Skip to main content

Review: Ruger LCP II .380

Review: Ruger LCP II .380
Ruger LCPII .380

Ruger recently updated its .380 ACP semiautomatic LCP pocket pistol, and the new version is called the LCP II. Shooting Times received a shooting sample of the newest version of the little pistol, which comes from the factory with a Viridian laser already installed, and I put it through a thorough evaluation. It performed perfectly.

The new LCP II has many updates from its predecessor. The most noticeable ones are the safety-lever trigger, the front slide serrations, and the new-pattern texturing on the grip.

Ruger-LCPII-.380-Trigger
New features on the LCP II include a safety-lever trigger, front slide serrations, and improved grip texturing.

Like its predecessor, the LCP II utilizes a tilting-breech design. When a cartridge is fired, the steel barrel and steel slide remain locked together for a short distance of slide travel, after which the breech end of the barrel cams down, out of engagement with the slide. The slide then moves fully rearward, extracting and ejecting the fired case. Then dual recoil springs return the slide to its forward position, picking up a cartridge from the magazine and chambering it. As the cycle is completed, the breech-end of the barrel cams up and locks into the slide.

Whereas the original LCP has a double-action-only firing mechanism, the LCP II is a single-action pistol. Consequently, when the LCP II's slide cycles, the recessed hammer is cocked fully. Squeezing the trigger (which involves pressing the built-in safety lever to allow the trigger finger piece to move fully to the rear) releases the hammer to strike the firing pin. The slide automatically locks back on an empty magazine.


Ruger-LCPII-.380-Magazine
The LCP II comes with a six-round magazine, and an interchangeable extended baseplate is included.

Speaking of magazines, the LCP II comes with a six-round magazine, and an interchangeable extended baseplate is included. Note that the LCP II will accept the six-round magazines the original LCP uses, but they will not activate the LCP II's last-round hold-open feature. Seven-round LCP magazines are not compatible with the LCP II. Also noteworthy is the fact that the LCP II will fire with the magazine removed just like the earlier LCP.


The black striated fixed sights are integral to the slide. And the high-performance glass-filled nylon frame has an aluminum insert. The grip's new texturing provides more gripping surface.

Ruger-LCPII-.380-Red-Laser
The LCP II is offered with or without a factory-installed Viridian E-Series red laser.

The LCP II is offered with or without a factory-installed Viridian E-Series red laser. The E-Series laser mates with the LCP II's trigger guard and projects a 635nm to 650nm laser when the switch is activated. It runs on a CR1/3N lithium battery, and the housing is made of high-strength polymer.

The LCP II comes with a pocket holster, a trigger padlock, and a molded plastic case.

I fired the new LCP II with five .380 ACP factory loads ranging in bullet weight from 80 grains to 100 grains. The pistol functioned perfectly with all loads. Overall average accuracy for five, five-shot groups with each load (a total of 25 five-shot groups) at 25 yards was 4.22 inches. Some loads were pretty snappy in terms of felt recoil, but I wouldn't classify any of them as uncomfortable.


Ruger-LCPII-.380 Accuracy

The LCP II weighs just 11.4 ounces, so some recoil is expected even with the low-recoilng .380 ACP round. For comparison's sake, the loads I fired averaged between 3.8 ft-lbs and 5.1 ft-lbs of recoil, and standard .45 ACP ammo fired in a full-size 39-ounce Model 1911 typically produces about 6.5 ft-lbs of recoil.

While testing the shootability of the Viridian laser at a close-up self-defense distance of seven yards, I ran a full magazine of each load through the LCP II. Each loading cut a nice ragged hole in the paper targets that measured close to an inch, outside to outside. The laser definitely allows more precise shooting.

Everyone familiar with concealed-carry guns knows that the original LCP has been tremendously popular. You could go so far as to say that it set the standard for 21st-century pocket pistols. With the new LCP II, Ruger has improved the design, adding features that enhance performance.


Ruger-LCPII-.380-Specs
 
 

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Big bore semiauto or a lever gun? We look at the futuristic .450 Bushmaster and how it compares to the tried and true .45-70. ISS Prop House gives us the rundown on the guns used in Enemy at the Gate. We ping steel with a .300 WinMag at over a mile.

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

We're taking a look at what the Army's Elite Units are using for service rifles and what the future of SOCOM sniping looks like.

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

James Tarr runs through the 3-Second Headshot drill.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Like situational ethics, standards of accuracy vary according to circumstances.Accuracy: It's All Relative How-To

Accuracy: It's All Relative

Terry Wieland - May 09, 2019

Like situational ethics, standards of accuracy vary according to circumstances.

The .22 Magnum revolvers are still poppin' and still popular—and some are made for self-defense, while others are built for hunting small game and plinking.Best .22 Magnum Revolvers Available Right Now Handguns

Best .22 Magnum Revolvers Available Right Now

Payton Miller - January 06, 2021

The .22 Magnum revolvers are still poppin' and still popular—and some are made for...

Would you take the extra power and pop of the .22 Magnum over the more price-effective .22 LR? Here's one man's opinion.Best Rimfire Cartridges — .22 Magnum vs .22 Long Rifle Ammo

Best Rimfire Cartridges — .22 Magnum vs .22 Long Rifle

Payton Miller - December 21, 2020

Would you take the extra power and pop of the .22 Magnum over the more price-effective .22 LR?...

This somewhat-odd loading had an interesting history, and much of its reputation was based on assumption.The .38 Special 200-Grain 'Police Load' Ammo

The .38 Special 200-Grain 'Police Load'

Allan Jones - January 20, 2021

This somewhat-odd loading had an interesting history, and much of its reputation was based on...

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

The Springfield Hellcat is also available in the OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) version, which has the same open sights as the standard model but a 0.190-inch-deep mortise machined into the top of the slide is a snug fit for a micro red-dot sight. It comes with a removable steel plate that fills the mortise, giving the user the option of using the gun with or without a red-dot sight. Embedding the optic allows the open sights to be viewed without having to make them uncommonly tall.Springfield Hellcat OSP Review Handguns

Springfield Hellcat OSP Review

Layne Simpson - June 18, 2020

The Springfield Hellcat is also available in the OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) version, which has...

The new .22 LR Ruger Lite Rack LCP II is an ideal rimfire trainer to the popular .380 ACP LCP II pocket pistol.Ruger Lite Rack LCP II Review Handguns

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - June 01, 2020

The new .22 LR Ruger Lite Rack LCP II is an ideal rimfire trainer to the popular .380 ACP LCP...

The craftsmen at Nighthawk Custom build some of the most precise Model 1911s available, and the Fire Hawk is a perfect specimen.Nighthawk Custom Fire Hawk Model 1911 Review Handguns

Nighthawk Custom Fire Hawk Model 1911 Review

Layne Simpson - May 01, 2020

The craftsmen at Nighthawk Custom build some of the most precise Model 1911s available, and...

The new Walther CCP M2 has many fine features, and it performed admirably. It is ergonomic. It is easy to disassemble for regular cleaning and periodic maintenance. And it is quite accurate.Walther CCP M2 .380 ACP Review Handguns

Walther CCP M2 .380 ACP Review

Jake Edmondson - July 06, 2020

The new Walther CCP M2 has many fine features, and it performed admirably. It is ergonomic. It...

See More Handguns

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Shooting Times App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Shooting Times subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now