Ruger’s LCP concealed carry firearm needs no introduction: after all, the company sold over a million pistols during the first five years of that gun’s release. With the Ruger LCP II, Ruger attempts to improve the LCP, but do the improvements justify an upgrade? Find out in this Ruger LCP II review!
Ruger LCP II Review – Overview
The LCP II is the spiritual successor to Ruger’s LCP (short for lightweight compact pistol), which the company released in 2008. The latter gun was a hit among shooters interested in sub-compact, .380-chambered weapons and has gone through a couple of iterations since.
First, in 2013, Ruger tweaked the LCP by giving it new sights and better-feeling triggers. Then, in 2015, the company released the Ruger LCP Custom, with this iteration featuring custom high-profile sights and further improvements to the trigger.
Like the original LCP, this new LCP is locked-breech and single-stack. Due to its size, you’ll likely use it for concealed carry instead of shooting it at the gun range.
Now that we’re up to speed with the general attributes of this gun let’s dive into some specifics.
This is a concealed-carry firearm through and through. For reasons I get into below, you definitely won’t be taking this one to the shooting range to have fun. Instead, you might carry this gun in two styles: pocket and boot carry. Let’s briefly discuss each carry style.
The LCP II is small enough to fit in your back pocket. However, it’s another story whether you should keep it there. Aside from the discomfort sitting on the gun will cause, you also have to worry about protecting your firearm, as it’s much easier to snatch when kept there.
Boot carry works best if you wear western-style boots. If you mount the gun in a good holster, you can carry it comfortably when worn with cowboy boots.
Additionally, you might use the LCP II as a backup weapon to your full-sized pistol.
The Ruger LCP II pistol is the very definition of what pocket pistols ought to look like. Weighing 10.6 oz without a magazine and 12.8 oz on a full mag, this pocket pistol is 3.6-inches tall and 5.5-inches long—in other words, a very small gun. Yet, surprisingly, it’s heavier than the original model, which weighs 9.6 oz unloaded.
The LCP II’s size makes it ideal for boot or pocket carry, and you can wear this lightweight pistol without a belt. As far as the weight of mouse guns, the Ruger LCP II is among the lightest, making it suitable for conceal-carry even when you have light clothing on.
Ruger throws in a pocket holster with LCP II purchases, which makes carrying this tiny firearm incredibly comfortable.
As with the LCP, the LCP II’s frame is nylon-reinforced glass fiber, which helps keep the firearm lightweight. This isn’t the prettiest gun to look at, and that’s okay since you’ll be carrying it for self-defense purposes.
The LCP’s backstrap is wider than the older LCP, which is great as it helps grip even if it does nothing for recoil management. Admittedly, pointing the gun and shooting with two hands feels better because of the said backstrap.
Originally, the LCP featured a checker-style finish as texturing. That’s been replaced with a texture akin to skateboard tape, which helps with grip when firing off successive shots.
You’ll find a “view port” on the slide near the ejection port, which you can use to check if you have a cartridge in the chamber. Also, checking the internal hammer (to see if it’s cocked) is easy, thanks to a small cut at the slide’s rear.
Capacity, Magazine, and Magwell
Not much has changed with the LCP II’s magazine. It still has the same capacity as the first LCP: seven rounds of ammunition in total, i.e. six rounds in the magazine and an extra round in the chamber. In addition, it’s possible to buy extended magazines, which increase the firearm’s capacity by an extra round or two.
It can be challenging to load this pocket gun. The magazine release may hang off during loading and may make seating the magazine a pain.
Thankfully, getting magazines out of the LCP II is easier than putting them in. This gun features a button-style magazine release that works so well that you might not have to break your grip when dropping a mag if your hands are big.
You can expect a comfortable grip when holding the LCP II, thanks to the aggressive grip texture on this firearm. Luckily, only the front and back are aggressively textured, while the sides, which will rest against bare skin, are less so. Therefore, chafing shouldn’t be an issue when carrying this handgun.
Additionally, the textured grip helps with the gun’s recoil when you fire shots. In terms of how the gun feels when held, I can see people with large hands having trouble handling it. It’s meant to be easily concealed, so the LCP II is a little gun.
There’s a handy finger rest at the bottom of the gun’s magazine that used to be an aftermarket feature. I think it helps with the gun’s ergonomics, and I appreciate Ruger including it in this gun’s design.
You’ll find front and rear serrations on the LCP II’s slide. These angled serrations aren’t just for show; they help with racking the slide. Speaking of which, the LCP II’s slide isn’t the easiest to rack, as it’s quite stiff, so inexperienced and older shooters may occasionally struggle with this activity. That’s a shame, as this gun’s recoil spring is softer.
One major improvement this gun has over the LCP is the slide on the LCP II locks once the magazine is empty. I welcome this alteration because, as a small gun, the LCP II doesn’t have as much mass to grab, making operating the gun’s controls somewhat difficult.
Moreover, the first LCP didn’t have this feature, meaning a shooter didn’t have the luxury of this prompt, a nightmare scenario during defensive gun use. You had to manually operate the older gun’s slide, costing you precious seconds that would make all the difference in a life-threatening situation.
The LCP II’s slide stop is easy to reach, despite how far back it’s positioned on the gun. Additionally, it doesn’t get in the way, so you don’t have to worry about your handgrip affecting the slide.
A common issue you might encounter with this gun’s slide stop is it might not lock properly at times. The culprit behind this issue is the gun’s magazine follower. I think the LCP’s slide lock is better designed than the LCP II, as that gun’s lock is easier to reach and operate manually.
Whether you like the sights on the Ruger LCP II or not will depend on your priorities. On the one hand, if you prioritize a smooth draw, you’ll appreciate this gun’s small, low sights, as their size means they won’t snag on your clothing when you draw the gun.
On the other hand, if you prioritize shooting accuracy (and you should), you may not like the LCP II’s sights. Both the front and rear sights (wider rear notch, narrower front post) aren’t easily visible, so you might need to use nail polish to paint the front sight to see better.
Otherwise, getting an accurate sight picture when aiming at a dark background is difficult. It makes me wonder why Ruger couldn’t have included three dots or, better yet, three-dot night sights. So, yes, this gun features better sights than the LCP, but not by much.
One other thing to note about the sights is you can’t adjust them for windage or elevation. While you might not need to adjust elevation for the front sight, you might have to consider getting a gunsmith to take some metal off the rear one for better windage variation.
Ruger’s LCP II feels more striker-fired than the original LCP (despite being hammer-fired). I think the trigger safety is responsible for the striker-fired feel, as it makes the trigger pull feel longer thanks to the extra step of pushing the safety into the trigger.
Regarding how the trigger feels, it doesn’t need too much pressure to release the hammer. In my test, getting the trigger to hit the breakpoint took 6 pounds of pressure. That’s reasonable, as it would be dangerous to put a defensive firearm with a more agreeable trigger in the hands of an inexperienced shooter.
Also, the trigger reset on this firearm is pretty quick, adding to the overall smoothness. According to Ruger, this trigger is Single Action Only, which means the cycling slide, and not pressure on the trigger, cocks the gun’s internal hammer. I think it works, as the trigger on the first LCP took longer to reset due to that gun’s slower trigger pull.
Meanwhile, Ruger redesigned the LCPII’s trigger guard, making it more rectangular. The new shape gives your trigger finger better access to the trigger while preventing accidental discharges. Also, the trigger guard has a trigger stop at its base, giving the trigger its quick reset.
The LCP shoots impressively well. Thanks to its .380 chamber, rapid-fire and follow-up shots are much easier, which is impressive given the gun’s size. Usually, taking shots in rapid succession with small guns is a lot harder, even if you know your way around a firearm; not so with the LCP II.
To be honest, this gun shoots better at close range than at a distance. Internally it’s accurate, but the gun’s recoil may pose a problem if your hands are bigger. Also, there’s the gun’s small sight radius to worry about. What I’m getting at is your accuracy may take a hit the farther away your target is. For example, it’s possible to miss shooting at a 15-yard distance.
Would I say this gun is reliable? Sure I would. You can feed it different kinds of ammo, and it’ll shoot fine without experiencing feed failure, misfires, or issues ejecting spent casings. That tells me the LCP II’s internals are well designed.
Like the original model, the LCP II doesn’t have an external safety. Ruger saves including a safety for the LCP II lite, as that gun is rim-fired.
To maintain the Ruger LCP II, you’ll need a flathead screwdriver to pop out the gun’s takedown pin. You can access the pin by pushing back the gun’s slide and barrel. After you pop out the pin, disassembling the barrel and other parts should be easier once the slide is out of the way.
This gun is pretty straightforward to maintain (if a little challenging to take apart initially). Once you’ve cleaned and lubricated it, reassembling the LCP II should be a piece of cake. That’s a good thing because concealed-carry firearms accumulate dirt easily.
Weapons of this size don’t come with a lot of aftermarket options, being too small for you to replace many of their parts. The one aftermarket accessory that comes to mind is Mag Guts, which extend the LCP II’s magazine capacity by a single round.
Also, unfortunately, you’re stuck with the sights that come with the pistol, as Ruger doesn’t offer upgrades or replacements.
With this Ruger LCP 2 review, you should’ve able to make an informed decision as to whether this firearm is for you. The LCP II improves on the old LCP in many aspects, though features like the gun’s sights could use further improvement. Additionally, the gun’s small size means it may take some getting used to for shooters with larger hands.
I think this gun is great at what it does best, i.e. concealed carry, and, when used in close quarters, should do a fine job firing accurately.