Friday, December 16, 2011

New .22 pocket revolver from Ruger

See it here: http://www.ruger.com/products/lcr/specSheets/5410.html

Some  people on a discussion board I visit are asking what this little gun is good for, and in Internet echo chamber fashion, many people are opining it isn't good for much, because of its small caliber. I disagree. A DA snubnose in .22LR is an excellent thing to have, in some circumstances. I haven't shot the new Ruger yet, but have for many years owned another brand of .22 snub, so I feel I can comment.

  •  If you carry a .38 snub you can get in a lot of good practice with a .22 version. It is possible to learn to shoot a snubnose rather well, but it takes a lot of practice. The .22 makes practice cheaper because the ammo costs so much less, and less fatiguing because of the lesser blast and recoil. 
  • There are some people who cannot stand much recoil. This includes the elderly and arthritic, and also hale and hearty youngsters who have injured hands or wrists. Martial artists, for example, often injure their wrists. Touching off hot loads in a light .38 after someone has hurt you with an over enthusiastic wrist lock...well, it's not a good use of your time. A .22 is ordinarily not a problem unless the disability is severe indeed.
  • Many shooters keep a reserve of ammunition for a rainy day. The wisdom of this was shown in the ammo shortage of 2009. I would guess that typical shooters have more .22 squirreled away than anything else. I know it's true in my case. It therefore makes good sense to have a carry gun that can shoot this round, just in case you can't get anything hotter.
  • .22LR is the world's most popular cartridge, available wherever ammunition is sold. If you can buy commercial ammunition, even in an out of the way locale, you can find something to load into a .22. A revolver is better than an autoloader because it will  cycle with poor quality ammunition, while a .22 automatic is more finicky. 
Ruger's LCR-22 is, of course, based on their LCR .38 Special. The .22 holds eight shots. The .38 holds five. The LCR's are double action only. I do not see this as a drawback in a defense gun or a trainer for defensive shooting. The LCR design is noted for its smooth and even trigger pull; DA is the only mode you have but it is good DA. Since the .38 LCR seems to be holding up well, and the slightly beefed up .357 Magnum version does too, I conclude an LCR revolver using the .22's trifling power level will stand up to long use indeed.

Insofar as I can tell, there are no speedloaders available for the LCR-22. Perhaps they will be along shortly; the gun is new on the market. You can carry your spare ammo in Tuff QuickStrips if you like.


A good .22 snubnose is pleasant to shoot and easy to carry; in some circumstances, at least, it is even useful.  I think the new Ruger will prove a fine example of the type.

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