Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Seabrook, TX, USA
Re: 38 S&W642 or Ruger LCR
I recently picked up a LCR but haven't been to the range with it yet.
It is incredibly light with the composite frame. The trigger action is very smooth but has a long reset. If you don't let the trigger all the way back out, you will misfire then next pull.
I like the light weight and the smoothed edges. The thing just screams pocket carry. It handles +P and with the wraparound rubber grip, (reportedly) tames the recoil better than a j-frame with the exposed backstrap.
Speedloaders are a little tricky with the thick rubber grip. Some owners have trimmed back the rubber a bit on the left side to make room for the speedloader. Alternatively, I have seen some speedloaders that are relieved around the cartridge openings. They may work well too (sorry, I don't recall the brand but it's not safariland or HKS). I picked up some speed strips that carry better than speedloaders. Not as fast, but an easy and compact way to carry reloads.
Sights are simple with a ramped blade in the front and a channel in the rear. Some owners have enhanced the front sight simply by painting it. Replacing it with a tritium or hi-viz light pipe is a non-gunsmith affair.
There have been a couple of isolated cases of problems with LCRs but Ruger is a great company and supports their customers and products. You can read more over at rugerforum.net
My only other experience with a j-frame was looking at a 38 Bodyguard at a local store. In direct comparison, the Ruger felt more solid than the Smith. The wacky top-mounted ambi cylinder release on the BG was just kinds weird.
But either the 642 or the LCR are great choices.
Life's too short to ride ugly motorcycles