The Ruger Lightweight Compact Revolver (LCR) (click here to watch the video) was unveiled to the public at the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando and is a revolutionary revolver design. How so? The 13.5 ounce, small frame, 5-shot LCR has just three main components: a “techno” polymer fire control housing, an aircraft-quality aluminum monolithic frame, and an extensively fluted stainless steel cylinder. The LCR’s lightweight polymer fire control housing is resistant to harsh chemicals and 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 absolutely no hand fitting. The result is a consistent product at a cost savings to the consumer.

ruger1-small.gifTactical-Life had the unique opportunity to visit Ruger last month to closely examine LCR and other new Ruger products (after signing non-disclosure agreements that contained the release until January 14th. The range tests proved the ability of this slim carry’s durability using +P loads from Corbon and Remington as well as accuracy. At 7 yards, the LCR easily produced groups hovering 1 inch using the Hogue recoil taming grips. Switching the grips to the Crimson Trace Laser Grips specifically designed for the LCR, accuracy improved with a best group measuring 0.98 inch.

ruger2-small.gifPulling the double action trigger is a different experience for shooters of small-framed revolvers because friction of the engagement surfaces have been dramatically reduced. The unique geometry of internal parts allows the trigger to smoothly draw with a resistance that TL estimates at 6-7 lbs. 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. Seriously, it’s something that may take some “getting used to.” Most will find the draw of the trigger an improvment for revolvers in this class.

ruger3-small.gifThe 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. 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 Laser Grip 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.ruger4-small.gifThe 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 1.28-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 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. The Ruger LCR is a welcome companion to last year’s introduction of the LCP semi-auto pistol. Expect to see much “rave and review” of this innovative defender.

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The Ruger Lightweight Compact Revolver (LCR) (click here to watch the video) was unveiled…