About a year and a half ago I decided to get a small frame all-steel revolver, so I acquired a Ruger SP101 which has been featured extensively on this blog ever since. I spend a lot of time carrying the SP101 over the course of about a year and I shot it quite a bit. I ended up retiring it as a carry gun, however, because I find the heavy weight of that particular revolver counter-productive for my actual needed role of a small revolver: namely, deep concealment. As a small revolver to carry as a primary on a belt it is a great gun. But, as a deep concealment gun, the weight is a negative, and I also battled rust, despite the stainless steel finish.
This, in turn, has led me back to using the Ruger LCR as my deep concealment gun. I did not use it for a long time and in the course of training with the SP101 I found that the LCR was, by comparison, a harder gun to shoot due to the lighter weight. Well, along the way, I put an XS Standard Dot night sight on the LCR. Only recently, with my transition back to the LCR, did I shoot the gun with this new sight. So……..
Unbelievable, dramatic improvement. I realize that sights are very personal and what works for one shooter might be kryptonite for the next, but this sight is a game changer for me. For the first time I shot the LCR just as well as I ever shot the SP101. Granted, this may also be partly due to the fact that I spent a lot more time shooting a revolver while I was working with the SP101 and this translated to improvement with the LCR, but this sight certainly has made a difference.
The XS night sight works differently than most sights. Rather than lining the top of the front sight up with the rear notch to achieve “equal height, equal light” you actually place the center of the white dot in line with the rear notch. At first I was skeptical that this would provide acceptable accuracy, but I found quite the contrary. Obviously, a small snubby is not exactly a gun used for precision shooting at distance, but I actually found the accuracy very good. I also find that the larger front sight is more visible than most options on a snub and this method of sight alignment seems to be significantly more intuitive on such a small gun.
Therefore, since I found myself able to shoot the LCR just as well as the slightly larger, but much, much, heavier SP101, the choice between them for versatile deep concealment is a no-brainer. The LCR is only 13.5 ounces compared to the hefty (for its size) SP101, which weighs 25 ounces. Pocket and ankle carry with the LCR is easy, and the light weight also lends itself well to use with clipless holsters and carry around the house. For a revolver enthusiast that shoots small frame guns a lot the heavier gun is far more pleasant to shoot. I can shoot the SP101 all day but I am done with the LCR within a box of ammo. But, that is the trade off.
Light weight snubs are fantastic deep concealment or home carry weapons, but they are hard to shoot. The XS Standard Dot sight, however, seems to make the best of a difficult weapon.