Ruger LCP .380 Review – The “Go To” Concealed Carry Pistol

Ruger LCP 380

Today we will be doing a review of the tiny Ruger LCP 380 semi-automatic. It is a very specialized simple concealed carry handgun. Before we begin, let me give you a brief history of the Sturm Ruger Company.

A Brief History

Bill Ruger began pursuing his desire to design quality firearms in the late 1930s. In 1939, Ruger developed and built a prototype machine gun that he tried to market to Remington arms. They were not interested. He was also rejected by Smith and Wesson and Winchester. After World War II, Bill Ruger set aside his gun making interest to pursue other ideas, which also did not take off.

Not satisfied with failure, in 1949, he joined forces with Alexander Sturm. Sturm agreed to invest in and manage a new firearm production company, Sturm Ruger and Co. The new company had its origin in Southport, Connecticut and immediately began design and manufacture of a quality low cost .22 caliber target pistol. This new pistol was received well by the market and was the beginning of Ruger’s rise to the top.

Alexander Sturm died after just two years of the company’s origin, but Bill Ruger never missed a step in continuing to pursue his lifelong dream. Today, Ruger is the largest independently owned gun manufacturer in America. The .22 caliber target pistol is still the company’s mainstay. However, Ruger has been successful in every corner of firearms manufacturing. They now produce shotguns, rifles, revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.

Ruger inspecting firearms
William (Bill) Ruger can be seen here inspecting manufactured firearms for quality.

Ruger Review

I own several Ruger products including the 44-magnum super Redhawk revolver, the famous 10/22 rifle, and a Mark 4 target pistol. All of these products have performed well for me and they are all keepers in my collection.

My latest Ruger purchase was the Ruger 380 caliber pistol. This is the palm-sized Ruger LCP. The weight and measurement specs of this LCP are amazing. This little pocket rocket weighs less than nine and one-half ounces, is a tad over five inches long and three and one-half inches high. The width of this pistol is just north of three-fourths of an inch.

LCP stands for Light-weight Compact Pistol and that is exactly what it is. This tiny ultra light handgun will simply disappear in your pocket making is perfect for total concealment. Although not my first choice of concealed carry pistols if I only focus on ease of concealment it really can’t be beat.

The trigger pull on this gun is long and heavy. Mine breaks at about eight pounds. This long and heavy trigger is designed to keep the gun safe with a round in the chamber. There is no external safety on the LCP which adds to its simplicity. Accuracy is hard to attain with this Ruger but great accuracy cannot be expected if you consider what the gun is meant for. The LCP is not a target pistol, it is a close encounter simple to use defensive handgun.

The gun comes with only one magazine that holds six rounds. It does have two interchangeable base plates one of which lengthens the front strap about one-fourth of an inch allowing for a more secure grip. The sights are next to nothing on the LCP. They were designed very shallow and rounded to allow for catch free extraction from your pocket or holster. Again, this gun was designed as a point and shoot weapon for very close encounters. A little fluorescent paint on the front sight may help with proper sight alignment.

My LCP feeds and fires many various brands and types of ammunition well, even the cheap stuff. I have not had a problem. This pistol however is not structured to fire +P ammo and this is clearly stated in the owner’s manual. Accessories for this gun are readily available from laser sights to larger magazines to grip enhancement items. There are also many holster options out there. You must remember though, every accessory will take away from Ruger’s intent for this weapon to be a very small lightweight easily carried pocket pistol.

Ruger LCP can be used for everyday carry.
The Ruger LCP is meant to be a compact pistol that can be used for everyday carry.

Small but Mighty

Because of its lightweight and small structure you are more likely to throw it in your pocket when you leave the house. Many folks sometimes abandon concealed carry after becoming tired of the hassle with a larger gun. With this gun, you hardly notice it’s there. Personally, I would rather have this gun all of the time than one of the larger 9mm subcompact just sometimes.

The LCP is a basic hammer fired tiny gun with no bells and whistles. It allows for very comfortable carry and is simple to use. The 380 caliber round is not as powerful as the popular 9mm but if you do your research you will find that it is sufficient to do the job. The actual performance of this round speaks much louder than most of its critics.

I own a Glock 43 and a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield which in my opinion are both top notch concealed carry 9s but, surprisingly, I find myself gravitating to simply throwing this little baby in my pocket when I head out.

The Summary: Two thumbs up to the LCP.

To learn more about the safe and responsible ownership and operation of firearms, find a Concealed Coalition class near you today!

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