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LCR .38 vs. 357 or SP101?

This is a discussion on LCR .38 vs. 357 or SP101? within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I currently carry a S&W Chief's Special with the larger Hogue grips. The grip cover the backstrap therefore protecting my thumb joint. The larger grips ...


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Old June 12th, 2013, 04:27 AM   #1
 
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LCR .38 vs. 357 or SP101?

I currently carry a S&W Chief's Special with the larger Hogue grips. The grip cover the backstrap therefore protecting my thumb joint. The larger grips however make it harder to carry. I have a .22 LCR for a practice gun and love the feel. So, I am thinking of getting a .38 or .357 LCR to replace the Smith as my carry gun. Questions: Other than having the option of firing .357 rounds, is there an advantage to getting the .357 rather than the .38? Disadvantages? Next question: What about an SP101 instead of the LCR. I find that I wear low rise jeans and need something comfortable and concealable. I am a female if that makes any difference and I carry at 3:30-4:00.



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Old June 12th, 2013, 04:34 AM   #2
 
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Roam Ranger,

I've shot the LCR 38 and the 357 version and if $$ is not a road block then get the 357 version because it will retain value and if the SHTF and you only come across 357 rounsd, they fit and fire.

My EDC is the SP101 2.4" I put a big night sight dot on the front. It is a 357 and you would have to go out of your way to find the 38 special version of this revolver in local shops. Almost a special order.

My thought is, open your option up to the greatest available ammo use. Now keeping it tucked away out of other people's eyes, go with the LCR. Smaller, lighter etc. But nothing beats the SP101, except it may give it's self away.

Stay safe.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 05:02 AM   #3
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Roan Ranger:

Do you carry outside or inside the waist band? I own the 38 LCR and an SP101 in 357 mag and the LCR is definitely lighter in weight. I use it for pocket carry. For belt carry I go with the SP101. I personally have a preference for the SP and a lot of it is subjective. The SP controls recoil much better than the LCR as the LCR seems to try and twist in my hands with +P loads. I have had a couple of trigger reset issues with the LCR early on and that has left lingering doubt in my mind about reliability. The SP has never had any issues.

If you plant to belt carry an SP then you will need a good stiff belt as the weight will make a normal belt either twist or sag. The 38 LCR not so much.

I suggest you go to the range that rents firearms and shoot both. You are likely to carry 38 Spl +P's in whichever one you decide on so that is what I would shoot then. Good luck and post up some pics when you buy.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 05:19 AM   #4
 
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I would probably recommend the .38 LCR for the light weight and comfort you're looking for. Every ounce makes a difference.

If you shoot the .38 LCR and the recoil is a little much, then the .357 while heavier to carry, would help with recoil while shooting .38.

I find .357 out of the .357 LCR very unpleasant. If I planned to shoot it often, I would opt for the SP101.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 05:38 AM   #5
 
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Re: LCR .38 vs. 357 or SP101?

My brother in law has an LCR 38 I have an SP101 357. I fired them both and I like the SP101 much better. The LCR feels too small in my hand, mind you I have smaller hands. The extra weight of rhe SP101 is not an issue for carry, I normally carry an FNH FNX-9 in an Old Faithful IWB holster. I somtimes forget the gun is there. Where the weight does matter, is in control while shooting. It helps make the 357 Magnum comfortable to shoot. given the choice I'd rather carry 357 magnum over 38 special. Not to say 38 special is not a capable round. Just my preference. My SP101 is gonna take a trip to Gemini Customs very soon. YMMV.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 05:58 AM   #6
 
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I have the LCR in .38+p and comfortable shooting +p. if I want to shoot ..357mag, it would be out of my 4in Security Six or would buy a SP101 with the weight rather than a much lighter frame LCR in 357. There are a lot of folks who like their LCRs in .357. Saying that, I like to regularly practice with what I carry and can't feature doing so with the .357 LCR. But, that's just me
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Old June 12th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #7
 
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If you go with the LCR, the .357 extra 3-4 Oz is well worth it. (recoil) The Hogue grip also really helps. I carry a LCR .357 & SP101 .357. Usually carry the LCR in pocket holster or an OWB (cause I need a new IWB for it).

Terry had a good comment on belt. Sometimes us guys who have military, LE or farm/industrial work/job experience underestimate how light/loose a belt can be. The lighter .357 LCR may be better if you are concerned with fashion/lighter belts.

I recommend both guns, if I could only have one, it would be the LCR with a mega dot NS.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 09:19 PM   #8
 
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Re: LCR .38 vs. 357 or SP101?

I own both the lcr in .38 special and .357 magnum. I find myself carrying the .38 special model more since it's so easy. Granted the added weight of the .357 model is nice for shooting comfort the lcr is one of those carry alot shoot little revolvers.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 09:38 AM   #9
 
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I carried an SP 101 for about a year then traded it in on the LCR 357, I actually believe that the felt recoil of the 357 round is less with the LCR, the SP is an awesome gun just gets very heavy when carrying it regularly, and I am a big guy. I would opt for the LCR 357. as said you can always practice with 38's. JMO
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Old June 13th, 2013, 10:49 AM   #10
 
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I’d suggest you keep the Smith & Wesson. When it comes to smaller frame revolvers, they’ve been doing it longer and got it down right. You can’t go wrong with a model 60, 640, 642, 638, etc.

The one thing I have to say the LCR’s have over the Chief Special’s is a smoother trigger. But when you handle them side by side it just feels like the Ruger is cheaper, like a toy. I say that because I hate polymer frames. Most Smith’s are all steel or a combination of aluminum alloy and steel. Their bodygaurd model was a direct competition to the LCR and I feel the same way about it too.

I’ll hold out until maybe Ruger someday releases an all stainless steel LCR.

Last edited by RevolverGuy; June 13th, 2013 at 10:51 AM.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 11:24 AM   #11
 
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So, as you see, many opinions ... I really think Terry's advice to shoot them before deciding is the best for that reason. I carry the 357 LCR (KLCR) a lot, and shoot it quite a lot, usually a couple of cylinders of 357s and 50-75 38s. I like the additional weight for recoil management, and because my preferred carry is Gold Dot Short Barrel 357s. I like my SP as well, but it's a fairly heavy carry for me for everyday. And the LCR trigger really is much nicer, the kind of thing you'll really notice if you shoot both. But many women including my spouse really like the SP ...

All that said, most people don't carry 357s in their KLCRs it appears; I finally got to the point where I can comfortably manage the GD Short Barrel loads with the boot grip, but that took a while.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 01:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry_p View Post
Roan Ranger:

Do you carry outside or inside the waist band? I own the 38 LCR and an SP101 in 357 mag and the LCR is definitely lighter in weight. I use it for pocket carry. For belt carry I go with the SP101. I personally have a preference for the SP and a lot of it is subjective. The SP controls recoil much better than the LCR as the LCR seems to try and twist in my hands with +P loads. I have had a couple of trigger reset issues with the LCR early on and that has left lingering doubt in my mind about reliability. The SP has never had any issues.

If you plant to belt carry an SP then you will need a good stiff belt as the weight will make a normal belt either twist or sag. The 38 LCR not so much.

I suggest you go to the range that rents firearms and shoot both. You are likely to carry 38 Spl +P's in whichever one you decide on so that is what I would shoot then. Good luck and post up some pics when you buy.
+1. I have both as well and the LCR .38 is my carry of choice. The SP is a quite a bit heavier and harder to conceal but is a much easier gun to shoot. Good luck with your decision.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 08:12 AM   #13
 
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Wife rally likes 642 had it prettied up for her now wont let me touch it says I leave finger prints

Last edited by easy8; June 14th, 2013 at 08:53 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:30 AM   #14
 
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Ruger KLCR + Hornady Critical Defense in .357 = .38 type recoil.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 12:26 PM   #15
 
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Ruger sp101 2.4 out shoots both the mod 60 or 642 but not by much all great guns I carry one of them everyday

Last edited by easy8; June 24th, 2013 at 06:27 PM.
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