It has been almost two years since Ruger
introduced their unique pocket revolver, dubbed the LCR. The
Ruger LCR was not a variation of another Ruger revolver design,
nor a copy of anything else on the market, but a departure from
conventional revolver design. The materials used in the
manufacture of the LCR, and its modular design set it apart from
the masses. The LCR uses a polymer fire control assembly, which
houses the trigger, hammer, and the associated springs and such
to operate those parts. The cylinder frame assembly is made of
aluminum, and also contains the stainless steel barrel. The
cylinder is also made of stainless steel, and is uniquely fluted
and finished in a darker gray finish which is the result of a
tumbling process. The trigger is smooth and finished in a
natural bright satin stainless. The LCR
in 38 Special and 357 Magnum
have been reviewed here previously, and both have proven to be
very reliable and lightweight five-shot pocket revolvers.
While the 38 and 357 are very good choices
for a pocket revolver, there are those who, for whatever reason,
cannot tolerate the recoil of those cartridges from a
lightweight revolver, but still need something which they can
carry for defense. Ruger has answered this need with the LCR
chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge.
Advocating a 22 revolver for defensive
purposes fuels a lot of arguments. It is by no means the ideal
man-stopper. If I know that I am headed for a fight, and cannot
avoid it, I want a good twelve-gauge semi-auto shotgun, loaded
with buckshot, or a rifle, depending upon the situation.
However, I cannot easily hide a shotgun in a belt holster, so I
compromise, and carry a handgun, as most of us do. Any handgun
carried for defense is a compromise. We must balance power,
weight, size, and recoil before deciding upon the ideal carry
gun. Most of us advocate a good semi-auto 9mm, 45, 40, or 10mm,
but usually end up carrying something smaller as an everyday,
everywhere, pocket gun. I carry different guns from time to
time, usually a lightweight bobtail 45,
or a high-capacity 9mm, or one of my
10mm autos, but when I carry one of
these, I still have a 38 revolver or a 380
auto in my pocket. For a gun that is ALWAYS within reach, a
lightweight pocket gun is very handy. Again, we come back to
recoil. I get emails from folks almost everyday with severe
arthritis who cannot tolerate the recoil of a lightweight 380,
and even if they could, they lack the hand strength to manually
cycle the slide. Choosing a revolver, again, the recoil is a
factor in a weapon which is light enough to always be present.
While the 22 Long Rifle cartridge is way down on the list of
reliable one-shot fight stoppers, having a lightweight 22 that
holds eight shots, as does this new LCR, is perhaps the best
choice available for many people.
What makes this new Ruger LCR 22 better than
most other 22 revolvers on the market is that it has the LCR
double-action trigger pull. While most double-action rimfire
revolvers have a trigger pull that stacks up to around twelve
pounds of resistance before releasing, the LCR 22 has a trigger
pull that is under eight pounds, and is very smooth. That alone
is a game-changer, making this particular 22 revolver a good
choice for many who cannot easily work the action on some other
22 revolvers. It all boils down to the first rule of a gunfight,
and that is to “Have a gun”. Without a gun, you are out of
the fight. While I would not plan to go into a fight with only a
22 rimfire, I would by no means feel helpless carrying one. The
light recoil equates a quick follow-up between shots, and eight
shots of 22, properly placed, can be very effective.
There have been numerous studies over the
years concerning which handgun cartridge is the best to assure a
“one-shot stop”. However, the thinking behind such studies
seems flawed from a defensive standpoint. I know of no serious
trainer who recommends shooting an opponent only once, then
waiting for his aggressive attack to stop. The general consensus
among those who know is to shoot and keep shooting until the
danger is over. In such a situation, again back to my earlier
statement, hand me a twelve-gauge. However, when an attack
comes, we must fight with whatever is within reach, and for most
of us, that will be a handgun. It should be something with which
we are proficient, meaning a handgun with which we are
confident, and with which we can rapidly perforate the hide of
our opponent. Dealing with proficiency, it is better to
repeatedly hit one’s attacker with a small caliber weapon than
to miss him with something bigger. The 22 LR cartridge is not
and will never be a 44 Magnum, but with the right ammo, is much
better than most armchair experts will admit.
All the preceding is to state that, while the
22 rimfire is not perfect, it is a highly useful, easy-to-shoot
cartridge, and for some folks, might be the best choice
available. The Ruger LCR 22 is a very good device with which to
reliably deliver several 22 caliber bullets into a target
rapidly, and it is lightweight enough and compact enough to
always be within reach, and therefore accomplishes that first
rule of a gunfight to have a gun.
Like the centerfire LCR revolvers, the 22 LCR
brings the same unique innovative design to the rimfire shooter.
Besides serving for defensive purposes when the limitations of
the user preclude the use of something more powerful, the Ruger
22 LCR is also a good pocket gun to carry for use against
smaller attackers such as animals around the camp, or to
dispatch venomous snakes around the homestead. The CCI
shotshells pattern better in the rimfires than they do in any of
the centerfire calibers, and pattern tightly enough at any
distance at which a snake might pose a threat to quickly deal
with the situation. The LCR is handy enough to slip into a pants
pocket, to be within reach when needed, and has sufficient
accuracy at close range for defensive purposes, but the short
sight radius makes it difficult to make clean head shots on
small game, at least for me, at distances greater than about
fifteen yards. However, the Crimson Trace Lasergrip that fits
the centerfire LCR will also fit this 22 LCR, and greatly adds
to the usefulness of this revolver in low-light situations. The XS
Big Dot tritium front sight will also fit the 22 LCR, and is
useful for making quick hits on target in low-light situations
Specifications are listed in the chart below.
Weight is listed in ounces. Trigger pull is listed as pounds of
resistance. Linear measurements are listed in inches. The
cylinder length does not include the cylinder ratchet. Height
includes the sights. The double-action pull was butter-smooth,
and felt even lighter than the weight listed.
|Barrel / Cylinder Gap
|Trigger Pull DA
||7 lbs, 11 oz.
I tested the LCR 22 with several brands of
ammunition for velocity and function. The results with each
brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. HP
is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose bullet.
Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above
sea level, with an air temperature of 66 degrees Fahrenheit,
with humidity in the 47 percent range. Velocities are listed in
feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the
muzzle of the LCR. Bullet weights are listed in grains.
|Federal Bulk HP
|Winchester DynaPoint HP
|PMC Match Solid
|Wolf Match Solid
|CCI Mini-Mag HP
|CCI Mini-Mag Solid
|CCI Velocitor HP
|Remington Yellow Jacket
|American Eagle HP
|PMC Zapper HP
I tested the 22 LCR for accuracy at
twenty-five yards using my Ransom
Master Series machine rest. I realize that this is not
designed to be a target gun, and will likely never be seen on
the line at Camp Perry, but I like to know the accuracy of which
any 22 handgun is capable, and the little LCR did pretty well.
Accuracy varied from as tight as two inches for five shots to as
large as five, depending upon the ammunition chosen. Rimfire
ammunition is often not as consistent from shot to shot as is
good centerfire ammo, and the velocity variation in some of the
ammunition varied as much as much as eight percent. That does
nothing to contribute to good accuracy. However, some ammo
performed really well in the 22 LCR, and is certainly sufficient
for the revolver’s purpose.
As to reliability; the LCR 22 performed
flawlessly. I had no misfires of any kind with the LCR 22, with
any of the numerous brands any types tested. Extraction was very
easy, with only slight stickiness experienced with the Remington
Yellow Jacket ammo. Even with that ammunition, a hard push with
the finger upon the ejector rod ejected all cases at once. The
ejector rod is plenty long enough for positive ejection of fired
cases. The Yellow Jacket ammo performed very well, exceeding
1050 feet-per-second from the short barrel of the LCR, and would
be a good choice to use for defense, if needed. I have only had
this revolver here for a few days, but so far, I really like it.
I first saw the 22 LCR back in early November at the NASGW
Show in Reno. It was not on display, but a Ruger executive
was kind enough to take me into the back of the booth and bring
out a few interesting new guns that are slated for introduction
soon. I was particularly pleased when he handed me the 22 LCR,
as I think it fills a void in the pocket handgun category that
needed filling. It is lightweight, reliable, accurate, and most
importantly, has a really good trigger pull. There are other 22
caliber pocket revolvers on the market, but with their much
heavier trigger pulls, they are more difficult to use, and for
some folks, near impossible to manage well. The rimfire LCR
comes through for those who need such a weapon, and allows the
user to quickly deliver eight shots onto the target. Also, with
ammunition prices as high as they are, the 22 LCR makes a great
understudy to a centerfire LCR, allowing the user lots of
affordable practice, with the same size and feel as the
For those who need a handy revolver for
concealed carry that has light recoil, the LCR 22 fitted with a
Crimson Trace Lasergrip would serve very well. For a handy
pocket-sized trail gun, the LCR 22 is a good choice for that as
well. For a method of fun, affordable practice for those who
already own a centerfire LCR, the LCR 22 makes a lot of sense.
It is also a good choice for a lightweight, reliable fun gun for
plinking. The LCR 22 and a brick of good 22 ammo can provide a
lot of inexpensive entertainment.
I really like this LCR 22. I have only put a
few hundred rounds through this one so far, but it has been
one-hundred percent reliable. It will function with any 22 Long
Rifle, 22 Long, or 22 Short ammunition, but these days, 22 Long
Rifle is as inexpensive as any other 22 rimfire cartridge, so I
see no need to ever use the shorter stuff, unless you have a
ready supply of it.
The Ruger LCR 22 is a dandy little pocket
rimfire, made right, and made in the USA. I highly recommend it.
Check out the LCR 22 online at www.ruger.com.
For the location of a Ruger dealer near you,
click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order the LCR 22 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
For quality 22 rimfire ammunition, go to www.luckygunner.com.