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In 2012, Ruger launched their LC9 pistol—to wide acclaim. This very compact, 9mm, polymer-framed, semi-automatic handgun met the needs of those wanting a concealable 9mm handgun that was still comfortable to shoot. This year, Ruger is turning its attention to the emerging market of shooters looking for a semi-automatic pistol for self-defense, but who are recoil sensitive and have weaker hands.

The new Ruger LC380 is identical to the LC9 but for one major difference—it is chambered in .380 ACP. The lower recoil of the .380 (also known as 9mm Short) helps recoil-sensitive shooters stay on target and avoid flinching. The lower recoil also allows for the use of a lighter recoil spring, which makes it much easier for shooters with weaker hands (as a result of arthritis, for example) to manipulate the slide.

Because the guns are identical dimensionally, aftermarket holsters and lasers work as well with the LC380 as they do with the LC9. Safety features also abound, including a firing-pin safety, a magazine-disconnect safety, a manual thumb safety and a loaded chamber indicator. Some may denigrate the .380 ACP as a defensive round, but when loaded with modern defensive ammunition, it is perfectly capable of achieving a level of penetration and expansion sufficient to stop a threat.

With its 7+1 capacity magazine, optional finger grip extension, high-profile three-dot sights, checkered and serrated glass-filled, nylon, black grip frame, and steel-alloy, black-oxide-finished barrel and slide, the LC380 offers excellent value and security to any person who may have difficulty operating other, heavier defensive semi-automatic pistols.

A quick range test with a variety of ammunition went smoothly and malfunction free, and during rapid-fire drills at 10 yards I was easily able to place an entire magazine’s worth of rounds inside a space the size of my hand. Keep an eye out for a full review of the LC380 in an upcoming issue of Combat Handguns magazine. In the meantime, to learn more, visit ruger.com.

SPECIFICATIONS: RUGER LC380
CALIBER: .380 ACP
BARREL: 3.12 inches
OA LENGTH: 6 inches
WEIGHT: 17.1 ounces (empty)
GRIPS: High-performance, glass-filled nylon
SIGHTS: Adjustable three dot
ACTION: Double-action only
FINISH: Matte black
CAPACITY: 7+1
MSRP: $449

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