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S&W Airframe .38 vs Ruger LCR .38

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by CookieGirl, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. CookieGirl

    CookieGirl SE of Disorder

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    I am curious if anyone has critically compared the S&W Airframe .38 revolver with the Ruger LCR .38? The S&W was the first handgun I ever fired (just a few weeks ago, really), and I was surprised at how well I liked it. I've fired some other types -- my husband owns a Springfield .40 semi-automatic, and a friend let me try out some of his pieces (including a .25 cal -- yuk, a Glock 9 mm -- no problems there, and a .357 Magnum --way too much for me to handle). I've fired all of these with reasonable success for a novice, but I keep coming back to the S&W airframe. It's simple to operate and easy to keep safe. The two models look very similar, but I really don't know very much about these things. Any advice? I think the range at which we shoot can probably rent me the Ruger to try.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  2. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith

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    Cookie,

    I've got the 642. In fact I've owned many a J frame. Even have a Charter Arms stainless .38 undercover and a Taurus 85 (also stainless as I'm lazy at cleaning.)

    I've handled the LCR but not shot it.

    I have no doubt it's a fine wheelgun and will do the deed. I perfer the Smith J hammerless revolvers because they don't snag at drawing and the wood boot-grips by Eagle (called Secret Service grips) are the best for concealed carry I know of.

    I even took the rubber grips off the Taurus and got factory round butt wood grips (I dislike rubber grips that much.)

    If you can shoot them side by side I say rent them and give it a try. But there are now plenty of good J frame size guns to try out.

    Deaf
     

  3. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr CLM

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    Overall, I chose the 642.
    I hate to admit it, but I believe the LCR has a better trigger feel.
    The ballance, overall feel and record of the S&W was my deciding factor.
     
  4. mikey777

    mikey777

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  5. Maddcat1

    Maddcat1

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    I vote for the S&W. My better half has the 637. She likes the option of the hammer. I had the chance to shoot the LCR and didnt quite like the feel of the grip. :wavey:
     
  6. mikeyU

    mikeyU

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    I would, and have gone with the S&W 638, not a fan of the LCR, I do like the Smith.
     
  7. PeteCamp

    PeteCamp

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    I've shot about every S&W snubbie made over the course of 50 years of shooting. Some were better than others. I was a die hard S&W revolver fan UNTIL ... my wife decided she liked the LCR with the Crimson Trace. I got it for her for Christmas.

    When she finally let me shoot it, I was very impressed. The trigger, as has been said, is better than any S&W I've ever owned. Of course, it is double action only but it is very smooth. And it seems to be getting better as more rounds go through it. For those who shy away from Ruger, there have been some drastic changes in their products. All for the better, IMHO. The Ruger with the CT laser grips sold for less than the 642 in my local shop.

    But as always, see if you can try out the various choices and see which one suits you best.
     
  8. MaximaDrvr

    MaximaDrvr

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    I've shot both the 642 and the LCR, though not back to back.
    Honestly, they both worked great, fell great, and are more accurate than I am.
    I ended up getting the 642 because I got it for a better price.
     
  9. phinfan

    phinfan

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    Usually when a question like this comes up I like to search out unbiased answers, for instance, my answer on a M1A vs FAL would not be unbiased.

    On these two revolvers, I think I can be unbiased, as I love them both. I have a uncataloged S&W 042, and a LCR, and imo when you look at it from a purely functional standpoint, I cannot say enough about the LCR, great gun, and as far as trigger pull, the smith cannot even compare.

    When I want to pull one out of the safe to show off, the 042 comes out, it is beautiful, to me at least.
     
  10. Paul7

    Paul7

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    Trigger pull of the LCR is much better, and I hear the recoil is less.
     
  11. FEDLEO

    FEDLEO I'm the rootenist tootenist shootenist

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    I have a LCR and as much as some like to hate on them due to looks I like it. A lot. I have no problem recommending on to anybody
     
  12. 1time

    1time Lifetime Member

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    If you want pretty the Smith wins. I like functional so I went with the LCR. I debated on getting a Smith for a year or so. One day I walked into the gun shop and they had just gotten a LCR in. The trigger is so much nicer I bought it that week. Well I paid for it that week. The Maryland Handgun Board didn't approve it for two more weeks so it had to sit in the back waiting. I have had no problems with it and it shoots as well as I can shoot a snub nose revolver.
     
  13. big_gun_man

    big_gun_man

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    I have an LCR and the recoil is not bad at all, and the trigger is definately better on the LCR, I Love mine.
     
  14. -gunut-

    -gunut-

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    Trigger on the LCR is better. I dunno the exact specs, but the LRC seemed pretty large compared to the J-frame. If so, I will most likely be easier to shoot but harder to conceal.

    I am happy with my S&W 442

    [​IMG]
     
  15. rfd339

    rfd339

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    I love my S&W642 , it's a great pocket carry.

    <a href="http://s1007.photobucket.com/albums/af199/rfd339/?action=view&current=Picture112.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1007.photobucket.com/albums/af199/rfd339/Picture112.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
     
  16. G26S239

    G26S239 NRA Patron

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    I have had a 642 for almost 4 years so the LCR was not an option when I got the 642. I like the 642 but I believe the LCR will prove to be a good little gun, I like my 10/22, MK II and SP101, Ruger generally puts out good stuff.
     
  17. carbofan21

    carbofan21

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    my 642 with factory trigger enhancement has a nicer trigger than the LCR. i haven't owned an LCR, but shot one. i'm happy i went with the 642, but either revolver would be a solid choice.
     
  18. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Cookie, my household has 2 S&W airframes in .38 (I think they are called airweights, aluminum frame, steel cylinder and barrel, 15oz, 1 7/8" barrel length).

    Mine is the model 642 centennial, which has the internal hammer and is double action only.

    My wife's is the model 637 chief's special, which has the external hammer and can be fired in single action (by cocking the hammer back with your thumb) or double action (where the trigger pull cocks the hammer back).

    A friend of mine has the Ruger LCR .38, which weighs 13oz

    So, I've shot all 3 :) Which one to get? It really is just up to you. They are all quality guns. Personally, I prefer the S&W. The trigger guard shape allows for the fingers to get a little higher on the grip. The standard S&W Uncle Mike's boot grip (the way the S&W snubbies come from the factory) is more comfortable than the Ruger grip. The Ruger, perhaps because of the trigger guard and the grip issue, but also because of the 2 ounces lighter, feels snappier and sharper in recoil. Some people like the Ruger trigger pull better, but I thought it was about the same in feel as the S&W.

    For carry, I like my 642 with the internal hammer. That way, it can never snag on clothing while trying to draw. My wife's 637 is nicer for target shooting, because it is fun to pull the hammer back first, and then have a very light trigger pull for bulleyes at 25 yards. With the 642, I can shoot bulleyes at 25 yards, too, but I have to work on finding the "break point" of when the cylinder has stopped rotating and the internal hammer is about to fall (exact same issue with the LCR, so no difference there). You can do it with practise, but I'm just saying the 637 in single action is easier for target shooting. But since the primary reason for these guns is carry, I think the 642 is better so there is no snag.

    My 2 cents :)

    Oh, my wife loves her 637, and can probably outshoot me with it (snubbie to snubbie). She outshoots guys at the gunclub, then with their full-size semi-autos. So it is all about practise. A woman can learn shoot a snubbie very well. And I'm serious about the 25 yard bullseyes (like basically a 4" group).

    Oh, also, the S&W iron sights for my 642 and my wife's 637 are both dead on. But with my friend's Ruger, they are not, they are about 5 inches off target at 25 yards. That would tick me off to no end, if it was my gun.

    One more thing. S&W generally puts key locks on the side of their gun. It is called an interal locking system (ILS). My wife's 637 has one. But my 642 does not. It is never an issue, and my wife has even used it when our child was a toddler and we were staying at relatives for a holiday and all sleeping in the same room. I found out that S&W had old parts sitting around, and they decided to do a new run of 642's with the old parts, and thus no key lock. That is what I bought. A brand new 642, without the key lock. They are still out there on the shelves, as brand new. Just pointing this out, because you can probably find a new 642 either with or without the key lock, depending on your preference. Last time I checked, S&W website still had both versions listed.

    Another last thing, S&W also has some longer barrel lengths availble, now, like 2 1/2" or 3", I forget. The standard snubbie length is 1 7/8". The pluses and minuses are just basically concealability versus longer sight radius. I prefer the 1 7/8", and like I've said, they are plenty accurate if you practise with them :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  19. MrVvrroomm

    MrVvrroomm

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    I own & shoot both the 642 and LCR. They are basically identical in size. I've had them both at the range side by side and the accuracy is also nearly identical. The LCR's trigger is MUCH better.

    The terms 'stock ruger' and 'good trigger' are rarely used in the same sentence.
     
  20. stmcelroy

    stmcelroy Holster Maker

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    Besides the factory grips(the LCR is huge) they are pretty much identical in size, with the LCR having a thinner profile.

    The trigger on the LCR is much better than the factory J-frame trigger, which makes it somewhat easier to shoot.

    Either one will work fine for you.