Ruger LCR 9mm (courtesy ruger.com)

ShootingTheBull410 writes:

Well, that’s mildly interesting! I love revolvers, but — 9mm in a revolver has never made much sense to me. It’s rimless, meaning you need moon clips, and the gun ends up being about 4 ounces heavier than the .38 Special +P version. That’s a pretty hefty difference, going from 13.5 to 17.5 ounces. Ballistically . . .

the bullets are basically identical in diameter and largely identical in weight. 9mm has a tiny velocity edge over .38 Special +P, but not a significant one. 9mm +P is a little higher in velocity than .38 Special +P, but again, not night and day. I would say that the bad guy likely wouldn’t know the difference between whether he’d been hit with the .38+P or the 9mm.

I guess the thing that’s most disappointing about it is that it’s the same price and weight as the .357 Magnum LCR – and that’s way, way, way more powerful.

I don’t think there’s much reason to do ballistic testing between a .38+P and a 9mm, from the same revolver my guess (and it is only a guess) is it’s gonna be a case of pretty much identical performance…

91 Responses to ShootingTheBull410 on Ruger’s New LCR 9mm

  1. The French tctical police once used 9mm revolvers and Ruger even chambered their security six in .9
    I’d like to measure the cylinder of this gun to see if it is the same as their 38 spl
    A shorter cylinder and a barrel at the bottom of the frame would have made this a game changer

      • A .9 caliber 6 shooter would be pretty freaking awesome, while .9mm would be a neat little sub dermal delivery system!

        • The guy’s .556 from a few days ago would be nearly half the cal. of .9mm…

          Talk about a pin prick… 😉

      • Maybe he meant .9 caliber. 90/100 inch would be pretty impressive!

        Edit, and I just noticed Todd Moriarty saying basically the same thing. My bad.

      • It was the snubby Speed Six round butt version of the gun , I believe it had a 2 1/2 inch barrel . It was the same platform as the .357 version , and yes it was moon clip fed. BPAR . KYPD.

        • It was 9mm not .9 at that time , it was manufactured until the GP-100 and the SP-101 came along.BPAR .KYPD.

    • The cylinder looks pretty long in the picture. I could see a shorter cylinder being a selling point, as a 9mm round is about 0.4″ shorter than a .38 Special round. The entire gun could end up that much shorter. According to Ruger’s stats, the dimensions of the gun are identical to the .38 though — overall length, width, height, all identical. Of course, it would have cost more to produce a new cylinder and a new frame… much easier to just bore the cylinder out differently for the 9mm rounds and call it a day.

      They must have beefed up the frame vs. the .38 version (.357 also weighs over 17 oz), as a moon clip does not account for 4 oz (1/4 lb) of additional weight! Not even sort of close.

      • The 9 mm version is the same revolver as the 357 magnum. Both cartridges have the same max pressure rating. The cylinder is the same “long” version (as far as I can tell from photos).

    • It was initially the Service Six and Speed Six made for the French. But the French later took manufacture under license. Much like they did the Manurin Walther pistols. French Law does not allow export and import of firearms.

  2. While balistically it might be similar if someone has a lot of firearms in 9mm then it could make sense for them. Also the availability of 9mm is going to be greater than 38 spc. Lastly some people like the moon clips for ease of use.

    An extra sku just offers more options.

  3. At present prices, 9mm ammo is almost half the price of .38 Special. If you want to practice as much as you probably should, that’s a major consideration.

    • The ammo cost difference is the only reason why this would have any appeal to me. That being said, I doubt too many people use a snubbie as a target gun that they’ll put a ton of rounds through.

      If this is being purchased as a defensive firearm, then you shoot it initially to ascertain reliability and then a few here and there to remain proficiency. In this use case, a few pennies more per round doesn’t amount to much.

      I had pretty much the same reaction as shootingthebull did. I was initially interested, but saw that it weighs in the same as the 357 model and said no thanks.

      Something that would be interesting to me would be a GP100 (or something similarly sized) chambered in 9mm. That would provide a less expensive alternative to Smith’s recent 929 and would make for a nice range gun where the cost per round would add up.

    • This exactly. I can also find a variety of 9mm anywhere, defensive and FMJ is always available at local big box stores, where I consider myself lucky if they have any 38

  4. I’ll go with the rimmed .38 rounds. I’ve never been a fan of the gyrations that pistol manufacturers have to go through to make automatic cartridges work in a revolver (maybe with the exception of half and full moon clips for .45 acp). .38 special in its hotter loadings is still an efficient and reliable defense round. If it aint broke don’t fix it

  5. Why? I love my wheelguns. But My 9 is a semi. Equipping revolvers with semi cartridges and moon clips was a war time expedience that was done from necessity.

    Not needed and probably not much market for it in peace time America.

  6. what I love about my .357 wheelgun is the option: I can use .38, .38+p, all the way up to .357 hunting loads. I don’t get why I would ever pick a 9mm wheelgun over at .357. Well, except for the ammo price, where 9mm has a distinct advantage.

      • For myself, not “over” .357, but along with .357.

        To me it’s a simple ammunition compatibility issue.

        Lots and lots and lots of 9mm. That revolver will probably go on the “perhaps someday” list…

    • There is absolutely no reason to choose a 9mm revolver over a .357. If you can handle the recoil, blast and expense of shooting a .357, it completely outclasses a 9mm in performance. There’s very few other handgun rounds that penetrate as well as a .357.

      • You put a 9mm +P in it and it will probably go all the way through a person at close range, all you need. Does not mean it will stop someone , even with a 357 mag in a LCR . I know a state trooper that had a 357 revolver, went into a house after an old man that did not like cops, old man came out with a 30-06 hunting rifle, the cop shot him 2 times with a 357 mag in the chest and did not take him down even, the old man still holding the rifle and blew the troopers head off, a fact, I went to his funeral. The old man might have been shot three times with a 357 mag, there were two troopers, the other trooper did not take him out either, and the trooper got his arm about blown off with the high powered rifle and than killed the other trooper after taking two more shots in the chest, need a bigger caliber revolver in a situation like that. If their revolver was a 45 acp, it would have took him down.

  7. For me, I’d be a lot more interested in a 6 shot 9mm revolver since a pair of half moon clips would to me be a better solution than a speed loader or strip with .38 special. Either way though, I’d rather hit the bad guy hard, or if not hard, often. I’d rather carry a .357 with 3″ or more of barrel, or a high (standard) capacity 9mm semi-auto.

  8. full moon clips have a distinct advantage over loose rounds, speed strips, or speedloaders for reloads.. its quicker to drop the whole thing in than fiddle with a speed loader and the shorter 9mm rounds go in easier. At least that why Jerry Miculek uses them over speedloaders. just a thought

  9. Looks like we’ve got two camps here, those responding “Why?” and those like me saying “Cool!”. Like another poster above, I need more guns but not more calibers!

    3 POINTS:

    1. There is an unanswered question. Why do you think Ruger made the 9mm out of Steel/Polymer (like the 357) but the 38sp is Aluminum/Polymer? Evidently they consider steel necessary for the 9’s extra power? What do the rest of you think?

    2. In all of our power talk above, do we have accurate ballistics on how 9mm/38sp/357m perform out of a 2″ barrel? I would consider 357 a waste out of a 2 inch barrel. (FYI I shoot 38 & 357 out of my super smooth Ruger Security Six w/6 inch barrel.)

    3. Ruger is laughing all the way to the bank, I bought an LCR-38 a couple years ago and wished it had a hammer. Now we have the LCRx in 38. Pretty soon I predict “3 or 3.5″ or 4” barrel versions. We are experiencing the ol’ market manipulation known as “Planned Obsolescence”. Somebody post the guy from Futurama with the fist of $$$ saying “Take my money now!”

    I want an LCRx-9mm with a hammer!

    KD

    • ” I would consider 357 a waste out of a 2 inch barrel.”

      Not if the load was developed for a short barrel.

      See STBs post on derringer loads for .22lr.

      • The best loads for .357 snub gun are the heavy bullet weights. 158 grain and up have smaller case capacity due to the heel of the bullet sitting deeper in the case. That smaller capacity means it takes less powder to get to Magnum pressures. Less powder means a higher percentage of powder burns in the short barrel with the result being less flash and recoil than hot 125 grain loads with about the same muzzle energy out a sub 3 inch barrel.

    • Pressures.

      The 9×19 or 9mm Luger is a significantly higher pressure round than the .38 Special or even the .38 Special +P.

      The MAP (maximum average pressure) per SAAMI for the 9×19 is 35,000 PSI, 9×19 +P is 38,500 PSI.

      The MAP for .38 Special is 17,000 PSI and the .38+P is 18,500 PSI.

      This is something that most people just don’t understand about various loads and cartridges: The MAP’s of many/most of the century-old (or more than century old) handgun cartridges made in the US are about half of what modern cartridge pressures are, especially handgun cartridges made since the late 1950’s, when we finally started gaining a better understanding of how smokeless powder burn rates and bullet weights affected pressures.

      The 9×19 looks high in comparison to the .32 ACP, .32 S&W, .38 S&W, .38 Special, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .44 Russian, .44 Special, etc. The 9×19 is in the same range of pressures (mid/high 30K’s to low 40K’s PSI) as the .40 S&W, 10mm auto, .44 Rem Mag, .41 Mag, .357 Mag, etc. All of the century-old, low-pressure rounds run pressures in the 14K to 26K PSI range. They could be loaded to significantly higher pressures in today’s modern handguns, but those loads better not find their way into any older guns.

      For example: Lots of people think that the .45 Colt is a pretty worthless round for hunting or self defense today. It is seen as “ok” for cowboy action shooting, throwing a 200 to 250gr chunk of lead downrange at a sedate 800fps or thereabouts.

      That’s because liability laws and stupidity on the shooting public’s part keep ammo manufactures from loading .45 Colt cartridges to their full modern potential. If you have a strong, modern revolver (eg, a Ruger single action), you can stoke a .45 Colt to exceed the performance of a full-power .44 RemMag, and throw a 250 to 300gr pill downrange at 1000 to 1200 (or more) fps. Easily. Your pressures will be on par with a .44 RemMag, too. If one of those loads found it’s way into an older Colt SAA, even one proofed for “nitro” loads, it will quite likely disassemble itself on the first shot. Modern Ruger single actions? Bring it on, they can take it.

      For the pressure involved, the .38 Special (regular or +P) is doing a pretty good job as a handgun round. If you cranked up a .38 Special handload to pressures beyond 25K PSI and you have a revolver that can handle the loads, you’d find that the .38 Special can deliver performance on part with a .357. Why don’t people load .38’s as hot as a .357? Get that hot .38 into an older Smith or Colt police revolver and once again, it will disassemble itself.

      People should go back and read Elmer Keith’s books. They’re highly educational and answer many of these questions, especially about the development of the .357 and .44 Mag. Elmer was “the man” who drove many of these ideas before and after WWII with S&W, Ruger, Colt, Remington and others.

  10. Pretty sure by trying to not to sign himself up for a LCR ballistics test between .38 +P and 9mm, ShootingTheBull410 just signed himself up for such a test.

    If you claim ballistics are identical, then prove it 🙂

  11. I’m about the furthest thing from the target demo for this, but…
    Why can’t they offer it in 9mm/.38? The S&W Governor (again, not for me) can accept .45 LC and .45 ACP in moon clips. Unless 9mm and .38 SPC have different case diameters. I don’t really want to look it up right now.

    • They do have different case diameters, as well as different bullet diameters.

      The 9×19 isn’t spec’ed for use with lead bullets. the SAAMI/CIP assumption is that all bullets in the .380 (9mm Kurtz) and 9×19 are jacketed or semi-jacketed bullets, .355 to .356″ in diameter, with a barrel land diameter of 0.348.

      The .38 Special is spec’ed for a groove diameter of 0.355 (good so far), but a land diameter of 0.346″. The .38 Special is a cylindrical case, the 9mm has a taper to the case. Therein lies the rub.

      The .45’s (.45 Auto and .45 Colt) are both spec’ed for jacketed bullet diameters of 0.452 and are both spec’ed for lead bullets as well. Long story short, when you look at the chambers/bullets/throats of the .45’s, you can say “Eh, they’re both pretty close.” When you start playing with the 9mm vs. .38 idea, the differences start to stack up enough you start worrying about pressure spikes a bit.

      • Answers that question. I figured there was some sort of practical reason it hadn’t been done yet. Like I said, I just wasn’t interested in looking it up for myself last night.

  12. The ONLY reason I can see for a 9mm revolver is that the ammo (now) is as cheap (and FAR more available) than .22 LR. That’s about it.

  13. >> the bullets are basically identical in diameter and largely identical in weight.

    I have to note that there are 180gr loads of .38 – I’m not aware of such in 9mm.

  14. I don’t know about the +P stuff, but comparing the 38 spl to the 9 mm ballistics is a very dramatic difference.
    .38 spl:
    Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
    110 gr (7 g) JHP
    980 ft/s (300 m/s) 235 ft•lbf (319 J)
    130 gr (8 g) FMJ
    810 ft/s (250 m/s) 189 ft•lbf (256 J)
    148 gr (10 g) LWC
    690 ft/s (210 m/s) 156 ft•lbf (212 J)
    158 gr (10 g) LRN 770 ft/s (230 m/s) 208 ft•lbf (282 J)

    9 mm
    7.45 g (115 gr) FMJ 390 m/s (1,300 ft/s) 570 J (420 ft•lbf)
    8.04 g (124 gr) FMJ 360 m/s (1,200 ft/s) 518 J (382 ft•lbf)
    7.50 g (116 gr) JHP 377 m/s (1,240 ft/s) 533 J (393 ft•lbf)
    7.45 g (115 gr) JHP +P 411 m/s (1,350 ft/s) 632 J (466 ft•lbf)
    7.45 g (115 gr) JHP +P+ 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) 678 J (500 ft•lbf)

    • You loose a little velocity in revolvers due to the cylinder gap. You might get 4″ auto velocities out of a 4″ revolver even though the bullet starts out an inch and a half farther back in the revolver. As far as .38s go, Buffalo Bore offers loads they claim to get into the upper 300lb./ft. range out of a 2″ barrel, you probably won’t get any 9mm load to perform like that in such a short barrel.

      The other thing is that, as shootingthebull410 has been demonstrating, not all 9mm JHP loads will expand reliably at lower velocities (although the same might be true for .38 special).

  15. It’s a simple thing I want.
    It’s not an LCR in 9mm.
    It’s not an LCRx in 357.

    It’s an LCR trigger in a bobbed SP-101.

  16. 9mm is cheaper to shoot than .38/.357.

    It is easier to find modern 9mm self defense loads than it is to find in .38/.357.

    It might just come down to logistics for some people.

  17. So, why not build the chambers of the revolver so that there is a small ridge/rim in there that stops the round from going in too far? The barrels in my automatics have this rim, and the rounds won’t go in past it. Then, you need no moon clips, and maybe this becomes more ergonomically simple to load/reload.

    Is there some engineering reason this can’t be done?

    • I don’t think chambering’s the issue so much as ejection. You can headspace on the cartridge mouth, sure, but that won’t do anything for quickly and reliably dumping the empty cases after firing.

    • There are two differences between revolver and semi-auto cartridges. One is obvious – the rim.

      The other is that semi-auto cartridges have a slight taper to aid in release from the chamber during ejection. This taper also helps prevent a round from going too deep into the chamber. Most revolver rounds are straight-walled cases.

    • “Is there some engineering reason this can’t be done?”

      No, there isn’t. My Blackhawk came with two cylinders. .45 Colt and .45 ACP. The latter has an internal “step” so the rimless .45 ACP cartridge headspaces off the case neck.

      • That’s the proper way to solve this issue, but most gun buyers don’t want the expense of buying a second cylinder, much less making the two cylinders align exactly to the bore on the same gun the same way.

        Unless the cylinders were line-bored with the barrel on the same frame & base pin, you’ll find that the groups between the two cylinders (and their point of impact) might vary somewhat due to slight differences in chamber/bore alignment between the two cylinders, especially as you get further downrange. At self-defense distances, you won’t see any appreciable difference, but at 50 yards, you’d start to see the differences.

        This is why Freedom Arms line-bores their cylinders for the gun to which they’re fitted. That raises the cost of a FA into the $2K range, while a Ruger SA revolver with two cylinders might be in the $800+ range.

        • On mine (New Model Blackhawk purchased in 2005), it looks like Ruger did something with it. The two cylinders each have the same 3 digits hand-engraved on them Those 3 digits look like they match the last 3 digits of the S/N on the frame (hard to read the hand-engraved figures).

        • at 50 yards, you’d start to see the differences

          I freely admit that I’m no marksman with the Blackhawk. I doubt that I’d see a group difference at 50 feet, much less 50 yards.

        • a Ruger SA revolver with two cylinders might be in the $800+ range.

          Yikes. Mine was $546 (including ~9% sales tax). That was Nov 2005 at Sportsmen’s Supply in Campbell, CA.

          Cylinder markings…. last 3 digits of frame S/N are 296. Cylinders marked with some kind of reciprocating/hammering tool (marks made up of lots of “dots”). Colt cylinder definitely says “296”. ACP cylinder might be “296”, but could also be “276”.

          In any case, for $550, I got a 5.5″ Blackhawk that shares ammo with my SW 1911 and Win ’94 Trapper. And with my skill level, I can’t tell the difference between the two cylinders in the Blackhawk.

        • but at 50 yards, you’d start to see the differences

          OK. I’m a little slow this afternoon. At 50 yards, I’d start to see the differences.

          If I’d start to see the differences between the two cylinders in a .45 single six at 50 yards, I’ll call it good. 🙂

        • They might have been fitted for end shake and both timed to the hand in the lockwork. I doubt that Ruger line-bores even one cylinder, much less two, on any of their revolvers, but next time I’m talking with them, I’ll ask. I can’t conceive that they do it, mostly because the price on their products just can’t leave enough room in there for the labor and setup on the machining to do it. That’s the reason why FA revolvers are so high in price: lots of labor.

          Net:net is that there’s a bit of fitting necessary on final assembly of revolvers to get timing correct and prevent premature wear, even in this day of CNC production.

          At some point, I need to start writing some of this stuff down in a more organized manner. There’s a bunch of knowledge about revolvers that used to be common know-how among gun owners which has passed into obscurity due to the recent popularity of cheez-whiz semi-autos. I oughta write up something on revolvers and what to look for in them.

        • I doubt that Ruger line-bores even one cylinder, much less two, on any of their revolvers

          Understood, and agreed. Especially for $500 retail for gun + 2 cylinders.

          But, as you suggested above, there’s no way I’ll ever see the difference with my skill level and the distances at which I shoot.

          I’d love to see your compilation of revolver knowledge. My Blackhawk was my first handgun and, in many ways, it’s still my favorite. I knew nothing about revolvers when I bought it – I just “knew” I wanted a single-action.45 Colt. But, after shooting it and then several other revolvers, I just love the Blackhawk.

          Quick question:
          If you have a strong, modern revolver (eg, a Ruger single action), you can stoke a .45 Colt to exceed the performance of a full-power .44 RemMag, and throw a 250 to 300gr pill downrange at 1000 to 1200 (or more) fps. Easily
          Does your example of “a Ruger single action” include my 2005 New Model Blackhawk? I thought I’d read somewhere that the .44 RemMag pressures were on the Super Blackhawk, Vaquero, or some other frame (but not the New Model Blackhawk).

        • Long time reader, first time commenter. DG, I like DonS, would very much like to read a compilation of your revolver knowledge. I recently purchased a Smith and Wesson 657 no-dash to complement my recent manufacture S&W 627-5 as backwoods carry guns. I have a fair knowledge of semi-automatics (1911’s and P22x series), but know very little about the operation and maintenance of a wheel gun. I can tell that my 1986-1988 manufacture 657 has far better fitment than my 2013 manufacture 627, but really have no idea why that is.

        • DonS – look in several reloading manuals. You’ll see the loads vary somewhat between them for .45 Colts.

          The New Model Blackhawk has a couple of different frame sizes/materials. The largest/heaviest can take up-scale .45 Colts, but perhaps not .44Mag pressures. The Bisley will have an alloy steel frame, and some of the other Blackhawk models will have an aluminum frame. You need to have an all-steel Blackhawk variant to go up to the highest pressures. Another thing that some revolversmiths do is make a new cylinder for the high pressure loads that is tightened up over the factory chambers, so as to keep the case from over-expanding.

          As with anything in reloading, you want to start small and work up.

        • The New Model Blackhawk has a couple of different frame sizes/materials. The largest/heaviest can take up-scale .45 Colts, but perhaps not .44Mag pressures. The Bisley will have an alloy steel frame, and some of the other Blackhawk models will have an aluminum frame. You need to have an all-steel Blackhawk variant to go up to the highest pressures

          My frame is definitely not aluminum (according to the magnet I just stuck on it). Is there any way, based on serial number or other characteristics, that I can determine exactly what I have and what it’s capable of?

          According to http://www.ruger.com/service/productHistory/RE-NMBhawk45.html , my Blackhawk was made in 2005. It’s neither a Bisley nor a Super. Blued, not stainless. 5.5″ bbl.

          (And thank you for your replies! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts in the past, and it’s even better when it directly addresses one of my favorite guns.)

  18. Same 400 series stainless steel one piece frame and Carpenter 465 stainless steel cylinder and barrel as the .357.
    +p+ 9mm factory ammo should rock out of this little revolver, let alone worked up handloads. I see some advantage potential in this vs. the .38 and .357 offerings.

  19. The advantage is common ammo revolver and semi-auto, i.e. since I carry a Glock, my wife might want this gun if she starts to carry. I doubt it, but it’s worth noting.

    In this size barrel, the difference between the two calibers may not be much. Maybe if the barrel was 3-4″ it would matter more….

  20. Only revolver I want in a pistol cartridge is a Colt/S&W M1917, for historic value if nothing else. Aside from cost/availability concerns there’s not much point in having a revolver chambered in 9mm, especially not if the bulk required to handle the higher pressures equals that of a .357 Mag version anyway. Yes the .357 is much more expensive, but to stop a mugging or break-in which caliber would you rather have? A 9mm conversion cylinder for a bit more versatility (as Ruger offers with some of their other revolvers) would be nice even if I don’t see myself using it a whole lot.

  21. It seems like half the people are complaining its TOO heavy and the other half want a HEAVIER gun (SP-101).

    I am interested in getting an LCR soon, and moon clips are EXACTLY what I want in a revolver, this is the gun I want.

  22. Huh – speak of the devil. I mentioned this on another forum (and specifically mentioned ShootingTheBull’s 9mm AmmoQuest).

    My main concern with a 9mm snub-nose is the fact that (a) I have to imagine that going from 3″ to 1.875″ would have an even bigger impact on JHP expansion than the difference between 4″ and 3″, and (b) that doesn’t even account for gases escaping from the cylinder gap.

    Given the inconsistency of performance that STB has seen with the 3″ 9mm handguns, I’m inclined to be skeptical about a high-pressure round designed for a semi-auto would fare in a 1.875″ revolver.

    • HI George,

      You’re right that going from 3″ to 1.875″ would mean vastly more loss than going from 4″ to 3″, but — that’s only if apples are compared to apples. When comparing a semi-auto to a revolver, it’s more of an apples-vs-oranges type of comparison.

      Revolvers measure their barrel length differently from semi-autos. In a revolver, you have to add the chamber length to get a reasonably-comparable length to compare, because in semi-autos the chamber is included. The chamber of a .38 Special is about 1.55″, so you have to add that to the 1.875″ barrel and you come up with about 3.4″ or so of total “barrel” length. Now, in a normal solely-for-9mm revolver the chamber wouldn’t be so long, but it looks like Ruger is using the same basic cylinder dimensions as they use for .38 Special, so we can use that as our base of comparison.

      So, ostensibly, this revolver should perform somewhere along the lines of a 9mm with a 3.4″ barrel, but there’s also the cylinder gap to take into the equation; that may result in a loss of a little bit of power. I think it’s fair to say it’s definitely going to be reasonable to expect this revolver to perform at least on par with the 3″ pocket pistol, and maybe even a little more powerful.

      I do think it’s an interesting revolver; I just think that the 4 oz weight difference (that’s almost a 30% increase in weight) over the .38+P makes it a less attractive choice from my perspective (plus it’s more expensive and requires moon clips). 9mm standard pressure and .38+P are pretty comparable ballistically. A .38 Special +P Hydra-Shok weighs 129 grains and is rated at 950 fps; a 125-grain 9mm Hydra-Shok from a 3″ barrel traveled 988 fps in BBTI’s testing, so — not a huge difference. At that point it becomes not about ballistic performance, but more about ammo cost and the issue of whether you want to deal with moon clips.

      Would have been a lot more interesting to me if they could have somehow just cut the cylinder on the .357 Magnum to accept moon clips? As someone said before, that’s what Smith & Wesson did with the Governor; it takes .45 Colt and .45 ACP with moon clips. Although, in my testing, .45 ACP velocities were much slower than they would have been from a comparable dedicated handgun… maybe the same thing would happen here, so maybe that’s why nobody does it.

      Perhaps an alternative would be if they offered a .357 Magnum LCR with an interchangeable 9mm cylinder… hmmm…

  23. Thanks, Bull, excellent article. I like your thinking, and jwm’s, and Ralph’s, and DysP –
    I’ll be sticking to a lighter wheelgun in .38/.357 when the time comes for a BUG or pocketcarry.

    Not too worried about ammo prices and spending a lot of time shooting on something I dont see shooting much past 21′ 95% of the time, and more likely at belly to belly, in extremis.

  24. I miss the Medusa.

    That aside, I can’t find food for my .38/.357 guns except for crappy Herters (I keep finding bullets seated backwards!) or maybe $2+ per shell premium defensive ammo in my corner of the country, so a 9mm revolver sounds pretty tempting just because I might be able to actually shoot the thing. (I want a S&W 929.) Or a .45 ACP. A .40 S&W revolver would be nice too, if only because they don’t seem to be able to give that stuff away. (Don’t get me started about .22LR. Anybody wanna buy some really expensive doorstops?)

  25. The 9mm snub is a tool in a toolbox if you don’t want the tool don’t buy it.

    3 times I have been happy to get a 9mm snub nose. 1 was for my mom she had bad hands and the moon clip was
    Ideal for her. 2nd was for a girlfriend. She didn’t like autos no matter type or size. 3rd was for a small statured friend and the revolver fit him best.

    As I get older and my hands worse it has potential for me too. 1st choice, no but it sure beats hell out of a sharp stick!!

  26. I can understand a 9MM in a full framed revolver specifically for gaming, but have to think that the 45 ACP would still be a better choice. Shorter cartridges are easy to reload at speed and eject from the cylinder. I suppose that’s why the S&W JM model is 45 ACP.

    In terms of a defensive revolver, I don’t see a big draw to a 9mm over a 38 +P. yeah, cartridges are more rare and more expensive, but for a defensive gun I wouldn’t let that deter me. I’ve played with the idea of swapping out my LCP for an LCR or a 442, but the flat-ness of the LCP lends itself to back pocket carry despite the anemic cartridge and I get 2 more of them (6+1).

    All of that to say, I’m sure some folks are keenly interested in this. At this point in my life I’m fortunate to be able to conceal a fighting semiauto in my every day getup, and I have better luck on the range with a sub 6 LBS trigger than the heavier DAO revolver trigger. Remember that LCP? Yeah I’m lucky to find the broadside of the barn with that at speed. Gotta squeeze the life out of those things and stage that trigger for accuracy. I relegate it to BUG status.

  27. Ruger is smart. There are a lot of people who want to own a revolver but don’t want to get a new caliber and the cost of buidling an inventory. The 9mm LCR is aimed at them so to speak.

    I am not a big fan of snubbies because they are pretty much useless outside of point blank range. I know some people claim to shoot them at long range but the ballistics are not good enough when you are concerned about collateral hits. It’s one thing to shoot at 25+ yards during a competition or on the range but when a miss could mean killing an innocent bystander you don’t want to go there.

    For most people a 357 snubbie is a one shot deal in a self defense scenario. It is very hard to control a 17.5 oz pistol when you are squezzing off a lot of rounds in a short span of time from a double action revolver. It’s hard enough firing 700ft/lb+ Buffalo Bore rounds out of a heavy weight 1911/10mm.

    As someone who walks around most of the time with a 35oz Browning Hi Power, I don’t get the concern over 17.5 ounces. If that makes a difference to you then you have serious physical fitness issues. I know, it’s the saggy pants that bother you.

  28. If I was going to buy a 9mm revolver it would to have a longer barrel such as a duty size barrel or longer that way I will have just as much accuracy over range as the assailant does.

  29. I like Charter Arms concept with the retaining clips in the cylinder , I have been on the waiting list for one for over a year , it has been so popular that CA has not been able to keep up with demand , hopefully they can catch up soon . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  30. I just got a Czechpoint 6-shot 9mm revolver with 3″ barrel and monclips for $475. I am very happy with it, but if I had known that Ruger was coming out with a 9mm revolver, I would have waited to see what it was.

  31. I have a snubby .357, and I still want one of these. Options are great. I’m better set up to deal with 9mm more, both in terms of availability and what I have stocked already. I haven’t established myself for loading .380 or .357 yet.

    Will it replace my .357? Nope. But a supplement interests me. More trigger time due to cost of ammo. Faster reloads with the moo clips. I would really consider making the LCR 9mm a backup to my carry guns in 9mm.

  32. Last year I was 2nd in line to handle a $400 used Ruger SP-101 in 9mm at my favorite local gun chain…the first guy ended up snagging it. I’m still a little sore about that one.

  33. glad everyone enjoyed the “.9” reference. As I said, I am not titillated by novelties. For me a carry gun needs to be small, concealable, light weight and powerful enough for the job. In other words it needs to fulfill its function an be convenient. Though I’ve packed everything from a 1911 to a M-60 38 spl and 44 Bulldog their bulk and weight were against them. I don’t see the advantage to this unit

  34. The 9mm is easier to find in mass quantities and seems to stay on the shelf longer than the 38 specials and the JHP rounds are more readily available which could potentially means the difference between using FMJ and risking horrific over penetration that could potentially harm or kill an innocent in the bullet path after passing through the threat and using a decent JHP which would be less of a threat to everyone but the threat.

  35. I think your missing a key point. 9mm is the most common cartridge on the planet. If I can have the same round to run in a variety of different guns, this makes a lot of sense to me. Especially, since we all just experienced a huge ammo shortage last year.

  36. Most of the comments miss the point.
    If you carry a 9mm semiauto, a 9mm revolver as a backup weapon makes sense (if you are a LEO). Nice to deal with only one caliber.

    The lower cost of 9mm ammo (and better availability) allows for more practice. Always a good thing.

    The 4 ounces is meaningless. I own the LCR 357 and carry it daily. If I was 5 ft tall and wearing a thong perhaps those 4 ounces would matter. But I’m 6ft tall, 50+ years old, and wearing a thong would be at least a misdemeanor. I want the 9mm. It makes sense. Good move, Ruger!

  37. I considered the Taurus when it was announced (possibly discontinued now ?) but I came upon some comments; (can’t recall them) But it was stated that there have been problems relating to bullets shifting position or becoming dislodged from the cases in the cylinders during firing auto rounds. This is due to the light case tension gripping the bullets. Revolver cartridges generally use a roll crimp in the bullets channelure. Can be messy & quite dangerous!!

  38. Well, it is now 7/20/15 and proof is in the Pudding. I bought one and am delighted to say the least. Shoots great, well balanced, dependable and accurate. I reload 9mm which is a big bonus. Recoil is mild, and a gun you can shoot all day. So much cheaper to shoot than 38 or 357 and I prefer the ballistics of 9mm. Great job Ruger!

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