Ruger LCP: A Budget-Friendly and Reliable Subcompact .380 ACP Handgun

posted on November 28, 2020

Ruger came out with its Light Compact Pistol (LCP) in 2008, a sleek-sided, locked-breech, hammer-fired semi-automatic subcompact handgun chambered in .380 ACP for self-defense and concealed carry. It took only nine years for the company to sell 1.5 million. American Rifleman’s video review of the gun explains a lot about the popularity, but the company has never been content to rest on its past accomplishments.

So, in 2016 it rolled out the LCP II, preserving the ingredients that made its predecessor so popular, yet adding touches and improvements requested by many enthusiasts. In doing so the handgun inherited slightly more angularity to its profile, so Ruger made the wise decision not to discontinue its first LCP.

It’s the original that took seventh place in the 2019 rankings of semi-auto pistols. The feat’s an impressive one for a 12-year-old handgun, especially in the fickle world of consumer preferences and trends. It also speaks volumes about the forethought and quality the company put into the original design.

There are 16 different models available today and all come with a 2.75” barrel with 6-groove rifling at a 1:16” right-hand twist rate. Capacity is 6+1, regardless of the model. It’s an easily toted flyweight, too, tipping the scales at only 9.6 oz.

Each has a one-piece, glass-filled nylon frame, slide constructed from through-hardened alloy steel and a barrel built from hardened steel. Width is an easily concealed 0.82”. Overall length is 5.16” and sights are integral.

The base model, with black frame along with black oxide slide and barrel has an MSRP of $259. If you prefer an upgrade to the sighting system, a version that ships from the factory with a Viridian E-Series Red Laser will set you back $349. You can also purchase a model with a matte-stainless slide for $299 or go patriotic with an American flag theme for $289.

Eight other models are exclusive to distributors and can be ordered through you favorite FFL. There’s a rainbow of colors available, both on the polymer frame and slide. That kind of selection, coupled with reliability and performance, keeps the Ruger LCP among the top choices for concealed carry and backup gun duty. 



Campbell 45 Colt 1
Campbell 45 Colt 1

The .45 Colt: History and Performance

From the Single Action Army to various other revolvers and lever-action rifles, the .45 Colt cartridge has more than a century of history and is still a favorite of many enthusiasts today.

FN PS90: The Space-Age Bullpup Carbine

When introduced in the 1990s, the FN P90 PDW was far different from more traditional carbines with its design and chambering. It design and layout are truly unique, and even two decades later the semi-automatic PS90 is still popular and futuristic.  

The Armed Citizen® July 23, 2021

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

NRA Gun of the Week: Black Aces Tactical Pro Series L

Known for coming up with some unique shotgun models, Black Aces Tactical has a stand-out shotgun with its Pro Series Lever-action shotgun design.

The Professional Hunter's Rifle

A professional hunter’s rifle is possibly the most important tool of his trade, and that which often keeps the close calls from becoming radio calls for help.

Rifleman Q&A: An Albanian SKS?

The Albanian SKS is a rather rare variant of the SKS rifle. Very little is known about its background, as compared to other versions. Read on.


Subscribe to the NRA American Rifleman newsletter