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Lightweight snubbies shooting comparo: Colt, SW, Ruger

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by fnfalman, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    The culprits were Colt Cobra, SW M38-2 and Ruger LCR - all chambered in .38 Special and in the case of the LCR, .38 Special +P. However, I don't mean to sound like a badass but I shot some +P ammo through the Colt and SW too.

    The Colt Cobra has an aluminum frame, as is the SW M38 while the Ruger sports a plastic frame. The Colt has factory wooden stock while the SW also sports factory rubber stock (probably Hogue) and the LCR uses the Hogue Tamer grip from the factory as well. The LCR's grip is the largest while the SW grip is the smallest and that was a major factor in shootability. The LCR and the Colt sit more solidly in the hands than the SW. I could only imagine the SW with the skinny wooden grips and how much harder it would be to shoot the gun.

    The sight is also where the LCR shows superiority as well. It's more prominent than the Colt and SW. The Colt is being the worst because of the heavily sloped front sight. It may look aesthetically pleasing but it glared and blurred badly with indoors light.

    Trigger pull...I'll have to grade the Colt the best even though the LCR is the lightest. We're talking about DA pull here because the LCR is DAO so I don't think that it was fair trying to judge the Colt and SW's SA pulls while the Ruger doesn't have that option. The LCR's pull is the lightest but it also felt unpredictable to me. Sometimes it feels like a SW pull and sometimes you can stage it like the Colt. Very disconcerting. The SW's DA pull is just stiff though smooth. The Colt's take up is smooth and light at the stacking stage but the breaking was heavy.

    Ammo was 130-gr ball Independence.

    It was tough shooting these suckers with indoors range lighting, but hey, it's a lot brighter than if you were to have to use it at home for self defense.

    Interestingly enough, this LCR is a lot more accurate than the other two LCRs I've rented before. It wasn't a fluke. The LCR consistently grouped much tighter than the Colt and SW, with the SW taking last in mechanical/shootability accuracy departments.

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Shooting at silhouettes at faster rates show a slightly different story. The Colt now has faster split times and comes back on target easier. The Ruger is still just right behind it and the SW is dead last though shot groups are still on target albeit a lot slower because of the tiny grip and tiny front sight.

    Still, they all will do their jobs if the shooter does his job. The Colt does have a sixth shot advantage, but then it is a bit larger than the other two. I'd like to get me the Hogue Bantam grip for the LCR and see how much the package would be reduced by.


  3. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    I love my Colt Detective Special as I do my 1950's vintage S&W 36 with the flat cylinder latch. But only for nostalgic reasons. They were premier carry guns in their day.

    My favorite and most used CCW gun is my S&W 340 M&P in .357. The weight and size of this package in a Desantis Nemisis is nearly unbeatable. I also carry it with the Speer .357 mag short barrel loads. Its not the most pleasant gun to shoot. But I can hit what I need to hit with it and its got some authority when it gets there.
  4. I routinely carry the LCR .38, and after several hundred rounds have the trigger staging somewhat mastered - at the range.

    Before the LCR I carried a Taurus .38 concealed hammer DAO, similar in size to the S&W.

    Have carried the Kahr PM9 and PM45.

    Use CrimsonTrace laser grip or laser guard on all my carry guns.

    I seem to shoot the LCR the best of those I have carried regularly, and it seems to work best as a naked carry in a front pocket.

    Still looking for a IWB cross draw for these to add carry options.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  5. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Very good report, fnfalman

    Thanks for posting :cool:
  6. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    Yes thanks - very interesting
  7. WT

    WT Millennium Member

    Jan 12, 1999
    Nice write-up. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

    Everybody needs a snubby revolver!

    The sight glare problem could probably be taken care of with a small dab of sight paint. It is a 'flat' paint which highlights the front sight very nicely. Do not paint all the grooves ... just the top five or so.

    Thanks again.
  8. jthrelf


    Sep 14, 2012
    something to think about is that these all have different cylinder releases, might be the deciding factor in what you want to buy/carry

    my favorite is the ruger's push button followed by the colt's
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  9. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    Great write up thanks.

    Colt wins on sexiness!
  10. Cool.

    I joined the NRA, have you yet?
  11. You left out some of the better choices!

    Charter Arms Off Duty

    Charter Arms Undercover
  12. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    Back in the 70s every cop carried a snubby as a backup and/or off duty gun. Chief's Specials and Detective Specials were common as dirt back then.

    My first department carried 38 spls so I bought a Charter Arms Off Duty to carry as a back up gun way back in the day. I gave it to my dad as a house gun in the early '80s when I went to a 44 Bulldog. Sold the Bulldog and replaced it with the 2" version which I later sold and went on to many other carry guns.

    Dad is in his mid 80s now and doesn't use it so he recently gave it back. I just started carrying it again. I had put a bobbed hammer and a "Hip grip" on it for him to carry as a belly gun. It is a real compact, easy to carry setup.

    Interestingly he even gave me back a couple packs of Glaser Safety Slugs I gave him. That combo was cutting edge back in the day. I am now old school.
  13. Rustin


    Oct 12, 2011
    Central Ohio
    Thanks for sharing.

    I love the LCR. It goes everywhere. The trigger is superb, and quite predictable when you get accustomed to it. The trigger gets smoother and smoother as time goes on.

    So far they've got four options-

    LCR-.38 spl +p
    KLCR-.357 magnum
    LCR 22-22lr
    LCR 22 mag-22 magnum

    I'm thinking a .327 federal magnum would be a great addition!
  14. Dawolf


    Sep 18, 2010
    Thanks for the great report.
  15. Pier23

    Pier23 Silver Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    Colt Agent...

    Bought mine used, ex-LEO, with finish worn off by holster wear, but mechanically sound. Age unknown, but is now my wife's EDC.
  16. Kozel


    Jan 16, 2007
    46.58N 121.75W
    How can you compare Colt to everything else? I have Colt Agent and Ruger LCR. Used to have Taurus and S&W.
    For starters Colt is six shot while all the rest of them are five.
  17. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    They're my guns so I can compare them to whatever I feel like it.

    If I want to compare the Colt to a SW M10 snubbie or a 6.5" SW M29 then that's what I'd do.
  18. Pier23

    Pier23 Silver Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    The Colt Agent has one of the nicest revolver DA actions I have felt. May just be the age of this piece, its use condition or just the way the revolver is made, but the trigger is very nice. Very easy for my wife to pull DA.

    Recoil bashes up my middle finger, I don't like using it. But that is a fit issue with my hand. My wife doesn't have that problem.
  19. Kozel


    Jan 16, 2007
    46.58N 121.75W
    Oh, I see how you can compare them now. Thank you. You do not understand meaning of the word “category”. Knock yourself out compare all you want.

    Colt is smallest of full capacity revolvers. Others are reduced capacity revolvers.
  20. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    The meaning of the word "category" is lightweight snubbies. Maybe you have an issue with the English language?


    I don't see you making any comparison posts, but instead going around spreading hate and discontent. Maybe it's because you don't have a Colt Agent and just pretended? Or maybe you don't even have an LCR? Go back and play with your Kel-Tecs and leave the people with the real guns to talk about real gun comparisons.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013