We take a look at the key improvements found on the newly redesigned Ruger LCP2 and it’s a definite winner.
THE NEW LCP II IS A COMPLETE REDESIGN OF THE POPULAR POCKET PISTOL
WITH SEVERAL KEY IMPROVEMENTS
Eight years after the introduction of LCP (Lightweight Compact Pistol), Ruger has introduced its new and improved version, the LCP II. It is not a replacement for the LCP at this time because the LCP is still very much available.
The original LCP brought together desirable features for a pocket pistol – slim width, short length, smoothly contoured frame and slide, simple operation – all in a .380 Auto platform. The advent of high performance ammunition for the .380 auto made the caliber acceptable as a self-defense pistol.
The new LCP II maintains the lockedbreech, hammer-fired, semi-automatic design and the basic dimensions of its progenitor, the LCP, but changes almost every component in the process. The basic look is angular versus the rounded look of the LCP. The textured areas of the pistol grip, the trigger guard, the slide and even the cocking serrations have an angular look to them. All edges are beveled rather than rounded to provide the snag-free operation required in a pocket pistol. Overall, I find the look more modern than that of the LCP.
OPERATION AND FEATURES
The long pull, double-action, single-strike trigger of the LCP has been replaced with a more user-friendly single-action trigger with a blade safety. The trigger has approximately 0.2 inch of takeup, 0.12 inch of travel (measured at the blade safety pivot pin), a clean break and no noticeable over-travel. The trigger pull averaged 5 pounds 3 ounces for 10 consecutive trigger pulls as measured by a Lyman digital trigger pull gauge. The overall feel of the trigger is very similar to many polymer frame striker fired pistols and is better than some that I have fired.
The glass-filled nylon grip frame has been widened in the rear and the excellent texturing (similar to that found on the Ruger American Pistol)
on the pistol grip allow for a very secure purchase to help control recoil. Horizontal grooves are provided on the front of the trigger guard to provide a better grip for those who rest their support-hand index finger there. The finger rest floor plate that comes installed on the provided magazine allows for a two-finger grip on the pistol.
Perhaps the most noticeable new feature of the LCP II is the sights. They are still milled into the slide but they are much larger than those on the original LCP. It would be nice to have a drift adjustable rear sight, but in a defensive weapon that will normally be used at a range of seven yards or less, it is more important that they will always be there when you need them. That said, in many defensive gunfights, shooters often don’t even remember using the sights. They simply point and shoot.
Both front and rear cocking serrations are milled into the sides of the slide. These serrations are deep enough to allow a good grip on the slide but without any sharp edges. The slide is easy-to-rack and is designed to hold open after the last round is fired. This is a feature that not only improves safety at the range, but also provides a visual cue that the gun has run dry during a gunfight.
Because of this feature, the magazines for the LCP II are different from those designed for use in the LCP. Six-round LCP magazines are compatible with the LCP II but will not activate the last round hold open feature. The seven-round LCP magazines are not compatible with the LCP II.
“With the LCP II, unless you are wearing a Speedo or a bikini, there is no reason not to carry it. It will fit
just about anywhere.”
I found the LCP II to be one of the easiest pistols to field strip that I have ever used. You may want to cover the area of the slide above the takedown pin with a piece of tape or cardboard when prying out the takedown pin so that you don’t scratch the slide with the shank of the screwdriver. The takedown pin is captured by a spring in the frame so it takes a bit more effort than you might expect to get it started out of the frame. Be careful when removing the recoil spring assembly so that the recoil rod doesn’t fly across the room. Putting the takedown pin back in the first time is a bit tricky, but it is easy once you get the hang of it.
The LCP II is chambered for the .380 Auto cartridge. Ruger specifically prohibits the use of +P ammunition. During my evaluation of the LCP II, I fired three FMJ loads and three defensive hollow point loads. Bullet weights ranged from 90 to 99 grains.
Even though the LCP II is a small and light pistol, I did not find it unpleasant to shoot, even with defensive ammunition. I fired more than 175 rounds in each of three days and didn’t even raise a blister. It will never be mistaken for a plinker or a bull’s eye gun, but it was more pleasant to shoot than some pocket guns that I have fired.
The LCP II definitely preferred Federal Premium 99-grain HST JHP over any other defensive or FMJ ammunition that I tried. The average for three 5-shot groups at 10 yards with the Federal Premium HST ammunition was 1.646 inches. That Federal ammunition also produced the highest average velocity at 931 feet-per-second. All ammunition hit at point of aim at seven yards. This pistol is for close-in, defensive use. If you plan to use it out past 20 or 25 yards, you have the wrong type of gun.
There were no malfunctions of any type with any defensive ammunition while shooting the LCP II. I did have two failures to feed the last round with PMC FMJ ammunition. When performing draws from a pocket or IWB holster it performed flawlessly.
Concealed carry is where this gun shines. A bigger, higher capacity, more accurate pistol does you no good for personal defense if you aren’t carrying it because you can’t conceal it with the clothing you are wearing.
With the LCP II, unless you are wearing a Speedo or a bikini, there is no reason not to carry it. It will fit just about anywhere. I find that it fits well in a front pants pocket. Wherever you carry it, make sure that it is in a holster.
“I found the LCP II to be one of the
easiest pistols to field strip that I have ever used.”
There are a number of holster options available. Ruger includes a basic soft pocket holster with the gun. I evaluated three DeSantis holsters with the LCP II. These were the Sof-Tuck, Nemisis and the Pocket-Tuk. The Nemisis is a dedicated pocket carry design and the Sof-Tuck is dedicated to IWB carry. The Pocket-Tuk is a hybrid design that works well as either a pocket holster or an IWB holster.
Because of its diminutive size and light weight, the LCP II can be carried in conjunction with almost any clothing without having to worry about it printing.
Considering all of the excellent .380 Auto defensive loads that are now available, stopping power is not a factor. There just is no reason not to carry it anywhere it is legal to do so. I found the LCP II to be of high quality, comfortable to carry, reliable and easy to shoot.
At a suggested $349, the price is not prohibitive either. This combination makes for a good recipe for another extremely successful pistol from Ruger. HD
“During this end-user evaluation, I found the
LCP II to be of high quality, comfortable to carry, reliable and easy to shoot.”
The lines of the LCP II are angular whereas he LCP is more rounded. Note the angled serrations on the slide, the angular lines on the grip, the compound angle at the rear of the slide/frame and the angular trigger guard.
The author found these three holsters from DeSantis Gunhide worked well to carry the LCP II concealed. From left: Sof-Tuck, Pocket Tuk, Nemesis.
Above: Grip texture similar to that on xx the Ruger American Pistol is used on the LCP II. Right: The LCP II xpxisxtol and magazine are field stripped into their basic components for cleaning. Both are very easy to disassemble and reassemble.
There are a number of holster options available for the LCP II.
The LCP II may only be a .380 Auto, but when staring at the business end of it, the hole in the end of the barrel looks pretty big.
xTxhxe LCP II adds front cocking serrations on the slide and a blade safety on the trigger.