Ruger LCR: New .38 Special revolver

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Following on from the success of the Ruger LCP, Ruger have unveiled the Ruger LCR (Light Weight Compact Revolver). What sets it apart from other compact revolvers is that polymers have been used as much as possible. The Ruger LCR will be available 1st March 2009


Ruger LCR. Click to expand.

The revolver features:

* Double Action
* Polymer fire-control housing
* Aluminum frame with black “synergistic” hard coating
* Fluted stainless steel cylinder, lightweight and compact.
* 5 Rounds in the cylinder
* Replaceable front sight.U-notch rear sight.
* The fire control system has been designed with a friction reducing cam that allows a very smooth trigger pull.
* The internal lock has been designed so it will not interfere with the fire control components.

The Specs:

Caliber: .38 SPL+P
Capacity: 5 Rounds
Finish: Matte Black/Target Grey
Grip: Hogue Tamer w/ Sorborthane Insert
Barrel Length: 1.875″
Groove: 6
Twist: 1:16″ RH
Overall Length: 6.50″
Weight: 13.5 oz.
Front Sight(s): Replaceable, Pinned Ramp Front
Rear Sight(s): Integral U-Notch

The standard model has a recommended retail price of $525.

Ruger are also simultaneously releasing a model with Crimson Trace Lasergrips. It has MSRP of $792.


Ruger LCR-LG. Click to expand

GunBlast have already reviewed the LCR and were impressed (thanks to cmblake6 for the link):

The trigger pull on the LCR is very smooth, and very light for a pocket revolver. Many pocket revolvers have dreadful trigger pulls, and I get a lot of email from readers who buy a gun for defense, and have a very hard time pulling the trigger. If the production LCRs are like the one that I shot, the trigger pull problem is solved. That gun had what could be called a perfect trigger pull for a pocket revolver; a smooth and light double action. I do not know the pull weight of the LCR, but will measure such things when a production gun arrives.

I will update this post as more information arrives.

UPDATE: More info from Ruger


Friction Reducing Cam. Patent pending.


Fire Control Housing. Patent Pending.

There are a total of three new pending patents. Not bad for a wheel gun!

UPDATE: Holster compatibility:

* Blackhawk Inside Pocket – Size 4
* Black Hawk Inside Pant – Size 0
* Fobus TA85 (Standard)
* Fobus RU101 (Evolution)
* Uncle Mike’s Inside Pant – Size 0

UPDATE: The Ruger LCR will be available 1st March 2009

UPDATE: A video

The press release is after the jump.
The full press release

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) is pleased to announce the new Ruger Lightweight Compact Revolver (LCR), an evolution in revolver design. The 13.5 ounce, small frame, 5-shot LCR has three main components: a polymer fire control housing, an aircraft quality aluminum monolithic frame, and an extensively fluted stainless steel cylinder. The Ruger LCR represents one of the most significant new revolver designs in over a century, with three patent applications pending.

The LCR’s lightweight, chemical-resistant polymer fire control housing contains the entire fire control mechanism. Because the fire control components are located within this single housing, their dimensional relationship can be held much more closely than if divided between traditional grip frames and cylinder frames. The end result is that the fire control components are assembled with no hand fitting, resulting in a highly consistent product at an affordable price.

The long-fiber, glass-filled polymer fire control housing provides a reduction in perceived recoil. The fire control housing’s grip peg allows for a variety of grips to be installed, and the LCR’s standard Hogue® Tamer™ grip with Sorbothane® insert reduces perceived recoil even further. A joint effort with Hogue, the LCR’s standard grip was designed using US military anthropomorphic data on hand shape, so the LCR can be comfortably held by a broad spectrum of hand sizes. An available Crimson Trace® Lasergrip® offers the advantages of a laser sighting system.

The LCR’s monolithic frame is an aerospace grade, 7000 series aluminum forging treated with a black synergistic hard coat that is applied after machining. Successfully tested with over 30 different aggressive chemicals, this synergistic hard coat exceeds mil-spec salt spray tests, and offers performance considerably greater than hard coat anodizing. The monolithic frame provides sturdy, rigid support for the cylinder and the barrel. The 1-7/8″ long barrel, with a 1:16 twist, is made of 17-4 PH aerospace grade stainless steel, chosen for its strength and dimensional stability during machining and heat treatment.

The extensively fluted 400 series stainless steel cylinder is lightweight and compact, measuring only 1.283″ in diameter in the chamber area. Treated to an advanced form of Ruger’s Target Grey® finish, this stainless steel cylinder is strong, durable and designed to handle .38 Special +P loads. The Ruger LCR’s patent pending cylinder front latching system uses titanium components, optimized spring tension, and enhanced lockup geometry to ensure that the LCR’s cylinder stays locked in place during firing.

The LCR’s double-action-only trigger pull is uniquely engineered to minimize friction between the fire control components. This friction-reducing cam fire control system results in a non-stacking, smooth trigger pull. The LCR’s trigger pull force builds more gradually, and peaks later in the trigger stroke, resulting in a trigger pull that feels much lighter than it actually is, while still providing positive ignition of all primers. This results in more controllable shooting, even among those with smaller, weaker hands who find traditional DAO triggers difficult to operate.

The sights are replaceable ramp front, and a fixed U-notch rear. An internal lock, unobtrusively hidden under the grip, does not interfere with the fire control mechanism in any way when disengaged.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Electric airsoft gun Electric airsoft gun on Mar 14, 2012

    This seems small in size but gives Double Action with its Aluminum frame with black “synergistic” hard coating having 5 Rounds in the cylinder and also Replaceable front sight.U-notch rear sight and Specially the The internal lock has been designed so it will not interfere with the fire control components.

    • Kris Kris on May 18, 2012

      @electric airsoft gun After shooting my husband's Beretta PX4 Storm sub-compact, I realized it was just too much gun for my small hands. I had a hard time wrapping my hands around the grip, couldn't pull the slide back at all, and could barely load the clip without a speed loader. Recoil was not a problem for me, but beyond that, just too much gun!

      Because I wanted something for self-defense and was worried I wouldn't be able to load a round into the chamber with a semi-auto, I decided to try several different handguns at my local range (with an instructor) to be sure I had a good fit. I wanted something that was an extension of my arm, comfortable and easy to use. I went through their entire inventory without actually "looking" at any of the guns and went merely by how they felt in my hand.

      After 3 hours and 125 rounds, I decided on the Ruger LCR .38 Special +P. SWEET little gun! Fits my hand like a glove, is lightweight, recoil was minimal (to me) and I didn't have to struggle to load and reload. I was able to get all 5 rounds into my 8" target at 20', 15' and 6' each time after reloading.

      I found this blog by accident - glad I did! I watched the video and read all of the comments here. It appears I've made a good selection! I respect the opinions of those with more experience with handguns, and for my next purchase will consider some of your other recommendations. But to those of you who shoot the LCR, you have confirmed my own findings. I appreciate the thoughtful comments - there is some excellent information here. I found myself nodding in agreement with many of the responses! I will be back to read more! Thanks to all! k~

  • 1-arkansas.com 1-arkansas.com on Dec 17, 2012

    My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was entirely right.
    This submit truly made my day. You cann't imagine simply how so much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

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