Ruger LCP II Review: Random thoughts on the Ruger LCP II and a comparison to the Taurus TCP
by Greg Ritchie


Several years back I felt the need to replace my Back Up Gun ("BUG"). It was a snubby revolver chambered in .38 Special. I felt that one of the small 380 pocket guns would be the ticket. I looked hard at the Ruger LCP, but it was just not what I wanted. The trigger was not to my liking and I really wanted the slide to lock open on an empty magazine. Plus, the slide was a bit difficult to rack. Firing one disclosed another fault. It stung to shoot it.

I ended up with a Taurus TCP. The TCP corrected the faults I felt the LCP had. The slide locked to the rear, was easy to rack, and had a wonderful trigger reminiscent of the buttery smooth Kahr trigger. I purchased the Black Stainless Steel version, complete with 2 magazines and a Bulldog holster for $240.00.

A few weeks ago I just happened to be at the local gun store when a shipment came in. "What did you get," I asked? "The new Ruger, first couple in the store," he replied. "The 22?" "No, the 380."

I didn't know there was a new Ruger 380 coming out. I had to look at it, decided I liked what I saw, and $269.00 later I walked out with my new pocket 380, the LCP II.

In my opinion Ruger fixed everything I thought was wrong with the LCP. First, the slide. It now locks open on an empty magazine. It has more aggressive gripping areas on the slide, with larger serrations on the rear, and on the front of the slide. The slide is also much easier to rack. It has a viewing port acting as a loaded chamber indicator at the rear of the ejection port, and a large , beefy extractor.

The lower has been completely redesigned, it now looks like the offspring of the Ruger American Pistol. The trigger guard has been enlarged and squared off and has stippling on the front of the guard for those who prefer that type of grip. The grip has a palm swell and provides a two finger grip with the extended magazine base plate, 1 1/2 fingers with the flush fit base plate. It is aggressively stippled on both sides and on the front and rear straps. The grip is now wider than the slide, coming in a .920 on my RCBS dial calipers, the slide at .756.

The trigger is now a single action trigger. The trigger has a blade safety, a bit of take up and a crisp break at what feels to me like about 5 pounds. Reset is good for this type pistol, and there is a trigger stop molded into the trigger guard. I like the fact that the trigger breaks about 2/3 the length of the trigger guard instead of all the way to the rear like most of its competitors. The LCP II also lacks a magazine disconnect safety.

Takedown is typical of similar type pistols. Remove the magazine and rack the slide, check the chamber to insure the handgun is empty. Let the slide go home. Being careful not to Mar the finish, pry loose and remove the takedown pin. One LCR II has a dual recoil spring and a metal recoil rod. The springs are not captured. The slide rails follow about 2/3rds the length of the frame.

At the range the LCP II has proven reliable, having gone through two 100 round boxes of Winchester White Box, two 50 round boxes of Remington green and white box, 50 rounds of PMC Bronze and 100 rounds of my 95 grain cast lead reloads, all with no malfunctions. I have not shot any hollow points through it yet. Probably won't as I am of the opinion that 380's are better served with hard cast or ball ammunition. Recoil is handled well by the LCP II, thanks to the wider grip. It is still snappy, but the sting is gone.

Is there anything I don't like about the LCP II? Yes, two things. First, I do like the melted look of the LCP and LCP Custom better, and it likes to throw my ejected brass straight up. That's not a problem of itself, but I like to save my brass and about 1/3 of it is ending up in front of the firing line! On a positive note, none of the ejected brass has yet come anywhere near my body.

Here are a few pictures comparing the TCP and the LCP II. The TCP is showing the signs of extensive carry, hopefully something I can say about the LCP II in a few years.