I was asked to do a range report comparison so here goes. I bought both of these guns the same day and shot them with the same White Box ammo along with some Winchester PDX1 .38 +P. First let me say that I like them both. The S&W has CT laser grips on it and therefore easier to carry in the pocket. The LCR has the stock overmolded Hogue grips which really absorb the recoil and feels good in the hand. Let's start with the recoil. I am not recoil sensitive and am always puzzled when people mention how hard snubbies are to shoot due to their recoil. If I have to choose I would say that the Ruger feels slightly softer but given the difference in grips that is no surprise. Sights - they both sucked. I cannot see black on black or gun metal on gun metal. The laser on the 642 was better than the metal sights on the LCR. Metal sight to sight without the laser, I did not notice any difference. Let's cut to the chase. The big difference for me was the trigger. After some practice I was easily able to stage the trigger so that just a little more pressure would make it go boom. It felt like a fairly light takeup and then some heavier resistance. I could get it right to the breaking point everytime during slow firing. During the test firing of the LCR, an older couple were practicing with the LCR and not doing so well. The husband came over to me and started watching and after awhile called over his wife to show her my results. She liked what she saw and then repeated the old story about snubbies being only arm's length belly guns and asked how far out could I shoot it accurately. Well, to tell the truth, I did not know as I normally practice at 7-10 yards with my carry guns (versus my competition guns) so I took the target out to 25 yards and carefully and slowly staged the trigger and put all five into an area the size of a head. They were very impressed as was I . After they left I tried the same with the 642 and only managed to put three on my normal head sized targets.
So as far as which I shot better at long range it would have to be the LCR and I attribute that to the trigger. When I switched to the +P ammo there was perhaps a little more muzzle rise in both but other than that there was no brutal recoil that hurt the hand like I have read on several gun forum boards. The real test was giving both to my 100 lb, 4' 11" wife to dry fire. She could not easily pull the trigger of the 642 but had no problem with the LCR. Both carried in the pocket and IWB/OWB well. I tend to carry the LCR more due to its lighter weight and nicer feeling trigger (at least to me). I do not think you can go wrong with either but the LCR is less expensive, lighter, seems to handle recoil better and has a lighter feeling trigger so it would be a good choice for anyone. Lately my new toy, a .32 Seecamp comes with me most often. Terrible at more than 5 yards, no sights at all and a small round but it truly is a gun I can carry and forget about it. I mean forget about it to the point where you almost expose it because you really forgot you were carrying it. Not a revlover but enough to dissuade the type of BG I would encounter in my retirement community. Hey, I made it 59 years without a gun and I think I can make it a few more but just in case I like to always have a "get off me" gun to buy me time to get out of there.