elsie pea.

On Saturday, I threatened to serve up some impressions of my new acquisition, so here they are, complete with inadequate photography!

As already guessed by Tamara, the new pocket heater is a Ruger LCP (“Lightweight Compact Pistol”).  I got it brand new from my new local gun store, Hollowpoint Sports on Route 4 in scenic Enfield.  (Did I mention how much I love having a local gun store again?  )

Ruger LCP 009

That’s the box.  You get the gun, a zippered rug, the obligatory manual & safety pamphlet, warranty card, two different magazine floorplates, and a neat lock for your tool shed.  Out-the-door price was $329…no sales tax or background check fees in NH.

Ruger LCP 001

Kel-Tec knock-off?  Definitely.  As a former Kel-Tec owner, however, I have to say that the difference in production values is instantly apparent.  The Ruger has a much more expensive feel to it than the P32 or P3AT—the machining is neater, the finish is better, the plastic feels more substantial, and the lettering on the parts doesn’t look like it’s applied with a worn-out laser that can only draw right angles.  It’s a P3AT copy, but it looks and feels nicer than the original.

Ruger LCP 008

As you can see here, Tinygun is tiny.  It’s also very flat and light.  I got out the digital scale and weighed the LCP: 9.8 ounces empty, and just a hair under 12 ounces fully loaded with six plus one rounds.  You can stick this gun into a pocket, and it’ll disappear. 

Ruger LCP 003

I use the magazine floorplate with the little extender, and it does a lot to improve the fit for large hands.  The LCP is just a little bit bigger than the P32 I used to have, but that little bit extra makes a difference.  Where the P32 was a true mouse gun on the level of the Beretta Jetfire or NAA Guardian, the LCP feels a bit “bigger”, like an extremely streamlined Walther PPK.  Tam and I used to call the Beretta Tomcat “Little Big Gun” because it feels like a bigger weapon in your hand than its specs would suggest, and the same is true for the LCP.  It also has a pleasant tactile feel to it—the backstrap and grip are nicely checkered, and there’s not a sharp edge or corner on the gun.  All the edges are smoothed out for pocket carry.

I went through my Crate O’ Ammo and found about eighty rounds of various .380 defensive loads, which considering the current prices of .380 ammo everywhere is like finding a bag of Krugerrand gold coins in your attic.  I loaded up with a little sampler of various loads, and headed out into the front yard to check the LCP for function.

It’s a locked-breech gun, so it’s surprisingly tame for such a flyweight, especially considering the .380ACP caliber.  The sights are low-profile and rather vestigial, but I had no problem making a Pepsi can dance at seven yards.  Function was flawless with all the loads tested: Remington Golden Sabers, the old Winchester Black Talon, Federal Hydra-Shoks, and Remington JHPs.  Considering the cost of replacement ammo, I didn’t fire a whole lot of rounds through the gun, but enough to get a bit of a feel for it.  The pistol has a manual slide lock, but doesn’t hold the slide back after the last round.  Trigger pull is a bit stiff, but fairly smooth, and no problem for someone who’s used to revolvers.

It’s not going to replace my beloved K-frames as primary carry pieces, but it’s neat to have a pocketable gun again, and it certainly comes in handy for just walking around the property without having to put on the whole belt ensemble.  (One thing I’ve always appreciated about pocket guns from a self-defense standpoint is that you can have your hand on your gun in an inconspicuous manner if/when you see trouble brewing.  The fastest draw is one where the gun is already in your hand, and all that.)  It’s a neat, tidy, and well-made little beast that offers a respectable punch for its weight and size.  It’s also ludicrously easy to carry, and reasonably easy to shoot well at self-defense distances. 

Overall, the Ruger LCP gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from the Munchkin Wrangler Gun Test Labs.  Now I just need to find a way to be like Jay, and con the Crimson Trace folks into sending me one of those nifty laser units they make for the LCP.  (From my experience with CTC units on my J-frames, the laser would probably increase the utility of that little Ruger by about 500% in low light.)

36 thoughts on “elsie pea.

  1. BryanP says:

    Very nice. I strongly considered one myself, and the only reason I didn’t buy one is because of the scarcity and expense of .380 ammo. Congrats on your new toy.

  2. Todd says:

    Like Bryan, the one thing holding me back right now is the scarcity of .380. Talked to my guy at the gun shop Saturday about this little gem as well as the Kel-Tec. Fortuitous timing that you posted this!

  3. Schmidt says:

    I wonder what kind of impact the Boberg will have on sales of .380 caliber pocket guns. It looks very promising.. more powerful, cheaper to shoot(assuming it doesn’t wear out easily) and only slightly larger.

    http://www.bobergarms.com/photo/boberg-xr9s-9mm-p-vs-ruger-lcp?context=latest

    • Tam says:

      No more sales impact than the Kel-Tec PF-9, Kahr PM9, or Rohrbaugh, which is to say “negligible”…

      The thing about the LCP/P3AT is that they are considerably more pocketable in a sales segment where ounces and fractions of inches (not to mention dollars) make a big, big difference.

      • Schmidt says:

        XR9-S 850$
        Caliber: 9mm/9mm+P 7+1 rounds
        Length: 5.1”
        Height: 4.2”
        Width: 0.95”
        Capacity: 7+1
        Slightly higher and wider than the P3AT.. but a lot more more expensive and powerful.
        One could probably get a CZ-75 Shadow for that. Though, that one isn’t compact.

        Too bad it’s that expensive. Unlike certain other guns, this one is easy on the eyes.

        • Tam says:

          Let me try again: Do you think the Ariel Atom is cutting into Honda Civic Si sales?😉

        • Schmidt says:

          Not a good comparison.. LCP and XR-9 are both compact guns, so a better comparison would be Dacia Logan to a Honda Civic* with a TDI engine..

          *European model. The Amurkan one is ugly.

        • Tam says:

          Never mind. Unless one actually pocket carries anyway, it’s hard to appreciate the difference.

          FWIW, in the mid-’90s we were all talking about the new, tiny 9mms (Kahr, Glock 26, Colt Pocket 9) ending the .380.

          Instead, not only did smaller .380s come out, but even the more traditional Walther/SIG/Bersa ones continue to be made and sell well.

          So, from the perspective of someone who’s been in this business for many years, I will predict two things:
          1) The Boberg will have absolutely no impact whatever on the sale of .380s.
          2) If you want a Boberg, buy one as soon as they’re actually available, because that gun has “Future Collector’s Item Due To Rarity” written all over it. In the 50th Edition of the Blue Book, it’ll be a one line entry.

        • Schmidt says:

          Even if Boberg went out of business, it’d be possible to make a knock-off. Some of the pics online were made from CAD models. An enterprising fellow with some engineering knowledge could create new ones (and change the caliber to 45 ACP).

          BTW, why do you think they’ll end soon? The price,right? The design and specifications are neat, as far as I can tell. Similiar mechanism work ok in belt-fed machineguns.

          I think you’re right with the impact. It’s too expensive. Though, who knows what kind of sales Boberg needs to continue being in business. Maybe there are enough well to do gun owners who would want one.

    • BryanP says:

      Unless it’s as affordable, probably not much. I did bite down on my wallet and buy a PM9, and I find it extremely pocketable, but it’s still a bit larger than the LCP and signficantly more expensive.

      I expect that over time the price of .380 ammo will return to normal, and guns like the P3AT, LCP and such will continue to thrive in the pocket gun market.

      • Weer'd Beard says:

        I’ll be biting and also buying the PM9.

        Big #1. The powers that be won’t let me have an LCP
        #2. 9mm >> .380 auto in both power, as well as price and availability.

        #3. It’s smaller and lighter than my J-frame that currently serves pocket duty, so why get a smaller gun that will be harder to shoot than a larger gun that already fits.

        #4. I’ve shot Kahrs and IMHO you get what you pay for, they’re worth it to me.

        #5. That’s a slick little pocket gun Marko. Good snag.

        Always nice to have a gun you can quickly drop in the pocket rather than getting a full carry rig on.

        Especially when you live out in the sticks like you do where a “Quick trip to the store” might run closer to 20 min than 10.

  4. MarkHB says:

    My gh0d. That looks like it came out of a Christmas Cracker or a Kinder Egg, size-wise! What do you do with the spare fingers that don’t fit on the gripette?

    Though I’m sure, if I search hard enough, I’ll find someone using ’em to reload. This is the Internet, after all.

  5. Al Terego says:

    From my comment on your first post on Elsie:

    “…comfortable but a bit foreign as you empty it smartly, and it shows in the groups at twenty feet.”

    Maybe I should have said “my” groups, but making that can dance at twenty feet is one thing; let me know how your full-clip groups look (using uniform ammo).

    My point plane and recovery in rapid-fire are quite different with the Little Copy Pistol than with the M38 Smith with which I can pretty routinely put five rounds into a three inch group.

    Still, practice makes perfect, and I’m sure it’s mostly a matter of acclimation to the way-different ergonomics; that’s if I can afford to feed it enough (it’s nuts, but I can pick up bulk .38 Special for twenty cents per round…less than half the cheapest .380 around here).

    I wouldn’t buy too much at the current price, though; surely suppliers will flood the market and get the price down when they do the next die run.

    AT

  6. Antibubba says:

    Man, if it were only available in .45 cocked & locked it’d be perfect! [/sarcasm]

    Schmidt, for the price, why would a Boberg be better than a Rohrbach, which is even smaller and lighter?

  7. Funny.
    When the wife got hers, I called it Elsie, & she couldn’t (at first) figure out why I was naming the gun.

    BTW, the .380 is starting to show up big time- there was plenty at the show, mostly Serbian PP, & Paul just today got in a case from Remington.

  8. Glamdring says:

    Marko just wondering why the 380 vs J frame or LCR?

    I plan to replace my airwt with LCR sooner or later but that is mainly so I have something lighter than my Glock 26s for pocket carry when recovering from injuries or surgery.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      The LCR is nice, but the LCP was $150 less.

      Also, I don’t care much for the big, sticky rubber Hogues on the LCR. I’ll get one eventually, but it’ll wear the CTC grips, which are hard plastic, and better for pocket carry.

  9. […] got himself a new pocket gun, with […]

  10. Jay G. says:

    Marko,

    Did you by any chance acquire this with the proceeds from your brou-haha with Ted Nugent?

    The LCP would then stand for Little Cat Present…🙂

  11. Bruce says:

    Very nice. I’ve had mine for a year and a half now with no complaints (except for the difficulty in finding unicorn teeth in .380).

  12. The up side of living in New Jersey: We’ve had plenty of .380 all through the ammo drought, as few people here have a use for tiny concealment guns and our laws make it a major PITA for out-of-staters to buy handgun ammo here.

    The down side of living in New Jersey: Still waiting for permission to pick up the LCP I paid for in November.

  13. Rob says:

    Congrats on the new Ruger!

    I agree. It is nice to have Hollowpoint Sports nearby (I live in Orange). And the owners seem to be nice people. Hopefully, they’ll be successful and round out their inventory over time to include a wider variety of offerings (especially BP items and supplies).

  14. Pat says:

    I’ve had one for a bit over a year and it’s become my regular carry piece. I love the size and concealability (is that even a word?).

    The small size is especially nice when I’m on the motorcycle, where all space is at a premium…

  15. jimbob86 says:

    With about a $3 to $4 difference between .380 and 9mm per box, at 1 to 2 boxes a month (18/year, $3.5 x 18=$63 x notsoverymanyyears until buying a more expensive 9mm is a bargain…….

    Learn to handload .380 and get a reasonable source for boolits for same….. just be careful with powder measurements: with those tiny charges, an error of .5gr can cause Very Bad Things to happen.

  16. Matt G says:

    I thought you said that the size was comparable to the 3AT. Huh. When I look at the KelTec in my hand, it seems a little smaller:

    http://maypeacebewithyou.blogspot.com/2010/01/pocket-pistol.html
    😉

  17. DJ says:

    I’ve been carrying the LCP for about a year and a half now, over one year with the Crimson Trace laser grip. So far, it has worked without a hiccup, handling Hornady Critical Defense for carry and CCI Blazer for practice, and with surprising accuracy.

    I carry it in a High Noon pocket holster, which you can find at

    http://www.highnoonholsters.com/Product_Line/_Pocket_Grabber/_pocket_grabber.html

    I recommend the combination highly.

    • Dillon says:

      I agree, DJ. High Noon Holsters are high quality leather holsters at a very economic price. I carry the LCP with CT in a High Noon – Hidden Alley IWB Holster. I would recommend them to anyone!

  18. john b says:

    I have the PF 9. Love it, got three more magazines for it. got a nice rig to carry the mags in. It kicks as much as that super light weight Taurus .38 I got Dad a couple of Christmases ago. The manual was hidden under the foam in the case, I found it today after I had to go to Police Magazine three days ago for the takedown instructions.

    I kind would like a threaded barrel and silencer for it. I’m going for the class 3 ffl and like a quieter blaster so as not to annoy the neighbors.

  19. Carteach0 says:

    Okay… you have me staring at one, priced at $309.
    Maybe tomorrow…… maybe not at all.

  20. Dixie says:

    Ahh, good choice, Marko. I’ve had my LCP for about 4 months now, and it now goes everywhere with me.

    You are dead on about the lasers improving the gun– in anything except directly sunlight, the sights are useless. Why Ruger didn’t put a little white paint on the front… bump (it’s not a bead or a blade) is beyond me.

  21. Martini says:

    I have had mine for over a year and it’s great. I use mine as a constant companion b/c it is so easy to carry. I still need to get a laser for it.
    @Dixie, the first thing I did with mine was put a dab of white out on the front sight. Second was a rubber grip from Houge to make it a bit stickier and easy to control.

  22. Dixie says:

    @Martini – I’m actually probably going to use paint-on tritium or a bright color of paint. White on black is hard for me to see in low light (curse my weak eyes), so I’ll just do it in a bright color. Like neon purple. (chuckle)

  23. Boat Guy says:

    I’m w/ Dixie, I’ve had my LCP for the better part of a year (MY “local” is pretty big and gets lots of stuff that others don’t) and it’s run well for me. I installed the CT module on it as soon as I could get one for the same reason noted; can’t see the damn “sight” (“Bump” IS a more accurate description). I run ball most of the year figuring that anything more than a t-shirt is gonna fill up the cavity and make my ‘spensive Cor-Bon into “ball-lite”.

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