Ruger LCR .357 vs Charter Boomer .44

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by FlippinHippie, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. FlippinHippie

    FlippinHippie Member

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    I've been looking for information on this issue for a while now and have come up empty. Thought I'd perhaps get some opinions here.

    I have both of these revolvers. They are roughly the same size. The Ruger loaded weight is about three ounces less than the Charter and thinner at the cylinder making it a bit easier to carry. I shoot 125 grain "full house" loads in the LCR, and 200 grain Underwood .44 special full wadcutters in the Boomer. The felt recoil is about the same with both guns.

    My eyes have gotten old and for some reason, I can't really focus on the sights anymore, so I have reverted back to "point shooting" so the lack of sights on the Boomer is not an issue for me. I can put five rounds in a pie plate nailed to a tree up to 25 feet pretty fast and that is fine...for me. Any further than that, and I'll just throw the empty smoking gun in the general direction of the threat and run like hell. :)

    My question is about stopping power. When an attacker is high on meth and bath salts and running toward me wielding a machete, or just super pissed and intends to murder me, which round would be the most effective to stop the attack cold. Keeping in mind that the only way to achieve a "one shot stop" is a hit to the brain or spinal cord.

    I love the .357 round. Fired from the 2 inch barrel, I get velocities roughly equal to a 9mm fired from a four inch barrel at around 1150 fps with the 125 grainer. The .44 on the other hand, with the hard cast full wadcutter is running around 850 fps from the Charter. Penetration is not an issue with the .44 and over penetration is not a concern where I live. I really want to carry the Ruger, but will the .357 hollow point penetrate enough muscle and bone to take out a section of spine on a larger attacker from the 2 inch barrel?

    I realize that a spinal hit would require a bit of luck on a quickly moving target, but I know the .44 is up to that task. The .357 bullet will expand but will it penetrate deep enough to do the job? Which would you carry and why?
     
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  2. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    If you're good with just five rounds then I'd go with the 44 full-wadcutter. It's going to penetrate. No expansion necessary.
     
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  3. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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  4. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I doubt it matters much. If penetration truly is an issue, a heavier bullet in the .357 will likely penetrate deeper than will a .44 wadcutter. As far as "stopping power" they both are pretty good as far as handguns go, which means neither are very good overall. Honestly, if center-of-mass shots from either caliber don't stop an opponent, I'm going to start thinking about trying to break him down with shots to the pelvis. Hitting the spine, from the front, under the stress and immediacy of a life-and-death attack, is simply too much to ask, in my opinion.

    At any rate, I personally would carry the Ruger. Even as a fan of the .44 Special, I have never liked Charter products, really don't appreciate ported barrels, and have utterly no use for a revolver without sights.
     
  5. golden

    golden Member

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    HIPPIE,

    The .357 magnum made its stellar reputation as a man stopper based on the low penetration and very rapid expansion of the REMINGTON 125 grain sjhp. Check out LUCK GUNNER LABS.com. They have it only penetrating 13.6 inches when fired from a 4 inch barrel. From a 2 inch, it does not pass the FBI 12 inch minimum. Still, many state and federal law enforcement agencies swore by this load.

    The ISRAELI'S reputedly had a drill where they practiced to hit the central nervous system, but they were using small caliber guns like the .32ACP and .22LR.

    If you are really worried about a failure to shop, forget the hard recoiling calibers, both of these are pretty bad. Get a controllable load or a bigger gun and shot failure to stop drills. My agency always had us shoot 2 to the chest, followed by 1 to the head. If you are that worried, do a 1 to the chest and 1 to the head drill and do it over and over till you can do it from a holster drawn shot.

    Jim
     
  6. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    https://charterfirearms.com/collections/frontpage/products/grips-crimson-trace-lasergrips?variant=33043803395

    Kind of a low probability scenario. At that level of probability, I'd also be worried about the Charter's transfer bar breaking. (Something that I have had happen, multiple times. Never even seen Bath Salt Machete Guy, despite living in a crap neighborhood.)

    Don't overthink it, just pick one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  7. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    The 357 Magnum & the 44 Special are both effective defensive rounds so if both guns are equally comfortable and accurate in your hands the Ruger wins because it's smaller, lighter & has one additional shot.
    However I personally choose the 44 Special even with one less shot because for me the muzzle blast of the 357 Magnum without hearing protection is almost intolerable.
     
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  8. FlippinHippie

    FlippinHippie Member

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    My LCR has a fiber optic sight that actually works good for me. But at close ranges sights really don't matter. For me at least. But I admit that hits beyond twenty feet or so are more difficult with the Bulldog. I just wish Ruger made a LCR in .44 special.
     
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  9. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    The Charter and the LCR are both 5 shot guns.

    Aaaaaa-men to that.
     
  10. FlippinHippie

    FlippinHippie Member

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    I've never been a real fan of the Charters either. I picked up the Boomer last year on a lark and became really fond of it. Better trigger than a current Smith, goes bang every time. (At least 250 times so far.) All metal construction. I put a set of oversized Altamont grips on it and it handles very well for what it is. I prefer to carry the Ruger though. It's trigger is smoother than the Charter for sure.
     
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  11. FlippinHippie

    FlippinHippie Member

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    Center of mass shots at ten feet are real easy. Even under stress. Just consider the gun an extinction of your fist. Center of mass...that's where the spine is.
     
  12. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Double post somehow. Oh well...
     
  13. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Sounds like you have the best of both worlds. Just flip a coin and be done with it.
     
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  14. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    7032266F-A9AF-40F1-8292-38DB02214776.jpeg
     
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  15. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    There are things to be said about noise and flash of the .357 over the .44 that I would agree with. Other than that it comes down to what you like and shoot the best. Confidence while knowing your guns limitations is important. I don’t think you could do wrong with either.
     
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  16. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    The 200gr WC from the Charter , will act like a .430 dia hole punch .. straight through a attacker ...My Boomer is my jacket pocket gun .. if I go fetch the paper or mail , the Boomer goes into my jacket pocket or robe pocket ... Its loaded with 200gr Gold dots ...
    Im a fan of the LCR357 and 327 ... my LCR327 has so far has put the LCR357 in the safe .
    Big fat, heavy bullets that are loaded at low pressure are hard to beat .. for my intended purpose
    D4557296-4598-4283-B198-650F3E3E2D3F.jpeg
     
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  17. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I’d suggest loading the LCR with 135gr SB Gold Dot loads and try the pie plate drill again. Speer claims the 135gr SB is made for short barrel revolvers.
    A dozen or so years back an SO ran into Bath Salt Sword Guy and had to use lethal force. He took the first shot at 15ft while backing up at a jogging pace and Sword Guy dropped almost in blade range. SO used a .45ACP Smith semiauto. It was a good shoot but it really rattled the SO - we don’t see many Bath Salt Boyz round here.
    I think either choice is good but big bullets make big holes and popping a large artery will drop even a Meth head quick.
     
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  18. FlippinHippie

    FlippinHippie Member

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    Broken transfer bar? Please elaborate.
     
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  19. FlippinHippie

    FlippinHippie Member

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    Well, I DO have two pockets.
     
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  20. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    C9809476-B798-4797-A65C-ED914A276515.jpeg
    That round is what I have been carrying in my 640 for 2 decades, designed for the 1 7/8 inch barrel. Still snappy, qualifying with a practice round and qualifying round of 50 each you knew you were shooting but no way near the recoil of a .357 anything.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  21. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Well, center of mass generally is considered about ten or twelve inches. The spinal cord is between 1/2" and 3/4" in diameter, depending upon how far up or down it is measured. So there's a whole hell of a lot of "center of mass" which does not include spinal cord.

    Now, I've done a bit of force-on-force training. Not nearly enough to make me any kind of expert on the topic, but enough to convince me that hitting a sub one inch target, hidden behind a torso-length mass of bone, fat, and muscle, in a life-or-death struggle, under the most severe imaginable stress, is far more than I can manage by anything but sheer luck. Of course, lots of folks have cooler heads and better skills than I do, but it's probably still worth thinking about.
     
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  22. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    If one buys good, controlled-expansion .357 Magnum ammo, manufactured in this century, it will do its part, penetrating as designed. I placed my faith in .357 Mag, quite a number of years ago, carried in Ruger and S&W duty, secondary, and personal-time-carry revolvers.

    I have no personal, practical experience with Charter Arms products. I do have personal experience with Ruger, including firing a decisive defensive shot, during deadly force incident, so, I will not claim to be unbiased. I have not yet had the pleasure of using an LCR.

    I would just carry both revolvers, and be done with it, anyway. ;) Winking does no mean I am joking. In my opinion, the best “reload,” for a snub-gun, of any small-frame revolvers, is a second gun.
     
  23. FlippinHippie

    FlippinHippie Member

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    You said it friend. Sheer luck as far as snapping the cord goes. But a hit anywhere along the spine is very effective at making the upright supine. Bust a vertebra or two and the whole house collapses. Same goes for femurs and pelvic girdles as well. I think the 200 grain hard wadcutter is hard to beat for smashing through bone. And as far as luck goes, I'll take all I can get.
     
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  24. Great Scot

    Great Scot Member

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    Something comforting about a big chunk of lead moving at a decent pace towards an adversary. My Bulldog’s blast isn’t overpowering and it’s almost as easy to carry as my Smith 642. The LCR is a nice snubby, but I lean towards the .44.
     
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  25. FlippinHippie

    FlippinHippie Member

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    In my opinion, the best “reload,” for a snub-gun, of any small-frame revolvers, is a second gun.[/QUOTE]

    True, but my carry permit only allows for one gun. At least that's what was told to me in class many years ago. But then again, I'd rather be judged by twelve...
     
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