Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ruger LCR .357 and SR-556 Carbine Details

Mark Gurney from Ruger comes on the show to discuss the new guns that were announced at the NRA Annual Meeting.

Ruger LCR .357 Magnum Revolver

The standard .38 Special +P LCR gets a boot grip and XS Standard Dot Tritium Sight. The boot grip is a smaller, smoother grip that is easier to get in and out of the pocket. It is still a Hogue grip and helps absorb shock. These 2 features are paired as one new project.

The new .357 Magnum brings the weight of the gun up to 17.1oz because of the new steel frame that replaces the previous aluminum frame. Mark has found that the 158 grain bullets can be a bit much, but the 125 grain bullets are "perfectly manageable." He has even found the 110 grain .357 Magnum loads in the new .357 LCR to be easier to shoot than the .38 Special +P loads in the original LCR.

Mark recommends that recoil sensitive shooters try .38 Special +P loads in the new .357 Mag LCR.  The extra weight of the gun makes them much easier to shoot.

Mark also mentions the patented LCR non-stacking trigger.  He mentions that this trigger starts out at about 6#s and builds to about 10#s before letting off.  This makes it easier to get the trigger "started" and feels much smoother and lighter.

Rob goes back to remind people that the small weight increase is still a good percentage of the entire weight of the gun and makes a big difference in recoil reduction.

Rob asks about the .357 LCR cylinder size in comparison to the .38 Special +P model.  Mark confirms that they are the exact same size, but the fluting is different.  Both cylinders are 1.283" in diameter.

Mark also mentions the the other minute differences in the frame and how they improve the gun.  Ruger added bevels to the frame at rear of the barrel where the cylinder aligns with the frame. (see pointer below)

This minute bevel reduces spitting and moves flash from the cylinder gap forward and away from the shooter.

The .357 LCR uses "Carpenter 465" stainless steel in the barrel and cylinder.  This is the same material used in the .454 Cassull revolvers.

Rob confirms that none of the cosmetic and internal changes keep the .357 model from using the same holsters as the .38 Special +P LCR.

Ruger SR-556 Carbine

The original SR-556 uses a heavy contour barrel(.850" under the hand guard and .750" in front of the gas block).  This makes for a muzzle heavy gun(typical of piston guns).  The new gun is in response to customer feedback asking for a lighter gun for faster transitions.

Some weight is removed by shortening the barrel and still keeping it legal with an integrally machined flash suppressor(as opposed to pinned and welded).  With the integral suppressor, the barrel is 16.125"(16 1/8").  The rifled barrel is about 14.5".  This removed about 1.75" inches from the barrel of the gun.  Please note: This is NOT a short barrel rifle!

The barrel is also fluted beneath the hand guard.  Between the shortening and fluting, .5 lbs was removed from the front of the gun.  Mark says it is easily felt in handling and moving target to target.  Mark cautions that it does have more muzzle rise, but that is the trade-off.

Because the carbine version has the flash suppressor integrally machined, it cannot be removed or replaced with compensators, suppressors(sound), etc.  You would want to use use the original SR-556 if your intend to replace the flash suppressor.  BTW, Mark recommends a Torx T60 bit to remove the flash suppressor on the original SR-556.  It matches the flutes in the flash suppressor.

Mark says that the integrally machined flash suppressor does not contribute to additional accuracy although shorter barrels tend to shoot more accurately because they exhibit less barrel whip.  In testing, they found that the carbine was slightly more accurate that the original SR-556.  "We're talking a couple tenths of a minute of angle here."

Also remember that the shorter barrel length will lose some muzzle velocity. 

Call (660) 207-1239 and leave questions on the voicemail or e-mail me.
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