So I finally finished my dry fire routine with the new 442 and decided it was time to take it out to the range to compare it to the KLCR.
I would like to note a few things about this range comparison:
The LCR is a KLCR which is the heavier 357 model and it has an internal lock. Whereas the 442 does not have the internal lock. I am not comparing the lighter 38 special LCR.
The ammo used was my practice ammo which is loaded to +P standards using a 158 grain LSWC bullet over 5.0gr of Unique. I do not practice with low powered ammo.
I also fired a few cylinders of 135gr +P Speer Gold Dot for Short Barrel to check POA at 10 yards with both revolvers. The recoil and POA is pretty similar between the two loads which is why I load my practice ammo to those levels.
The shooting stance I use is the modified combat stance and all shooting was done two-handed unless noted.
I use a 6 o’clock hold for all of my target shooting.
With that being said, let’s get started on my side by side range comparison…
I got started by getting a feel for the 442 trigger as I have been using the KLCR for so long. Recoil was similar on the two, but the KLCR didn’t transfer it as much, due to the back-strap. It was not an issue for me however. I put about 150 through each revolver on this trip. My hand was fine. If I went out and purchased a new set of grips with a back-strap for the 442, my assumption is it would be similar with the +P ammo. I believe the grip tape modification I noted at the end of this report will resolve any issues I may have with the 442 moving around when my hands are wet.
The below video demonstrates one-handed recoil with the +P rounds. ( You can notice my broken finger permanently extended which has caused me to modify my two-handed grip and or shoot one-handed a lot):
ACCURACY AT 10 YARDS
I shot both at 10 yards one-handed slow fire with both my 158 grain LSWC practice ammo and my 135 grain JHP carry ammo.
Accuracy was similar with both shooting the 158 grain. The 442 was a bit tighter. The smaller front sight helps with this (442 on left and KLCR on right) :
And it was also similar with the 135 grain defense loads one-handed. Again, the 442 was a bit tighter (442 on left and KLCR on right). :
I also performed two-handed rapid fire with the 158 grain ammo.
I gave myself 5 seconds from an aiming position to fire 5 shots two-handed at 10 yards.
I did this twice for a total of 10 shots in ten seconds, not counting the reload.
Both performed similar with the KLCR handling the recoil slightly better than the 442 and being just a bit more accurate (442 on left and KLCR on right):
ACCURACY AT 25 YARDS
Then I moved out to 25 yards and verified with my range finder, to answer the question, can I make the shot at 25 yards with this revolver?
I found the 442’s thin front sight much better than the KLCR’s thick front sight and it shot more accurately at this range.
Using the 6 o’clock hold on the bottom half of the black circle, the 442 shot pretty much where I was aiming with decent accuracy, while the KLCR shot pretty low using the 158 grain training ammo.
I had to actually use a higher hold to get the KLCR on target while the same hold at 10 yards with the 442 was on at 25 yards so the 442 was clearly better in this regard. (442 on left and KLCR on right):
THE 5X5X5 STANDARD
Finally I decided to run a modification of the 10X10X10 standard that Larry Vickers created for semi autos which is 10 shots at 10 yards in 10 seconds from a ready position at a B-8 target. At least 9 of 10 shots must be in the black.
There was talk on a few internet forums for a snub standard and the 5x5x5 standard was spoken of by a few SME’s so I decided to try it out with both revolvers.
The course of fire is 5 shots in 5 seconds at 5 yards from ready position on a B8 target. All shots must be in the black.
Here are my results:
What I got out of this is that need some work on driving the snub up and getting that first shot off quicker, and my trigger speed was definitely faster with the shorter 442 trigger. My accuracy was surprisingly good. I did not expect to do as well as I did first time out. More practice will only make my first shot and split times better.
I had fun shooting both of these little snubs. After 150 rounds each of +P ammo it was still enjoyable and my hand did not hurt at all.
While the KLCR has a lighter trigger, that does not mean that it is faster than the short trigger of the 442. If you dry fire and practice your trigger control, I truly believe the 442 is the better trigger when shooting fast. The KLCR trigger is good when shooting slow fire as it is a lot less weight of pull, but it has a long pull. Both triggers have little to no stacking and can be slowly pulled back for more precise shots. I had no issue with either one. The KLCR trigger can also be short stroked if full reset is not achieved. Because this is a long trigger, this can be a problem for some people. The 442 has a much shorter and crisp reset and does not have this issue.
The 442’s thinner sight and accuracy out to 25 yards makes it a much better shooter for longer more precise shots and I feel very comfortable with it. The KLCR has the option of changing the front sight so this problem can more than likely be rectified. With he KLCR I shot low and would more than likely require a different hold to be as accurate as the 442 at 25 yards.
The KLCR handles recoil slightly better but it is not a noticeable difference. This can be fixed by putting a grip on the 442 with a back-strap although I am not sure how much this would affect the way it conceals. Where the KLCR shines is how it handles 357 magnum recoil compared to other lightweight snubs in that caliber. It is clearly the choice if you want to carry and shoot magnum rounds.
After I got back I put some grip tape on the back strap to keep it more secure in my hand when shooting. This will deal with any issue if my hands are sweaty. I am not to concerned with the recoil.
IMPORTANT POST RANGE MAINTENANCE NOTE:
During cleaning I performed a maintenance check on both the KLCR and the 442. Checking screw torque. According to specs.
The Ruger specs are here: Maintenance and Cleaning of the Ruger LCR
The Smith & Wesson Specs are simply: Snug screws then tighten 1/4 turn. Instructions were given to me by support just a few days ago when I inquired about torque specs so if anyone has better information, feel free to share it in the comments below.
I found some items that needed my attention after only 150 rounds of +P ammo through each revolver:
The KLCR had to have the fire control housing screw tightened to spec and the 442 had to have the cylinder release latch screw tightened.
So please be aware that with these small snub nose revolvers, it is important to check the side plate screws and cylinder release latch screw on the 442 and the fire control housing screw and crane pivot screw on the KLCR. It takes five minutes and is an important aspect of keeping the revolvers in reliable working order.
You cannot go wrong with either of these revolvers, but for now I am going to reluctantly put the KLCR in the safe for a bit carry the 442 and see how it goes.
Regards and happy shooting!