After languishing for decades as a cartridge for which ammunition and firearm options were limited, the 5.7 x 28 mm has experienced a wave of popularity. Now, no fewer than eight manufacturers are offering handguns and rifles chambered in the cartridge, and ammunition choices are available from Federal, Fiocchi, FN and Speer. The trend shows no signs of stopping. Several new 5.7 mm-chambered firearms have already been announced or introduced this year. The latest among them is the Ruger LC Charger.
Like Ruger’s PC Charger and 22 Charger, the LC Charger is a large-format pistol version of a rifle that Ruger manufactures, in this case, the LC Carbine. Introduced in 2022, the LC Carbine was essentially a rifle built around the basic layout of the Ruger-5.7 pistol’s frame. It uses a magazine that inserts into the grip, along with the magazine release, safety and bolt release configured in the same positions as the pistol. The LC’s action is a straight-blowback mechanism.
The LC Charger shares many features with the LC Carbine, including a threaded barrel, full-length top rail and bilateral and reversible controls. Image courtesy of Sturm, Ruger & Co.
The LC Charger has nearly all of the features of the LC Carbine, but in a smaller package. Lost is the rifle’s telescoping and folding stock. In its place, the LC Charger has a section of M1913 Picatinny rail at the rear of its receiver, for attaching sling mounts or other accessories.
The Charger’s barrel is nitride-treated, and its muzzle is threaded 1/2 x 28 TPI and comes supplied with a thread protector. The aluminum alloy receiver has a Picatinny rail machined into its top surface. This mates with the rail on the top of the CNC-machined aluminum handguard to provide an optics and accessory mounting surface that runs the length of the pistol.
The handguard is an abbreviated version of the LC Carbine’s, with M-Lok slots on the sides and bottom. The pistol is supplied with a handstop already mounted. Quick-detachable swivel sockets are present on both sides and at the rear of the receiver. The charging handle and magazine release are reversible and the safety is bilateral, to accommodate right or left-handed shooters. The LC Charger feeds from the same 20-round detachable box magazine as the Ruger-5.7 pistol and LC Carbine.
At 16”, the total overall length of the LC Charger is the same as the length of the LC Carbine’s barrel, and at 4 lbs., 2.5 ozs. it weighs nearly 2 lbs. less. The advantage of the LC Charger over the Ruger-5.7 pistol is more real estate to attach accessories, such as a bipod, and to mount larger optics (a configuration we found handy when testing the Kel-Tec P50), while still maintaining a compact and easy-to-pack or carry package. Its 10.3” barrel also mimics that of the FN P90, the original firearm for which the 5.7 x 28 mm was specifically designed, meaning the LC Charger gets all the ballistic advantage that the cartridge offers.
The LC Charger rounds out Ruger’s 5.7 line-up with a conventional handgun, a large-format pistol and a carbine chambered for the round and sharing the same magazine. The Ruger LC Charger has an MSRP of $999. For more information, visit ruger.com.