Trusted Review™ Scorecard
The LCR-22 is the latest addition to Ruger’s popular Light Carry Revolver (LCR) series of double-action only snub nosed defensive handguns. Unlike its compatriots, which include a 5-shot .38 Special and .357 Magnum, this LCR is an 8-shot which is chambered to fire .22 Long Rifle rimfire ammunition. In every other respect, the LCR-22 is just the same as its predecessors.
The upper frame is made of 7000 Series aluminum, the lower frame is constructed of polymer. The cylinder and the barrel insert are stainless steel, and the factory grip is a hand-filling pebbled synthetic rubber. Bantam rubber grips and laser grips are also available. The black target front sight blade is removable so it can be exchanged for a fiber optic or night sight. The trigger features Ruger’s low-friction cam design to lighten and smooth the trigger pull while maintaining plenty of firing pin energy for positive ignition of rim fire cartridges.
The LCR-22 is intended to be an affordable practice option for owners of .38-caliber LCRs, or as a low-recoil defensive option for shooters who can’t work with larger calibers. However, the revolver’s feature set also makes it an ideal kit gun or camp gun. With an overall length of 6.50-inches, a nearly weather-proof construction, and an unloaded weight of just 14.90-ounces, the LCR-22 is ready to ride along in a holster, tackle box, or backpack pocket.
LCR .22 Revolver Specifications:
- Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
- Model Number: 5410
- Action: Double-Action Only
- Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
- Finish: Matte Black, Synergistic Hard Coat
- Barrel: Stainless Steel
- Cylinder: Target Grey Stainless Steel
- Grip: Hogue Tamer
- Sights: U-Notch Rear, Pinned Ramp Front
- Barrel Length: 1.87 Inches
- Overall Length: 6.50 Inches
- Height: 4.50 Inches
- Width: 1.28 Inches
- Weight: 14.90 Ounces
- Capacity: 8 Rounds
- Twist: 1:16 RH
- Rifle Grooves: 6
- Suggested Retail: $525.00
The LCR-22 tested for this review showed excellent fit and finish. The trigger is as smooth and remarkably light for a double-action only configuration as Ruger promised it to be. The sights are easy to see and the grip is comfortable to work with. Built on a frame intended for use with .357 Magnum loads, the LCR-22 looks should provide years of reliable and enjoyable shooting.
The LCR-22 for this review was fed at least some of every flavor of .22 Long Rifle I had available. Out of every round fired, including bulk, imported, and high-grade hollow points, the LCR did not experience one single failure to fire. No failure occurring at all is a clear indication that the firing pin is striking with enough energy to touch off even weak primers. For this reason, the revolver gets all five stars in this category.
For accuracy testing, 5-shot groups were fired from the bench into targets set at 7-yards. As was to be expected with a short-barreled .22, accuracy varied from near 1-inch groups to 3- or 4-inch groups depending on the load fired. The best performers of this particular ammunition test set included Winchester Super X 40-grain and Federal Champion 36-grain copper-plated lead hollow points. Both loads produced group averages right on the 1.50-inch mark, and both loads yielded single 5-shot groups of 1.25-inches.
This product lost a star in this category because Ruger's suggested retail price of $525 is just too high for a couple of reasons. First, the price is getting close to what you would generally pay for a hand fitted, all-steel target revolver, like Ruger's Single-Ten. Secondly, the general shooting consumer believes that .22s should be inexpensive to buy as well as to shoot. This is especially true if the gun's primary use is for plinking or traipsing around in the woods.
On the other hand, this is a tough, compact, reliable gun built on a .357 magnum frame. The trigger is terrific, the revolver is well constructed, and it's going handle bad weather much better than an all-steel gun will. If it's the right gun for you, then it's certainly worth a few more dollars to buy it. Luckily, at the time of this writing, LCR-22 revolvers are leaving dealers’ shelves at more realistic retail prices hovering around the $425 mark. This real-world price is just about right for what you get.
The LCR-22 gets five stars because it's an excellent revolver for the roles it is intended to fill. It works well as an understudy to the .38-caliber revolvers, as a feather-weight field and plinking gun, or as an ultra low-recoil self defensive option when loaded with the right ammunition. Best of all, it's fun to shoot. If you are looking for a compact .22 to join you on your outdoor adventures, then the new LCR-22 is a terrific choice.
All photos by author