Sunday, March 04, 2012

Ruger LCP .380 Pistol

In a few of my recent posts I have discussed why it is important for Americans (especially Jews) to keep and bear arms. I also posted a link to a thread on Arfcom, "Street Robberies and You." Last week I picked up a new pistol which will help me follow my own advice, a Ruger LCP.

Ruger's LCP (Light Carry Pistol) is one of several recent micro-sized semiauto pistol designs to reach the market. It's in many ways a copy of the Kel-Tec P3AT. The Taurus TCP, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380, and Diamondback DB380 are all in the same class. The specs for the Ruger are:

  • Caliber: .380 ACP
  • Capacity: 6 in the magazine plus 1 in the chamber
  • Length: 5.16"
  • Width: 0.82"
  • Height: 3.6"
  • Weight: 9.4 oz for the standard model, 9.9 oz for the model with a LaserMax LASER* sight.
  • Sights: Fixed, machined integral with the slide.
  • Finish: Blued

I bought the LCP-LM, which is the one with the LaserMax sight.  MSRP is $443 but I was able to get it for $399 including tax. Here’s a quick picture of my pistol:

The LCP comes in a cardboard box with one magazine, an extended magazine floorplate, a gun lock, pistol rug, fired case, LaserMax flyer and adjustment wrench, and an owner's manual.

As can be seen in this picture, the Ruger is tiny. The silver object is a standard Zippo lighter which I included for scale. I have small hands and can get only two fingers on the grip. I installed the extended floorplate even before I took the gun to the range, because at under 10 oz. unloaded I want the extra purchase that it provides. Even so, I can get only two fingers onto the grip.

I went with the LASER for a couple reasons. First, even though this is a belly gun the need to use aimed fire could arise. The LCP's sights are tiny and won't be very visible in poor lighting. Second, statistically, most defensive gun usages are resolved without shots fired. Once a bad guy knows his intended victim is ready to resist with a gun, he usually finds that he needs to be elsewhere post-haste. The LASER can enhance the deterrent effect of a gun, and if shots do need to be fired, will help in putting them on target.

The placement of the LASER's ambidextrous switch works very well for me. When holding the gun with my index finger off the trigger, indexed on the frame, the tip is right on the switch. I can immediately press it to turn on the LASER, without shifting my firing grip.

I do wish Ruger included a second magazine with the gun. A leading cause of malfunctions with semiauto pistols is defective or dirty magazines. So, the same night I brought the LCP home I ordered another mag with the extended floorplate from MidwayUSA, along with a couple of boxes of CCI Blazer .380 ACP Full Metal Jacket ammunition.

A word about defensive ammo choice for the LCP: The .380 ACP cartridge is on the low end of acceptable defensive cartridges. Bullets are generally light and if hollow points are used, you may not get enough penetration to reach an assailant's vitals and incapacitate him. So, I plan to carry it with FMJ ammo, which will reliably penetrate at least 12" in ballistic gelatin.

Many folks will just chuck a gun like the LCP in their pocket and go on their way. Although I'm currently packing the Ruger that way, I've ordered a DeSantis Superfly pocket holster to keep the gun consistently oriented, and to keep the LASER from being switched on accidentally. If you choose to pocket carry without a holster, be sure to not put anything else in the same pocket as the gun. You don't want anything getting into the trigger guard that might cause the gun to discharge, or prevent you from firing it, e.g., something getting lodged behind the trigger.

Yesterday I took the Ruger to the range and put a box of Federal American Eagle .380 ACP FMJ through it. I had one failure to go into battery in the first magazine but after that it ran perfectly. Putting only 50 rounds through a semiauto gun to "prove" it is generally deemed to be insufficient, but the light weight of these micro-.380s comes with a price: brutal recoil. You don't shoot one of these for fun, unless you're a masochist. Not only does it whack your hand, there's some trigger slap and sometimes the recoil drives the inside of the bottom of the triggerguard into your finger.

Anyway, using the the minimalist iron sights the Ruger LCP is surprisingly accurate. It will pretty easily hold the center ring of an IDPA target at 15 yards until your hand starts getting beat up. I turned on the LASER and was able to see it on the white target from 15 yards, but in this outing didn't shoot with it on.

Up until fairly recently, if you wanted a posket pistol this size you were limited to guns chambered for .22 Short, .22 Long Rifle, or .25 ACP. With the advent of the micro-.380s starting with Kel-Tec's P3AT you can now get a similarly sized pistol that chambers are much more effective cartridge. This makes it easier for more Americans to be armed for self-defense, which is a win in my book.


* I capitalize "LASER" because properly, it is an acronym meaning Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

1 comment:

TrueBlueSam said...

Be sure to enter Ruger's contest before March 6 passes. You could win your choice of a Scout rifle or a 1911: