Handguns > Revolver

Ruger LCR-22 Mag. Revolver

Every version of the LCR has been successful for Ruger, and the LCR-22MAG should be no different, especially with the self-defense loads developed by the ammunition companies.

Ruger’s Lightweight Carry Revolver (LCR) has enjoyed commercial success since the series was launched in January 2009 with a five-shot .38 Spl. rated for +P ammunition. In June 2010, a .357 Mag. version was added, followed by an eight-shot .22 Long Rifle version in 2011. For 2013, Ruger unveiled the LCR-22MAG, a six-shot revolver chambered for .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) ammunition.

The LCR offers proven Ruger revolver features blended with innovative modular design and mixed materials manufacturing. At first glance, shooters will see the attributes that have become standard for many revolvers in this class, including the 17⁄8-inch barrel, U-notch rear and fixed front sights, and the double-action-only trigger configuration with a fully shrouded hammer. But Ruger has stepped away from the traditional single- or dual-metal revolver construction to incorporate the best characteristics that aluminum, stainless steel and modern polymers have to offer.

The upper frame and barrel sleeve of the LCR is forged from lightweight 7000-series aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s called a Monolithic Frame by Ruger because it is formed as a single unit instead of being pieced together as with other revolver designs. A 1714 stainless-steel barrel is threaded into and supported by the frame. Steel bushings are added to reinforce the area surrounding the center pin and firing pin. The six-shot stainless-steel cylinder is uniquely and deeply fluted for the dual benefits of reducing the weight of the revolver and the chances of its printing when carried concealed. The cylinder has been treated with an Ionbond Diamondblack coating for added durability and a matte-black finish.

The lower frame assembly, or fire-control housing, is where the LCR departs from typical revolver design. Instead of using steel or aluminum, it is constructed of glass-filled nylon, which is light, strong and resistant to the corrosive effects of perspiration. It also flexes a little during recoil to help reduce impact to the shooter’s hand. Inside the polymer frame, steel is used for critical moving parts such as the trigger and cylinder release button, which adds a little weight to the revolver, but increases its working life. The fire-control group can be locked to prevent the gun from firing by removing the grip and engaging the safety mechanism with the provided key.

Few pocket pistols can be deemed “fun” to practice with, especially short-barreled revolvers. The stout recoil and long trigger pull of most small wheelguns require that real dedication be applied to mastering shooting them well. The LCR-22MAG, however, proved to be an enjoyable exception to the rule. The overall fit and finish of the LCR-22MAG were excellent, with the cylinder snapping snuggly into place while remaining easy to swing out for reloading.

The sight system is rudimentary, which is common for similar revolvers, but certainly adequate to the task of close-range self-defense. The front sight is pinned into place to allow the owner to trade it out for a fiber-optic or night sight. The hand-filling rubber grip firmly seats the revolver into the shooting hand, which in turn creates a solid fulcrum for the long trigger pull. Although the trigger tipped the Lyman trigger gauge at more than 12 pounds, the patented friction-reducing cam makes the pull feel smoother and lighter than it measures. Because the trigger swings through the arch of travel without any hang-ups or stacking, it’s more intuitive to work with.

The LCR-22MAG was test-fired with a wide variety of ammunition, from practice-grade rounds to those specifically marketed for self-defense applications. They all fed and ejected without any problems. Reloading was made quick and easy using aluminum J2-22MAG speed loaders and loading blocks from 5 Star Firearms. There was a single failure to fire. Re-chambering the round so as to present a fresh section of the cartridge rim two more times demonstrated the problem lay with unequal priming compound distribution, not the firing pin.

The LCR was originally designed to be as comfortable to shoot as it is to carry. Designers worked to mitigate the stout kick produced by .38-cal. center-fire pistol ammunition. Because of that, the LCR-22MAG produced exceptionally mild levels of felt recoil using .22 WMR self-defense loads. This made accurate shot placement and quick follow-up shots easy. It should be noted though that the .22 WMR cartridge usually produces a loud report and bright muzzle flash from a short-barreled revolver. In other words, it has the bark of a big-bore revolver without biting the hand that feeds it.

While the .38 Spl. +P and .357 Mag. LCR models offer some of the best stopping power available in pocketable revolvers, the .22 Long Rifle version allows shooters to plink and practice with reduced-cost ammunition.

Ammunition companies such as Hornady, Speer and Winchester have developed loads specifically designed for use in short-barrel revolvers such as the LCR. Although they are not as powerful as center-fire pistol cartridges, they produce energy levels comparable to those of the .32 ACP and .380 ACP cartridges when fired from pocket-size semi-automatic pistols. The reduced cost of rimfire ammunition encourages regular practice, and tames the kick for those who want, or need, a low-recoil self-defense handgun. The LCRs are easy to operate and light enough to carry in a pocket or purse. All of those factors make the LCR-22MAG an ideal addition to the Ruger family of handguns.

Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.; (603) 865-2442; ruger.com
double-action-only rimfire revolver
.22 WMR
aluminum/glass-filled nylon polymer
17⁄8" stainless steel
six-groove. 1:9" RH twist
six-round capacity
pinned ramp front, U-notch rear
double-action; 12-lb. pull
Hogue Tamer Monogrip
Overall Length:
16.6 ozs.
lock, soft case, owner’s manual
Suggested Retail Price:

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11 Responses to Ruger LCR-22 Mag. Revolver

June Bryan wrote:
August 05, 2013

Thenk you for offering the 22 mag version of the LCR. We have a range and a gun store. It is sometimes hard for us to find a match for a carry gun for ladies. Many do not have the strength to work a slide or the tolarence for the recoil of a .38. This weapon has filled many niches for us, especially with many new shooters that are in their older years.

Gasman wrote:
August 05, 2013

We chose the LCR .22lr for my wife who has fibermyalgia, anything bigger than the .22 had painful results from the recoil. We had felt the excellent & light trigger pull of the .38 special LCR & assumed it translated to the .22lr but that was very wrong. Instead out of the box the pull was 15#'s & the trigger pull was affecting my wife's medical condition. We had a trigger job done but the were only able to get it down to 10#'s & still be reliable. I don't recommend this gun in a rim fire caliber because of this.

BigFoot wrote:
July 31, 2013

Newbies to self defense tend to see cartridges as all the same. If it is said that a .22 can be used for self defense then why buy anything larger? Same with the .22 Mag, .380, .38 Special, and 9mm. They don't think in terms of stopping power, penetration, wound diameter, or how the ballistic-gelatin penetration test is flawed because it only represents soft tissue, no ribs, sternum, or out-stretched arms in front that require busting through first. Stopping the bad guy is all about percentages. If you, as a newbie, firing quickly and making hits somewhere near the middle of the chest, knew that a .22 gave you a 10[%] chance of survival, a .380 gave you a 20[%] chance, and so on up to a 90[%] chance with a .45, would you, perhaps, give a little thought as to how much of a chance you wanted to take when it came to saving yourself or your loved one's life? There is so much talk about recoil when it comes to the .40 and .45 that the newbies are scared to death to even consider such a cannon. But if they were to actually fire one they would become believers. How many teenagers learned to shoot the .45 in the military? How many women use the .45 in shooting contests? See, it's not a big deal and you can shoot it too. Just think, you have no better chance of survival than getting off two shots (since no handgun can claim a 100[%] stopping rate, two shots should be fired: hence the term 'Double Tap') from a cartridge at the top of the list, as opposed to rolling the dice with a minimum cartridge near the bottom, the one you probably have now. You need to be thinking about what you really need, not the minimum which is barely above thrown rocks. In 1953, Mrs. Bella Twin was confronted by (at the time) the largest grizzly bear known to man near her home in Swan Hills, Alberta, Canada. She put a .22 slug in the bear's brain and it fell over dead. So there you have it: good shot placement with a .22 is all you need. And those are the kinds of stories that lead to very bad decisions.

Serge wrote:
July 30, 2013

I have read the LCR -22MAG from my iPad. Your electronic magazine has a video review of the LCR. I was dissapointed that Glen Gilbesr's review was of the LCR 38 SLP +P and not the LCR 22WMRF. When will you produce a video review of tle LCR 22WMRF?

Joe J Huro Jr wrote:
July 30, 2013

Making your LCR-22 Mag Revolver in my opinion was waste, why not in the.327 Fed. & shoot my .32 H&R mag.& a 3' bbl. One can reload 32 H&R or 327Fed. I still carry Ruger S.S 6.5 bbl. while riding fence.

Jeff wrote:
July 30, 2013

For defense from a person I see no problem using this gun soon. The 22 mag is a nasty little round and can do some damage. A low recoil and a little less intimidating to shoot, more than likely could result in more shots hitting your target. I'm sure should the need come to fire, like me you would fire more than once. This light of a gun in the .357 and even the .38 can be a kick. Also, I challenge you to try and fire off a couple rounds from that .357 with no ear protection. There is 0[%] chance that you are going t be walking around with ear muffs and the .22 Mag might be loud but its not likely to blow your ear drums out. Last visit to the range my son and I took, he had pulled out his plugs getting ready to leave and asked if he could take just one more shot from the .38. He could not hear for 10minutes and he said the pain ran down his throat. LOL. Lesson learned. Organs are not discriminate in the cal. of bullet and smaller ca. can still kill just the same. Just less humanely. Hehehe. But seariously, anyone can handle the .22 mag and will the boot grip being small on this gun, I vote for a smaller kick. Personally I bought a competitors version of this gun in the .38+P since the grip was just long enough to fit my pinky unlike the LCR. Hold one even if you don't shoot it and you will see.

faultroy wrote:
July 30, 2013

I note the velocity of this round is similar to standard velocity 22 lr. Most likely this is due to the rather short barrel. This gun would make a lot more sense in a four inch version in order to increase the velocity. There is a need for a very light 22 mag trail gun. This is not it.

henry b wrote:
July 30, 2013

Rob J right on, you make sense.

C Rice wrote:
July 29, 2013

I agree, the .22 WMR may not knock an assailant OHB...it will however make a lot of noise and no one will jump up and volunteer to be shot with it. It's a great wheel gun.

Pete wrote:
July 26, 2013

I see no use for this gun since I can get the exact same revolver in .38 or .357. But when I am 90 years old and can't handle the recoil of my .38 anymore, ask me again...

Rob J wrote:
July 25, 2013

I just read a letter to American Rifleman in the August issue. It describes the .22 Magnum as 'ill advised' for self defense. I just have to point out the first rule of a gunfight. Have a gun... If this is the only handgun your significant other can fit in her purse and shoot reliably, why not. Sure a .45 is much better, but you have to carry all the time...And you have to be able to hit what you are shooting at.