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Ruger LCP: The Lightweight & Discrete Carry Gun That Won’t Let You Down

Ruger LCP: The Lightweight & Discrete Carry Gun That Won’t Let You Down

Image source: KC Concealed Carry

There was a time when I used to feel bad anytime I bought a Ruger firearm. They made great guns, sure, but the founder’s vision for the right to keep and bear arms in America did not sit well with me — and the designs were strictly function over form. Look at a Blackhawk compared to a Colt SAA, and the Ruger might be the stronger, better and more practical revolver, but the SAA has a style all its own. About 10 years ago, the company began making changes and one of the new offerings — the Ruger LCP (lightweight compact pistol — brought this home for me.

The LCP was Ruger’s first major and might we say, highly successful step toward making a lightweight concealed carry pistol for the armed and prepared American. Chambered in 380 ACP, this was no sporting handgun, but one meant for concealed carry and self-defense.

Before it debuted it rode in on a wave of controversy. Many shooters thought it was a rip-off of Kel-Tec’s P-3AT. Looking at both handguns side by side will confirm these protestations, with higher points going to team Ruger for fit and finish.

Original LCPs had problems here and there, but Ruger was quick to address these and the LCP represents a great value for the shooter.

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The frame is glass-filled nylon, and while it is exceptionally light, it does kick like an angry mule. I tamed mine down by shooting it while contained within a DeSantis Pocket Shot holster. This is a wallet holster that encases the frame in leather to break up the outline of the pistol while soaking up the direct recoil of the little powerhouse that represents 380 ACP.

Ruger LCP: The Lightweight & Discrete Carry Gun That Won’t Let You Down

Image source: Ruger

Turning to the other half of the pistol, the slide is hardened steel with integral sights. Pistols like this are not intended as “bullseye” guns, so there’s no need for Novak’s, Heine’s, Trijicon’s or the like. They are a part of the slide – small and crude — but very useful at the same time. Chances are, when you need to use an LCP, you will not be obtaining a sight picture anyway.

The trigger is long and heavy and the reason I probably cannot tighten up my groups. It is not as atrocious as other pistols in this league, but it still leaves a bit to be desired. I suppose this is to accommodate the lack of a safety so that shooters gifted with the “Orangutan strength” of an adrenaline rush during a violent confrontation will not jerk the trigger and fire negligently.

Ruger did upgrade the pistol with the LCP2, which boasts an improved frame and trigger. Another offering which I have yet to try is the LC380, which is built on a larger frame for improved shootability and less recoil as well as removable sights.

Yet these are the compromises we make when it comes to carrying concealed. We want a smaller package, and that means lower profile sights and smaller grips and reduced capacity.

A number of accessories are available, including a laser sight, but the two best that I can think of are a Techna-clip pocket clip and a DeSantis Pocket Shot.

It is not the firearm you take to the range weekly to see if it will survive a 1,000-round session — it will, but your hands may not — and its accuracy and potency is not meant for long-range target shooting (you can pick up a Ruger Mk4 or GP100 for that). However, if you want a discrete carry handgun that will be there when you need it, you can count on it.

Have you ever shot the Ruger LCP? Share your thoughts on this pistol in the section below:

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  1. I have the original Kel-Tec P3AT which was made prior to the Ruger and agree that these small lightweight pistols are quite a handful, even with factory loads. Using shooting gloves until you have gained some experience with them is recommended. The trigger surface in particular is pretty rough.

    My gosh though – so small and concealable, these ‘mouse guns’ have their place, especially for ‘just in case I’m attacked’ situations. I’ve compared it to the two shot deringers and mini rimfire revolvers by NAA and this one is preferable, at least for me.

  2. I have the LCPII and I love it! Bought it new and it came with a pocket holster. It is very convenient to have in any style of pants that I wear. The pocket holster is factory from Ruger, not the very best, but it does break up the outline and remains in the pocket when i pull the pistol out. As far as shooting it goes, I enjoy it. I have a fairly large grip so i have chosen to keep the extention plate on the magazine that came with the LCPII so it helps out a bit with control. It’s a nice little carry pistol. Not accurate much past the 30′ mark, but doesnt kick like a mule and its a very attractive piece to have also.

  3. Bought one as a carry piece while at work, $230 super affordable for the average person. Can’t carry while on the clock, but coming to/leaving and lunch breaks make for an easy gun to toss in the pocket of my scrubs. Doesn’t require me to belt and holster up. Obviously conceals without effort, and included a pocket holster.

    Recoil isn’t bad at all, much better than I remember my brother-in-laws P3AT being. Also you can buy heavy recoil springs to lower perceived recoil at the expensive of being slightly harder to rack the slide. Now only if it wasn’t a .380….

    • What’s wrong with a .380, in your opinion ??? 239-822-6869 thank for any advise !!! P.S. — I had a larger, higher end .380 years ago & loved it !!!!! But I cannot figure out how to chamber the ammunition on this used RUGER LCP made in Prescott, Az. , it has LaserLyte on the right hand side (which doesn’t seem to shine out farther than my hand in front of it !!!! Can the battery be low or does it need to be removed ? If so, how is it removed ???? Thanks — call any time. I’ll accept the charges if you don’t have free long distance !!! THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP YOU CAN GIVE ME !!!!!!!!! B.A.

  4. Good day. Could you perhaps just help me understand the “but the founder’s vision for the right to keep and bear arms in America did not sit well with me” part in this article… just as a matter of interest?

    • The Wikipedia article for Mr. Ruger says he once advocated for a blanket ban on magazines greater than 15 rounds to address public gun safety concerns.

  5. If anyone can help me, I can’t get my new (used) RUGER to chamber a shell !!! The SLIDE won’t slide or chamber as it’s called ! Is there a trick to it ???? I had a larger .380 years ago (it held 13 total shots, I can’t recall the brand right now), but what am I doing wrong or what’s wrong with this pistol ????? 239-822-6869 . I’ll pay any long distance charges if need be — I just NEED HELP !!!!! THANKS !!!!! B.A.

  6. I just upgraded my Ruger LCP 380 to the Ruger LCP II 380. And i have to say i love it. I am small in size, standing 5′ 3″ and 110 and have tiny hands and the 380 fits perfect. I work at a gun range and as a woman get all of the crap from the guys that work there about my 380 (mouse Gun). I love my 9mm but cannot conceal carry it, so my Ruger LCPII is my main carry weapon.
    I shot at 12 compressed phone books at 7 yards. With my Ruger LCP II with Hornady Critical Defense Ammo.
    I an proved everyone at work wrong about the little 380s impact on a target, as i shot defensive ammo through 12 compressed phone books at 7 yards. All three of my shots were on top of each other and went through to the 10th phone book. i am very pleased with this little guy as i have no doubts with my choice of concealed carry. 🙂

  7. I have owned 4 Lcp’s. Owned them since they first came out and have shot thousands of rounds through them. Time as moved on and when the LCP ll came out, I looked esle where. There are a number of much better made Pocket guns available.
    The LCP’s are the most over rated firearms I have ever seen. Recoil is harsh. A “High Five Slap”. Shoot other pocket guns and you will be amazed at how mild they can be.
    LCP’s are not designed for the long run. Notice the better Pocket gun are stainless steel, Or have stainless steel inserts at the stress points of the receiver and the grip. LCP are know for cracked grips, broken down take down pins, pins moving out, split rails and on and on.
    Yes the will shoot almost any ammo, but they are NOT the tanks that Ruger is notorious for in other firearms.
    The LCP with the new Light Crisp trigger is a potential disaster just waiting to happen. Ruger should have stuck with the the Gen2 trigger, which actually was nice. Much safer.
    If you like slappy and snappy recoil, do not shoot often, durability is not a concern, and safety not a concern get a Ruger.
    I highly suggest any shooter to check out other Pocket guns. The going price for the Ruger LCP ll is around $278. Ridiculous. If you are bent in getting a LCP get the Gen 2 not the LCP11. Better trigger, safer, and about $100.00 less in cost.

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