Premium Concealed Carry Holsters

Glock 42 vs LCP

Overview

Today, we’re going to compare the Glock 42 vs Ruger LCP and LCP II.

Glock 42 vs LCP angled right

Ruger introduced the Ruger LCP in 2008, while Glock introduced the Glock 42 several years later. The LCP is arguably one of the most popular concealed-carry firearms on the market, while the Glock 42 was very popular at its introduction and has since become less popular with the introduction of the 9mm 43.

I find that disappointing, as the Glock 42 has a lot to offer that the 43 does not.

When comparing the Ruger LCP series vs the standalone Glock 42, there are some stark differences that we will cover in-depth with this comparison.

Size

MetricsGlock 42Ruger LCPRuger LCP 2
Weight w/ no mag (Oz)12.48.89.5
Weight w/ empty mag (Oz)13.99.910.7
Weight w/ full mag (Oz)15.91212.8
Height (top of the slide to the bottom of magazine baseplate) (Inches)3.993.63.6
Length (Inches)5.965.195.15
Width of grip (Inches)0.880.760.9
Width of slide (Inches)0.830.760.82
Width across controls (Inches)1.000.8370.86

As you can see on our size chart above, the Glock 42 is definitely a lot larger than either the Ruger LCP or the Ruger LCP II. The Glock 42 weighs just under 16 ounces loaded with six rounds of ammunition in the magazine. This is the same capacity as both the Ruger LCPs, which weigh three to four ounces less than the 42. 

When you look at the size of the gun, the most important size for concealed carry is the height of the gun, where you’re going to see the Glock 42 as being also over three-eighths of an inch longer in the grip than the LCP.

This extra size provides a lot of advantages when it comes to shooting the firearm, but it also provides a major disadvantage when it comes to carrying alone.

The length of the Glock 42 is also much greater, but the length really isn’t going to affect even pocket carry as much as the length of the grip will.

Glock 42

Glock 42s In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

When it comes to the width of these guns, they are all pretty similar. There is going to be a major advantage for the regular Ruger LCP, but when you compare the width of the LCP II vs the Glock, there isn’t a lot of difference. The width across the controls isn’t a very relevant data point when it comes to the concealment of the firearm, so the difference between the Glock 42 and the Ruger LCP II isn’t as great as it appears.

The width of the grip is perhaps the most important point and the width of the grip on the Glock 42 is actually slightly narrower than the Ruger LCP II. That said, it’s still significantly wider than the original LCP.

Glock 42 vs LCP Concealed Carry

When you’re looking for a gun for concealed carry, there are a couple of key things you want to look at: size for concealment and shootability. Those are going to be the biggest factors for most people. In general: the smaller the gun, the easier it is to conceal; the larger the gun, the easier it is to shoot. 

There are always exceptions and that’s an oversimplification of the situation.

That said, it more or less holds true. If you’re looking for a gun for pocket carry, the Glock 42 might just be a little bit too large. Some people carry guns bigger than the Glock 42 in their pocket without issue. But if you’re 150 pounds and 5’6, the Glock 42 is probably going to look very large in your pocket. (It might not even fit in it vs the Ruger LCP, which will definitely fit on your person.)

Ruger LCP & LCP2

Find In-Stock Ruger LCP Series Guns
New and Pre Owned

Now, if you’re carrying inside the waistband, depending on the setting you’re carrying inside the waistband, the Glock 42 might conceal just as well as the Ruger LCP. There is a range in which we can all conceal a firearm, and whether the gun is at the upper or lower end of that range, the guns generally conceal just as well.

That said, for one person, the Glock 42 and the LCP might be in the same range, while for another, they might be in completely different categories. This is going to depend on the person’s body type and style of dress.

Niches

The Glock 42 is definitely one of the larger pocket or ankle carry guns. Both of these guns can work for ankle carry since they’re under 16 ounces loaded, which is very important, as staying under 16 ounces is going to greatly reduce your risk of long-term health effects on your joint when carrying at the ankle. 

I often will carry my Glock 42 in a cowboy boot, as it’s something that I can easily do and conceal well. If I’m wearing a tucked-in shirt and don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a holster specifically for inside-the-waistband carry with a tucked-in shirt, then I’ll carry my 42 there.

It’s not the quickest way to access the gun, but it still allows me to carry a gun for extreme circumstances that might pop up. Carrying a primary gun on the ankle or in a boot is something I would do only in low-risk scenarios or times when there is no other option to conceal a firearm. 

Really, when you look at the size of these guns, the Ruger LCP is going to be the easiest gun to conceal, while the Ruger LCP II is going to come in second place and the Glock 42 in third. However, shootability on the Glock 42 is going to be much better, which we’ll cover down below in the Shooting section.

Ergonomics Overall

Ergonomics are definitely important on a firearm, as they’ll affect how well you can both handle and shoot the gun. If you can’t manipulate a gun effectively, it’s not going to be safe for you to carry it. Ergonomics plays a huge role in successful manipulation.

Glock 42

Glock 42s In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Frame

The frames on all of these guns lack any kind of modularity — what you see is what you get.

Overall, the feel of them is quite different. The Ruger LCP is obviously going to feel the slimmest and the smallest since it is, and all of the corners are very well-rounded. The Ruger LCP II, on the other hand, feels much more blocky and square. It actually makes pretty much any Glock out there feel ergonomic and well-rounded. In comparison, a Glock feels like an H&K vs the Ruger LCP II. 

Glock 42 vs LCP grips

The Glock 42 on the other hand, actually feels very good in the hand. Again, similar to the Ruger LCP, the corners are all very well-rounded, but there’s a lot more meat on the grip so I’m able to fill my hand much better and it feels much more comfortable there.

Grip Length

The length of the grips themselves is also quite different. The length on the grips of the Ruger LCP and LCP II only allows me to get my middle and my ring finger on the grip of the gun itself. Even then, they’re relying on the baseplates of the firearm to get that grip.

The Glock 42 is somewhat similar, but I can get half of my pinky on the grip if I really jam my hand up on the gun. 

Ruger LCP & LCP2

Find In-Stock Ruger LCP Series Guns
New and Pre Owned

That provides more control than you would think, as the strongest finger in the hand when it comes to shooting is going to be the pinky. That’s because it’s going to provide the most leverage on the firearm itself. If you’ve ever played that old joke with your friend where you go to shake their hand and then collapse their hand using the strength from your pinky finger, then you know what I’m talking about.

Try shaking somebody’s hand and try doing it only with your trigger finger, middle finger, ring finger, and then your pinky. Now reverse the order. You’ll realize you have the most force on the hand when you’re using the strength of your pinky finger.

Texture

The Glock 42 uses a Gen4 solid texture, which is pretty slick. It has these small little squares on both the front and backstraps and the sides of the frame. The Ruger LCP has more traditional texturing, which is slightly more aggressive than the texture on the 42. 

Glock 42 vs LCP backstraps

The Ruger LCP II has a sandpaper-style texture 360 degrees around the grip. I personally prefer the texture on the Ruger LCP II to any of the other guns. That said, when you start looking at the overall ergonomics of the firearm, I’m still able to get the best and most secure grip on the Glock 42.

Glock 42 vs LCP2 Backstrap

Slide

The slides on these guns are, again, all drastically different. The slide on the Glock 42 has a slightly less slick finish. That said, it still has a fairly heavy recoil spring. The serrations at the rear of the slide are not that aggressive and could definitely be deeper. When you get to the Ruger LCP, that slide is very slick and also has an even heavier recoil spring. 

Glock 42 vs LCP2 slides

The serrations at the rear are on par with the serrations on the Glock 42, but the slide itself is much narrower so it’s a slightly harder slide to rack. The Ruger LCP II surprisingly has the easiest and best slide to rack.

It has very well-designed serrations on both the front and rear of the slide and the weight of the recoil spring isn’t that bad, so I find this to be the easiest gun to rack. Before comparing these side-by-side, I honestly expected the Glock 42 to have the easiest racking ability.

Glock 42 vs LCP slides

Sights

Sights are no contest. The Glock 42 has actual real sights on the gun that are cut in via dovetails. These sights are easily replaceable with a variety of sights designed for the Glock 42 and are going to allow you to get the best focus and chance of hitting your target accurately. 

Glock 42 vs LCP sights

The Ruger LCP and Ruger LCP 2 both have their sights milled into the slide of the gun themselves.

These sights are extremely low-profile and aren’t going to snag on anything, but that comes with the cost of being hard to see. The Ruger LCP 2 does have serrations on both the rear and front sight which cut down on glare, but they really don’t help that much. It’s very hard to pick up the front sight on either of these guns. It’s a common practice to paint the front sight with some sort of nail polish or luminescent paint to make the front sight easier to see.

Glock 42

Glock 42s In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Ruger LCP vs Glock 42 Aftermarket

As we mentioned earlier, there are a variety of aftermarket sights for the Glock 42. There are no aftermarket sight options for the Ruger LCP and Ruger LCP 2, so I’m going to have to give a clear win to the Glock 42 vs LCPs when it comes to sights.

Red-Dot Optics

In theory, you can mount a red-dot optic on a Glock 42. It’s going to require you to find a small, slim optic like a Sig Romeo Zero or a Holosun 507k. These sights are going to be narrow enough to mount them on the Glock 42, but they still may require a custom mounting plate. 

That said, there are shops that can do it and it will give a lot of extra capacity to your firearm. If you plan on carrying the pocket, adding a red dot would not be something I would suggest, but if you’re carrying IWB, this may be a game-changer for your 42. 

Adding a red dot is not an option for Ruger LCPs at this time. There’s no dot small enough, and I’m not sure how reliable they would be with the extra weight of a dot mounted to their slides.

Controls Ruger LCP vs Glock 42

The controls on these guns are all set up in a similar format, but their actual execution is quite different. 

Trigger

While the grip is probably the most important feature to help you shoot accurately, triggers can also play a role. So we’re going to cover each of these triggers individually. 

Glock 42

The trigger on the Glock 42 is a standard Glock striker-fired trigger. One thing to keep in mind is that most of the Glock 42 triggers I’ve handled feel slightly different when you’re handling them in the gun store. The reason for this is tolerance stacking. If you get 10 Glock 42s and line them up side by side, new in the box, each of them is going to have a slightly different trigger. Please take that into account when you’re listening to this description.

Glock 42 vs LCP G42 trigger

A Glock 42 trigger shoe has a smooth face, similar to a Glock Gen5 trigger. The trigger itself is going to have a light bit of take-up before you start reaching creep. Once you reach that creep, you’re going to feel it as the trigger goes into a more rolling break. 

That being said, you can definitely find a stiffer point where you think the wall is on this. This trigger does not have a hard wall by any means, but it’s not a completely rolling break either. It’s somewhat of a hybrid, which is pretty standard for Glock Gen4 style triggers.

The reset on this trigger is fairly short and comes out right in front of that wall creep point we were talking about. It’s a very easy-to-use trigger and I shoot it extremely well.

Ruger LCP

The Ruger LCP has a hammer-fired trigger where the hammer is partially comped. You’re going to feel the slightest bit of short take-up and then you’re immediately going to go into something that feels like a double-action trigger that is relatively long. Personally, I like the trigger on the Ruger LCP, but a lot of people seem to complain about it. 

Glock 42 vs LCP Trigger

When it comes to the reset of the trigger itself, the reset is going to have to be all the way forward. You’re going to have to let the trigger completely out to reset it. It’s much different from the Glock in that respect.

Ruger LCP 2

The Ruger LCP 2, on the other hand, has something that feels more like a striker-fired trigger. The trigger is also set up like the LCP trigger in that the hammer is already partially cocked. However, the hammer seems to be more cocked than it is on the standard LCP. 

Ruger LCP & LCP2

Find In-Stock Ruger LCP Series Guns
New and Pre Owned

When you go to pull the trigger, you’re going to feel a bunch of light take-up very similar to your standard LCP, and then you’re going to feel the trigger pulling the hammer back for a short distance before it breaks. This is somewhat of a rolling break, but it also bears resemblance to a hard wall at some points. 

Glock 42 vs LCP2 trigger

Again, it’s more of a hybrid like the Glock 42 trigger, although not quite as smooth. The reset on this trigger is not quite as short as the Glock 42, but it’s definitely a lot shorter than the reset on the regular Ruger LCP.

Slide Lock Glock 42 vs LCP

The slide lock on the Glock 42 sits the furthest forward out of any of these. That said, it’s still in the position where people with any hand size should be able to reach it. The slide lock on all these guns is only on the left-hand side of the gun (set up for a right-handed shooter).

It’s far enough back that nobody is going to be able to disengage the slide lock using their trigger finger if they’re a left-handed shooter, so all these guns are going to leave them wanting more.

Glock 42 vs LCP slide stop

The Ruger LCP slide lock does not work on my gun. That said, it doesn’t affect the overall reliability of the handgun. It’s easy enough to reach if it does work and I’m able to drop the slide fairly easily. That said, somebody with slightly larger or smaller hands than me might not find that as easy, as I’m using the bone in the joint of my thumb to drop the slide. That bone is able to provide a hard contact point to drop the slide.

If you’re having to use the fat or skin of your hand to drop that slide, it may not be as easy.

Glock 42

Glock 42s In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Ruger LCP II

The slide lock on the Ruger LCP 2 is extremely well-designed for what it is. It’s much more similar to the Glock even though that sits slightly further back. This has a rolled sheet metal slide release that sits far enough out from the slide that you can easily press it up to lock the slide back, or you can easily press it down using your thumb to drop the slide. I’m really impressed with how Ruger designed the slide lock on the Ruger LCP 2.

At the end of the day, it’s probably on par with the release for the Glock 42.

Ruger LCP vs Glock 42 Magazine Release

The magazine release on all these guns works pretty much the same. That said, if you have very small hands, you may have to break your grip to drop the magazine on the Glock 42. 

The Glock 42 is the one gun that is a little bit harder for me to reload because I don’t have to break as much of my grip on the Glock 42 to reload it as I do on the Ruger LCPs. If I forget to completely break that grip on the Glock 42, it might be a little bit harder to seat the magazine. 

Glock 42 vs LCP Magazine

To get a fresh magazine in the Ruger LCPs, you have to completely break your grip. This is a good thing because to get that magazine in, you have to do it and you’re going to be able to reliably seat the magazine whereas on the Glock 42 it could present an issue for some shooters.

Quality Glock 42 vs LCP

There’s no question that the Glock is a higher-quality firearm than these two Rugers. With this Glock, you could probably fire tens of thousands of rounds with just replacing small consumable parts. I doubt the LCP or LCP II would last more than a couple of thousand rounds as the frame and slides just seem much cheaper than the 42.

Glock 42 vs LCP facing away

Aftermarket

Again, the Glock 42 is going to win the aftermarket. If you’re comparing the Glock 42 vs the Ruger LCP in that classification, there’s no contest. The Glock 42 has aftermarket sight options, slide stop, magazine release, or even frames and slides. Almost everything out there is made for Glocks.

Aesthetics Glock 42 vs LCP

Aesthetics is always a personal preference. That being said, I think the Glock 42 is perhaps Glock’s most proportional-looking gun. The Glock 42 is fairly attractive, and I personally like the way it looks. I can’t say the same for the Ruger LCP or LCP 2. I’d put the standard LCP in second place and the LCP 2 in third. It’s really going to come down to your personal preference for this category.

Glock 42

Glock 42s In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Ruger LCP vs Glock 42 Shooting

Again, there’s going to be no contest. The Glock has a different recoil system and is a much larger gun with a larger grip to boot. It’s just an easier gun to shoot. The Glock 42 also has extremely soft recoil while the Ruger LCP and LCP II feel like hand cannons. 

I know. You’re thinking what is this guy saying? They’re just little .380s. 

Correct. They are very tiny .380s and have a ton of recoil. Those guns aren’t fun to shoot. I really enjoy shooting .44 Magnum revolvers, but I do not like shooting these small little tiny .380s. The Glock 42 is that exception. Its extra size really makes this gun a joy to shoot. 

Glock 42 vs LCP facing

You’re probably not going to believe me, but one time I was able to shoot a three-and-a-half-inch group at 25 yards with the Glock 42. I was shocked. I’m not sure if I could do that again, but I can guarantee one thing: there’s no way I could do that with the Ruger LCP or LCP II. The recoil on those guns causes me to develop a flinch very quickly. No amount of dry fire or ball and dummy rounds has helped me fix this or develop a consistent workaround.

Ruger LCP & LCP2

Find In-Stock Ruger LCP Series Guns
New and Pre Owned

Price/Value Glock 42 vs LCP

There is a drastic price difference between these guns. The LCP and LCP 2 have MSRPs of $259 and $349 respectively while the Glock 42 is $479. If your budget is tight, the LCP is going to have a clear advantage over the other guns. If you have financial resources managed, the size and features will play more of a role.

From a shooting and quality standpoint, the Glock 42 is the best value of any of these guns. It shoots incredibly well and will last multiple times as long despite being over $200 more than the standard LCP.

Final Thoughts

If the size of the Glock 42 is not an issue and you can get away with concealing it, it’s definitely the better gun to go with of the two. It’s of a much higher quality and is a much easier gun to shoot.

That said, the gun is definitely so much larger than most people may not be able to conceal it. I know the 42 is a little bit too big for me to pocket carry, but it does work fine when carrying it in my boot. 

If you need a smaller gun, then you’re going to be stuck with one of the Ruger LCPs. If that’s the case, you’re going to have to decide which one will work for you. I hope some of the information we’ve given you will make your decision a little bit easier.

Glock 42 vs LCP Pros/Cons

Glock 42 Pros

  • Extremely shootable
  • Ergonomic
  • Great sights
  • Aftermarket

Ruger LCP Pros

  • Size (extremely small)
  • Slim
  • Ergonomic
  • Weight

Ruger LCP 2 Pros

  • Trigger reset
  • Weight 
  • Slide serrations
  • Easy-to-rack slide

Glock 42 Cons

  • Size (too large)

Ruger LCP Cons

  • Lots of recoil
  • Sights

Cons Ruger LCP 2

  • High recoil 
  • Sights

Related Articles

One Reply to “Glock 42 vs LCP”

  1. David Dunger says:

    Really like the g42, it’s my primary CCW during the hot summer heat when most people are wearing t-shirts, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: