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Ruger LCP II Review

This is our Ruger LCP II review. The Ruger LCP II is Ruger’s second-generation model of the LCP pistol. Ruger had great commercial success with the LCP when it became one of the most popular concealed-carry firearms.

Ruger LCP2 right front

While it’s essentially an updated Kel-Tec P3AT, Ruger took that design and made it popular across the entire market. It became one of the most popular pocket pistols almost overnight. The Ruger LCP II is what Ruger considers the improved version of the LCP in general.

Size

MetricsRuger LCP II
Weight w/ no mag (Oz)9.5
Weight w/ empty mag (Oz)10.7
Weight w/ full mag (Oz)12.8
Height (top of slide to bottom of magazine baseplate) (Inches)3.6
Length (Inches)5.15
Width of grip (Inches)0.9
Width of slide (Inches)0.82
Width across controls (Inches)0.86

Role

The Ruger LCP II is definitely a concealed-carry firearm. This is not a gun you’re going to take to the range to shoot for fun. It’s very small, compact, and designed for concealment. Concerning the size of this gun, it isn’t easy to shoot and it’s .380ACP. It’s not exactly what you’d call potent. 

This gun is going to be excellent for certain niche circumstances. If you carry a gun without a belt in situations like working out, this gun will work well for regular or appendix IWB (inside-waistband) carry. Its small size and light weight make it optimal for those roles. Weighing in at just under 13 ounces fully-loaded with six .380 rounds, the Ruger LCP II isn’t going to cause much sag in your pants when you’re carrying it without a belt.

Pocket Carry

Pocket carry is going to be the most common form of concealment for people carrying the Ruger LCP II. It’s very small and will easily fit into a front or back pocket. I would never suggest carrying in a back pocket just due to discomfort from sitting down on it and that position being harder to protect. Somebody could much more easily grab a gun out of your back pocket easier than they could in the front, just like it’s easier to pickpocket a wallet from the rear rather than your front.

Boot Carry

I know boot carry may not be tolerant, but if you wear Western-style boots, it’s something you can easily do. To do so, you need a lightweight gun and the Ruger LCP II fits that category well. The Ruger LCP II will easily fit into a cowboy boot assuming you have a good holster to mount to. I do personally like carrying this way sometimes, especially when it’s hard for me to carry a gun inside the waistband. This method is about as slow as pocket carry and it’s not an area most people look for a gun.

Sure, are you going to get it through a pat-down carrying a gun to your cowboy boot? Most likely not, but if you’re carrying at a party somewhere where your odds of needing a gun are low but you still want to have one on you, this is a great method. Especially when your style of dress permits other methods of carrying.

Features 

The Ruger LCP II holds six rounds of .380 in the magazines plus one in the chamber, giving you a potential total of seven rounds in the gun. You can also get extended magazines or magazines with a feature called MagGuts that will add another round or two to the firearm.

Magwell

Loading a Ruger LCP II is not as easy as you would expect. For some reason, the magazine release wants to hang off when you’re loading the firearm. It can become quite difficult to seat the magazine on the LCP II as well. However, this is not a gun that you’ll be likely to be reloading much. Keep that in mind and don’t take my comments on how hard the gun is to load too seriously when it comes down to planned use.

Grip/Ergonomics

Ruger LCP2 left rear

The grip on the Ruger LCP II isn’t what I would call very comfortable. The sides of the grip itself are somewhat squared off and the gun just feels very blocky, much blockier than a Glock.

General Feel

Overall, I don’t care for the ergonomics of the Ruger LCP II. It’s a small gun, so that’s going to make it seem even worse for me with my medium-to-large hands. If somebody has smaller hands, they will likely like the way the gun feels much better but for a person with larger hands, this gun’s not going to be great no matter what they did ergonomically.

Texturing

The texture on the Ruger LCP II is actually pretty good. It seems slightly more aggressive on both the front and the backstraps than it does on the sides, which is good as the sides will be sitting against your skin and you don’t want it to cause chafing. I think Ruger did an excellent job on this feature of the firearm and it’s one of the most well-done parts about this gun.

Ruger LCP2 frontstrap

Sights

The Ruger LCP II sights are abysmal. They’re very small, low-profile, and are actually milled into the slot. The good thing about this is that they aren’t going to snag if you’re drawing the gun out of your pocket. The bad news is they’re also very hard to see. They take quite a bit to acquire and definitely take some focus. It’s a very common practice to paint the front sight of the gun with either nail polish or luminescent paint. This is something I would suggest doing as it will give the front sight a little more contrast.

Ruger LCP2 sight picture

Honestly, the rear depth of the rear notch isn’t bad. It’s just that front sight that’s very hard to pick up. Sights are a very important feature when you’re shooting a gun for accuracy. This is definitely a detriment with this design.

Controls Ruger LCP II Review

The controls on the Ruger LCP II are pretty dang simple. There isn’t a lot going on.

Mag Release

Ruger LCP2 magazine release

The magazine release on the LCP II is a single push-button style magazine release and it works as you would expect. I don’t have to break my grip to drop the magazine release although somebody with slightly smaller hands may have to. The magazine drops free quite quickly, but overall it’s a sufficient design for this style of the gun slide.

Ruger LCP II Review Slide Stop

The slide stop on this gun is something I’m surprisingly impressed with. I did not think I would be impressed with that feature on a gun this small. The slide stop sits fairly far back on the gun but it’s easy to reach. It’s also positioned where it’s going to be out of the way for almost any shooter. A problem with some guns is that the support handgrip will interfere with the slide stop. I personally don’t have that issue and I don’t see how anybody else would either considering how far back it’s mounted. 

Even though it’s mounted fairly far back, it’s still easy to reach with your thumb and it’s surprisingly easy to draw. It’s also incredibly low-profile. It’s made out of sheet metal with a rounded design but there’s some nice texturing on it and it just works well. Props to Ruger on a great design of the LCP II slide stop.

Slide

Ruger LCP2 right rear

The slide or the Ruger LCP II has both front and rear serrations. The spring in this gun is fairly stiff. If you’re not an experienced shooter or experienced in manipulating guns in particular, you may find it hard to rack the slide. If you’re an experienced shooter, you won’t experience any issues at all. The serrations themselves are quite good and one of the better design features on the LCP II. This is probably one of the features I’m most impressed within this review. The slide serrations have a nice angle on them that allows you to manipulate the gun quickly and with confidence.

Ruger LCP II Review Trigger

The trigger on the Ruger LCP II is what Ruger considered an upgrade from the Ruger LCP. It has a more striker-fired feel to it, even though it’s still a hammer-fired trigger. You’re going to feel light take-up as you disengage it to your safety and you’re going to reach a wall. 

Ruger LCP2 trigger

Once you reach that wall, you’re going to feel some creep as the trigger breaks. It’s still somewhat of a rolling break, but the trigger definitely has a harder wall than the original LCP. This trigger also has a pretty decent reset considering the size and type of triggers. The trigger reset isn’t short by any means, but it’s not super long either at around two-tenths of an inch. The trigger is definitely serviceable and if you have a good grip on the gun, you’ll be able to get decent accuracy.

Aftermarket

For a gun of this size, there aren’t going to be a lot of aftermarket options. There just aren’t a lot of things you can replace on this firearm. The most notable aftermarket accessories I’m aware of are called Mag Guts. These Mag Guts will add an extra round to the Ruger LCP II. I also believe there’s another company making extensions for the Ruger LCP II as well. 

You can’t replace the sights on this gun, so there really aren’t a lot of aftermarket options out there. Frankly, you don’t need them. It would be nice to see nicer sets of sights available, but unless Ruger added dovetails to this gun, that’s not going to happen.

Maintenance Ruger LCP II Review

Maintaining the Ruger LCP II is a little bit different from most other firearms. There’s a take-down pin located on the left side of the firearm where most take-down pins would be located. You’ll need to push back both the slide and barrel and then get a flathead screwdriver or the front of a pocket knife to pop that pin out. It’s a little bit different from a take-down style, (more similar to something like the HK P30) but perfectly doable. The downside is it will require a tool of some sort.

Once you get that pin popped out, the slide will ride off forward and from there you can disassemble the barrel and recoil assembly. It’s easy to clean, lubricate, and then get reassembled. Maintenance isn’t bad, but it is more maintenance than something like a Glock 42.

Aesthetics

Ruger LCP2 left

Aesthetically, this gun isn’t going to win any beauty pageants. The gun itself is rather non-proportional with the grip being very fat and the slide in front of the frame very narrow. It’s just not the most attractive firearm. That said, it’s not completely ugly either. It’s functionality-focused. That’s all I really have to say about that.

Shooting Ruger LCP II Review

Shooting the Ruger LCP II is not what anybody would call “fine.” Maybe it’s just the size of my hand, but this gun will rock my world. I’m always able to get a very accurate first shot with this firearm but after that, my shooting goes to hell. 

The reason for this is that there’s a ton of recoil and I start to develop a flinch immediately. (All the internet keyboard warriors are typing right now that real shooters don’t develop flinches. I want to see them go out to the range and shoot this gun repeatedly.)

I’m sure I’m going to get comments about how people can do it, but if you have larger hands, this gun is going to move around quite a bit in your hand and make the recoil seem even worse than it is. If you have smaller hands, you might be able to shoot this gun fairly well, but larger-handed individuals are going to have a tough time. I can shoot a SIG P365 at 100 yards on steel without issue. I can still miss at 15 yards with this LCP II.

Mechanically, this gun is plenty accurate, but it’s hard to undershoot just due to the issues I developed immediately when shooting it. For that reason, I’m hesitant to use this gun for concealed carry. It would definitely work well if somebody’s up close and on you, but if you’re afraid you might have to shoot somebody outside of three yards, this would not be my gun of choice.

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