Ruger Model LCRx 5439 22 WMR

The LCRx is light weight, offers a great grip, and had good accuracy. The double-action trigger pull was very heavy. We would have liked increased cylinder capacity and a different front sight.


Gun Tests Grade: A-


In the middle of the 22 WMR snubnose food chain is the Ruger LCRx. We have tested the LCRx platform in other calibers in past issues and gave the 357 Magnum variant an A- grade. Ruger’s LCR model has an enclosed hammer, while the LCRx has an exposed hammer spur to cock the revolver for SA mode. We like the ability to fire the LCRx in single action, and our accuracy data shows you can really wring out accuracy with this sub-compact revolver. The square hammer spur is nicely checkered for sure cocking.

Action TypeRevolver, double and single action
Overall Length6.5 in.
Overall Height4.5 in.
Maximum Width1.27 in.
Weight Unloaded15.4 oz.
Weight Loaded 19.0 oz.
Barrel1.87 in. long, 1:9 RH twist rate, 6 grooves
matte-black steel
CylinderMatte-black steel
Cylinder Gap0.009 in.
FrameMatte-black aluminum and polymer
Frame Front Strap Height 1.75 in.
Frame Back Strap Height 2.7 in.
GripRubber Hogue Tamer
w/textured finger grooves
Grip Thickness Maximum1.23 in.
Grip Circumference Maximum5.1 in.
Front SightRamp, white insert, pinned
Rear SightIntegral U-notch topstrap groove
Sight Radius4.0 in.
Trigger Pull Weight Double Action12+ lbs.
Trigger Pull Weight Single Action5.3 lbs.
Trigger Span Double Action2.7 in.
Trigger Span Single Action2.2 in.
SafetyInternal transfer bar
WarrantyNone stated
Telephone(336) 949-5200
Made InUSA
The cylinder on the Ruger is machined out, leaving a ring (arrow) around the outer edge of the cylinder. You need to pay attention and fully seat cartridges so the cylinder will close and not bind.

The steel cylinder rotates in an aluminum frame. The barrel is also steel and has an aluminum shroud. The barrel is nicely crowned in the case of an accidental drop on the muzzle. The trigger guard/grip assembly is polymer. The LCRx merges these components to create a lightweight revolver. In fact, the combination of these materials creates a revolver that weighs 19 ounces loaded. The 6-shot cylinder is radically fluted to decrease weight as well.

The entire rear of the cylinder is machined, save for a ring around the outside diameter of the cylinder instead of counterboring each chamber, like the Taurus, so the base of the cartridge is flush. The crane fits inside the front of the frame, unlike the Taurus and S&W, where the crane mates up with the frame. Similar to the S&W, the Ruger uses a detent that snaps into the end of the ejector rod, locking the front of the cylinder. The rear of the cylinder locks via the ejector pin in the rear of the frame. There was very slight cylinder wiggle. Fit and finish were excellent. We appreciated Ruger increasing the cylinder capacity to six shots over the five-shot centerfire LCRx models, but we preferred the higher capacity in the Taurus and S&W handguns.

The Ruger grip really feels like a full-size grip in hand.

The Hogue Tamer Monogrip is small but offers fingers grooves and palm swells, so it feels substantial in hand. The grip design also places the user’s grip higher up to better manage recoil. Not that there is a lot of recoil with the 22 WMR loads. The higher grip also gives the user better leverage on the trigger, so the 12-pound-plus pull weight felt lighter. Because the Hogue grip is made of rubber, it can snag inside the pocket of your pants. We’d swap out this grip with a smoother textured grip so it slides out of your pocket more smoothly. A Hogue Smooth G-Mascus G10 Grip ($72; would be a good option for a dedicated pants-pocket revolver.

The Ruger grip allows the user to grasp higher up on the revolver to decrease the height of the bore above the user’s grip. This allows better control and less muzzle flip, though there was not much muzzle flip with any of these revolvers.

The front ramp sight has a white insert and is pinned in place. The rear sight is an integral groove in the top strap. We thought the sights were adequate, but we’d swap out the front sight with a fiber-optic or XS Sight big dot ($39; A more contrasting front sight allows for faster target acquisition.

Going hot, we found the LCRx had some game. In fact, the LCRx shot the best group of all revolvers tested. With the Speer Gold Dot 40-grain GDHP-SB, we eked out a five-shot group that measured 1.10 inches at 25 yards. Wow. Average groups across all ammos tested measured from 2.18 inches to 3.17 inches. The trigger in SA mode was 5.1 pounds and was crisp. In our opinion, the trigger and sights allowed us to achieve nice accuracy. We also discovered the Ruger provided the highest muzzle velocity of all the revolvers tested. Oddly, it also had the biggest cylinder/forcing cone gap at 0.009 inch. Despite this, we did not experience any splash. In rapid-fire testing, the Ruger was exceptionally easy to control, even with the heavy trigger. The LCRx did not fully eject empty shells, so we used gravity as an assist.

Our Team Said: The LCRx is a nicely designed revolver. The trigger pull was heavy in double-action mode, but manageable. We’d swap the grip if we chose to carry this in our pants pocket. Choose this revolver if you are a Ruger loyalist.

22 Magnum Range Data

To collect accuracy data, we fired five-shot groups from a bench using a rest at 25 yards. We recorded velocities using a ProChrono digital chronograph set 15 feet from the muzzle.
22 Magnum Range Data
Winchester Super X
40-grain FMJ
Model 942
Model 351 PD
Average Velocity 1025 fps966 fps961 fps
Muzzle Energy93 ft.-lbs. 83 ft.-lbs.82 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 1.99 in.3.41 in.3.62 in.
Average Group2.54 in.4.03 in.3.98 in.
Speer Gold Dot
40-grain GDHP-SB
Model 942
Model 351 PD
Average Velocity 1118 fps1039 fps963 fps
Muzzle Energy111 ft.-lbs. 96 ft.-lbs.82 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 1.10 in.3.25 in.1.71 in.
Average Group 2.18 in.3.71 in.2.79 in.
Hornady Critical Defense
45-grain FTX
Model 942
Model 351 PD
Average Velocity 1047 fps1021 fps935 fps
Muzzle Energy110 ft.-lbs. 104 ft.-lbs. 87 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 3.00 in.3.89 in.2.59 in.
Average Group 3.17 in.4.71 in.2.79 in.
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Robert Sadowski
Having been trained by many top-shelf handgun, shotgun, AR carbine, and long-range shooting instructors, Robert Sadowski brings a user's perspective to Gun Tests. He has authored and edited 15 books on firearm values, firearm disassembly and assembly, and gun guides. His Book Of Glock (Skyhorse Publishing) debuted as an Amazon #1 New Release and is a must-read for the Glock enthusiast. His latest book, 9MM - Guide to America's Most Popular Caliber (Gun Digest Books), is an indispensable resource on the 9mm and understanding the cartridge's performance for concealed carry, home defense, or competition. Over the past two decades, Sadowski has written for many magazines and websites, including,,, and more. His print work has appeared in Combat Handguns, Ballistic, Real World Survivor, Guns Digest, Guns of the Old West, SHOT Business, and more. He is currently the Treasurer/Secretary of the Glock Collectors Association. After receiving an MA from New York University, he worked for a number of magazine publishers and advertising agencies. Sadowski is a lifelong hunter, competitive shooter, and native of Connecticut. He now lives in North Carolina to take full advantage of our 2nd Amendment privilege.



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