Compact and pocket pistols are everywhere these days, and with concealed-carry rights spreading around the country, their popularity is guaranteed to continue growing. Sturm, Ruger is one American company that has entered the pocket-pistol market full bore with dependable and innovative deep-cover Rugers that are built to last. One indication of its commitment to satisfying customer demand is Ruger’s extensive line of CCW-ready handguns.
For the ultimate in pocket-pistol comfort and concealability, Ruger offers the outstanding LCP (Lightweight Carry Pistol), which was introduced in 2008 as a double-action-only (DAO), fiberglass-reinforced, nylon-framed, recoil-operated, semi-automatic pocket pistol chambered in the popular .380 ACP cartridge with a 6+1 capacity.
Ruger also added one very welcome, and on pocket guns rarely seen, feature—a manual slide hold open. The LCP really shines with regard to its snag-free profile and miniscule dimensions. Weighing less than 10 ounces empty, and with a total length of just over 5 inches and a width of only 0.82 inches, the LCP manages to almost disappear inside a front pocket.
The Ruger LCP features rounded edges throughout and a smooth finish with flush, integral, low-profile, fixed sights. The double-action-only (DAO) design is also built to be very safe. In keeping with the pistol’s simple controls there is no external or manual safety. There is a small window on the right side of the slide at the back of the chamber, which provides visual indication of a round in the chamber.
In 2010, Ruger followed up the LCP with the LC9. The LC9 is a full-power, 9mm, DAO, recoil-operated, hammer-fired, fiberglass-reinforced, nylon-framed, semi-automatic pistol with a 7+1 capacity. Not only does the LC9’s 9mm round on average have twice the muzzle energy as the .380 ACP, but its ammo capacity is also one greater than the LCP’s.
The LC9 is slightly larger than the LCP, yet it’s still easily concealable as a pocket pistol. The checkered and serrated, glass-filled nylon, black grip frame helps keep the gun’s weight to just over 17 ounces empty, and the steel alloy barrel and slide both feature a very smooth black-oxide finish. Other features include a blued, through-hardened alloy steel slide and an included magazine-floorplate finger-grip extension. The high-visibility, three-dot sights feature a wider rear aperture to help the user acquire a faster sight picture. The sights have a low, snag-free profile, and the rear sight is drift adjustable for windage.
Safeties include a firing-pin block, which prevents the gun from firing unless the trigger is squeezed, a magazine disconnect, which also prevents firing unless a magazine is completely inserted in the gun, and a left-side thumb safety. A loaded-chamber indicator located on top of the slide and just behind the ejection port provides both visual and tactile awareness that a cartridge case is in the chamber. Ruger also includes a standard slide lock/release, which locks the action open on the last shot.
LIGHTS & LASERS
As a result of a partnership between Ruger and Viridian, there are several new additions to the Ruger line. The Ruger LCP and the Ruger LC9 series will now be offered factory equipped with either the Viridian Reactor 5 (R5) green laser sight or the Viridian Reactor Tactical Light (RTL). They will be the LC9-GL and LC9-TL, and the LCP-GL and LCP-TL models (“GL” indicates laser and “TL,” light). Both units clamp around the triggerguard area for a seamless and streamlined profile. Both the R5 and the RTL feature Viridian’s Enhanced Combat Readiness (ECR) activiation where the unit activates when withdrawn from the company’s custom-fit pocket holster. The R5 packs a lithium-powered 532nm green laser, and the RTL unit provides a compact yet powerful light that powers a broad, flat, high-output beam that illuminates over twice the horizontal area that comparable lights do.
Ruger designed its LC380 with an eye to making slide manipulation easy for every shooter. In many respects, the LC380 is the .380 ACP-chambered version of Ruger’s extremely successful compact LC9 pistol in 9mm. The new gun is a polymer-framed, semi-automatic, recoil-operated, hammer-fired, DAO handgun with a 7+1 round capacity.
Externally, the LC9 and LC380 are identical, but internally, the LC380’s re-chambering produces several distinct differences. Most obviously, the new chambering produces significantly less recoil. On average, the .380 ACP has about half the muzzle energy of the 9mm. Perceived recoil is further reduced because the LC380 is also larger than most pocket pistols in the same chambering.
The black-oxide-finished, through-hardened alloy steel slide features high-visibility, white, three-dot sights with a widened rear aperture to help the user more quickly acquire a sight picture, sight alignment and front sight focus. The sights also have a low, snag-free profile and are dovetailed into the slide, making them drift adjustable for windage. At the top of the slide is a loaded-chamber indicator that pops up when there is a cartridge case in the chamber, offering both visual and tactile indication (which is handy in low-light conditions).
The checkered, serrated, glass-filled nylon, black grip frame is very narrow and has a slight palm swell. The triggerguard is wide and very convenient for people with larger hands or for users wearing gloves. The steel magazine release, the disassembly plate, the thumb safety and the slide lock/release are all located on the left side of the gun. The manual thumb safety is also quite small, but I found that it works well and clicks down to the “off” position very easily.
Empty, the LC380 weighs just a tad over 17 ounces, and the fit and finish are very nicely executed. All of the edges have been smoothed out, giving the gun a slightly melted look. Toward the muzzle, the slide is angled inward to aid in holstering.
SR9C Ruger’s SR9c, a compact, striker-fired, DAO version of the Ruger SR9, weighs just over 23 ounces and has very small dimensions, although it’s not exactly pocket sized. It does offer a very generous 10+1 capacity of 9mm ammunition with a finger extension on the magazine buttplate.
Unlike many subcompact and pocket-sized pistols, the SR9c includes on its black, glass-filled nylon frame an accessory rail for the mounting of lights or lasers. It also accepts the higher-capacity magazines of its larger brother, the SR9. An included special magazine featuring an adapter gives the diminutive pistol the grip feel of a full-sized gun for easier shooting, a maximum capacity of 17 rounds and more control.
This pistol also features high-visibility, three-dot sights that are fully adjustable, and front and rear slide serrations for easier manipulation. The hardened steel slide can be had in a brushed stainless or a black-nitride finish. Like on all Ruger pistols, safety features abound, including a manual, ambidextrous thumb safety, a loaded-chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect safety (the pistol will not fire with the magazine removed), a trigger safety tab, a trigger bar block and a striker block.
SR40C Like the SR9c, the SR40c is an extremely compact version of a full-sized pistol, in this case the SR40. Chambered in .40 caliber, the striker-fired SR40c has the same slim and black, glass-filled nylon frame as the SR9c. It also features an ambidextrous manual thumb safety and magazine release as well as an accessory rail. The ergonomic grip has a reversible backstrap that allows the user to customize the pistol to better fit the hand.
The gun’s magazine capacity with the larger .40-caliber round is only one less, with the flush-fit magazine accommodating nine rounds and the larger grip extension magazine accommodating 15. Both pistols also have a short-reach trigger to accommodate all hand sizes. For more information on Ruger’s full line of pocket pistols, please visit ruger.com or call 928-541-8892.