Tanner's Gun Reviews

   By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

Ruger LCP Review

The RUGER LCP .380 pistol is an affordable compact .380 semi-automatic pistol from Ruger, one of the leaders in reliable firearms. The LCP is used by law enforcement as well as for personal protection. It weighs just 9.40 ounces (with an empty magazine). It's a great concealed carry pocket gun and is ideal for all-day carry. The LCP is small and light enough to slip into your pants pocket and forget it's there. You just have to make sure you have a good pocket holster for it.


RUGER LCP .380 pistol
RUGER LCP .380 Pistol

Ruger LCP ReviewField Stripping
Remove ExtractorPolish Extractor
Exploded ViewGrip Extensions
HolstersWill Not Shoot?
+P AmmoShoot w/o Mag?
RUGER LCP 380 ACP Pistol.
RUGER LCP 380 Pistol
RUGER LCP without magazine.
LCP without magazine
RUGER LCP with slide loced bak.
Slide Locked Back
RUGER LCP Magazines
LCP Magazines


First Impressions

When I first picked up the gun I was surprised at how small and light it was. It seemed like a toy gun as compared to the larger caliber guns that I had been shooting but appeared to be a high quality firearm. The small size and light weight of the Ruger LCP made it a perfect choice for concealed carry in my pants pocket (with an appropriate holster of course).


Shooting The Ruger LCP

The first time I shot it I was a little bit apprehensive about the recoil that I would encounter. Since the gun was so light and small I didn't know what to expect. The fact that I could only grip the gun with two fingers didn't help much either. In my mind I could imagine the little gun jumping out of my hand after firing the first shot. Fortunately, I was wrong. It did have a little "kick" to it but nothing that was not manageable. Later, after I installed the grip extensions to the magazines and they helped out tremendously. Also, when shooting the LCP you will notice the very long trigger pull. It takes a while to get used to it, but it is also a good thing because it adds to the safety of the gun (preventing accidental discharges).

Another thing to note is that when I first began shooting the LCP I could hardly hit anything with it beyond 15 feet. I wasn't used to shooting such a small, slim gun with such a long trigger pull and with almost non-existent sights. I was lousy at hitting the target. It took a few sessions at the range for me to become comfortable and confident with the gun (it takes a little getting use to).



- See All Ruger LCP Pictures -

How Much Does The Ruger LCP Cost?

As of August 6, 2011 the LCP pistol cost about $289.


Good Things

Bad Things

  1. Small Profile, Light Weight & Thin Frame.

  2. Can Carry All Day Without Effort.

  3. It's Accurate.

  4. Holds 6+1 rounds.

  5. It's Reliable.

  6. Won't Print In Pocket.

  7. Long Trigger Pull Increases Safety.

  8. Small Size & Light Weight Make It East To Carry.

  9. Easy To Field Strip & Clean.

  1. Side Does Not Lock Back After Last Round.

  2. Small Grip/Hard To Hold Without Grip Extension.

  3. The Ruger LCP will not shoot with Too Much Trigger Finger.


What Type of Ammo Does The Ruger LCP Shoot?

The Ruger LCP is chambered for 380 auto ammunition.


Concealed Carry Of The Ruger LCP

The Ruger LCP is one of the most popular concealed carry pistols on the market today. It's slim design, small profile and light weight lets you slip it into your pocket and forget about it. When you walk around with some of the other pocket guns you feel the gun slap against your thigh each time you take a step. Not so with the LCP. You really do forget it's there.


RUGER LCP in Blackhawk holster     RUGER LCP in Blackhawk holster 2


This is my favorite holster for carrying my LCP in my pants pocket. It's small and light weight and does not print. It doesn't grip the gun tightly, but it will hold it in place. When you insert your hand into your pocket it naturally grabs the grip and the gun slips out easily and ready to fire. This is a Blackhawk Inside Pocket Holster.



The Ruger LCP pistol is a great little gun that packs a pretty good size wallop with modern personal defense ammunition. It's a great little gun that you can just stick in your pocket and forget about it. 

Ruger LCP Specifications

Ruger 6 + 1 Round 380 ACP w/2.75" Barrel/Blue Finish/Soft Case/ Ultra-light, compact carry pistols weigh only 9.4 ounces in Ruger's. Smallest pistol frame with a height of 3.6 inches and a width of just .82 inches. The LCP is comfortable and affordable, making it a natural choice for a dependable back-up or personal defense carry pistol. High performance, glass-filled nylon frame is topped by a through-hardened steel slide in a blued finish. Soft case included.

LCP Model Number: 3701
Caliber: .380 Auto
Type: Pistol
Action: Double Action Only
Caliber: 380 ACP
Barrel Length: 2 3/4"
Safety: No Manual Safety
Grips: Checkered Polymer
Sights: Fixed
Weight: 9.40 oz
Finish: Blue
Capacity: 6 + 1






LCP Slide Hard To Pull Back

March 29, 2013
My new LCP slide is very difficult for me to retract. I can't cock it like shown in the owner's manual. I think working the slide or shooting a couple hundred rounds will "loosen" it up. Could a good gunsmith loosen it up? Thomas

Response - Thomas,

I doubt if "loosening it up" (if you could) is the answer and I would doubt that a few hundred rounds will loosen it up.

The force of the recoil spring that pushes the slide forward should remain constant with use, otherwise the gun will jam or have other problems.

The slide of the Ruger LCP is small. Getting a grip on the slide to pull it back is not always easy.

If you don't have very strong hands and fingers it can be a problem, especially if you do it like they show to in the manual (on pages 16 and 19, with two fingers). I don't do it with two fingers.

I would suggest retracting the slide with your full hand as shown in the picture on page 12 of the manual. It makes it a lot easier as long as you keep the gun pointed in a safe direction and don't let that hand get in front of the muzzle.

Best regards, Tanner


Ruger LCP Can Fire If Dropped

January 29, 2013
I just purchased my ruger lcp yesterday and i was reading owners manual and it said that if the gun was dropped it could fire. Is this a CYA statement in the book? It seems that because it is a double action that would be hard to happen. The hammer is not resting on the bullet?

Response - John,

Before I bought my Ruger LCP, I remember reading something about the possibility of accidental discharge when dropped, but that the "problem" was fixed with the newer models (this was a couple of years ago). I probably read that in a forum somewhere.

I just looked at my manual and confirmed what you said. It probably is a CYA statement, but if it is in the manual I would think that the possibility does still exist, even if remote.

It might be best to carry it with an empty chamber.

Best regards,



Hard To Rack The Side On Ruger LCP

January 21, 2013
My wife was having trouble chambering the ruger lcp380 because of her small hands. I removed the smaller spring of the two spring recoil system. I have not shot the pistol since the, will this change the function of the pistol? Jeff

RESPONSE - Jeff, Sounds like you are asking for trouble. No way would I shoot it without both springs. It was designed with two springs for a purpose. If I were you I would put it back the way it was. Best regards, Tanner


No Manual Safety On Ruger LCP

January 11, 2013

 the rugger I looked at di not have a safety on it, does that bother you from a safety standpoint? Paul

RESPONSE - Paul, Not at all. I actually prefer it that way (I assume you are talking about the Ruger LCP). If it had a safety on it:
- Over time I would tend to forget which way it goes in order to fire and which was was "safe".
- Also, in the heat of the moment of a self defense situation, when I am scared and my hearts pumping fast, I'm sure I would not remember to manually position it to the "fire" position.
For me, it would be more reliable to just pull it from my pocket (from the pocket holster) and fire. The Ruger LCP also has a very long trigger pull which helps avoid accidental discharges.

If you don't feel safe carrying "one in the chamber", then the safest way to carry it is with a loaded magazine but with the chamber of the gun empty. So all you have to do is rack the slide and fire. Note - I do own a couple of other guns that I shoot at the range on a regular basis. Even then I sometimes forget to position the safety. Best regards, Tanner

Reply - Tanner, thank you for your insight. I have been around and owned guns my whole life due hunting and in my younger days living on my parent's farm. Although, I don't hunt anymore, I still do own several guns, they all have a safety on them. I am going to purchase another handgun very soon. I have already scheduled myself and my sister to attend a CCW class and will get a CCW license. (The people in Washington really scare me.) I really like the Ruger LCP, however the idea that I am going to carry that gun in my pocket or possibly have my wife have it at the house and that it won't have a safety really is concerning to me. I just wanted to ask the question and get more insight about this concern. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this matter. Paul


Ruger LCP Magazine Hard To Insert

September 10, 2012
Hello, I just purchased a Ruger 380 LCP from Buds Police Supply and the magazine only goes in half way before it gets stuck where the release button is. I have to push the release button in to get the magazine to go in. Is this normal for this particular gun? Thanks!

Response -Vicky,

A gentle push won’t do it.

Most likely if you use a little bit more force the magazine will go in. It's probably just stiff and new and may get easier with use.

I have had my LCP for a couple of years and our of curiosity I just tried inserting the magazine without depressing the mag release and it did take some force to do it, so I suspect all LCPs are like this.

When I first purchased my LCP, I read that for this type of plastic pistol, if you continually ram (force) the magazine into the magazine well it may eventually break the plastic magazine release. That sort of made sense to me and ever since I always depressed the mag release when inserting the magazine. It becomes routine after a few uses. Also, the LCP manual doesn't say anything about depressing the release when inserting the magazine but it does say "slamming the magazine into the frame forcibly is not necessary".

Note - One thing I highly recommend would be to get magazine grip extensions. They make it a lot easier to grip the gun. ref: ruger-lcp-grip-extension-by-pearce-pg-lcp



Reply - Hi Tanner,
Thanks so much for getting back with me. I’m okay with pressing the mag release button to insert the magazine. I definitely don’t want to take the chance and break my gun. With just purchasing it, I wanted to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with it. My neighbor has another type of 380 and he said he never heard of having to press the mag release button to insert the magazine. I ordered it from Bud’s so it’s not like I bought it at a local store. What is the difference between the Federal P380HS1G and Federal PD380HS1H ammo? I know one is for personal defense and one is for Law Enforcement, but are they actually the same bullet? Thanks again!

Response - Vicky,
I don’t know the difference in the ammo. I don’t think I have ever purchased them. I took a quick look at pictures of them and they both look expensive. That’s the type that you buy a box, shoot a few rounds to make sure they work in your gun, then never shoot them again (saving those for real emergencies and only shooting the cheaper ball ammo at the range).


Buying A Ruger .380 LCP For My Husband

March 29, 2012
I would like to purchase this Ruger .380 LCP for my husband’s birthday. He is retired law enforcement and we both have our conceal carry and live in Florida. Can you please tell me, since i have never purchased a gun before, who to purchase it from? Also, do gun stores all sell the Ruger LCP .380 for the same price, or do I need to shop around? Can I buy it online, is that a good idea or not? Lastly can you please give me he steps to purchasing a gun? I would like it to be a surprise and I know he mentioned the likes of the Ruger. Thanks so much!!

Response - Mimi,

The Ruger pistol does not sell for the same price at all stores. You can likely get one cheaper online than in your local gun store and you won't have to pay sales tax (but you will have to pay a $25-$35 transfer fee).

You may want to call around to a few of your local gun stores for prices and to see if they have them in stock.

If you buy at your local gun shop, they may offer an "in house" warranty on their products (along with the manufacturer’s warranty) where they can do minor repairs without sending the gun back to the factory. You may want to ask about this if that’s important to you.

Shipping is usually free if you buy online and prices are usually cheaper.

I can’t tell you where to buy online but I have great luck buying guns online with Buds Gun Shop. I have purchased 4 guns from them so far without a problem. They delivered fast.

If you buy online just follow the procedure they describe on the website. Usually you just fill out the form, pay with credit card, specify where you want it delivered, then wait. When your local gun store (delivery location) receives the gun they will call you to come pick it up.

When you go to pick up your gun bring your CCW and a few dollars ($5 or $6?) to pay for a background check. When you get there. they will have you fill out the background check form. You return the form to them and they get on the phone to get approval for you (usually takes about 5-10 minutes). While waiting, you usually end up buying ammo or some other accessories. After background check approval you pay about $25-35 for the transfer fee and the $5 for the background check fee and anything else you buy while your there, then your done.

Info about buying guns online.

Note – I think a new LCP only comes with one magazine. I would order 2 more when you buy the gun. I would also get some magazine extensions but you should probably let your husband worry about that.

One thing I am not sure about is “giving the gun” to your husband. He may have to come with you when you pick it up at the gun store. If I were you I would call a few of your local gun stores and tell them what you plan to do and see what they suggest.

Another thing to ask your local gun stores if they offer discounts to retired law enforcement officers.

Good luck,


Reply - OMG u gave me a wealth of information....never thought about law enforcement % and I happen to have a extremely recent background check that I paid for 70.00..hope that works...I had planned to give him the gun right at the gun shop so he then can purchase his own style holster and anything else he wanted....thank you for the links and I did look up buds!! he seem to be very professional...
again..great info and much appreciation for the quick reply!


Ruger LCP-380 Banned In Massachusetts

March 16, 2012
I understand the Ruger LCP-380 is banned in Massachusetts . If true, what is the reason?

Response - Chris,

I hadn't heard that before, but according to the following it was banned because it was not “drop safe”.


Best regards,



Ruger LCP With Laser

March 02, 2012
Can the laser ruger lcp be used for the concealed hand gun qualifying class in texas?

Response - Pete,

Sorry, but I don't know.

The gun I brought with me didn't matter in the gun course that I took in Florida for concealed carry.

How well you shot also didn't matter, just as long as you know the rules and you could shoot safely.

I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use it, but you would have to check with the people who provide the class.


Reply - Thanks, I will check.


LCP Trigger Pull Is Too Hard

September 17, 2011
Where can I find a spring to make the trigger pull lighter? It is to hard to pull the trigger back.

Response - Ryan,
Sorry, I don't even know if lighter trigger springs are available for the LCP.

You might try calling Ruger and asking them.

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
Customer Service Department
200 Ruger Road
Prescott, AZ 86301
Telephone: 928-778-6555
(Monday through Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm MST)
Fax: 928-541-8835

They may advise against it because it will be decreasing the overall safety of the gun.

I don't find my Ruger LCP trigger to be hard, JUST LONG.

If you have a new gun you may want to SAFELY dry fire it a few hundred times to see if the trigger will smooth out.

If you think that your trigger is uncommonly hard you may also want to compare your trigger against that of another Ruger LCP (maybe at a gun shop). At least that will tell you if there is something wrong with your trigger or if it's just too hard for your finger.
Best regards,


I love My Ruger LCP

October 8, 2011
Just got an LCP over a 738 (love me my Ruger). This site helped A LOT!


Magazine Loader For Ruger LCP 380

February 01, 2012
My question is - Do they make a speed loader for the Ruger LCP 380 magazine? I have trouble loading the last 2 shells in it.

Response - Joe,

I have never tried one and I don’t know how well it will work with the Ruger LCP, buy you may want to look at the following.

Butler Creek LULA Universal Pistol Loader - .22 - .380 Caliber Baby UPLULA

Good luck.




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MIKE COVIELLO is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.