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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a lightweight revolver that is absolutely as "tame" as I can get. It must be very easy to carry and conceal or it will be left at home. Stopping power is not as critical as light recoil/muzzle blast. It must be pleasant to shoot and accurate as well. The users are small framed girls with small hands. (my daughter and daughter-in-law) Both have gun experience, but are not comfortable or confident with handguns. I have tried them out on several .38's but they are too heavy and too much recoil. (S&W airweight, m15, 626; Ruger SP101, GP100, Blackhawk, etc.) They do like the feel of some of my smaller autos, but at this stage I want things as simple as possible.

Here's what I'm thinking, a Ruger LCR in .22mag just might be the ticket!

I've considered other calibers and think the .22 magnum might work best for these girls. They can always trade up to a .38 special or .327 Fed mag once they gain some comfort and confidence. ( I would love the small .22mag just for keeping handy to dispatch critters around the house)
Any issues with these guns? How do they shoot/function? I know very little about them other than they seem expensive to me!
Opinions please - I am open to all suggestions.
 

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I had a LCR in .38 special and it was a good pistol. Light, accurate and dependable. I gave it up because of size, it was too big for me to carry comfortably. I am a big guy but I like to carry in my front pocket and a flat semi fit the bill better for me. It would be great in a holster. As for caliber, well, .22 magnum is not my first choice but it is better to be out-gunned than to be un-gunned..It will make someone real sick real fast and probably end any confrontation right now. Rimfire always gives me concern because of misfires so a revolver is the way to go. As long as it is actually carried and not home in the drawer it's a reasonable choice. Hornady makes Critical Defense 55gr. ammo that's supposed to hit 1000fps out of a short barrel. Check all of your options and practice, practice, practice! Good luck.
 

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Recoil for my wife is not bad, but she liked the .357 version using 38 specials better. The .357 version is slightly heavier and that few ounces makes a difference. Another option is 9MM LCR which is I understand a similar size to the .357. Noise with any short barreled handgun is going to be loud, the .22 magnum is not that much different, its still loud and can damage the ears, but that is the nature of the beast with concealed carry.

I am looking at the Taurus M380 for my wife to go with her Bersa Thunder in 380, heck might even look at one myself, it is a bit smaller and should be a master concealer. Understand the trigger pull is heavy but can be tamed with a Wolff kit.
 

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Probably the tamest snub revolver, in 38 or better, is the 2 inch barreled 357 mag SP101 using .38 plus P. Its a very sweet revolver. If you can find one, the 32 HR Mag version is even lighter recoiling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Beretta is a no-go, we have one in .25acp. The .22mag is actually more effective, for a lot less money spent on ammo. She (daughter) doesn't like it anyway.
The SP101 is a great little gun - I have one in 3". They like it with mild loads, but it is still too heavy to feel comfortable in a purse or wearing light clothing. Same goes for the J frames.
These are the reasons I wanted to try the Ruger LCR (LIGHT-COMPACT revolver).
The 9mm is a good second choice. A little more recoil, but better stopping power. Very reasonable ammo prices with a variety of bullet choices. It would be ideal. The only reason for .22 mag would be even less recoil. I am trying to keep this as "user friendly" as possible. Besides, I would feel better armed with this revolver in .22mag than with the Beretta in .25acp. The only downside is the fact that it would be rim-fire.
Once they gain experience and confidence, I can see a small auto filling the bill. Something in 9mm or .380, possibly with a polymer frame comes to mind. I just want to start out with the simplicity and reliability of a revolver first. Who knows, maybe they will move up to a nice .38spl or .357mag instead!
That being said, any problems with the LCR? I have zero information or experience with these revolvers.
 

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Surprisingly few issues, even minor ones from my crowd, even when it was a brand new design I cannot remember any real issues, which is unusual for a new design, usually there are a few bugs to work out. I would, and plan on, going with the 357 version for my wife using .38s. It will be a bit smaller and lighter than her Colt Detective special.

.22 Mag I hesitate with, especially for my wife. Rimfires have more failures than any other ammo, and while two or three in a row would be astronomically bad luck, I will go with quality centerfire personally. Plus I prefer a larger calibers stopping power over the .22, I am very familiar with the 22 mag it is my favorite coyote load. Especially for my wife, whos aim under stress might be less than optimal. She's done excellent in training under stress, except two bouts of buck fever hunting, which were two too many . In both cases she shot, but shot all five arrows a few inches low.
 

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If they are going to carry ...
Being CONFIDENT in the gun they choose is a must. They must choose a gun that fits them and practice and learn how to use it. As well, the must find a gun they can comfortably carry and easily conceal. YOU can't choose the gun for them. Each must find the gun that most appeals to them.

Small revolvers can be a bear to shoot. Tiny grips and excessive recoil can make them unpleasant. A revolver of any type has bulk in width due to the cylinder. Much harder to conceal than many small, thin and flat semi-autos. Limited ammo capacity and necessity to carry some type of spare ammo or speed loaders.

Get them to the range ...
They need to try a variety of guns and ... learn how to shoot. Regular practice sessions with different guns and calibers is a must before choosing a CCW gun.
Find a gun store that rents an assortment of guns and has a range to try them out. Take them to a public range and let them ask other shooters to try their guns.
You will find most people on the range more than happy to let a new shooter try out what they have.

Let them try the bigger BANG! ...
They will learn to handle larger calibers through practice. They may even gravitate to a .40 or .45 comfortably. Let them try and let them learn. Learning to handle recoil is a matter of experience, with any gun and any caliber. They can and will.

HOME DEFENSE is entirely different from CCW ...
A home defense gun should be serious for a criminal act of breaking into the house with malice in mind. Home defense calls for a "man stopper" of serious intent.
For wife, who is not a shooter or into the sport, the HOME DEFENSE gun is a Taurus Judge Public Defender. It is a most OMG hand cannon that most certainly can yield the desired result.
Don't need precise accuracy for in the house up close and personal and stuffed with Winchester Elite .410 defensive loads, you will get a nasty piece of something even with a poorly placed shot.
The roar and flash from it would deter anyone from sticking around after the first round.
Rough to shoot? You bet! but wife learned to handle it and feels totaly confident in it. She does not shoot it or practice with it regularly but knows she can if she needs to. Pity whoever is on the receiving end if she does!

i know pocket .380s are the rage among many women these days. Easy to carry and conceal. Marginal fire power but adequate enough.
You can also look at the Beretta 21A .22LR. A true "pocket pea shooter" I have touted for years. A constant companion in my hip pocket, it is a "never leave home without it" gun that won't get left home in a drawer because it is a PITA to carry. High velocity .22LR (CCI Stingers, which it what it was designed for) are ballistically equivilant to a .380 and you can shoot some cheap .22lr in mass quantity for practice.
 

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Since all these revolvers are essentially the same size and weight if they can't talk you to caliber up to the 38 special then this gun also comes in 327 Federal Magnum. It's a newer cartridge. You might want to check into that. It's low recoil and has way more stopping power then 22 Magnum. I would much rather trust my life to it. I personally think if 22 mag was my only option I might look into a taser or serious pepper spray. Just my opinion.
 

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Another to look at is the LCR in .327 magnum. The advantage here is six shots to 5, with the .327 having very close to .357 ballistics. Plus it can shoot .32 HR Mag, and .32 special.
 

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Sorry, I have no experience with the Ruger LCR but as had been said "Better under gunned
than ungunned".
Hard to beat a revolver for simplicity, just point and click.
The rim fire thing is a bit of a concern but I haven't experienced a misfire that wasn't
caused by the cold or really cheap ammo in years so it might be OK.

Charley's post about the 32 H & R Smith for 300 bucks is interesting though,
that gun would have sold in about 30 seconds in my neck of the woods.
I have one and wouldn't part with it for the world.

Ruger used to make the SP101 in that caliber, might be worth looking into.
 

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Another to look at is the LCR in .327 magnum. The advantage here is six shots to 5, with the .327 having very close to .357 ballistics. Plus it can shoot .32 HR Mag, and .32 special.

The trigger pull is great on the Ruger LCR. My spouse has one in .38 SPL
because while she greatly prefers to shoot semi-autos, she has confidence in revolvers.
The .357 mag would be a bit heavier--a few ounces--that might moderate the recoil
of a .38 SPL cartridge used in it.
.327 Magnum is really, really loud and some loads are quite snappy. Not .357 snappy and loud, but not like a mild .38 SPL.
My .327 Mag is the SP101 with 3" barrel. All steel, bobbed hammer, OWB holster.
You could opt for the .327 Mag version of the LCR--six shots--and load it with the Hornady "Critical Defense" .32 H&R load. If at some other point the young ladies get into shooting, they can move up to the full-power .327 mag. cartridges.
.22 Mag? Sure, that might be the way to go.

If there is a stated preference for semi-autos, you might take a look at a larger-sized .380? Something like the Ruger LC380, i.e. the LC9 loaded down for .380 cartridges (not the Ruger LCP) might fit the bill... What about the S&W M&P Shield? Or the Glock single-stack?
Regardless of which you choose, you should involve them in every aspect of selection... Otherwise the CCW will be acquired, the gun and gear purchased for $$$, and then the firearm left at home...

I am proud of my wife for spending a good long while trying out and testing different modes of carry until finally concealed on-the-body carry was OKd by her employer... She was ready to go and had trouble-shot the concealment issues when the policy was--thankfully--changed.
 

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Try before buy. Handguns are like shoes. You can't rely on someone else's opinion on what fits you.
 

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From personal experience....If you want them to carry get what THEY WANT! Or it will be left at home.

If they want an auto, rent one and have them try it out. If they like it, good! If not stick to the 22 I guess.

Revolvers are thicker, have more recoil. Let them try an auto before you decide what they need.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

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Compare buying a CAR to buying a GUN ... fascinating how people will walk into a gun store and buy the first thing that fits their hand ... without a test drive!
Buy a particular BRAND NAME because someone recommended it (have to get a Chevy!). Buy a particular caliber because someone recommended it (has to have a V8!).
Buy a revolver or semi-auto because of pre-conceived notion (has to be a stick, has to be an automatic, has to have AWD)

When wifey has a mid-life crisis and wanted a two seat convertible sports buggy ... took several months and test drives of every potential candidate from low price to out of reach!
Royal PITA to find THE car we both love!
Same when it comes to GUN. Placed many in her hand but test drive yielded "nope!"
My expectations, desires and likes are different from hers.
Having owned, driven and turned wrenches on sports cars of all types for many years, I was wrapped up in my desires.
Having owned, shot, trained with many guns over the years, my perspective is vastly different from hers.

If it is not what suits THEIR fancy... the wrong gun will end up parked in safe or drawer at home in short order because it's just too ... whatever ... to carry.
If CCW carry is the purpose, and being ARMED at all times is the desire ... it has to be the one that works for them. That may not be the choice that you would make.
Of course, the test drive on the range may only be a starting point. Actual carry and fitting to the wardrobe and dress habits may prove it impractical in a short time span.
Provided they have the determination and committment to become a regular CCW carrier, they may end up with several to many guns in the safe until it narrows down to which they prefer.
Grin and bear it and expect the expense! Also bear in mind that ammo and range time for adequate practice will be an escalating budget item that can get pretty costly, especially if they take to it and like it! And, as we all know ... they can change their minds in a split second!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just thought I would update this post. We wound up getting the Ruger LCR in .38spl. The "Copper Mule "version. It wound up being the perfect choice - she loves it.
The revolver has performed beautifully, nice and smooth, no malfunctions whatsoever. She even prefers the .38spl. to the .22mag.
 
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