LCR in .38spl or .22LR

#1
I just got done listening to the Revolver Bias podcast and the info in it was truly insightful. I was debating for a while on whether to go G42 or snubbie for a pocket carry/smartcarry/NPE gun. Seems snubbie is the way to go. In going down the rabbit hole of “which snubbie”, I’ve somewhat settled on the LCR as it gives me a better option for a front sight, it’s the same size as an airweight J-frame, has a nicer trigger out of the box, and after 50 rounds of .38spl +P ammo was nicer to the web of my primary hand.

The only real question now is, which caliber. Previously I’d only considered .38 as I can find it anywhere in a pinch and getting Federal Target Wadcutters should be a nice experience that hits to the sights and I can dryfire the crap out of it. The .22LR variant is giving me pause though because 3 more rounds in the cylinder, even easier to control, putting 50-100 rounds through it EVERY range session would be no issue at all, and for the purpose of how I’d carry it, would most likely NOT have a reload/Speedstrip on me.

I would carry it in a proper pocket holster or get a smartcarry for it. I work in a professional office environment where daily dress ranges from business casual to slightly more relaxed than business casual. So that means tucked in shirts. There’s a good chance I’d not carry it during business hours as if I’m found to have it on me, it’s grounds for immediate termination. But I can absolutely stow it away in a car safe during business hours and carry it before and after work.

Thoughts?

Also, going to need better (not rubber) grips for it as well. Rubber tends to get fairly nasty and disgustingly tacky after a while. I was thinking Pachmayr G10s as they should be tough as hell and only barely larger than the Hogue rubber boot grips it comes with.

https://www.amazon.com/Pachmayr-612...&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B06Y25BR56&th=1

Was also thinking this front sight as I love green fiber and this would fit the bill well.

https://www.amazon.com/HIVIZ-Ruger-LCR-Front-Sight/dp/B003S4GTNC




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#3
I’d go .38+P

With gold dots or fbi loads, you have some great ballistics.

More shots with .22 but a lot less firepower.
The gun is already a compromise with, despite the replaceable front sight, a poor sighting system. So I’ll be using whatever load shoots to the sights whenever I can get around to figuring that out as per recommend by everyone on the panel for that podcast.


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#4
The gun is already a compromise with, despite the replaceable front sight, a poor sighting system. So I’ll be using whatever load shoots to the sights whenever I can get around to figuring that out as per recommend by everyone on the panel for that podcast.


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Copy that.

With my fixed sight revolvers, I buy a few different self defense loads of different weights and see which is most accurate.

With the snubby, make sure you’re not trying to stretch it out to far.

Federal HST for snubs is a GREAT load
 
#5
Just my humble $0.02

I have an LCR in 9mm and hate shooting it. The moon clips are a plus IMO but the gun just hurts to shoot with any capable load.

I am actually about to replace it with a G43 for carry when I exercise.

If I had it to do again I would go .22lr for the LCR... At least then I wouldn't think "capable" LOL
 

Sunshine_Shooter

Regular Member
Network Support I
#6
If you'll listen carefully to the modcast, one of the panelists mentions getting an LCR in .327 magnum, since it is a 6-shot in the same size as a 5-shot .38. I totally agree. I also bought an LCR in .327 a few months ago for the same reason. You'll have to buy your ammo online, but I think it's worth considering.

If you won't consider something in that uncommon a caliber, I'd go with the .22 mag over the lr.
 
#7
If you'll listen carefully to the modcast, one of the panelists mentions getting an LCR in .327 magnum, since it is a 6-shot in the same size as a 5-shot .38. I totally agree. I also bought an LCR in .327 a few months ago for the same reason. You'll have to buy your ammo online, but I think it's worth considering.

If you won't consider something in that uncommon a caliber, I'd go with the .22 mag over the lr.
I had considered that, actually. The problem is that I don’t know of any place that rents them out in that caliber and I don’t know anyone who owns one. I have no idea what the recoil impulse is going to be like, the ammo is SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive, and I get only 1 additional round in the cylinder. That doesn’t seem to be worth the price of admission to me.

.22WMR on the other hand could be ok to go with. I’ve never shot it in anything before, but I gotta believe the recoil will be more manageable than your average .38SPL, the cost is obviously more than .22LR but definitely affordable, and you get that extra round in the cylinder. It looks like they even make speedstrips for that caliber too, something I didn’t know until I googled it just now.

What’d be cool is if I could snag me a S&W 351, but they’re hard to find, expensive as hell for what they are, and it would probably need some futzing with the trigger to get it to be as good as it should be.


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Sunshine_Shooter

Regular Member
Network Support I
#8
I had considered that, actually. The problem is that I don’t know of any place that rents them out in that caliber and I don’t know anyone who owns one. I have no idea what the recoil impulse is going to be like, the ammo is SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive, and I get only 1 additional round in the cylinder. That doesn’t seem to be worth the price of admission to me.

.22WMR on the other hand could be ok to go with. I’ve never shot it in anything before, but I gotta believe the recoil will be more manageable than your average .38SPL, the cost is obviously more than .22LR but definitely affordable, and you get that extra round in the cylinder. It looks like they even make speedstrips for that caliber too, something I didn’t know until I googled it just now.

What’d be cool is if I could snag me a S&W 351, but they’re hard to find, expensive as hell for what they are, and it would probably need some futzing with the trigger to get it to be as good as it should be.


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Fair points. I keep telling myself that I'l get into reloading one of these days and then my ammo costs will plummet, but I've been telling myself that for years.
 
#9
I had considered that, actually. The problem is that I don’t know of any place that rents them out in that caliber and I don’t know anyone who owns one. I have no idea what the recoil impulse is going to be like, the ammo is SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive, and I get only 1 additional round in the cylinder. That doesn’t seem to be worth the price of admission to me.

.22WMR on the other hand could be ok to go with. I’ve never shot it in anything before, but I gotta believe the recoil will be more manageable than your average .38SPL, the cost is obviously more than .22LR but definitely affordable, and you get that extra round in the cylinder. It looks like they even make speedstrips for that caliber too, something I didn’t know until I googled it just now.

What’d be cool is if I could snag me a S&W 351, but they’re hard to find, expensive as hell for what they are, and it would probably need some futzing with the trigger to get it to be as good as it should be.


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Fair points. I keep telling myself that I'l get into reloading one of these days and then my ammo costs will plummet, but I've been telling myself that for years.
Yeah, I’d never reload for .327 Fed Mag. Not worth it.

It seems the only company making speedstrips for .22Mag is Tuff Products. Not that not having speedtrips is a deal breaker, but it does somewhat play into it. If I could find a good way to carry an extra speedstrip or two with this thing, it might be worth it.


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#11
Yeah, I’d never reload for .327 Fed Mag. Not worth it.
Can you explain? I've seen some compelling arguments that it would be totally worth it.
Quantity, my friend. As much as I’d do my best to shoot it as often as I possibly could, it’d really only get shot so much. Unless of course the cost of reloading is so ridiculously low compared to retail that it makes it worth it, then maybe. Even then, using such a “hipster” cartridge for literally one gun that is going to be an almost daily carry item just doesn’t sit well with me.

There’s still the initial cost of investment on such an unknown as this cartridge. I have no way of testing if I’d like it or not prior to purchase that everything else compounds on top of it. All at the benefit of “1 extra round in the cylinder”. I can get that with .22WMR with far cheaper ammo or just suck it up and have 1 less round with the ubiquitous .38SPL.


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nate89

NateMac
Staff member
Moderator
#12
This would also be something to consider, although you would need to get more solid info than just my opinion. I look at 22 mag vs. 22 LR through a 2" j frame sized gun as similar to a 357 mag vs. 38 special j frame: juice isn't worth the squeeze. If you look at 22 mag velocities in 2" barrels vs. 22 LR, I just don't see the big difference. I have shot plenty of mini .22 mag and 22 LR guns, and the mags have significantly more muzzle flash and blast (my subjective opinion only). Once again I am looking at velocity data on ballistics by the inch, as I haven't done extensive 22LR/22mag chronograph testing out of short barrels. Something to consider though. Also, even if there is a slight performance increase by going 22 mag, does that offset the loss of 2 rounds (6 vs 8 in the Smith and the Ruger) in an already low capacity and hard to reload gun? Also consider how much cheaper 22 LR is, and how much more practice that will allow you to have. 22 mag is in 9mm territory cost-wise.
 
#13
This would also be something to consider, although you would need to get more solid info than just my opinion. I look at 22 mag vs. 22 LR through a 2" j frame sized gun as similar to a 357 mag vs. 38 special j frame: juice isn't worth the squeeze. If you look at 22 mag velocities in 2" barrels vs. 22 LR, I just don't see the big difference. I have shot plenty of mini .22 mag and 22 LR guns, and the mags have significantly more muzzle flash and blast (my subjective opinion only). Once again I am looking at velocity data on ballistics by the inch, as I haven't done extensive 22LR/22mag chronograph testing out of short barrels. Something to consider though. Also, even if there is a slight performance increase by going 22 mag, does that offset the loss of 2 rounds (6 vs 8 in the Smith and the Ruger) in an already low capacity and hard to reload gun? Also consider how much cheaper 22 LR is, and how much more practice that will allow you to have. 22 mag is in 9mm territory cost-wise.
Which was why I originally started the thread off as .38SPL vs. .22LR.

It really is a matter of “classic snubbie setup” vs. “ultimate compromise NPE gun”.

It would be interesting to see what happens with a decent .22LR load and what target wadcutter .38SPL will do to 4 layers of denim out of a snub. I’d be willing to bet the wadcutters would because: “sharp edged wadcutters” and “significantly heavier”.


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nate89

NateMac
Staff member
Moderator
#14
Which was why I originally started the thread off as .38SPL vs. .22LR.

It really is a matter of “classic snubbie setup” vs. “ultimate compromise NPE gun”.

It would be interesting to see what happens with a decent .22LR load and what target wadcutter .38SPL will do to 4 layers of denim out of a snub. I’d be willing to bet the wadcutters would because: “sharp edged wadcutters” and “significantly heavier”.


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Yes, I did see that. I was more addressing the .22 mag option as it came up in the comments. Yes the .38 HBWC seems to be a popular j frame load. I'm hoping to get a few boxes to try on my next sgammo order.
 
#15
I alternate between a Glock 26 and a S&W 642 as the mood strikes me. There is no doubt the Glock is the more capable of the two, but the 642 is just so darned easy (and comfortable) to carry that it gets the nod more often than not. The fact that I have a long-standing love affair with the J-frame no doubt contributes to my favoritism as well. (The first centerfire handgun I fired—over 40 years ago—was a Chief’s Special.)

While I do have a .22 snub (a 63-3), I’ve had too many rimfire misfires over the years to trust it enough to carry it. Furthermore, rimfire revolvers tend to have heavier hammer springs than their centerfire counterparts to ensure ignition. Dryfiring can also be an issue if there’s not a firing pin stop to prevent the firing pin from hitting the cylinder; I have no idea whether the LCR has such a thing—or a short firing pin that stops short of the cylinder face.

While I’m a S&W fanboy of sorts, I picked up an LCR in .38 a few weeks ago when I came across one at a price too low to pass up. While it’s only a scant ounce and a half lighter than the 642, I was very surprised at what a difference that tiny amount of mass makes. It feels like an unobtainium Airlite gun...at half the price. The trigger is excellent as well; as such, my 642 might get bumped in the not-too-distant future.

I usually carry 135 grain Gold Dots in my 38s, but I’m confident enough in wadcutters to give them to my daughter for her Model 60, and I wouldn’t feel under gunned carrying them myself. They’re hugely more expensive than they were in my youth, but they’re extremely easy to load yourself.