Ruger LCR 38 Special Problems You Can’t Avoid

For being one of the lightest in its class, and compact, Ruger had to make some compromises in this LCR variant. Hence, there are a few Ruger LCR 38 Special problems that you should know.

These minor issues are regarding cylinder and trigger. And, there are not many complaints.  

For your convenience, I have included the possible reasons for those problems and solutions. To get a complete overview, don’t skip any part of this article. 

Features & Specifications of Ruger LCR 38 Special:

Barrel Length1.87″
Magazine Capacity5 rounds
Overall Length6.50″
Caliber38 SPL +P
Twist Rate1:16″ RH
Rear SightU-Notch Integral
Front SightReplaceable, Pinned Ramp
SafetyTransfer Bar
Dimensions 4.50″ H
Weight13.5 oz.
Trigger Pull7 lbs.  8 ounces
Common Ruger LCR 38 Special Problems and Solutions
Ruger LCR 38 Special Problems

Common Ruger LCR 38 Special Problems and Solutions

The following table has a summary of all the problems and their respective solutions. Let’s have a look.

Quick Overview of the Problems and Solutions

Cylinder ProblemReplace the plunger and cylinder stop spring.
Stuck/Frozen TriggerClean the gun properly, and replace the trigger pin or spring as necessary.

1. Cylinder Problems

In this problem, you may notice that the cylinder is not locking properly, and it spins freely passing every chamber.

Possible Reasons

It is hard to suspect the cause without inspecting the gun physically.

If you ask me, I will tell you to inspect the condition of the cylinder stop spring and plunger.

The Fix

To solve this problem, you have to disassemble the firearm partially and access the plunger as well as the cylinder stop spring.

In this YouTube video, you can see a proper replacement procedure. But the gun model is Taurus Ultra Lite in the video.

All you have to do is read the owner manual of the LCR 38 special, and disassemble the gun accordingly.

Those who are still facing the same issue ever after replacing the plunger and the spring should contact Ruger for help.

2. Stuck/Frozen Trigger

The trigger of an LCR 38 Special can get frozen all of a sudden in the middle of a shootout.

Possible Reasons

Too much stiffness or stuck trigger problem can occur due to dust buildup. Also, oil or packaging grease can prevent it from resetting after firing a round.

You may think that oil is bad but on the contrary. Certain locations need to be lubricated for proper actions.

Check out the trigger pin for any kind of deformation.

Also, inspect the spring that helps the trigger reset. A weak spring often causes this problem on LCR 38 Special revolvers.

The Fix

For proper cleaning, taking the gun to a gunsmith is a better option. But those who want to do it by themselves can follow the steps below.

  • Firstly, wear gloves, and eye-protective glasses.
  • Secondly, unload the gun, cock the hammer, and tip the muzzle up by 2 inches.
  • Now, spray a degreaser down towards the base of the hammer until you see the liquid coming out of the grip frame.
  • After that, spray in a few more areas, and noticing the solvent coming out of the cylinder’s stop-bolt hole is enough.
  • Then, cycle the action a few times; 4 or 5 is enough. Do it slowly without using the double-action mode.
  • Next, you have to wait for at least 2 minutes before blowing out the excess solvent using compressed air.
  • Finally, get things back to normal, wash your hands, and try using the gun after an hour or so.

As for other suspected causes, you have to replace the faulty trigger pin and spring, and see whether it smoothens the trigger’s functionality.

User Feedback on Ruger LCR 38 Special

At the time of release, the LCR 38 special was considered well ahead of its time. It is a reliable gun for self-defense and concealed carry.

You should not expect impressive accuracy in long-distance shooting. It is because the involvement of the gun is only limited to close-range shooting.

So, it does the best of what it is supposed to do. Considering everything, the users mostly give positive feedback about the LCR 38 Special.

Overall, users rate this gun a 4.4 out of 5. 

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Ruger LCR 38 Special

Those who can’t accept LCR 38 problems can look for alternative models. Three pistols below are worth considering instead of the 38 Special.

Smith and Wesson Model 638

Due to its lightweight construction and lots of user-friendly features, the Model 638 is a favorite gun of law enforcement agents. Here, I also need to mention M&P Bodyguard 38 for similar properties.

Taurus 605

Affordability and reliable performance are the reasons Taurus 605 has made a place in this LCR 38 Special alternative’s list.

Chiappa Rhino

The innovative design and softer recoil even for heavy caliber make the Chiappa Rhino stand out from the crowd.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is 38 Special more powerful than 9mm?


What is a 38 Special good for?

Target shooting, self-defense, policing, etc.

Does Ruger make a 38 Special?

Yes; a double-action revolver

Can a Ruger LCR 38 shoot 357?


What is the difference between .38 and .38 Special?

There are no differences. It only indicates a slight caliber variation. For more info, you can read this article.


That is all about the Ruger LCR 38 Special problems. I have told lots of good things about this firearm in the user feedback section.

So, what are your thoughts on this particular LCR model? Have you shot one?

Feel free to share your experience in the comment section below.

1 comment
  1. Above,
    You have the question: “Can a Ruger LCR 38 shoot 357?” You mistakenl have it as “Yes”
    It needs to be “No”. As a .38 SPL chambered revolver cannot shoot .357 Magnum. As you are probably aware, .357 Magnum is significantly more powerful than .38 SPL.
    Now, you can shoot .38 SPL in a .357 Magnum chambered gun.
    Or, just swap the numbers in the question and you’ll be good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts