Ruger LCR

I’ve always been a S&W revolver fan. Of course when that’s your issued service revolver, early in your police career, you tend to be fond of what you carry daily. I never had anything against Rugers I just never gave them much thought for protection. After I received the LCR for this review I’m giving it much more thought.

The Ruger LCR (Light Compact Revolver) came out in 2009 and it didn’t take long for it to gain a following. Since that time the little LCR has taken a chunk out of S&W’s dominance of the small revolver market.


Lets go over some of the features of the LCR. The LCR uses a friction reducing cam which significantly reduces trigger pull, a monolithic frame with the upper being an alloy and lower a polymer material, a stainless steel barrel and cylinder and finally the trigger control grip is in the grip peg. That’s certainly a unique location for the fire control group. Another weight saving measure is in the cylinder profile. Ruger took a lot of steel out of the front half of the cylinder decreasing the weight on an already lightweight revolver.

The trigger is smooth with a nice contour. Trigger pull is right at eight pounds. That’s somewhat less than most snub nose revolvers. It actually feels less than that since the pull is smooth all the way through the stroke and breaks clean.


The perceived recoil of the LCR is less than all of the other small frame revolvers I’ve shot. I credit this to the grip angle and the Hogue Tamer grips. Comparing it with it’s S&W counterpart is no contest the LCR has much less felt recoil. The LCR is pretty comfortable with most any load. Of course in it’s 357 chambering that’s a different story.

The front sight of the LCR is larger than most small revolvers. With the LCR you can actually get a true flash sight picture. The Big Dot rear sight is also a factory option on the LCR.


Since 2009 when the LCR began life as a 38+P revolver a 357, 22 and 22 magnum chambering have been added. The two .22 chambering’s have done very well. While I’m not a proponent of a .22 for defense that’s what these two have been primarily purchased for.

Accuracy on the range was better than expected. I credit this to the larger front sight and excellent trigger. From a distance of ten yards standing unsupported a group of three inches is not uncommon. That’s shooting fairly quickly.

Overall I would place the LCR in the top two of snub nose revolvers. Earlier I made the comparison with the S&W Bodyguard. I’m giving some serious thought to trading mine for the LCR.


It’s not the best looking revolver by any means but the function and design makes up for that. Something else a potential buyer needs to consider is our current shortage of ammunition. The 38 caliber is not in the big four calibers that suffer the greatest shortage. If you do some looking around you can almost always find 38 ammo. If you reload you can always find bullets for it.

If you’ve never tried an LCR you should seriously consider renting one at your local range. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.





Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • commanche1_6

    Love the LCR. I carry one daily as a BUG or a primary if I am wearing shor

  • commanche1_6

    Love the LCR. I carry one daily as a BUG or a primary if I am wearing shorts. It has one of the best revolver trigger pulls for people that are used to automatics. I also think that the lack of percieved recoil has more to do with the polymer in the frame than the grip angle. As the author stated it is suprisingly accurate for such a small gun, especially with a laser addition.

    • I really hadn’t considered the frame having anything to do with recoil but I suppose it would give a bit during recoil and at least contribute to reducing felt recoil. Either way it works!

  • David Hansen

    I have had the opportunity to shot a few Ruger’s in my day, and they have become my preferred choice of revolver. I do not own one currently, but might be in the market here in the near future.

  • C. Misfit

    I have a Taurus 85 and I’ve shot the LCR. The LCR was noticeably more brutal to shoot. The 85 is a tad bit heavier, but I’ll take that for having a weapon that I am more inclined to practice with.

  • DistalRadius

    This is an AD. If you seriously want people to stop accusing TFB of placing ads then it would help if a “review” actually included something negative about the item in question. The only negative in this entire write up is the “not the best looking revolver” bit.

    If every “review” raves about how great an item is, its difficult to find the authors objectivity very credible.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      Buddy, it is not an ad, this meme is getting old. I personally asked Ruger if we could review this gun, and personally asked Phil to write the review.

      Yes, we do have Ruger ads on this website, but that has nothing to do with the editorial side of things (me, the writers). Separating ads from editorial makes sense for everyone involved (including readers).

      • mp

        Things become memes because they are universally apparent. If you are tired of defending your content you may want to change your content. Or maybe change your readers, yeah, that’ll work.

        • I wouldn’t say they were universally apparent by any means. I’d say it’s more likely people who want to read about negatives. Some just can’t take the word of anyone that most products are pretty darn good. We should be glad our American gun companies turn out quality guns instead of being of the opinion if it’s good somebody’s hiding something. That’s ridiculous.
          The content will be what Steve says it will be and it won’t change because of paranoid thinking that all guns must have faults. Speaking for myself I will never lie in order to put some few readers at ease.
          You might show Steve some respect after all the hard work he’s done over the years to bring you good content.

        • Steve (TFB Editor)

          TFB has a standard of ethics far highly than most. If you don’t like my content, don’t read it. Nothing has changed in the 5 years this blog has been running. Good luck trying to find a blog with a higher standard of ethics.

    • This is Steves post related to others with the same old tired comment. You might read it.

      I’m not going to explain myself to you or anyone else on this subject in the future. We’ve done what we can to explain how things work. I’ll not write in a fake fault in order to please those such as yourself. If there is a fault I’ll tell you if there isn’t I won’t say there is.

      Have you ever shot one extensively or is this Internet rumor time again. You want to verify what I write ask those who have posted in the very positive and actually own one. There are several who have posted below.

      You can believe it or not. As many have started saying recently if you only have negative things to say most people don’t want to hear it. If you have something constructive to say I’ll listen.

    • floppyscience

      What exactly should be include as a fault…? The LCR is a well-designed and well-made compact revolver that does what it was intended to do exceptionally well. The only downsides that apply to the LCR are the same that apply to all revolvers of the same class.

  • Uncle Charlie

    I’ve got one and it’s a great gun. The only bad thing about it to me is that is is only has 5 rounds. I’ve got an all steel Colt Police Detective which is “six for sure,” but otherwise they are very comparable except for weight. They are both as about as good as snubbies can get. For another opinion, see: Ruger LCR .38 Spec. +P Revolver and Compared: Colt Cobra and Ruger LCR Revolvers

  • They should make it in 6 shot .327 Federal Magnum.

    • The cylinder is actually to small for a 6 round revolver. A five rounder maybe but then again they have the 357 model.They have added calibers along the line so you never know they may.

  • TennesseeGuy

    I carry one on the inside strap part of my vest everyday and love it in 357 never had a problem with mine shot 1000s of rounds clean it after every shot this “pocket pistol” is a
    workhorse for sure