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Small Handguns for Concealed Carry
 

Ruger LCR 38 Special

Ruger LCR .38 Special

The Ruger LCR was introduced several years ago and has made quite a splash in the small revolver arena.  After getting mine, I immediately dressed it up with a set of Crimson Trace Lasergrips.  I had been waiting for the LCR for quite a while and had this one earmarked for either a backup gun or deep cover use.  Either use would support the decision to go with the laser grips and so it was a done deal.  The factory sights on the LCR are as basic as you can get.  While the front sight is pinned in place and therefore replaceable, the rear sight is a groove that is machine into the top of the revolver's frame.  I'm not a fan of this sight format and so the CT Lasergrips were a welcome addition to the LCR.   I currently have the laser adjusted for a 7 yard zero.  For more info about them, checkout my Crimson Trace Lasergrip installation.  This was my first foray into any kind of laser sight and I've been very satisfied with the results.

The Ruger LCR does not have an exposed hammer and so one cannot manually cocked with a thumb like so many traditional revolvers.  As such, it too is a DAO handgun just like the PM9, which means that every time the trigger is pulled, it will first cock the LCR hammer before releasing it.  Why build a revolver in this manner?  With the hammer being shrouded, it is impossible to snag it when coming out of a pants or coat pocket, a common place for a snub nose to be carried.  This provides the owner with a more reliable draw from concealment. 

Speaking of hammers, it takes 9 pounds, 12 ounces of force on the trigger to fully cock the hammer and release it on the LCR.  The rigger is smooth and by that I mean it doesn't catch, creep, or have issues as it is pulled through its range of travel.  That being said, note that it takes over 4 pounds of additional force to pull the LCR trigger when compared to the PM9's.  That is a significant amount, in my opinion, but some folks do prefer it.  Most folks agree that the harder the trigger, the more difficult it is to accurately put the bullet exactly where you want it.  Many folks also say that a snub nose revolver is often used at arms length so a heavier trigger at that distance will make little difference.  I'll agree it won't make much difference at 3 feet but I won't promote the idea that it usually only gets used at that distance.  Nobody has a crystal ball and betting on the odds when your life is at risk is rediculous, in my opinion. Accurately shooting a snubby at distance is going to require more practice and training than shooting other revolvers.  Welcome to the world of small and lightweight handguns.  (Did I mention that already?)

The LCR .38 Special uses an aluminum alloy frame and an integrated low weight polymer fire control housing.  Both of these greatly contribute to the LCR's low weight.  The 5 shot cylinder is made from stainless steel and is heavily fluted to help keep the ounces down to a minimum. 

The LCR arrives in a sturdy cardboard box.   While not at all desirable for transport to and from the range, also in the box was a zippered soft sided carry case that does the job.  It does the job it was intended to do.  In the long run, I believe the carry case is more useful than that which came with the PM9.

 

Ruger LCR .38 Special in a DeSantis holster

As previously mentioned, a snubby is commonly carried in a pocket.  Any time a handgun resides in a pocket, it is necessary to use a pocket holster, in my opinion.   Doing without one is inviting trouble.  This is an inexpensive DeSantis pocket holster which does an adequate job of covering the LCR's trigger.  It should go without saying that nothing else shares the same pocket when it is used to carry a handgun.  The holster is relatively wide and straight across the bottom to help it remain properly oriented in an upright position in the pocket.  It also helps to break up the outline of the LCR in the pocket.

 

Ruger LCR .38 Special in a Galco Ankle Glove holster

As previously mentioned, my intended use for the LCR was either as a backup gun or deep cover.  Using the LCR for either of those tasks means it's not likely that a belt holster or an inside the waistband (IWB) holster could be used.  The most common mode of carry I use for the LCR is this Galco Ankle Glove holster.  I have the right handed model which means it fits on the inside of the left leg.  I am completely satisfied with the comfort factor.  The longest I've worn it has been about 8 hours and it worked just as expected.  With loose fitting pants, it is out of site, out of mind concealed.  Quickly deploying the LCR from the ankle will require some additional practice. 


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