Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Guns: Turning a New Leaf

A few years ago, Ruger's catalog didn't have many firearms tailored for people with concealed carry permits. The explosion of CCW reform and the resulting economic reality, as well as the passing away of William B. Ruger, has produced a marked change in the manufacturer's focus.

Bill Ruger, although a great firearms designer, was never a huge supporter of the Second Amendment (his most infamous line - "No honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun" - drew the ire of gun rights advocates nationwide). The change in leadership in Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. became apparent soon after his death.

Ruger's first entry into the small profile CCW arena, the .380 Lightweight Compact Pistol, was a success. Of course, the LCP was an entry into a proven market segment - the small-frame .380 pistol segment formerly ruled by Kel-Tec's P3AT and the various Bersa .380s:

Now, Ruger's introducing a new part-polymer revolver designed to contend with the S&W J-Frame for pocket revolver superiority - the Lightweight Compact Revolver:

As you can see, it's one of the most interesting new pocket revolver designs to come out in awhile. The all-polymer grip and firing control housing keeps costs down while shaving a few ounces off the weight of the revolver (vitally important for a gun that is naturally at home in a jacket pocket). The trigger seems to solve a lot of the problems that continue to haunt J-Frame designs - a heavy pull and awkward hitching throughout the double-action trigger stroke.

On the other hand, it is a very radical change from the staid aluminum frame 642 (which has several decades of proven performance out in the wild), so time will tell if it can outperform the old J-Frame. At the very least, the LCR is a sure sign that companies, like people, can change.


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