Ruger LCR 9mm Review

by Travis Pike

April 4, 2022

1 comments

5
(4)

In the big wide world of guns, why would you ever want a revolver chambered in 9mm? Well, that is exactly what we plan to uncover today with the Ruger LCR 9mm, a snub nose 9mm revolver. 

Ruger LCR 9mm Specs

  • Overall Length 6.5 inches
  • Barrel Length 1.875 inches
  • Width 1.28 inch
  • Weight 17.28 ounces
  • Capacity 5
  • Caliber 9mm

A 9mm Revolver? 

The Weirdness doesn’t end there either. Yeah, it’s a 9mm revolver, but it’s also a polymer frame revolver. Ruger attempted to beat back normal with the LCR series. Ruger wanted to release a lightweight, modern revolver but didn’t want the price tag of fancy metals like scandium demand. So they looked at the polymer…and made it work. 

The LCR series has been a huge hit. It’s a polymer body with a steel barrel, chamber, and internals. Weight’s trimmed, but the price doesn’t break the bank. Ruger slapped the LCR with just about every modern chambering you could imagine. We got the standard 38 Special, the 357 Magnum, 22 LR, 22 Magnum, and of course, 9mm. 

Why 9mm when so many great revolver cartridges exist? Well, of all the centerfire cartridges, the LCR chambers 9mm is the cheapest. At the same time, it’s more capable than the 38 Special but not as much of a hand cannon as the 357 Magnum from a short barrel. Plus, ammo is widely available, and defensive ammo comes in various weights and sizes. Heck, even reduced recoil 9mm exists. 

Georg Luger might not have intended for his cartridge to see life in a revolver. Yet, here we are with a new kind of cool in the revolver world. In a world where automatic cartridges rule and the 9mm dominates, this makes choosing a revolver easy. I like to consolidate my calibers, and the LCR gives me a revolver experience in the caliber I shoot the most. 

Ruger LCR 9mm Features

1 DAO Trigger
2 Push Button Cylinder Release 
3 Moon Clip Cuts 
4 5 Round Capacity 

Reviewing the LCR 9mm – Our Take

One of the first things we gotta talk about is the absolutely fantastic trigger Ruger tosses in the LCR. It’s a fantastic design. In fact, it’s the best stock double-action revolver trigger I’ve ever felt. It’s long but smooth, consistent, and just overall an excellent example of a double-action trigger. A nice trigger is much needed to get as much accuracy as possible out of the little gun. The rear sight is nothing more than a simple trench, and the front sight is a swooping ramp. Not much to align, and the 1.87-inch barrel isn’t giving you a ton of sight radius either. 

I can hit a man-sized target in the chest at 15 yards consistently, but my groups are often 4 inches or so when I fire rapidly or from the draw. If I really slow down and take my time, I can tighten it up, but not enough to brag about. I don’t know of any particular snub-nose revolver that excels in inherent accuracy. 

Controlling The Little Fella 

Like most little guns, the LCR has some bite to it. Enough so that after three or four rapidly fired rounds, it’s shifted a fair bit in my hand. The stock little grips were doing the gun any favors either. As a belly gun and up close and personal piece, it’s fine, but I don’t like planning for a specific defensive situation. I want a versatile option. 

This led me to replace the grips with something hair longer for a better, three-finger grip. That helped, but we have to judge the weapon as it comes, and it’s not the most shootable handgun. Even small guns like the SIG P365 prove to be a lot easier to shoot. Snub nose revolvers are not for those not wanting to practice hard and train often. 

Outside of the small grips, I appreciated the gun’s ergonomics. The revolver uses a push-button cylinder release and an aggressively textured ejection knob to make ejection easy. Because 9mm rounds lack a rim, they have to use moon clips for ejection. These moon clips hold five 9mm rounds and act as speed loaders too. Drop one in, close the cylinder, and you’re good to go. It’s almost as fast as changing magazines. 

Revolver Reliability 

Like all revolvers, it’s tough to wrong in the reliability department. A well-made revolver doesn’t tend to have too many problems. The Ruger LCR eats through a variety of different rounds without an issue. Where you might find an issue is with crappy steel-cased ammo. Steel cased ammo expands when fired and doesn’t contract. It can stick and become hard to eject. 

Standard brass-cased ammo will treat you just fine and allow you to reliably fire, eject, and quickly reload your weapon. Steel-cased ammo will fire, will eject, but it won’t be nearly as smooth as stock standard brass-cased goodness. What’s neat to me is that the Federal Reduced recoil personal defense loads run without a problem in the gun, whereas some semi-autos may have issues with the lower-powered load. 

Down to Brass Tacks 

The LCR generally presents an affordable revolver option with lots of great features. The standard LCR in 38 Special has an MSRP of $719, but the 9mm variant swings in with a higher MSRP of $829. That’s a substantial jump in price, but it’s still cheaper than most lightweight scandium guns and packs that amazing trigger. 

Ruger LCR 9mm Pros and Cons

  • Amazing trigger 
  • Fun To Shoot
  • Reloads Rapidly 
  • Eats all 9mm 
  • Small grips make it tough to control. 

Report Card

Shootability

It bucks, kicks, and fights you with every trigger pull. It’s not always friendly, but with enough practice, you’ll figure out how to tame it. 

C
Reliability

It’s a handy little revolver that has a fair bit of bark with its bite, but it always bites. The gun eats whatever 9mm loads you throw through it. Steel cased stuff might get sticky, but it fires and ejects…just not smoothly all the time. 

A
Ergonomics

The little grips might help conceal the gun, but they don’t do anything great for control. Other than that, it’s solid, smooth, and easy to reload on the fly. 

B
 Accuracy

Chic Gaylord once said any man carrying a snub nose should practice with 100 rounds a week. That’s like what it takes to be proficient with such a small revolver. The great DAO trigger helps, but it is still a gun that takes practice to master. 

C
Value

While it’s a little more costly, the ammo savings alone will quickly justify the 9mm variant of the Ruger LCR. 

B

Our Grade

B

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

B

Based on 7 Reviews

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The LCR is a great gun, a thoroughly modern revolver that chambers an affordable and potent round. It’s got a great trigger. It’s built like a tank and performs admirably. It’s perfect for self-defense or snub nose training. 

Ruger LCR 9mm Ammo

Range Rounds

MagTech-9mm-Ammo

MagTech 9mm 115 GR FMJ Ammo

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $0.24
Brownells $0.23
Palmetto State Armory $0.34

Best Defense Rounds

Box of Hornady 9mm pistol ammunition

Hornady Critical Defense 115 GR

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Cabela’s $1.24
Midway USA $1.24

Ruger LCR Starter Pack

If you’ve decided to pick up the Ruger LCR 9mm, or found another firearm that suits your needs, there are some bare essentials you’re going to need to pick up in order to maximize its potential and your safety regardless of if it’s your first firearm or not.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
  • Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
  • Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear pro can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full length review.
  • Storage: Check our our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
  • Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.

Upgrades and Accessories

Ruger LCR 9mm Accessories

Do-All Outdoors Steel Resetting Target
  • Rated For . 38 – . 44 Caliber Pistols
  • High Visibility Targets
  • Reset Without Walking Down Range
Check Amazon
100 Round Ammo Box
  • 100 Round Capacity
  • Scuff-resistant textured surface
  • Snap lock latch
Check Amazon
Pineworld Biometric Gun Safe
  • Reliable Biometric Scanner
  • Sturdy and Well Built
  • Cheaper Than Most Biometrics
Check Amazon
Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs
  • Great In-Ear option
  • Custom molded – super easy and comfortable
  • NRR: 31
Check Amazon

Caring for your Ruger LCR

It’s critical not only to keep your guns secure, but also to understand how to care for your firearms properly. We’ve located a fantastic video below on this subject.

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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1 COMMENTS

  1. It is worth noting that the 9mm rounds can be loaded individually into the LCR cylinder without the use of the moon clips. They have to be manually removed individually since the ejector will not work on the rimless 9mm shells, but it is important to know that the gun is useable without the moon clips.

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