Ruger LCP Ammo

Need some Ruger LCP ammo?  According to Michael Bane’s blog, a major ammunition manufacturer will bring a new .380 loading to the market that is specifically designed for the Ruger LCP. This is exciting, as two current problems exist with the current crop of ammunition and the LCP.

Ruger LCP AmmoThe first problem is the .380 ACP cartridge is an underpowered chambering. Generally, the .380 loads are weaker than what is available for the .38 Special. For self defense, you need all the bang you can get.

The second problem is I have been getting some reports that the LCP is ammunition sensitive. Some popular cartridges are not feeding properly. This, of course, is a HUGE problem if it extends to the entire line of LCP’s and not just a few examples. One of the reports was posted as feedback here (scroll all the way down).

Time will tell who brings what to the market. However, Bane has a lot of good contacts and I expect this information is very reliable.  I expect we will see a variety of Ruger LCP ammo loads in the near future.

There are a number of smaller ammunition manufacturers who are producing .380 ACP ammo, and I imagine they are testing the loads in the LCP.  They might not market the loads as “Ruger LCP ammo,” but I suspect that they are definitely testing it since it is such a popular handgun.  After all, if your ammo doesn’t work in one of the most popular concealed carry pistols, why would anyone buy it?

Update – November 2008:  Hornady has introduced a new line of ammunition: Critical Defense.  The Hornady Critical Defense ammunition is designed for self defense from small handguns like the Ruger LCP.  I’m not sure this is the ammunition that Bane was hinting at, but it certainly fits.  More information about the Critical Defense ammo can be found here.

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.

  • Ramon

    I’ve had my Ruger LCP for several months now firing about 600 rounds through it. I had a FTF problem at first. This was identical to the FTF problem I had with my Kel-Tec PF-9. For both pistols my gunsmith polished the feed ramp and I’ve not had a failure since. I’ve run cheap and pricey ammo through it, HP and FMJ. This little jewel does just what I ask of it; conceals and fires on demand. During summer months wearing shorts, t-shirt and sandles the LCP easily conceals in my pocket. With an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster you completely hide the silhouette and protects clothing and thigh from rubbing. Naturally as the weather cools the LCP is put away for its big brothers; 9mm, .357 mag, and ultimately my .45 when heavy coats are worn.

  • admin


    Thanks for the feedback! Now, maybe we can get Ruger to just polish the feed ramps before they leave the factory?

  • Jose

    I had serious issues with the Ruger LCP FTF when firing the Cor-Bon PowRBall 70 1210.3 it consistently jams. I like the feel of this little gun but a not willling at this time to stake my life on this weapon miss firing would someone recommend a good defensive round for this weapon.

  • admin

    I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the LCPs and the ammo it likes. The -best- source on ammo and these guns is over at the ProArms Podcast. Massad Ayoob and several others all had the chance to run several of the LCP through their paces. Some interesting information about what ammo worked for them came out. It is worth checking out.

  • Joe

    Could find nothing at ProArms Podcast regarding Ayoob and others with information about what ammunition worked best for them in the Ruger LCP

  • admin


    Check out episode 007 at Pro Arms. I believe it was that episode they discussed which ammo worked and did not work for them in the LCP.


  • Steve Dallas

    The major problem with .380 ammo is: AVAILABILITY!

    I work in a popular retail gun store and from where I stand, 380 ammo is scarce as hens’ teeth.

  • tatortots

    I just bought 125 rounds of the .380 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo. I will see how it loads into my LCP and my brother’s this week. At current prices of $2.50 a bullet I sure hope it loads fine!

  • Carl

    I have owned my LCP for about a month now and have experienced none of the feeding problems others describe. I have loaded and fired Hornaday Critical Defense 90 Gr FTX, Winchester 95 GR FMJ target and Blackhills 90 GR JHP ammo with no problems. The biggest problem I have is finding ammo. The designer stuff seems to be available at $1 to $2 a round everywhere but resonably priced target ammo is only to be found at the guns shows at premium prices. I have yet to hear any explanation (besides the government is buying it, and other conspiracy theories) for this other than too much demand. I really like this gun for concealed carry but would feel more comfortable if I could afford to shoot it more often. I am almost to the point of loading my own!

  • Mack2

    Nice idea, Carl, but you will find that loading supplies are even harder to find than the 380 ammo, unfortunately.

  • Adam

    I have had my LCP for 1 month now and the only problem i had with it was the 1st round. once i set the second round in it worked like a charm

  • Billy

    There is more than one reason that ammo is in short supply. First is the election of Obama and liberal control of congress. People remember the gun bans of the Clinton era. All ammo is or has been in short supply in the past year. The .380 ammo was hit harder because it has never been a popular round so there wasn’t much manufactured or on hand. Add to that the introduction of the Ruger LCP and other small very concealable guns in .380acp and you run out of ammo. I thought about getting a LCP, but the waiting list was so long that I opted to stay with my model 85 Bersa. I have a couple boxes of .380 ammo for it and it’s not that hard to conceal plus it hold 10 round per mag + 1 in the pipe. On the bright side some supplier are getting .380 ammo in stock again and many more are expecting to have some between Nov and Jan. I found some FMJ online this week for $180 for 500 round. How long before those who foolishly payed $40-$50 for 50 rounds realize they should have just waited. It’s just like gas someone says shortage and all the fools run out and buy as much as they can get driving the supply down and the price up.

  • Michael Malaro

    I have had my Ruger LCP 380 for 6 months. I had serious FTF problems with a box (50) Corbon 380 HP +P 95 grain. It failled to feed at least 50-60% of the time. I have some 4 year old Federal Classic 380 90 grain I purchased in bulk. I have put 150 rounds of this through the LCP with no failures. The Federal is a less expensive load, and is FMJ.

    • Richard

      Thanks for posting Michael. Your experience is the perfect example of why everyone should test their carry guns with several hundred rounds of their carry ammo. Some guns don’t like some ammo that is otherwise very good. Thanks again for posting.


  • Ray

    I also have had FTF in the LCP. Called Ruger had it sent in. They “repaired” by replacing the inner and outer springs,also replaced the extractor. They also noted they fired 24 rounds with no failures. I figured they had the problem licked. Tried to chamber a Winchester SXT hp. Didn’t even clear the feed ramp. Called them the very next day after getting it back. They said they fired Black Hills hp’s. Now I am looking for this elusive load and hope it works. Because this was to be my carry pistol. I will give it one try with the Black Hills and if that doesn’t work I will have no choice but to start looking for another carry pistol I can count on.

  • terrence

    (my conspericy) is the reason for 380 ammo shortage is the uped #of ar-15. the shell plate for a 223 and 380 is one in the same.(for loaders) so they droped the 380 to mass(mass) produce the 223.

  • Michael

    The owners manual says its not for +P ammo for a reason. Don’t blame the gun or the ammo for what it clearly states. FYI .22 shorts will fall out of the barrel also.

  • Mark

    I just shot my lcp for the first time put 150 rds three different brand of ammo no jams or miss fires i could not find any hollow points. from 25 feet and in i was amazed by this little gun, i feel confident enough in this weapon to carry it for protection.

  • Ryan

    I have just purchased my LCP and shot about 50 rounds over the weekend. I noticed that the Critical Defense loads were getting hammered by something curved and sharp. I assume it’s the barrel hood. No ftf but they mashed the critical defense bullet. I also shot some mfs200 hardball and it even put a half moon dent in those. I haven’t heard from Ruger yet.

  • George

    When I first got my Ruger LCP I put 100 rounds in and it jammed on the 99th round. I was using PMC FMJ rounds and the pistol was dirty so I didn’t give it a second thought. So the next time I was at the range I put another 100 rounds in and it jammed on the 98th round. Same brand of ammo and I thought to myself that this IS a concealed carry pistol and not a target pistol so if I ever have to use it to defend myself it won’t get that dirty because I HOPEFULLY won’t have to put more than 13 thru it. So I cleaned it up, got a crimson laser for it and brought it back to the range to test it out. It would not run through a full magazine with out jamming. I thought it was the ammo so I ordered some online, Agulia JHP or something like that and they were the WORST rounds I ever put throught the Ruger. EVERY ROUND FTF. I also noticed that one of the pins in the handle is starting to slide out so I tapped it back in place. I purchased this because I LOVE the compact design the accuracy is unbelievable (when it actually fires a round) but I am starting to have doubts in it’s reliablity. I’ll contact Ruger to see that they will do and I read the posts above mine to see if there was a fix but I have tried everything I know that I can do to help with no luck.

  • Harry

    Similar problem to George #20 with my LCP using PMC and a couple of other off brands – jamming on the 98th and 99th round, sometimes the 2nd or 3d round in every magazine. Called Ruger Tech Service 928-778-6555. To make a long story short, while field stripping and cleaning the recoil springs came off the little guide rod and I put the inner spring on backwards – big end should face forward, or the same direction as the muzzle. Works both ways, but eventually will start to slip and cause the spring not to work properly. I think the manual says something about that, too, but I didn’t read it very carefully. I’m that’s solved the problem. Still not sure what ammo is going to work best.

  • Vince

    I have two LCP’s both 374 series, the earlier build version will take anything, the later one will not tolerate Federal FMJ, I think it was ~09 grain. There is a noticeable difference between between the ejector arm, the newer guns arm is larger and it leaves a nick on the Federal rim at about 2 o’clock. The other ball ammo I used cycled fine, S+B and PPU, with little or no marking. This was a problem with the original 371 series guns which Ruger supposedly fixed

  • JD Bartlett

    Last Friday, while shooting Fiocchi FMJ’s my LCP blew the rod and springs out the front of the slide just below the muzzle!!! I contacted Ruger yesterday and received a pre-paid FedEx label and the gun was returned today!

    I fired a total of 80 rounds of FMJ, and about 18 rds of SilverTip through the gun – it was purchased new.

  • Rick Robinson

    I purchased a lcp and picked it up at the range on mon. 11-8-10.I shot 62 rounds of 90 grain pmc fmj ammo and the slide and springs flew forward on the ground. It was reassembled and shot but I need to know if their is a defect.I well be contacting ruger soon.

  • Dave

    After cleaning, be careful that the springs are properly installed on the guide rod. One end of the outer spring is slightly larger than the other and must be facing the muzzle. If backwards, the spring will overlap the guide rod end where it connects to the barrel “half-moon” notch. The guide rod end will not seat securly in the notch. This may cause the problem with ejecting springs and guide rods.

  • Dennis

    I have fired over 250 rounds through my LCP with no feed problems. So far, I have shot Winchester FMJ FP and Remington FMJ RN. With the Winchester FP I could see a bit of drag when I released the slide but during firing it was flawless. There was no drag with the Remington RN. I have since polished the feed ramp and the chamber. Drag issues are totally resolved. By the way, I CCW qualified with these loads out to 15 yards and was able to keep all in the 9 ring or better on a reduced B24.

  • Mark

    Purchased my LCP 02/10/11. Fired 300 rounds of ammo thru it. Pistol ftf Russian 91 gr about 25 times out of 100 rounds but ran 100 gr range loads not a single ftf. Fired Speer Gold Dot 90 gr no problem. Fired 100 rounds UMC 95 gr no problem. I believe this to be a good weapon. Accuracy was amazing cut holes @ 10 yards filled the chest square @ 15 yards rapid fire. Cleaned pistol no brass or shavings into chamber. Cleaned mag found heavy oil in it. Fired this right out of box by the way.

  • Robert Kleman

    Lcp 380 jamed almost every shot using 91 grain Tul Ammo Russian made ammo, never had that problem with other types of ammo, once in awhile I would get a ftf, but the Tul Russian, jams every round, don’t use it.

  • lilrascle

    So I got mine and went to shoot some 80g frangible. FTF. I am wondering if it is the bullet weight? Seems like no one is complaining that is dropping the 100+ grain bullets. But the 80-95 g is somewhat unreliable.

    Mine will fire the first bullet every time. It;s the second one that will never fire. Strikes the primer, but obviously not hard enough. Put the round back in…fires. With a DAO it is perplexing….???

  • Nam Marine

    I really hate to say this, but the Ruger LCP that I own is a piece of crap!

  • Michael Malaro

    I have posted before(2 years ago)concerning the Ruger LCP 380. It has been returned to Ruger 2 times in the past 2 years. Presently, it is sitting in my safe with a $175 Crimson Laser attached to it. This is where the LCP .380 will stay. I purchased a Sig Sauer 238/.380,w/ laser last month. This Sig 238/.380(I own 3 other Sigs)has been a pleasure to carry and fire.

    • Richard

      Thanks for the update, Michael. I recently reviewed the LCP and wasn’t impressed by it. I had high hopes for it, and it has a place for some folks, but I’ll stick to my S&W 642. I’ve heard some really good things about the 238 from others also.


  • Urus

    I purchased a new lcp last month and have fired about 150 round through it.The only problems I have had were that on 3 or 4 occasions the last round in the magazine would fail to eject properly after it was fired. Any ideas what would cause this problem

  • David B. Rice

    I recently purchased a Ruger LCP from my local dealer. It is the NRA special because I was into camo
    before cammo was cool. I am an avid reloader. I put every load I could find for the 380 through this pistol.
    Perfect. no falures of any kind. Then I deliberatly went below the starting loads. At .2 grains low I experienced one failure ro eject out of 100 rounds. In my opinon there is no purpose in going above SAMMI pressures. Also as much as I love this little gun there is no purpose to the sights it comes with. Get Crimson Trace Laser sight and you will have an excellent carry and self defence weapon.

  • Bob E

    I’ve had and been carrying an LCP for over a year. FMJ rouds used are only American Eagle 95 gr FMJ AND the Remmington 88gr hollow point… The key to this gun is to FIRST polish the ramp. Call it “fluff & Buff”.. I’ve fired over 2000 rounds of both listed above WITHOUT a failure… VERY confident in my carry piece…

    • Richard

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for the report. I know a lot of people are very happy with their LCP pistols. The one I had to review was not terribly reliable (with any ammo), and it likely could have used a fluff and buff. I’ve heard pretty much the same thing about the KelTec P3AT, though I’ve never had one for review.

      Stay safe!