per
lead hollow second
Note: Federal, Remington and Corbon all make a similar load with similar performance capability.
Ruger’s COMPACT Revolver
• Strong, stable barrel
• Lightweight, polymer trigger
• Frame provides reduction in felt recoil
• Slight glitch midway through the trigger stroke