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LCR 357 for off-side BUG

Discussion in 'The Snubbie Club' started by Tommato, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. I'm shopping for a J-frame sized revolver for off-side pocket carry, as a reliable contact distance BUG. Carry ammo will most likley be 38 +P. Thinking about the LCR 357 - mostly for additional 4 oz over LCR 38 and the possibility of softer shooting. While I don't plan to carry or shoot 357 ammo, I suppose that could help resale if I ever get rid of it.

    Reviews of the LCR 38 seems to say much softer shooting than comparable weight J-frame Smiths. Hoping the additional 4 oz will tame +P loads a bit. Also plan to put CT laser grips on it, which aren't quite as recoil-damening as the Hogue tamers.

    So question is what others think of LCR 357 with 38 +P and CTs as off-hand BUG, and what other alternatives? I really don't want to go up to steel frame J's for weight reasons.

  2. datnvan


    Apr 30, 2008
    i have the regular lcr and heavier loads like 130gr are quite snappy, although managable with descent second shot follow thru. much better than a s&w 642 airweight although my friends steel 2" taurus snubby shoots waaaay softer. i think the 4oz will have a difference.

  3. ArtCrafter

    ArtCrafter ¤Hocker Mocker¤

    Jul 14, 2008
    What little luck I've had with pocket carry (Kramer and Sparks holsters, 15-oz Airweight and 12-oz Airlite J-Frames) leaves little doubt in my mind that (a) lighter is better, and (b) as little as three ounces makes a perceptible difference.

    However, even then, the gun/holster will tend to 'flop around' (loose-fitting garment) and/or 'print' (close-fittting garment).

    In fact, the only satisfactory experience I've had with pocket carry has been strongside with my hand on the grip, and the gun in the 'hand-warmer' pocket of a waist-length winter jacket. (By "satisfactory," I mean concealed, accessible, secure, etc.) This works great, but in precious few scenarios (i.e., only those where I have no need of my dominant hand, which ain't many). Otherwise, I suppose it would also work fine offside, but I've never tried it (and it would seem to have similar limitations in any case).

    Along the same line, if the holster fits the pocket tightly enough, and at the same time fits the gun loosely enough (both to preclude drawing the holster with the gun), then the retention factor is essentially zero. Probably best to have your hand on the gun (see above).

    As far as recoil goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. The entire +P concept is overrated, IMO, especially from short-barrelled (2" nom.), lightweight revolvers. Its principal impact (pun most definitely intended) has been on the market, not the street. Viable standard-pressure options exist (e.g., wadcutters, Nyclads, etc.) and should probably at least be range-tested before being dismissed out of hand. (For best/most revealing results, shoot some +P -- in particular, jacketed +P -- at the same time. The difference is usually perceived as stark in the really lightweight guns...)


    ETA: Another very important factor w/respect to perceived recoil is grip-to-hand fit. Put simply, if the grip/stock allows the gun to move in your hand when fired, it's probably gonna hurt. (This is with DAs, of course; SA revolver grips work on a different principle.)
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  4. Chup


    Feb 11, 2008
    N. Ohio
    I carried a 442 for a year and a Mdl.37 before that as backup to various Guns. I then discovered the LCR357. The Tamer Grip makes shooting 357 ammo painless. It kicks but follow up shots are easy. The Gun is easy to shoot accurately. The grip is a little fatter for pocket carry but, I have had no problems and have been carrying the LCR since Summer.
  5. Ron3


    Sep 6, 2001
    I have both.

    The .38 really does feel lighter.

    The .357 really does shoot softer.

    So it's up to you.

    Picking out the right pants and holster is important.

    I too have concerns about retention. If it's easy to draw from a pocket w/holster (and it is) it will fall out should you end up in a grapple-type situation on the ground. But this goes for any pocket gun that is accessable.

    The triggers on these guns are far better than on the J-Frame S&W's. They also handle recoil much better. And you can change the front sight out easily if desired.
  6. This is my opinion so take it for what it is worth. I have always liked the idea of a reliable small frame revolver. I think the average person, not involved with LE or military is serve very well with one provided they practice and think about tactics. The problem I have always had is that I do not shoot the J-frame very well.

    I think, at least for me, the LCR solves most of the problems always present in my J-frames. The grips fit my hand, they absorb the recoil and it has good sights. I can shoot the .357 version with +P ammo one handed out to about 15 ft. The other big problem is the limited ammo capacity. For that I just carry 2 of them. One with the big dot sight and one with a fiber optic. For me, this is a good evolution of the J-frame concept. It is a shootable platform with all the advantages of a revolver. Still need to practice, but with this gun you can.-
  7. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    I carry an LCR .38 loaded with 110gr Hornady Critical Defense.

    They are not +P because I don't think they need to be.

    I think people forget that standard semi-wadcutter .38 loads have been killing bad guys for a long time.

    Modern bullets can be made lighter and very effective, and can take advantage of the new lightweight revolvers.

    It's all about shot placement at SD distances.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  8. Chup


    Feb 11, 2008
    N. Ohio
    That's what i'm talking about.
  9. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    Can't help with the Ruger choice thingy directly.
    I have the S&W versions of both ends of the spectrum.
    1) S&W 342 ti 38 +P 11.1 oz
    2) S&W 640-1 357 - 21.9 oz

    I often carry both, with the SS Magnum on a belt and 342 38 in my pocket.
    If only carrying one in my pocket, although heavy, I like the SS Magnum.

    As a backup gun to any of my other handguns,
    it's the 342 ti in the pocket hands down every time.
    The guns just carries like it's not there.

    As for SD ammo?
    Speer GDHP 135 gr Short Barrel +P 38
    is considered by many the very best snubbie 38 round.
    It kicks hard, and is no fun to practice with in an 11.1 oz gun.
    But shoots POA at close range and is very accurate.

    As for 357 Magnum snubbie SD ammo?
    Full house 1450 fps 125 gr magnum rounds only get ~1200 fps
    from a 2" barrel with lots of muzzle blast and recoil.
    Remington Golden Saber 357 is a medium load at 1220 fps 4" barrel.
    And still runs ~1100 fps from a 2" tube.
    It's is much more manageable to shoot and deadly accurate.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  10. Ron3


    Sep 6, 2001
    Might have to buy another of these because the wife like the lcr357 so much!

    It's loaded with Federal 180 gr SJHP. Much less blast then other .357 full power loads, less recoil, too. And almost no muzzle flash! (Tested it at night)

    Stops in the fourth jug of water filled gallon milk jugs. Expands in the jugs, dirt, and mud. I've yet to have one fail to open up.

    A couple other users on the net posted velocities of around 900 fps from a snubbie.

    A fantastic .357 mag load!
  11. Clutch Cargo

    Clutch Cargo Amsterdam Haze

    Nov 29, 2010
    I believe my non +p model 442 is 12 oz.
  12. up1911fan


    Mar 12, 2009
    Upper Michigan
    442's are 15oz, not 12.