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Old May 2, 2012, 06:58 AM   #1
cajun47
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help, can't decide between ruger lcr(.38spl) or lcp(.380).

my problem is im both a semi auto and revolver guy. i don't favor one over the other.

lets say both rounds in gold dot, how do they compare in ballistics?
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Old May 2, 2012, 08:40 AM   #2
BikeNGun1974
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I own both. The LCR is pretty painful with +P rounds. The LCP is hard to get a good grip on and has almost no sights on it.

They are both super concealable, which is what I bought them for, not for fun shooting at the range.

Personally, I like the LCR better, but I don't know that I could narrow down why.

I don't think you'll go wrong either way.
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Old May 2, 2012, 08:44 AM   #3
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.38spl +p is a far more devastating round then .380...
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Old May 3, 2012, 12:05 AM   #4
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Strictly on ballistics the 38 Spcl. LCR hands down.
On concealability, the Elsie Pea all the way.
With modern SD ammunition I'm not very concerned about the SD performance of either.
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Old May 3, 2012, 12:08 AM   #5
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I think the LCR is near-painless with that great Hogue grip. It's my favorite trigger of any revolver I've tried, as well (bracing for heresy attacks, but that includes dad's Colt Python).

I chose the LCP when I had the choice, just because the darn thing cannot be beat for concealability. It fits with literally ANY outfit, without being noticed.
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Old May 3, 2012, 01:23 AM   #6
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In my experience the LCP is a carry wearing anything short of a speedo and no one will ever know and because of the "form factor"/weight you might not even notice CCW that you will carry. Remember Rule #1.

For next size up CCW, I personally am going larger than a snub revolver. (And I have owned snubbies.) Why? Because I can get more rounds for very little in additional weight and size; and a little more of an "umph" cartridge than a .38 special that I can shoot well.

I am a big guy and regularly CC Government 1911s and even 6" revolvers. Then again, this is Alaska and I don't wear speedos!
YMMV
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Old May 3, 2012, 01:58 AM   #7
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I like the LCP.

But if I got an LCR, I'd get the 357 version. I'd practice with 38's mostly and carry 357's in it.

Even if you only shoot 38+P in it, the extra 4oz (I think) will be nicer to shoot. I understand the 38 model and 357 model are the same exact size.
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Old May 3, 2012, 05:48 AM   #8
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But to me, as I own a S&W 638, LCP for me. It's on my long list.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:58 AM   #9
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As others have noted, the LCP fills a niche that few other pistols match in terms of its light weight and diminutive size. In terms of which of the two handguns you're considering, I recommend the LCP if you plan on carrying in the pocket much.

Though the .38 Special, especially in +p loadings, is more powerful than the .380 ACP, this advantage is somewhat offset by the round capacity of the two handguns: five vs seven. No one gun is everything; compromises to accomodate primary uses must be made in almost every selection decision. The goal might be to determine what those primary uses are for the individual user.
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Old May 4, 2012, 11:12 AM   #10
1911FTW
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I'm a lifelong auto fan (see my screen name) who's just begun carrying a Ruger LCR .38 when I can't hide my .45. I just couldn't arrive at a comfort level regarding the reliability of the very small 9s and .380s. Several very good gunsmiths have told me that the smaller an autoloader gets, the more finicky and less reliable it becomes. I KNOW the revolver will always go bang, and the trigger is superb for a snubby .38. I've practiced with it enough to be confident in my ability to solve a problem with it, and I feel very comfortable with it.

Remember the gun is useless if it won't function, which could get you killed when the s hits the f. Make sure what you carry will work EVERY TIME with the ammo you feed it.
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:07 PM   #11
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I hate everything about the LCP except that it fits in my pocket easily. I love everything (mostly) about my LCR. I would buy another LCR in a heartbeat.
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:23 PM   #12
Grant D
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Indecision is a good reason to buy both.Right now I have a LCP in my back pocket and a snub nose 38 spl. in a OWB holster.
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:46 PM   #13
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Have you considered the S&W BG380? I looked at them both when I was shopping for a EDC, and I felt that it was nicer than the LCP - it just felt more like a real gun. It also has better sights, second stike capability, and the slide locks back.
The LCR on the other hand does have a very nice trigger, but it's a bit fatter than a 380, so printing is going to be more of an issue.
Personally I went with a 380 over a 38spl because of how insanely concealable it is. Like others have said, unless you're wearing spandex it disappears in a pocket holster, or IWB.
Reliability issues - rarely an issue with a quality, modern gun - can be mitigated by carrying a spare mag if you're worried.
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Old May 4, 2012, 01:01 PM   #14
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This comes down to uses

If I were going to own only one handgun and have to use that handgun every day I might prefer the LCP because if you can't hide it you aren't wearing pants.

On my waist currently is a S&W 642-1. It is very much comparable to the LCR. I carry this on professional attire days when the glock won't due. Its currently 60 degrees. I am wearing kakhis and an untucked polo which hides the 642 just fine.

If my shirt were tucked in I would be carrying the LCP in the pocket. The .38 revolver is the perfect comprimise in size, RELIABLE FUNCTION, balistics, and shooting comfort.

In the end this decision should really be made based on your typical attire. My carry rotation has 3 guns in it currently. Glock 27 for casual dress, 642 for typical every day attire, and LCP for the hottest days or most demanding professional attire.

I would suggest the .38 for now with the LCP as a short follow up. If you are anything like me you will find that more than one option is really the only option.

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Old May 4, 2012, 05:32 PM   #15
CountryUgly
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The LCR but you could consider the LC9. I've got one and it's not a bad lil shooter.
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Old May 4, 2012, 05:59 PM   #16
weldonjr2001
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"lets say both rounds in gold dot, how do they compare in ballistics?"

I'm in a position to answer that question, as I own both (actually all three) and carry Gold Dots in them. I've also chronographed them thoroughly.

Here's from mine, average of 5 shots, 55 degree F day

Ruger LCP - Speer 90 grain Gold Dot HP - 877 fps - 155 ft/lbs ME

Ruger LCR (38 +P) - Speer 125 grain Gold Dot HP - 869 fps - 211 ft/lbs ME

Ruger LCR (357 mag) - Speer 125 grain Gold Dot HP - 1210 fps - 409 ft/lbs ME

(Notice almost twice the ME of the .357 mag over the .38 +P in the same barrel length. You do pay for that with recoil.)

It's a tough call for me between the LCP and the .38 LCR for pocket carry. Some days I prefer the capacity and faster reload of the LCP, some days the additional power and possibly additional reliability of the LCR. That is only possible, as my LCP has been flawless with the 90 grain Gold Dots out of the box.

I put the boot grips on the .38 LCR as it makes pocket carry less conspicuous for me.

I don't pocket carry the .357 LCR as the bigger grips and extra weight make it just a little too big and heavy for my pockets. I carry it in a small gunpack (Tommy's Original) under an untucked shirt. Some days I have the .38 LCR in the left front pants pocket and the .357 version in the gunpack. Gives me access to one or the other with either hand.

Since you, like me, like both types, just bite the bullet and get 'em both. You won't regret it.

I find the recoil of the LCP and the .38 LCR just about a wash. I'm firing them weak hand, and after some practice, it works well for me.

The .357 LCR, on the other hand (pun intended) with the .357 mag Gold Dots does feel like getting your hand clubbed with a hammer with each shot. Controllable, but no fun. 5 full-bore practice rounds each range session and I'm done with it. I can't imagine firing it with the boot grips I put on the .38 version.

I'd guess I pocket carry the LCP (or one of my other pocket .380's) about 60% of the time, the LCR about 40%. They are both superb handguns.
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Old May 4, 2012, 07:12 PM   #17
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Ballistic wise, the .380 doesn't compare to the .38. Personally, I find the LCP has to be easier to conceal than the LCR so it's really a trade off between capacity, size and which round you feel comfortable with.

In the real world, you can't do wrong by picking either one so go with the gun that feels best to you.
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Old May 4, 2012, 07:53 PM   #18
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Aside from minimal sights, horrindous trigger, lower muzzle energy, and genuine recoil from such a small pistol, I like both my LCP's and find myself carrying them more and more. My G19 and Commander 1911 are better carry guns but there are times when the LCP really fills the bill for concealmant better. I'm not much of a revolver guy.
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Old May 4, 2012, 09:00 PM   #19
Budda
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nuther vote for the LCR......
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Old May 5, 2012, 02:57 PM   #20
skoro
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help, can't decide between ruger lcr(.38spl) or lcp(.380)

If it were me, I'd get the LCR. The 38spl+P can be a very effective round. The 380 can work, but it has much more limited ballistics.
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Old May 5, 2012, 09:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Aside from minimal sights, horrindous trigger, lower muzzle energy, and genuine recoil from such a small pistol, I like both my LCP's and find myself carrying them more and more.
I like mine too-but I'll never love it. As I said earlier, imo, the LCP is very much a "niche" gun (pocket carry, back-up, deep cover, etc.), but it does what it does as well or better than almost anything else out there.
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Old May 5, 2012, 10:16 PM   #22
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Get the LCR and then save $200 for a Kel Tec P3AT
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Old May 5, 2012, 10:42 PM   #23
10Ringmagic
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Quote:
#3
RedBowTies88
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.38spl +p is a far more devastating round then .380...
The .380 LCP conceals better.
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Old May 5, 2012, 11:05 PM   #24
TenRing
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Small guns are good because they are very concealable and they can always be with you. The problem comes when you need a gun and you need it real bad. You will pull your pocket LCP and it might not feel like much gun when you see how big your assailants are and the kind of guns they are carrying. But at least you would have fulfilled rule #1 but in that moment of truth, you will undoubtedly wish that you were carrying a larger, more powerful gun. A snubnose .38 is my personal minimum for a self defense gun.

If I'm carrying something smaller or less powerful, it's because I have absolutely no choice in the matter.

Read your paper to see what your local thugs and carjackers are carrying and then make your decision.
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:10 PM   #25
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For what it's worth, I went with the LCR. What I felt I needed in a concealable self defense handgun needs to be is:
First, Needs to be totally concealable and comfortable to carry. Both are very concealable with the LCP being the best.
Second, there needs to be enough firepower with with LCR winning with the 38spl.
Thirdly, the handgun needs to be utterly reliable and as foolproof as possible when in a panic situation. This is where the LCR wins out. You load, you point and you shoot. No racking of the slide and no stovepiping, etc. I am not a highly trained professional such a cop and while I shoot nearly every week I don't train heavily for every self defense situation and have never had to pull out a firearm in any real defensive situation. I want it to be as easy as possible.
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