Ruger LCR shallow rifling - THR

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Old November 19, 2014, 04:32 PM   #1
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Location: Champaign, IL
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Ruger LCR shallow rifling

Is it normal for a brand new Ruger lcr .38 to have very shallow rifling? I am surprised how shallow it is but have not read anything that indicates similar reports or issues. It has only been factory fired for now so nothing to report. We plan on shooting lead and I know anecdotally that shallow rifling may indicate that it was designed to be used with jacketed bullets. Any thoughts?
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Old November 19, 2014, 04:40 PM   #2
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It's a "jacketed" and "jacketed hollow point" world out there for the most part. So I'm not surprised that they would focus their LCR towards that with shallow rifling.

Cast lead these days is more the choice of keen sport shooters, serious target shooters and cowboy action types. And there again the LCR is an unlikely choice for either of the first two or allowed for the third.

Hey, at least you're not the first to work with cast lead out of shallow rifling. Lots of others have set up a good base of knowledge for what works reliably and cleanly.
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Old November 19, 2014, 04:45 PM   #3
Join Date: June 3, 2013
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The rifling is indeed shallow on my LCR. I still shoot hard cast lead out of it all of the time with no issues. They are very accurate even at +P loads. I do powder coat my bullets though.
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Old November 19, 2014, 05:39 PM   #4
Airman Basic
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Shoot the old Remington "FBI" load in my LCR, a 158 grain LSWC hollow point at +p speed. Quite accurate at snubnose distances.
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Old November 19, 2014, 06:21 PM   #5
Jim Watson
Join Date: December 24, 2002
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Just how shallow is it?
How many thousandths?
Just slug the barrel and measure bore and groove diameters.
We hear: "There is no such thing as a stupid question."
But: "What did I just buy and what is it worth?" comes awful close.
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Old November 19, 2014, 08:11 PM   #6
Join Date: January 14, 2003
Location: West central Texas
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Have shot mostly 158 gr LSWC reloads through my LCR and have not experienced any problems.
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Old November 19, 2014, 08:49 PM   #7
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According to SAAMI, the 38 Spl. bore size is .346", and the rifling (groove) is .355". So, if being in specs, the depth of the rifling will be about .0045". Though SAAMI list a tolerance for chamber diameters of +.004", I don't see a tolerance for the barrel.

Even if you take the +.004 tolerance and place it for the barrel, that is from a .0025" - .0075" of step from bore to groove.

My best lead loads were MBC 158 gr. SWC 18 BHN, with Silhouette max load.
Worst was MBC 125 gr. 12 BHN, with Titegroup. But that was just me.
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Old November 19, 2014, 11:32 PM   #8
Join Date: May 20, 2011
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I have discharged hundreds of rounds of lead swc and wc thru my lcr. I have discharged hundreds of jhp thru my lcr. In both cases the accuracy and precision depend more on the shooter than the projectiles.
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Old November 19, 2014, 11:44 PM   #9
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If it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.

And if you haven't tried it yourself?

It doesn't matter.

I can't see the rifling in my Glock 23, but it shoots lead handloads just fine.

So, it doesn't matter whether I can see the rifling or not.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!
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Old November 20, 2014, 02:24 PM   #10
Vodoun da Vinci
Join Date: September 17, 2013
Location: Illinois
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RC has the right of it IMO - I shoot lead exclusively so far in my LCR with 158 gr. flat noses and 110 gr. wadcutters and while not a "tack driver" it is plenty accurate for it's intended purposes.

I'd have to really take a look at mine...I did not notice the rifling being shallow to a great extent.

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Old November 20, 2014, 04:01 PM   #11
Join Date: March 12, 2008
Location: SF Bay Area CA
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I shoot lead WC out of my LCR just fine. They are not even Hard Cast as I use WW alloy. No leading and no tumbling. Shoot pretty accurate for a snubby.

I would not worry about it until I see something to worry about.

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Old November 20, 2014, 08:29 PM   #12
Join Date: November 25, 2013
Location: atkinson, ill
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I have an Astra Model A Super that is near new, The barrel is bright and shiny, and it has the shallowest rifling I have ever seen on any pistol. The bore measures .354 and the Grooves .356. The rifling is only about a thousandth of an inch deep.

It shoots very accurately with jacketed bullets. I haven't tried cast, but the shallow rifling doesn't seem to hurt anything.
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Old November 23, 2014, 11:27 PM   #13
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Location: Champaign, IL
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Hey everyone, thanks for all the advice. Everyone was right, there's definitely nothing to worry about.

We took the LCR out and ran it with 3 types of ammo. Some old 148gr wadcutter reloads, Magtech 158gr lrn and S&W 158gr fmj. We only shot at 5 yards but the LCR proved to shoot pretty well with the wad cutters. The S&B ammo was a bit hotter and shot fairly well but the Magtech felt weaker and shot noticeably worse. Ignition was perfect with all types of ammo but extraction was a bit rough with the short rod and unpolished chambers. Shooting 2 1/2 boxes of ammo between two of us felt like plenty for a 12oz snubbie so we moved onto some other guns to finish out our range day. Both of us are impressed with the trigger on the lcr and I'm quite pleased to have gone with the green fiber optic front sight.

The only +p ammo to be found locally was the Winchester pdx1 130gr. It was nearly $2/shot at retail pricing so we had to pass. We will need to order a selection for carry purposes but we have discussed all the best options and won't have to test very many. At the top of the list is the Buffalo Bore 158gr +p swchp (which seems like the load to beat) with the standard pressure 158gr swchp or 150gr hardcast wadcutter following closely behind.
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Old November 24, 2014, 12:07 PM   #14
Join Date: March 31, 2005
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Bumping to include a picture of our first target with the lcr. I used the lower right with wadcutters, upper right with s&B fmj, and upper left with magtech lrn. Center and lower left are the work of my SO. Nothing to brag about even though we all hit paper. We will continue to shoot further out as we practice.

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