🏕️ Welcome to The Survival Spirit! Your go-to resource for online survival guides and tips 🏕️ 

Ruger LCP 380 Review

Is the Ruger LCP 380 the best self-defense gun on the market?


Today we will be reviewing the Ruger LCP 380.


Who are Rugar


The story starts off in 1938 when William B. Rugar designed a light machine gun for potential use by the military.

Then he joined forces with Alexander McCormick Sturm in 1949 to form Sturm, Rugar & Co.

Their first gun was a sporting firearm, and they are still known for producing high quality sporting firearms to this day. In fact, they have now sold over a whopping 20 million firearms

They are still renowned as a great American company, as they have no international investment, and all their products are built by Americans in American factories.

Their long-lasting success has been built around producing high quality firearms, that shooters actually want.

They also invented the precision investment casting method, which is still widely used today.

They have maintained their premium position in the firearms market by only employing hunters and shooters throughout the company. This means they have expertise running through every department.


What does LCP mean


LCP stands for Lightweight Compact Pistol. It is therefore designed to compete in the Concealed Carry Weapon and Self-Defense markets.


What does 380 mean


380 means it is a .380 automatic colt pistol (ACP). This means it has a straight-walled cartridge with no rims. Most self-defense guns are .380’s.


What is the Rugar LCP 380


Due to the LCP and 380 nature, it is a small and lightweight gun that should be easy to use by anyone and should have a low level of recoil. Making it a strong contender if you want an ultralight defensive pistol.




  • Original: a small 9-ounce gun which has a 2-finger grip, a blue steels slide which is through-hardened, and has a nylon frame which is glass filled.


  • Coyote Special Edition: Rugar brought this out to commemorate Texas Governor Rick Perry, due to his story that when out running with his daughter and pet dog he had to take out a Coyote, which was stalking them with his Rugar LCP 380.


  • Second Generation: They shortened the trigger pull and improved the sights. Making it easier to use whilst improving the owner’s accuracy.


  • LCP Custom: which is now discontinued. They have higher profile sights than the original and the front and rear sight were replaceable. Hence, the custom aspect.


  • LCP ll: Basically, it’s an Apple update on the original, where they have just made general updates on the original Rugar LCP 380. Most notably the slide now locks when empty and there is a trigger safety. The LCP ll is only compatible with the 6-round magazines and is not compatible with the 7-round extended option.


The Rugar LCP 380 Review




  • Action = double action only (DAO)
  • Barrel = 2.75”
  • Caliber = .380 ACP
  • Capacity = 6 plus 1 in the chamber
  • Finish = standard is matte black
  • Grip = glass-filled nylon
  • Overall Length = 5.16”
  • Sight = fixed
  • Weight = 9 ounces




This is not a competition gun or one to spend hours hitting targets on the range.

This is a gun that requires you to hit a person or an animal that is probably going to be relatively close to you and you are going to have to do that under stressful circumstances.

However, it does still perform quite well on the range. With a range of 25 feet, I still managed a 3” group.




The Rugar LCP 380 is perfect for walking around with, as an Everyday Carry. You will be able to walk around with it all day, and there are a huge range of pocket and inside waist holders you can use it with.

This means you can almost forget it is even there, until the time comes that you need to use it. Then it is there ready to do its job.

Whilst it will sit in an IWH, this gun is designed to be a pocket gun.




This certainly will not break the bank with their recommended price. In fact, I think they are selling themselves a bit short.

With the brand name Rugar, the quality, and the craftsmanship of this gun they could easily sell it for more money and very few people would complain.


Customer and Aftermarket Support


This is definitely an area that Ruger excel in. They provide excellent customer service, whether it is dealing with faults or helping with questions on maintenance.

Their employees all have an interest in shooting and hunting, so you are always confident that you are dealing with someone that is knowledgeable about firearms. 

They also have an incredible range of aftermarket support which is worth checking out, whether it is an extended magazine, a laser, or a holster.




It is a well-designed gun with smooth services. This is important as you do not want snagging when drawing your gun from you bag or holster.

This is important as the aim of the gun is protection, so you will likely only need it in emergency situations when you need to quickly draw it and let off a shot.

Rugar carries with it a brand name with star power, you know you are going to get a well-designed gun that does what it says on the tin.

If they are aiming the Rugar LCP 380 at the self-defense market, then you know it will be a good gun in all but the most extreme self-defense situations. 




To get a gun to qualify to be a LCP then you are going to have trade-offs. One issue I had is that I am used to bigger guns that have a little more weight to them.

This gun is extremely light and one way they have managed this is that it has a short grip, it will basically be a small 2-finger grip for most people.

The grip coupled with the weight, makes it feel a little like a toy or a novelty gun shaped cigarette lighter!

But to be fair to it, I have reeled off hundreds of rounds of ammo on the range with this gun and because of the light recoil the grip has never been a problem and there have been no noticeable hand fatigue issues.

Plus, even if there were fatigue issues, that is not what the gun is designed for. It is not meant to be hammered on the range; it is meant for emergency situations.

You can buy extension grips for this gun, and if you have medium to large hands I would recommend you look into purchasing one.




The reset is quite long which might be a problem with multiple attackers, but for the most part this gun is designed for hitting a solitary target moving towards you in a threatening manner.

Which it does perform well in. If you have multiple assailants in a short distance from multiple directions, then no lightweight and compact gun is going to excel.




This gun makes hardly any printing or riding in your pants pocket, which is helped by its short length; meaning it is rarely visible outside the top of the pocket.

You could be stood right next to someone and they would never know that you are armed. Plus, the gun comes with a handy scabbard for it to sit in whilst in your pocket.

However, I am less of a fan of the scabbard than I am of the gun itself.

A good scabbard is meant to be a little sticky in the pocket and hook into it, allowing you to easily pull the gun out of the pocket.

I wasn’t sure about the efficiency of the scabbard, so I switch to one that I know and love… the Flat Pocket Holster from the excellent RKBS Holsters.




The standard sights are barely adequate, and this is due to them trying to keep the weight down.

Plus, will you really be using the sights in the situations it is intended for. You may not have time to perfectly line up a target, you are just wanting to stop an attacker in their tracks.

The difference in the price of the standard and custom Rugar LCP 380 is very small, and the custom comes with much better sights, which in my opinion is well worth the additional cost, which if you look around can be as little as $10 extra.


Stopping power


This gun is designed to stop someone when they are bearing down on you, and I have no doubts it will stop someone in their tracks at close range and I would have confidence in the accuracy.

From longer distances I would get a little nervous about hitting my intended target especially if it were moving, but with the 7 bullets you could have then I would be happy in the knowledge that I could do some significant damage.


Trigger Pull


It has a long and deliberate pull, which is needed due to the fact there is no external safety. This long trigger pull is ideal for stressful situations, so this would be a positive for any self-defense weapon.


Weight and Size


The Rugar LCP 380 comes in at a very lightweight 9 ounces when unloaded. This makes it perfect as an everyday carry and a concealed weapon.

This can fit in your pocket and if people did notice it then they could easily mistake it for a wallet if it is in a pocket holder. In fact, the large iPhones are more noticeable in pockets than the Ruger LCP 380 is.




This gun could be ideal for a woman, due to its low weight but also because it is very slim with a thickness of only 0.8”. Meaning it will be comfortable in even the smallest hands. Also, it will easily fit into a women’s handbag or large purse.




This is not the best self-defense gun to have as a bedside gun in your home, or to keep in your car.

It is too small and not powerful enough for what you may need in a home invasion.

But if someone said to me that they carry a Rugar LCP 380 around with them as an everyday concealed carry, then I would definitely respect their choice.

It is a high-quality gun which is fit for its intended purpose, and that is all you can ask for really.

As with any review there is rarely a perfect product, there are always some pros and cons and you must be careful to review something with the actual purpose of the product in mind.

So, considering what I have just said…

Would I recommend the Rugar LCP 380 as a self-defense gun that you can carry around in your pocket on a daily basis?

Yes, I would… because it is light, it is compact, it fits into all my pant pockets easily and discretely, and it is something I have faith in that when it is called upon it will work as intended.

What more could you ask!

About Tom Bell

Hi - I'm Tom, the owner and founder of TheSurvivalSpirit.com! I'm a passionate outdoors enthusiast and am dedicated to bringing you the hottest online survival advice.  


The Survival Spirit is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me to invest in this website and keep producing great content!

About The Survival Spirit

TheSurvivalSpirit.com is run by survival enthusiast, Tom Bell! This website features all of the latest hints and tips on survival, prepping and the great outdoors.

Recommended Articles

Copyright © 2022 The Survival Spirit