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Old October 8, 2012, 10:41 PM   #1
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im really having a hard time deciding between ruger lcp .380acp and lcr .38spl.

one minute im ready to go and buy the lcr then later i think i want the lcp which is 9 ounces! thinner and faster reloading. but how much less "power" does it have compared to a .38spl +p, it does have 3/4" longer barrel(does that mean anything?)?

is the lcp super reliable or is it picky?

and how do these two compare in accuracy?

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Old October 8, 2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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I went through the same process a few years back and ended up getting the LCP. Basically I went with the LCP simply because of the size and ease of carry. I mean if you’re going for a pocket gun I decided to get the smaller of the two. The LCP is very light and thin and works well in more “tailored” clothing like dress pants and suits. Mine has been very reliable utilizing the Hornady Critical Defense and some Remington Golden Saber.

Now, as for full disclosure about nine months ago I went and bought a S&W 442 because I wanted a little more power that the .38 +P provides. I find the revolver conceals fairly well and works in most cases just fine especially for quick trips to the grocery store or things like that. It does tend to fill the pocket and is noticeable heavier than the LCP, but not really a big deal.

At the end of the day the LCP is still much easier to conceal and will go a lot of places other guns simply cannot. Both are pretty accurate in the range and for the purpose that they were designed. So, it may depend a lot of which gun will be easier to conceal in your situation.
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Old October 8, 2012, 11:37 PM   #3
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I own them both.

The LCP is very reliable for a pocket pistol of its size. I have not found it to be finicky. 4 malfs in 1500 rounds. It may not run EVERY load, but it should be good.

Main advantage of the LCP is extremely small size, as mentioned. I have found I can carry the LCR revolver in a pocket, but it works best if I don't put it in a holster because with a holster it's simply too bulky. Weight is not an issue with the LCR.

I am disappointed in my LCR mainly because I believed the Web hype that it's much more comfortable to shoot than a Smith Airweight. It isn't. I find the recoil harsh except for the target wadcutters that some recommend. Fed Personal Defense is tolerable, as is Aguila 158 gr. JHP. Hornady is harsher, so are FBI loads, and don't even think of buying Buffalo Bore.

Accuracy, probably a bit easier to shoot the LCR because it has sights. The LCP really doesn't, though with practice it's accurate about to 7 yards, which is about the maximum distance I would deploy either of these guns.

LCP has a heavy trigger which smooths over time. There is some recoil pain which is lessened by adding magazine baseplate extensions from Ruger or Pearce Grip (these are also crucial for control) and a Pachmayr Tactical Grip Glove slip on grip. With these add-ons, the LCP is noticeably more comfortable to shoot than the LCR. Neither is a pleasant range gun, however.
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Old October 9, 2012, 01:04 AM   #4
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My LCP has had 3 errors in about 1200 rounds. I blame only one on the gun. The other two were shooter induced (other folks). My LCP reliably fed when a severely limp wristed female friend with tiny hands shot 100 through it, dirty.

I love the LCR also. Great little revolvers. I prefer them to Smith J-frames. But the LCP fills an ultra-compact niche very few guns can, and I trust it more than its less-refined hillbilly uncle, the Kel-Tec P3AT, even if the KT was first.

For the purpose it was built, ultra-discreet carry, the LCP is a superbly executed firearm. For any other reason it's a poor excuse for a gun.

I carry my LCP with two magazines, both with pinky grip extensions, both full of 102-grain Remington Golden Sabers. It has been a trusty and lovingly maintained pocket gun for about two years now. And unlike folks with only bigger guns, I really do carry the guy every time I leave the house. My LCP and Benchmade Mini-Grip are as instinctual as my car keys and wallet. There you see that Elsie truly shines. She makes you a habitual carrier.
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Old October 9, 2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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Both are good pistols and (for me at lest) work well for pocket carry. As for accuracy at the ranges small pistols are designed for they are about the same. Best I could say is figure out what your top priorities are(lighter, faster loading, whatever), then get the one that comes closest it meeting them.
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Old October 9, 2012, 11:09 AM   #6
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I never shot an LCR, but did shoot the LCP, I'm thinking I shoot the LCR much better, but I'm a S&W J frame shooter/CCW.

On the other hand, The LCP fit's the pocket a little better if your worried about printing.
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Old October 9, 2012, 11:31 AM   #7
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I've owned both and if I had it to do over again, I prolly never would have bought the LCR. Granted I never had any malfunctions with either, both were plently accurate but the LCP is much thinner, smaller than the LCR. The LCR was too big for me to pocket carry comfortable and the recoil was too harsh with defense loads. I didn't have a problem with the recoil of the LCP. I could put 200rds outta the LCP in one range trip were-as I was done at about 20rds with the LCR. The only reason I don't still have the LCP is that I prefer IWB carry to pocket and decided to step up to the LC9.
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Old October 9, 2012, 11:58 AM   #8
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Have a quick glance at these links:

There are other links as well if you care to google this incident. It has been highly analyzed over the years. IMHO it is important to learn lessons from the past, particularly when they have been so dearly paid for.

I disparage no one who participated, but merely note that a highly trained FBI Agent with SWAT experience emptied a S&W Chiefs Special during an intense gun battle, was not able to reload that revolver quickly under attack, and was subsequently KIA.

If I were faced with your dilemma, I'd look at which of those two choices you can reload more rapidly. I suspect you'll find the LCP is easier and faster to reload with a spare magazine than the revolver, however, your mileage may vary.

Just one guys opinion...but whichever option you select, there is a remote possiblity that you may need to reload it under fire.
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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Out of the two, the LCP is much more versatile. I own a LCP and the gun can go with you virtually any where or any time no matter what you are wearing. If you have a pocket, the gun will fit in it and won't be seen.

For a short sighted gun, it is surprisingly very accurate and mine has been 100% reliable not matter what type of ammo I've put through it.

Now, the .380 is by no means a hand cannon but it can be a handful when shooting the LCP. Not out of control but it is a bit surprising the first time you shoot it.

As far as the LCR, a snub nose is a classic CCW gun. I don't own a LCR but I do have a S&W 637 and while it is easy to conceal and carry, I don't find that it is a true pocket pistol and during really hot weather, I opt for the LCP.

I guess at this point, I'd suggest that if you are only going to buy one CCW gun, the LCP gives you more options for the buck.
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Old October 9, 2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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The lcr has some appeal, but I went with the LCP for ease of concealment and reload.
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Old October 9, 2012, 05:59 PM   #11
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--What do you carry now, and how (pocket carry, IWB, OWB, etc)?
--How do you plan to carry the LCP or LCR?
--What have you shot before, and (in gereral terms) what do you like, revolvers or semi auto pistols?

If you get a chance to try (shoot) either or both, do so. If not, see if a gun shop will let you try and stuff each in a pocket.

For me, the LCP is a true pocket pistol. I own one (actually I have owned two...long story, but they both work/ed perfectly).

I have not owned an LCR, but have owned about a half-dozen J-frames, and the LCR is very similar in size/weight to the J-frame. The LCR/J-frame is a fair bit longer front-to-back, and while I have pocket carried them, the grip tends to "peek" out of the top of my pocket with jeans or dress pants. For that reason, I consider a J-frame more suited to IWB carry...and if I am going to carry IWB, I will carry something larger.

Once again, try (if possible) before you buy. Good luck, and please tell us what you decide and how happy you are with your choice.

We are living in a truly remarkable time--we have so many good (and affordable) choices available, and concealed carry permits are both easier to get and more popular than ever.

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Old October 10, 2012, 01:09 AM   #12
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LCR point

I have the LCR and do like it, but there is one thing I'm not crazy about: You can short-stroke it easily if not paying attention. Being used to the reset method on autos, I have to remember to let the LCRs DA trigger out fully before following up. I'm not saying its a design flaw, but it's worth noting.

Does this also occur with J-frame Smiths?

Other than that, I like it and if you get one I'd opt for the version with the XS sites.

I have no experience with the LCP.
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Old October 10, 2012, 01:58 AM   #13
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I think the improved stopping power and "always loaded" mode of the 38 spl has me rethinking my decision to go with a Makarov (very similar to the .380). Yeah, you give up a couple of rounds - but you HAVE to be more accurate with your .380 shot placement, you might be better off winging someone with a serious hole...rather than seriously aggravating someone with those little .380 holes...

Just my two cents!
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:32 AM   #14
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I owned an LCR for a while. Very nice carry gun, actually kind of wish I had kept it.
I also have shot a few different LCP's and I'll say it again; it's the most disgusting and uncomfortable little gun I've ever shot and I'd never own one. My friend bought one over a year ago, shot it one time for a while at the range and came away with a bloody thumb for whatever reason. He put it away and it has never come out again.
Against a lot of people telling me not to, I purchased a Taurus TCP over a year ago. It's way nicer to shoot than an LCP, has a far better trigger, and I have only had problems with my wifes very light pretty much refuses to shoot those. But I have never in over 2000 rounds had a malfunction with this gun on factory ammo......not one. My buddy liked the gun so well that he now has two of them.
To each his own though...just telling you my experience with the two of the guns you're interested in.
I also really liked the SW Bodyguard I shot. Had it not been for that stupid laser on it, which I don't want or need, that may have been the gun I would have bought.
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Old October 10, 2012, 06:01 AM   #15
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Hogue makes a slip on grip that eases the LCP's recoil pain. You can also order Wolff recoil springs in 11-13# to smooth up its snappiness.

My LCP was reliable out of the box, but 200-300 rounds later it was even better. I had two stovepipes, in the first 50, I lubed it to hell with TW-25B and replaced the recoil spring with a 12# and it has been smooth since.

I don't know what its long-term reliability is. Others disagree with me, but all of the teeny little guns (TCP, LCP, LCR, Bodyguard, Nano) look and feel cheap and fragile when compared to my P290.
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:09 PM   #16
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first off . . . both are good guns.

I went through the same thing several years ago - instead of the LCP though, I went with a Bersa Thunder 380 CC for carry. However, I'm more of a "revolver guy" and soon got a 357 LCR. I carry OTB and I really like it. It's light yet accurate at SD ranges. I have the option of 357 or 38 Spl. but I really like the 38 Spl. cartridge and that's what I now carry in it. I can easily carry the LCR in a coat pocket if necessary. However, I'm now considering a LCP just to have for carry in a pocket holster when it's warm weather out and it would be less noticeable.

If you can, shoot both of them and then decide. I'm guessing that either way you go, you'll be very happy with your choice.
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:34 PM   #17
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Many good points noted in these posts. I have an LCP and an LCR (.38). I'm small and the LCP is very easy to carry in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.

Both are reliable. My LCP is not finicky. It is my first choice for everyday concealed carry. If I was 6 feet tall, and LCR might be my choice.
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:46 PM   #18
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take a long look at the 11 oz Diamondback 9mm.

it is every bit as small as most 380's, while offering a lot more ammo choices, cheaper practice ammo, more readily available ammo, and 2-3x as much power as the 380.
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Old October 10, 2012, 09:44 PM   #19
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Consider the Sig P290RS

I have a Sig P290RS. It is the newer version of the P290. I love it. It shoots VERY accurately. Easy to fire with 9 mm or +P. Very easy to pocket carry. It comes with 6 and 8 round mags, so you can carry 6+1 or 8+1. Very nice gun. Flat and easy to carry, but very good shooter.
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:59 PM   #20
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I have both a LCP-CT and a LCR-CT an on occasion I due carry one or the other as my primary when attire requires it. Both are reliable and accurate for SD but their long trigger does take some getting use to. My EDC is a XD40 SC and use the LCP or the LCR as a BUG in lieu of a spare mag.
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Old October 11, 2012, 10:26 AM   #21
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I checked out the LCP, but it was just too small in my big hands. And, I'm basically a wheelgun guy anyway. Although, I love my several 1911's.
I first bought the .38 LCR, and I really like it for pocket carry. But when the .357 LCR's came out, I bought one of those too.

I carry the .357 LCR in a strong-side OSW holster. It's a lot lighter than my SP101's. But it fits the same holster. The .38 LCR is a bit lighter,(4.5 oz. I hink) and I prefer it, for pocket carry...

For heavier occasions I carry a 3" GP 100 in a S/S OSW pancake holster. And the .38 LCR goes in a jacket or Off side pants pocket.
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Old October 12, 2012, 10:32 AM   #22
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Sort of an odd comparison the LCP is much more concealable than the LCR.

Have you looked at the Kahr P-9, more concealable than the LCR, more capacity more power, easier to shoot.
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Old October 12, 2012, 12:57 PM   #23
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I had both at the same time, sold the LCP and didnt look back.
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Old October 12, 2012, 02:02 PM   #24
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I have both and like them both. The LCP can slip into most pockets easily enough. The LCR grips sticks out of my jeans pocket, my cargo pants pocket and my khakis. For those pants I use a Bianchi Shadow which I find comfortable.
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Old October 12, 2012, 02:08 PM   #25
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I bought an LCP because it is so compact. I have shot a friends LCR and did not enjoy it. I don't mind recoil but that LCR is a handful.
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