Today we’re taking a look at my current favorite carry gun, and one of the best small revolvers on the market. That’s right, this is the Ruger LCR 327 Federal Review.
Is it like other Ruger LCRs?
I have reviewed other Ruger LCRs before, notably the 3-inch 38 Special model, and I genuinely liked that gun as a defensive revolver. One of my knocks on the 38 Special and 357 Magnum models is a lack of capacity. When we’re in a world of 10 shot micro-compact 9mm pistols like the Glock 48, a five-shot revolver just doesn’t make sense (unless of course you understand the U-shaped utility curve). The Ruger LCR in 327 Federal Magnum solves that issue by changing the caliber from 38/357 down to a 32 cal, which allows enough extra room in the cylinder to squeeze one more round in there. Other than the caliber, the 327 Federal LCR shares all the other features of the LCR line-up: double-action onlyoperation, a good trigger, and decent fixed sights with a white front ramp.
Why 327 Federal Magnum?
The reason that 327 Federal Magnum is such an awesome chambering for a carry gun is two-fold, and interestingly has nothing to do with the 327 Federal Magnum cartridge. The first reason we’ve mentioned above: 6 shots. It may not seem like much, but it expands the “bad guy shootin’ capacity” of a small revolver by 20%. The second reason is that revolvers chambered in 327 Federal Magnum can also fire: 32 S&W, 32 S&W Long, and 32 HR Magnum. This is really important, because as it turns out, 327 Federal is kind of unpleasant to shoot. In order to accomplish its mission to replicate 357 Magnum ballistics in a compact package, most commercial 327 Fed Mag loads bring all the problems of 357 Magnumalong with them. Pronounced muzzle flash and blast make them difficult for shooters with limited skill or hand strength to master. But the second you ditch those 327 Federal Magnums in favor of a 32 Magnum, the Ruger LCR starts to shine. With 32 Magnum it’s easy to control, easy to get good hits on target, and dare I say the most pleasant little revolver to shoot. When tested alongside 38 Special defensive rounds, 32 Magnum performed just as well as 38 Special, and in some cases out-performed the “larger” cartridge. It’s the hidden gem of defensive revolver rounds.
Living with the LCR
To review the Ruger LCR in 327 Federal, I performed several important tests. First, I shot it a bunch with my carry ammo, the Federal 32 Magnum 85 grain JHP. I also shot it for accuracy with Fiocchi 32 S&W Wadcutters, and once I was satisfied it was accurate and reliable, I carried it. I carried it on walks, hikes, runs, to the park, while roughousing with my son, I carried it everywhere. And the absolute best thing about it is that I hardly noticed that I was carrying it. That’s reallywhat you want with a lightweight carry revolver like this – you want it to be unobtrusive, something that you can slip on/off like a Croc and go about your life. It doesn’t require me to make major adjustments to my life, to my clothes, or anything. It’s just there if you need it, with the minimal amount of fuss possible.
By now everyone knows what the LCR is about, and this one is the same. The trigger is good, the sights are usable, and the Hogue grip is comfortable for most shooters. I have done exactly zero modifications to my 327 Federal Magnum Ruger LCR, and for good reason. It doesn’t need them. Would it be nice if Crimson Trace still offere their compact green laser grip for this gun? Yes. But does it need it? No. It’s accurate, reliable, easy to shoot, and most importantly: it’s a 32. One more round!