Today, we're looking at Ruger's LCP II, one of the best concealed-carry pocket pistols I've ever had the pleasure of shooting. As you will discover, there is a lot to like about this small gun. I wanted to review Ruger LCP II and let you all know why it resonates with me as much as it does.
As an incredibly popular self-defense pistol, the LCP II continues to remain a top choice among those looking for a reliable concealed carry gun. So join me as I explore what makes this pistol tick and why you should give it some serious consideration. In the end, I believe you will be beyond thrilled with everything it delivers, so you can then compare it to other concealed carry guns and guns for pocket carry. But let's take a closer look so you can know what to expect.
Greatness in the Making
Ruger's original LCP was a selling machine that did really well for the company. As one of the most reliable handguns for women (look here for more guns for ladies) and men, there's no denying that Ruger had something special on its hands. So, naturally, the next logical step was to update the LCP to improve its performance where they could. Also, if you are getting your first gun, check out how it fares against top recommended pistols for beginner shooters.
And that's exactly what Ruger did. Just 5 years after the release of the original LCP, Ruger released a refined version of it in 2013. Not only was the trigger pull much better, but it also had improved sights. One of the main complaints about the original LCP (which, surprisingly, is an issue on the LCP II) was that its handle didn't leave a lot of room for grip. For that reason, check out our Beretta 84 review - a pistol with excellent grip.
Thankfully, Ruger listened to the concerns of its customers and released an extended mag that upped the capacity from 6 to 7 rounds (+1). The difference this extended mag made cannot be overstated. In fact, it helped so much that sales soared to even better heights, making this pocket pistol one of their most-loved additions.
Over the next 3 years, Ruger would quietly work behind the scenes to create the next progression in the LCP. And in 2016, they finally released the LCP 2 to the public. What followed was a frenzy of sales for what many consider to be Ruger's most effective concealed carry .380 ACP.
To further eliminate any doubts, check out the detailed Glock 43 review here, or Glock 48 in this post. We also reviewed the SIG P365 and S&W 642 model for you.
By the Numbers
Let's take a moment to review the LCP II's specs before we move on any further. Like the LCP that came before it, the LCP 2 is rife with tight construction and solid craftsmanship. If you're looking for a gun that is easy to handle and a breeze to carry, the LCP 2 is the way to go.
Ruger LCP 2 Specifications
6+1 (7+1 with extended mag)
Black glass-filled nylon
I was able to shoot ammo of all grades and got the same excellent results each and every time. I'll go into more detail concerning my range results shortly. But I can tell you that this gun handles ammo like a champ and feels good shooting rounds.
The .380 ammo packs a punch that makes this gun ideal for concealed carry. To that point, let's explore why you should consider the LCP 2 as a personal defense weapon.
The Need for Concealed Carry
Is Ruger LCP 2 safe to carry with one in the chamber?
Many guns are unsafe to carry with a round in the chamber, with many manufacturers advising against it. Ruger's LCP II, however, is drop-tested and perfectly safe to keep that last round in the chamber. I like that this isn't an issue with this gun, as it's good to know that, at any time, I can quickly draw my weapon if a shot needs to be fired in a hurry.
Now, with that being said, it all depends on who is carrying the gun. As a hammer-fired pistol that doesn't have a manual safety, you should have plenty of experience before walking around with a loaded gun concealed on your person.
You should always think about safety first. If you're not confident in your shooting capabilities, spend some time on the range, and hone your skill level. When you have gotten better with handling and shooting this small of a pistol and feel that you're good enough to responsibility carry a loaded weapon, then you can consider it.
But until you've had plenty of range time and are well-versed in handling a loaded pistol, keep this one in your holster without a round in the chamber.
Is the Ruger LCP reliable?
I used to carry an LCP custom that oozed reliability. So when the LCP II finally rolled out, I was really looking forward to seeing if it, too, would be just as reliable. I'm pleased to report that this little pistol improves on nearly every aspect, making it a solid choice for anyone looking for reliability in their guns.
In fact, I see the LCP II going down as one of the most trustworthy guns ever made. Shooting this little guy is a literal and figurative blast. I would even go so far as to say it is more reliable than the Glock 42; a gun that I am incredibly fond of shooting and carrying.
All that said, is it perfect? Well, it depends on the shooter. Those with small hands will likely fall in love with this Ruger the moment they grip its handle. For me, I have some issues getting a good grip. But, like with the original, Ruger offers an extended mag that shatters any issues with grip.
Thanks to this piece, I am able to get a great grip and shoot each round with accuracy and confidence. Whether you are a new or seasoned shooter, your gun should provide you with a good grip at all times. Without it, there's a safety concern that needs to be addressed.
My first impressions of the LCP II were that this gun needs a bigger handle. So much so that my palm tends to swallow the small handle, just like on the original. If you often have this issue on little guns, your best bet is to invest in the extended mag and forget about it.
Is it OK to dry fire Ruger LCP 2?
A lot of guys like to dry fire their gun, as it helps to smooth out the action. As far as the LCP II goes, you can absolutely dry fire it as much as you want. This is because the firing pin is the inertia type and won't cause any harm to the gun.
You might want to invest in some .380 snap caps to be sure, but I had no issue dry firing mine throughout my time spent on its review.
Ruger on the Range
Thanks to its lightweight body, incredible versatility, and stellar trigger, my time on the range went without a hitch. At 7 yards, I think I shot some of my very best to date. Moving a little farther back to 20 yards, and I was still impressed at how even these rounds fired. While they weren't as on-point as the ammo I fired at 7 yards, these rounds were still a lot better than any other self-defense gun I've shot.
Mechanically, this gun is one accurate little pistol. I will say that the front sight is really short and may take some acclimating depending on the shooter. Those new to handling small guns might need some more practice on the range. But I really appreciate the tight design and find the front sight to complement this gun really well.
Sure, I would have preferred it if Ruger went with a white-dot setup. But even still, it's hard for me to complain considering I was able to shoot some of the best rounds in my life. I think most seasoned gun owners will agree that its sights make no difference in the grand scheme of things.
Once you shoot it and discover how incredibly accurate each shot is, you will understand why Ruger is such a well-respected gun manufacturer. The LCP II encapsulates everything great about the company.
What is the difference between the Ruger LCP and the Ruger LCP 2?
I fired both the LCP and LCP II using a variety of ammo. Many will agree that the former has superior sights and I would be hesitant to argue. Oftentimes, sights are subjective and depend on who is shooting. But this go around, I think it's pretty clear that the front and back sights on the original are way better. I could see a lot clearer when firing rounds with the original, but oddly, I got better results from the LCP II.
Size-wise, it's kind of hard to see where the differences lie at first glance. The slide looks identical in length, and in reality, it's close. The slide on the original measures 5.16 inches, whereas the slide on the LCP II measures only slightly longer at 5.17 inches. I get what Ruger was trying to accomplish here and they certainly succeeded. They wanted to make a pistol that was going to be easy to conceal, whether in a holster or in your pocket.
The LCP II is a fuzz wider and taller, but it's also slightly narrower than the original. Both hold the same amount of rounds and use the same type of ammo.
The trigger on the new LCP is far superior in my opinion, offering a more rounded shooting experience. There is just over a pound's difference in the new gun's favor, making it much easier and more responsive. The trigger pull on the original weighs 7.2 pounds while the new trigger weighs 5.91 pounds.
From the very first squeeze of the trigger, I could tell there was a vast improvement over the older style trigger. You also get a lot more control, in my opinion. Beginners who are looking to get their first concealed carry will want to give this one a look.
It's not often that you get this much greatness in such a small package. Not only that, but the price difference is negligible between the two. If you're looking to get a budget-friendly personal defense gun, this is the way to go.
With so much going for it and so many reasons to get it, Ruger's LCP II is a gun that keeps on giving. It's one of those pistols that keeps you coming back for more, and I couldn't be happier with it. It will be interesting to see what the next progression is that Ruger has in store.
But for now, we will just have to be happy with this model. No problem there. It's safe, reliable, accurate, and well-made. The LCP II continues to remain one of my favorites of all time. Investing in this gun is a solid bet that you won't regret for a second.