Home Defender - - Contents - TEXT AND PHOTOS BY RICHARD SCHUTZ

We take a look at the key im­prove­ments found on the newly re­designed Ruger LCP2 and it’s a def­i­nite win­ner.



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.


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.”

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