Ruger LCP Pistol in .380 ACP

Sturm, Ruger and Company just released a new concealed carry handgun: the Ruger LCP .  The new handgun is chambered for the moderately powered .380 ACP cartridge.

Ruger LCP

According to Ruger, the “LCP” initials stand for Lightweight Compact Pistol.  It would appear it gets that name for good reason. Weighing only 9.4 oz unloaded, the polymer framed gun has an overall length of only 5.16″ and a width of a mere 0.82″. The barrel is 2.75″ long and the trigger pull is an even 8 pounds.

Although the new pistol looks like a Kel-Tec P3AT, Stephen L. Sanetti, president of Sturm, Ruger & Co., was quick to point out that the LCP is not cheaply made during an appearance on the Gun Talk radio program. Sanetti told Tom Gresham, the radio show host, that the LCP has a machined extractor, loaded chamber indicator, and a slide stop (hold open) which are features not found on other brands of pistols in this category.

Sanetti also said the pistol is a lock breech design, not a simple blow back, and the frame is a tough glass filled nylon, not cheap plastic.  Glass filled nylon is essentially expensive plastic.  It is extremely durable and should hold up as well as any metal framed pistol.

The Ruger LCP holds 6+1 rounds of the popular .380 ACP load.  Aftermarket magazines allowing for many more rounds are also available, but they are not flush fitting.

Ruger LCP Sights

The Ruger LCP shown is a recently updated version which has significantly larger, more visible sights. The older version sights were tiny.

The LCP has rounded corners and a lack of protruding external controls.  It suffers, however, from the same problem many small pistols do:  the sights are small and difficult to use.  The front sight is not much more than a small bump, about the size of an insect bite really.  The rear sight is barely a shallow notch.  Seriously – these sights are small and could have been left off the gun for all the good they will do you.

Designed for concealed carry, the LCP could also make an excellent back-up gun for police officers and armed citizens.  But, it better be reliable.

The Ruger LCP retails for only $330, and comes with one magazine, safety lock, and a soft-sided case. Sentti said the LCP is currently in production and thousands will be shipping to dealers by the end of February.

Holsters for the Ruger LCP are available from Galco, RKBA, DeSantis, and others.

LCP Recall

Some Ruger LCP .380 pistols are being recalled due to a possibility they will discharge if dropped according to a Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. announcement on October 29, 2008.

Ruger LCP Review

Ruger stated that they have received a few reports of the LCP pistols discharging when a round was in the chamber and when the pistol was dropped on a hard surface.   As part of the recall program, Ruger will install an upgraded hammer system.

Ruger stated that there have not been any injuries reported related to this problem.

Ruger stated they will make good on all of the LCP guns that need to be upgraded, but their service department will only be able to handle a finite number of pistols at any one time.  Therefore, Ruger states the recall program will be on a “first come, first served” basis.  All work will be done for free and shipping there and back is paid for by Ruger.

In an effort to compensate LCP owners for their inconvience, Ruger will upgrade other unspecified components of the firearm and return the updated LCP with an additional magazine.

Earlier this year, Ruger recalled some of its SR9 pistols.  From the people I have spoken to about that recall program, things went smoothly and the owners were happy with Ruger’s service.

The full information about the LCP pistol recall is available from the Ruger website.


In September 2008, Crimson Trace released the LG-431 Laserguard for the Ruger LCP.  The new laser sighting system allows the shooter to make very accurate shots and is compact enough not to interfere with many of the hosters used for the LCP.  A full post on the Crimson Trace LG 431 for the Ruger LCP is here.

LCP Compact

About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

  • Kaiser

    Here is a beautiful pocket/bra pistol in a minimum acceptable calibre. Great work by Ruger!

  • LouisianaJoe

    This looks like a Kel-Tec P3AT clone. Go to both web sites and compare the part diagrams. The Key-Tec is lighter less wide and has a lighter trigger pull. What it does not have is the word Ruger on the side.

  • Jane

    When not in the bra, the LCP fits my wife’s hand perfectly 😉

  • carl

    looks great!!! now lets do it right in 9mm.

  • Jim

    Proud owner. The gun has functioned flawlessly. If I take out the stray I shot an inch and a half group of 5, add the stray and I shot a 3 inch group of 6 at ten feet. I am realalistic about it being a close range self defence gun. All the guys screaming about it being a copy need to grow up. If you are happy with your kel tec then enjoy it. If not buy the ruger you won’t be disappointed. For me, my concern is to have the best, most reliable gun and ruger has satisfied me again.

  • admin

    Thanks for the report, Jim. I’m looking forward to shooting the Ruger LCP in the near future.

  • tony

    I want one of these guns but first I wanna make sure I can find a belt holster for it. Anyone seen any? Ive never carried a pistol just in my pocket do I dont know how well I could adjust to that.

  • George

    I have a Ruger 380 and I love the gun, however, I am not comfortable carrying it with a slug in the chamber and the hammer cocked. How do others handle this? Do they wait until they are ready to shoot and then rack one into the chamber or take a chance it won’t go off accidentally? Appreciate any comments.


    • bobby

      Tony, I just bought a 380 Ruger LCP and the book that came with it said they did not recommend carrying a shell in the chamber, as it could fire if droped.

  • admin


    Thanks for stopping by. Yes, most folks carry this, as well as most modern firearms, with a cartridge in the chamber. The LCP is designed to be safely carried in this manner.

    The key is safe handling. The person holding the weapon is the primary safety. If you keep your finger off of the trigger and use a quality holster that protects the trigger guard area, you should be fine.


  • George

    Hey Tony,

    I found what appearsto be a good holster at a decent price. Go to RugerLCP.Com and check out Don Hume Model #J966630R, $17.50.

    Haven’t received it yet but when I do I can let you know if it is as good as it looks on paper.



    • BRENT


  • Bill

    I’m on a list to buy 1 of these lil Rugers as soon as my fave firearms dealer gets his second order delivered (the first 10 LCP’s sold out in two days!). Its tuff to CCW here in the SW desert, particularly in our usual 110F summer sunshine – my ankle holster won’t work with shorts (!) This “pocket pistol” is an answer to a real need – Sturm Ruger is gonna sell a bunch of em. It appears that the trig pull of .5″ should be safe enough w/ a round in. Whatever – this pistol beats the tar out of the usual alt of .22’s or those nasty .25’s.

  • VQ

    I purchased the LPC last weekend and shot about 60 rounds with no issues. I shot a few hollow points that seemed to group low and to the left at 10 Yards. All the other target rounds were extremely accurate at 10 Yards.
    I Purchased a second clip, one clip is very inconvienient.
    The only Down Side is my trigger finger tingled for about two hours and I would not say I am a sensitive low threshold type of guy.
    I think anyone with the business end pointed at them at 30 – 40 ft will be very suprised.

  • Marcus

    Looks and compares a lot like the Kel-tec P3AT, but it isn’t, not on the inside. In fact, in a magazine article, an owner compared his favored P3AT to this, and was very impressed. Comparing to other articles, it has impressive accuracy for pocket pistols, and the trigger pull stated by Ruger is heavier than experienced by testers.

    Still, a pistol as good (or better) than a Kel-tec brings me up in a great deal of suspicion.

  • Robert Belanger

    Just Received my LCP Friday, had trouble when I went to shoot it. I bought 88gr jhp Remmington bullets and tried to load them and the slide was not going all the way forward when I attempted to chamber a round. I broke the gun down to look at it and re-clean it, when I had it apart I slid a shell into the chamber and it would not go all the way in. After a call to Ruger they said the LCP would not function with these bullets nor would they work with Cor-Bon 90 gr jhp or Speer Lawman 95 gr tmj.

  • Robert Belanger

    To follow up on that, I used Winchester 95gr JHP bullets and they chambered great. At 15 feet I had a just under a three inch group and at 21 feet a group of 4 out of 5 in a 5 inch group. 100 Rounds and absolutely no trouble. Ruger stated they are working on the problem with the ammo manufacturers now.

  • Amorejon

    Just got one of these and love it. very accurate, light, and concealable’

  • ted

    I’m on my local dealers list to get an LCP, can’t wait!

  • 4stroker

    I also just got my new lcp and tried to put some Remington 88 jhp through it and it was a nightmare.
    The slide wont close 75% of the time. It did get better after a few mags but still is an issue. Ill try some other ammo and see what happens.

  • Kim

    I just bought one today, and when stocking up on ammo, the dealer recommened buying ammo that has a more “rounded” tip instead of the flat-ended ones. They chamber better. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I bought a box of Remington Golden Sabre HPJ for defensive rounds.

  • Jimt in NC

    I got my LCP about a month ago and I love it! Also everyone I show it to want’s one. Ruger needs to step up production.

  • Lil

    About a round in the chamber.

    The gun is double action, I think.

    The hammer is not ‘cocked’, the relatively heavy and long trigger pull is needed to pull the hammer back and fire.
    Just the same as a revolver, so it should be as safe as a loaded revolver.

  • johnny poison

    Yes you are correct the little beauty will not shoot a hand full of lawman , corbon and a few others, you can get the list from ruger. mine arrived last week for my wife and she loves it but in fact would rather have been able to continue shooting the amt backup SA but recoil and case ejecting backwards pinched that. My tests show the amt to be more accurate and quicker to empty a mag. My advice to anyone that needs a small .380 get a amt backup sa 1st model and stock up on the small parts like firing pins and springs as the company is out of buisness. I rabbit hunt with 95 gr. winchester , boy what fun.

  • Jerry

    Just bought a LCP yesterday and had the laser sight put on that is made for this gun. I forgot the name of the manufacturer but it’s molded to fit this gun right in front of the trigger. Should not affect any normal holster.
    Shot 200 rounds throught it over the last two days. At 20′ I had a group of 5 in a 4-5″ spread and at 10′ all six were in a group of 3″. The bullets went exactly where the laser pointed. I love this gun and it is perfect for conceilment.
    Great gun at a great price!

  • Brian

    I just sent off for my CWP in Florida and the 380. pocket gun is what I want to carry. I’ve decided on the Ruger. I’ll be back and update how it goes for a first time handgun owner. Any tips besides some lessons which I plan on taking.

  • admin


    I am very glad to hear that you will soon join the thousands of concealed weapon permit holders in Florida!

    The best suggestion I can offer is what you already mentioned: training, I don’t know where you are in Florida, but in north Florida (Live Oak area), Massad Ayoob is teaching classes there now. In the Tampa Bay area, the S2 Institute offers very good training as well.

    Another suggestion is find what ammunition you want to carry, and then shoot 200-300 rounds through the gun of that ammo. You want to make sure you find the ammo that works reliably in your gun. Many firearms will ‘like’ some ammunition, but not others. Yes, it costs some money to shoot several hundred rounds of the expensive stuff, but you need to know that what you carry works!

    Good luck!


  • admin


    Thanks for checking in with the review!


  • CJ

    LCPs not legal in CA yet (LEO only) but overheard LEO at gunshop praising this pocket gun. I have an AMT Backup 1 .380 ACP and I love it!

  • AL

    I love it! Q, Does it still fires if you drop it?

  • Frank

    Just picked up a LCP last week great little gun accurate too! Love it

  • Dale

    I fired 14 rounds of JHP in my ELSIE and cycled just fine, my friends 40 springfield had a better feel but like my little Elsie for sticking in somebodys face at my truck, bang, holt, who went there!

  • Joe

    I have just ordered my Ruger .380 LCP and am looking forward to receiving it when it arrives at a dealer near me. I looked high and low for .380 ammunition. Tried to locate it locally and on the web but non was available. Some was on backorder.

    Today, I might have gotten lucky when I came across two boxes of Corbon DPX ammo. It is 80 grain with a velocity of 1050 fps, 196ft/lbs. I got two boxes (20 in each box). It was the last two the dealer had received.

    Can anyone tell me how well this ammunition will work in my Luger which is due to arrive anyday now? Thanks!

  • admin

    The DPX line of ammunition is good stuff. I have not shot any of the .380, but I imagine it would stack up nicely against anything else in this caliber. I would just make sure it feeds reliably in your LCP.


  • George R

    My wife and I each have Ruger LCPs’ and probably have put 150 rounds through the guns with no jams or mis-fires. We’ve found 2 cartridges that work great. 1)(for practice)Magtech, 380 auto, 95 gr. FMC, 2)(for CCW) the Hornady, (Critical Defense)380 auto 90 gr. FTX., Extremely accurate, (3″ pattern at 20 ft.) but costly.

    We’ve noticed a shortage of 380 ammunition in the gun shops, however there are some 380+p cartridges around. My question is can the LCP handle them?

  • Mike Kelly

    George R—-The manual specifically states that +P ammunition is UNSAFE is the LCP.






  • charlie

    I bought a lcp a couple of months ago after seeing one my friend owned. It shoots well and is very lite. I did look at the Kel-Tec, but the Kel-Tec looked like a cheap version of the lcp. The checkering on the KelTec grip did not feel right to me.

  • Terry

    Got my LCP a few days before Christmas. My wife bought it for me. Have put 170 rounds throgh it now with now troubles at all. 20 rounds of Federal Hydrashoks with no feed problems. Great Pocket pistol.

  • david

    I have Kel-Tec P-11. Trigger is heavy, long and no indication of where it engages. Is LCP similar? Does anyone have experience with both LCP and P-11; how do triggers compare?

    Also, best, hottest ammo for LCP. I read +P are not to be used. Thanks….

    • Thumper01

      Regarding the trigger pull of my LCP, it is long and heavy, not unlike the KelTek. It seems somewhat heavier than the KelTek. There’s no “clear” indication of hammer release; however, the pull is smooth and consistant.

  • Phil

    I bought my LCP in December, and put 100 rounds through it. I thought that it was an ok gun. Yesterday, I finished breaking her in with nearly 200 additonal rounds, and I like it much better now.

    Here’s what I’ve run so far:

    50 Winchester White Box 95 gr. FMJ
    200 Magtech 95 gr. FMJ
    21 Remington 88 gr. JHP
    12 Magtech 77 gr. SCHP (JHP)
    12 Corbon 80gr. DPX

    The only issue I had was not being able to eject live rounds of the Magtech JHP. This issue is now gone…maybe because of break in.All these rounds functioned flawlessly, and I’m more impressed now than I was after I brought it home. I’ll probably carry the Corbon and I may look for some Remington Golden Sabers, or Hornady Critical Defense.

    Most of my weapons are steel or alloy as I’m not too big a fan of poly guns, but certainly understand their place. I’m curious as to how many rounds this puppy will go.

  • Donn Watson

    I’ve got a newly purchased Ruger LCP, haven’t shot it yet, and I have noticed that everybody is using the .380 caliber ACP and/or Auto. The manual states to use .380 “AUTO”. What is the difference between .380 Auto and .380 ACP???

    • Richard

      It is the same cartridge.

  • William A Harland

    Great little pistol I love the way it soots 3to4″ groups at 8’Nice handling accurate pistol

  • Joel Colley

    Although I like the concept of a “pocket pistol”, I have been disappointed with the stock Ruger magazines. I have had “feeding problems” with some of the specialty personal defense ammunition like Speer Gold Dot, Corbon, and Hornady tactical defense. It seems to be related to a weak magazine spring and poor tolerances of the follower fit to the inside of the magazine. I have approached Wolf Gunsprings to spark their interest in an aftermarket fix, since there is a huge market forming for this firearm. AT THIS POINT I WOULD NOT BET MY LIFE ON THIS PISTOL!

  • Steve Olesh

    Just got my Ruger LCP yesterday , bought some Winchester 380 auto 95 gr. FMJ ,then went to shoot it . Boy was i surprised how well it shot right out of the box . I carried it all day today in my front pocket of my cargo shorts , could hardly tell it was there. I highly recommend this gun.

  • Kevin

    I am a CCW Instructor in Las Vegas, NV ( and I have had a large number of students qualify with the LCP. Not only do they all seem to shoot well “right out of the box” with it, but inexperienced shooters seem to do well with it as well.

  • jeff

    The majority of my LE career was spent with a revolver..DA only shooting so the Glock..I have 3, lends well to my training and I shoot well with them. I am retired and wanted to carry regularly but the Glock is just too bulky for my normal needs. I bought an LCP and shot it for the first time yesterday. It exceeded my expectations and is class A in every category. There were no FTF and the recoil was far less than the 2″ S&W I also fired. The little pistol is just what I wanted

  • Thumper01

    The LCP has proven to be a reliable little gun. Can’t stress enough about firing at least a hundred rounds of “whatever” ammo you plan on using as personal defense ammo. The first hundred rounds of Independent 90gr FMJ ammo shot flawlessly with only two stovepiped rounds.

  • Artemas

    It may look like the P3AT but the only difference is the Ruger works. The P3AT will not chamber the next round correctly after firing the first round in the chamber. Not a good thing if you really need to use this in an emergency. When KelTec was asked of this issue they said “just fire 100 rounds through it and it will work fine” Uh huh, right.

  • Philley Bob

    Just bought a Ruger 380 and was a bit disappointed. Compared to my 38 and Glock 22 40 Cal this little Ruger requires a lot of effort to discharge. The only way I can get the range of motion required to shoot is by using my finger tip. I also find the slide more difficult to operate.
    I am a novice gun owner and reckon maybe I have to get used to it, but just am not sure at theis point.

    • Will

      To Philley Bob: If you ever see this post. If you have not grown to like that LCP, drop me an email with a price that you would sell it for:

  • Mike

    I bought the LCP for my wife for Christmas. I liked the size, caliber and weight and it had a good feel compared to others I looked at. I picked up some PMC bronze 90 grs fmj to try it out. We set up an 8 inch target at 40 feet and my wife put 5 rounds of the first mag into the target on her first attempt. I had similar results. I liked the gun even more after firing it.

  • tbone

    anyone heard any reports on hornady critical defense..ftx .380 ammo?