This is the new Ruger LCR-22. It is an exciting gun to shoot, and a useful little revolver applicable for many situations.
Fire control components are housedin the polymer lower frame. This is as much disassembly
as Ruger recommends for routine maintenance.
Drawing from a concealed holster and firing 5 rounds as fast as I could pull the trigger at 10
feet from the target.
Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc.
by Wayne Lincourt
Break out the party hats, Ruger’s LCR just got a little brother! The newest member of the LCR family shares all the great features of its brethren and is now available in .22 caliber. The LCR-22 is light, fast handling, and accurate for a 1.875” barrel, and it’s a ball to shoot.
If you’re not familiar with Ruger’s LCR (Lightweight Compact Revolver) which debuted in January of 2009, it is best known as the first production polymer framed revolver. Several others have come out since but Ruger was ahead of the pack with the LCR.
The polymer lower part of the frame houses all components of the fire control mechanism and is mated to an aluminum alloy upper which houses the stainless steel cylinder and barrel liner. Polymer is a rugged material, rust and corrosion proof, and light weight. The aluminum upper and heavy fluting on the cylinder contribute additional weight savings. My review gun came in at 14.8 ounces empty on my stamps.com electronic scale, but the reported weight is 14.9 ounces. The balance point is at the back of the cylinder which I consider ideal for a snub nose revolver. It comes on target out of the holster quickly, thanks in part to the great balance as well as the natural grip angle and excellent rubber grip from Hogue.
The hammer is completely enclosed making, this a double-action-only (DAO) revolver and eliminating a potential snag for anyone interested in concealed carry. The DAO trigger, like its bigger brothers, is very smooth with no stacking and little overtravel. It measured right around 12 pounds but didn’t seem that much thanks to the way they cam the trigger.
The LCR-22 is compact, little more than 6.25” long and 1.25” wide. It sits so lightly in a holster or in your pocket that you’ll forget it’s there
The big news, of course is that you can now get it in .22 caliber which opens the opportunity to do a lot more shooting since .22 ammo is inexpensive and widely available. The LCR-22 will handle .22 short, .22 long, and .22 long rifle ammo, including shot shells, which means that you can personalize it for your needs.
I see this fun little revolver filling a number of roles. The most important component to shooting any gun accurately, aside from the gun itself, is practice. No matter how good (or bad) you are, more practice will make you better. Unfortunately, center fire ammo can get expensive, especially if you want to shoot hundreds of rounds a month. With a .22, you can shoot for pocket change.
Regardless of whatever other handguns you have, the sight picture management and trigger control will transfer from the LCR-22 to any other handgun. If your other guns include a revolver, even better. The practice you get with the function of the gun will help you perform better with your other revolvers. And the low recoil of a .22 is ideal for developing good shooting habits and for introducing someone new to shooting.
This would also be a great trail/woods gun if you don’t have to worry about the bigger predators. For snakes and other vermin, or as a survival gun to shoot small game, the .22LR is an ample caliber. it would be a nice addition to your kit due to its small size and light weight.
The biggest drawback to use as a trail gun is that the black-on-black sight isn’t the best, especially for dim lighting. Fortunately, the front blade sight is pinned in and can be exchanged for a white dot Tritium sight like the excellent XS Sight Systems sight. A Crimson Trace laser grip is also a great accuracy enhancer and will most likely be available for this gun.
I clocked the Federal .22 Long Rifle ammo I used for my review at an average velocity, twelve feet in front of the muzzle, of 922.7 feet per second. They were 36 grain hollow points which, at 922.7 fps, have a kinetic energy of 68 foot pounds. Compared with a typical 158 grain .38 caliber round delivering about 200 ft.lbs. of energy, the .22 looks pretty wimpy, and it is. Definitely not your first choice for a defensive gun. But, in certain situations, it could be enough.
As you can see in the photos, it was enough to punch holes through a piece of 1×2 pine at 21 feet. That doesn’t translate directly into stopping power, but it does show that it would be likely to punch through 1/4 inch of skull at the same range, regardless of the species of predator. In any event, any gun is better than no gun, so a .22 in your pocket is 100% better than a .45 in your gun safe.
And did I mention it’s fun to shoot? I started with some slow firing to gauge the accuracy shooting offhand from 21 feet, which is where you’d be most likely to use this kind of gun. I was able to consistently put five rounds into an inch and a half, less than an inch if you took out the one flier I seemed to get in each string. There’s no doubt that the accuracy of the gun is better than this and a shooter with better eyes could probably do a lot better.
Next I did some drawing and firing from the holster, concealed with a shooting vest. Here’s my first five shots from ten feet as fast as I could draw and shoot. The natural way the LCR points helps a lot here.
Finally I shot another couple hundred rounds firing on the move, drawing while dropping to a knee, and just having fun. The cylinder got warm but never hot and a sharp rap on the ejection rod cleanly ejected all spent cartridges every time.
As an aside, I really like the cylinder crane release on the LCR. Instead of sliding a button forward or back, you just push it in. It operates very easily and when something works so easily, you have to wonder if it could cause a problem. As a test, I tried to inadvertently release the cylinder and went as far as to actually depress the button all the way while the gun was in the holster before drawing and firing. Did it malfunction? Nope. There’s enough force from the lock pin spring to keep the cylinder closed until you intentionally overcome it by pushing on the side of the cylinder while simultaneously depressing the crane release button. Ruger did a good job on this gun.
The LCR-22 is a modern, good looking, and versatile gun. The fit and finish is excellent as is the MSRP of $525. Street price will undoubtedly be a little less. They made sure that it was available to dealers before announcing its release, so you should be able to get one now if you’re interested. Whether it’s to improve your shooting skills, take along as a trail gun, provide a lightweight backup, or just for fun shooting, the Ruger LCR-22 is a great choice.
Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc.