What’s Better? Revolver or Semi-Auto Pistol?

Which one is best for you?

Which one is best for you?

I feel sorry for new shooters.

Back when I was a new shooter, movable type had just been invented and the internet wasn’t even part of Nostradamus’ wildest dreams. Learning about guns and self defense was hard, but easy. It was hard because I couldn’t sit at my computer and browse the opinions of thousands of self-proclaimed experts. It was easy because I had to get my information from face to face conversations, and it was clear when someone was full of baloney.

Now, with the advent of online advice, it’s up the the new shooter to filter out the good information from the chaff. Ask a simple question like “should I get a semi-automatic or a revolver” and you’ll get 4,357 opinions and a few offers for diet plans of the stars.

For this inaugural issue of the NSSF First Shots Newsletter, I wanted to address one of the most persistent, and challenging, decisions for new shooters: revolver or semi-auto? Granted, to you, I’m also one of those 4,357 opinions on the internet. But on the plus side, I do this for a living and I’m a student just like you. I’ve been shooting and studying shooting issues for decades, yet I still learn something new every day. I love that. More importantly, I love sharing what I learn. So what do you say let’s get started?

The first order of business is to resolve some of the perpetual myths that surround the revolver versus semi-automatic decision.

“Revolvers are more reliable!”

“Semi-auto’s are prone to jamming!”

“A snub-nose revolver is the perfect carry gun for beginners!”

“Semi-automatic pistols are hard to operate!”

And so on… You could write a book on revolver vs. semi-automatic myths.

Let’s address these issues with the appropriate level of detail and care.

Bull hockey!

So what are issues to consider? Let’s talk about some real decision criteria. The goal isn’t to provide an answer for what’s the best choice for you, but rather to give you things to think about. Why? Because there is no “best” choice. The best choice for you depends entirely on your situation and preferences.

Let’s take a look at a few factors that might influence your decision.

Read the rest at National Shooting Sports Foundation First Shots!

A Brief History of Guns: The Smokepole Years…

Continuing on with an excerpt from our new book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition


American pioneers have great success with long, rifled-barrel flintlocks known as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky rifles. Meddling politicians influenced the design of the California Rifle around this time, but adoption was limited due to the fact that it had no barrel, stock or bullets. As guaranteed 30 minute wild game delivery required great accuracy, early riflemen developed skills with their long rifles.

1858 Remington Bison

This reproduction 1858 Remington Bison is an example of a percussion cap revolver. And proof that size matters!

Also during the 1700’s, flintlock pistols replaced swords as the personal defense weapon of choice. In fact, flintlock pistol sets were commonly used for dueling. Dueling was a practice where stubborn men shot at each other from close range in order to settle arguments like “tastes great” vs. “less filling.” Dueling fell out of vogue in the 19th century when astute practitioners figured out that it really, really hurt to get shot.


Scottish Clergyman and international arms dealer Reverend John Forsyth develops the percussion cap. In addition to providing a fine beat to marching bands worldwide, Forsyth’s invention allowed for more reliable ignition of firearm charges. The percussion cap was a small metallic cup, treated with mercuric fulminate – a highly explosive compound that ignites with sharp pressure. With the advent of the percussion caps, guns could be reliably stored in a ready-to-fire condition.


Samuel Colt receives a patent for his revolver design. Horses celebrate as cowboys no longer have to carry the weight of 6 separate single shot flintlock pistols. The Colt design features a revolving cylinder that holds 5 or 6 bullets. Revolvers capable of holding more than one cartridge are immediately banned in New York City. As a result, times are tough for the fledgling Colt company and doors are shut in 1841.


In a corporate resurgence, Samuel Colt teams with Captain Samuel Walker Texas Ranger and introduces the most powerful handgun of the day, after Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum of course. Not wanting to cross Clint Eastwood, the two Samuels abandon plans to name their creation “The Most Powerful Handgun in the World” and call their revolver the Colt Walker. It remained the second most powerful handgun in the world until the introduction of the .357 Magnum 90 years later, at which point Clint Eastwood had shifted focus to making touching romantic films.

1840 − 1870

Up until this time, nearly all guns were “muzzle loaders.” This means that powder and projectiles had to be dumped into the muzzle (front end) of the gun, then stomped like wine grapes down into the barrel. Efforts to stomp powder charges and lead bullets down dirty rifle barrels with bare feet greatly slowed down many important battles. While the invention of the percussion cap made a big difference, things were still slow and cumbersome.

Politicians often had great influence over government arms development.

Politicians often had great influence over government arms development.

Starting in 1840, with the invention of the pin-fire cartridge, guns made the leap from muzzle-loading to breech (back of the barrel) loading. With a self-contained cartridge, shooters could load rifles and revolvers from the back in one smooth motion. No longer did folks have to worry about three separate components – powder, projectile and percussion cap – for each shot.

During this era, Colt held the patent for the revolving cylinder concept, which is still the basis for modern revolver designs. However, it was another partnership between Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson that increased popularity of the self-contained cartridge for revolvers. Smith & Wesson obtained a patent for their design and enjoyed a virtual monopoly on cartridge revolvers until 1869.

As a side note, Horace and Daniel dabbled with a lever-action pistol design, but soon scuttled the idea and sold the rights to Oliver Winchester, a shirt manufacturer. Having had his clock cleaned by low-cost clothing firm, Men’s Wearhouse, Winchester decided to give firearms manufacture a go.


Overjoyed at scoring two suits for the price of one from Men’s Wearhouse, Oliver Winchester releases a series of repeating, lever-action rifles including models 1866, 1873, 1876 and 1886.


Colt begins shipment of its famous Single-Action Army Revolver 1873. Production actually began in 1872, but seeing as Federal Express had not yet been invented, Colt was forced to rely on the Pony Express to fill its distribution channel. This slowed down retail availability considerably. Dubbed The Peacemaker, the Colt Single-Action Army Revolver was featured in many great western movies. And many not very great western movies.

Actor Roger Moore is issued a Colt Single-Action Army Revolver for the upcoming James Bond movies, From Carson City With Love and Gold Rush Finger. Movie production is placed on indefinite hold when Moore fails to come up with a believable cowboy accent. Production assistants also blame the fact that Moore had difficulty walking in chaps without debilitating chafing.


The French Lebel bolt-action rifle is placed into military service. The 8mm Lebel ushered in a new era of military history in that the French actually fielded a weapon. Oh, and the Lebel was the first military rifle to use smokeless powder. Up until this point, battles were often called on account of smoke as opponents could not see each other, or the scoreboard, through the voluminous clouds of black smoke created by gun powder. The advent of smokeless powder allowed battles to proceed in a more orderly fashion. A side benefit of smokeless powder was the ability to propel bullets faster than ever – allowing for longer range and more accurate shooting.

1889 − 1896

Revolvers were here to stay. During this period, both Colt and Smith & Wesson introduced early versions of modern double-action revolvers. The two most important developments were a swing-out cylinder which allowed for easy ejection of spent cartridge cases and load of fresh ones and true double-action operation which allowed shooters to operate the handgun by simply pulling the trigger.


Speaking of swingers, British secret agent James Bond is born in this century.

Stay tuned for the the next phase in firearm history…

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition is available on Amazon.com now!

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

A Brief History of Guns, The Early Years…

Here’s an excerpt from our brand new book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s part of the Insanely Practical Guides series and is loaded with light-hearted education, lots of helpful photos and some comedic relief. Hope you enjoy!

Before there were guns...

Before there were guns…

Guns have been annoying politicians longer than you might think. Before we jump into modern day firearm knowledge, let’s take a look at the long and winding road of gun history…

1,100 BC

Legends of the earliest known uses of guns have been passed down through generations of Zoran women. Historians believe that many women folk of Zorah, then near Philistine, gushed and swooned at the sight of Samson’s guns. According to the folklore, Samson had two guns, of exceptionally large caliber. Also according to history, he used those guns on more than one occasion – smiting at least one lion and many Philistine warriors. Sadly, the Zoran Congress, led by Senator Delilah of Timna, Philistia, soon enacted an assault hair ban and Samson was stripped of his guns.


1250 AD

Most historians believe that the key ingredient required to make all those useless guns work was invented around this time. In fact, NRA National Firearms Museum Director Jim Supica claims that Franciscan monk Roger Bacon wrote of the mixture shortly before 1250 A.D. That was an awfully long time ago – just after the birth of Joan Rivers.

Anyway, according to Bacon’s ancient texts, the lute and dulcimer trio of Guns and Roses discovered gunpowder while searching for better ways to wow the crowd at outdoor concerts. The forward-thinking band found that a mixture of charcoal, sulphur and salt peter provided plenty of noise and flash for bitchin’ stage theatrics. Salt Peter, Saint Peter’s long-lost stepbrother, was not at all happy about this recipe and he immediately started work on development of smokeless powders that did not require any of his bodily parts. Progress was slow as smokeless powder was not invented until the late 19th century.



The earliest cannons appeared on the scene. After all, what good was the newly invented gunpowder without something to shoot it from? Early cannons were quite simple – nothing more than a tube open on one end and closed at the other. A small hole near the closed end allowed cannoneers to light a powder charge inside. Crudely constructed from iron, wood and sometimes Mighty Putty, these weapons applied the same basic principles used by guns today.



While loud and impressive, early cannons did little to meet self-defense requirements. Since gun holsters had not yet been invented, concealed carry was not feasible. Hunting with the newly invented firearms was also problematic as many animals were reluctant to stand in front of cannons long enough to be converted to SPAM. In response to complaints of supermarket butchers everywhere, the “hand-gonne” was invented. Simply a downsized cannon mounted on a pole, the hand-gonne struggled for popularity mainly because no one knew how to pronounce the word “gonne.”


1400 to 1639

Clearing up name confusion, people stopped making “hand-gonnes” and replaced them with matchlocks and wheellocks. Matchlock guns featured an exposed flash pan filled with fine – and easy to ignite – priming powder, which would light the main charge to fire the gun. A dangling, and lit, fuse was suspended over the flashpan. A mechanical linkage was used to lower the smoldering fuse into the highly combustible flash pan. Occasionally, the matchlocks would fire when the user wanted, but usually before, after or not at all.



The gun company Beretta is founded in the Foccacia region of Italy, in a town called Brescia. Having made guns prior to this date, company founder Ben Cartwright achieves his first commercial success with production of 185 Arquebus Matchlock barrels for the Arsenal of Venice. The British Secret Service, Double-0 branch, is issued the 186th Arquebus. England quietly canceled the Double-0 program when it was discovered that matchlock rifles concealed poorly under dinner jackets.



The first kinda, sorta reliable flintlock was built. Some astute marketers even guaranteed their flintlocks to be 31% reliable, 67% of the time. Offering major advancements in luxury and comfort, such as heated drivers-side seats, the flintlock allowed shooters to carry their guns pretty much anywhere, except schools and government buildings, of course. As the flintlock features a covered flash pan for priming powder, users could even take their guns into rainy conditions. No longer would major World Wars endure rain delays, thereby minimizing network television scheduling challenges.

As a side note, the phrase “keep your powder dry” came into vogue during the flintlock era. As guns of the time relied on ignition of two separate powder charges – one in the flash pan and one in the barrel – keeping powder dry and flammable was a requirement of guns going bang instead of fzzzlpphhtt.

Stay tuned for the the next phase in firearm history…

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition is available on Amazon.com now!

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

The Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: Bleeding All Over the Range

Crossed thumbs shooting grip

This grip technique may cause you to bleed all over the shooting range. Not recommended.

This week’s Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting Tip involves keeping (most) of your body parts attached.

Specifically, we’re talking about your thumbs. You see, opposable thumbs are one of the things that give us humans a real advantage over the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to important things like opening Pringle’s cans and getting those straws into juice boxes without making a big mess.

Dan Akroyd Julia Child SNL

Don’t do this! Image: NBC / Saturday Night Live

Admittedly, the odds of actually slicing off one or more thumbs is fairly low, but the wrong thumb position may cause you to bleed all over the shooting range. We don’t recommend it. I can share this new-shooter tip from a vantage point of, ummm, let’s call it personal experience.

Remember Ghostbusters? And how it’s really bad to cross the streams of the Proton Pack particle accelerators? Well there’s a similar rule of thumb (pun fully intended) for shooting semi-automatic pistols. Don’t cross your thumbs as in the picture. Sooner or later, that thing called a slide is going zoom backwards at Warp 17 and slice the dickens out of the webby, sensitive skin between your thumb and your index finger. Again, trust me, I know this from experience. And as a side note, the bottom of the slide on a Series 1 Colt Woodsman is really, really sharp. Just as a disclaimer, this happened a really long time ago – back when I thought I did not need any instruction on how to properly shoot a pistol. Don’t worry, I’ve learned many things the hard way since then.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

New Book: The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

If you’re thinking about buying a gun, are new to shooting, or have had a gun forever but just want a refresher, this book is for you. Heck, even if you know a lot about guns, it’s still entertaining – to read yourself or give to a friend.

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

In light-hearted style, it will give you easy-to-understand and insanely practical tips about topics including:

  • Types of guns
  • Gun safety tips
  • Things to consider when choosing a gun
  • How to buy a gun
  • How to handle a gun
  • Getting started: A fistful of shooting tips
  • What to expect at the shooting range and what to bring
  • What you need to know about ammunition
  • How to clean your gun
  • Cheat sheet resources to help you find training, ranges and local gun stores

We’ll help you make sense out of all that complicated gun stuff while having a laugh or two. From the chapter “Gun Holsters – Do It Right!”

“Far too many new gun owners purchase a really nice gun, but then skimp on the quality of their holster. Seriously? You wouldn’t drink a Louis Roederer, 1990 Cristal Brut from a red Solo cup. Unless of course you’re attending a Real Housewives of Yulee, FL baby shower. If you’ve been invited to carry the Dubai First Royale MasterCard, you certainly wouldn’t whip it out at the Monte Carlo Van Cleef & Arpels from a velcro wallet. Unless you’re total nouveau riche like Justin Bieber. So why do people think it’s no big deal to buy a $9.95 holster from K-Mart for their brand new gun? It’s not like it’s a life and death investment. Or is it?”

Why do you need “The Rookie’s Guide To Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition?” Go to any shooting range and observe what happens when folks show up without knowing the first thing about their new gun. Not only will you be safe by comparison, you’ll look like a seasoned pro.

The editors at MyGunCulture.com have painstakingly documented all the experiences, mistakes and learnings we’ve seen over the years. In other words, we’ve tried just about everything. We’ve had great successes. We’ve experienced colossal failures. We’ve listened to so many gun show huckster sales pitches that the late Billy Mays would be impressed. And the result? “The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition.”

Loaded with pictures and the comedic illustrations, this book will tell you just about everything you need to know to get started with the shooting sports.



Gun Review: Ruger LCR .357 Magnum Revolver

Taming the Beast! A Featherweight .357 Magnum.

Suggested Retail Price: $575.00 www.ruger.com


The Good The Bad The Ugly Our Rating
This is a shootable gun. The polymer frame soaks up some of the potentially aggressive recoil in this ultra-light pocket cannon. We wish that a little more attention was paid to polish and finish of some of the polymer frame areas – especially inside the trigger guard. Our 158 grain .357 Magnum handloads were quite, umm, interesting in this gun. To be expected of course. 3 Nuns Four Nuns!
We gave the LCR 4 Nuns for the simple fact that it has been designed to actually shoot what its chambered for. Something that not all lightweight snubbies can claim.


Ruger LCR .357 Magnum Revolver

The Ruger LCR .357 is a beast tamed.

Hello boys and girls, and welcome to Physics Happy Fun Festival with My Gun Culture.

Today we’re going to see what it feels like to fire a .357 magnum out of an ultra-light handgun.

The Ruger LCR 357 launches a projectile at nearly one and a half times the speed of sound, yet weighs just 17 ounces. (Tweet This)

While physics ‘R physics and pesky little concepts like ‘equal and opposite reactions’ still apply, both gun and ammunition manufacturers can perform some nifty tricks to minimize the subjective measure of felt recoil. Yes, the force headed back towards your face is still the same, but if more of it is dampened by the gun, and the power curve of that little firestorm in the cartridge is lengthened a bit, then it can feel somewhat better to the one doing the launching. Or at least minimize blunt-force trauma. Blunt-force trauma is a big deal after all. We saw it on CSI Miami.

First Impressions of the Ruger LCR .357 Magnum

The stand out feature of the Ruger LCR .357 is shootability.

You can actually shoot .357 magnum loads out of this gun. And live to tell about it.

We think it’s some type of voodoo magic related the combination of the polymer frame flexiness and the Hogue Tamer factory installed grip. The other factor we noticed about full power .357 magnum load shootability was choice of ammunition. No, we’re not talking about different bullet weights and velocities. We’re talking about more voodoo magic related to powder selection, burn efficiency, and probably warp drive technology. The LCR did in fact appear to be surrounded by a bubble of normal space-time with minimal traces of anti-matter

Ruger LCR .357 Magnum Hogue Tamer Grip

The combination of one piece Hogue Tamer grip and polymer frame makes a noticeable difference in perceived recoil.

The LCR is fitted with a one-piece Hogue Tamer grip that is firmly affixed to the polymer frame by a single screw in the bottom of the grip – well out of the way unless you use the, ummm, cup and saucer hold. Friends don’t let friends shoot with cup and saucer holds anyway. The Hogue Tamer is firm where it needs to be firm and squishy where it needs to be squishy. The front, sides, and lower half of the backstrap are firm rubber with minimal give. However, there is a section at the top of the backstrap that is quite mushy – and it’s right where the web of your hand between your thumb and index finger falls. We found this to make a BIG difference in comfort and we suspect it is entirely by design. A small detail that makes a big difference. As a side note, the one piece grip has a cutout on the left side which allows unobstructed ejection of empty brass and easy reloading with a speed strip or speed loader.

Just the Specs Ma’am…

  • .357 Magnum caliber
  • 5 round fluted cylinder
  • Barrel length: 1.875”
  • Stainless steel barrel
  • Finish: Blackened stainless steel and black polymer
  • Twist: 1:16”
  • Weight: 17.10 oz
  • Overall length: 6.50”
  • Width: 1.28”

Trigger Talk

The LCR .357’s trigger feels surprisingly light. We think that’s a result of smoothness of pull and from the hybrid-rounded trigger face. What’s a hybrid trigger face you ask? Well the LCR’s trigger resembles a flat face trigger in terms of overall width of the face. However the corners are heavily rounded. There you have it.

Here’s how it felt right out of the box before any break-in: It was almost two stage in nature. A long and smooth pull with a point of barely detectable resistance with about 1/16″ remaining until the break. The last 1/16″ of pull had the smallest trace of grittiness, but this went away after about 100 rounds. The unofficial two-stage nature is a big personal preference issue, but we liked it.

Lot’s of folks talk about the “surprise break” but with any pistol we shoot with regularity, we know exactly when it’s going to fire. With that frame of reference, we liked the tactile sensation of knowing when the trigger was about to break. For slow, aimed fire, you can easily stage the trigger for release when your sight picture is just like you want. In rapid fire, the second stage point is not perceptible. This is neither a good or bad thing, simply an observation of how our evaluation model worked.

The Ammo Report – .357 Magnum and .38 Special

Ruger LCR .357 Magnum ammo and .38 Special ammo

We tested the LCR .357 with a variety of .357 Magnum and .38 Special ammo

Since the big hubbub over ultra-light .357 magnum revolvers seems to be related to recoil and the ability to actually shoot a .357 magnum load, we decided to test a variety of both .357 Magnum and .38 Special ammunition and capture both objective and subjective data from various shooters.

Remington UMC .357 Magnum 125gr JSP
This load was a beast that needed to be tamed. Clocking in at an average of 1,155 feet per second out of the 1.875 inch LCR barrel, we never did tame it though. Rated at 1,450 fps out of a test barrel, this 125 grain load was not only stout, but sharp. Did we mention it was aggressively sharp in the LCR? None of our test shooters wanted to try more than one cylinder full. None of us wanted to be on the other end either for that matter.

Hornady Critical Defense .357 Magnum 125gr Flex Tip
Surprise of the day. This new Critical Defense load from Hornady has more or less the same specs as the above mention Remington load – a 125 grain projectile humming along at a factory rated 1,500 fps. In our LCR, with its uber-short barrel, it clocked in at an average of 1,158 fps. A whopping 3 fps faster than the Remington UMC cartridge. However, the difference in perceived recoil in the LCR was noticeably less. In its literature about the new Critical Defense rounds, Hornady claims to offer reduced recoil through magic machinations like burn efficiency. We noticed it. Bottom line? The Hornady Critical Defense load is perfectly usable in this gun. While aggressive, its controllable. And fierce. See our ammunition test results here.

Cor-Bon .38 Special +P 110gr JHP
This had noticeable, but not unpleasant recoil along with a healthy blast factor. Would not be a bad carry load. It seemed genuinely mild in comparison to the .357 loads, although if we had shot this one first, it might have felt more aggressive.

Winchester Supreme .38 Special +P PDX1 130gr
Very soft shooting round. More of a push than a snap. We’re looking forward to doing a separate evaluation on the performance of this load, but in terms of shootability out of the LCR, it was perfectly manageable.

CCI .38 / .357 ShotShells
What else can you say? it shoots a boatload of tiny shot at man’s worst enemy – the snake.

.38 Special Handload (128gr Lead Round Nose Flat Point over 3.3 grains of Trail Boss)
We cooked this up in the man cave for the LCR’s ‘shoot for kicks and giggles’ load. It was in fact fun. A mild recoiling practice load, made even more so with the LCR’s polymer frame. it clocked in at an average of 665 feet per second. Wimpy? Yes. Totally fun plinking round? Yes. We had to lob it at distant targets though.

.357 Magnum Handload (127 grain Lead Round Nose Flat Point over 7.7 grains of Unique)
This turned out to be a great .357 magnum practice load. It definitely hit back in terms of recoil, so if you’re interested in practicing with at least a reasonable facsimile of recoil of full-power self-defense loads, this load is a good option. Averaging 1,175 feet per second out of the LCR, it yielded a power factor of just over 150 – just about the same as the Hornady Critical Defense load out of the this gun. While noticeably sharper than the Hornady load, this one was quite controllable in the Ruger. We wouldn’t want to shoot an entire Steel Challenge match with this combination though…

To Mag Or Not To Mag – That Is the Question…

Ruger LCR .357 Magnum with Hogue Tamer grip for recoil

See that squishy part of the grip? That turned out to be a big deal – in a good way.

It seems there are two schools of thought with respect to ultra-light .357 Magnum revolvers.

Team Globo-Gym loves them and is prepared to carry and shoot full power .357 Magnum loads in spite of the, ummm, mild discomfort.

Team Average Joe’s also likes them, but for a different reason. Team Average Joe’s says “hey, why not get the stronger .357 version and you can always carry .38 Special +P loads?” The thinking is that first, you have a more durable gun as it’s designed for magnum pressures, and second, that you always have the option of popping some .357 Magnum loads in there if you want.

With an all metal gun, we would sway towards the Team Average Joe’s train of thought. With the LCR, we’re going Globo-Gym and carrying .357 magnum loads in it. Because we can in this gun.

Our Gripe: It Seems There Are Seams

When we tested the Ruger LCP, one of the standout qualities was the attention to finish detail. It’s also a polymer pistol, but in the LCP, there are not detectable seams where sections are joined. This is especially important inside and outside the trigger guard. With aggressive loads, a sharp seam in the polymer tends to irritate the bejeepers out of your fingers as the gun recoils. Our evaluation LCR had seams. End of the world? No. But if we end up buying this one, we’ll take some sandpaper to the inside of the trigger guard to smooth things out a bit.

The Offhand Pilates Accuracy Test

Following in the ‘gun-riter’ tradition of testing mechanical accuracy by shooting at long range targets offhand, we consulted fitness guru Denise Austin to get some help with the proper Pilates-based offhand stance position. Unfortunately, Denise had a prior commitment filming a “Shootin’ to the Oldies” episode with Richard Simmons so we had to rely on our own accuracy testing protocol. For full details, check out our review of the Ruger LCP.  To summarize our findings, let’s just say that the LCR .357 is easily “minute of evil d00d” capable.

Closing Arguments

This is a nice gun. Our test model came with the standard ramped front sight and notch in frame rear sight. The front sight is pinned in place, not machined, so you can replace it with an XS Standard Dot. We’re going to do this next just for kicks. If you’re ordering one new, you can buy a version with the XS Standard Dot pre-installed.

One more totally random observation. There’s something about the finishes on both the cylinder and frame that makes it easier to clean than say a Smith and Wesson 442. The burny-crud just comes off really easily. We have no idea is this was a design goal or not, but we noticed it after a couple of range sessions. It will be interesting to see if this applies over time and lots more crud accumulation.


He said She said
OK so I was a little nervous to send some full house .357 loads downrange with this one. But I was pleasantly surprised. I lived to tell the tale. While we did not write about them since I did not get an accurate velocity reading, I made some 158 grain .357 loads to test and they were, to say the least, a handful. But physics ‘R physics and all. It’s a light gun. Find a good practice round and carry the big stuff for emergencies. Love that Hogue Tamer grip! Especially the finger grooves in the front – it makes all the difference in shooting the LCR. A minor detail that I noticed was the natural position for my trigger finger on the frame while in ‘ready’ position. The combination of grip and frame design left a very natural spot to park the trigger finger while not shooting. I shot both .357 and .38 Special loads in the LCR and personally preferred .38 Special +P rounds. Although shootable, the .357 magnums were just a bit too aggressive for my tastes. I bet they were aggressive for him also – he just won’t admit it.
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Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

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