Ruger LCR .22 LR

The “From The Editor” I wrote for the February issue (if you missed it don’t worry; it won’t be in your mailbox until mid-January) was based on two trends I have seen developing for 2012: Manufacturing guns to be affordable and the introduction of a host of new .22 Long Rifle rifles and handguns that are actually affordable to shoot.

Two weeks ago I was fortunate enough to travel to Sturm, Ruger & Co. in Newport, N.H., to see the changes at the plant since my last visit in the 1990s, and to have a sneak peak at some of the projects the dedicated and bright engineers in Newport and Prescott, Ariz., have been working on. One of the guns was a Ruger Lightweight Carry Revolver, which was the first polymer-framed production wheelgun, but this version was chambered in .22 Long Rifle. Ruger’s Mark Gurney has given us the go ahead to talk about the gun.

The LCR was by designed by Ruger’s Joseph Zajk for mass production and light weight. It combines a polymer lower frame with a steel cylinder and crane assembly and an aluminum upper frame with a steel barrel liner. Making traditional revolvers that are timed properly is actually a form of arcane science. If you have ever watched fitters at a traditional revolver plant, you will appreciate that it takes the attention of a skilled craftsman to make one work properly.

Ruger put a lot of time and engineering effort into making the LCR suitable for mass production, as well as improving the double-action-only trigger pull by making several of the action’s engagement surfaces round-on-round contact points to allow for a smooth trigger pull. The other thing about the LCR is you can stack, or stage, the trigger repeatably. With practice, you can get a precise shot off almost as if it were a single-action. That is quite a trick with a rimfire version of the LCR in .22, which requires more firing pin energy. This means you must have either a heavier hammer or stiffer springs than a center-fire, but my preliminary shooting and handling of the new LCR indicate that Ruger pulled it off admirably.

Ruger LCR .22

The LCR .22 makes perfect sense for those who own and carry a .357 Mag. or .38 Spl. LCR as a training gun, or even a trail gun. It works just the same, save for the geometry of the eight-shot cylinder. And let’s face it, shooting .22s is fun. One can develop confidence in his or her choice for personal defense while shooting affordable .22 LR. Another reason why the .22 LCR makes sense is that some folks are exceedingly recoil shy, and have issues comfortably shooting more gun than a .22—especially in a lightweight gun. Also, some shooters have a hard time racking the slide of a semi-automatic pistol, which is not an issue with the LCR. While no self-respecting self defense “expert” would recommend a .22 for personal protection and expect to keep their gun writer's union card, a .22 you have with you (especially with an eight-shot cylinder capacity) that you can comfortably shoot and hit consistently with is better than no gun at all or one that you cannot shoot comfortably and accurately, and certainly better than a sharp stick. Do people use .22s for personal protection against the counsel of gunwriters? Well North American Arms sells a lot of Mini revolvers and Bond Arms sells plenty of .22 derringers to someone. I guess I need to turn in my gun writer union card now.

The new gun weighs less than 15 ounces unloaded and it has a six-groove 1:16-inch right hand twist barrel measuring 1 7/8-inches long. The suggested retail price is $525. If I can get it on the range with a video camera soon, I’ll show how it works and how it shoots. No doubt it will be fun and affordable.

LCR .22 Chamber

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49 Responses to Ruger LCR .22 LR

thomas mires wrote:
December 17, 2012


Bill Wiggins wrote:
September 05, 2012

Hey Jeb: Where did you get your LCR 22 with laser for $450? Thanks

John Fulton wrote:
August 26, 2012

I have been using a LCR 357 loaded with 38 special plus p ammo for concealed carry really like it. Purchased the LCR 22lr yesterday to use as an inexpensive training gun. I shot a bunch of ammo thru it today and love.

Jeb wrote:
August 25, 2012

All these complainers about the price seem to forget that you often do get what you pay for. I own a S&W model 317 which now retails for $700+, street around $500-600. To have a gun that I can shoot for 4 cents a round that will sit in my pocket unnoticed is a plus. I paid $450 for a LCR.22 W/Laser and feel it is worth the price. The trigger is very good and the internal hammer makes it a great pocket gun. It doubles as a plinker. I almost laughed when I read that some of you want to pay $250 for such a gun. Try thirty five years ago. Buy some junk .380 or 9mm pocket gun for $300 and after 1k rounds at 20+ more cents per round we are even and I have a better gun. Do the math. A quality .22 is worth the cost if you can burn up bricks in it at one fifth the cost of centerfire ammo. I recommend either the S&W 317 or the LCR .22. They are great training guns and will do the job of concealed carry versus not carrying anything.

Greg wrote:
August 17, 2012

Got a LC9 9mm for $320 out the door. $525 looks like you can keep it

Kat wrote:
March 30, 2012

I have RA and have been having trouble finding something I can handle as far as recoil and trigger pull go... I bought this gun because it was perfect to both and very concealable. I LOVE IT!

Frog Prince wrote:
February 03, 2012

I love my LCR in .38 but am not going to pay $525 for a .22. Maybe $250.

Vinny wrote:
February 01, 2012

I had the S&W 351. Sold it as the trigger pull was very heavy. My wife could not pull the trigger and I did not want to put in the time to shoot a .22 that should be easy to shoot without many hours of practice by someone who has been shooting for over 40 years all in all the popular and some unpopular calibers. :) I love the LCR trigger although all my snubbies are S&W.

TBurke wrote:
January 28, 2012

$525?!?!?! As good as the Rugers are, not paying that for a .22, maybe $250, $300 tops.

Bob R. wrote:
January 11, 2012

Well, got my two today. A .38 Spec. and the new LCR 22. Shot them both. Nice triggers. Put the first 5 .38's into a 3" circle at 10 yds., and ditto for the first eight with the .22. They're keepers!

frank p wrote:
January 08, 2012

I have S&W 8 shot. 22 weighs 10.6 Oz... Has external hammer and is single or double and aluminum...corosion resistant. Msrp higher then Ruger but picks up less weight and single action asset. Live in NC mountains and keep it loaded and handy for snake shot...

Nels wrote:
January 03, 2012

Looks interesting. But that MSRP is crazy. Maybe it's a misprint. No way a point-n-shoot .22 lacking real sights should cost more than $200. Seriously, you can get a target-grade .22 from at least two major manufacturers, with adjustable sights, for $220 at any major sporting goods store. Yes, this must be a misprint. Maybe the MSRP was supposed to be $199.

Dan wrote:
December 27, 2011

Jut an FYI, I just picked one of these up at my local shop (they had one in stock, I had cash in my pocket, so I said why not) and it was $399+tax. Street price seems to be well below MSRP.

Derek wrote:
December 26, 2011

I would love to have one as a "fun gun" or for the wife to learn on, but yeah... pricey. I will be curious to see if there are any keyholing issues, as other .22's I've fired out of such a short barrel have suffered from it.

Nathan wrote:
December 25, 2011

Sounds about perfect for my daughter depending on trigger pull. She has RA and does not tolerate heavy recoil well. Fits Jeff Cooper gunfight rule.

David Madden wrote:
December 23, 2011

With so many wonderful used guns available why in the world are they charging so much? I will definitely not waste my money here.

Brian wrote:
December 21, 2011

An 8 shot .22 pistol at $500 plus is 'affordable'? Maybe at $250.

Tigerbeetle wrote:
December 20, 2011

The price is a killer. 'nuff said.

oogie wrote:
December 19, 2011

$525. is a little expensive for a .22 fun gun.

Bill Mansfield wrote:
December 19, 2011

I like the gun. I think it's briliant. Half the guns I own are all Ruger. However, $525 for a simple .22 revolver? I don't think so. Thanks anyway.

JWH wrote:
December 19, 2011

For those looking for a Magnum check out the S&W model 351. It is a well made 7 shot revolver. It feels like my 642 (.38 cal) but is a lot cheaper to practice with.

Mario Gonzales wrote:
December 19, 2011

$525.00 MSRP is a little steep for a .22 LR. Think I'll stay with my 9mm.

James A. Yahnke wrote:
December 18, 2011


Joe Frackowiak wrote:
December 18, 2011

I have an LCR 38, love it. A 22 lcr would be a great addition, also a 22 mag cylinder would make it a outstanding handgun and fun to shoot. It also would be good competition for the Taurus 990, which I have been looking for. I would prefer a Ruger.

Bill Pirtle wrote:
December 18, 2011

I think one shot stops are good for those to like to theorize about such things, but you can't beat placement... And who is going to shoot only once?

Byron Miller wrote:
December 18, 2011

With practice one could put a couple of rounds into an assailants face/head and do real serious damage, skip the 'center mass' go for the computer....

tripletrucker wrote:
December 18, 2011

just bought my wife a 38 special lcr for christmas. she fell in love with it at a gun show. can`t wait to fire it myself. looks perfect for a concealed weapon! And its available with pink grips! I dare ya to laugh at her.... she`s a very accurate shot!

Rex wrote:
December 18, 2011

ever make em in 22 mag.?

ED wrote:
December 18, 2011

Pay over $500 for a 22 cal? I don't think so!

Scott wrote:
December 18, 2011

The perfect target gun to complement my LCR .357

Jerry Smith wrote:
December 18, 2011

I wish Ruger had thought about this little pistol further, it would be much more effective in 22 Mag, plus it would be open to using the 17 HMR cartridge.

Mike Krkljus wrote:
December 18, 2011

Fun to shoot, yes. But at over $500 list, it's not exactly affordable. Unless the actual retail prices come down, it's too bad.

John McCarthy wrote:
December 18, 2011

Comments...Mark is correct about staging the trigger. With a properly timed Ruger or S&W revolver it's almost like single action. I'll bet we'll see a lot more new 22s at the upcoming Shot Show.

Dick Hanover wrote:
December 18, 2011

I think this little gun makes a lot of sense. A .22 LR can be effective if one learns to place each shot, and with a .22, one can easily afford to practice their marksmanship. I'd love to see it offered in a longer, say, 3 or 4 inch barrel as a 'kit gun' for hikers and campers.

Scott Larson wrote:
December 18, 2011

They should have went with a .22 WMR.The magnum has a bit more punch.

Everett wrote:
December 18, 2011

22LR is more than capable of doing what is needed, at close range. This little gun aint made for 100yard shots anyway. I would love to shoot it, but even without doing it, I feel that it serves its purpose, close in defense, easy to shoot and much better than having nothing. Ever take a knife to a gun fight? I'll take the 22 LR anyday.

GarHart wrote:
December 18, 2011

I already want one, but in .22Mag.

Nathan Enyart wrote:
December 18, 2011

Ok some one with law enforcement or some one with a GOOD knowledge of Hand guns how would this be for a self defense wepon for my wife who has never shot a hand gun before? I have lots of experience will train her but want an expert's opinion on this.

December 18, 2011

does this come in a long barrel ?

Richard wrote:
December 18, 2011

$525; I thought I read where you said it was affordable!

John Nowicki wrote:
December 18, 2011

I wouldn't want to get hit by eight .22 bullets...just saying. First rule of a gun fight-have a gun.

Sonny Orr wrote:
December 18, 2011

Maybe a.32-20 or .32H&H? or is it H&R,but you see were this is going.Just my second coffee

Christine Lynn wrote:
December 18, 2011

Comments...Nice little boot gun!!!

David wrote:
December 18, 2011

8 CCI Stinger .22 LR HP's traveling @ 1640 FPS each... rapid fired into the chest of a Bad Guy should be about as good as one lead .38 Spl [excluding +P].... in my humble opinion. Similar amount of lead... just spread out. You collapse a lung or two on a bad guy [kind of like letting the air out of a balloon] and they tend to get a bit distracted from their intended criminal act.

bullmoose1965 wrote:
December 18, 2011

It's not a big stretch to ask for a 22 Magnum version of this new revolver...especially since Hornady now offers Critical Defense in 22 Mag. and it nearly matches the ballistics of the .380 acp....hhmmm less recoil, higher round count and good ballistics. 22 Mag. version would be a sure bet in the marketplace.

jimele wrote:
December 17, 2011

Needs to be a 22 mag or interchangeable cylinders

Gary wrote:
December 17, 2011

Mark, when you take this one out to the range for Show 'N Tell, how about running some .22 shot shells through it, kind of like a mini Judge. Give us your opinion on how it would work with a self-defense face shot.

Arby wrote:
December 16, 2011

8 rounds of .22 would spoil a "trolls" day I would think.

Trooper wrote:
December 16, 2011

If well practiced at 'point and shoot', this little revolver could do a lot of damage at close range. It would be great fun to practice with at reasonable cost.