The Handgun Podcast was discussing how some have been critical of the new LCR. I know a lot of blogs have criticized the new Ruger LCR. Laying down criticisms that range from ugly to redundant – just get a S&W alloy J-frame.
But there are some substantial considerations here that I feel are being neglected. While any lightweight firearm is going to have drawbacks of recoil and control, from looking at the design it appears that Ruger has worked to minimize these as much as possible.
First, let’s address ugly. While many may consider it ugly, I found it quite beautiful. But that’s because I found the cylinder to be gorgeous. I love the fluting, the rounded lines. It is reminiscent to me of the 18th century multi-barrel revolvers. (Or think of the tri-cannon on the Flying Dutchman in Pirates of the Caribbean.) All said, beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder. I much prefer the GP100 lines to the S&W look. That’s just me…
But let address the real aspects of this design. First off, weight comparison. Many have noted you can get even lighter revolvers like S&W in Scandium, etc. And for the same price…why not just get a Smith?
But weight is not the only thing to consider here with this design. Consider the balance of the weight. A typical J-frame regardless of it’s metal alloy will be fairly uniformly balanced. However, the new Ruger LCR with it’s hybrid frame is front weighted. All the heavy metal is in the front (main frame, cylinder, barrel) where as the rear is entirely polymer. What this does is create a firearm that naturally wants to fall back down easily. (ie: Reacquire sight position sooner.)
Second, with the rear of the frame being polymer there the flexibility factor to consider. While most people may not realize it, if you watch a Glock fire in slow motion you will see the polymer frame “flex”. An all metal alloy framed revolver is not going to have this flex. But the polymer of the new Ruger LCR likely flexes a little during firing. This may also lead to a reduction in perceived or felt recoil.
Lastly, go look at the trigger/action assembly in the new Ruger LCR. Look how the mechanism is so tightly integrated within the polymer frame. A lot of people who have handled the LCR (which isn’t many) seem to note that the trigger pull is superb for such a firearm. In hearing a Ruger guy comment, they explained that the initial pull is a little lighter. But as you gradually pull back it becomes firmer in a smooth weigh. The premise being that when your finger is fully extended, it is at it’s weakest. As it gets closer the leverage allows for greater strength to apply. So where as the double-action pull is 10 lbs. The initial pulling does not come across to the user as a 10 lbs trigger pull.
I just wanted to chime in with these thoughts. I don’t know if the LCR will be the new wonder gun. But it is a pretty gutsy innovative move. And I think people should hold off on too harsh of criticisms until they’ve actually had a chance to handle the firearm and compare it to a similar ultralight J-frame.