Ruger LCP .380 ACP and Ruger LC9 9mm Semi-Auto Pistols: Streamlined, Lightweight Subcompact “Pocket” Pistols for Concealed Carry (CCW)

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

All non-studio photos contained in this article were shot by, and are copyrighted. owns the copyright on these photos. The photos were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability). The studio photos of the LCP-LM and LC9-LM pistols belong to Sturm, Ruger & Co.

November 14, 2011

At the various industry shows, including SHOT Show and NDIA Infantry Small Arms Systems Symposium 2011, DefenseReview (DR) has come across the Ruger LCP .380 ACP and Ruger LC9 9mm (9mm Parabellum/9x19mm NATO) streamlined, lightweight sub-compact semi-auto pistols, both of which are specifically designed for concealed carry (CCW). DR has handled both pistols, but we haven't yet gotten the opportunity to run them at the range, something we'd very much like to do.

The LCP pistol in particular appears to be a very popular pocket pistol/backup pistol with LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) and civilian CCWs alike. It has a 6+1 ammo capacity and can be had with a LaserMax Centerfire Laser (LCP-LM model). There's also an NRA version of the LCP with Natural Gear camo (camouflage) frame (gripframe).

It should perhaps be noted that the LCP suffered an early recall situation in May 2009 due to a small number of field reports indicating that LCP bearing the prefix “370” (serial number 370-xxxxx) could potentially discharge when dropped onto a hard surface with a round in the chamber. These early LCP pistols were retrofitted with an upgraded hammer mechanism at no charge their owners, and were marked with a diamond in the flat portion of the slot just behind and below the hammer. All LCP pistols with the "371" prefix or higher already had the upgraded hammer mechanism and were not affected.

The Ruger LCP pistol is up against the Kel-Tec P3-AT and Smith & Wesson (S&W) Bodyguard 380 .380 pocket pistols in the commercial market. It would be interesting to see how all three pistols stack up in a side-by-side comparison at the range.

Click here to read GunBlast's range review of the Ruger LCP lightweight .380 ACP pistol, and how it compares to the Kel-Tec P3-AT .380 pistol.

If you come from the "nothing less than 9mm" mindset, and the LCP just isn't enough gun for you, then the Ruger LC9 may just be the ticket. It's a bit larger and almost twice the weight of the LCP, but it's also more powerful. and more powerful and carries one more round (7+1). Assuming the LC9 is reliable, accurate, and durable, and has a good trigger, it should make for a nice concealed carry pistol, but we don't know that it's a pocket pistol like the LCP. The LC9 is arguably more an inside-the-waistband concealed carry pistol.

Ruger LCP Pistol Specs:

Caliber: .380 Auto
Capacity: 6+1
Weight: 9.40 oz. (Standard), 9.90 oz. (LCP-LM)
Length: 5.16"
Width: 0.82"
Height: 3.60"
Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
Barrel Finish: Blued
Grooves: 6
Twist: 1:16"
Slide Material: Alloy Steel
Slide Finish: Blued
Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon Sights: Fixed Front and Rear

Ruger LC9 Pistols Specs:

Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 7+1
Weight: 17.10 oz (Standard), 17.60 oz. (LC9-LM)
Barrel Length: 3.12"
Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
Barrel Finish: Blued
Slide Material: Through-Hardened Alloy Steel
Slide Finish: Blued
Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
Sights: 3-Dot
Safety: Internal Lock, Manual Safety, Magazine Safety

Company Contact Info:

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
411 Sunapee Street
Newport, NH 03773
Phone: 603-865-2442
Fax: 603-863-6165
Email Contact Form:

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
200 Ruger Road
Prescott, AZ 86301
Phone: 928-541-8892
Fax: 928-778-6633
Email Contact Form:

© Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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Ruger LCP .380 ACP and Ruger LC9 9mm Semi-Auto Pistols: Streamlined, Lightweight Subcompact “Pocket” Pistols for Concealed Carry (CCW) by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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